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How do you feel about car-to-car wireless communication?

by lizamaloy CNET staff/forum admin / February 4, 2014 8:24 AM PST

How do you feel about mandatory car-to-car wireless communications?

-- All for it. Safer roadways are important.
-- Not sure. It's a good idea, but I wonder how it will work in practice.
-- Not a fan. I don't need my car to be monitored.
-- Why not work on creating a generation of safer drivers instead of cars that try to drive for them?

Vote in the poll:

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Another DMV?
by UserBob6 / February 4, 2014 9:51 AM PST

If it's a good idea, the market will do it.
Why have yet another law, another government agency, more surveillance, more taxes, more government employees, more .... Sheesh!

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The "market"
by Aseriesguy / February 4, 2014 12:22 PM PST
In reply to: Another DMV?

If it was up to the "market" we would still be driving with rubber band shocks and one-shot drum brakes, not to mention no seat belts , air bags, collapsing steering columns, safety glass , speed rated tires, etc. Maybe you're from Texas where all they need in their pickups is a gun rack and a beer can holder.

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That is basically what you see in trucks down there ;) (n/t)
by Pepe7 / February 5, 2014 3:24 AM PST
In reply to: The "market"


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It's a network effect, so it doesn't work in isolation
by hypercrit / February 5, 2014 9:05 AM PST
In reply to: Another DMV?

Bumper to bumper traffic is the result of drivers' inability to react in synchrony with each other. This concept would make a mass of cars more like a school of fish, or flock of birds. Don't negate it 'till you understand it.

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Not just "no" but "hell no".
by sbill / February 4, 2014 9:54 AM PST

There is not a chance in hell that I would buy, own, or accept as a gift any car or truck which contains integrated wireless communication of any kind--including OnStar or similar systems. Back when I was growing up, we valued something called privacy, which was considered more sacred than anything else--including "national security" or crime prevention. Nowadays, the people have turned into sheep, willing to sacrifice the very privacy which our ancestors fought and died for in the name of "safety" and "security", which is mostly a pipe dream anyways.

Not only am I opposed in principle to this idea of wireless car-to-car or car-to-central server communication, but I feel that the technology is ripe for abuse. Not only is the NSA salivating over the prospect of being able to monitor and track citizens' GPS location without needing a warrant, but you can be sure hackers are drooling over the idea of hijacking this system to create mayhem.

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Not a fan of this
by jeffpelton / February 4, 2014 10:35 AM PST

Becides being tired of Face Recognition, PLUS Homland Security, TSA, OSHA, and the rest of the alphabet watching me (Orwell 1980) as someone employed in the communication/transportation industry, I know any wireless network will be hacked sooner or later. Oh BOY! 13 year old kid hacks the network and creates gridlock on the LA freeways while riding the bus to school on a surface street.

Becides, people are lazy, and get on the cellphone, text, read the news, etc. and rely on the system to "drive" for them. Forgetting they are still required to Drive The Damm Car. That's RIGHT NOW. And look at the mess the airlines have with "hands off" flying. And the pilots are trained professionals, who let their skills go to hell, helped by the fact even sim time costs money, and the airlines don't want to spend it. Much less require actual flight time with a instructor pilot in the other seat.


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Just the same
by rdrcontrol / February 6, 2014 1:58 AM PST
In reply to: Not a fan of this

So you are saying that if someone hacked the new system, it would be just like it is now. If you had ever ridden an elevator that had a human operator, you would understand that automatic elevators do a much better job.

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hell no
by aeparker / February 4, 2014 11:18 AM PST

Funny - you used my exact words for your title but inserted quotes~!!!

I object based on knowing how to drive - you object on privacy Happy

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car-to-car a no go in my opinion
by jarussell / February 4, 2014 9:56 AM PST

Given software companies and governments relaxed attitude toward identity theft, spam, hijacking of computers, hacking and all sorts of digital events from simple "fun" to total destruction, I find even a discussion of doing something like this to be insane. What "fun" a hacker could have in telling every car within a radius of his equipment that a sudden braking effort is demanded. Or telling every other car that spped has increased and then the car accelerating t keep up with a phantom electronic signal.

