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  (Source: Damjan Stankovic via Relogik.com)
IBM patent goes Big Brother

Running red lights and failure to stop leads to untold numbers of traffic accidents around the world. Sitting at a red light with cars idling also burns fuel that really isn’t needed.

IBM has filed a patent application that outlines a system that would turn the motors of a car off at a traffic light to conserve fuel. Few will take issue with green technology that conserves fuel, saves them money, and reduces pollution. However, there is a dark side to the patent application that privacy advocates will not like.

The system IBM is proposing has to have access to the engine of the vehicles at the light to stop the engine. With access to the engine, the traffic lights can not only stop the engine of a driver's car, but it can also determine the duration that the engine is stopped and then when the light is over it can start the motors of the cars up in sequential order so the first cars at the light get to go first. The system would use GPS data to know where vehicles were located at the light.

The patent application reads:

Vehicle fuel consumption is a major component of global energy consumption. With increasing vehicle usage, there may be more traffic and longer wait times at traffic signals (e.g., at a traffic intersection or a railway crossing). Fuel may be wasted when drivers keep their vehicles running while waiting for the traffic signal to turn "green" or waiting for a train to pass at a railway crossing. Most drivers may not switch off their engines in these situations. Drivers who do switch off their engines may do so inefficiently. For example, a driver may switch off the engine, only to start it up a short time later. In such cases, more fuel may be consumed in restarting the engine. Some traffic signals may have clocks that indicate remaining durations before the signals change. However, drivers in vehicles waiting at the back of the queue may not be able to view the clock.

There are other aspects of this technology that the patent application doesn't spell out. For instance, this system would make it impossible for a driver to run a red light. There could also be safety issues to a system such as this. For instance, what if a driver had a medical emergency and the light turned off the car making it impossible to reach a hospital. The system would require software and hardware be installed on vehicles at an unknown cost.



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I can see it now
By tigz1218 on 5/26/2010 10:54:19 AM , Rating: 1
2025 - Toyota MotorCorp is under heavy scrutiny for complaints of unintended deacceleration. Drivers have complained that their car suddenly stopped causing the cars behind them to ram into them. So far 89 deaths have been linked to this issue.




RE: I can see it now
By EasyC on 5/26/2010 12:04:09 PM , Rating: 2
That depends on if Government Motors is still around.


RE: I can see it now
By tigz1218 on 5/26/2010 12:20:20 PM , Rating: 2
Clearly some people did not catch my sarcasm.


RE: I can see it now
By EasyC on 5/26/2010 12:33:23 PM , Rating: 2
Clearly, you didn't catch mine.


RE: I can see it now
By tigz1218 on 5/26/2010 5:13:55 PM , Rating: 2
Sorry EasyC was not reffering to you. Was directed at the person who rated me down. Must have been a toyota owner heh.


RE: I can see it now
By aoskunk on 6/18/2010 12:14:01 PM , Rating: 2
how do you rate somebody down? i dont see the option anywhere, i even googled it.


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