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Researchers Are Developing Ad Hoc Networks For Car-To-Car Data Exchange

Soulskill posted about a year ago | from the hey-buddy-your-blinker-is-on dept.

Transportation 126

Lucas123 writes "Researchers are developing machine-to-machine (M2M) communication technology that allows cars to exchange data with each other, enabling vehicles to know what the cars all around them are doing, and perhaps, where they're going. Intel is working with National Taiwan University on M2M connectivity, an idea came from caravanning — an available, but-not-yet-deployed technology that uses direct line of site infrared (IR) and a range finder in order to automatically adjust the speed of cars so they can travel at a measured distance from each other. In other words, they're electronically tethered to one another. Now, imagine a group of cars traveling down the road together as an ad hoc network, each one aware of the location, any sudden actions or even the travel route of other vehicles as uploaded to the cloud from a GPS device. 'We're even imagining in the future cars would be able to ask other cars, "Hey, can I cut into your lane?" Then the other car would let you in,' said Jennifer Healey, a research scientist with Intel."

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They have that already (4, Funny)

Gothmolly (148874) | about a year ago | (#43687025)

It's called a "train".

Re:They have that already (2)

DoofusOfDeath (636671) | about a year ago | (#43687057)

Yeah, but those cars' interfaces are tightly coupled.

Except for the the ones near my grandmother's first husband, who worked on trains. He was killed when two cars came together with him in between. Ever since, I've avoided bad interfaces.

Re:They have that already (4, Funny)

dkleinsc (563838) | about a year ago | (#43687267)

I was thinking more of a different car-to-car data exchange mechanism, namely the extended middle finger.

Re:They have that already (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43688233)

Middle finger for 1s, shake your fist for 0s. How can car-to-car communication be any more efficient when you only need one or two bits to send a message?

Re:They have that already (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43687291)

On the communication side, it's called Peer to Peer, or Mesh, or Multipoint. Been there, done that, always wanted P2P auto communication to really solve the traffic and routing issues (hint: it's the only way Google Cars will ever work in mass scale).

Thanks to big Silicon Valley Research arms, it's the same old tech, but fresh new name! Sell it!!!!

Re:They have that already (1)

drcheap (1897540) | about a year ago | (#43688761)

Thanks to big Silicon Valley Research arms, it's the same old tech, but fresh new name! Sell it!!!!

Yeah, you notice how they even managed to score a "the cloud" reference in TFS? As soon as I saw that I stopped reading.

Re:They have that already (2)

David_Hart (1184661) | about a year ago | (#43687327)

It's called a "train".

Nah, trains are old-school, hard-wired, and are limited to following a single track to a place miles from where you are ultimately going (unless you live/work next to a train stop).

Personally, I would prefer an IFF system.... Can I get missiles with that?

Re:They have that already (1)

X0563511 (793323) | about a year ago | (#43688091)

Not too familiar with rail yards [wikipedia.org] or switching [wikipedia.org] in general, are you?

Re:They have that already (1)

David_Hart (1184661) | about a year ago | (#43688467)

Not too familiar with rail yards [wikipedia.org] or switching [wikipedia.org] in general, are you?

Actually, I am. Neither technology solves the last mile problem, though...

I prefer "AutoPede" (1)

Kevoco (64263) | about a year ago | (#43687403)

Like a centipede

Re:I prefer "AutoPede" (1)

drcheap (1897540) | about a year ago | (#43688773)

That would more literally translate into something like you having cars on your feet.

This is a bit different.

Re:They have that already (1)

JWW (79176) | about a year ago | (#43688257)

Bullshit. One car can't leave a train and then proceed to a different location from the other cars, while the rest of the cars keep moving along.

This is an enormous difference.

Everyone who continually spouts on about mass transit always takes the first step of discounting how much flexibility and independence matter in transit.

With this type of breakthrough we can get the benefits of the train (energy savings earned from the streamlining of the group of cars' movement), plus still retain flexibility (cars can leave the "train" dynamically).

Re:They have that already (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43688585)

Yes , they have that already ! This kind of crap angers me , It's stupid consumers that cant Ad hoc File or data transfer over WIFI
what is FTP?
The brainless media only views it as viable if you can v]=click , login and go
This leads to computer idiots, as well as making self designated compute Journalist be seen as the idiots they truly are .
We have low life uneducated people in our Inner city slums who can't pass high school or grammar school that can FTP right now ! They need wise up

Deck chairs arrangements (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43687051)

... or we could just use mass transit.

