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The auto industry said it will pose a risk to vehicle-to-vehicle technologies that need this wireless spectrum

Automakers aren't too happy about a recent U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) proposal, which uses part of the wireless spectrum assigned to vehicle-to-vehicle technology for Wi-Fi instead.

The FCC announced that it plans to free up 195 MHz of spectrum in the 5 GHz band for unlicensed use in an effort to address the U.S.' spectrum crisis. This could potentially lead to Wi-Fi speeds faster than 1 gigabit per second.

The FCC voted unanimously on the topic Wednesday of this week.

However, the auto industry said this would take away previously reserved wireless spectrum for vehicle-to-vehicle technology -- which has the potential to save lives.

The Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, which is a trade group consisting of Detroit's Big Three Automakers, Toyota, Volkswagen AG and some other auto companies, is among those who are upset by the FCC's latest proposal.

"[Automakers] already invested heavily in the research and development of these safety critical systems, and our successes have been based on working closely with our federal partners," said the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers. "It is imperative that, as we move forward, we do adequate research and testing on potential interference issues that could arise from opening up this band to unlicensed users and that the commission not rush to judgment before this important analysis can be done."

The Intelligent Transportation Society of America added that "the desire of the commission to move forward expeditiously, while cautioning against putting near-term life-saving innovations like connected vehicle technology at risk in the pursuit of future Wi-Fi applications."

The auto industry isn't the only one concerned with the new proposal. Certain government agencies -- like the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) -- see commercial users jumping on bands used by these agencies and posing a potential risk in doing so. 

Source: The Detroit News

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By talikarni on 2/22/2013 2:04:02 PM , Rating: 1
Time to shut down the FCC, they are only there to defend the corporate interests they are paid to.

RE: Revoke....
By anactoraaron on 2/22/2013 2:14:33 PM , Rating: 5
Time to shut down the entire US government , they are only there to defend the corporate interests they are paid to.


RE: Revoke....
By FITCamaro on 2/22/2013 2:19:14 PM , Rating: 1

RE: Revoke....
By FaaR on 2/23/2013 7:34:21 AM , Rating: 2
What you get without government is chaos, not anarchy. Look at Somalia for a contemporary example of this.

RE: Revoke....
By Asetha on 2/23/2013 1:38:50 PM , Rating: 3
Actually the definition of anarchy is simply no government. Chaos is one effect of anarchy.

RE: Revoke....
By flyingpants1 on 2/23/2013 8:41:03 PM , Rating: 2
Actually, Anarchy is based on voluntary non-hierarchical association.

Anarchists are responsible for some significant social changes throughout modern history, including a little thing called the 8 hour day.

You can educate yourself here:

RE: Revoke....
By woody1 on 2/22/2013 3:23:06 PM , Rating: 3
Time for somebody to move to Somalia and enjoy the benefits of a true Libertarian paradise.

RE: Revoke....
By Kurz on 2/22/13, Rating: -1
RE: Revoke....
By DT_Reader on 2/22/2013 7:10:27 PM , Rating: 3
I did the Google you suggested, and read the opinion piece. That's what it is, and opinion piece. "Ayn R Key" is saying that Somalia is not an example of libertarianism because they say so. They offer no proof, just opinion, but they claim it is proof, as do you.

RE: Revoke....
By Kurz on 2/23/2013 11:31:20 AM , Rating: 2
A Libertarian society is based on voluntary association and non-aggression principle. How does that equate to what is going on in Somalia?

RE: Revoke....
By Kurz on 2/23/2013 11:42:35 AM , Rating: 1
RE: Revoke....
By DT_Reader on 2/23/2013 12:12:37 PM , Rating: 4
From the article: "Let me assure you: Somalia is hardly a libertarian paradise."

Let me assure you, libertarian paradise is an oxymoron.
In Ron Paul's libertarian paradise, business owners are free to refuse service to anyone based solely on their skin color. Businesses are free to pollute. Businesses are free to operate without regard to worker safety. Businesses are free to fire employees who do not vote the way the boss tells them to vote.

Libertarian paradise is paradise for the 1%, and hell for everyone else.

