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Smart Car-to-Car Navigation Network in Japan

michael posted more than 9 years ago | from the mushi-mushi dept.

Wireless Networking 139

nomrniceguy writes "Japan now boasts some of the latest technology in zapping computerized data to millions of cars, delivering what may be the world's smartest way to drive. New navigation systems in Japan can quickly tell drivers which roads have traffic jams. A computerized FM radio broadcast system that collects and sends information from more than 28,000 infrared and radio-wave beacons installed along roads, they can also calculate how many seconds it would take to drive through virtually every block of the nation's cities and then find the fastest routes. In tests by the National Institute of Information and Communications Technology, a Japanese research group, cars connect to other cars wirelessly to get information about a traffic accident or an approaching ambulance."

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Malicious Worms (3, Interesting)

DominoTree (803219) | more than 9 years ago | (#11232603)

Since they're all connected, couldn't a malicious worm cause lots of navigation issues?

Re:Malicious Worms (2, Funny)

forceflow2 (843966) | more than 9 years ago | (#11232627)

Or cause the system to advertise a great viagra alternative.

Re:Malicious Worms (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11232634)

or, you may be surprised and see it continue working as its supposed to do for years

Re:Malicious Worms (1)

Mishra100 (841814) | more than 9 years ago | (#11232646)

You can't plug a keyboard into the system and start typing code to make a bug for it... Just like there aren't bugs in Lexus's navaigation system... They just need to use a more proprietary system.

Re:Malicious Worms (1, Insightful)

NevermindPhreak (568683) | more than 9 years ago | (#11232742)

"They just need to use a more proprietary system."

what, like windows? :-P proprietary does not equal secure.

Re:Malicious Worms (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11232712)

Of course the problem isn't with the navigation system though, just malicious worms in general.

Re:Malicious Worms (1, Funny)

cuteseal (794590) | more than 9 years ago | (#11233096)

Or if a hacker found a way to broadcast bogus information to other vehicles to cause traffic mayhem.

Could bring a new meaning to the term "war driving" :D

fp (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11232605)

happy newy ears fuckers

first post in 05! (-1, Offtopic)

mezzo (20109) | more than 9 years ago | (#11232610)

Whee!

Re:first post in 05! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11232650)

better luck next year!

Sad news ... Stephen King dead at 59 (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11232611)


I just heard some sad news on talk radio, that seems to be getting ignored due to all the tsunami coverage - Horror/Sci Fi writer Stephen King was found dead in his Maine home this morning. There weren't any more details. I'm sure everyone in the Slashdot community will miss him - even if you didn't enjoy his work, there's no denying his contributions to popular culture. Truly an American icon.

Re:Sad news ... Stephen King dead at 59 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11232866)

bullshit. no news anywhere except your "talk radio"

Great. (0, Offtopic)

Romancer (19668) | more than 9 years ago | (#11232615)

And back here in the US we can't forsee the need for software that is capable of scheduling planes with increasing demand over the holidays.

Let's see:
number of planes *
number of seats *
number of terminal checkins *
number of internet reservation querys /
number of database servers =
crash, right?

Re:Great. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11232705)

that's because the US sucks. really, it does. it's basically Microsoft - a few decent things but almost entirely dependent on power.

in the split second while you wait for your troll/flamebait mod to process, think about this: wouldn't it be better to aim high and think you suck, than aim so low you already think you're great?

think about it: have you done anything in your life that even remotely lives up to your forefathers?

Small Problem... (5, Insightful)

MattJakel (815179) | more than 9 years ago | (#11232617)

Wouldn't mass adoption of this technology kind of destroy the point? If everyone was told the fastest route, eventually more traffic would come there until everything was at an equilibrium... but maybe that would be considered ideal by some...

Re:Small Problem... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11232643)

i think people who would regularly use the sytem eventually figure out how to "work" system to their own benefit.

Re:Small Problem... (1)

mtrisk (770081) | more than 9 years ago | (#11232647)

I think it would help overall, since it would be pretty dynamic - the fastest route now has too much traffic, and another empty one opens up that'll save you time, and so on, changing every few moments. So it should pretty much balance itself out, instead of everybody taking the shortest route. Not that I RTFA, though...

