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Government To Require Vehicle-to-vehicle Communication

timothy posted about 6 months ago | from the bumper-sticker-transponder dept.

Transportation 390

An anonymous reader writes "For decades, the focus of auto safety has primarily been on surviving the traumatic impact of crashes through features like air bags and seat belts. But now the focus has shifted to avoiding crashes by developing technology to make future vehicles 'smart' enough to detect and respond to threats, such as an oncoming vehicle. The technology, known as 'vehicle-to-vehicle,' or "V2V," lets cars 'talk' to each other and exchange safety data, such as speed and position. If a nearby car abruptly changes lanes and moves into another car's blind spot, the car would be alerted. Federal transportation officials did not announce when the new regulations would go into effect but said they hope to propose the new V2V rules before President Barack Obama leaves office in January 2017." Combine this with remote kill-switches or pulse guns, Amber-alert scrolling signs, proliferating cameras, automatic plate recognition and unstoppable text messages from on high for some not-so-distant driving dystopia.

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To require? (5, Insightful)

bigfinger76 (2923613) | about 6 months ago | (#46151215)

"To require" and "to propose" are two different things.

Re:To require? (2)

ackthpt (218170) | about 6 months ago | (#46151387)

"To require" and "to propose" are two different things.

And to get passed is yet a third.

Then to not have struck down by the Supreme Court is still a forth.

Re:To require? (-1, Troll)

OhPlz (168413) | about 6 months ago | (#46151785)

The IRS will tax/fine you if your cars don't conform. The AHA has already made it possible. Or the feds will force the states to enforce it by threatening to withhold federal highway money. There are so many ways to bypass the Constitution.

Heck, we don't even need to get laws passed. The President just issues executive orders. The President just reaffirmed that by suggesting he won't be held back by the legislature.

Re:To require? (2)

mrchaotica (681592) | about 6 months ago | (#46151895)

The IRS will tax/fine you if your cars don't conform. The AHA has already made it possible.

That's just FUD. The creation of the NHTSA [nhtsa.gov] made it possible, and that came long before Obamacare.

Re:To require? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46151801)

Wait, I though Obama said he can bypass Congress with executive orders now?

Re:To require? (-1, Troll)

alta (1263) | about 6 months ago | (#46151391)

They want to Propose the requirements by the time Osama leaves. If the proposal is approved then the requirement can go into effect.

Re:To require? (2)

bigpat (158134) | about 6 months ago | (#46151795)

It isn't even clear this will be at all useful for autonomous navigation or crash avoidance. Any crash avoidance and autonomous navigation system is going to have to deal with cars that aren't transmitting this type of data for at least a decade while cars were in transition and then even after that cars would have to deal with neighboring cars generating bad data, or if it relies on GPS for position then it is going to be completely useless for crash avoidance and even fine grained navigation... not to mention being able to cause accidents or traffic jams by simply creating bogus data and transmitting it. So if the computer has to do all this processing anyway using the cars own sensors to detect neighboring cars and it shouldn't rely on this position data transmitted from other cars because of the real likelihood of bad data, then it is just processing overhead to be doing calculations based upon what all these other cars on the highway are telling you. Either way this strikes me as a very naive approach and not one that should be mandated unless and until we have some real world trials that demonstrate its effectiveness over relying on the cars own sensors under a variety of conditions.

Or really most likely this proposal is just a transponder tax collection scheme under the guise of safety. Bureaucrats have been fretting for years about how they are going to fund road construction and repair as we move towards non-gas tax paying electric cars, more efficient (lower gas tax) or other more efficient non-gasoline powered cars that can't be effectively taxed at the pump.

Liking my old cars more and more. (2)

HornWumpus (783565) | about 6 months ago | (#46151221)

This will make people worse drivers. How about a car that notices the driver not paying attention and and gives them a mild electric shock.

This does the opposite.

Re:Liking my old cars more and more. (1)

gstoddart (321705) | about 6 months ago | (#46151307)

This will make people worse drivers.

And, since as you point out in your subject, the reams of older cars without this in it is going to more or less negate the benefits of it.

So you'll get a small number of cars on the road networked and keeping track of each other, and a larger number of completely random entities.

They won't be able to make all cars retroactively do this, and unless all cars are using this the system is essentially worthless.

If people start to assume they'll get a beep if there's suddenly a car where there wasn't one, then they'll stop using their mirrors. And, as you say, that will definitely lead to worse driving and more accidents.

Re:Liking my old cars more and more. (2)

Aqualung812 (959532) | about 6 months ago | (#46151591)

They won't be able to make all cars retroactively do this, and unless all cars are using this the system is essentially worthless.

Woah, worthless?

