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Transportation Communications Privacy Technology

DoT Proposes Mandating Vehicle-To-Vehicle Communications 261

Posted by Soulskill
from the car-talk dept.
schwit1 sends word that the Dept. of Transportation's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has given notice of a proposal (PDF) for a new car safety standard that would require vehicle-to-vehicle communication equipment in all new passenger cars and light trucks. The NHTSA thinks this will facilitate the development of new safety software for vehicles. They estimate it could prevent over 500,000 crashes (PDF) each year. "Some crash warning V2V applications, like Intersection Movement Assist and Left Turn Assist, rely on V2V-based messages to obtain information to detect and then warn drivers of possible safety risks in situations where other technologies have less capability. ... NHTSA believes that V2V capability will not develop absent regulation, because there would not be any immediate safety benefits for consumers who are early adopters of V2V." The submitter notes that this V2V communication would include transmission of a vehicle's location, which comes with privacy concerns.
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DoT Proposes Mandating Vehicle-To-Vehicle Communications

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  • Oh, really? (Score:5, Funny)

    by chinton (151403) <chinton001-slash ... m ['mai' in gap]> on Wednesday August 27, 2014 @03:33PM (#47768287) Journal
    I'm already quite good at vehicle-to-vehicle communication.
  • Official Vehicles should have a special V2V tag so we can be warned of firetrucks coming around blind corners and police hiding behind billboards.
    • Re:Official Vehicles (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Anon-Admin (443764) on Wednesday August 27, 2014 @03:41PM (#47768377) Homepage Journal

      Instead they will configure the V2V so that cops can simply read your speedometer as you pass. No need for radar and no way to argue it in court.

      • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 27, 2014 @03:47PM (#47768463)

        They will, or you assume they will? There's a difference...

        Besides, who cares how your speeding is detected? If you're speeding you're speeding. There's no "it's ok as long as I don't get caught"-clause.

        • by 0123456 (636235)

          Well, duh. Once they have mandatory tracking of all vehicles, you really think they won't use it?

        • Re: (Score:2, Troll)

          by digsbo (1292334)
          As long as you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear. Now bend over.
        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by laie_techie (883464)

          Besides, who cares how your speeding is detected? If you're speeding you're speeding. There's no "it's ok as long as I don't get caught"-clause.

          I agree with you 98%. The system must detect if it's on public roads or private property, and also the flow of traffic (if traffic is going fast, you probably should go fast, too). I agree that our laws need to be obeyed even if there's little chance of getting caught.

        • They will, or you assume they will? There's a difference...

          I know they will.

          Besides, who cares how your speeding is detected?

          I do. This business of coupling of ends and means is a loosing proposition.

          If you're speeding you're speeding. There's no "it's ok as long as I don't get caught"-clause.

          Acceptable methods of detection is a critical question for any society of humans. The right to be left alone is core component of the social contract.

      • by macs4all (973270)

        Instead they will configure the V2V so that cops can simply read your speedometer as you pass. No need for radar and no way to argue it in court.

        ...and they will have a field in the protocol that will MASK the display of cops, so they can hide, even when they want you to NOT be able to hide...

        Hacking the Protocol in 3... 2... 1...

    • by ganjadude (952775)
      followed shortly by cops(and hackers) having the ability to shut down any car it chooses? no thanks
  • Just wait (Score:5, Funny)

    by halivar (535827) <<moc.liamg> <ta> <reglefb>> on Wednesday August 27, 2014 @03:36PM (#47768327) Homepage

    Soon there will be a mod so you tell the guy who just cut you off, "fuck you, you fucking fuck, right in the fucking fuck-fuck-fuck" at max volume using their cabin speakers. I'll probably hear it a lot.

    • Soon there will be a mod so you tell the guy who just cut you off, "fuck you, you fucking fuck, right in the fucking fuck-fuck-fuck" at max volume using their cabin speakers. I'll probably hear it a lot.

      I used to have the perfect bumper sticker for situations like this, it read, "I'm not deaf! I'm ignoring you!"