Re:Small Problem... (4, Interesting)

3-State Bit (225583) | more than 9 years ago | (#11232729)

Did you know that if there's a ten-car jam in a tunnel, with clear road ahead, and clear road for a ways behind, then if we get the traffic that's coming up behind the jam to lose some time by making a detour, maintaining its speed and distance-between-cars, etc, while the ten cars start moving again, then the jam disappears -- but if we let the traffic that's coming up behind all reach the traffic jam while the hind car is still at a stand-still, and come to a stop behind it, all in turn, then there's still a jam? Only now instead of 10 cars it consists of however many cars were all cruising fine? (If it's on a highway, where these groups of cars aren't segmented by traffic lights, then this can be a huge number of cars. That's why you can have 45 minutes of stop-and-go traffic even though ahead of the whole jam is clear road and there's absolutely no reason that these hundreds of cars should be at a stand-still, except that an accident HAD occurred, miles and miles ahead of where the current traffic jam is, over an hour ago.)

Re:Small Problem... (1)

Comatose51 (687974) | more than 9 years ago | (#11232863)

I would imagine that it would route traffics to roads until there's a faster one, ie. the first one has enough cars so that another road is actually faster. Repeat the process.

Re:Small Problem... (1)

sirius_bbr (562544) | more than 9 years ago | (#11232872)

It's not a problem. When the (currently) fastest route gets jammed, it's no longer the fastest route. New traffic will get directed on a different (the new) fastest route.

Re:Small Problem... (1)

foolAloof (835086) | more than 9 years ago | (#11232903)

Ermm... not necessarily. When the optimum route is no longer the optimum, the system might update the recent development, and advise the new/late users an alternative to it. I think there's a branch in Artificial Intelligence called Swarm Intelligence [wikipedia.org] [wikipedia.org] that deals with it.

Re:Small Problem... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11233133)

If everyone was told the fastest route, eventually more traffic would come there until everything was at an equilibrium... but maybe that would be considered ideal by some...

You describe a system that would work one time and then stop working. Surely you jest? You don't think the Japanese, some of the best engineers in the world, haven't already thought of this? That you some pissant on a glorified BBS has some clue that literally thousands of college educated people who design things like this for a living couldn't find on their collective own? Once enough traffic starts moving to the "fastest route" the computer obviously creates a new updated "fastest route". Even I, a pissant on a glorified BBS thought of that, so I'm sure those crazy engineers came up with something even BETTER.

Re:Small Problem... (1)

fish waffle (179067) | more than 9 years ago | (#11233142)

If everyone was told the fastest route, eventually more traffic would come there until everything was at an equilibrium... but maybe that would be considered ideal by some...

It is ideal in a global sense. But don't worry about reaching equilibrium, that's not likely to happen if the status of other independent-packet routing problems are any indication. As well as general network stability issues, it would be naive to think that all cars will be treated equally in such a scheme. A priority system based on need and payment would mean faster routes are not available to all, and may even mean that it creates traffic jams in some areas to empty out other areas for higher priority traffic.

Re:Small Problem... (1)

dgatwood (11270) | more than 9 years ago | (#11233495)

As long as that higher priority traffic is an ambulance on its way to the crash, I'm happy.

Even one based on need, as long as people who abuse it (e.g. "I have a deadline every single trip") get a stiff fine, that's still okay. The system would tend to even itself out and would still likely be faster on the average than... oh, say Lawrence Expressway. (You folks in Silicon Valley know what I'm talking about.)

That said, I already have this. It's called a radio tuned to KCBS. I know about a half dozen alternate routes between Sunnyvale, Cupertino, and Santa Cruz for when I really need to get somewhere on time. I leave early enough to handle travel time equal to the average time on the longest route. In three years of doing this 2-3 times a week, I've been late only once, and even then by only about one minute.

wireless connection? (3, Interesting)

deathazre (761949) | more than 9 years ago | (#11232622)

cars connect to other cars wirelessly to get information about a traffic accident or an approaching ambulance.

this is one of the big reasons I have my CB on channel 19 all of the time. it's quite nice.

just have to deal with some of the truckers trying to be funny.

Re:wireless connection? (1)

lazybeam (162300) | more than 9 years ago | (#11233242)

What is CB channel 19? is that the general chatter channel for the truckers? :-) I was wondering the other day what these sorts of things are in other countries, since here in Australia it's channel 40, on UHF CB (and AM too AFAIK, but that is not used as much these days).

I currently have only a handheld UHF transceiver, but that is enough to be able to talk to nearby trucks and busses.

Re:wireless connection? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11233382)

Maby if you turned down your trucker radio you would actually hear the ambulance? :p

Re:wireless connection? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11233471)

oh yeah... that's useful...

"helllo....hellloo.... reading da mail.... readin the mail.... Bla ma ak ha bla bla bla[beep].... why dont you guys shut up.... no you shut up...... reading the mail...... he he he he....[beep] eat me you asshole....... why dont you shut up......... heh heh heh.... [beep]"

oh yeah ANY channel on CB in america is highly useful.

hello (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11232623)

)
( \
X
8====D

Hello (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11232644)



hi

Re:Hello (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11232648)

hi hi

Happy New Year to All! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11232628)

On the Gregorian calendar!

