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Vehicle communication: good for safety or bad for privacy?

by wcunning Roadshow staff / May 11, 2007 3:12 AM PDT

In my recent column, The fully networked car, I wrote about the initiative to develop a system where your car reports its location and speed to other cars and a roadside infrastructure. Do you think this system would give up too much privacy, or is the benefit to safety and convenience worth it?

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Where MS will go, google will follow, not the other way. :-)
by lotharkumar / May 11, 2007 8:30 AM PDT

I liked your article on car technology. One thing that you are missing is that MS is way ahead of yahoo & google in car technology. They have a car/auto group that works on car technology for a few years now. Upcoming technology in few Ford vehicles in 2008 and all Ford vehicles starting 2009 is a living proof of that.

So, I think you really wanted to day it that other way,i.e. where Microsoft will go, Google is bound to follow just like google is following Microsoft on all the existing apps like gmail, messenger product, google spreadsheets etc. etc. etc.

It was a good article though and I love the fact that technology is going to make car driving safer.


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This is a double edged sword
by btljooz / May 19, 2007 5:05 AM PDT

Yes, this type of technology COULD possibly help safety.

However, I feel that this is something that can ...and probably WILL... be used in nefarious means by 'govs' to control the populous and therefore is, or has the potential to be, a gross invasion of privacy. And THAT is only the start of things that will come. ESPECIALLY, with the political climate as it is today!!!

This quote comes to mind:

"They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." ~~~ Benjamin Franklin

BTW: "Technology" has existed since at least the 1950s that allowed vehicles to "communicate" like this. My father worked at General Motor Research Labs in Michigan at the time and helped to develop parts of it.

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Double Edged Sword
by Steve1144 / May 25, 2007 4:10 AM PDT

While I too am suspicious of much of current government policy, I have confidence in the long term ability of the US population to avoid too much privacy invasion. The safety benefits of the new tech for cars outweighs the risk.

And Benjamin Franklin never approached an intersection at 45 MPH in 1 1/2 tons of metal, and never visualized the kind of damage and human carnage an auto collision creates. I have. Safety first.

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This is no sword whatsoever.
by batman823 / May 30, 2007 4:27 AM PDT

No single person in America has the right to drive. You have to pass a test and make the appropriate payments, arrangements, etc. to enjoy the PRIVELAGE of driving. If you look up any state's traffic law or any law on privacy, you will not find anything in your defense about what you do while driving. You will encounter numerous laws and statutes that state what you can't do on the road.

An example of a "gross invasion of privacy" would be if people were putting cameras and microphones in your bathroom and bedroom. That kind of essential liberty, such as your right to free speech, is what Benjamin Franklin was referring to. He was not, and I'm sure if he were alive today, would not claim that you are right when you gripe about getting a speeding ticket.

If you look at my other posts about these types of technology, you might see the reasoning behind some of these thoughts. The insurance companies would benefit from this, as well as the law-abiding citizen. The people on the road who turn a blind eye to the road signs and refuse to use turn signals should, and eventually will, have to pay more for thier insurance than the drivers who have good driving habits. Also, after a few of these tickets arrive in your mailbox for grossly breaking the speed limit, you might reconsider your driving habits. So how again is this a bad thing?

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Short term gain, long term pain.
by Andy77e / June 2, 2007 7:49 AM PDT

You are looking at the short term benefits of such technology. My issue is, in the long run, will government use this against it's population in other ways?

Yeah in the short term, this might improve things on the road. But in the long run will government use it against us in ways we haven't even thought of? In ways unrelated to driving or roads?

What if this well meaning advancement ends up being used to track people outside of the automobile? Hey if we can track you in your car, we should be able to track you in the store, or at your work place or anywhere else you want to go. If we can do it here, why not everywhere?

Remember the path to destruction is paved with good intentions.

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Short term gain
by WAArnold / June 2, 2007 9:30 AM PDT

Andy, you said if much better than I can and you are exceptionally right. Most of these dudes on here are to young to know much about the past and how things have evolved. If they were, they would know this is just the first step along the route to total control and us citizens will be the butt end of the stick.