Get serious about getting hijacking and illegal tampering with personal computers and accounts and maintain vigilence for 5 years, putting these people behind bars, and THEN bring the subject up again.

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As usual, you provided no relevant details.
by wpgwpg / February 4, 2014 9:57 AM PST

I sure miss Lee Koo!

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not a good idea
by djnova50 / February 4, 2014 10:00 AM PST

Won't this drivers into people who can't drive? We don't really need this kind of control in our lives. Or should that lack of control. What would be the point of learning how to drive if the vehicles are communicating with one another? Instead of pulling over to rest, won't a tired driver depend upon his/her car to make that decision?

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Not a Fan
by John11C / February 4, 2014 10:09 AM PST

The government is involved, just like helathcare,gov its not workable and it gives them more control by them. I don't think they could make the technology work anyway. They can't make that website work so why would this be any different having by the government make a system that works. What about false signals and malfunctions.... nope I don't want it and don't need it. I have been driving safely for over 30 years without an accident

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Your analogy is silly
by Pepe7 / February 4, 2014 11:03 AM PST
In reply to: Not a Fan

What's happening w/ healthcare and what's happening w/ automobile technologies are two different animals. Don't be so naive to create such a 'National Enquirer-esque' or Rush Limbaugh/Sean Hannity-like comparison.

Whether we like it or not, many of these technologies will be arriving on their own from the manufacturers. [full disclosure: How do I know this? My wife's firm is involved in this industry/wireless vehicular technologies.] It's a good idea that the federal government start working with the various vendors on how to sort it out a little and deal with issues stemming from unlicensed use of spectrum, safety issues, etc. Of course the libertarians and tinfoil hat crowd will start to freak out over nothing ad nauseum...

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by John11C / February 4, 2014 11:42 PM PST
In reply to: Your analogy is silly

When the government gets involved it is the common thread in both. The Government is inept at doing things that should be done in a free market. The system will be abused because of the government involvement. As everything they touch usually gets broken or abused. I see no reason to have the government drive my car or use that to track my whereabouts. They already have that with cell phones no need to give them more. I see it as an intrusion on privacy and it would be a simple matter to have a system malfunction ( a power surge, lightning strike nearby, etc. ) causing the malfunction of the device which could result in death. And what about interference with all the radio transmissions this already happens with wifi and wirless routers. The more complicated a system the more prone or possibility of a malfunction. Who would be building these systems the Chinese. You would want to trust your life to a computer that could malfunction. Maybe you would like a chip implant too in your body as they plan to do in 2017

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You still haven't removed your tinfoil hat
by Pepe7 / February 5, 2014 3:22 AM PST
In reply to: Really

wifi/radio transmitter in car causing death? Wow, paranoid much. Sheesh.

I personally have more issues/concerns sharing the road with so many bad/inattentive drivers. A computer has the potential to eliminate some of those poor/dangerous habits.

"Who would be building these systems the Chinese"

And where do you think 90% of the electronics we use are made, amigo? Apparently you have been under a rock for quite some time.

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a reply
by John11C / February 5, 2014 10:04 PM PST

Your remarks are offensive a bit as you try to bully and intimidate "tin foil hats" as if to say I do not know what I am talking about. I happen to have a degree in electronics and computer technology. The same method of communication would be used as used in a wifi wireless connection connecting you to the network. There are already transmission difficulties with wifi routers when you put too many in close proximity the interfere with each other the result is dropped packets of information and sometimes loss of connectivity. Now picture this you now have hundreds of such radio connected vehicles in a close proximity to each other how much interference would it take to cause the system to slow down and drop packets or disconnect with information critical to the operation of a car and instead that information overload causes the car to accelerate instead of brake. You should really know what you are talking about before you know the full scope of what you are suggesting

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Might be a good idea, but....
by msecour / February 4, 2014 10:11 AM PST

Creating a generation of safer drivers is a good idea, but I don't see how we can do that without a mandatory psychological exam to weed out drivers who regard the speed limit is a weird suggestion and treat the highways like their personal racetrack. And how would it work? Would it automatically slow vehicles down when driving too fast in the rain? (I saw three single car wipe-outs last Sunday morning within a 15 minute period). If it only cautions a driver then what is the point when those who drive without caution will ignore it anyway?