Re:Deck chairs arrangements (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43688037)

Mass Transit! Hear hear! We could devise a next-generation software-based mass transit system that could combine privately-owned modules in ad-hoc groupings, repurposing existing road and supporting infrastructure! The privately owned modules would be self-powered and independently routed between beginning and ending destinations. No physical connections would be necessary between them, since they would be self-powered, but a serious ad-hoc computer network would be needed to allow them to be formed into "mass" transit. Since they are privately owned modules, people would be able to own any number of modules in a variety of configurations suited to their particular needs and desires. The modules could exchange information about road conditions, the need for modules to shift positions relative to each other and to fixed points such as road exits. These modules present an opportunity for a large market, by the way, if interest in this scheme is as high as we might hope.

In fact, we could also have publicly owned modules that follow predictable routes on relatively fixed schedules, accepting passengers (with cargo!), then delivering them to their preferred stops along that route, all for a nominal fee. Actually, with a little additional automation it might be possible to stop anywhere along the route, rather than at fixed stops, with negligible effects on overall traffic flow.

During an interim period when necessary infrastructure is being built, we would also need to provide for independent, manual control of modules. This would also be a necessary backup system in case of various system failures or use of the modules in non-road areas. Still, independent manual control of the modules poses substantial risks that would have to be mitigated through legislation detailing training requirements, licensing, and liability for module operators and of course, taxes and fees to support these additional governmental costs.

This next-generation system could also use extensive sets of cameras, both on the modules themselves as well as on the repurposed roadways, to detect non-communicating users of the road such as bicycles, pedestrians, fallen trees, opposums, and so forth. (Those video feeds might have use in creating a safer, fully surveilled society as well, but that is a separate initiative. We're interested here in mass transit.)

Now if we just had some prototype modules that we could set up with cameras (radar? lidar?) and to communicate among themselves. Perhaps the Feds could direct a few billion dollars in mass transit funds to help develop this new system. Certainly private businesses couldn't be expected to undertake such high-risk development efforts on their own. Some seed money would be just the thing to get this industry going. And some subsidies for early adopters, of course, to assist in purchasing the modules.

I know this next-generation mass transit system seems like a far-reaching proposal, but imagine giving our children and our grandchildren with this kind of mobility! If each person bears their fair share of the cost by purchasing and maintaining their own modules then the cost to the taxpayer would be de minimis yet the benefits to society would be nearly incalculable!

I hope you have as much fun reading this as I had writing it. ;-)

Re:Deck chairs arrangements (1)

ShanghaiBill (739463) | about a year ago | (#43688127)

... or we could just use mass transit.

It is more likely that self-driving cars will kill mass transit. People use mass transit so they don't have to own a car, and to avoid traffic congestion and parking fees. But self driving cars solve all those problems. Self driving taxis will be available on demand, they will eliminate congestion by using the road space far more efficiently, and you won't have to park them at your destination. They will offer conveniences that mass transit does not: they can meet you at your front door at at a time convenient to you, deliver you directly to your destination, with no stops in between. Mass transit, such as buses and trains, are more efficient than cars when they are full. But outside of rush hour they often run near empty, so their overall efficiency is not so good. Self driving taxis will not have that problem. If they are electric or plug-in hybrid, they will probably be cheaper and more environmentally friendly than our existing mass transit systems.

Re:Deck chairs arrangements (3, Insightful)

lgw (121541) | about a year ago | (#43688211)

Self driving taxis will be available on demand

For any such system to be useful, you need a very strong system to prevent them being used as a place to sleep, convenient bathroom, and so on. Zipcar manages, mostly by not being public - you have a contract, a credit car on file, insurance, and so on. I can see Zipcar offering self-driving cars long before I can see a taxi service doing so.

Re:Deck chairs arrangements (1)

ShanghaiBill (739463) | about a year ago | (#43688431)

being used as a place to sleep

This can be prevented by debiting their credit card for the time that they are using the car.

convenient bathroom

This can be prevented by a camera monitoring the passenger compartment, and debiting their credit card for any cleanup fee. Many human operated taxis already have customer-cams. If you want privacy while you are peeing, then don't pee in the taxi.

I can see Zipcar offering self-driving cars long before I can see a taxi service doing so.

I can see the end result being the same either way.

Re:Deck chairs arrangements (1)

ensignyu (417022) | about a year ago | (#43688409)

I mostly agree with you, but I also think that self-driving taxis could also improve public transit usage because they solve the last mile problem -- getting to and from mass transit. For medium distance commutes, it might still be faster to take a self-driving taxi to the train/subway and then get another taxi after getting off the train/subway, for locations that aren't too far from a transit center.