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Yes, I am young. That does not mean I'm ignorant.
by batman823 / June 3, 2007 10:51 PM PDT
In reply to: Short term gain

Youth may be a sign of a person being inexperienced, but not necessarily ignorant. I am only 22 years old but I'm a nuclear engineer. I used to operate nuclear reactors for the US Navy. I also spend a lot of time exploring politics and law, including the history thereof. I believe that there are enough "bleeding hearts" and "right wing extremist psychopaths" to prevent the misuse of this kind of technology. I also belive passing a law that allows them to be used for any means of tracking would be very difficult. The reason for this being that there are many people out there who only think the gov't is out to get them. Big Brother doesn't care what the average citizen does on a daily basis. Being part of a special community in the US Navy, we get a lot of privelaged information. I can honestly say that I've not once seen a person, civilian or military, being investigated without there being a pretty good reason for it.

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by WAArnold / June 4, 2007 1:19 AM PDT

Batman, you need to broaden you history study a little.

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There is a point you are obviously missing.
by batman823 / June 4, 2007 3:23 AM PDT
In reply to: History

Our government has proven that they do things from time to time that are unconstitutional but they are always uncovered.
I believe that major political parties would oppose the use of this kind of tracking technology to monitor where anybody goes. The fact of the matter is not where you go, it's what you do. If there is a good reason to suspect you of illegal activity, you are subject to tracking by any means possible. If you are not, you shouldn't be tracked. But the belief that having a little black box in your car that transmits your position and bearing will be used to somehow ruin your personal life is just idiotic. Our government has always looked out for it's own best interests, not necessarily to the benefit of the people. But the individual citizen is rarely harassed without some sort of realistic cause. The ideas that some people are suggesting are rediculous. The government doesn't care what I say to my family and they definitely won't waste the time or resources required to monitor over 300 million people just to find out where they go for dinner or who's BBQ they're attending on a saturday afternoon.

To counter your statement, you definitely need to brush up on politics, and history. I think I am fairly well educated on those matters. Think about the cost of doing this kind of thing. It's just not possible, especially when we just passed a bill that spends over $100billion to fight a lost cause in the name of "supporting the troops." Not to mention the added measures of border control.

Seriously, use some common sense when making up you conspiracy theories.

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by WAArnold / June 4, 2007 6:50 AM PDT

Well, Batman, with my rejection of the "black Box" being put into the automobile, I guess you're calling me an idiot.

I'll accept being sub-servant to you for a moment.

If you dangle a carrot before the rabbit it will eventually make a move for it. If you dangle that "black box" out there, we have those with your mentality that will make a move for it.

Now, that carrot was the inspiration to the rabbit and the black box is the inspiration to the feds. Remove them and the inspiration wont be there. Thus my rejection for the inspiration.

Now, I detect that you are very proud of yourself with your high education and important job. I commend you for your accomplishment.

I can match your credentials anyday with my credentials from two Colleges and Two Universities, plus 20 years Air Force and 22 years Federal. I have had the privilege in life to see the airplanes go from the little prop jobs to the jumbo jets, from the fireworks rockets to the space rockets to the walking on the moon. I was part of the bunch that broke the codes during the war that helped end it. I'm not going to give you my age other than that.

So, at this point, I quit being sub-servant to you. You need to know more than just the history the schools teach.

Do I believe the government will/would use that black box against it's people, you bet your pretty bippy they would/will. 42 years working for them tells me that.

Now, in a few years get back with me and I'll talk to you a little more about this. ::)) I plan to live to be 120. Until then I'll hope you are writing this way just to get reactions to which I won't react anymore.

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No harm done.
by batman823 / June 4, 2007 11:00 PM PDT
In reply to: History

This is not a place for personal attacks. It wouldn't be my place to say whether or not you are an idiot. You can tell if you are an idiot, not me. I am surely not going to get into a pissing contest in this sort of forum, especially with somebody I don't even know. However; If you felt threatened or insulted by my statements and opinions, I apologize.

This is a forum for people to discuss thier opinions and present facts on technological matters and policy. I did not intend to imply that you were any better or worse, more or less educated than myself. The statement of my position and education was simply to show that I have seen this type of equipment in action and how today's government uses them. At least in the military section of the executive branch.

On a separate note, I would like to thank you for serving for such a long period of time. I had planned on the same thing before I was injured overseas. I don't care how nice or mean anybody is, but serving the military , even for a single enlistment, deserves some respect. I guess that's the electronic version of a salute.

To get to the point of the forum.

We definitely disagree on whether or not these black boxes will be used against the public.

I don't believe they will. Nor do I believe the capabilities to micromanage the 'average joe' exist. Also, what could anybody possibly do to ruin your life with a black box that monitors your position, speed, and bearing? Even if Big Brother did tap in, what would they do? I am, of course, going under the assumption that there is no form of audio surveillance. With that being said, if you are not doing anything seriously illegal, there is nothing to worry about and there is nothing the government can and would do to you as the average american. But these black boxes should be used to monitor anybody who is suspect of any kind of illegal activity.