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Parettos Curve
by johnedwardsbc / February 5, 2014 10:37 AM PST

I agree.Look up Pareto. About 20% of all drivers are too stupid to have a licence to drive. The automobile industry helps to dumb down driving, eg air bags, automatic parking, back up cameras and my favourite, drivers who are too stupid to know if the car doors are locked without the car horn blowing several times. The gum'mint has no stomach to tell someone they can not get a licence. Remember the slogan, "Driving is a privilege, not a riight".

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Get CURRENT tech to work 99% of the time then we'll talk!
by judywink-2009 / February 4, 2014 10:41 AM PST

We currently have red light cameras and some of them have been shown to only be accurate 80% of the time. I got 3 speeding tickets in 3 different places, ALL for allegedly going 42 MPH. The odds of that being true for all 3 places are miniscule but I couldn't take that much time off work to fight it. Besides, if you fight and lose, the costs are astronomical and too many courts think computers don't lie, forgetting the GIGO factor - Garbage In Garbage Out. It's a LOT cheaper to just pay it which is what they rely on, especially when it's a contractor running things! I like the idea IN THEORY but experience sends up too many red flags! SHOW me that the current technology is reliable and can't be tampered with by over zealous cops and/or contractors and/or hackers, and I'd be willing to consider it!

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Bad idea until you can stop the hackers
by bones27 / February 4, 2014 10:58 AM PST

I look forward to reading a book while my car takes me to work but vehicle to vehicle communications for control of the vehicle is dangerous until we can protect the systems from hackers. Exploits have already been demonstrated to shut down the engine and apply the brakes through the blue tooth communications in some cars.
Today we have not demonstrated the ability to protect the internet of things from hackers. V2V communications for vehicle control opens a whole new avenue for hackers to exploit. Mandating these systems systems without solid protection from hackers creates risk rather than reducing it.
There is major work under way on how to protect medical implants from hackers. Unfortunately, this did not start until thousands of remotely controllable medical devices were implanted. Then a researchers demonstrated the obvious; without strong authentication anyone could take over control of these implanted devices.
The same is true of the 'smart grid'. It is being widely deployed with government backing but little effort has gone into protecting these controllers from being hacked.
We need to get the priorities properly organized before we see individually (accidents, power shut offs, ...) catastrophic events.
In the end it is an idea that appears good but is actually extremely dangerous without the proper foundation.

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Havn't read the article
by netsiu / February 4, 2014 10:59 AM PST

But I know about the technology and am against it. Albeit it would be nice to be a Jetson and sleep while the car drove to wherever I was going.

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Automated Controls = Unanticipated Dangerous Consequences.
by Ecm / February 4, 2014 11:05 AM PST

As a retired military pilot, I was concerned as I watched the cockpit become more automated; worried that pilots would become too reliant on automated systems and not be prepared for the inevitable "computer malfunction/failure."

Recall the crash landing of the Asiana aircraft in San Francisco this past summer and the Air France jet that crashed in the Atlantic Ocean several years ago. How about recent landings at the wrong airports by Southwest and UPS.

We have too many distracted drivers on the road now, this will only make matters worse imho.

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Making drivers complacent
by lposi / February 4, 2014 11:05 AM PST

We really need to teach drivers how to drive, as they do in most European countries. We have taken too many of the skills away from driving a car, so drivers are now thinking they can talk, text, eat and drink, put on make-up, shave, etc. while behind the wheel. We have put touch screens in cars and taken away manual controls. How do you use a touch screen without taking your eyes off the road for a considerable length of time.

