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Cloud Transportation Networking Technology

Ford Demonstrates Networked Cars 115

Posted by Soulskill
from the p2p-road-rage dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Ford is touring U.S. cities demonstrating a technology that appears to closely resemble a private dynamic network among multiple cars. The cars connect to each other via short-range Wi-Fi (which actually has a reach of half a mile) and enables vehicles to exchange location and movement data. Being aware of each other's location and movement direction enables them to help drivers avoid collisions, especially in situations where obstacles cannot be identified fast enough. The technology could be available for consumers as soon as 2013."
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Ford Demonstrates Networked Cars

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  • Avoid collisions becomes "create collisions"??
    • by FatAlb3rt (533682)
      It sounds like hacking this means you don't get warned, how is that creating collisions?
      • It sounds like hacking this means you don't get warned, how is that creating collisions?

        It doesn't. He's mugging for an 'Insightful' mod.

        • I think if if you can hack the system so it says to another driver:
          "Vehicle approaching from left...change lanes to avoid vehicle...warning...collision warning...turn left now to avoid collision...turn left now to avoid collision..."
          you will get a fair number of people who would turn left regardless of whether there is someplace to turn left to or there is something in the way.

          • I think if if you can hack the system so it says to another driver:
            "Vehicle approaching from left...change lanes to avoid vehicle...warning...collision warning...turn left now to avoid collision...turn left now to avoid collision..."
            you will get a fair number of people who would turn left regardless of whether there is someplace to turn left to or there is something in the way.

            You watch too much TV.

            • Yes. News reports of people following directions from their GPS navigators turning into ditches, going the wrong way down one-ways, etc...

              And I would think people would be even more likely to blindly follow whatever directions this 'safety' system would provide versus the directions from GPS navigators.

              • Yes. News reports of people following directions from their GPS navigators turning into ditches, going the wrong way down one-ways, etc...

                Not due to hacking.

                • I think I have to go with both "whoosh" and you, sir, are an idiot.

                  1) My original reply started with "I think if if you can hack the system"
                  2) I refer to examples where people blindly follow directions from a device in their car. If they follow the faulty directions of a device in their car, it makes no difference if those directions are a result of hacking, incorrect data, or a butterfly flapping it's wings in the final pangs of death on the other side of Mars.
                  3) The software industry does not have a gr

                  • 1) My original reply started with "I think if if you can hack the system"

                    Speaking of whoosh, you're not just talking about hacking the system, you're talking about completely pwning it in a way that, so far, hasn't even been managed with cell phones in the way you're describing. So were you inspired by Eureka or Smallville?

                    3) The software industry does not have a great record of producing software that cannot be hacked.

                    Enhance!!!

                    • > Speaking of whoosh, you're not just talking about hacking the system, you're talking about completely pwning it in a way that, so far, hasn't even been managed with cell phones in the way you're describing. So were you inspired by Eureka or Smallville?

                      Actually, this kind of thing has happened repeatedly. For example, there have been several jailbreaks for iOS devices simply by surfing to a specific website. And since this system, as described, involves the cars actively communicating with one another

                    • Actually, this kind of thing has happened repeatedly. For example, there have been several jailbreaks for iOS devices simply by surfing to a specific website. And since this system, as described, involves the cars actively communicating with one another, it certainly is possible.

                      Not really. The reason it worked on iOS is that it had a malformed file (PDF I think?) that the USER had to DIRECT the phone to go open. How are you going to get two cars, that are talking to each other automatically, to do that? Are cars even going to have PDF support? Okay I'm being facetious, but there's no indication in the article that these cars are sending anything binary to each other. In fact, they go into numbers about what these things send to each other and it's comically small . You'd h

                    • Ugh, this is pointless.

                      You have exhibited a:
                      -lack of awareness of history of issues with software (namely their vulnerabilities and how they have been exploited by others)
                      -lack of the ability to extrapolate a scenario that has happened repeatedly in the past to a new situation
                      -lack of a basic understanding of inter-computer communication (in particular, you have some bizarre belief that it makes a difference if the communication is initiated by an end-user versus a computer)
                      -lack the awareness of how good s

                    • You have exhibited a:
                      -lack of awareness of how the exploits you've mentioned actually work.
                      -lack of a basic understanding of how this sort network would actually work.
                      -lack of an understanding how how one would actually get into a network
                      -lack of awareness of how fictional TV really is.
                      -lack of a good rebuttal.
                      -lack of humility because you think reading a bunch of Slashdot headlines makes you well informed.

