Daily Placebo

  • Friday, September 08, 2006
  • Reroute The Reroute.

    Ever since the TL came out with live in-dash traffic advisories, I've expected this problem. Well, not a problem, but a trend. Its obviously a good idea. You've got a map and routing in your dash why not add traffic support and rerouting based on estimated road conditions? And that's what BMW thinks too. They're rolling out a system in 44 US cities that will reroute nav-equipped 3,5,6-series, X5, M5 and M6 models. I can only assume this is the beginning, how long before Hyundai's have in dash computers and this ability?

    And therein lies the problem. See this technology is based on getting an using intelligence before the enemy. (that guy next to you in the Ford Probe.) If you know to turn right at the next intersection, you'll be around the accident and on your way. But when everyone has this, there will be secondary traffic jams as everyone's car uses the same information in the same algorithms to compute the same alternate route. And all of a sudden the primary road is devoid of traffic, making the few people driving '96 civics without nav systems laugh all the way to the bank. (if for example they commuted to work at a bank)

    So what's the solution? More advanced algorithms? More obscure alternate routes? I'm convinced that we need to let cars talk to each other. I've had this idea for basically text messaging to the car directly in front, left, right, or behind you. But that's only the beginning. If we would use route planning and let properly equipped cars exchange those "flight plans" they could achieve a sort of hive mind. "You go left, I'll go right, and we won't clog up all the roads." Of course that's what's best for everyone and doesn't really play into American philosophy. Maybe your car should observe what kind of driver you are and they'd agree to put slower drivers on the pussy route, and faster drivers on the balls-out route. But that's almost in line with my theory that we should have varying grades of licenses and build a second set of roads underground for those that can't get an 'A' grade.

    Oh, I just got another idea. As long as our cars are talking to each other and observing traffic, your car could query the oncoming traffic to get more recent conditions reports.
    Your car: "What's the road like up there?"
    Blue Acura: "Effed up."
    Red Camry: "I came from (insert road to the east) and it was better."
    That'd make for a more social data network, rather than the central content distribution network they've got planned now. Of course that'd either require sensors to determine traffic quality that you car isn't experiencing (across a median), or they'd have to query oncoming traffic for bidirectional information. So the car in front of you (lets say heading south) would talk to the blue Acura (heading north) about road conditions ahead and the Acura would pass that information on to you as you did the same for him. Effectively passing traffic information (number of cars, current speed, average speed, even which lanes are moving faster) down the road to where there is no traffic problem yet.

    digg it


    At 7:44 AM, Blogger theKirkness said...

    or we could just make people retest every 2 years and DMV should give driving tests in real life driving conditions.. like say, a mall parking lot in mid December or rush hour traffic.

    i think there is traffic beacuse of jack ass drivers. if the speed limit is 65, what dumb ass fucked up 40 miles ahead to make us all slow down to 10. .. im on the highway why am i stopped?

    i hate you blue acura


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