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Lonely Road Drive Plan System

Just in case
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Many parts of your planet have sections of road that are little-frequented and run through largely unpopulated areas.

In some seasons and/or weather conditions, if a vehicle leaves the road, through a bust tire or an animal impact, it may be a long time before it's spotted. If the occupant is injured and unable to move or summon help, the prospects are not good.

The solution is to be able to file the road equivalent of a flight plan.

Those intending to embark on such a journey would register with a website and enter a mobile phone number and email. For each trip they would enter basic details of their intended route, and an "overdue" time. They receive an SMS message with a unique code.

On arrival, they can text, phone or email to say "Arrived OK".

If they become overdue, the system sends reminders and tries to phone them. If there is no response, law enforcement is alerted in the relevant area.

The system could be offered by cellular phone operators. There would be fines for deliberate misuse.

8th of 7, Nov 16 2016

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       This is an entirely benign and non-violent proposal. [+]   

       Who are you, and what have you done with [8th of 7]?
pertinax, Nov 16 2016
  

       // This is an entirely benign and non-violent proposal. //   

       Er yes ... sorry ...   

       // Who are you, //   

       We are the Borg.   

       // and what have you done with [8th of 7]? //   

       8th of 7 has overdone it a bit in the Regeneration Alcove and is currently functioning non-optimally.
8th of 7, Nov 16 2016
  

       [+] Some roads/paths may have incidental satellite coverage as well. A few extra bucks and, if you don't check-in on time, an eye-in-the-sky looks for your vehicle.
FlyingToaster, Nov 16 2016
  

       If you've gone off the road and into the trees/long grass/snow that may not be that helpful.
8th of 7, Nov 16 2016
  

       I was thinking colours, non-native to the environment. Black, white and grey probably wouldn't work too well.
FlyingToaster, Nov 16 2016
  

       Or you could just drive a Fiat Multipla, a vehicle so ugly that Nature rejects it.
8th of 7, Nov 16 2016
  

       I like the aesthetic of the 60's version.
FlyingToaster, Nov 16 2016
  

       I'm surprised that modern GPS systems don't automatically send a distress call if a vehicle leaves a designated roadway at speed, or if airbags deploy.   

       Some can; but this idea is independant of any systems in the vehicle.   

       GPS can lose its fix, a particular problem in heavily wooded areas; similarly, cellular coverage may be patchy.   

       What if your vehicle catches fire on a remote highway ? Tracker unit is toast, airbags didn't deploy, vehicle still on road. It's cold, it's going dark, your phone was in the car, you're 30km from the nearest habitation, and there are large carnivores in the vicinity.   

       This works for anyone with a cellphone and/or an email address.
8th of 7, Nov 16 2016
  

       + Once up and working the system could expand to cover:   

       Don't go Dates as in horrors movies   

       Scuba divers of the recreational or geologist sort.   

       Hikers and backpackers   

       Solo sailors   

       Repairmen/women sent into the underbelly of the big city   

       A lonely road is more a state of mind, than a road sometimes.
popbottle, Nov 16 2016
  

       // Scuba divers of the ... geologist sort. //   

       If you go cave diving without a full backup team on the surface, you deserve to die.   

       Actually, you're also clinically insane, and dying swiftly is probably the best for all concerned.   

       // Hikers and backpackers //   

       ... often leave planned route and schedule info at trailheads.   

       // Solo sailors //   

       ... can notify the Coastguard and Harbour Masters.   

       // Repairmen/women sent into the underbelly of the big city //   

       ... should have their employer overseeing their health and safety.
8th of 7, Nov 16 2016
  

       My freedive mentor was making his way home in bad weather, and he called up the Coast Guard. They asked if he needed rescue, and he told them " No, but this is my position, and you know my destination. I'm going to call you every five minutes with an update. If I miss a call, you have a clue where to look for me ".   

       When he got to the dock he thanked them, and they said they were happy to be of service.
normzone, Nov 16 2016
  

       My first impression was that this was kind of redundant since I generally tell family/friends when going on any sort of major trip. I gave it a bun because maybe there are enough situations where you don't want to bother anyone unless something goes wrong.   

       One nice option on this service could be that it can optionally inform someone other than the police or rescue personnel. That makes it useful for many additional purposes: kind of like deadmansswitch.net. speaking of which, you could probably use that service (or a very slightly modified one) to accomplish the same goal as this idea.   

       One add-on feature: Enable your cell phone to log GPS locations to the server. That data would be private unless of course your dead man switch got triggered. In that case, your route and last recorded position go to the police or whoever you specified. For the paranoid, encrypt the position data and log to one server. Use two different services like deadmanswitch.net with a two- part encryption key. For the less paranoid, you could probably just use an existing position logging solution and send your username and password to someone if you disappear.   

       So it seems to me that all of the needed functionality is available, but where existing solutions may be lacking (unless someone can find the web site) is an integrated solution that is highly convenient. If this was as easy to use as tapping a few buttons after planning my route on Google maps, it could be quite attractive.
scad mientist, Nov 16 2016
  

       //It's cold, it's going dark, your phone was in the car, you're 30km from the nearest habitation, and there are large carnivores in the vicinity.// And so, after finishing his glass of port and donning a fetching cape, Natural Selection steps out into the night to continue his work.
MaxwellBuchanan, Nov 16 2016
  

       Isn't the fear of going off the road and never being seen again part of the fun of driving a lonely, remote road?
DIYMatt, Nov 16 2016
  

       // I generally tell family/friends when going on any sort of major trip. //   

       That will work for many. For others, business associates would raise an alarm. But for some, it could literally be a life-saver.   

       // as easy to use as tapping a few buttons after planning my route on Google maps, //   

       That's the general idea.
8th of 7, Nov 16 2016
  

       //The solution is to be able to file the road equivalent of a flight plan.//   

       Not unheard of in Australia.
bigsleep, Nov 17 2016
  

       ./I generally tell family/friends/   

       The lonely driver may be unable to acquire these in a timely manner.
bungston, Nov 17 2016
  

       ^ They can just nip up to that crumbling, isolated old castle, the one with perpetual sheet lightning and try and make friends. Could this explain the number of people who go missing?   

       Anyway, how can roads be lonely? They often join with other roads.
not_morrison_rm, Nov 17 2016
  

       With the ubiquitousness of speed cameras and other road surveillance cameras it should be a doddle to create an app which performs this function. Your licence plate is snapped at Point A and should expected to be seen again in "X" hours at Point B according to your uploaded travel plan. If it is more than a couple hours overdue then the relevant authorities (police, EMT, S&R, Coroner or whatever) are notified.
AusCan531, Nov 18 2016
  

       How did we ever all survive before apps?   

       Harvesting wild grasses, following the herds on their annual migrations, and picking seasonal fruits and berries.
8th of 7, Nov 18 2016
  

       // How did we ever all survive before apps?   

       <Luddite>It would be interesting to map one culture that hasn't worked out the transistor, against one which has,then see just how much Pokemon Go holds back our development.< /L>
not_morrison_rm, Nov 18 2016
  

       Pokemon Go on a machine using thermionic valves is about as much fun as you think it would be.
8th of 7, Nov 18 2016
  

       ie none, but with transistors equally none.
not_morrison_rm, Nov 18 2016
  

       With transistors, the unit might be miniaturized to, say, the size of a small truck. In theory, that might make a "mobile" game possible.
8th of 7, Nov 18 2016
  
      
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