Also, it'd be easier to take the self-driving bus in the morning if I knew that I could call a self-driving taxi if I missed the bus, or if I needed to go home early/late.

Relying entirely on self-driving vehicles may be the cheapest, most convenient option for a period of time after they're introduced, but as energy costs rising in the long run could provide an edge towards mass transit systems. Having self-driving taxis feed into the mass transit systems could boost ridership and efficiency to the point where they're cheaper and maybe even more convenient than driving for certain commutes.

Re:Deck chairs arrangements (1)

Reapy (688651) | about a year ago | (#43688691)

Rip all our roads up and have a rail system, instead of cars we own our own rail car that sits in a garage that his hooked up to the main system. If I don't own a rail car or need a bigger one if I'm moving or have guests over or want a party bus style move, I can just rent one via the control panel and take all the risks of a dirty car, or I could rent one from a private company that charges a bit more.

The car would be routed out to my house as soon as I place the order, or I might have scheduled it ahead of time. When I travel with it I can pick my own route or let the computer auto route me based on congestion/traffic. If I change my mind mid travel I can update the route, hit a button for 'bathroom stop! (if the car doesn't have one) Food! Scenic Detour!' and the car will respond appropriately.

Local streets and rails are all elevated so the streets become bike paths, walkways and grass. You take them out of local rail system and get routed into rail highways that handle high speed merging and maintaining distance etc.

That is my dream transportation system. Maybe in another 300 years.

sharing travel location? (3, Insightful)

Nadaka (224565) | about a year ago | (#43687061)

Hello! Privacy concern! I may not want everyone knowing i have the strip club programmed into my gps.

Re:sharing travel location? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43687157)

Why? Don't go to to the strip club if you're uptight about this sort of thing. Or don't go because it's horribly depressing.

Re:sharing travel location? (3, Funny)

Nadaka (224565) | about a year ago | (#43687601)

But its so much more expensive to have the strippers delivered.

Re:sharing travel location? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43688883)

I can't believe Obama missed this great potential stimulus to the economy!

Re:sharing travel location? (1)

Qzukk (229616) | about a year ago | (#43687197)

I may not want everyone knowing i have the strip club programmed into my gps.

Just name the location "Labor and Delivery"

why is it in your GPS? (2)

schlachter (862210) | about a year ago | (#43687611)

You don't know how to get there on your own by now?

Re:sharing travel location? (1)

ShanghaiBill (739463) | about a year ago | (#43688181)

Hello! Privacy concern! I may not want everyone knowing i have the strip club programmed into my gps.

Why don't you want people to know? Most strippers that I have met are either college women trying to pay for their education, or recent graduates working to pay off their student loans. So by patronizing them, you are helping to create are more educated and less indebted society. Why should you be ashamed of that?

Re:sharing travel location? (1)

Nadaka (224565) | about a year ago | (#43688313)

Not ashamed, I just don't to be bothered by the bible thumpers.

Re:sharing travel location? (1)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | about a year ago | (#43688609)

"Hello! Privacy concern! I may not want everyone knowing i have the strip club programmed into my gps."

You probably also don't want them to know your name when you say "Back off, asshole!"

Hacking potential (5, Interesting)

AmiMoJo (196126) | about a year ago | (#43687083)

I imagine mod chips that block other cars from your lane will appear quickly enough, but the potential for carnage if one were programmed to give other cars information designed to mislead them into danger can't be ignored. How would one car authenticate what another is saying?

Re:Hacking potential (1)

Kreplock (1088483) | about a year ago | (#43687191)

And with widespread hacking comes additional regulation, the eventual future involves getting sidelined into the slow lane while the rich and connected glide by as if you are standing still.

Re:Hacking potential (1)

lgw (121541) | about a year ago | (#43688255)

the eventual future involves getting sidelined into the slow lane while the rich and connected glide by as if you are standing still.

Now that's an idea I like! Sign me up.

Already some congested cities are offering toll lanes, where you pay a few dollars to get less-slow traffic - if your time is worth it, pay up! I rather suspect these HOV-or-toll lanes will become HOV-or-toll-or-self-driving lanes, and you'll be the one gliding by.

Re:Hacking potential (2)

show me altoids (1183399) | about a year ago | (#43687249)

I don't think you have to assume malicious behavior for this to be a real mess. The only way it would work properly is if every car on the road had one of these and they were all in working order. Shit, some people can't even be bothered to fix their headlights unless they get a ticket.