Mr. Arnold, If you have worked for some federal installation for so long, then I'm sure you know that all of today's cell-phones already have this capability. So when it all boils down, we're discussing a moot point. Simply whether or not yet another channel to monitor should be implimented.

One last thing. However agressive you may be, I appreciate an intelligent conversation. That is meant to include arguments. So anytime you see a post of mine, feel free to pipe in with some valueable information.

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Thank You
by WAArnold / June 5, 2007 1:10 AM PDT
In reply to: No harm done.

Thank you Batman. I have in fact served a long time for the government. Military from Korea through Viet Nam. Then for the Federals (name with-held on purpose).

Sorry you were injured and could not continue your intentional dream path. I was able to for which I am thankfull daily.

I was once a member of the mensa society and that tells you where I am there.

We agree to disagree on the black box and it's future use. I don't suspect that I will be around long enough to see the outcome, or be affected by it's use, anyway.

A little note on some of the past/current developments. Once my ABS on my motor home kicked in and the surprise I got was thinking I had suddenly hit a long run of railroad tracks. Happy

Oh well, I said I wasn't going to respond this time but I needed to let you know I am not against development, just some of the uses that originate from it.

HappyHappy I'm gone this time.

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Vehicle communication: good for safety or bad for privacy?
by M. Butzin / May 23, 2007 3:38 PM PDT

Good on the whole imagine a person driving impaired (drugs/alcohol) If a link were to be provided to the state troopers or local city or county with a sat tracking system showing speed and a pinhole camera front and rear showing the drivers actions, would be a good thing. Mount it behind the rearview facing forward and another in the rear third light both with night vision. They can download some of tthis info from the the computer already, such as speed and and braking already. As far as cell phone go no driver should be allowed to use one while driving.

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Auto Operating Data is subject to abuse

As previous readers have noted, we have insufficient laws protecting individual citizens' rights to privacy to put our driving data into the hands of legislators, lawyers, insurance companies. This is a current, not future, issue on GM made cars. In fact, state legislation is already enacted or being discussed that will take advantage of this driving data to increase taxes or help establish insurance premiums (or even cancel insurance coverage).

I don't see safety becoming an issue or a benefit, until privacy laws are first established. Our society is not yet interested in promoting safety as they are in establishing blame and having additional tools to claim large $$ lawsuits.

I, for one, will be shopping for non-GM brands for personal vehicles. I don't want to pay for technology that I can neither use, nor that can be used against my will. But thanks for the timely article.

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Vehicle Communication?
by WAArnold / May 24, 2007 1:27 AM PDT

If the safety was as far as it went, no it would not be all that bad. However, anyone in their right mind knows this is just another start in controlling the public and having government run your lives.

Absolutely not. I do not want it, I do not think it is worth the problems it will cause down the line. I do not even need it.

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Public roadways are not private areas and need protection.
by batman823 / May 24, 2007 2:02 AM PDT

Anything you do in a public area, including on the road, is a public matter. Safety should be the utmost concern for every driver on the road. Sadly, it is not. Not by any means. Every one of us has had an accident or a close call. These public roadways deserve to be monitored at every expense. Privacy is not an issue. If it were, than police would not be allowed to pull you over for speeding, not wearing your seatbelt, or breaking any other traffic or civil law.

Anybody driving like a maniac should be taken off of the road and/or have to pay fines, whether or not a cop catches them. It is illegal to break the law even if there isn't a state trooper watching.

These tracking and communication devices will not only be used for safety. They will also be used to monitor suspicious activity and should be used to issue fines and increase insurance premiums for those who drive in a reckless manner. With the insurance companies being in such fierce competition, they will offer incentives for people who drive in a sane, proper manner.

What you do in your own home is private, but not in your car on the road. You may not drink, do drugs, have sex, or run red lights in your car while on the road or in a public area. It is the states' responsibility to ensure that these laws are being obeyed. The government will not ruin anybody's life or punish them for following the laws imposed upon them. If you are complaining about this advancement in cars and the associated monitoring, you should not drive a car or decide to obey the law.

I am looking forward to being monitored on the road. My insurance premium will drop because I obey traffic laws. I know that the irresponsible drivers out there will have to pay more for insurance because they are a danger to others. On that note, I would also feel safer if my car can warn me when another vehicle is endangering my family or myself.

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It sounds like a stupid idea
by wyliefool / May 24, 2007 10:57 PM PDT

For many reasons.