You're telling me that if there are 2 self-driving cars on the road with 20 old non-network cars, there is no benefit for those 2 cars to coordinate?

What about the two smartcars coordinating their shared view of all of the "dumb" cars?
"Car 2, this is car 1. Dumbcar 249234 is next to me, in front of dumbtruck 2352 and has decreased speed from 72mph to 30mph and dropping."
"ACK Car 1, dumbtruck 2352 is directly in front of me. Reducing speed to increase space between myself and dumbtruck 2352, preparing to change to lane 3 when available"
*Obviously, they wouldn't talk like this, but could assign tags, coordinates & speeds, and this conversation could occur in milliseconds.

The idea is that the more sensors you have, the better the system works. Google and others are doing this with a single moving sensor platform now. A second one just makes both of them work better together, treating the non-connected cars as moving objects that must be avoided.

Looking at it another way, Waze [waze.com] is quite effective even with VERY low penetration rates. Imagine how much more effective Waze would be if every car made after 2018 was automatically plugged into it?

Re:Liking my old cars more and more. (1)

gstoddart (321705) | about 6 months ago | (#46151759)

You're telling me that if there are 2 self-driving cars on the road with 20 old non-network cars, there is no benefit for those 2 cars to coordinate?

I'm saying that if 90% of the other cars don't have this, the benefit to those 10% is minimal, and the potential is high for those 10% to 'assume' things are safe instead of driving their car like they're responsible for it.

Essentially you'll get an early warning system for the people with new cars, and the rest of the drivers will help demonstrate how little benefit you're really getting out of this system.

So, yeah, I'll stick with worthless until the numbers in your scenario are reversed.

Re:Liking my old cars more and more. (2)

NatasRevol (731260) | about 6 months ago | (#46151771)

Seriously.

It's like all the old car guys are missing that the smart cars might still be able to see & react to the dumb cars.

Resulting in fewer accidents.

Re:Liking my old cars more and more. (2)

HornWumpus (783565) | about 6 months ago | (#46151899)

Which will be partially or completely offset by additional accidents caused by drivers of new cars sleeping at the wheel.

Re:Liking my old cars more and more. (1)

PRMan (959735) | about 6 months ago | (#46151613)

I have a car that already does this (for about 3 months now) and I haven't noticed that I quit paying attention to my mirrors. But I can tell you that there have been at least 5 times when I was sure the lane next to me was empty but the blind spot light was on. 4 times, somebody had legitimately come into my blind spot from an unseen angle. This is 4 near-misses that have been avoided as I didn't even start the lane change or even signal. Once, it was a false alarm. There really was nobody there and I ultimately, after a lot of checking, changed lanes anyway.

It's this last situation (the false positive) that worries me the most. In my car, I could ignore it and make the lane change anyway. What if there was a false positive in these cars? Am I doomed to stay in my lane forever? Or at least until it clears itself up?

Re:Liking my old cars more and more. (1)

HornWumpus (783565) | about 6 months ago | (#46151685)

Three near misses in 3 months: Haven't quit paying attention.

Based on my years of driving. One of those things is not true. Then again, you could be driving in Shanghai or Mumbai.

Re:Liking my old cars more and more. (1)

karnal (22275) | about 6 months ago | (#46151855)

I had the pleasure of renting a vehicle with the rear cross-traffic alert. I hadn't noticed a vehicle moving behind me in a crowded parking lot... the system beeped like crazy, made me hit the brakes right away without any real prompting otherwise. Stuff like that is something I'll definitely have in my next vehicle.

Re:Liking my old cars more and more. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46151369)

How about the virtual finger?

Re:Liking my old cars more and more. (1)

krept (697623) | about 6 months ago | (#46151453)

Not sure if you're aware or not, in Vegas they are piloting a system that does this for taxi drivers. As soon as the cab gets close enough to anything in front of it, the driver's seat vibrates to hell. (x10 if it's a pedestrian in front) It's annoying even as a passenger. Especially if you're sitting behind the driver and your knees have to touch the seat.

Re:Liking my old cars more and more. (4, Funny)

HornWumpus (783565) | about 6 months ago | (#46151547)

That's what the cab driver told you? She had a a sybian installed in her seat.

Re:Liking my old cars more and more. (1)

n1ywb (555767) | about 6 months ago | (#46151565)

Not as annoying as when your Bangkok cabbie rear ends somebody and makes you get out and walk the last five blocks to your destination (ask me how I know).

Re:Liking my old cars more and more. (1)

rolfwind (528248) | about 6 months ago | (#46151507)

How about cellphones that notice your driving and become bricked?

I do like older cars more and more, but because I feel less spied upon than the microphones and gps they have built in now (at least the spooks will have to go to the trouble of wiring my car) and because the Germans also want the power to shut cars off in the future with a press of the button.