Re:Hacking potential (1)

Derekloffin (741455) | about a year ago | (#43687447)

My thoughts exactly, this sounds great in theory until you realize that the driving populous is no where even remotely responsible or consistent enough for something like to work. Add deviants deliberately sabotaging the system in and this is just a pipe dream at best.

Re:Hacking potential (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43688455)

It's technology that's WAY before its time. This won't work until most cars are self-driving.

Re:Hacking potential (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about a year ago | (#43687641)

I imagine mod chips that block other cars from your lane will appear quickly enough, but the potential for carnage if one were programmed to give other cars information designed to mislead them into danger can't be ignored. How would one car authenticate what another is saying?

That seems like the really intractable problem here...

I don't mean to minimize the challenges of getting wireless mesh networks between a dynamic population of moving targets; but that's the sort of problem that falls into 'problem is hard, good thing our engineers are smart'. It'll get worked out.

Coaxing optimal results out of swarms is similarly a problem that hasn't been fully explored(but we know that social insects are pretty good at it, and it's an active area of research).

Add malicious actors to the picture, though? It'll be as much fun as trying to keep a computer non-botted on the internet, in a world where your face gets shoved through the monitor with lethal force when you fail!

Re:Hacking potential (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43688053)

Don't forget mechanical failures and differences in braking performance. When the car at the front of the 'train' spots a stalled car in the lane and slams on the brakes, better hope the car at the back is capable of stopping as fast.

Re:Hacking potential (1)

lgw (121541) | about a year ago | (#43688285)

How is a malicious actor not going to get caught? I'd imagine any self-driving system will include cameras capable of recording the car/license plates of the cars it communicates with, as well as some digital identifier. Using some hack to mislead others leading to harm is going to get noticed very quickly, just like using a radar detector where they're illegal.

That's a technical problem with a very well established social solution!

Re:Hacking potential (1)

Score Whore (32328) | about a year ago | (#43688525)

So you're assuming that communications will be limited to the eight cars nearest to you? Not the car four cars ahead of you or four cars behind you or the car on an overpass or the dude with the parabolic high gain antenna half a mile away in some high-rise? And no one will spoof a digital identifier?

Re:Hacking potential (1)

MBasial (565610) | about a year ago | (#43688425)

I am not particularly worried about the "malicious operator" scenario. Trick someone else's car into a fatal accident, and that's probably premeditated murder to a jury (or one of the heavier manslaughters, at least). Prosecutors will likely take it a bit more seriously than that time someone's computer got hacked to send out spam. Yes, it's possible to do, if you are also willing to do the prison time.

Re:Hacking potential (1)

Score Whore (32328) | about a year ago | (#43688539)

Sucks for the dead person though.

FYI the vast majority of murders are not solved. They don't even have suspects.

Re:Hacking potential (1)

Lucky75 (1265142) | about a year ago | (#43688011)

I'd imagine that you would also have sensors on the car to confirm the information.

Re:Hacking potential (1)

Idbar (1034346) | about a year ago | (#43689005)

You're talking about a car-in-the-middle attack? Sounds like a possibility.

Oh god (1)

TubeSteak (669689) | about a year ago | (#43687103)

You'll have a mile long pack of cars, all accelerating as fast as the slowest vehicle.

And I can only imagine the rolling roadblocks you'll get when a row of cars line up and synchronize their speeds.

Re:Oh god (1)

Qzukk (229616) | about a year ago | (#43687179)

And I can only imagine the rolling roadblocks you'll get when a row of cars line up and synchronize their speeds.

Only a problem if you're a meatbag driver who thinks he's awesome enough to be allowed on the road with his sluggish 1 second response time.

Or if everyone else hacks their car to answer "no" when your car asks to be let through.

Re:Oh god (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43688503)

And I can only imagine the rolling roadblocks you'll get when a row of cars line up and synchronize their speeds.

Only a problem if you're a meatbag driver who thinks he's awesome enough to be allowed on the road with his sluggish 1 second response time.

Or if everyone else hacks their car to answer "no" when your car asks to be let through.

I'll take the sluggish response time over an AI that only has a limited number of lines of code.

There is no hope in hell of an AI being able to have a safe response for every possible encounter on the roads that an experienced driver would be able to handle without issue.

Think about it.

Re:Oh god (1)

spire3661 (1038968) | about a year ago | (#43687359)

NO, the road will sort the cars. All the inter-car comms will coordinate with the road signaling system to avoid this sort of thing.

Re:Oh god (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43687773)

talks to city comptroller system.

That way traffic can be rerouted around accident sites (flats, mechanical failure, and running over stuff still happens), rerouted because of events like concerts, or rerouted due to road work.