                      It's not possible to you because the door is open for it to happen, it's possible to you because you d

    • You might get phony alerts, but this doesn't take control of the car. You're still driving it. Bored teenage "hackerz" might break the system, cause it to cry wolf too often, but you're still the one operating the car and presumably won't follow instructions to drive into another car.
    • and hackers become murderers.

    • either that or all the fords will suddenly start spamming jeeps with "Nigerian offroad driving" offers.
  • That management center would then help you avoid a traffic jam by sending traffic information to your car via a cellular signal. However, such a system is even further out in the future and it is unclear who would even pay for the technology. Consider the fact that Ford says that the combined technology could reduce gasoline consumption by 4 billion gallons a year, which could cost the government upwards of $1 billion in tax revenue. Would or could the government pay for such a system? I doubt it.

    Odd reasoning. For one thing, GPS systems already can do this. For another, "Could the government pay" for the tax cut? Since we're talking about politics, that doesn't make sense. Taxes get cut if the politicians can sell it, not because of silly things like numbers, or because tax revenue is higher than spending.

    Silly journalists...

    • by cdrguru (88047)

      Most of the real problems in rerouting around traffic jams is that there really isn't anything great in alternatives. Maybe there is an alternate expressway, but you need to know so far in advance that the traffic problem you were avoiding has disappeared by the time you get there. And getting off the expressway onto surface streets usually doesn't help. You may not be as frustrated sitting parked on the road, but you do not get where you are going any faster.

      Then there is the traffic management problem.

      • by Ichijo (607641)

        The problem of dumping too much traffic onto city streets is avoided by setting the exit toll to the market equilibrium rate.

        Similarly, the problem of congestion on adjacent freeways is also avoided by setting the per-mile toll to the market equilibrium rate.

        Allowed to work, the market actually does a pretty good job of avoiding shortages, including the kind known as "traffic congestion."

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Avoiding traffic jams and saving money is is great! But how about creating convoys for long drives? IT would be nice to hook up to a network of cars going from City A to City B and go driverless and maybe be able to drag - yeah, I know the lead car will take a huge hit in miles/km per gallon/liter but still, you see where I'm going.

    Good grief, along I-20 from Atlanta to Myrtle Beach could use that during the Summer - or even Birmingham to Myrtle Beach!

    • by FatAlb3rt (533682)
      the lead car will take a huge hit in miles/km per gallon/liter

      That's better than today where pretty much every car is the lead car. I imagine the networked cars can ride about 24 inches between one another too.
    • yeah, I know the lead car will take a huge hit in miles/km per gallon/liter but still, you see where I'm going.

      Actually, it won't. Unless the rear cars shut off their engines and physically connect up to the lead car, it can even make the lead car more efficient.

      Spoilers on cars (not ricer 6 foot high plywood ones, but the little lip molded into the trunk lid) improve fuel efficiency by breaking up the vacuum behind the car with turbulence. The alternative is the vacuum tries to suck the car backwards.
      If another car is 2 feet behind you, powering itself into your vacuum, then the compression of air in front of it

  • range may be to long
    and overload
    on the wifi
    on the cpu
    on the software.

    may happen in a area with a lot of cars

    also how will older non wifi cars work with the new wifi ones.

    • by andrewd18 (989408)

      range may be to long
      and overload
      on the wifi
      on the cpu
      on the software.

      Burma Shave!

  • I'd be very interested to see this used for some kind of mesh networking. I suspect it'd be way cheaper to equip every car on the road with some kind of repeater, than it would be to build out a nationwide set of cell towers. Assuming they could address the security (some kind of encrypted tunnelling, maybe), it could be a way for a smaller operator to get into the ISP business.

    • by paulsnx2 (453081)

      We need to develop mesh networking for all sorts of reasons.

      1) This will be the only way to have affordable networking over roads
      2) This is the only way to compete with ATT and Verizon over the long haul
      3) We need actual privacy. We can build encryption into the protocols and avoid "checkpoints" as we have in our ISP based access
      4) The more devices on the network, the higher its capacity
      5) As storage continues to fall in costs, such mesh networks can be increasingly important in storing data in distributed

    • by psyclone (187154)

      That would be an insane amount of hops and ultra-high latency to pass packets from your car down a few streets/miles to a node on a landline somewhere.

