More DSCR Discussion

On 2/16/2014 11:47 PM, Mahon, Tom (DNR) wrote:    Peter Moncure responds…..

I can see benefits and serious hazards to this  technology.   Could the same technology be used to disable a  vehicle being pursued  by police? (Or, would smart crook would find a way to  disable the device.)

Yes. Or they could disable any vehicle they feel like, at  any time. They  are already using license plate recognition on every car   they get behind. It then keeps a record of everything associated with that plate.   The question of disabling a vehicle, or for that matter, performing  any action other than informational to the driver, is not yet firmly  decided.  Applying brakes for an invisible-to-the-driver hazard in  the roadway is probably the biggest safety benefit, but the degree  to which it will be optional or will be able to be overridden by the    driver is not yet known.  That would apply to both car-to-car and   car-to-roadside.

Could it be used to monitor someone’s travel route  and time?  (Wouldn’t a search warrant normally be required?)

Yes and yes. But of course, there are lots of things that  require a  warrant that have been bypassed by federal agencies. You  know, like cellphone records, etc…  For car-to-car, well no, at least, no more than would be possible by  actually following the desired car with a squad unit.  After all,   the “SR” in DSRC is “short range” and for a car unit it’s probably  less than 1000 feet.     For car-to-roadside, the answer is much more complicated, and    depends on the privacy and liability answers Tom raises, as well as  the density of installed roadside units which will be far from  ubiquitous on most roads

Could a stalker or angry ex-spouse use the technology  to pursue their  victim? (Who would be liable for the unintended  consequences?   Wrongful death? Domestic Violence?)
Yes, and likely no one.  This is really a variation of the question above, and has the same answer.

What’s to stop someone from hacking the system and  causing havoc on  the highway by sending out false messages to other   vehicles? ? (The
jerks that get their kicks writing a computer virus  will have fun with this stuff.)

Not much, if anything.    For car-to-car systems, a hacker would require access to the car to hack its input or output.  He could set up a “fake car” message and  send it locally, but this would be risky for him as it could eventually be tracked.  Radio hackers imitating police calls are    perhaps similar, and not too prevalent.  Like many foolish and dangerous behaviors, this one would no doubt be tried and found  guilty.  (ok ok bad pun)

The traffic accident in the fog scenario can be  solved by low-power   active radar, without opening the civil-rights can of   worms.   Something similar could even be tailored to alert a  driver that dozed  off and is headed off the road. (Of course, the  traffic accident in  the fog can be prevented by drivers that have the  ability to lift  their foot off the gas pedal.)   Personally, I am convinced that technology is running              far ahead of  the social and legal framework. I see a major  civil-rights law suit  ahead for this technology. (George Orwell saw it              coming.)   That’s being nice. Anybody who uses Windows knows how  unreliable it is.

This system will not run on Windows.  Rather it will be hard-coded,   just like the computers already in the cars are

Having a computer making decisions about the vehicle I’m  riding in is  not acceptable.

Better go buy a pre-1990 vehicle then.

It’s one thing to set off a ‘beeper’ of some sort when it senses something, it’s quite another to let it smash  the brakes or   turn the wheel on it’s own. People WILL DIE.

I would never argue that introducing new technology won’t have some    accidents, you’re right, it will.  Some will die, whether it is an active system or advisory system    (people will infer incorrectly).  But far more will be saved I  think

We just turned in a leased vehicle that had the back-up  alert. It would false positive 9 times out of 10. If the car had been   allowed to               actually hit the brakes when it did that, we would never   have been able to back out of our own driveway, let alone a space in a  parking lot. Can  you imagine if it had the same kind of sensor for forward  motion, and it  could hit the brakes or turn the wheel on it’s own?

I can.  But that didn’t happen.  And until these scenarios are  vetted, it won’t happen with DSRC either.  DSRC is a far more    pervasive technology than back-up alerts, with (as you both point  out) far greater consequences if they get it wrong.  And there will  be bugs, no software escapes them (I should know!!), but they will be found, and most cleaned, before you get to prove your own assertions.

I return you to one incontrovertible fact: the most dangerous object    in any car is its driver.  Sure, there’s the risk as with Asiana 214 that drivers (well pilots    in that case) become over-reliant on technology, or incorrectly    trained, and if I had to point at the biggest issue that would be    it.  But even beer-drinking 60-year-olds will eventually find a    level of trust (or not) with DSRC, and drive accordingly.  Look on    the dark side: DSRC may become the barkeep’s best friend lol.     Though car-to-car won’t help with trees, mailboxes, ditches and    telephone poles…
My wife just bought a car which has lane control in it, I was (like    you) quite skeptical but I have to say it works pretty well.  It is    advisory (vibrates the steering wheel), and though it misses    occasionally it has made both of us better drivers already.  Claim    that you have never nodded off for a second or two while driving,    and I’ll just grin.  Not saying that DSRC, especially in its initial    configuration, will protect you against that, but it’s coming to a    Chevy near you, and though you may not (or never!) like it, perhaps    your family will on your behalf.
Regards to all,

Peter Moncure 
CEO | RadioSoft
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