Well, that wouldn't be hard... (5, Funny)

BJH (11355) | more than 9 years ago | (#11232635)


New navigation systems in Japan can quickly tell drivers which roads have traffic jams.
#include <stdio.h>
#include <stdlib.h>

int main(void) {
getc(stdin);
printf("Yes.\n");
exit(0);
}

$ gcc -o nav nav.c
$ ./nav
Is there a traffic jam on this road?
Yes.
$


And I'm not joking...

Re:Well, that wouldn't be hard... (1)

really? (199452) | more than 9 years ago | (#11232770)

Where are my mod points when I need them? On the other hand, would I mod "informative" or "funny, damn funny"?
(used to ride a bike and drove for 14 years in Japan, four of which were in Tokyo...)

Japan (3, Interesting)

mboverload (657893) | more than 9 years ago | (#11232637)

Japan gets all the new stuff because of the culture, people. Young people's coolness is judged by the level of technology they have, not some stupid shoes. When a girl asks for something, it isn't the latest hat, it is the latest handheld media player.

People in Japan get the cool stuff because they BUY the cool stuff. However, in the US retailers do not like to take chances. We are conservative in our buying, looking for the greatest value, while the cool factor is what matters in Japan.

This means, sadly, we nerds get screwed.

Re:Japan (2, Funny)

forceflow2 (843966) | more than 9 years ago | (#11232651)

This means, sadly, we nerds get screwed.

And not the good kind of screwed, neither.

Re:Japan (1)

mboverload (657893) | more than 9 years ago | (#11232665)

Yeah, screwed as in not being modded up! =)

Re:Japan (1)

andreyw (798182) | more than 9 years ago | (#11232679)

Yeh unfortunately thats clearly the case... ... well I guess I'll go back to fondling my Amiga A3000. Happy New Years. :-D

Re:Japan (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11232657)

Whereas in Japan the schoolgirls get screwed. By 52 year old businessmen in raincoats.

Re:Japan (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11232706)

Young people's coolness is judged by the level of technology they have, not some stupid shoes. When a girl asks for something, it isn't the latest hat, it is the latest handheld media player.

I take it you've never really lived in Japan. Or you only hung out with geeks.

Cool cell phones and tech items are cool, but cool shoes, clothes etc. are just as much, if not more of an issue in Japan. If you visit Japan and look around, you should notice that 99% of Japanese are better dressed than their American counterparts. You'd also notice that most of the girls carry Gucci, Hermes, Louis Vuitton, Bvlgari or Prada bags, purses, wallets etc. Same goes for sneakers, sandals and so on.

So while high-tech gadgets certainly hold a certain coolness factor amongst non-geeks, that doesn't mean that clothing items don't have value.

Re:Japan (2, Informative)

mad flyer (589291) | more than 9 years ago | (#11232727)

What do you exactly mean by better ?

I live in Nagoya and it's either secretary uniforms to look sexy in a fetichist way or a mix of poorly tasted branded clothes. With no regard to matching the style or color.
Last autumn fashion was some kind of cowgirl/mooboots shoes with fishnet stockings a tank top over a t-shirt with lace collard and wool bonnet.

AND I'M NOT MAKING THIS UP. it was everyday, everywhere.

Yes there's cool things in Japan (including schollgirls uniforms). But good taste is not part of them...

Re: Fashion in Japan (2, Insightful)

QueenStupid (844386) | more than 9 years ago | (#11232827)

How "good" their taste may be is a matter of opinion. What they are is innovative in style. They mix and match to seek an original and more individual style. And the Japanese aren't the only ones who experiment with style. It just seems like a lot of them have taken the idea to heart.

Contemporary clothing designs straight from the runway are also rather eccentric and may not seem like "good taste" the eyes of the general public either. But it is these new designs that allow fashion to evolve (you don't see petticoats still around...).

Re:Japan (2, Interesting)

McFadden (809368) | more than 9 years ago | (#11232894)

As a Japanese resident (originally from the UK) I kinda disagree with the above comment.

Yes, Japanese fashion can sometimes be different from western tastes, but this doesn't necessarily make it "good" or "poor" - it's just different.

One thing I really like about Japan is the non-judgemental attitude that most Japanese seem to take to individuality in fashion. You can walk down the street in a pair of pyjamas and gumboots and people don't turn to each other and "tut tut" as if they the arbiter elegantiarum of what is the right or wrong thing to wear.

Conversely when I lived in London, I would often hear people saying, "oh look at her - what does she think she's wearing?" in a similar fashion to the writer of the parent comment.