      Would be sweeter to use this network to "chat" with cars around you. Like "D-bag in the red truck, get off my ass!" or "milf in yellow sports car!", or even the intended action of real-time and local traffic information. (E.g. congestion ahead for next 2 miles, then clears after that (near exit 14))

  • by paulsnx2 (453081) on Friday July 15, 2011 @05:36PM (#36780456)

    Why are we waiting for Ford to build these kinds of systems?

    What do you need? A radio? A computer? A display?

    Sounds like an android app. Then I can use it in any car.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      1. we're too lazy to even spell out 'corporate'
      2. it is more fun do other things when tinkering/hacking than make cars 'talk' to each other
      3. have you seen transformers? this is how it started.
      4. I know how to drive and not hit things.

    • by EmagGeek (574360)

      Probably because Ford owns patents that cover much of the technology and will sue anyone else who tries to do it into oblivion.

    • Except Ford is using Microsoft for their systems.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ford_Sync [wikipedia.org]

  • The one thing I worry about is people becoming reliant on the technology to warn them of danger and becoming less observant. Sort of like when my brother couldn't figure out which way was West until the GPS told him despite many very obvious indicators (mountains, sun, etc.).
    • The one thing I worry about is people becoming reliant on the technology to warn them of danger and becoming less observant. Sort of like when my brother couldn't figure out which way was West until the GPS told him despite many very obvious indicators (mountains, sun, etc.).

      ::Hack:: Please turn OFF at the next light.

    • by geekoid (135745)

      I have known people like that from well before GPS.
      If people aren't trained in it the won't know. Often in cities there is no reason to know.

      Doesn't matter, soon cars will not have drivers. As much as I love driving, I can't wait for that day to get here.

      • by ultranova (717540)

        Doesn't matter, soon cars will not have drivers. As much as I love driving, I can't wait for that day to get here.

        Neither can the lawyers, which is why it'll never become. And it it does, well... it'll give a whole new meaning to the Blue Screen of Death!

        Which, in turn, means that the lawyers were actually saving human lives. That kinda boggles the mind.

  • There are several cars on my street that have wi-fi. Whenever they go buy, it impacts the signal. now it's just a couple of cars, but what about when its 30 cars, most of which will be on the same channel? Or hundreds of cars going buy n the free way?

  • "Honest officer! My car is infected with malware and it told it to speed down the road at 95 miles per hour!"
  • http://www.its.dot.gov/connected_vehicle/connected_vehicle.htm [dot.gov] I can't possibly add more info than the government is already putting out on this subject and we need to let the government know this is ridiculous. It was formerly known as Intellidive but the US DOT is moving forward on funding a road system and cars that will eventually take over when they believe a crash is imminent, or I assume any other reason the government believes you should (or shouldn't) stop. This should scare the shit out of you com
  • will bring a whole new meaning to the word 'wardriving'.
  • What, nobody quoted this yet ? "Never underestimate the bandwidth of a station wagon full of tapes hurtling down the highway" Mix in some Johnny Mnemonic data courier services, P2P Mesh Networking, Onion Routing, Geotagging and presto, the Diamond Age "MediaNet" is here ! IPV6 Ptooey, Who needs it in a world with Traffic Lights and Ford Transport Protocols ? ;)
  • "... and you are exceeding the posted speed on this highway. Your vehicle ID has been logged, and your vehicle is now being rerouted to McDonalds indicated here, "where America is lovin' it", and you will be served with a notice of infraction as well as a discount on a cup of McCoffee (limit one per violator)."

    The US DOT Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) Program has been going on for a very long time. It's taken at least half a decade just to get to the point where there are some practical standards.

  • Based on the scathing reviews of My Touch and Synch, I'd suggest Ford stick to just making cars and leaving the tech to somebody else.

  • I had this idea many years ago, but only for car-to-car communications.. some kind of short range WiFi, text and voice communication between cars. I think it would be kind of cool, like having a CB radio, but geekier.

  • When I learned to drive, I was told that a fundamental principle was not to exceed a speed at which you could comfortable stop in the distance you can see is clear.

    When did that go out the winddow?
  • This is actually a part of CVIS (cooperative vehicle infrastructure systems) project http://www.cvisproject.org/ [cvisproject.org] for at least 6+ years. Currently CVIS is a part of ITS WC group The demo mentioned in the article was already demonstrated many-many times before in numerous European cities starting from late 2008/early 2009, but since it was mostly research organizations performing these demonstrations, it didn't generate sufficient publicity to attract /.

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