Not because of any legitimate safety feature.

The system is flawed (1)

mozumder (178398) | about 6 months ago | (#46151941)

If this system can automate driving, then we should be for it.

The worst system are ones that rely on the public for its reliability and safety.

Systems should be engineered so that the public can do whatever the fuck they want, because they will, and it will still be safe.

I don't want my safety to be based upon somebody else's responsibility, because I know the public is irresponsible.

We need our systems architects to assume such.

This is why we liberals prefer a socialized government, because we assume the worst in people, and design our systems around that, whereas conservatives place their responsibility on the public, because they assume people are good and responsible and hard working and careful, which they obviously are not.

Personal responsibility is equivalent to government irresponsibility.

security? (4, Insightful)

gtall (79522) | about 6 months ago | (#46151225)

Unless they also mandate good levels of security for these systems, it will end in tears.

Re:security? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46151261)

Right. Imagine sending phony V2V signals that a car is right in front of yours. Hilarity will ensue, guaranteed.

Re:security? THIS! IS! DETROIT!!! (2)

Chas (5144) | about 6 months ago | (#46151317)

Security. HEH!

Nonono. These systems are going to be minimally guarded (if at all). Simply because putting in a secure system is pretty much beyond these people.

I can see someone breaking into these systems with minimal effort and causing accidents pretty much at will.

I can see brisk business in after-market spygear removal packages...

Re: security? THIS! IS! DETROIT!!! (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46151393)

Some people look at this and say "hmm, could I cause the car in front of me to have an accident". I look at this and say "hmm, could I make the grandma in front of me get out of the fucking left lane".

Re: security? THIS! IS! DETROIT!!! (1)

Jason Levine (196982) | about 6 months ago | (#46151755)

You never cause the car in front of you to have an accident. Always wait until you pass that car and THEN make it have an accident.

Re: security? THIS! IS! DETROIT!!! (1)

NatasRevol (731260) | about 6 months ago | (#46151797)

Or speed way the fuck up!

Re:security? THIS! IS! DETROIT!!! (1)

PRMan (959735) | about 6 months ago | (#46151647)

Actually, I thought BMW and Hyundai were the ones with problems in this area (BMWs easily stolen and Hyundais with false positives preventing their owners from driving).

Re:security? THIS! IS! DETROIT!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46151683)

Nope.

First Mod: Force other vehicles to detect that I am going to full-force ram them (from the rear or sides depending on position) forcing their vehicle to maneuver out of my way allowing me "Bruce Almighty" reminiscent roadways wherever I go.

Yep. I'm going to love this tech. I will never be late again.

Re:security? (1)

prettything (965473) | about 6 months ago | (#46151319)

robopocalypse.

Re:security? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46151419)

like the story says with all the other devices they are using or forcing down everyone's throats. to me this seems like another attempt to have control over the populace. while I am sure this would be beneficial in saving lives, like most will be saying on /. its the potential abuse from government and hackers. and considering how terrible the US and its companies are at ignoring security, I would agree this is only going to end in tears

Re:security? (1)

gmuslera (3436) | about 6 months ago | (#46151975)

All the opposite, they will be required to have backdoors, and security, as with most embedded things, will be a long posponed priority (even 0day fixes will have to pass the NSA approval [yahoo.com] to get applied, or wait till get widely enough exploited). And you cellphone will be a vector to cause massive "accidents" if the car don't connect by itself to internet.

Ummmm ... (1)

gstoddart (321705) | about 6 months ago | (#46151231)

some not-so-distant driving dystopia.

It's not going to be just a driving dystopia ... we're hurtling towards the worst form of Cyberpunk dystopian future in all aspects of our lives.

Pervasive spying, lack of privacy, and everything around you is reporting what you do to advertisers who then 'own' the data about your life.

It's far far more than just cars.

Re:Ummmm ... (1)

Third Position (1725934) | about 6 months ago | (#46151295)

Yeah, but how do you get out of that situation? If the technology is available, somebody is going to use it. Your only recourse is to pass laws that restrict the use of the technology. But the laws, of course, are enforced by the government. And guess who's even more curious about you, and more likely to abuse that information, than any advertiser?

FTFY (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46151513)

"But the laws, of course, are ignored by the government."

Dynamics (1)

StripedCow (776465) | about 6 months ago | (#46151247)

If each vehicle just acts as a "bubble" with fixed radius, and each vehicle can brake such that its bubble cannot completely compress, then in principle no collisions can occur.