RE: Revoke....
By Coldfriction on 2/23/2013 12:58:03 PM , Rating: 1
Businesses are free to pollute and then be sued into non-existence by libertarian philosophy. Currently pollution below EPA maximums are completely ok even if that pollution level can be proven to do harm. The EPA protects businesses from people. A worker is always allowed to sue their employer for unsafe practices. OSHA standards protect businesses from being sued by showing compliance to what the government says is some allowable standard.

Speed limits aren't set as much by engineering principles as they are by some standards that will prevent the government overseeing the road from being sued. It's crazy that if the signs are a couple feet too close together on a construction project an individual can get off the hook for speeding through it and killing construction workers just because the signs didn't meet the minimum government standard.

Regarding racism, the federal government defines anyone a minority that is not a white male European or white male American. How do I know? I review Disadvantaged Business Enterprise documentation on government contracts. If I weren't a white male American I'd start my own business and contract with the government. BTW all you have to do to have a DBE is put 51% of your business in your wife's name even if she just stays at home and knits all day to qualify.

People are meant to be free, and that includes their business dealings. Workers are also free to use the full force of the law if true wrongs are commited againts them. Believe it or not most businesses make money on good employees and have no desire to fire such individuals. A non-profitable employee should be fired. There ought to be no such thing as the right to own an employment position.

Libertarian paradise was what the United States was founded on. The constitution is a libertarian document.

RE: Revoke....
By Reclaimer77 on 2/24/2013 9:04:28 AM , Rating: 3
Nonsense. I'm quite sure NONE of those things are supported by Ron Paul.

The same old canned arguments for a large overbearing centralized Government continue. I suppose without one, there would also be rioting in the streets, rape would be made legal, oh and your little dog would be forced to work at the 'mill...

RE: Revoke....
By ebakke on 2/22/2013 4:11:38 PM , Rating: 2
"Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt."

Nothing like standing up and proudly proclaiming, "I DO NOT UNDERSTAND LIBERTARIAN PHILOSOPHY!"

RE: Revoke....
By KFZ on 2/23/2013 4:13:10 AM , Rating: 4
Curious how one appears to link not dissolution of government, but a wanton abolition of federal government and, summarily, a nation (a federation broadly fitting the definition of half the world) with libertarianism.

That's not libertarianism.

The core principle there is basically min/maxing power between individuals and government. There is still a relationship with a central power. Ostensibly your comment is reactionary and makes no sense.

RE: Revoke....
By lolmuly on 2/23/2013 10:29:04 AM , Rating: 5
I agree.

A well run government is like an elegant piece of software.

Limited in scope.
Limited feature set.
Efficient handling of resources.
Modular source code. (laws)
Intuitive and efficient interface. (courts, voting, etc)

What Needs to Happen
By Coldfriction on 2/22/2013 8:27:50 PM , Rating: 3
I'm reposting from an earlier article about this subject because I feel strongly that people need to realize the potential.

"Let me explain how this needs to occur to happen. The system needs to be broken up into several fundamental pieces.

The first piece is local area position far more accurate than GPS. Transmitters behaving just like GPS need to be located along transit routes. These need to have the ability to function exactly like GPS while also correcting GPS postioning errors.

Second, each and every vehicle on the road must be mandated to contain a positioning system that uses the local position system. A vehicle must know within a tight tolerance of error where it is at all times. It must be able to communicate it's position, velocity, acceleration, physical limits, etc. to every other vehicle nearby. How do you mandate this? No different than mandating that cars have brake lights to communicate deceleration to other drivers.

Third, the infrastructure must be in control. The idea that a vehicle must be autonomous is an example of nerds seeking the coolest most complicated solution to a problem. A vehicle does not need to be all interpreting of its surroundings in an attempt to replace an intelligent human being. Each and every vehicle must communicate to this infrastructure and the infrastructure must be able to communicate back in the case of automated vehicles. This has to be true of all vehicles automated or not.

The concept is that the infrastructure establishes a virtual road on top of the physical road that an automated vehicle would be able to follow. Imagine virtural rails established along which an automate vehicle would track. The virtual road contains details that an an fully autonomous vehicle has a hard time interpreting. The infrastructure can tell exactly how fast a vehicle should be taking a radius based on the known coefficient of friction, super elevation, etc. of the road. In my opinion any system that requires wires or some other indicator embedded in the superstructure is a lost cause; virtual rails are the only way to go.