Also, this allows priority traffic like ambulance, fire, police, and military to get through traffic without everything slowing to a crawl.

Re:Oh god (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43688643)

talks to city comptroller system.

That way traffic can be rerouted around accident sites (flats, mechanical failure, and running over stuff still happens), rerouted because of events like concerts, or rerouted due to road work.

Also, this allows priority traffic like ambulance, fire, police, and military to get through traffic without everything slowing to a crawl.

That doesn't happen in the UK, but then I realised most people here will be from the USA where the military really are the 4th emergency service!

Re:Oh god (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43689229)

And why would the city comptroller want to talk to an idiot like you?

Or did you mean controller?

Then we can talk about the fact that in many areas(at least in California, unless you live in Sacramento or LA) they can't even keep the roads in good repair, but you think they would keep a controller system functioning.

Re:Oh god (1)

Sarten-X (1102295) | about a year ago | (#43687435)

But it won't matter, because the cars will also have algorithms to determine when to just safely move around a car that can't keep up, and that synchronized roadblock won't block your also-upgraded car from joining (or passing through) them.

More irritating will be the Luddites who don't take advantage of the technology, so they create obstacles that the networks will have to route around. When that old geezer going 45mph is getting passed by that other old geezer going 46mph, the whole train of cars behind them will have to slow down. Then, of course, the people in the automatic cars will complain about slowing down, and the old geezer will proudly boast that his old car can always travel however fast he wants.

How quaint (1)

Enuratique (993250) | about a year ago | (#43687105)

"Hey, can I cut into your lane?" Then the other car would let you in,' said Jennifer Healey, a research scientist with Intel." With CyanogenMod 20, your car will be able to flip a virtual finger and respond with a binary "FUCK OFF AND DIE!" message.

Re:How quaint (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43687285)

As long as we can tag those people, and get a warning when we're near asshats, that's not a problem.

Over-ride (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43687143)

'We're even imagining in the future cars would be able to ask other cars, "Hey, can I cut into your lane?" Then the other car would let you in,'

Why? I hope that can be overridden. I usually DON'T want to let them in.I plan ahead, why should the jerks get to cut in line?

Nope nope nope. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43687149)

99% of the message sent from car to car would be "fuck you" where I live.
Everyone here drives like an asshole.
I don't need a fancy machine to know what they're saying, I just look at the middle fingers I get.

Re:Nope nope nope. (1)

show me altoids (1183399) | about a year ago | (#43687207)

So all the other drivers flip you off because they are assholes? I think you may be projecting.

Re:Nope nope nope. (1)

i kan reed (749298) | about a year ago | (#43687377)

Projecting... or living in Boston.

Why Taiwan? (3, Interesting)

jaymzter (452402) | about a year ago | (#43687161)

The California university system is larger than any in Taiwan and exists in Intel's home state. Anyone have any ideas why this research was offshored?

After all (and on another note), this seems right up the governing regime of California's "alley". Imagine the state using this technology to mandate your speed, or taxing you for entering the city core during certain hours, not to mention the wonderful surveillance opportunities.

Re:Why Taiwan? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43687271)

"Anyone have any ideas why this research was offshored?"

I wonder what Taiwan's legal system looks like from a liability point of view. They may be testing it out there to avoid possible massive lawsuits like they would get here in the US if someone (or a bunch of people "caravaning") was injured or died.

Re:Why Taiwan? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43687465)

My guess? It is funded by the taiwanese government and Intel is partially (typically 50%) paid by taiwanese tax money for this research. Many research grant programs require that industrial partners are part of project consortiums. Global companies like Intel take every research grant they can get their fingers on.

Re:Why Taiwan? (2)

LeadSongDog (1120683) | about a year ago | (#43688031)

Intel's home state

Multinationals have no "home". They spend money wherever it's best for the bottom line, full stop.

Re:Why Taiwan? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43689221)

Probably where a large chunk of cash is parked. Instead of spending it here they can spend it 'there' and not have to pay taxes on it.

What could possibly go wrong? (1)

AlienSexist (686923) | about a year ago | (#43687171)

Want that nice car in the caravan? Hate somebody? See what you can do with some false signals injected into the M2M communications protocols.

Re:What could possibly go wrong? (1)

lgw (121541) | about a year ago | (#43688317)

Injected from where? From the illegally modded computer in your car? From an illegal radio emitter? Both of these are quite solvable problems.

Re:What could possibly go wrong? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43688695)

Injected from where? From the illegally modded computer in your car? From an illegal radio emitter? Both of these are quite solvable problems.