  • This will be a great safety boon for motorcyclists. If that inattentive driver's car will let him know I'm coming, then he won't turn directly into my path.

    • by ganjadude (952775) on Wednesday August 27, 2014 @03:44PM (#47768421) Homepage
      That would be good, but just make sure you remember to stop weaving in and out of traffic with no blinker, or drive between cars in their lanes because they are going to slow for you.

      I know this sounds like a knock at bike riders but its not, i ride myself, but far to many bikers (more often than not on crotch rockets) tend to ignore traffic laws just as much
      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by iluvcapra (782887)

        [...]or drive between cars in their lanes because they are going to slow for you.

        Splitting the lane is legal in many states. [sfgate.com]

      • by sl149q (1537343)

        Bike riders complain that cars and trucks break the law.

        Motorcyclists complain that trucks and cars break the law.

        Cars complain that trucks, cyclists and motorcyclists break the law.

        Commercial drivers throw their hands in the air and complain that everybody else breaks the law. Ditto for bus drivers.

        To get all biblical... And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?

        Which is also why 80% of all drivers (of all types of vehicles) think th

  • by arit (1338477) on Wednesday August 27, 2014 @03:40PM (#47768365)
    This will simply open up new attack surfaces on unsuspecting vehicles [blackhat.com].
  • by brentonboy (1067468) on Wednesday August 27, 2014 @03:43PM (#47768399) Homepage Journal

    > transmission of a vehicle's location, which comes with privacy concerns.

    We already had this debate when they mandated installing lights on vehicles, which also transmits the location of a vehicle and raised privacy concerns. In the end, the ability to not crash into invisible cars beat out the privacy concerns, IIRC.

    • by macs4all (973270)

      > transmission of a vehicle's location, which comes with privacy concerns.

      We already had this debate when they mandated installing lights on vehicles, which also transmits the location of a vehicle and raised privacy concerns. In the end, the ability to not crash into invisible cars beat out the privacy concerns, IIRC.

      Quite a bit different, depending on how far the transmission can be received.

      For example, if your vehicle is equipped with OnStar, your location is Tracked [time.com] and possibly SOLD, even if you have elected to NOT subscribe to the OnStar "Service".

      Apparently, only pulling the fuse (or chopping the antenna wire), stops this ridiculous intrusion.

      And worse yet, since OnStar isn't a Governmental Agency, by definition, it (technically) CANNOT abuse your Constitutional Rights [npr.org], PERIOD.

  • Oh look, Protesters. Let's brick their car with V2V.

    I'm sorry. I have ZERO confidence that V2V will not have a back door for abuse by authorities, never mind the hacker/crook people.

    It would have to be passive and have an OFF switch.

    • This conclusion you have is because you're paranoid.

      Modern cars already have wireless communication attached to their security systems. Government mandated backdoors wouldn't require a wide-ranging communications network to work.

      • by jeffmeden (135043)

        This conclusion you have is because you're paranoid.

        Modern cars already have wireless communication attached to their security systems. Government mandated backdoors wouldn't require a wide-ranging communications network to work.

        Actually you probably mean backdoors wouldn't require a *new* wide-ranging communications network to work... The OnStar system (and others like it) already have their own nationwide communication system (the cellular phone network) to allow law enforcement access to vehicle data, AND the ability to disable the vehicle remotely. And you know what? It's because people *want* that feature:

        "Stolen Vehicle Slowdown is a prime example of a safety service that our customers rely on us to provide,” said George Baker, emergency services outreach manager, OnStar. “We have a strong relationship with law enforcement that has allowed us to refine our processes, promote teamwork and more quickly recover stolen vehicles for our subscribers.”

      • The mandate would force everyone onto the network and provide a common attack surface. I can't wait for the fun to begin. Here's a teaser [gizmodo.com].
    • I'm sorry. I have ZERO confidence that V2V will not have a back door for abuse by authorities, never mind the hacker/crook people.

      It might not be all bad... the viral propagation of a V2V worm across the country could end up being quite amusing...especially if infected vehicles began issuing zombie warnings when encountering other infected vehicles.

