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When Will the Automotive Internet Arrive? 261

Posted by timothy
from the heavy-traffic-for-better-throughput dept.
DeviceGuru writes "European researchers are developing a cooperative traffic system, known CVIS (Cooperative Vehicle-Infrastructure Systems), comprised of vehicle-, roadside-, and central infrastructure-based communications hardware and software, including vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) and vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) wireless. Among other capabilities, cars communicate with each other and with 'smart traffic signals' to smooth the flow of traffic and avoid accidents, or with 'smart traffic signs' to avoid dangerous driving conditions. The CVIS project is in the midst of undergoing field trials in Europe, and Audi has recently deployed 15 test vehicles in a similar project. The ambitious vision of intelligent transportation systems (ITS) includes goals such as reduced traffic congestion and fuel consumption, enhanced safety, and improved driver and passenger comfort. Ultimately, the developers envision a sort of Automotive Internet."
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When Will the Automotive Internet Arrive?

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  • by Kenja (541830) on Saturday June 12, 2010 @04:38PM (#32552184)
    I sense a great disturbance in the force, as if dozens of anti-virus executives where salivating all at once.
  • IPV6 (Score:5, Insightful)

    by stavrica (701765) on Saturday June 12, 2010 @04:44PM (#32552222) Homepage Journal

    If they're smart, they'll build it out on IPV6.

    (Those who consider this to be obvious should remember that the government is involved.)

    • Re:IPV6 (Score:4, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 12, 2010 @04:51PM (#32552258)

      They use IPV6 and linux.

      In CVIS, the standard network protocol for 2G/3G communication is IPv6 (Internet Protocol version 6). In case no native IPv6 is available via 2G/3G, IPv6-over-IPv4 tunnelling can be accomplished via a CVIS-specific tunnel device driver and some sort of tunnelling software like OpenVPN.

      The Operating System is the key foundation of the CVIS platform. The choice of operating system fundamentally affects portability, stability and extendibility of the whole CVIS system. Linux was chosen as it is freely available, has good quality, industry-standard development
      tools and its license arrangements require access to source code.

      Quotes from http://www.cvisproject.org/download/ERT_CVIS_FinalProject_Bro_06_WEB.pdf (page 10 and 11)

    • Re:IPV6 (Score:5, Funny)

      by camperdave (969942) on Saturday June 12, 2010 @04:58PM (#32552320) Journal
      Oh come now. Everyone knows IPv4s are more fuel efficient.
    • Re:IPV6 (Score:5, Funny)

      by ascari (1400977) on Saturday June 12, 2010 @07:32PM (#32553252)
      Anything less than ipV8 in a car would be decidedly un-American.
  • s/Audio/Audi/
  • The CVIS project is in the midst of undergoing field trials in Europe, and Audio has recently deployed 15 test vehicles in a similar project.

    I believe you mean Audi. From the article:

    Audi has been conducting research into intelligently controlled traffic for several years in a project known as “travolution.” Among other objectives, the project aims to enable cars to communicate with traffic lights in order to provide smoother traffic flow and reduced CO2 emissions. The company last week released a statement describing the project and reporting on its progress.

  • by stokessd (89903) on Saturday June 12, 2010 @04:52PM (#32552268) Homepage

    So much for the "Don't text and Drive" billboards, now we'll have don't "4Chan and Drive" or "/b/ and Driving = Death you friggin B'tards"

    Sheldon

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      So much for the "Don't text and Drive" billboards, now we'll have don't "4Chan and Drive" or "/b/ and Driving = Death you friggin B'tards"

      Sheldon

      Should we be warning them?!

  • there is a problem (Score:5, Insightful)

    by papabob (1211684) on Saturday June 12, 2010 @04:54PM (#32552274)
    there is a small problem with the current aproach: until "every" car gets the system installed, it's nearly useless. The protocol need to "know" that every other vehicle is going to act accordingly its specification. The false sense of security these devices can provide is very dangerous in case a car break the rules (not only by malice, just think in a malfuction like the infamous toyota) because the react time will be reduced ("The car from the back is too near, lets send a message to brake", "Ups, no response, maybe an interference, lets try again", "wow, its must be broken, lets speed up, i'll send a message to the front car to speed too", "Ups, no r...CARRIER LOST"),
    • by Urkki (668283) on Saturday June 12, 2010 @05:32PM (#32552558)

      there is a small problem with the current aproach: until "every" car gets the system installed, it's nearly useless.