1. We really don't need another excuse for ppl to pay less attention when they drive.

2. "With V2V and V2I systems installed in vehicles, your car would know when the one ahead of you is braking, and how fast it is stopping. With this information, your car could give you a warning to avoid hitting the car in front, or it could hit the brakes for you."--Unless the car ahead of you is an old model (and yes, I see plenty of 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s cars on the road, to say nothing of the classic cars that come out in the summer).

3. There are still pedestrians, bicyclists, and deer to watch out for. One of the objections to the idea of cars picking up cell phone signals to detect pedestrians crossing the street is that not everyone has a cell phone. And deer, turkeys, and other wildlife will never have cell phones, but they can still do a heck of a lot of damage to your car if you hit them. There's no substitute for paying attention to the road when you drive. None. So put down the cell phone, put on your makeup at home, and watch the road!

4. There are millions of miles of roads in America. No one really thinks they're all going to be wired w/ this whiz-bang technology, do they? Pennsylvania can't seem to keep its roads from crumbling into bits; if I hold my breath waiting for Rte 6 to be wired, I'm not going to live very long. Never mind all the little back roads, town streets, etc.

5. What about trucks? There are as many trucks on the road as cars, but I'll bet the truckers will resist having to spend money on new equipment (and businesses usually get their way, for a while at least). So what good is it if your car doesn't detect the 18-wheeler that's about to sideswipe you into the guard rail?

6. Yes, I expect the cops are eagerly awaiting the day that they can ticket everyone who drives thru their town, without the hassle of having to sit behind a bush w/ a radar gun. Yipee. No thanks.

7. Anyone who thinks the govt won't take advantage of this technology to spy on people is living in a fantasy. They're already spying on email and tapping phones; do you really want them to be able to track your every move? Again, no thanks.

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If by 'stupid' you mean 'good', than you are correct.
by batman823 / June 3, 2007 11:24 PM PDT

You stated that there are as many trucks on the road as cars. Also, you implied that trucks are dangerous. On those points, you are incorrect.

Trucks have more safety features and backups than almost any car out there. Not to mention the number of cars greatly outnumbers the number of trucks. Think about your own driving experience. Count the number of cars vs. the number of trucks on the road. Then think of how many times you've been cut off or break checked by a truck. That puny $200 speeding ticket you may have gotten costs the trucker at least $1500. They also have to go through some pretty thorough training to have that class C liscence. There are plenty of jerks on the road, and some of them are truckers. But the vast majority of traffic accidents, even ones involving trucks, are caused by the car or SUV, not by the trucks. You'll notice that trucks typically use thier turn signals. They get into the right lane when they're not passing somebody. They are by far the best drivers on the road.

Your are absolutely correct when you say that there is no substitutes for paying attention while driving. But people don't. Even the knowledge of a tracking system in your car would be an incentive to drive properly.

The V2V and V2I systems could also include a low-power version of radar, which would eliminate your concern about older cars and pedestrians. The roads would not necessarily need to be wired. If not done by satellite, they could be managed by cell-phone towers and many other systems already in place over most of America.

Most people will resist having to spend more money. Not just truckers. Not to mention most of the truckers out there don't own that rig they're driving.

Your comment about the cops and tickets. That makes irritates me because you are legally required to obey traffic laws whether or not somebody is watching. I further discuss this in my post below.

Item number 7...... The people living in the fantasy are the ones who spend all day thinking about how Big Brother is spying on you. The only recent spying on the general public was caused by our current president. And that has been ruled unconstitutional. While tapping phones is easy to do, it requires certain technology which is not available to the general public and there is not a lot of it in existance. I have seen it done and know you can rest at ease when you say whatever you want on you cell-phone.

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Old sayings say it all
by Andy77e / May 27, 2007 1:54 PM PDT

The path way to hell is paved with good intentions.

A: Everything can, and will, eventually screw up. What happens with another car reports the wrong speed and location to my car? Will it suddenly brake on the highway for no reason at all? The system could cause a crash just as much as prevent one.

I remember an incident while I worked at a dealership, in which a car equiped with ABS, Locked up all four tires while traveling on the highway at over 65 mph. The amazing owner managed to floor the gas, over powering the brakes just long enough to get the car off the highway, but he could have been totalled easy, if not killed.

Lastly, what is much more likely to happen is government to use the system to track every aspect of our lives. How would you like to get tickets, not because a police officer ever thought you were a danger, or even have seen you, but rather because some government computer got a reading from your car that you were moving too fast for 10 seconds when you were passing someone? The sheer number of ways this could be used againts the public by our ever increasingly controlling government, is uncalculatable.

