DETROIT (Reuters) - An Acura RLX sedan demonstrated an unusual way to tow another car this week: the vehicles were not physically attached. The second car drove itself, following instructions beamed over by the first in a feat of technology that indicates a new stage in automation is happening faster than many expected.
Systems that enable vehicles to communicate with each other have been developed in recent years in parallel with features that enable cars to drive themselves. Manufacturers and suppliers now are putting the two together in novel ways, with broad implications for vehicle safety and convenience.
Saturday, September 13, 2014
Your car will be chatting with the other cars... about you.
Self-driving cars continue to be a big push.
The intended end result here is not a self-driving vehicle that drives itself where you tell it to go. What they really want is a piece of public transit infrastructure that drives you where THEY tell it to go, but YOU pay for it and maintain it.
In this particular instance they want to convoy trucks, so that they don't have to pay drivers. But the same technology once developed can be deployed to -all- cars, making your car's guidance system essentially public property just like a train. Just like a train, it will only go where the "tracks" go.
Also, they would very much like to be able to observe your behavior on the road and issue fines without having to pay a policeman to be there. Imagine the fines they could collect if they could ding you every single time you exceed thirty miles per hour inside the city, automatically.
Officials have already imagined it for you, and are working hard to not only be able to see you and fine you, they would like the car to deliver you straight to the police station so they can collect their money immediately.
Personally, I view this as a bad idea.