      I don't think so. I mean, even if a single car had this, and then there were roadside sensors, that single car could benefit from the sensor network. Now replace roadside sensors with just a few percent of the cars having sensors, and benefits should be pretty clear.

      And once something like half of the cars would have the system, the behaviour of the other half could be predicted quite nicely within certain limits. After all, a car driving between two cars will normally (ie. until it overtakes or turns) stay between those two cars and behave very predictably.

    • by Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) on Saturday June 12, 2010 @05:45PM (#32552630)

      there is a small problem with the current aproach: until "every" car gets the system installed, it's nearly useless. The protocol need to "know" that every other vehicle is going to act accordingly its specification.

      That's far from true. For one thing, even if every car were to have the system installed, that's no protection against bad actors.

      If the developers have even half a brain they are designing the system to operate defensively rather than trustingly. That principle will limit what the system can achieve, but it also means that it will be resistant to deliberate attacks as well as accidents and non-participating vehicles. Considering that failures in the system will result in lives lost, I'd say that there is no other way to design it but defensively.

  • Hopefully Never (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Black Gold Alchemist (1747136) on Saturday June 12, 2010 @04:54PM (#32552278)
    I hope the Automotive Internet never arrives. Why? Because of three issues: privacy, security and bugs. First, this system is basically a giant handout to authoritarians and fascists world wide. One of the goals of all governments that don't care about privacy is to track every private car. They know that measure has to be phased in gradually, so we need to fight against every step of the way. Second, security is a huge issue. We know that we can never provide a %100 percent secure desktop platform - so how in the world are we going to provide a secure automotive platform? Third, bugs are going to be a huge problem - see the Toyota situation. If we have 100 million lines of code, and we have 1-2 bugs per thousand lines, we get 100-200 hundred thousand bugs in the car's software. It's surprising that we don't have more cars flying down the highway uncontrollably. I hope we have less computers in cars in the future, maybe even none if we really could. It'll be tough but it would save a lot of money and a lot of hassle.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by TubeSteak (669689)

      I hope we have less computers in cars in the future, maybe even none if we really could. It'll be tough but it would save a lot of money and a lot of hassle.

      Without computer control, combustion engines can't meet mileage and pollution standards.
      Without computer control, electric/hybrid motors are vastly less efficient.

      Unless we switch over to an entirely different engine technology, computers are here to stay.

      • We do need to switch over to another technology, like superconducting energy storage or metal-air fuel cells. Then we will still have computers but it will be incredibly simple. Instead of this complex system measuring the engine constantly and doing all this crazy stuff, you'll have a system that converts an analog signal to a PWM signal and that's it.
      • by couchslug (175151)

        Some computers are not like others. It is not reasonable to compare engine management (which can fail without disaster) to systems which influence or control acceleration, steering and braking.

    • by H3g3m0n (642800)
      Firstly, this internet isn't going to be connected to the systems that drive your car. The worst that happens is you loose your music or someone screws with your GPS navigation.

      Secondly, cars are already heavily computerized. There was the Toyota breaking problem which was fairly bad, but I haven't heard of any other issues. Cars are already very complex systems, they have 'bugs' of their own the breaking issue was a computer one but it could have just been normal mechanical failure, there is no data to
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by paeanblack (191171)

      I hope we have less computers in cars in the future, maybe even none if we really could. It'll be tough but it would save a lot of money and a lot of hassle.

      That depends on what your vision of the future is.

      In the US, single driver commuters spend an average of 4 hours per week getting to work and back, and only a small minority rate this as a pleasurable activity. Recovering those billions of lost man-hours per year is one of the biggest benefits of an automated highway system. Furthermore, the vast majori

      • My belief is that automated cars will never happen. As soon as someone is killed or hurt by an automated car, there will never be automated cars again. People who drive for fun will find other means of driving for fun - some of them might actually support such a system. People are too afraid of computer systems.
        • As soon as someone is killed or hurt by an automated car, there will never be automated cars again.