How do you implement this? Step 1: Standardize via the FCC some standard for local positioning systems. Step 2: Implement the LPS and network infrastructure along various roads, beginning with interstates. Step 3: Require all existing vehicles to be fitted with a LPS communication device (perhaps the most politically reprehensible part of the process). Step 4: Record the paths of existing manual vehicles and their behaviors to establish the virtual road system so that it corresponds with what people actually do. Step 5: Allow automakers to use the established standards to simply make vehicles that will follow the rails while avoiding other vehicles. This shouldn't be so hard as it is made out to be with the massive instrumentation of autonomous vehicles. A car only has a few inputs that control it. The ability to drive your car on non-automated roads and then allow it to drive itself when desired should be the next big thing in the automotive industry. Step 6: Continue automating all the major roads in the nation and trickle down to local road systems. Eventually having a system of virtual roads so complete that purchasing a car that does not require manual driving is feasible.

Benefits: Reduced deaths due to traffic accidents. Construction crews can turn off a section of road that shouldn't be traveled during construction on the fly instead of coning it off. Drinkers can get around without killing people. Underage driving becomes a non-issue and people could theoretically allow their children to have an increased mobility. Cars could be self locating where a family could more easily share one vehicle. Dad could go to work and then send the car home for his wife to use throughout the day. Every parking experience could be a valet situation and parking could be way out of the way in an unseen location. Long distance drivers could sleep and travel through the night. When you pull up to an intersection your car could tell you when to turn instead of some $200,000 intersection lights. A properly balanced system with only automated cars would be able to eliminate stopping at intersections. Fuels savings for convoys and the lack of stop and go traffic would be enormous. Traffic jams should be severly reduced or eliminated if enough vehicles are automated (think of 3 miles of stopped bumper to bumper vehicles accelerating simultaneously instead of in a wave pattern).

In economics this system would allow proper network balancing and usage of roads. A digital toll system could be put in place charging tolls based on usage instead of taxing all fuel and throwing that money into a pot (works for any kind of vehicle whether electric, fossil fuel, nuclear, etc.). A quick route in high demand should charge more money and a longer route in low demand should be cheaper to travel. Privatize roads and allow people to charge with a profit motive to set prices where they should be; I don't trust government to set prices such that free market principles will prevail. Using weighted paths traffic becomes a software optimization problem and not a human behavioral problem. You could pay more for the priveledge of getting where you want faster. Knowing which roads to build and improve would be clear as day and not subject to some board of transporation's decision with interests other than optimization in mind.

I say we repurpose some chunk of NASA and make this happen in the United States. They can send a pretty neat bit of tech to Mars but can't do something so simple as this that would change humanity forever. If you think the interstate system boomed the economy after it was built, you should realize that this type of system would do the same.

End super rant. DOT Engineer here frustrated that the coolest implemented advancements in transportation infrastructure are slower and far lamer than what is possible with todays technology. BTW if anyone wants to hire me to work on such a system as I have described I'm all ears.

When I say free market principles I mean that price needs to be set as high as the market will bear without a false cieling restricting it because it's a "right" or some such nonsense. A road is a scarce resource that should be priced high enough as to not overload its use. The high price allows funds to be allocated to the expansion and construction of more roads where the demand desires them.

Roads run by a government without prices and costs being determined by a free market make them more expensive and/or less useful than they could otherwise be."

Take it for what it's worth, but we are living in a terribly unprogressive transportation world where progress is being artificially retarded (correct use of the word btw). If a person is valued at $6,000,000, which is an approximate figure a college professor of mine used to used, then drunks kill $75,000,000,000 worth of lives a year alone. We need to change something and it can be something that 98% of people would benefit greatly from.

RE: What Needs to Happen
By tng on 2/22/2013 11:31:55 PM , Rating: 2
Let me explain how this needs to occur to happen. The system needs to be broken up into several fundamental pieces.
I made it to there before I found out that you posted War and Peace.

There is a reason they call it a "comments" section.

RE: What Needs to Happen
By tim851 on 2/23/2013 7:01:40 AM , Rating: 3
A road is a scarce resource that should be priced high enough as to not overload its use.

Absolutely NOT.

Public and free roads are a prerequisite for individual freedom. I have a right to be poor. I have a right to be a nurse, a teacher, a social worker or any of the other undesirable jobs that poachers dare to have these days.

My choice of job must not limit my freedom of movement.