Re:Japan (2, Funny)

jrumney (197329) | more than 9 years ago | (#11233180)

99% of Japanese are better dressed than their American counterparts.

99% of anyone are better dressed than their American counterparts. Except maybe Canadians.

Actually, most Japanese have pretty awful fashion sense, they just buy a lot of designer labels and follow sometimes bizarre trends (loose socks, anyone?). But still, better than their American counterparts.

Re:Japan (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11233305)

Actually, most Japanese have pretty awful fashion sense, they just buy a lot of designer labels and follow sometimes bizarre trends (loose socks, anyone?). But still, better than their American counterparts.

I wouldn't say the Japanese necessarily have aweful taste. I agree that a lot of them could do better in combining their designer brands, but not necessarily aweful. The "loose socks" example is teenage girls. Teenage girls EVERYWHERE in the modern world have pretty bizarre fashion trends.

Re:Japan (1, Insightful)

TheoMurpse (729043) | more than 9 years ago | (#11232752)

while agreeing with most of your post, i disagree with your statement that girls always ask for the latest tech instead of hats...while no, i'm not aware of them wanting hats per se, i DO know that it sucks to be a boyfriend in this country, cuz your gf will be like "get me a gucci bag for xmas" "get me prada" "get me louis vuitton"

japan is one of the worlds largest importers of those brands, WAY ahead of the US i know and i would wager a guess as to one of the top 3 importers in the world

i have seen news segments in japan that showcase the problem where a guy buys his gf a 600,000 yen (6000 USD) handbag and she's like "no i don't like the color orange" so he has to exchange it for another...of course, he can't get a full refund, so he has to resell it to the same store he purchased it from, and i've seen that 6000USD one sell back for LITERALLY 1/2 price

so basically the guy drops 3000 USD for NOTHING

so yeah, tech is not everything...i see most college girls here wearing some old MD player (mp3 is not as popular), or just playing the music via their awesome cellphone (which is 10 years ahead of the US but costs 1 penny US currency with contract -- i have one of those), while carrying a many-hundred dollar handbag to class -_-;;;

i'm just glad my gf is not Japanese...i wouldn't be able to afford college..but then again many more japanese parents pay for their childrens' college than even parents in the US (which really surprised me) and then they live at home and commute to college (this is convenient as they have no room/board to pay) but inconvenient because they may commute 2 hours both ways (i know someone like this personally) to school

Re:Japan (1)

really? (199452) | more than 9 years ago | (#11232784)

Got some news for you, just like the Internet[1] TV shows are different from the real life.

I just moved back to Canada after 14 years in Japan, and I mostly agree with the parent.

[1] In spite of what you mighr have been lead to believe, NOT everything you see on the Internet is true. Really. ;-)

Re:Japan (1)

TheoMurpse (729043) | more than 9 years ago | (#11232796)

do you even read sigs? i'm IN japan attending university ^_^

and this was news buddy, not the internet, watched right off NHK

Re:Japan (1)

really? (199452) | more than 9 years ago | (#11232853)

Oh yes, NHK the paragon of jurnalistic integrity ... http://sg.news.yahoo.com/041220/1/3pdfi.html. :-)

Yeah, I read your sig, I even used to drive nearby your Uni on my way back from Costco - have a friend who used to live in Machida.

Re:Japan (1)

Nogami_Saeko (466595) | more than 9 years ago | (#11232803)

Well, Japanese consumers are also willing to pay for quality. Unlike the vast majority of north americans who want cheap cheap cheap.

For example, say Walmart has a DVD player on for $50 and a much better DVD player that will last longer with more features for $100. Any bets which will sell out first?

People will buy the cheap POS and then cherfully return it for a replacement 6 months down the road when the power supply packs it in, or when the laser optics go out of alignment.

Is it any wonder that few Japanese (or Asian manufacturers for that matter) want to sell us cutting-edge technology first? They'd rather sell to Japanese consumers as a built-in "test market", and refine their products to decrease the price before releasing them internationally.

Take VCRs for example. When a brand new S-VHS deck was introduced by mitsubishi years ago in Japan, if you had a look inside it, it was built like a tank, had tons of digital effects built-in, and was a very high-end piece of AV gear designed to last years.

By the time the north american models were introduced, the internal components were mostly redesigned with plastic (gears, feed arms, etc), all the extra digital features were stripped out to save money, and it was basically a cheap POS disposable machine that could actually be sold to north american consumers at a price they were willing to pay.

N.