But like I said, the path to hell is paved with good intentions, and what better intention than public safty. You can justify almost anything with that.

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You're forgetting a few minor details.
by batman823 / May 30, 2007 4:14 AM PDT
In reply to: Old sayings say it all

I put up a post stating "It's still illegal to break the law whether or not a state trooper is watching you."

In every state that I've looked up traffic laws, I've somehow found that the speed limit is actually the fastest speed you're allowed to travel on that road. Specifically when passing somebody, you should not have to break the speed limit to do so.

It is more common for people to break the speed limit than to obey it. That doesn't mean it's legal or O.K. to do. If you have a problem with the speed limit, contact your local government. Those signs are not decorations, they are statements of local law. It's no different than stealing a candy bar. You can and should be punished for breaking the law.

Yes, everything can screw up from time to time. This one incident with the ABS failing is simply one incident. There are millions of cars on the road and many of them are equipped with ABS and other safety features. The vast majority of those safety features save lives or prevent accidents, while a small fraction of a percentage endanger people by failing.

On another note, 'Big Brother' does not care what store or mall or house you go to. If you are not breaking any laws, than you have nothing to hide. And when you are on the road, what you are doing and how fast you're driving is everybody's business, not you're private information.

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Not totally true.
by Andy77e / June 2, 2007 8:10 AM PDT

I understand that breaking the law is breaking the law whether you are watched or not. But by that logic why do people cry about the patriot act? If you can validate this, then why not have big brother watching you all the time?

Let's just have trasmitter implanted so that everything you do at every moment is watched, after all, if you have done nothing wrong, you have nothing to hide.... right?

Literally every step towards a control totalitarian government can be rationalized and supported with "for the good of the people". The nazis came to power in Germany "for the good of the people", they went to war "for the good of the people" and killed the jews "for the good of the people". At some point you must determine a line that will not be crossed. If not with controlling and monitoring our every driving habit and such... where?

Actually it isn't "one incident", what I told you about was just one. One of about 15 or so that involve Traction Control and ABS. Which means there's likely hundreds or more I don't know about. My point is not that safety features should not be used, rather I have a specific problem with active features that take control away from the driver. Passive features are very useful. Air Bags have become very useful. Padded dashes. Collapsable steering colums.

But a feature that actively takes control of the car away from you, has the ability to cause an accident just as much as prevent one. You'd be surprised how many do.

Yeah and the nazi made everyone have to have government documents to go anywhere and do anything. Which made it very easy to contain and round up the jews for extermination. "Papers please!" Of course our perfect government will never do anything like that... Bet the germans said the same thing just before WW2. Those that forget the past, are doomed to repeat it.

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History will repeat itself.
by batman823 / June 3, 2007 11:57 PM PDT
In reply to: Not totally true.

History will repeat itself no matter what we do. Notice the current president. His domestic policies are deliberately mislabeled and remarkably similar to those of Pres. Hoover. His military actions are also remakably similar to those of Ceasar. Ceasar sent all of his military to the north, leaving his southern border open for attack.

I think we agree that anything that takes control away from the driver is a bad thing to an extent. Restrictor plates, revolution limiters, speed limiters, etc. are a good thing. ABS is a good thing. It releases the breaks for an instant when the driver does the incorrect action and locks up the breaks. Many cases of ABS actually being need is due to the driver being ignorant of the road. When it is needed, it is useful and saves many lives.

If I may correct my previous statement. "just one incident." meant exactly that. You were presenting just one example, but ABS is widely a life-saving feature. Such as this more readily available Electronic Stability Control. It hasn't been proven in the masses, but it only serves the purpose of allowing people to further ignore the speed limits around corners and windy roads. It could concievably be a danger to others while serving as a safety feature for that individual driver.

I don't think drivers are safe in general, but many of them are. I think that when the driver does something irresponsible, they may benefit from the car taking action for them, such as ABS does in many cases.

The government probably will use this tracking information for one purpose than another, but there are other solutions. It doesn't have to broadcast your location at all times. That data could more easily be stored by an on-board computer. This information could be tapped for various criminal reasons. Also, we already have the Nazi system in place. You have to be registered and so does your car. Some government agency has to know where you live and what you do for a living, who you're married to, etc. We all have a social security card. The number on there allows access to all of you personal data through the right channels. All that has to be done is declare martial law and we are in the exact situation you described about the Nazis.