RE: What Needs to Happen
By FaaR on 2/23/2013 7:46:09 AM , Rating: 4
You don't have any such right, don't be ridiculous. Just look at the state of traffic in any of the world's major urban areas to "discover" how utterly WRONG you are.

You DO have inherit freedom of movement - you are born with legs (well, almost all people are) - what you do NOT have is inherit freedom of movement by driving an automobile anywhere you want, any way you want, anywhere you want.

That's a childish, self-centered fantasy, and you need to grow the frak up. Everything is NOT about you - contrary to what american pop culture may have been telling you all your life.

Space on roads is finite. Money and space to construct new roads is definitely finite. Ergo, you cannot be expected to have unlimited freedom to travel by car. This ought to be fraking self-evident to you, but somehow you have managed to evade this extremely basic observation.

RE: What Needs to Happen
By Reclaimer77 on 2/23/2013 9:21:18 AM , Rating: 2
Hey Comrade, where's your papers? You must have papers to travel this road! For the good of the Fatherland!!!

what you do NOT have is inherit freedom of movement by driving an automobile anywhere you want, any way you want, anywhere you want.

Uhhh in this country, yes, you do. As long as it's within the law. And the laws must be within the guidelines of the Constitution. Freedom of travel is a basic right. And it's disgusting that people like you would nitpick and "interpret" that in ways that are contrary to that intention.

Are you sure you should be living here? I think you would be better off somewhere else, where you have to show papers to get around.

RE: What Needs to Happen
By torpor on 2/23/2013 9:28:56 AM , Rating: 2
When the Romans built roads to allow the functioning of their empire, what company built the cars?

Roads are good for much more than just cars, but the OCD government types - and as a DOT engineer arguing road scarcity, you certainly qualify - can't seem to handle the idea that SOMEONE isn't controlling the whole thing moment-to-moment.

The ability to freely travel from here to there allows for most other features of modern civilization, especially trade. But folks like you are a small, easy step away from, "Papiere, bitte" every time someone wants to travel.

The history of the world demonstrates that government power is the greatest enabler of great evil. You should consider how the posted magnum opus could be terribly misused to realize why it will never happen.

You'd be much happier working for the Milwaukee Road. Perhaps you should look into that.

RE: What Needs to Happen
By Coldfriction on 2/23/2013 11:54:44 AM , Rating: 2
Roads hardly in use should be nearly free, but not free. Everyone arguing that the roads are free are full of it. One of the larger projects I'm on has a contract cost of $18 million for five miles of road on new grade running over four new bridges. How free is $18 million? How do you suggest that get paid for?

What I've suggested above is removing central government decision making so that it's not an individual deciding prices but the demand of the road that decides prices. Do you like the idea of representative taxation? I certainly do. Why not charge a small toll per mile of road used that directly funds the road being used and not some road in the middle of another state somewhere? If the price is allowed to rise to the free market levels, roads will be built where they should be and not where some government board decides they want one.

Believe it or not 93% of all roads funded in the state where I work come from the federal government. There's a place in this state that gets less than 2" of rain a year. Guess what? The feds require all disturbed soil be seeded there in the middle of the desert with your tax dollars. Those seeds will never germinate and never grow. It still costs money to put them down and it's required or the feds don't fund the work.

It must have been terrible during the industrial revolution to have multiple PRIVATE railroads competing for business and charging based on demand.

At the very least toll each lane at a different rate so that people who aren't willing to shell out the money to pay for the road don't slow down the people who are.

RE: What Needs to Happen
By Coldfriction on 2/23/2013 12:04:33 PM , Rating: 2
Correction to the above. 93% of all road funds come from the feds, not 93% of all roads are funded by the feds.

RE: What Needs to Happen
By tng on 2/23/2013 12:24:04 PM , Rating: 3
...the demand of the road that decides prices.
I like the idea, but you and I both know that the Feds will never revoke or discount the gas tax even if most roads are eventually paid for by use tolls. There is to much bureaucracy in DC that will block any such move and I am convinced that some federal gas tax funds are siphoned off for other uses.

RE: What Needs to Happen
By Coldfriction on 2/23/2013 12:29:42 PM , Rating: 2
I don't know the future so I can't be certain what the feds will do, but I do know that even if the feds never let go of their taxes, it'll be worth my time to point outg rediculous taxation until the day I die.