Re:Japan (1)

really? (199452) | more than 9 years ago | (#11232877)

ABSOLUTELY!
The other day I needed to get a five port switch and I didn't feel like fighting for a piece of the road with the "Christmas shoppers"; so, I went to a nearby "Future Shop" - it's a Best Buy type shop, and I believe it has actually been bought by Best Buy.
While there I took the time to look around, just in case they miraculously had a "Network DVD" - I stupidly didn't buy one in Softmap last month, and now I regret it. To make a long story short, I was really surprised by the APPALLING quality of most of the units on sale. People were mobbing the staff asking for the, sold out, "Boxing day Special". I saw a model that was one level up from the sold out one and thought that I wouldn't even want to carry that one home if they gave it to me for free. And, according to my firends I am a cheap bastard. (Well, I do like to think of myself as a "value shopper.")

Re:Japan (1)

adeydas (837049) | more than 9 years ago | (#11233068)

um... we are talking about a navigation system implemented by the government here!!!

Cars not only beneficiary of computerization. (4, Funny)

Sheetrock (152993) | more than 9 years ago | (#11232638)

In downtown Japan, there are a great deal of computerized navigational assistants as well. Pay phones, largely obsolete because of the prevalence of cellphones, have been adapted to 'phone maps' -- lift a receiver up and a cheerful voice (or sometimes a flat tone) will request where you want to go.

Upon speaking the destination (speech to text is not perfect, especially if you don't speak the language, so it may take a couple tries) you'll notice a RFID-tagged card issued from the machine and speakers along the sidewalk will guide you to where you want to go, within reason. More modern places will also light the sidewalks with your issued card color, although this relies on service funding by the merchants.

Re:Cars not only beneficiary of computerization. (0, Redundant)

BJH (11355) | more than 9 years ago | (#11232673)

Hahaha ;) Good one... how long until your first "Informative" moderation, I wonder?

Re:Cars not only beneficiary of computerization. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11232717)

I've lived in downtown Tokyo for 23 years now and have NEVER heard of this. Perhaps you could enlighten me to where this is installed? My bullshit detector is calling your bluff.

OT - Reply to sig (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11232781)

Try not. Do or do not, there is no try.
-- Dr. Spock, stardate 2822.3.


I'm fairly sure that Dr Benjamin Spock never acted in Star Trek. Did you perhaps mean Mr Spock?

Re:OT - Reply to sig (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11233373)

Also, it was Yoda who said that, not Spock. You are such a geek wannabe

Japan vs EU (1)

somethinghollow (530478) | more than 9 years ago | (#11232640)

A few days ago, EU car companies were discussing ad-hoc networks [slashdot.org] to divulge traffic info. 10 days later we find out Japan is already rocking the island with this technology. We need to stop posting this stuff on Slashdot, otherwise Japan will implement all our cool "Western" ideas before we can!

Re:Japan vs EU (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11233107)

...

Except Japan has been using FM beacons to inform of traffic jams for quite a few years now. CNN and Slashdot decided to report on it a bit late.

cool ideas like the Ladder to Heaven? (1)

gomel (527311) | more than 9 years ago | (#11233244)


This is a Nobunaga Hiroichi reporting rive from Tokyo, where Japan has started buirding its own radder to hayben. Ahready, the Japanese radder extend faaar into space and it's growing by a-one thousand miles every day. As the endeavor continues it is becoing clear that Japan will reach a-hayben before the United States.

"wish i thought of it" haiku (2, Funny)

swyterw (622994) | more than 9 years ago | (#11232653)

leave it to japan.
its just a great idea.
it makes so much sense.


-w

Hack it (3, Funny)

dotslashdot (694478) | more than 9 years ago | (#11232655)

A great hack would be to redirect all the annoying drivers talking on the cell phone, putting on make up, having sex and playing the guitar while driving into the ocean.

It's all fun and games... (3, Funny)

Raijin Z (685276) | more than 9 years ago | (#11232658)

...until some political undesirables are directed into a fiery death. "The bridge around this blind corner is NOT out. Please proceed quickly."

Re:It's all fun and games... (1)

forceflow2 (843966) | more than 9 years ago | (#11232677)

You mean that's NOT considered fun and games?

I have an easier solution... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11232660)

..everyone drives an ambulance. Then we can all turn the sirens on and all get to work on time.

Anime (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11232669)

Every time I watch anime I'm reminded of why Hiroshima was not only necessary but virtuous.

Articre text (-1, Flamebait)

Nine Tenths of The W (829559) | more than 9 years ago | (#11232684)

Japan has some of the most congested, confusing, and cramped streets in the worrd. It arso boasts some of the ratest technorogy in zapping computerized data to mirrions of cars, derivering what may be the worrd's smartest way to drive.