Like crowd sourcing and relying on others to confirm that the rogue signal you just received is a douchebag and to be shit canned?

If you're speaking from a legislation prospective, then forget it.

not looking forward to this... (2, Interesting)

userw014 (707413) | about a year ago | (#43687181)

There's more than a few edge conditions that I worry about - and that's without even thinking about malicious actors.

Some edge conditions:

  • A big car transportation truck (double bottomed) with the car navigation systems left on.
  • Multiple, physically adjacent highways - with concrete barriers between them
  • Traffic stalls on multi-deck bridges
  • Bleed-over from service roads running parallel to highways.

Of malicious actors, I can think of:

  • Black-hat/vandals leaving false transmitters on the side of the road or attached to bridges.
  • Back doors (required by Homeland Security?) hacked to allow:
    • Self-important people (congressmen, lawyers, financiers) to force a favorable path through the hoi-poloi.
    • Black--hat/vandals creating obvious gaps in traffic - encouraging people to disregard the system

Re:not looking forward to this... (1)

FatAlb3rt (533682) | about a year ago | (#43688275)

A big car transportation truck (double bottomed) with the car navigation systems left on. All would have speed readings of 0.
Multiple, physically adjacent highways - with concrete barriers between them Line of sight
Traffic stalls on multi-deck bridges Line of sight
Bleed-over from service roads running parallel to highways. Line of sight

I think these cars will end up using a combination of line-of-sight and bluetooth-ish comm, that establishes communication and location. The line of sight is handled by bumper mounted sensors and range limit computations. Remember that most of this is also coupled with GPS data, engine data, performance handling characteristics.... It's a complex problem, but the rewards are significant. Safety, efficiency (fuel mileage and productivity). This stuff should go hand in hand with self driving cars.

Re:not looking forward to this... (1)

lgw (121541) | about a year ago | (#43688383)

All of these seem like minor worries compared to similar existing issues.

A big car transportation truck (double bottomed) with the car navigation systems left on.

Those truck drivers are far more attentive and responsible on the whole than car drivers. But if you assume one isn't, why worry that he somehow left a car turned on when you could worry that he somehow left a car unsecured, and it will roll off the back of the truck at speed? That's a far more colorful scenario!

Multiple, physically adjacent highways - with concrete barriers between them.

If the self-driving car doesn't know quite clearly where nearby concrete barriers are, you have bigger issues!

Traffic stalls on multi-deck bridges

What would be different here from human drivers?

Bleed-over from service roads running parallel to highways.

If the self-driving car doesn't know quite clearly what lane it's in, you have bigger issues!

Of malicious actors, I can think of:
Black-hat/vandals leaving false transmitters on the side of the road or attached to bridges.

Black--hat/vandals creating obvious gaps in traffic - encouraging people to disregard the system

Or, you know, bombs, or caltrops, or a million other things a terrorist can already do.

Back doors (required by Homeland Security?) hacked to allow:Self-important people (congressmen, lawyers, financiers) to force a favorable path through the hoi-poloi.

Which they already do. Also wedding parties, funerals, and, well, anyone who hires to local police to escort them.

Re:not looking forward to this... (1)

Sarten-X (1102295) | about a year ago | (#43688395)

A big car transportation truck (double bottomed) with the car navigation systems left on.

But the navigation systems won't have any destination programmed, nor will the engine be running. It's pretty easy to recognize "I'm moving but not trying to... something else is in charge"

Multiple, physically adjacent highways - with concrete barriers between them

If you're suggesting the cars would try to merge through the barrier, that's what lane tracking is for. If you're suggesting the cars would get confused as to where they are, it won't matter, because they're completely different roads to the routing system.

Traffic stalls on multi-deck bridges

...won't matter, because they're different roads to the routing system.

Bleed-over from service roads running parallel to highways.

...won't matter, because they're different roads to the routing system.

Black-hat/vandals leaving false transmitters on the side of the road or attached to bridges.

There's been research into these, and how to identify them by noticing that their data doesn't match with other sources. It's a fairly difficult problem, but the results are promising.

Back doors (required by Homeland Security?) hacked to allow:

Nice conspiracy theory, but such things are already planned for emergency services.

Self-important people (congressmen, lawyers, financiers) to force a favorable path through the hoi-poloi.

...Which should be accompanied by the same laws we currently have to prosecute people abusing traffic light systems like Opticom.

Black--hat/vandals creating obvious gaps in traffic - encouraging people to disregard the system

Also already intended, somewhat. The systems I've dealt with (in a minor research capacity) left gaps between trains for non-automated cars to use. The gaps' size would be automatically adjusted based on traffic needs, to ensure there's always space for humans to drive themselves.