I'm a very strongly libertarian minded person, but I don't agree with everything in the party platform. You'd be surprised how many government employees aren't fans of the government, especially in regards to the feds.

RE: What Needs to Happen
By tng on 2/23/2013 12:47:57 PM , Rating: 2
You'd be surprised how many government employees aren't fans of the government, especially in regards to the feds.
Yeah I agree with you. I have been convinced for years now that we could replace every elected official in DC and it would change nothing because there are so many unelected people there that don't want change.

Tens of thousands of federal employees that all don't want to see any changes to their way of life, jobs, home and family. I can't blame them really, except that as I sit here on a Saturday and do my taxes, I realize that probably over 50% of what I make is gone for taxes and my family suffers as well...

RE: What Needs to Happen
By Mint on 2/23/2013 2:05:17 PM , Rating: 3
I realize that probably over 50% of what I make is gone for taxes and my family suffers as well...
You need to stop being so pessimistic and appreciate the society in which you have carved a top quintile life in (safe assumption, based on your tax statement).

Social security and welfare lets the elderly and poor purchase goods that provide demand to business. The Federal payroll (which is only 6% of spending, BTW) provides income to people which purchases goods from businesses. Federal contracts all provide demand for businesses.

The point is that we're all in this together and it's an interconnected system. It's ignorant to think that the gov't is making your family "suffer" through taxes when your income and that of everyone purchasing your employer's products is partly dependent - directly or indirectly - on the spending from those taxes.

We've entered a new era where we're producing all the needs of 313M people without needing to employ all of them, i.e. there is a shortage of free market work, and it's only going to get more severe with technological advances. It's a demand limited economy.

There was an economic case for lower taxes in the past, but banks now have excess reserves for the first time in history, i.e. there is more saving - even at negative real interest! - than there is safe investment opportunity.

It's a demand limited economy and primary demand is the only solution. If those with income don't spend enough of it, then it must be redistributed to those that do; otherwise, the economy will necessarily shrink. Economists in the past never envisioned such a sustained absurd situation: why would the wealthy (FYI I'm not talking about you) "save" their money at -1 or -2% real interest, watching it shrink in purchasing power, instead of spending/investing it now to maximize value and provide jobs/growth? Yet here we are...

RE: What Needs to Happen
By Coldfriction on 2/23/2013 5:20:27 PM , Rating: 1
You are somewhat confused as to what an economy is. The value of a dollar changes. If the very wealthy that have all the money were to evenly distribute it, you would not see the benefit you think because the dollars would devalue very quickly. Too many people assume we exist in a zero-sum system.

The point of NOT giving people money who haven't earned it is that they DO NOT contribute to the great society you talk about. There is no reason to give money to people to then have it given to corporations. There is always something that can be improved and traded. There is no such thing as a demand limited economy.

If those with income don't spend it, the value of the dollar increases and the trade value of goods decreases such that they become affordable. That is exactly what is happening today. Some people suck up so many of the dollars today that if they weren't to do so the dollar would collapse in value and inflation would be so bad that the economy WOULD collapse. Where do you suppose the quantitative easing dollars go?

Everyone can contribute to a better world and they should definitely give something back for what they get. Your way of thinking will destroy what we've got and reduce the nation to a worse standard of living. The government does not produce anything that makes an individuals life better unless they took the means to do so from a person to begin with.

The laws of economics are immutable, the system you think exists is a false economy and not what is really governing the trade of things and the standard of living.

If goods are cheap, let people produce art and trade that to beautify the world. Don't give to people who sit and do nothing. And give some portion of what you are able to earn to charity, because there are certainly people who really do need help, but don't force it from my hand or anyone else's.

5GHz? Really?
By 0ldman on 2/22/2013 6:19:46 PM , Rating: 2
5GHz has crappy propagation, it is blocked or absorbed by almost everything out there.

I have a 24 mile 5GHz link, several 5GHz broadcasts. Unless you can see your target you will not connect at 5GHz 99% of the time. Couple that with the power limitations on the first 3 sections of the band, the first being indoor only and the second and third 1W peak output, sometimes you can see the tower and still can't connect.

I really don't think opening the band further for WIFI is going to have any affect on a car rolling down the road.

RE: 5GHz? Really?
By FaaR on 2/23/2013 7:54:10 AM , Rating: 2
I really don't think opening the band further for WIFI is going to have any affect on a car rolling down the road.