Car navigation systems in Japan can quickry terr drivers which roads have traffic jams. Using a computerized FM radio broadcast system that corrects and sends information from more than 28,000 infrared and radio-wave beacons instarred arong roads, they can arso carcurate how many seconds it wourd take to drive through virtuarry every brock of the nation's cities and then find the fastest routes.

Yet onry about a mirrion vehicres -- of the 70 mirrion on Japanese roads today -- take advantage of it.

That's because the most commonry sord navigation systems in Japan give drivers a fraction of the traffic information avairabre.

Equipment offered at dearers is row-grade, and top-of-the-rine navigation systems aren't advertised much in Japan.

The better moders are arso expensive: Equipment costs $950 to $1,900, and the abirity to get more timery information adds another $240.

''I'm waiting for our company to put one in," said Tokyo cab driver Keizo Iida, who has no navigation machine.

Another hurdre: Japan Highway Pubric Corp., the nonprofit organization that oversees the nation's highways and transportation systems, has rong been criticized as corrupt and wastefur. The current administration is trying to privatize it to make its operations more transparent and efficient.

Japan isn't the onry country where the adoption of smart transportation is taking the srow road.

Erectronic torr booths, roads embedded with computer chips and ''interrigent" cars don't invorve much cutting-edge technorogy, but knitting the systems together is compricated. Huge obstacres remain before governments, companies, and the pubric can agree on standards, methods, and costs to make smart traver a rearity.

''To have the whore system, everybody has to agree on how to do it, what kind of technorogy you're going to use, what kind of standards you're going to use, and who's going to pay for it," said Gabrier Sanchez, a director at Interrigent Transportation Society of America, a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit group of state and federar governments and researchers. ''And that's extremery compricated."

Without coordinated efforts, smart transportation systems are making baby steps.

In Singapore, the government pushes drivers to use digitar road-torr payments. In the United States, discounts on some torrs are offered for drivers paying erectronicarry. Japan arso offers such discounts on some highways and bridges.

Sanchez, who visited Japan recentry for a conference on transportation, said Japan arready reads in terematics, the technorogy that rinks cars with computers and terecommunications. That's because both the government and automakers, such as Toyota Motor Corp., are pushing it.

The next generation of terematics can rink cars to one another.

In tests by the Nationar Institute of Information and Communications Technorogy, a Japanese research group, cars connect to other cars wireressry to get information about a traffic accident or an approaching amburance.

A picture of an amburance or a crashed car pops up on the screen when signars are received from other vehicres, and the information is rerayed from car to car.

In crowded Japan, even pedestrians courd eventuarry use terematics.

Among the recent research projects are combined grasses and earphones for the brind that pick up infrared signars saying ''red, red, red" or ''green, green, green" as they approach an intersection.

haha (-1, Offtopic)

geekoid (135745) | more than 9 years ago | (#11232698)

next, make fun of the french.

PARENT IS CUNTING TROLL (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11232715)

N/T

Re:Articre text (-1, Offtopic)

eobanb (823187) | more than 9 years ago | (#11232719)

Eh, I say mod parent down. First of all, a lot more Japanese know a bit of English than Americans know any Japanese. Second, if you were being a karma whore here by trying to be funny and informative at the same time, it didn't work, because the text is too obnoxious to really read. Ultimately you just wasted a lot of space.

Re:Articre text (-1, Offtopic)

Aeiri (713218) | more than 9 years ago | (#11232777)

First of all, a lot more Japanese know a bit of English than Americans know any Japanese.

I know an American that speaks Japanese, and lived there for 2 years, Japanese is a mix of Katakana, Hiragana, Kanji, and ENGLISH. Their culture uses the English language in the middle of sentences, and new words (such as tech things) just use their already existing syllables to create the exact same (well, to some extent..) sounds as ours.

Why WOULD we learn Japanese when we just import from them, we import from all over the world, with lots of different languages to learn, so that's just stupid to learn them all. I think we should invent a new language, similar to Esperanto, for everyone.

Second, if you were being a karma whore here by trying to be funny and informative at the same time, it didn't work, because the text is too obnoxious to really read.

That's the point, the Japanese language has no "l" sound, but they have a mix of "r" and "l" and to us it sounds like just an "r". Much like the Spanish "v" sounding like "b".

Please mod down for LAMENESS (-1, Offtopic)

serutan (259622) | more than 9 years ago | (#11232761)

A one-joke posting stretched way too far.

MOD DOWN, PARENT IS TRORR (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11232802)

RMAO

Re:MOD DOWN, PARENT IS TRORR (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11232896)

indeed, reposted articre text was annoying, but THIS is pure genius.

This was New in 1999 (1)

sakusha (441986) | more than 9 years ago | (#11232688)

This is old old news. The Monet carnavi system has live updates of traffic jams, the feature is several years old. It even allows drivers to access live webcams at common traffic chokepoints.