All in all, I think we agree on most points but with a slightly different skew on the pespective of the purpose of those points.

I also agree that anything dealing with driving technology, even with good intentions, can lead to bad results. But after enough accidents, recalls will be made. I don't believe the auto companies will just throw this technology into these cars without some form of testing. They know as much as anybody else that it could cost them more money than they would gain via law suits and recalls.

On all of those points, we'll just have to wait and see. The beauty of our "democracy" is that we don't make the decisions. We elect people who are not legally obligated to fulfill the promises they made to get our votes. So this discussion is really an excercise of our intillect and there's nothing we can do about the outcome of this topic.

Lastly, I appreciate your intelligent, however slightly paranoid, discission.

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History will repeat itself?
by Andy77e / June 5, 2007 10:35 AM PDT

Does this mean you believe that our government will cause destruction of it's own people for political gain, like Nazi did when they set fire to their own state building, or like Nero set fire to half of Rome?

One question, and this an open question. Do you have any real evidence that ABS or Traction Control has saved lives or prevented accidents? See I do have evidence that both have caused or nearly caused accidents. I have yet to see anything that really says either of these have truely helpped. If you have some, post the URL or referance, I'll look it up.

Refering back to my prior point, the police had GM disable ABS on their police cruisers because it reduced control during high speed maneuvers. That to me says alot. Maybe they are all full of it, but it seems to me the police force wouldn't have a big enough cow about it to make GM disable it unless it was really not helpping. Am I wrong?

So how can this work much better? I guess I'm skeptical.

You saying the Nazi system is already in place, is exactly my problem. We need to vote in such a way as to dismantal that system. Not increase it.

Now you say I'm a bit paranoid. Without disagreeing, why do you say that? Do you believe the government is pristine and incapable of doing any real harm to it's own citizens? Or that just in this particular case, they wouldn't use automotive location and identifiers to track people?

Because if it's the first, then I'm paranoid and proud. I do not trust government. The founders of our country saw Federal government as evil, a nessary evil, but evil nonetheless. That's why government was supposed to be incredibly limited, not overbearing as it's become. In fact the income tax alone was specificaly prohibited by the constitution, now some citizens pay 50% or more of their income in tax. We have to reverse this, and sooner rather than later.

Now if it's the second. I believe it's possible government could use such technology, but mostly I'm just against things that have very little real chance of being effective, and more of a chance of causing a problem. I've seen the dozens of ABS lights on, I've seen the traction control screw up a cars brakes. You know the old cars that just had a plain and simple brake, almost never come in for a "my brakes start shuddering for no reason... it's really strange" type stuff. Only ABS and Traction Control does that. I've seen the guys ABS light come on, and have the estimate be over $3000 to fix it, and the cars worth only two. So, unless I see it really work and really prevent accidents in real life, I'll likely remain against it.

To me, from my point of view, knowing what I know about government, and knowing what I know about automotive technology: This system stands little chance of being effective, a large chance of causing problems, and has a minor, but real chance of being abused.

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History will definitely repeat itself.
by batman823 / June 5, 2007 11:29 PM PDT

Yes, I do believe that our government will cause it's own collapse. I think that will happen long before a revolution. I also agree that our government is too powerful for it's own good. The fact that the president can defy over 70% of the american people for his own personal war says alot. We went into Iraq to get Saddam out. Why? so we could reduce the amount of safe-heaven's for terrorists and the most infamous 'WMDs'. Saddam's been out of power for a very long time now. But we've still got troops there. Why? Because we would "embolden the enemy" if we pulled out.
So there's a little discussion on how our gov't is too powerful and we are not much more than pawns who fund the 'machine'.

But as far as ABS and other features in cars/trucks go... Yes, there is proof that these systems work and save lives. If a person is going straight, not paying attention and has to stop suddenly, what do they do? The average american while driving has about the same amount of common sense as a cow, and therefore, slams on the breaks. The ABS prevents, in 99% of cases, the wheels fromm locking up. That allows for the most efficient use of the tires on the road, rather than throwing the car into a spin or just sliding on the ice or wet pavement. I have to go to a surgical consult, so I've run out of time but I will be back with links to some research proving both of our points and some more discussion.


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I am interested in what you have to say.
by batman823 / June 8, 2007 12:16 AM PDT just to name a few.

