Thursday, March 09, 2006

IST Results - Research on the road to intelligent cars Thought that occurred to me today on the road - it would be pretty easy with today's tech to implement a mandatory speed limit - simply have wireless transmitters attached to current speed limit & other road signs, and Onstar type recievers on all new cars, integrated with the cruise control and braking systems. Of course there are many issues. Reliability is key - woe betide the municipality that fails to program their school zone time slots correctly, or worse yet slips a digit, and all cars try to zoom through at 200 MPH instead of 20, or crawl by at a measly 2; retrofit of existing cars would be difficult, especially for models lacking the "option" of cruise; and the American public in particular would probably reject draconian legislation of the concept out of hand. Maybe if it was advertised as discretionary - an optional feature that the driver can disable, similar to current cruise control, just an advanced, automated version to follow the speed limits (maybe even 5 or 10 over, user preference settings depending on the perceived laxity of your local law enforcement). Further "carrot" instead of "stick" approaches could include indemnificaion against speeding tickets, somewhat like what current radar/laser detector vendors claim to offer; insurance discounts like those offered for defensive driving courses, etc.
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