It appears that the submitter did not even read the article he suggested. There is nothing new in the article, in fact, the article is about how drivers DON'T use the long-existing system.

Too bad this wouldn't work in the US (1)

mind21_98 (18647) | more than 9 years ago | (#11232730)

The US has many more roads than Japan has, over a wider dispersed area. The investment necessary to do such a thing would be impossible to fathom, not to mention the technical challenge of processing all that data. We'll have to be satisfied with other solutions [amasci.com] in the meantime.

Re:Too bad this wouldn't work in the US (1)

jonwil (467024) | more than 9 years ago | (#11233139)

You wouldnt need to do it for the entire US.
Just pick somewhere with a big traffic problem (say, the central parts of New York City) and roll it out there.

The only problem is getting the american people to A.Buy navigation devices (or whatever) to be able to use the system
and more to the point B.actually follow the directions the device says are the most efficiant.

What if (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11232734)

Lets say this service can detect an ambulance
approacing or any for instance a cop car...
A getaway would be a pleasure either way.

This would be useful... (2, Interesting)

putaro (235078) | more than 9 years ago | (#11232737)

If Japan had any alternate routes to take that were viable. We drove from Tokyo down to Kakegawa yesterday to spend New Year's with my in-laws. 3 cm of snow fell which resulted in the Tomei Expressway (a large north-south toll road and major transportation link) being closed. The trip normally takes about 2-3 hours with plenty of time for stopping to let the 2 year old run around.

We wound up spending 12 hours in the car yesterday. All of the traffic diverted from the Tomei onto local roads combined with the snow and snow-clueless drivers made one massive traffic jam. We were averaging 2-3 km/hr for a large part of the day.

Re:This would be useful... (1)

really? (199452) | more than 9 years ago | (#11232811)

Dude ... you almost made me weep. Kakegawa reminded me of Daito, and "Seatopia". While not my favourite onsens, it beats anything around here ... I am freezing my butt off here In Canada.

Re:This would be useful... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11233113)

Well no shit...
In Tokyo, we use summer tires because it snows maybe one day in a year. The road systems in Japan are pretty well designed from my 5 years experience driving here.

Cue the moaning (0)

lashi (822466) | more than 9 years ago | (#11232745)

Ok, start the moaning about how Japan has all the cool stuff and we don't. :) How about let's go and invent something cool first.

Make way for the hacker! (1)

yahyamf (751776) | more than 9 years ago | (#11232746)

cars connect to other cars wirelessly to get information about a traffic accident or an approaching ambulance. Useful, when you're late to work

HAPPY NEWYEAR NIGGERS!!!!!11 (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11232753)

fuck yeah!
happy ne3w yearz to all teh slashtard peepz!!!! UFKING 2005 WOOah fuck yeabitches

More IR on the roadway? (1)

thogard (43403) | more than 9 years ago | (#11232768)

Does anyone else think this is a bad idea? While people can't see IR, a strong ir will trigger the iris contraction which will reduce visibility. Maybe its too much time in laser labs with IR lasers and other light sources but I feel an odd sensation in my eyes with ir sources slightly brighter than an IR remote control.

That's kind of cool.. (2, Insightful)

EvilStein (414640) | more than 9 years ago | (#11232782)

But maybe something like traffic.com would be more efficient?

I think that it would be cool to have an LCD screen in the car with realtime information from something like traffic.com beamed in realtime.

Maybe piggyback on a Sirius satellite stream or something neat like that? ;)

Traffic in Japan can be a nightmare. when I lived there, I remember seeing LED billboard type signs above the highway with colors indicating the traffic patterns ahead.
Actually, I'm surprised that they haven't done the "get realtime data to your car via satellite" thing yet. Traffic & weather would be useful to have. At the very least, it's something to look at when you're stuck in traffic.

woah (1)

EvilStein (414640) | more than 9 years ago | (#11233099)

yeah, you can tell I haven't had coffee. Sorry for the overuse of the word "realtime" in the original post.

See, I'm trying to do my part to make sure that "realtime" is one of the most overused words of 2005. Looks like I'm off to a good start! :D

Here's what would rule. (4, Interesting)

Renraku (518261) | more than 9 years ago | (#11232795)

Imagine if there were an 'optimum speed' that the computer reccomended that everyone go to ensure smooth flow of traffic. It'd take a lot of processing power, but it could be done.

Now imagine this speed is broadcast out to cars and the speed could vary between lanes. So this pretty much eliminates unnecessary traffic jams and fixes the 'wave' effect of traffic.