Interesting, but (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43687187)

I can see many uses, but I can also see many downsides. Its already been proven that some of the computer systems on modern cars are vulnerable to remote hacks. Criminals in some areas apparently are already using devices to quickly hack some car models to open their doors and utilize the remote start feature so they can be stolen. I can just see this Ad Hoc network giving hackers & script kiddies direct access to the vehicles throttle & brake systems for all kinds of mayhem. The remote portions of the vehicles control system should be hardware separated from the systems that direct critical components, such as the brakes, throttle & other engine systems. If communications between the two components are absolutely necessary they should be done through some kind of heavily controlled, and very low bandwidth link.

Jurassic Park quote - "...so preoccupied with... (1)

Assmasher (456699) | about a year ago | (#43687205)

...whether or not they could, they didn't stop to think about if they should.

Talk about a technology ripe for abuse/hacking/et cetera.

Introducing ... (1)

gstoddart (321705) | about a year ago | (#43687213)

Hackable cars!! What could possibly go wrong? ;-)

Re:Introducing ... (1)

sunderland56 (621843) | about a year ago | (#43687433)

Yeah, my car crashed, which made my car crash.

Re:Introducing ... (1)

gstoddart (321705) | about a year ago | (#43687491)

That was my reaction when I heard Microsoft was developing an in-auto system with Ford [wikipedia.org] .

It is called DSRC and it is nothing new (5, Informative)

Bluefirebird (649667) | about a year ago | (#43687245)

This is old news!
The Dedicated short-range communications (DSRC) is a set of protocols and standards for vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle to infrastructure communications.
The lower layers in the protocol stack are defined by the 802.11p standard, which is a modified version for the 802.11a for vehicular environments and it operates in the 5.9 GHz band.
The higher layers are defined by the Wireless Access in Vehicular Environments (WAVE) stack, for messaging and control, and the IPv6 stack for applications and services.


There are already commercial DSRC radios and lots applications have been developed in the ITS research community. For instance, the See-Through System: an overtaking assistance system http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Esh1EjgBQaI [youtube.com]

Re:It is called DSRC and it is nothing new (1)

columbus (444812) | about a year ago | (#43687311)

Someone mod parent up please. That's the first thing I thought of when reading this. "Why are we re-inventing the wheel again, again?".

Re:It is called DSRC and it is nothing new (1)

i kan reed (749298) | about a year ago | (#43687399)

Why they're doing it is there's enough talk about intelligent cars now that there's room for "new technology" to get easy marketing. An existing standard doesn't matter when you can make your technology the de-facto standard by market manipulation.

Dirty sensor (1)

MSRedfox (1043112) | about a year ago | (#43687247)

One dirty sensor will muck that up fast. I'm horrible at washing my car. I wonder how forgiving the IR sensor's location will be to my bad habits.

Re:Dirty sensor (1)

sunderland56 (621843) | about a year ago | (#43687423)

Even with clean sensors, what happens in a heavy rainstorm? Or a snowstorm? Or fog?

What's the function call... (1)

tchdab1 (164848) | about a year ago | (#43687307)

to flip off the other cars? Important.

Essential feature (1)

mseeger (40923) | about a year ago | (#43687319)

The protocol will have 300 different signal methods to tell the other car it's driver is an idiot. Then 99% of all use cases are covered.

Re:Essential feature (1)

CCarrot (1562079) | about a year ago | (#43687521)

The protocol will have 300 different signal methods to tell the other car it's driver is an idiot. Then 99% of all use cases are covered.

Yeah, I was curious about this too...how will the car know if the driver is about to swerve wildly while texting or yelling at the kids in the back seat?

I suppose they're just getting a mesh network protocol prepared for use with the long-anticipated auto-piloting vehicles...can't see this as very useful as long as a human is still controlling the gas, brakes and steering wheel. I suppose the other vehicles could theoretically cut in and assume crash avoidance maneuvers with faster reaction speeds than their drivers, but if they can do all that, why not let them have control for the boring bits too?

Why? (5, Funny)

tech.kyle (2800087) | about a year ago | (#43687321)

Because cars should have twitter too.

Car1: Sitting at a red light. So bored!
Car2: @Car1 LOL floored it on the yellow and made it through.
Car1: @Car2 At the next red light with you. Wanna race?
Car3: @Car1 @Car2 Police ahead, don't do it.
TotallyNotPolice: @Car1 @Car2 Ignore him. No police. You should race.