Re:Dynamics (2)

ReverendLoki (663861) | about 6 months ago | (#46151363)

Until someone sends every car a rogue "Look out you're about to crash!" signal, and every car hits the brakes as hard as they can. Then you get to find who has sub-par brakes, and who doesn't have a smart vehicle yet (or maybe who circumvented it).

Would emergency vehicles have this as well? I can see not implementing it in police vehicles (might need to ram, or otherwise contact another vehicle in the course of duty), or Fire or EMS vehicle. They would then be susceptible to this sort of thing (when the car in front gets the rogue signal, not them).

Re:Dynamics (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46151447)

... then in principle no collisions can occur.

And those kids on their scooters deserve what they get for not squawking on the right frequency.

Re:Dynamics (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46151449)

True.

But you will only get about half the number of vehicles on the roads...

Rush hour never ends...

Re:Dynamics (1)

Wycliffe (116160) | about 6 months ago | (#46151521)

Great in theory but that bubble is extremely large. At 60 miles per hour the safe stopping distance is over 300 feet. I've
never been on a busy highway where cars are spaced at least 300 feet apart. And even if you do solve that problem
you still haven't solved lane changes or even worse oncoming traffic where you pass within a few feet of each other at a
combined speed of over 120 miles per hour. That's one of the reasons planes are so much safer than cars. There are
far fewer of them and they can separate themselves both vertically and horizontally by thousands of feet.

Re:Dynamics (1)

PRMan (959735) | about 6 months ago | (#46151675)

That's human reaction time. A computer could stop in probably about 200 feet. But still your point is well-made.

When did slashdot become a conspiracy site? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46151251)

I think this is a great idea. For all the articles about self-driving cars, this is obviously the first step to make this happen. It's much easier and more reliable than object detection. My only concern would be security lest some hacker starts blasting bad telemetry data.

Re:When did slashdot become a conspiracy site? (2)

bobbied (2522392) | about 6 months ago | (#46151559)

I think this is a great idea. For all the articles about self-driving cars, this is obviously the first step to make this happen. It's much easier and more reliable than object detection. My only concern would be security lest some hacker starts blasting bad telemetry data.

Queue hackers in 3.... 2.... 1....

Seriously, they *will* be out there blasting bad telemetry, either on purpose (by hacking) or by malfunction. You can count on that. So everybody will have to take any information gleaned from such sources with a huge grain of salt unless it can be independently verified.

Re: When did slashdot become a conspiracy site? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46151839)

Why do you want the hackers to form a line? Oh, wait, you want to *cue* them?

Correlative prediction (1)

Okian Warrior (537106) | about 6 months ago | (#46151581)

When did slashdot become a conspiracy site?

Conspiracy is when you invent an implausible explanation for something. Like aliens or Illuminati or such (Dingoes ate my baby! [wikipedia.org] ).

This is more correlative prediction. You know, learning from history and all that.

Or did you really think that

1) The government will mandate security within this protocol
2) The mandates will not be farcical to a casual observer
3) The resulting system will be safety certified
4) Hackers won't present a "proof of concept" way to cause accidents at a black-hat conference
5) The NSA and CIA won't build devices that hack cars in specific ways
6) The police and local government won't use this for tracking and surveilance

Do you really think we'll get all these right... this time?

Not a good idea (1)

smooth wombat (796938) | about 6 months ago | (#46151279)

This will prevent people from driving at a high rate of speed in the left lane, slamming on the brakes and swerving into the right lane just so they don't have to wait in line like everyone else or because they wanted to get one car ahead.

This will never fly because it's everyone's right to drive like they want.

P.S. I am completely and unequivocally opposed to this nonsensical crap being mandated for cars. If you can't pay attention to where you're driving, you shouldn't be driving. We need to stop coddling people and let them find out the hard way why rules of the road and safe driving methods exist.

Re:Not a good idea (2)

Merk42 (1906718) | about 6 months ago | (#46151479)

This will prevent people from driving at a high rate of speed in the left lane, slamming on the brakes and swerving into the right lane just so they don't have to wait in line like everyone else or because they wanted to get one car ahead.

This will never fly because it's everyone's right to drive like they want.

If I want to drive on the sidewalk, it's my right!

P.S. I am completely and unequivocally opposed to this nonsensical crap being mandated for cars. If you can't pay attention to where you're driving, you shouldn't be driving. We need to stop coddling people and let them find out the hard way why rules of the road and safe driving methods exist.

That implies the only ones getting harmed from unsafe drivers are the unsafe drivers themselves.



Not saying I'm in favor of this either though.

Re:Not a good idea (4, Insightful)

gstoddart (321705) | about 6 months ago | (#46151555)

We need to stop coddling people and let them find out the hard way why rules of the road and safe driving methods exist.

So when someone who is obeying the rules of the road gets killed by some idiot who isn't, are you suggesting your right to be a moron extends to the point where you could cause harm to someone else?