      Propose renaming "Intersection stop line violation" bit in BSM Part II vehicle safety extension element to "Zombies"

  • by seven of five (578993) on Wednesday August 27, 2014 @03:49PM (#47768483) Homepage
    I can't text and drive but my car can....
  • Let's start a pool to guess when the first accident due to a hacked communications system will occur.....
  • Make sure the police kill switch is implemented without any meaningful security.
  • by Charliemopps (1157495) on Wednesday August 27, 2014 @03:59PM (#47768631)

    This is the wrong way to go about it. The government should not be involved in this at all.

    Mandate the standard not the use of the technology. i.e. "IF you are going to implement this safety feature, communication with the other vehicle must happen via RF (or whatever) on X frequency. Pulse Y indicates speed, pulse Z indicates direction..." etc...

    • This is the wrong way to go about it. The government should not be involved in this at all.

      Mandate the standard not the use of the technology. i.e. "IF you are going to implement this safety feature, communication with the other vehicle must happen via RF (or whatever) on X frequency. Pulse Y indicates speed, pulse Z indicates direction..." etc...

      Did you not even bother reading the summary, much less the article? "NHTSA believes that V2V capability will not develop absent regulation, because there would not be any immediate safety benefits for consumers who are early adopters of V2V"
      Under your proposal, why would any consumer pay extra for a car that "implement[s] this safety feature", considering it doesn't work unless everyone else around has one too?

      Anti-government nuttery aside, this actually is one of the areas were regulation and required us

  • Thankfully, we have the most open and technologically-savvy Administration in history. He uses e-mail like, OMG, daily (!!11!) and has, like, the most Twitter-followers of any US President too [guinnessworldrecords.com]. Seriously, like, ever!..

    Nothing to worry about... Our lives, rights, and freedoms are in good hands. Please, don't hate.

  • A 'warning system' to supplement the drivers' own sense of situational awareness would be fine. However: No 'taking control of the vehicle from the driver' for any reason. Anything that facilitates drivers to drive more safely is good thing. Similarly I'm all for better driver training and better driver testing.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by jratcliffe (208809)

      If we could snap our fingers, and migrate every car in America to a driverless system with no driver interaction, we'd save thousands of lives and hundreds of billions of dollars. Want the enjoyment of driving? Go to a track. Public roads are for transportation from A to B.

      • by OhPlz (168413) on Wednesday August 27, 2014 @04:25PM (#47768935)

        Democracy demands that at least 50% plus one agree with you.

        This is going to make vehicles even more expensive. It's not clear how effective these systems will be. It's not clear how exploitable these systems will be. I don't want the authorities to have a simple way of ordering vehicles to do things that the driver does not agree to. I don't trust software to take control away from the driver. Then you're still going to have older vehicles (which will suddenly be worth a lot more money), bicycles, motorcycles, equestrians, etc that won't be participating in this V2V conversation.

        Then, is this going to encourage drivers to be even more inattentive? I already cringe at the commercials that show drivers futzing with things in the back seat or picking stuff off the floor and the collision avoidance saves them. Great, but that doesn't mean you're now free to be inattentive! If anything, cars should be less safe and speed limits higher to force people to pay attention, or else.

        • by iluvcapra (782887)

          This is going to make vehicles even more expensive.

          We'll have to see what it does to insurance premiums.

        • by drinkypoo (153816)

          Democracy demands that at least 50% plus one agree with you.

          The people believe whatever they're told to believe. Americans were told that cars would bring them freedom, security, and individuality. Instead, the vehicles can be seized at the least pretext without recourse other than waiving of fees (if you are lucky), any attempt to flee a natural disaster will result in joining a traffic jam, and the individuality is just like everyone else's.

          I love driving. It is probably my second-favorite activity in the whole wide world, although I've never actually flown anythi

          • by OhPlz (168413)

            Never had my car seized. Not sure where you're going with that. Don't really care much about the natural disaster bit, most of us will be fortunate enough to never be in one. Public transport can only move so many people at a time too, so.. not sure about that either. Go to the 4th in Boston sometime and ride the subway after, it jams up every time.

