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Communicating Cars

Don't follow me, traffic sucks.
  (+7, -1)
(+7, -1)
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Each car's navigation system could communicate directly to the systems of other cars within say, ten miles away.
That way your navigation system would know the average speed of traffic on different roads you might want to take.
Now when it tells you the fastest way to get where you wanna go, it would be based not only on distance, but on current traffic speeds as well.
Also if there were no cars at all on a road with normally a decent amount of traffic, it wouldn't direct you that way because it's probably construction or a detour or something.
flyfast, May 15 2003

mesh network http://www.meshnetworks.com/
[senatorjam, Jan 07 2005]

NYTimes: Navigating with Feedback from Other drivers http://www.nytimes....cuits/18basics.html
It appears to be baked now. [krelnik, Oct 23 2007]

UCLA project "CarTorrent" http://www.guardian...elopment.technology
Looks like some folks at UCLA are trying to bake the peer-to-peer version of this [krelnik, Jan 22 2008]

[link]






       Didn't we have a rule against talking cars?
DrCurry, May 15 2003
  

       p2p roadwatch - I like it. You may have objections from the folks in the traffic 'copters, whom you will render unemployed.
friendlyfire, May 16 2003
  

       "Interstate (whatever) is backed up - use (some surface route)"
Everyone leaves the highway. All proceed to the surface streets
"(Some surface route) is backed up - use Interstate (whatever)"
Everyone leaves the surface streets. All proceed to the highway.
Repeat.
phoenix, May 16 2003
  

       In the UK the TrafficMaster system already provides all the information described by [flyfast] in real time. This system has been around for decades.
Aristotle, May 16 2003
  

       I like this idea. The problem with current centralized traffic reporting systems is they are only economical to run in very highly populated areas. But there are traffic jams on every road one time or another, even obscure 2-lane byways in Montana. Even in big cities, there is often only time on the radio to report the major highway incidents, meanwhile the side-street you are on is jammed for another reason and you have no idea why.   

       By making every car a "sensor" in a meshed (or peer-to-peer if you prefer) traffic reporting network, you allow all roads to be covered equally well. There will still be a market for the current style of traffic reporting system for major cities, but this will help fill in the gaps.   

       Here, have some bread. And again, welcome to the bakery. (WTAGIPBAN)
krelnik, May 16 2003
  

       This would be simply car to car, eliminating the need for any outside technology like TrafficMaster.   

       This is better than radio because you don't have to listen to it and figure out where to go. The navigation system gets tons more info, more quickly than you could over the radio, and it processes it all for you.   

       And phoenix, at least traffic would get spread out over both (surface route) and highway instead of everyone being stuck on the highway.   

       And TomBomb, maybe there's only one way home for you, but other people taking your road might find out they can go another way and free up your road a little bit.
flyfast, May 16 2003
  

       One thing you'd definitely need in this is a way to make sure the data being transmitted from each car is suitably "anonymized", else this system could be subverted to spy on peoples movements. (Stalkers could use a "scanner radio" to watch the raw traffic data coming from your car, to follow you around).
krelnik, May 16 2003
  

       i'm glad you guys are so passionat but i thought this ws a bit of fun theres no need to poo poo the idea cos it closely runs along side a radio system in th 70's personally i like it and you could have have a great time chatting with other fellow car users
Gash, May 16 2003
  

       I says “Callin’ all trucks, this here’s the Duck
We about to go a-huntin’ bear”
  

       Coz we got a great big convoy rockin’ thru the night
Yeah we got a great big convoy aint she a beautiful sight
Come on and join our convoy aint nothin’ gonna get in our way
We gonna roll this truckin’ convoy ‘cross the USA... Convoy
  

       (Ah, you want to give me a ten-nine on that Pigpen?)
(Ah, negatory Pigpen, you’re still too close. Yeah them hogs is startin’
to close up my sinuses. Mercy’s sakes you better back off another ten)
po, May 16 2003
  

       //Everyone leaves the surface streets. All proceed to the highway.//
[phoenix] There are algorithms to deal with stuff like that. Consider the "random back off" feature in the Ethernet collision detect. Similarly, this traffic system could use a semi-random algorithm for choosing alternate routes, to avoid mass migrations.
krelnik, May 16 2003
  

       "Similarly, this traffic system could use a semi-random algorithm for choosing alternate routes, to avoid mass migrations."
How? All I know from the idea is that the car in front of me is telling me to get off the highway. My car randomly chooses to suggest I take Main Street. So does every other car on the road. What's fixed? Alternately, what if my car chooses to suggest I take a surface road that is backed up as well?
  

