Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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electrical license plate and vehicle proximity scan

Answer to most of things you want to do to your cars or the other car.
  [vote for,

There are lots of ideas here about knowing how to identify the car that is in front of you and how to contact them. Why not extend the idea further?

A electrical license plate that is a passive signaling device that give out a digital signal that identified the vehicle but not that owner or driver. Like the E-Z pass system in the NY State. http://www.ezpassny.com/

Install in your car a portable active scanner which send out radio wave that activates these license plate around your car and receive the identification information that are sent back. Scanner will then display the information along with the relative position of the vehicle similar to a radar screen.

That way not only do you know what vehicles are arround you but also how close they are. Therefore eliminate the blind spot and you know what is in front of the big SUV blocking you. With a memory system, you can eliminate all hit-and-run cases. Since all information are recorded not only in the car that were hit but also all the cars in near proximity.

Because the information is store in individual cars not at some government or big corporation office, there is no easy way to track a person. Without a court order, everyone should have the right not to disclose information in his/her vehicle.

If you like to send text message or talk to the driver in front or behind you, touchpad the radar screen and start talking or send pre-program short message via voice command. The scanner will then act like a wireless network antenna. If the driver have a similar device abroad, the dot that indicate your car will start flashing red and short text message will begin display next to it. If that person want to respond to you, he/she will touch that flashing dot.

To avoid verbal confrontation while driving, text message will be pre-screen for offensive content and you can not talk more than 10 seconds before the connection is break. Last thing we need is for someone talking on a cellphone yelling at another car at the same time.

bing, Mar 13 2002

Please put your links here, [bing] http://www.halfbakery.com/user/bing
So that the other users can click on it directly [neelandan, Mar 15 2002, last modified Oct 04 2004]

The technology http://www.idat.com/t-rfid.html
[bing, Mar 15 2002, last modified Oct 04 2004]

Research http://www.aimgloba.../technologies/rfid/
[bing, Mar 15 2002, last modified Oct 04 2004]

Theory http://web.media.mi...att/scattering.html
[bing, Mar 15 2002, last modified Oct 04 2004]


       How about micropayments between internet-enabled cars? My car would publish my standard tarrif - If you want to overtake me *right now*, pay me 20p; If you tailgate me, you'll be charged £1, etc., etc.
hippo, Mar 13 2002

       You'll notice that the ideas which uniquely identify a vehicle tend to get panned, too. It's one thing to want to communicate, it's something else to give Big Brother a leg up.
phoenix, Mar 13 2002

       Since most police vehicles are of the same type, this would sure help criminals figuring out where the cops are, or are not!   

       My sensors indicate no police for 2 miles, time to speed!
dag, Mar 13 2002

       All vehicles are uniquely identified already, either through manufacturer serial number or VIN required by the States for insurance. Plus you already have physical license plates that link you to your car, and all information is already in government hand. At least, electrical plate is passive and shall not work beyond the visual range where your plate can be identified. Scanner can only work within the range of 30m. Anything more powerful will be pick up by police right away because it is the scanner that are sending powerful radio wave not the plate. The scanner powers the plate therefore the plate needs not battery. The technology reveal no more extra information than have your phone number listed in the yellow pages.   

       The 17 character VIN already in use makes it difficult for individual to backtrack the vehicle. To distinguish a police car and a civilian car would required a search in a mass database, which identified ownership of every vehicle in the country. Although possible, the search itself is traceable. There aren’t many databases like this out there that allow anonymous access.   

       Much of what people have been discuss here about improving cars can be accomplished with electrical license plate. The most dangerous thing on the road to a car is after all another car.
bing, Mar 13 2002

       If a typical receiving unit could pick up a signal at visual range, then a clever criminal would make a directional receiver that could detect emitted signals well beyond that.   

       Car thief doesn't have a problem locating the nearest high dollar prize, not that they do anyway, but even easier now. And at the same time makes sure no police units are nearby.
dag, Mar 13 2002

       Armo(u)red Truck is 2 blocks away. All the Cops are at Donut Shop 20 blocks away. Afroassault has blocked front and rear entries of Donut Shop. Guns are loaded. Let's roll.
thumbwax, Mar 15 2002

       I know it is fun to discuss use of any new technology for crime. Sort of "I am smarter than the government" mind set. But if you can think only criminal usage for fun, I can easily come up with ideas to counter that.
bing, Mar 15 2002

       Mr. Bigito is seated with back to wall in Vito's Deli having some Tiramisu...
There, now everybody's happy.
thumbwax, Mar 15 2002

       Bing, -everything- will be used for something illegal at some point. The reason we look at what the illegal uses are is to see whether the alleged benefits are worth it.   

       If I had one of these on my car, I'd cut it's throat as soon as possible.
StarChaser, Mar 16 2002

       Radio: "Thumbwax, the pigs are in the blanket. Repeat: the pigs are in the blanket! Assault out."
AfroAssault, Aug 24 2002

       We'll likely eventually see bar codes on license plates anyway, so the "fast track" would be to develop inexpensive bar code scanners that would mount unobtrusively on the grill of my car, so that I can use my internet-connected PDA/cellphone to determine who you are...
whlanteigne, Aug 25 2002


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