          Yeah, because regular cars, airplanes, boats, skateboards, rollerskates, hang gliders, and jet skis are all retired forms of transportation.

          I'm sorry to say this, and I'll try to be polite as possible, but that's an asinine belief that an entire technology line would be retired on one incident, or that even a rash of incidents would cause a permanent shelving. The best example would be nuclear power. Chernobyl and Three Mile Island both put *huge* amounts of fear in to people about nuclear power, and yet th

      • by couchslug (175151)

        If you live in a crowded hive the solution is mass transit, not streams of wasteful transport modules.

        Replace select roads with trains, and force the issue. Suburban and interurban light rail work very well and have done so for more than a century.

    • My uncle has a country place,
      No one knows about.
      He says it used to be a farm,
      before the Motor Law.

  • by wealthychef (584778) on Saturday June 12, 2010 @04:55PM (#32552296)
    I'd always assumed everyone would have to be plugged into an automated system, but actually, maybe it only takes a relative few cars. In fact, if you just drove a line of cars side by side along the freeway at the speed limit so that nobody could pass them, and just kept such barriers every 10 or 20 or 30 miles, then I think it would help to eliminate the incentive for everyone to act so crazy to gain 30 seconds' advantage, thereby causing congestion. I've always thought it was the lange changes and sudden maneuvers that cause the most problems in traffic.
    • by nurb432 (527695)

      I've always thought it was the lange changes and sudden maneuvers that cause the most problems in traffic.

      "Merging" seems to be the biggest problem in my area. ( yes its a form of lane changes, but in theory, 'controlled' )

    • by Brett Buck (811747) on Saturday June 12, 2010 @06:03PM (#32552738)

      In fact, if you just drove a line of cars side by side along the freeway at the speed limit so that nobody could pass them, and just kept such barriers every 10 or 20 or 30 miles, then I think it would help to eliminate the incentive for everyone to act so crazy to gain 30 seconds' advantage, thereby causing congestion. I've always thought it was the lange changes and sudden maneuvers that cause the most problems in traffic.

            In a way, you are right. Idiots running side by side at the same speed causes people to figure out ways to get around them. Multiple-lane highways exist for a reason, and the *right* lane is the *slow lane* and the *left lane* is the fast lane. As near as I can tell doing as you suggest is a violation in all 50 states of the union.

                BTW, truckers passing through Kentucky on I-75 (and probably elsewhere) were protesting the different speed limit for trucks and cars by lining up side by side at the border, and running exactly the speed limit all the way across. That resulted in absolute carnage as people tried to pass on the shoulder, and lined up for miles behind them. If your proposal were implemented, I would expect a huge increase in accidents as people got around the "blocker cars".

                Traffic accidents are not caused by excessive speed to any great extent, they are caused by bad driving and discourteous driving - and your proposal is a classic example of both.

              Brett

  • Cost effective? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Kohath (38547) on Saturday June 12, 2010 @04:56PM (#32552298)

    At some point, it might make more sense to reduce congestion by building enough roads with enough lanes for the cars.

    • Re:Cost effective? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by dodobh (65811) on Saturday June 12, 2010 @04:58PM (#32552314) Homepage

      Cars don't scale. Mass transit scales better.

      • Re:Cost effective? (Score:4, Informative)

        by Black Gold Alchemist (1747136) on Saturday June 12, 2010 @05:03PM (#32552342)
        Don't think it's green [templetons.com].
        • Re:Cost effective? (Score:4, Informative)

          by MollyB (162595) on Saturday June 12, 2010 @05:27PM (#32552514) Journal

          The link you provided shows that cars use more BTUs per passenger mile than anything but two light rail systems. Other mass transit systems (bus, jet, commuter train, etc.) all beat the automobile. Usually one provides links to buttress one's argument, or am I just too old-fashioned? (already know the answer...)