            The nation is too spread out for effective public transportation. The American Dream is owning a house in the suburbs. Those that don't want to deal with i

        • by Tom (822)

          I don't trust software to take control away from the driver.

          While I completely agree, subjectively, I also understand enough psychology and statistics to know that a) the feeling of control is mostly emotional, not rational. It's why your mother in the passenger seat is scared in situations where you as the driver are completely cool - you are in control, she is not. That she's more easily agitated only makes it more visible. It's a well-documented fact that experiencing the same situation once in control, or even just seemingly in control, and once not in control i

      • "Trains". Those are called trains.

    • That is how the technology will start but as it improves, it will surpass humans. For example, we already have numerous systems to assist drivers: blind spot warnings, lane stability control, and front-end collision detection. Most of these systems have been around for several years and over time they will be refined to the point that they're better at detecting danger and reacting than humans. For the time being, I'm with you in that I wouldn't trust a vehicle to take control away from me, but we're rap
  • I have frequently wished there was a reliable way to tell somebody "your tail light's out," "your blinker's on," or best of all, "stop tailgating me, you stumpcock."

    A "tattle on that vehicle" button would also be nice.
  • "The submitter notes that this V2V communication would include transmission of a vehicle's location, which comes with privacy concerns. "

    For the purposes of reducing accidents and facilitating things like lane changes, there's no reason for the location to be transmitted more broadly than a few hundred metres around the transmitting vehicle, nor for either the transmitting vehicle or receiving vehicles to store that location for more than 10 minutes or so. I'm not too worried about the impact on privacy if

    • by 0123456 (636235)

      That just means you need a receiver every few hundred metres to track everyone. That's not particularly expensive, at least in cities or along major highways.

  • Is this the same DOT that for years defied US legislation mandating backup-cameras becoming standard equipment in vehicles?

    In 2008, Congress passed a law (signed by GW Bush) requiring the DOT/NHTSA to put together rules requiring backup-cameras in cars. The law set a deadline of 2011 for the DOT. And 2011 was just a deadline, so they could have implemented the rule in 2009 if they wanted. Instead they put off the setting the rule until just about six months ago in 2014. It won't be finalized until 2015

    • Wow. Such idocy rules the neo-cons/tea* today.
      The reason for the COMMUNICATION is to have a single standard in which all cars talk and can tell each other that they are slowing down/speeding up. It does not mean that all will have sensors, etc. It will simply mean that they have the ability to talk.

      This has NOTHING to do with Obama. This has to do with a bit of intelligence in the DOT. As to the back-up cameras, they really do NOT offer up much value. VERY FEW accidents involve a driver backing up and h
      • by snsh (968808)

        "VERY FEW accidents involve a driver backing up and hitting cars/kids"

        That should be "very few FATAL accidents involve a driver backing up and hitting cars/kids". I think the national total is around a dozen fatalities a year. On the other hand, scuffed and dented bumpers are probably a daily occurrence and many malls, parking garages, and city streets around the country. Heck, just look at the bumpers of your own car and count the dings.

  • shocked i tell you that California didn't think to mandate this first! we are slacking.
  • Just yesterday, I was driving on I-80 in Reno. There was a lot of traffic backed up (Burning Man) at one exit that I didn't see and had to come to a screeching halt (fortunately stopped in time and they guy behind me was able to swerve into the next lane).
    If I had had V2V, I theoretically would have had warning of the problems in time to avoid the panic stop.

  • People wonder how we'll ever convince Americans to give up ownership and switch to rented, self-driving cars...

    We'll do it by:
    a) Jacking up insurance rates on people who still want to drive
    b) Jacking up the price of vehicles by mandating expensive equipment

    In 30 years, you won't be able to afford a car, much less afford to drive it. I'm not making a moral judgement here, I just think it's bound to happen.

  • In terms of safety impacts, the agency estimates annually that just two of many possible V2V safety applications, IMA and LTA, would on an annual basis potentially prevent 25,000 to 592,000 crashes, save 49 to 1,083 lives, avoid 11,000 to 270,000 MAIS 1-5 injuries, and reduce 31,000 to 728,000 property-damage-only crashes by the time V2V technology had spread through the entire fleet.