While you make a compelling point, however these days many people have notebook computers, smartphones and tablet computers that contain wifi transcievers capable of creating their own access point and will thus be broadcasting stuff all the time, and frequently take these things with them as they move about in open urban environments.

Having tons of wifi access points in motion, in line of sight of perhaps hundreds of cars, will not exactly make things easier for intra-vehicular communication systems if all of these devices butt heads with each other by sharing the same spectrum.

By MGSsancho on 2/22/2013 11:13:43 PM , Rating: 3
Cry me a river auto makers. If you want spectrum buy it like every other commercial enterprise. Prime spectrum is expensive (2ghz-3ghz) so form a coalition of like minded people and buy it at the next auction. Cellphone industry did that and spend billions a few years back.

I understand the need for military, science, public works, public infrastructure, emergency services and public broadcast. But I will raise hell if a for-profit entity expects to be given free resources.

TL:DR, If you want spectrum then buy it.

By swizeus on 2/22/2013 11:20:10 PM , Rating: 2
which in turn make money for automaker industry

Utter lack of intelligence
By seebert on 2/23/2013 10:49:49 AM , Rating: 2
With gigabit wifi, it becomes *drop dead simple* to implement vehicle-to-vehicle as an open source software protocol under an ad-hoc connection.

The car manufacturers complaining about this are idiots. The FED just gave them about a billion dollars worth of development that they now don't have to do.

Utter lack of intelligence
By seebert on 2/23/2013 2:03:06 PM , Rating: 2
With gigabit wifi, it becomes *drop dead simple* to implement vehicle-to-vehicle as an open source software protocol under an ad-hoc connection.

The car manufacturers complaining about this are idiots. The FED just gave them about a billion dollars worth of development that they now don't have to do.

By Beenthere on 2/22/13, Rating: -1
By chromal on 2/22/13, Rating: -1
RE: no.
By rdhood on 2/22/2013 4:11:14 PM , Rating: 4
Not to be a stick in the mud or anything, but my car does not need to be talking to your car.

I disagree. The vast majority of traffic delays are caused by nothing more than reaction time. For example, lets say that you have a 10 mile line of cars stopped on the highway. In theory, all 10 miles of cars could accelerate together (limited only by the slowest vehicle's acceleration). In practice, each of the drivers begins acceleration after he reacts to the driver in front of him pulling away. This "stop and go" traffic causes accordian-like compression waves that move through traffic. All of this could be eliminated if cars communicated with each other.

On average, there are appx 320 cars per mile. That means 320x(average persons reaction time). If that time is 7 seconds, it will take 37 MINUTES from the time the first car pulls off to the time the last car moves. With inter-car communications, that time can be reduced from 37 minutes to relatively instantaneous. THAT is why this spectrum is needed. It has the potential to save lives, and drastically reduce traffic jams.

RE: no.
By mscrivo on 2/22/2013 4:21:02 PM , Rating: 2
very nice explanation

RE: no.
By JPForums on 2/25/2013 9:22:25 AM , Rating: 2
It is a very nice explanation, but it is too idealistic and exaggerates the problem. I've never seen anyone wait anywhere near 7 seconds after the car in front of them moves before they move (not even great grandma with her nerve-wrackingly slow reaction time). Look at a clock and watch it for seven seconds. It's a whole lot longer than you seem to think. That said, the premise is still valid even if a whole lot less severe than you make it out to be.

In an ideal world, computer's in your car would be capable would be capable of addressing or avoiding traffic congestion with a zero chance of error, conflict, communications loss, or mechanical failure. In such a case, simultaneous acceleration is possible. However, even this issue brought up here should tell you that will never happen. There is never a guarantee that some form of interference won't cut off communications. Furthermore, until all cars are equipped with such a system, it can't possibly achieve simultaneous acceleration safely. Therefore, a more conservative (less efficient) approach must be taken. Another point of interest is that to achieve simultaneous or near simultaneous acceleration, control must be taken from the driver. There is little difference in reaction time to a vehicle moving vs an indicator telling you you can move. Plus, only the computer would know the safe rate of acceleration. Having control of the vehicle randomly usurped (and by extension returned at random) would create huge problems. You would most likely need to fully automate the driving to prevent wrecks from reactions to sudden control switches.