          • It's the average car, like you said yourself. And look at the Tesla, the Tango and the ebikes, the hybrids. Advanced cars > transit.
            • by macshit (157376)

              It's the average car, like you said yourself. And look at the Tesla, the Tango and the ebikes, the hybrids. Advanced cars > transit.

              Of course, you should apply the same technology level -- the technology used in U.S. transit is typically far worse than what's used in other advanced countries, and much more poorly run (especially in cities just dabbling cluelessly in transit, which tend to be the ones that choose "light rail") -- and the equation may flip again: "Advanced Transit > Advanced Cars"

              But of course you can't just measure things with BTUs as if transportation was a computer game. For instance, one of the biggest problems

              • I like the way our cities are. I don't care they are "more about cars than people". I don't care about space, because the united states alone could hold 15 billion people at Los Angeles densities. I care about fossil fuel use. What this proves is that mass transit is not a workable solution in reducing fossil use. I'm sick and tired of all these "community" people whining about the "character of our cities". People need to realize that the public wants a car-based society, even if they don't say it. The cha
      • by Kohath (38547)

        Cars go where you're going when you're going there.

        Mass transit goes places and runs on a schedule with only occasional regard to the particular needs of travelers.

        Cars are paid for by the people who use them. Roads are paid for by the gas tax from the drivers of the cars.

        Mass transit is subsidized by taking money from people against their will -- people who don't use mass transit and derive no substantial benefit from mass transit.

        • by ian mills (721167)
          Right, because city roads aren't funded out of general funds. Oh wait, they are. The illusion that roads are paid for by gas tax is just that, an illusion. The fact is that all forms of transit are subsidized.
          • by Kohath (38547)

            City streets aren't a subsidy for drivers. Cities had streets long before cars were invented. Streets are part of what a city is. The residents of a city should pay for the streets. They use them and benefit from them whether they drive a car or not.

            Mass transit tends to mostly benefit mass transit riders at the expense of non-riders. Mass transit riders don't even come close to paying for the operating cost (not including actually building anything) of mass transit.

      • by talcite (1258586)

        That's true, but for smaller cities mass transit is terrible.

        Having moved from a city of population 5 million to one of population 800 000 I have first hand experience of this. I went from 5 minute waits to 45 minute waits in -30C weather. Even bikes are a better choice than mass transit here.

        • by dave420 (699308)
          Maybe in your city, but not in others. Karlsruhe, Germany pioneered a method of public transportation where regional trains travel on tram tracks through the city. That means you can get on a tram outside your house/business/pub/whatever and travel to anywhere in the region (400km of track), with interchanges to actual trains (that travel for thousands of kms) very easy. It works very well if it's done right. And bikes are great, too, as the city is rather flat (the modern bicycle was invented there).
        • by jjoelc (1589361)

          Another one for the "Mass Transit Sux" crowd. I live in a metropolitan area of about 2 million right now, and it takes almost 2 hours to go the 10 miles for my morning commute. (no joke, but I do it anyway) And this is one of the better systems I have had to use. Most of the places I have lived before either didn't have ANY mass transit at all (population 6k or less, so pointless anyway) or only sporadically, and only in very restricted areas of town (population 200k) Until I can truly work from home, with

        • That's because it's a perpetuating cycle. The transit sucks, so no one uses it, so there's no incentive to improve it (nor funding), so it continues to suck so still no one uses it. With a larger population base, at the least you'll get enough people willing to put up with it that you can spare the cash to tweak the system.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Zironic (1112127)

          That's sorta funny considering that http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stockholm [wikipedia.org] is about that size with one of the best transit systems in the world http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stockholm_Metro [wikipedia.org]

      • I use Berlin U bahn, S bahn and RE trains just about every day... One of the best, most efficient and comprehensive mass transit systems in the world. But they only carry a fraction of the journeys (about 5%) which are made in the areas they service (Berlin/Brandenburg). They simply could not cope with a 20 fold increase in usage and there's no realistic way they could be made to cope.

        Take a look at Germany's passengerkm stats per mode of transport to see just how the different modes compare.