Crowd Sourced Ticketing (1)

Agent0013 (828350) | about a year ago | (#43687437)

I had thought of this idea as a way to ticket those assholes on the road that drive like maniacs when there are no cops around. If 50 (PRESET_LIMIT) people report a car changing lanes without a signal in one day (PRESET_TIME) then a fine could be sent. Speeding, cutting people off, running red lights, etc could be crowd sourced to achieve better driving from the public. Of course I would not like the idea myself. It seems a little overboard or something. Plus, I'm sure the black-hat hackers would find ways to break it. Hell, even just a group of people who want to mess with someone would be able to trick the system. So it's not a real practical system. In fact, I'm not even sure why I am sharing it here?

Re:Crowd Sourced Ticketing (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43687569)

Gallagher invented this decades ago. Everyone gets a gun that shoots darts with suction cups with Idiot! flags. Any cop that sees a car with 3 flags can issue a ticket.

You get 3 flags, need to go before a judge and explain why you used the first 3 and request more.

Makes about as much sense...

Re:Crowd Sourced Ticketing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43687575)

How about limiting the number reports one can submit per period of time? Something like mod points?

That's great! (1)

CCarrot (1562079) | about a year ago | (#43687439)

Now to update the auto-targeting system for my turret gun...they can run, but they can't hide anymore!

yeppie! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43687489)

We're gonna have NFC in cars!
bump cars to share photos!
sheeeeeet it's gonna be scary to share mp3 with a lorry.
well that mp3 must be worth it.

Virus Fun Time (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43687519)

I'm slamming on my brakes right in front of you! Haha, psych! Oooh! Oooh, watch out, I'm an 18-wheeler on your left drifting into your lane! Haha! Just kidding!

Given what this system would be controlling and affecting, it had better have some serious encryption and multiple-distributed-processor voting validation going on.

How robust is the protocol? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43687551)

Can my car send a "flipping the bird" protocol before it cuts off the other car?

ADS-B (1)

riverat1 (1048260) | about a year ago | (#43687749)

This essentially sounds like ADS-B [wikipedia.org] for ground vehicles.

App to cuss out the DB that cuts ya off: priceless (1)

PseudoCoder (1642383) | about a year ago | (#43687895)

I've always wanted to be able to text the douchebag that just cut me off and tell him/her what a douchebag he/she is.

Or be able to leave a nice little voicemail or text to tell the douchebag in the parking lot that he/she parked like a douchebag taking up two spots.

Of course I'll get a few of those myself, but it might be worth it, just for the occasional satisfaction of calling out a douchebag.

Data I'd like to share with my road-neighbor (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43688045)

Pre-canned messages I'd like to be able to share with fellow drivers:
- your $type light is burned out
- your blinker has been on for $miles
- your $tire is flat

Programmed Personality (1)

fahrbot-bot (874524) | about a year ago | (#43688049)

'We're even imagining in the future cars would be able to ask other cars, "Hey, can I cut into your lane?" Then the other car would let you in,'

Ya, unless that other car is a jerk, then it will just speed up to close any gap.
[ Will we be able to program a "personality" for our car? ]

Outlawed in five ... four... three... (1)

WOOFYGOOFY (1334993) | about a year ago | (#43688183)

two... one....

Sample data exchange (4, Funny)

RevWaldo (1186281) | about a year ago | (#43688297)

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="ISO-8859-1"?>
<M2M>
<vehicle>
<ssid>rubber_duck</ssid>
<haul>timber</price>
<destination>Tulsa Town</destination>
<kph>160</kph>
<mode>convoy</mode>
<memo>we got a great big convoy</memo>
</vehicle>
<vehicle>
<ssid>big_ben</ssid>
<haul>hogs</price>
<destination>Tulsa Town</destination>
<kph>160</kph>
<mode>convoy</mode>
<memo>ain\'t she a beautiful sight?</memo>
</vehicle>
</M2M>

Re:Sample data exchange (1)

Andrio (2580551) | about a year ago | (#43688389)

That's really clever! No points to mod you up though, sorry :(

Re:Sample data exchange (1)

RevWaldo (1186281) | about a year ago | (#43688457)

Aaaannd I spot a mismatched tag. I don't deserve any mod points, I tells ya!

.

Driverless + Ad Hoc? (1)

BlindMaster (2262842) | about a year ago | (#43688489)

Combining with Google driverless and Ad Hoc/Cloud computing, maybe this can improve city traffic.

Will it use "modern protocols"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43689071)

It will no doubt be based on "modern" protocols (Web services, XML, HTTP), and so it will be a bandwidth hog, slow as shit, and unreliable.

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