Until society as a whole is comfortable with automated drivers, your idealistic traffic jam reducer won't work. A single manual control vehicle would require the entire set to play it "safe".

RE: no.
By Reclaimer77 on 2/22/2013 5:06:38 PM , Rating: 1
Oh please....

I'm with the OP. No, just no. Not in my car.

Technology magically eliminating traffic is a fantasy. Anyone with common sense can see this.

RE: no.
By Solandri on 2/22/2013 8:20:53 PM , Rating: 2
Believe it. If you count the number of cars passing a point on a highway, there are three ways to increase it:

- add more lanes
- increase the average speed
- decrease the space between cars

The last two are contradictory due to human reaction time. Which is where technology comes in. If tech can enable decreased space between cars with increased speeds, you reduce traffic jams.

Here's a video showing how dramatic an impact human reaction time has on disrupting the smooth flow of traffic.

RE: no.
By Reclaimer77 on 2/22/2013 9:48:33 PM , Rating: 2
You realize most Americans, by a huge margin, do not live in heavy traffic areas right?

If tech can enable decreased space between cars with increased speeds, you reduce traffic jams.

As a blanket statement this is false. "Traffic jams" are not universally caused by slight delays in reaction time and spacing.

Even if you reduced these factors to their smallest realistic number, eventually you would still reach a point where there are too many vehicles for a given space. IE, you need more lanes and alternative bypasses.

While this technology might benefit a small number of people, if it's even reliable enough to be feasible, the best solution for everyone is good road designs and highway expansions.

RE: no.
By chromal on 2/22/2013 6:24:27 PM , Rating: 1
The "stop and go" accordian pattern you describe doesn't require a world in which every car auto-drives and communicates with the cars up and down the road in some mesh network-- it just requires drivers to pay attention and drive appropriately. Average the speed of the car in front of you so that he starts going again just as you approach his bumper, etc.

Anyway, it's unrealistic to expect every car on the road to be self-driving and participating in this network, if only because of people like me. I don't even want my car shifting the transmission for me, much less driving itself. Anyway, attentive drivers are not the problem.

RE: no.
By dbwells on 2/22/2013 6:54:53 PM , Rating: 2
This "stop and go" traffic causes accordian-like compression waves that move through traffic. All of this could be eliminated if cars communicated with each other.

The main reason a line of cars cannot all accelerate at once has little to do with reaction time and everything to do with safety. Cars cannot safely travel at high speeds without significant space between them, and no technology can change those physics. A line of cars takes time to move because it takes time to restore the gaps which were destroyed by the stopping process.

If we all agreed to leave 30 to 100 feet (depending on the desired speed) between us and the car in front of us, even when stopped, then yes, we could all accelerate together. But, at the end of the day, you haven't gained anything other than confusing or angering the people behind you.

RE: no.
By tng on 2/22/2013 6:56:09 PM , Rating: 2
All of this could be eliminated if cars communicated with each other.
Sounds nice on paper I guess. I on most even months I spend allot of time in just such traffic as you describe and I find your explanation of it a little to simple for real life. It really does not take into account the couple of cars in the line that have faulty tranceivers and can't connect up, or the car that can but due to poor maintenance looses connection with the cars around it (the woman who owns the car is wondering why her check engine light is on).

Also what I don't see here is any remedy for real world interference. That one signal that your car misses due to a lightning strike at the right moment and you don't slow down in time.

I am sure that these things will be worked out, but I will not be one of the people to buy into the first gen of this, let other people be the real world crash dummies, so to speak.

RE: no.
By Solandri on 2/22/2013 8:26:39 PM , Rating: 2
Also what I don't see here is any remedy for real world interference. That one signal that your car misses due to a lightning strike at the right moment and you don't slow down in time.

This is the psychological hurdle self-piloted cars have to get over. Just like with nuclear power and airliners, even if their average track record is safer than the alternatives, people will still consider it outrageous when it fails and insist on returning to the older more dangerous system "because of safety".

RE: no.
By tng on 2/22/2013 11:29:01 PM , Rating: 1
nuclear power
Yeah, nobody in Japan died or will die in the future because of the consequences of nuclear power.
Yes it is really safe compared to other forms, but people have and will continue to die in accidents.

All things considered, yes there are benefits to this idea, but I am just pointing out that in the early days of aviation, there were allot more accidents than today.