        • by macshit (157376)

          I use Berlin U bahn, S bahn and RE trains just about every day... One of the best, most efficient and comprehensive mass transit systems in the world. But they only carry a fraction of the journeys (about 5%) which are made in the areas they service (Berlin/Brandenburg). They simply could not cope with a 20 fold increase in usage and there's no realistic way they could be made to cope.

          Take a look at Germany's passengerkm stats per mode of transport to see just how the different modes compare.

          There are major population centers where rail transport accounts for a majority of travel (e.g., Tokyo), so clearly rail can scale, if done well, in appropriate circumstances.

          Rail works fine for cases where it's suited (medium distances in areas with dense travel patterns), and allows greater density and efficiency, but there are clearly circumstances where it's not suited (rural mountain-top villages, sprawling American-style suburban wastelands).

          But even for rail-friendly locations, transportation is

      • by pongo000 (97357)

        Cars don't scale. Mass transit scales better.

        Not in the eighth-largest city in the US. [dallasnews.com]

        I would suspect other places as well are finding mass transit is not the panacea the environmentalists make it out to be.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by tftp (111690)

          I would suspect other places as well are finding mass transit is not the panacea the environmentalists make it out to be.

          Mass transit doesn't work because there are no "masses" to transport.

          In the old USSR there were buses going to and from industrial areas. So when people go to work they take those buses, and the buses are full, and the fuel economy is achieved, and it's inexpensive. Once the shifts at factories start, the buses start going less frequently, until the next batch of passengers is expect

      • by PPH (736903) on Saturday June 12, 2010 @10:07PM (#32553932)

        Mass transit is like delivering e-mail using the old bang path notation via UUCP [wikipedia.org].

        There. I've used a bad Internet analogy to explain cars.

    • by OzPeter (195038)

      At some point, it might make more sense to reduce congestion by building enough roads with enough lanes for the cars.

      I think that they tried this in California. If you had ever tried to drive on their freeways you wouldn't be making brash statements like that.

      I agree with dodobh's reply that mass transit scales better .. but with the caveat of "in dense(r) areas"

      • by Kohath (38547)

        I live in California now. California likes cars. The freeways here are great.

        I lived in Portland for a while. Portland hates cars. Traffic congestion was much worse in Portland than it is here in California.

    • by TubeSteak (669689)

      At some point, it might make more sense to reduce congestion by building enough roads with enough lanes for the cars.

      There's no such thing.
      More roads with more lanes => more retail/housing construction => more traffic => congestion.
      It was only relatively recently that anyone sat down and did a study which showed this reality.

      The future of traffic management is definitely *not* more roads and more lanes.

      • by Kohath (38547)

        More roads with more lanes => more retail/housing construction ...

        So more people will have better housing for less money? It sounds like they'll be able to lead better, happier lives that way.

        And all it takes for this substantial improvement in living standards is to build more roads? Maybe we should get started doing that right away.

        => more traffic => congestion.

        So we can build even more roads then. They improved living standards once. Why not continue to improve?

        The future of traffic management is definitely *not* more roads and more lanes.

        Because freedom and better living standards are no longer the goals of the people who deal with traffic management. In fact, they want

    • No really it is.

      Thought experiment. You have a road. You can safely put a car along the road every 2 seconds. What is the capacity of the road? 1800 cars per hour.

      You put a parking garage at the end of the road. it takes 15 seconds to get a ticket and enter the garage. What is the capacity of the road now? 240 cars per hour. You just cut road capacity to 13% of nominal and created a huge traffic jam. Welcome to reality.

      Our traffic problems are created because we don't get cars off the roads fast enough when

    • Re:Cost effective? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by IrquiM (471313) on Saturday June 12, 2010 @06:21PM (#32552844) Homepage

      There isn't enough room for more lanes everywhere.

      • by Kohath (38547)

        So only build them some places and not "everywhere" then? My post suggested we do the thing that is "cost effective". That should include more lanes when the objective financial numbers support more lanes.

  • Smoothed and improved traffic flow can be observed whenever and wherever traffic signals cease operating. Assuming this new system has more downtime than the current traffic lights system, the new system will indeed improve traffic flow.

