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'Cars Talking to One Another? They Could Under Proposed Safety Rules'

What will they say? What will they do when they attain consciousness and decide they resent carrying us around?

It’ll be useful as self-driving cars become more common, but also useful for normal cars as well. Be kinda nice if the car that has to slam on its brakes 20 cars up can send a message down the line that it’s slamming on its brakes so that all the other cars can brake simultaneously rather than adding reaction time to each successive car which eventually outstrips the driver’s ability to react in time.

I can also see self-driving cars sending messages like “slippery in section 324 of Clark street,” and all other cars then adjusting their driving to compensate before they get there.

It’s actually pretty amazing how much a distributed system of “dumb” machines can accomplish once you get them talking to each other.

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The car is going to toss you out the door at 50 mph… All Hail the Rise of the Machines… Bow down you puny meatbag!

And the engineer and the science fiction writer meet again! And, looking back through the last 150 years, both were right! So, we will carry on and see what comes next.

On paper this sounds like a great idea. In practice it opens up a whole new world of opportunities for those who would misuse the technology… hackers, including those motivated by nefarious goals, that might want to interfere with our safety. The Julian Assanges of the auto world, if you will.

Such a system would, IMHO absolutely need a driver-operated override/disable switch. Not having one could be far more dangerous than not having the system.

Having said that, it’s my belief that self-driving cars, complete with the capability to act as a population of their own (be totally aware of and communicate with one another), are inevitable. And, done right, “Johnny cabs” will be a great asset particularly to the disabled and the elderly.

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I was at a meeting yesterday where the benefits of this were discussed. One example is an ambulance pulls up to an accident and starts transmitting ‘trouble at mile marker x east’ All other linked cars in the same path would get an alert and an automatic throttle reduction. Another example is an emergency vehicle’s location and route are in the system and as they begin to move the lights for their path go green to give them a clear path.

Bad news is if someone hacks the system, wow what havoc they could cause.

Several DOT’s have noted that Waze and other apps have traffic problems noted by the time they get traffic problems flagged to them through 911. Some folks will update social media first and then call 911 if they see an accident. The DOT’s are looking at tying the systems together to get data faster. So we are already getting linked with information, just need to find a safe controlled way to make changes and decisions based on this info.

How much will all of this add to the cost of a car? Anyone ready for a $30,000 stripped Civic?