    These figures are quite amusing ... how can the range of estimates vary by several orders of magnitude while concurrently expecting anyone to take anything you have to say seriously?

  • by neonv (803374)

    A malicious driver only needs to transmit fictitious messages while driving to cause traffic jams, or even worse cause traffic accidents.

    An interesting person may force traffic to part for them like some kind of modern day hacker Moses.

  • by Animats (122034) on Wednesday August 27, 2014 @05:58PM (#47769815) Homepage

    Here's a more technical discussion from NHTSA. [nhtsa.gov] At page 74-75, the data elements of the Basic Safety Message I and II are listed. The BSM Part I message doesn't contain the vehicle ID, but it does contain latitude and longitude. The BSM Part II message has the vehicle's VIN. So this is explicitly not anonymous.

    Back in the 1980s, when Caltrans was working on something similar, they used a random ID which was generated each time the ignition was switched on. That's all that's needed for safety purposes. This system has a totally unnecessary tracking feature.

    Most of this stuff only works if all vehicles are equipped. It also relies heavily on very accurate GPS positions. However, there's no new sensing - no vehicle radar or LIDAR. The head of Google's autonomous car program is on record as being against V2V systems, because they don't provide reliable data for automatic driving and have the wrong sensors.

    If something is going to be required, it should be "smart cruise" anti-collision radar. That's already on many high-end cars and has a good track record. It's really good at eliminating rear-end collisions, and starts braking earlier in other situations such as a car coming out of a cross street. Mercedes did a study once that showed that about half of all collisions are eliminated if braking starts 500ms earlier.

    V2V communications should be an extension of vehicle radar. It's possible to send data from one radar to another. Identify-Friend-Foe systems do that, as does TCAS for aircraft. The useful data would be something like "Vehicle N to vehicle M. I see you at range 120m, closing rate 5m/sec, bearing 110 relative. No collision predicted". A reply would be "Vehicle M to vehicle N. I see you at range 120m, closing rate 5m/sec, bearing 205 relative. No collision predicted". That sort of info doesn't involve tracking; it's just what's needed to know what the other cars are doing. It's also independent of GPS. Useful additional info would be "This vehicle is a bus/delivery truck, is stopped, and will probably be moving in 5 seconds.", telling you that the big vehicle ahead is about to move and you don't need to change lanes to go around it.

  • by Macdude (23507) on Wednesday August 27, 2014 @06:12PM (#47769951)

    How about we just implement a system that when a vehicle brakes hard it also send out a low power directional signal (to the rear) that reads "Hard Braking, #1 vehicle, ".

    Then every vehicle that receives it replies with "Hard Braking, #2 vehicle, " and every vehicle that receives it replies with "Hard Braking, #3 vehicle, ", etc. Then at some predetermined cutoff point (number dependant on the vehicle's speed) the vehicles stop propagating the message.

    The point of the random number is so that your vehicle can ignore multiple receipts of the same braking event while not identifying the vehicle.

    That should cover the vast majority if situations that you want your vehicle to warn you about.

  • Forget the happy horseshit about super-safe robot cars. We don't have those, and they won't work when we do. This is about the ability to track all the vehicles in the world, either by private entities who will backdoor the info to government and political groups, or straight-up security force tracking. Not just here, but all over the world. We are building turnkey police state infrastructure. If you can't grasp this, you might want to contemplate how privileged you are not to ever feel endangered by cops o

    • We are building turnkey police state infrastructure.

      The last of my mod points expired yesterday. What a shame because this right here is decidedly very insightful and bears repeating. Sure, a lot of people feel safe and secure and think this will only be a good thing... until they find out that any good from it is an unintentional side effect. By then, it will be too late.

      In short, you are a paranoid nutter... but you are right.

  • Smoke signals.

  • There you are on a public road plainly displaying a license plate and you have some expectation of privacy! That is just plain nuts. Obviously people in public view are not in any form of private state. A license plate makes an even more public declaration of where you probably are. This nonsense has gotten so off base that people have no clue as to what private really means.

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