Most of the reports I have seen show that ABS does not stop accidents on the road. They do show, and some conflict with each other, that ABS improve stability and reduce stopping time in most incidents and reduce the level of damage done to the people, but not always the car. In some of the studies, they observed a wide range of crashes. In a lot of these crashes the brakes weren't even used, meaning the driver just wasn't paying attention. Some of the other studies only studied cases where ABS were used and they do show that fatalities were reduced by a great deal. In single car accidents, ABS brakes seemed to show little to no difference in the outcome though. My interpretation is that most single car accidents are from the driver being inattentive, therefore rendering ABS ineffective.

4wheel ABS has been proven to improve stability while braking and turning, but that allows the driver to make a sharper turn and increases the probability of a roll.

So to aswer your question, There is proof that ABS saves lives and further proof that ABS does not lock up your wheels when it fails, it turns itself off. It does not lock up the brakes. The incidents you were referring to must have been a different sort of malfunction. Or you were misinformed. So I ask the same question to you, to prove me wrong. Do you have any proof? I am referring to the ABS locking up brakes as well as police disabling ABS. I've done the research you asked for and I would appreciate the same from you.

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Whoa whoa whoa...
by Andy77e / June 10, 2007 3:03 AM PDT

Ok the president hasn't "defyed" anyone. When you are president... you are ... president. Presidents do not defy anyone, they don't have to. They are the one in charge. You said you're a military guy. If you tell your superior that you think he should do thus and so, and he says he's going to do the opposite, is he defying you? No, you are not in charge, he is. He makes the calls.

If you elect ME into office and I decied that it is in the best interest of America, to take out someone who I believe is doing us harm, I'm going to do that regardless of what you say.

It sounds like you'd prefer an empty no-conviction "reed in the wind" for president. Like Bill Clinton who would check the poll number before he would do anything. Maybe that's what you want... I don't. I want someone who's going to say I believe this, and I'm going to fight for it. I support this, and I'm going to follow through till the end. To me, the fact Bush isn't following the polls like a reed in the wind, is exactly why I voted for him.

It's just like Hillary. She's changed her position 5 different times. She talks to this group and they are for the war, and so she is for the war. Then she talks to that group, and they are against the war, and she's against the war. Is that what you want? Policy not based on whether their might be a long term threat, but rather what helps them personally gains more political support at the time?

In fact you make my point. You openely state that the average American has about as much common sense as a cow, yet you want our president to make national security policy based on poll number of 70% of Americans. No thanks. Bush should continue to hold to his convictions and ignore poll numbers, which often are not trust worthy anyway.

With ABS, I was actually looking for real evidence, not some theoretical situation that may or may not ever occure. I have real evidence of real situations, were real cars with ABS have caused accidents. Not some opinion based fantasy. I'm not being sarcastic either, just trying to say, I'm looking for real numbers here. I've looked and not found anything. Do you know of any real research done showing the benefits of ABS? I don't.

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by batman823 / June 10, 2007 9:56 PM PDT
In reply to: Whoa whoa whoa...

I agree with you on one point, the president should be an intelligent, strong person. And he should know he's in charge. But we also deserve one who will listen to the people. I didn't mean to imply that even in the first year of recieving <40% on the polls for him overall, or the war, that he should have pulled out. We, as citizens, aren't privelaged to certain information. But since he's either lied or just simply been wrong so many times, I think the time for 'being in charge' has passed and the time for listening has come.

The other point of having a strong-minded president is that if you look to previous presidents, at least the good ones, they listened to the people around them. They didn't just fire people when they disagreed with him. We no longer have a president, but more of a dictator surrounded by 'yes men'

So that being said, we obviously disagree on most of that topic and never will. We've both said our piece. It's off topic, anyway.
If you would like to discuss politics further, invite me to some sort of political forum on another website.

As far as ABS goes. It has been proven to shorten stopping time and distance under most circumstances, but not all. Even on the studies that are against ABS, they will say that. What most of the studies say though, is that there are too many variables with different accidents to determine that ABS is bad, or that is generally reduces the drivers ability to avoid an accident. I know that most people drive too fast for their own good. And after doing my research on ABS, it looks like you just can't stop people from doing stupid things.

As far as ABS causing accidents, I read that too. It said that in some cases, especially with top-heavy SUV's, that ABS can cause a roll. The reason being that it improves traction, enabling the person to brake and steer at the same time. This is an operator error in my opinion. The drivers in those cases simply freaked, slammed on the brakes, and steered too quickly; Therefore, those people caused the accident and one of many factors is the ABS.

But if you go back to the top of the discussion, it's not about ABS, it's about V2V and V2I communication. I can't make you do the research on ABS and no bush supporter or non-supporter is going to change the other's mind on that topic. I'm more than willing to copycat Chris Matthews, but on the proper forum.