Your 'right' to drive how you see fit ends where the potential for you to damage me begins.

Your right of free expression ends at my nose. And your right to drive like an asshole ends at the point where there are other people on the road who could harmed by your stupidity.

You want an unrestricted right to drive that way? Drive on your own damned property. Once you're out on public roads with other people, you do NOT have the right to just drive however you like.

Government run amok. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46151289)

At what cost? The ever increasing demands that government is making on our automobile manufacturers is raising the cost of automobiles beyond what the average Joe Six Pack can afford to buy brand new. It also adds immense complexity rendering the vehicles essentially impossible to repair yourself and it also raises the bar for new companies to bring competing vehicles to market. What about trucks and motorcycles? What about front end loaders and classic cars? Government needs to stop meddling. They're much, much more harm than good. I think they have a little too much time on their hands, and if that's the case, I think we need to send a few of them home.

The gov't requirement would be a good thing. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46151297)

This would speed up the arrival of mainstream self-driving vehicles by making it easier for AI-controlled vehicles to react to human drivers.

Re:The gov't requirement would be a good thing. (1)

bobbied (2522392) | about 6 months ago | (#46151609)

This would speed up the arrival of mainstream self-driving vehicles by making it easier for AI-controlled vehicles to react to human drivers.

And make it easier for me to tweak your self-driving car which is dependent on such unverified sources of information. I contend that any system that must be safe yet depends on unverified information is likely not as safe as you would expect.

Misinformation Demolition Derby (5, Interesting)

Glires (200409) | about 6 months ago | (#46151315)

So all I have to do is alter my car so that it tells the other cars that I am approaching from behind at 120 mph when I'm really only driving 60 mph and the cars in front of me will automatically swerve out of my way! Awesome!

Re:Misinformation Demolition Derby (1)

number17 (952777) | about 6 months ago | (#46151421)

Is this something something that law enforcement, fire trucks, and ambulances could leverage in an emergency? Perhaps it would be used by Presidential convoys, visiting dignitaries and diplomats, or celebrities wanting to drag race.

Re:Misinformation Demolition Derby (2)

HornWumpus (783565) | about 6 months ago | (#46151509)

You could do that now with a set of cop lights for your roof or grill.

You don't because, choose one: 1) You're not an asshole or 2) You realize it won't be a net time savings, once you include the time in court and picking up trash on the shoulder.

Re:Misinformation Demolition Derby (1)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about 6 months ago | (#46151661)

You could do that now with a set of cop lights for your roof or grill.

You don't because, choose one: 1) You're not an asshole or 2) You realize it won't be a net time savings, once you include the time in court and picking up trash on the shoulder.

FYI, the crime of "impersonating a police officer" carries a far stiffer penalty than a few hours of community service.

If they can... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46151321)

If car can communicate, then the government can and WILL track you everywhere you go.

Re:If they can... (1)

bobbied (2522392) | about 6 months ago | (#46151745)

If car can communicate, then the government can and WILL track you everywhere you go.

So you are turning off and removing the battery from your Cell Phone? No? And you are worried about your CAR?

They ALREADY can track you, even with out a warrant. It's called a stakeout and tailing somebody. They can watch you in public, any time they wish, no warrant required.

"has shifted to causing crashes" -- FTFY (1)

Gaygirlie (1657131) | about 6 months ago | (#46151331)

While the general goal is noteworthy, the obvious problem here is that the security will be just as lack-luster as all the other car-related tech, ie. it'll be broken pretty fast and then it'll spread everywhere. And you won't be able to disable this V2V, either. Then it's just a matter of terrorists/kiddies/bored/plain, old evil people installing black boxes on the sides of the roads or whatever that send false V2V-messages, causing all sorts of hickups, stalling traffic, causing accidents and so on. And then *that* will be used as an excuse for even more regulation, monitoring and even less privacy.

Not Necessary (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46151335)

I communicate with other vehicles all the time. One finger for negative, and sometimes, five fingers for positive.

Security not required (4, Interesting)

Okian Warrior (537106) | about 6 months ago | (#46151341)

Take note that the government isn't requiring the communication be secure from hacking, spoofing, or eavesdropping.

I can see this as another police tactic, where they can force your car to stop by spoofing that it's about to be rammed from all directions by other cars.

Of course, this presents a wide range of hilarious opportunities for hackers!

Re:Security not required (1)

TWiTfan (2887093) | about 6 months ago | (#46151537)

You law enforcement agencies won't need to hack your system, citizen. Agents of all local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies will be free to disable any automobiles(s) participating, or anticipated to participate, in any and all illegal or unauthorized activities--such as fleeing police, traveling to commit a potential crime, traveling to or from an unauthorized protest or meeting, or attempting to enter an unauthorized or unsanctioned area. Thank you for your cooperation.