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My daughter in law and two granddaughters were killed...
by bukosky / February 4, 2014 11:14 AM PST

My daughter in law and two granddaughters were killed in a rear end crash between a Honda Accord and a Cadillac Escalade SUV. The short of it is the guy in the Escalade was fiddling with his phone and hit her car at over 50MPH according to the built in computer in the Escalade. She was stopped at a stoplight.

Right now we have cars that will brake to avoid a collision, but you only get one shot at life. In the future, this tragedy would never happen. Of course I'm all for communicating cars. It's inevitable. It will finally make sense of the senseless drivers on the road and clean up the traffic.

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Not just no but HELL no don't let my car choose!
by aeparker / February 4, 2014 11:16 AM PST

I've been racing in SCCA and Corvette Club autocross events for over 35 years. There is no substitute for practice at what to do when you spin out!!! Skid pad, slide sideways, wiggle through pylons! Learn how your car handles, and learn how to control the unexpected!

Until such time as every vehicle on the road is under computer control (Meet George Jetsen, forget my 69 Vette) this is impractical and pretty well STUPID. Your computer can't process what your eyeballs can.

I have a fight with my washing machine every week about how much water and how hot it should be. It thinks it knows more than I do about washing clothes. I'm not having that argument with a land based automobile.

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Computer controled crash
by lposi / February 5, 2014 12:39 AM PST

I saw a terrible crash at a race when the car's computer took over tractin control. The car went into a concrete wall at nearly 100MPH because the car thought it knew more than the driver in the turn. Totalled the Camaro and broke the driver's wrilst and leg. It was a wonder he wasn't killed. No replacing a driver's skill with a computer.

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Another reason for it.
by bukosky / February 4, 2014 11:22 AM PST

Ever watch a movie where there are flying cars, like Fifth Element? Do you think we can travel in three dimensions without each vehicle being aware of the others laterally and vertically from it? In high density areas, aircraft are controlled by humans besides the pilots, to maintain speed and spacing. Away from these highly congested areas, planes are free to fly visually. I think cars and trucks can only benefit from the land based version of this using technology. I hate to say it, being conservative, but the only way for this to materialize is for the government to force the issue. I think it is a good thing.

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a movie does not equal reality
by John11C / February 5, 2014 11:18 PM PST
In reply to: Another reason for it.

Air tragic control is accomplished with computers and Humans controlling the aircraft the human always makes the decisions on these traffic control situations, always never does a computer have the final say. That said your relating to a movie had no relevance on the technology of today. There are far fewer aircraft than cars and even then it is a very stressful and difficult task on the air traffic controllers. There have been terrible mistakes resulting in death even with the air traffic control system. Now you want to expand that type of control 10,000 times or more the task would be multiplied by that factor and the cost astronomical to implement, even with computers controlling it one glitch in the cars system or the controlling computer located remotely not to mention the radio interference and even loss of signal could really cause a bad things to happen. Electronics have been known to fail a controlling transmitter goes down while your on the freeway your car looses its control signal it automatically applies the breaks, unfortunately the truck behind you has no system on board and plows into you. There is no substitute for human control as our brains can process the unusual circumstances much faster than a computer

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mandatory wireless car comms
by lchien / February 4, 2014 11:38 AM PST

The next thing already being discussed in some circles is having the ability for LEOs to issue a Engine Kill command to your car. This would be so police could stop a stolen car or a car in a high speed chase or a car involved in a criminal action. It would be easy enough to read the license plates, look up the VIN and issue the wireless command (which couldn't be over-ridden by the vehicle owner) and kill the engine (but not the steering and brakes, for safety.

The purpose sounds good, esp in the case of high speed chases where may innocent people get killed and endangers the LEOs involved.

The bad news is that it can deprive you of your liberty. and bad guys can hack the system and control your car for good or bad.

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Great news for a hacker
by lposi / February 5, 2014 12:41 AM PST

The hacker could have a field day on the Interstates with that. You think the New Jersey bridge was a mess!

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