  • And I hope I am not close to a road on that day too.
  • Why is technology the solution to congestion?

    How about get all the cars off the road, replace with smaller vehicles, eliminate the need for so much road use and mandate that office hours be flexible and staggered.

    Also, overpopulation (be it overall country levels or specific centralised areas) isn't helping. You can't keep building roads and then not expecting them to fill up.

  • iPhone (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Beer_Smurf (700116) on Saturday June 12, 2010 @05:02PM (#32552336) Homepage
    Or just the small bit of programming that lets my iPhone know when it is in my car?
    Then it can give me all that data and I don't have to buy the expensive, soon obsolete hardware in the car.
  • Finally (Score:3, Funny)

    by goodtrick (1201109) on Saturday June 12, 2010 @05:20PM (#32552468)
    Our car analogies will become apt!
  • I hope never. I know *I* will fight it to the end. Computers do have their place, but sticking one in every nook and cranny 'just beacuse' is irresponsible.

  • Hopefully NEVER. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Saeed al-Sahaf (665390) on Saturday June 12, 2010 @05:27PM (#32552512) Homepage
    Hopefully NEVER.

    For everything good that could come out of this, several somethings BAD will come out of it. Speed tracking for automatic tickets and insurance increases, and - NO TIN FOIL NEEDED - government tracking. The Brits will be the first to require this.

    As soon as it's possible, the insurance companies will require this and jack your rates through the roof without it. As well, if your driving does not fit their statistical profile, your rates will goe up. As technology improves, if you take those right-turn-on-reds too fast, your rates will go up. Spend too much time in the "wrong" part of town? Your rates will go up.

    The government will for sure figure out a way to leverage the information from this technology for some sort of tax increase.

    There is no real benefit to having an Internet connected auto. Flying cars are a fantasy, road / highway technology has reached it's zenith.
  • I'm amazed that I seem to be the first one to say anything about minority report...

    Assuming us arrogant bastards in the USA don't want to give up our cars (likely) and you can convince us to simply give up DRIVING our cars (NOT likely, perceived lack of control is one of the main reasons cited by people nervous of flying) such a system really would be the ideal. We'd likely have to black out all the windows though, because people tend to get nervous seeing other cars cross traffic with mere inches to spare

    • by macshit (157376)

      I'm amazed that I seem to be the first one to say anything about minority report...

      Assuming us arrogant bastards in the USA don't want to give up our cars (likely) and you can convince us to simply give up DRIVING our cars (NOT likely, perceived lack of control is one of the main reasons cited by people nervous of flying) such a system really would be the ideal. We'd likely have to black out all the windows though, because people tend to get nervous seeing other cars cross traffic with mere inches to spare while traveling at high rates of speed.

      Of course, for any of that to work, the vehicles must have very reliable and predictable behavior, which seems very unlikely if everybody's responsible for maintaining their own vehicles....

  • I think researchers have already found ways of compromising this [slashdot.org].
  • I researched a report on intelligent highway systems 25 years ago in college. They've been promising this shit forever just like fusion power and AI.
  • by tylersoze (789256) on Saturday June 12, 2010 @06:51PM (#32553006)

    If any article deserves that tag, you think it'd be this one.

  • And it would give suggestions on which way to go while recording data.(While the human actually controls the car the whole time.) I can see a few problems though. First off in this scheme alot of people would ignore the advice to go the way they want to go. However the big reason why people might ignore it is they might not trust it if they get bad advice a few times. I live in the Boston area and our "smart traffic" service has this problem. It often doesn't get updated for close to an hour. Since they don
  • by Jane Q. Public (1010737) on Saturday June 12, 2010 @09:56PM (#32553894)
    If something like this were to be implemented, your location would always be known. If not to the public, at least to the "authorities".

    I just do not see a practical way to keep the Big Brother aspects out of it, unless they were to build some kind of filter so that "the authorities" could not see personal information without a warrant or something. Heck, they could even set up a totally automated system to mail out speeding tickets. No police cars required.

    I'll pass, thanks very much.

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