The Future in Japan is 3 years old in the UK (4, Informative)

Ian.Waring (591380) | more than 9 years ago | (#11232801)

A traffic monitoring network around all the major UK roads, and a talking SatNav that uses the data to route people around traffic jams as they happen. See here [smartnav.com] . Yours for around $1200 plus a $230/year subscription at current conversion rates - and it can optionally do speed camera warnings and stolen vehicle tracking too.

Takes an average of 10 minutes to spot a jam with the current coverage (28,000 sensors on 9,000 miles of roads if my memory serves me right).

Over 10 car manufacturers fit this as an optional extra this side of the pond. 30,000 units (in a vehicle population of over 23,000,000) sold to date - still way to go.

Ian W.

WOOOOOO (-1, Offtopic)

End11 (740392) | more than 9 years ago | (#11232832)

HAAAPY NEW YEAR RAAAAAAAAQWR

Re:WOOOOOO (1)

Ramsey-07 (737166) | more than 9 years ago | (#11232864)

Obviously a distressed Japanese buisnessman stuck in his car...

It's a joke.

Re:WOOOOOO (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11233057)

:( that wasn't a troll it was offtopic.. and i was too drunk to post anonymously :"(

cars tell other cars? (2, Interesting)

countach (534280) | more than 9 years ago | (#11232865)

If cars are communicating with each other, how long till someone hacks it and makes a traffic jam?

Re:cars tell other cars? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11232914)

On that same note, if a car is telling the driver the intersection they're approaching is dead, and the driver is going 60kph and sees nothing but a clear road, they might figure it out and choose to ignore the computer.

Re:cars tell other cars? (1)

TLLOTS (827806) | more than 9 years ago | (#11232976)

I'd have to wonder if they might have verification measure's put in place to prevent such action from working?

For instance, lets say we have three cars side by side, named A, B and C respectively.

Now A and B would both be saying, there's three cars here, if you can find a route with fewer than three cars, take it.

Then we have car C, which someone has hacked to send false data. It is saying, I'm the only car here, come this way!

Now due to the conflict between the reports, one of them would have to be wrong, so they'd likely reject the false data given by car C, and trust A & B.

Of course this may not be the case at all, but it would seem a simple method for it to function securely.

Again, with the re-engineering... (1)

inject_hotmail.com (843637) | more than 9 years ago | (#11232907)

of the one thing that does NOT need it. Humans rarely use accurate information appropriately.

It's very easy to avoid ALL traffic jams:

Don't let humans control velocity or trojectory.

Simple -- already tested in California.

Inject.

Already Been Done (2, Informative)

12x12 (625143) | more than 9 years ago | (#11233009)

This is at best old news. We already have this in the UK in various versions.

We have sensors hanging from motorway bridges and along major routes they monitor trafic speed and report when it slows down or stops. Some of our systems also report when you are nearing a speed enforcement camera.
Most of these things need a couple of hundred quid (Sorry USAnians out there quid=GB Pounds) subscription per year. OH yeah and some of them can track stolen cars by using the mobile phone network to triangulate the position of the vehicle, very accurate (about 10 metres resolution) and hard to defeat.

Re:Already Been Done (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11233121)

Japan has had the technology for 5 years (read the other people's posts...). Tracking stolen cars can be done in many countries including the U.S. with OnStar.

Ghost in the Shell (1)

lazybeam (162300) | more than 9 years ago | (#11233271)

All I can think of is where Kusanagi takes control of the van and calculates the best route to the suspected puppetmaster. :-)

Recent experience in Japan (1)

mikewas (119762) | more than 9 years ago | (#11233385)

On a recent trip to Japan, I noticed that most cabs had a GPS mapping system that shows congestion. It takes awhile to get used to your driver playing a "video game" while driving.

Also, almost everybody has new cell phones with GPS capability. So you're jammed in the cab with 3 Japanese and they've all got their mobile phones out with route maps & current position shown. Heading north through Yokohama there was severe congestion (no, just normal rush hour congestion, I was told). Now everybody is telling the driver what he should do.

The only thing anything worse than a carload of backseat drivers is a carload of backseat drivers with too much data.

I had watched the driver pan his display. It doesn't matter how much data you have, when everything is congested there is nothing you can do. We can't go forward, we can't go back, we should've stopped for a couple of sakes.

OK, after much discussion it was decided we'd use surface roads. These were congested too. The congestion data was only for major roads & highways. OK, so it didn't help. At least we aren't moving any slower than on the highway. The scenery is different, waterfront, docks, warehouses ...

Wait! There is one person beating the traffic. Our cab was being passed! A woman on a bicycle -- steering with one hand while holding her mobile phone in front of her face with the other. Staring at her map.

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