       Random <> better. This is the sort of thing that needs to happen intelligently. It makes much more sense for a central authority - one with a more general view of the traffic situation - to control these types of movements.
phoenix, May 16 2003
  

       No. Read the idea more carefully, [phoenix]. It doesn't say that only the cars on the same road communicate with each other, it says all cars within a 10 mile radius communicate. That means your car has data not only from the road you are on, but also from nearby alternate routes. So your car would know not to switch to an alternate route that is as congested or worse.   

       Suppose you are stuck in a jam, and there are three possible alternate routes. We have traffic data from those routes from other cars, and we know the rough "capacity" of the road we are on and the three alternates from the GPS navigation map data we have onboard. This gives us an idea of how much capacity each of those streets is able to absorb, versus how much excess traffic there is on the road we are on.   

       You can boil these numbers into a list of probabilities that each route will be better than what you have. Included in this list is a probability that the route you are on is the best one. Then you essentially "roll some dice" against these probabilities to decide which route to choose. As long as each car makes a reasonably random choice, you can arrange it so the traffic will distribute itself appropriately on the alternate routes.   

       Keep in mind that as soon as you act on this and your car moves off the road you are on, the dataset that everyone else is working from is going to change, changing their input data and probabilities proportionally. So the system is self correcting.   

       I'm not saying it will be an easy system to design, but it can be done.
krelnik, May 16 2003
  

       "{No. Read the idea more carefully, [phoenix]. It doesn't say that only the cars on the same road communicate with each other, it says all cars within a 10 mile radius communicate."
10-mile radius of what? My car? How does the car 10 miles behind me know where I'm going and the best way to get there? How about the car 10 miles in front? How much radio noise is being generated by every car in a 10-mile radius chatting with each other? How do I know where another car is in relation to my own?
phoenix, May 16 2003
  

       ... and then sometimes, you get a message from all the other cars that say "Traffic sucks everywhere. Proceed to the nearest bar and wait 1 hour." Hey, I'm kinda liking this idea now...
stephee, May 16 2003
  

       Yeah. This could work. Good. +
galukalock, May 16 2003
  

       take it a step further, could be the start of a nationwide "mesh network" facilitating high speed communication without towers. Car owners who allow their car communicators to be used as routers could get free access...
senatorjam, May 16 2003
  

       //10-mile radius of what? My car?//
Yes.
  

       //How does the car 10 miles behind me know where I'm going and the best way to get there?//
Seriously, are you trying to yank my chain or something? The idea presumes your car has a navigation system onboard, these systems are quite common these days. Therefore, the other cars don't have to know anything about what you are doing, or even that you exist. YOUR car has that info in its own navigation system. All the other cars do is report their position (via their own GPS) and speed so your car's computer can know what the average speed of traffic is on nearby roads. This then becomes input to your navigation system as it decides what roads to use to get you to your destination.
  

       //How about the car 10 miles in front?//
What about it?
  

       //How much radio noise is being generated by every ar in a 10-mile radius chatting with each other? How do I know where another car is in relation to my own?//
Not much, its just a short burst of GPS position and velocity, maybe every 10 seconds or so. You don't have to know where the other car is in relation to you, it tells you its location determined by its own onboard GPS. Your navigation system can then use that to deduce what road the other car is on, via map data.
krelnik, May 17 2003
  

       This has all sorts of uses. I see a whole vehicle peer-to-peer network developing. Perhaps certain vehicles, like public transportation buses, could house network hub repeaters.
RayfordSteele, Aug 02 2003
  

       This would also help out drivers without the GPS/Cartalk features. The info could be transmitted to the digital road warning signs currently in use, but give accurate info on the status of the road instead of the wrong outdated info given now.
brodie, Feb 09 2005
  

       Hey, a company called Dash has baked this! They sell a dashboard GPS with a cellphone in it, that adds live info to your driving map. See link.   

       One difference in their implementation: rather than using a mesh network where the cars communicate directly to each other, they use a client-server arrangement where each car contacts a central server.
krelnik, Oct 23 2007
  

       "...Therefore, the other cars don't have to know anything about what you are doing, or even that you exist. YOUR car has that info in its own navigation system..."
I really didn't grok that! I still contend most traffic will divert to the same alternate route - whatever the next shortest path is.
phoenix, Jan 23 2008
  
      
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