RE: no.
By wordsworm on 2/23/2013 1:26:33 AM , Rating: 2
Nuclear power's true issue will always be with waste disposal. How can we build containers which can outlast the waste?

I don't see the comparison here at all. What kind of catastrophic accident could a computer cause that a human cannot? An airplane crash can kill hundreds. If a computer-controlled vehicle crashes, I don't see how it would be something spectacular like a nuclear melt down either.

In any case, I for one would welcome the chance to take a nap during the commute... I could be making mad love to my wife in the back of the van while it slowly oozes its way into that slurm hole known as Vancouver. Really, who here can honestly say they'd rather drive a car than watch a show, play a game, play nooky with the mrs, etc.?

RE: no.
By Kurz on 2/23/2013 11:35:19 AM , Rating: 2
LFTR google it.
Watch it on Youtube.

Spread the word.

RE: no.
By tng on 2/23/2013 12:39:32 PM , Rating: 2
I was just saying that every tech has it's risks. The problem is that with a traffic control system like is predicted above, there may be no way to evaluate all of the potential failure points without turning the driving public into crash dummies...

In the situation proposed by the gentleman above, a mile long line of cars, all starting and stopping at the same time, has so many issues that need to be addressed.

First not all cars accelerate at the same rate so how will the control compensate for that? The same is true for braking, how much space does the control leave in front of you to stop? If you take into account the spaces between cars that the system will need to compensate for this, suddenly there are allot fewer cars in that "mile long line of cars".

The system is suddenly not as efficient as we would like to believe.

RE: no.
By Coldfriction on 2/23/2013 1:19:31 PM , Rating: 3
You realize with automated traffic the traffic jam wouldn't form to begin with right? It's an attempt to show the potential, not how reality would look.

RE: no.
By tng on 2/23/2013 4:56:38 PM , Rating: 2
You realize with automated traffic the traffic jam wouldn't form to begin with right?
Yes, I get it, but I work on some very complex systems that are interconnected with other complex systems through complex processes.

This week I spent hours finding that the root cause of an issue we have had this month is a change that we made in June of last year. There were consequences that have just now propagated through a series of systems, came around and bit us in the a$$.

I am not for or against this type of system, I think that on certain roads this would help, but not on all roads. I also think that this is more complex than just my car talks to your car, or my car taking commands from an integrated system.

RE: no.
By Coldfriction on 2/23/2013 5:26:16 PM , Rating: 2
The existing road system is subject to children throwing rocks at cars, idiots tossing mannequins off of overpasses, drunks, mechanical failures, people on phones, etc. You hear about all the falicies of the existing road system all the time. A terrorist could really just drop spikes out their window to completely shut down traffic on a busy road for hours. Things are always easy to break for people who want to; society exists on a certain level of trust that the vast majority of people don't want to. You think the minor issues with an automated road would be any worse than what we've got? Fear has stopped more great changes in the world than anything else ever could hope to.

RE: no.
By tng on 2/23/2013 8:11:25 PM , Rating: 2
You think the minor issues with an automated road would be any worse than what we've got?
Point taken.

RE: no.
By kyuuketsuki on 2/25/2013 11:24:57 AM , Rating: 2
And how the hell would an automated cars/roads do anything at all about rocks being thrown at cars, people tossing debris onto overpasses, mechanical failures, or a "terrorist" throwing spikes out their car window? All those things are in fact one of the major issues with an automated system: making it react appropriately to unexpected situations.

RE: no.
By Coldfriction on 2/25/2013 11:59:28 AM , Rating: 2
You miss the point. There is no zero risk system. The closest thing to a zero risk system is a maximum security prision. The question isn't whether there is risk or not, it's whether the system is better than another system at managing it.

And making automated cars that talk to each other negates a lot of the crazy issues that happen with the things I listed. No crazy reaction from drivers is every bit as good as drivers being able to react to crazy scenarios. Vehicular accidents are rarely caused by sound judgement; rather they are caused by over-reaction. No automated car will swerve in a crazy way for a dummy and cause a multiple car and multiple death pile up. Automated systems allow for sane deceleration upon the detection of a hazard by ONE vehicle if that vehicle can communicate to the rest around it. Currently cars do not communicate hazards beyond brake lights. Automated cars mitigate more risk for the scenarios provided due to a computer not reacting as poorly as a person to unexpected events.

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