Look Who's Talking Now (3, Interesting)

SuperKendall (25149) | about 6 months ago | (#46151351)

The future is apparently bridges that ask how fast cars are going so speeding tickets can be automatically issued.

Sounds awesome - for those of us that have the technical ability to disable the chatter.

Re:Look Who's Talking Now (1)

ducomputergeek (595742) | about 6 months ago | (#46151503)

Here locally we had a judge who actually tossed out every single red-light camera ticket if you went before him and requested to face your accuser. The city promptly changed the law making running a red light a civil infraction (fine).

Bare hands (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46151571)

Technical ability required is hands to rip the fucking coax off the antenna. Advanced users may need a hammer to smash the radio.

Re:Look Who's Talking Now (1)

bigpat (158134) | about 6 months ago | (#46151917)

At this point state and local police are likely just figuring out that as we move to autonomous cars then that will likely eliminate speeding tickets unless people override their own systems. This is a fairly significant revenue stream that is threatened. Of course tens of thousands of lives might be saved every year if cars are crashing less, but some bean counters aren't going to see it that way and there is going to be push back to still keep drivers in control and legally responsible even though the computer is doing the driving.

Driving Utopia (2)

rsmith-mac (639075) | about 6 months ago | (#46151367)

Combine this with remote kill-switches or pulse guns, Amber-alert scrolling signs, proliferating cameras, automatic plate recognition and unstoppable text messages from on high for some not-so-distant driving dystopia.

Or you could combine this with smarter power grids, EV technology, improved image recognition, and automated driver technology for some not-so-distant driving utopia.

Technology isn't good or bad. It's all about how it's used. This is just as much the technology that can build a utopia as it is a dystopia, but if we always act solely in fear of the dystopia we'll simply be stagnant forever.

"dystopia" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46151375)

Yeah, it'll be really dystopic to not be killed by cars.

Frankly, once the technology is ready, the best thing would be to mandate autonomous cars and replace manually operated vehicles completely. Human drivers are notoriously unreliable; they're easily distracted, they're emotionally unstable, and they tend to intoxicate themselves.

Re:"dystopia" (2)

TWiTfan (2887093) | about 6 months ago | (#46151435)

Human drivers are notoriously unreliable

Yeah, they're always doing unreliable things like going to places where their government hasn't authorized them to go.

For now.

Re:"dystopia" (2)

jeffb (2.718) (1189693) | about 6 months ago | (#46151891)

You know, I have no great love for government regulation, but I have even less love for "how much tinfoil can I wrap around my head and still manage to cram it up my backside" paranoia.

At its peak during the 1960s and 1970s, the motor-vehicle death rate in the US topped 50,000 per year. It's come down a bit since then -- but the fatalities per mile have decreased almost fivefold.

Now, perhaps that decrease has come in spite of things like seat-belts (and laws mandating their use), crumple zones, air bags, anti-lock brakes, and so forth. If only Evil Government Regulators had refrained from slapping the Free Market's Invisible Hand, perhaps most of those hundreds of thousands of crash victims would still be alive today -- thrown to safety, no doubt, instead of being trapped by those murderous belts.

But it seems to me that safety regulations have brought us, well, quite a bit more than "a little temporary safety", and I honestly don't see that they've cost me any "essential liberties". These regulations take place on a slope that hasn't proven all that slippery, and the prospect of more regulations frankly does not fill me with dread.

We can build systems that react more quickly and consistently than any human. Every year's technological advances expand the domains in which we can do this. If we can use such systems to prevent unnecessary death and suffering, LET'S GET ON WITH IT.

I love the way Fox News Radio reported it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46151385)

"Soon, your car might talk to you" Like KITT!

The National Driving "System" (3, Insightful)

jabberwock (10206) | about 6 months ago | (#46151403)

If you want to drive -- if that's really your thing, your passion, your hobby -- I'm sure there will always be a place you can go and do that.

Societally, I'm glad to have us focusing on improving safety and efficiency of transportation.

Think past the automobile era.

Re:The National Driving "System" (1)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about 6 months ago | (#46151699)

Societally, I'm glad to have us focusing on improving safety and efficiency of transportation.

Were that the actual goal, why not just mandate that all cars have an auto-pilot function by Year X? Spyware doesn't really fulfill that purpose.

Re:The National Driving "System" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46151825)

How will the nannymobiles get my real car to the autodrome?

Massively stupid idea!!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46151411)

The answer to this problem is passive proximity sensors. Cars should be required to have electronics on board which can identify the objects (cars, people, sign posts) surrounding them and provide the information without the assistance of the other vehicles in the process.

