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Transportation Communications Privacy Technology

DoT Proposes Mandating Vehicle-To-Vehicle Communications 261

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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  • by iluvcapra ( 782887 ) on Wednesday August 27, 2014 @04:46PM (#47769161)

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

    Splitting the lane is legal in many states. []

  • by ganjadude ( 952775 ) on Wednesday August 27, 2014 @04:57PM (#47769259) Homepage
    really? your link says otherwise

    California is the only state in the country where lane-splitting is legal.

    "Basically, what we're most interested in is the speeds," Pope said. "You should lane-split no faster than 10 mph over the speed of traffic around you, and we recommend (motorcyclists) not split at all if the traffic is faster than 30 mph."

  • Re:Official Vehicles (Score:4, Informative)

    by macs4all ( 973270 ) on Wednesday August 27, 2014 @04:58PM (#47769275)

    because that amounts to surveillance. The closest thing to current system would be a detector placed at certain locations and would only ticket vehicles within 50meter radius. This would be similar to traffic cameras.

    ...Or those mysterious PAIRS of buried "loop detectors" (complete with a SHIELD buried between them, so that the "triggers" produced are crisply-timed), that have appeared (complete with the $50k (guessing) controller-boxes hiding in the bushes off the side of the road). What do you think a PAIR of loop detectors (positioned so you drive over one, then the other, in quick succession) in the SAME LANE is for?

    I'll give you a hint: They are ALWAYS positioned within eyesight of the tall "lighting" towers (you know, the ones with the pan/tilt/zoom cameras in them, that the gummint called people crazy and paranoid for saying they (the hidden cameras) were there, until they started broadcasting the signals from them on the TV news every day).

    Check it out. I am an embedded developer who has some experience working with vehicle loop detectors, and I can recognize a SPEED DETECTOR when I see one (that's why there are two detectors, to develop an "interval" between the signals, and the shield is to make the "detection time" more reliable (loop detectors were originally not designed to be so precise)).

    They started appearing about 5 years ago on the interstate system in the state in which I live, and I have seen them in other states of the U.S.A., too. But no one EVER talks about them...

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

    Here's a more technical discussion from NHTSA. [] 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.

All science is either physics or stamp collecting. -- Ernest Rutherford