To get back on the intended topic, and to be short:
I have very few bad things to say about the V2V or V2I idea, except that it could be used for some sort of unconstitutional means. But I have argued that what you do and where you go is anybody's business as long as it's on public roads. But I also admit that these systems are vulnerable to abuse and criminal activity.

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by WAArnold / June 11, 2007 1:19 AM PDT
In reply to: re:whoa

Batman, Andy, we all have our points on this subject. I had friends that got burned up in accidents due to seat belts - I detest them - but, I would suspect that some of the accidents that have been shown caused by ABS is not caused by ABS at all. Why? I suspect it is caused by the TAILGATING that an enormous number of drivers do now-days. You can be traveling along at speed limit, say 60 MPH, and you will have someone on your bumper about 10 feet back. Now anyone knows ABS will not allow you to stop in that distance in an emergent stop, working or not working. It causes my butt to pucker when this happens to me and I usually try to get them backed off.

Oh well, ABS should be discussed in another post. I agree with Batman that V2V is subject to abuse and that is where I vehemently oppose the use. I have learned in my over 72 years of experience that our government will in fact use it for naught.

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Hello again my dear counterpart
by batman823 / June 11, 2007 1:57 AM PDT
In reply to: Whoa

I believe we agree that the accidents studied that involved ABS are flawed. Almost all accidents are cause by operator error. I also tend to drive the speed limit. I also refuse to yield the right of way when somebody rides the line and thier lane ends. That's just rude to assume somebody must give you a spot in backed up traffic when your "lane ends...merge right" sign was 1500 feet back.

I do find that whenever somebody is tailgaiting, they just want to go fast. I don't speed up. I stay at the most reasonable speed for my car. I tend to stay between 55 and 65mph. But if you slow down below the speed limit and tap the brakes a couple of times, they will either back off or get closer. But if they can, they will just pass you and you may remain calm while maintaining the speed you wish to go. Keep in mind that it is perfectly legal to go under the speed limit, although it's not common.

I also thought you weren't going to say how old you were... just poking fun. I do, however, have respect for people's age and experience.

I will not deny that V2I and/or V2V can and will be used for purposes that some people will not like. They may even feel violated. But other points arise. How many times have you heard of a person getting away with murder or some other serious crime because they had an alaby. Even though evidence may be overwhelming of that person's guilt, the alaby and a good lawyer get people off the hook. That's just one example of the good that can come from this.

I still stand by this new techology for the benefits it may provide for the average law-abiding citizen as well as the proof of innocence or guilt during trial by the tracking capabilities that are proposed. I also believe that we must all share the road. It's not private information when you are on a public road. A person reported as wreckless by another concerned driver(I do this) could be more easily tracked and found by police as well. It could aslo automatically notify police when somebody is driving too fast or wrecklessly without somebody having to even call the police or 911. There are endless possibilities of good but harm can be done as well. As long as audio recording is assumed to be out of the question, I don't see any real harm being done. Big Brother doesn't have the time, need, motive, nor the resources the track the average joe and to simply pick on somebody who has done no wrong.

I detest seatbelt laws as well. They should be a personal choice. I would still wear them, but I do not agree with the laws in place that state you must wear them. It's not illegal to go rock-climbing or skydiving, and those are just a couple of things that people do on a regular basis that are much more dangerous than not wearing you seatbelt. The few accidents where people were killed because of seatbelts are greatly ounumbered by accidents when peoples lives were saved because of them. I have seen both. Once again, I believe it should be the individual's choice, not the state's. The state can tell you how fast and where you can drive but I don't think they should be able to punish you for endangering yourself. Refusing to wear your seatbelt in no way endangers other people.

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Hello again my dear counterpart
by WAArnold / June 11, 2007 3:08 AM PDT
Happy I'm not going far.

Hey, caught you, I said my 'over 72 years', I didn't say how much over. Happy

Anyway, it has been strange to me that one of the first things asked at an accident is were seat belts worn. And if not, you will hear about it in the news, NEVER that seat belts were worn and still death occured.

Oh well, this has been a loooonnnnng running thing anyway.

I guess my point is that the tailgating is much more dangerous to me than not having my seat belt on. I don't understand why people worry if I wanna kill myself.

The President thing is a bit interesting also. You are right, he isn't listening at all and I have personally notified him of that fact. I think it comes under the heading/saying "You can't teach an old dog new tricks" and this one I don't believe will learn which is unfortunate because he could have been a good pres. He's obsessed.

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