The system proposed would be susceptible to hacking. It would cause drivers to become dependent on it being functional, not only in their car, but also in the cars around them and currently there's a big enough problem just getting most drivers to have functional head lights and blinkers. Imagine a highly volatile system like this. People already drive off of bridges because they believe that GPS systems are accurate. This would mean that those people would also be at the mercy of systems being properly maintained by other drivers. Let's also consider the amazing amounts of radio noise that would be produced by this system. Maybe in bo-hunk North Dakota this could work, but what about in lower Manhattan?

Systems designed and developed by the universities and companies for self-driving vehicles already are heading quickly towards being able to navigate all obstacles, not just other cars. The good ones employ active area mapping systems that can identify other vehicles without introducing additional signals such as laser, infrared or sonar noise to the environment.

Isn't it time the people in charge used their brains a little regarding topics as advanced as these?

Really... who the hell thought this up?

It's for your safety, citizen (1)

TWiTfan (2887093) | about 6 months ago | (#46151417)

Your local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies need to monitor your position, speed, and activities at all times in order to ensure your safety. Thank you for your cooperation!

Inevitable. No need for long term tracking though (1)

Khopesh (112447) | about 6 months ago | (#46151433)

I see this as inevitable, really.

If we want autonomous vehicles to be maximally efficient, this has to happen. They move out of the way for a police officer or for somebody who has to change their route at the last minute and get to an exit from the opposite lane. More importantly, self-driving cars can cluster together. Take India for example; they drive 4-5 cars wide in lanes marked for 3. Highly efficient, but highly unsafe for human operators.

This doesn't have to invade our privacy or be implemented insecurely. If range is limited and details forgotten when they become irrelevant, then we're fine. If cars generate random IDs, there's no way to collate them together over time (well, without existing technology like reading plates or RFID).

Re:Inevitable. No need for long term tracking thou (1)

Jason Levine (196982) | about 6 months ago | (#46151937)

somebody who has to change their route at the last minute and get to an exit from the opposite lane

If we take this concept to the "ideal", you shouldn't have drivers cutting over at the last minute because they didn't realize their exit was there. You will have your destination programmed in, your car will move over when it is time to, and will make the exit without driving across multiple lanes and possibly causing accidents.

I see nothing wrong with this ideal of everyone having a self-driving car. I do, however, see a problem with the government requiring (and possibly tracking) vehicle to vehicle communication. Maybe setting some standards so that we don't get Toyotas only talking to Toyotas while Fords only talk to Fords, but not requiring it or having it set up in such a way that they can monitor it "for our safety."

V2V (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46151439)

Sounds sexy.

Vehicle-to-vehicle communication (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46151451)

I find 'the finger' works well. heh heh.

Getting cut off in traffic (1)

ai4px (1244212) | about 6 months ago | (#46151467)

So, my car won't allow me to get closer than 2 seconds behind the car in front of me. Great. Now what happens when a car wizzed by and cuts in front of me. Does my car suddenly jam on brakes and cause an accident behind me?

Re:Getting cut off in traffic (1)

PRMan (959735) | about 6 months ago | (#46151737)

My car already does this (radar to not hit the car in front of me while in cruise control) and the only situations I have to worry about now are:

1. Cars in front of me coming to a ridiculously fast stop
2. Getting cut off by an idiot in a space that really isn't big enough.

Next step - regulated departure time from home? (2)

Trachman (3499895) | about 6 months ago | (#46151471)

Will the next step will be regulated departure time? For the greater good a decision will be made when you can stay and when you can leave your home. We all know that late departure causes drivers to be aggressive and irritated, causes excessive speeding and other unacceptable behavior. Here is how this will work. Drivers will get the allotted time for departure, for example, between 7:30 AM and 7:40 AM. If you are late to start driving at that time your car will notify you to stay in the garage, because of the traffic jam or other traffic hazards your car will be creating. You will have alternative to leave home at the premium tax rate, though. Now that your departure time slot has been assigned and established, your smart home will automatically wake you up at 6:30 AM and monitor your movement to be sure you are on schedule, unless you have applied for a morning sex time with your wife. Unscheduled fornication will automatically raise your healthcare premium due to the higher risk of unsanctioned pregnancy.

so the government picks your job and work hours? (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | about 6 months ago | (#46151651)

so the government picks your job and work hours? under your plan the bosses would not like that or works who can not stay to work OT?

What about people who don't need a car to get to work?

Re:so the government picks your job and work hours (1)

Trachman (3499895) | about 6 months ago | (#46151911)

The government will have a say whether you can or cannot do certain work, based on your browsing history and the smart-cross-analysis of your in house conversation, as well as the analysis of the people who visited your house and the people you visited. Everyone will have a file with the smart-condensed analysis of your life. Except all those things that we are referring as "will" in reality already "is " reality, without you ever knowing precise details or boundaries. But you already knew you have a file on you, right? For people who don't need the car other solutions will be developed. Real time face recognition has already passed the test/pilot phase. Precise safety measures are yet to be developed and will be introduced later.

Automated driving (3, Insightful)

Salgat (1098063) | about 6 months ago | (#46151515)

In the context of automated driving this pairs beautifully. The future is very much having computers drive us, it simply is more efficient and much safer. Giving them extra tools to enhance safety is great considering we aren't concerned about being liable for what the computer decides to do (since that is the liability of the manufacturer).

aren't concerned about being liable no you will be (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | about 6 months ago | (#46151677)

aren't concerned about being liable no you will be on hook on your own as they will try to use fine print to get out of it. Ask uber about that

http://www.google.com/url?sa=t... [google.com]

No more bridges or traffic lights!!! (1)

trout007 (975317) | about 6 months ago | (#46151519)

If every car was self driving you could eliminate bridges and traffic lights. You could have full speed ground level crossings where the cars seamlessly weave past each other.

No more bridges? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46151673)

How will we cross rivers with no bridges?

Re:No more bridges? (1)

trout007 (975317) | about 6 months ago | (#46151761)

Jumps.

and then need to build all kinds of walkways / (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | about 6 months ago | (#46151725)

and then need to build all kinds of walkways / underpasses.

Re:and then need to build all kinds of walkways / (1)

trout007 (975317) | about 6 months ago | (#46151961)

No. You could have a crosswalk button that will make a break in traffic for you for a certain period of time and track you as you cross.

Believe it or not, this is a good idea. (1)

randomuser2 (1626103) | about 6 months ago | (#46151527)

All of the complexity of current-day cars is driven by the automakers. If this is mandated as a requirement from the government, they won't be permitted to charge us much more than the $100.00 per car it would actually cost them (service parts are 10x manufacturing costs). Think of all of the garbage on current cars right now. I'm particularly fond of the laughable refrigerated cup-holder option, or the tire inflation sensors. Realistically this doesn't have to be integrated to a greater community than a 1/4 mile radius around the vehicle. I would hope even more that there were no user-interface components at all, but rather a warning that around the bend are three stopped cars in the middle of the road... More information is helpful. It just needs to be tailored to suit the situation, and it shouldn't necessarily be shared with the driver unless it is helpful. We already have more than enough distractions behind the wheel.

Re:Believe it or not, this is a good idea. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46151959)

It will be the insurance companies that will want this implemented. Probably offering lower rates and discounts.

They will just need to make it so older cars and bicyclists can use it too.

And since there are thousands of people who die and are injured in crashes each year, it would pay off. You can even look at how much we paid to avenge the deaths of 3,000 people in NYC in one event, then compare it to the 30,000+ that die every year on our roads.

Click Here crictimemax.blogspot.com (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46151553)

http://crictimemax.blogspot.com/

I've long thought this should happen... (1)

TheVelvetFlamebait (986083) | about 6 months ago | (#46151631)

... I just didn't expect it to happen so soon. A mesh network is a natural step to take on the path to fully automating roads and all but eliminating the dangers of the road. Naturally the next step would be to mandate cars to participate in the network, to get the best data. I just wasn't predicting it would be in this decade. Mind you, the recent advances in automatic driving without mesh networking has also been surprising, so maybe I should have seen this coming.

I don't know what the submitter is so worried about. This is simply one of the final nails in the coffin of road fatalities.

Dystopia myopia (1)

TheloniousToady (3343045) | about 6 months ago | (#46151679)

When I saw this reported on The Evening News last night (which evidently also is "News for Nerds", only faster), they said that 30,000 people die in the US every year due to auto accidents. If this technology could prevent just a fraction of those, it's worth doing.

Some dystopia. Those of you who are worried about the NSA using this as a new way to spy on you in the future should be more worried about how airbags and seatbelts are being used to spy on you now. And before that, way back in the 1930s, shortly after Aldous Huxley wrote "A Brave New World", safety glass was introduced. Can that be mere coincidence?

What could possibly go wrong? (1)

Chewbacon (797801) | about 6 months ago | (#46151791)

There's enough unpatched Windows XP desktops up for grabs on eBay and yard sales to make this happen. Worked for utility companies.

Not likely (1)

Farmer Pete (1350093) | about 6 months ago | (#46151831)

We can't even get them to include backup cameras in all cars, something that's been required in ALL new cars for several years. How do you expect this to ever be installed in every car?
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