Friday, December 10, 2004

Anarchy in the Streets is overrated

Alex Tabarrok of Marginal Revolution post a link to this wired story, Roads Gone Wild. I personally have never read an article like this. The interesting part is how the merger of psychology and road planning is affecting the building of roads.

It seems that less control works better than trying to control the driving situation more. By increasing human involvement,you engage people and their problem solving skills more, reducing car accidents. Interesting.

Personally, i am more interested in using technology to remove the human from the equation all together, or at least help the person drive better. We are seeing cameras in the rear and night vision copies. I would like to see a car that drives itself, so i can make better use of my free time, by making more of it. I do not have to surf the internet (although that would be nice), but preferably i would like to read a hard copy book or a computer book of some kind.

It seems to me this new traffic paradigm might solve problems, but it seems like technology wave is going backwards.



Vestigial Fish said...

Oh Yeah! If I can have a smart car that will drive me to work while I primp and preen and talk on my cell phone, that would be pretty cool. Sign me up!

Cubicle said...

I think it is possible. I have heard of a couple of ways of doing it.

I think somthing that would work well is a decentralized hive type system, where you car communcates with other cars and forms carvans based on where everyone wants to go. your car uses GPS to map its way, radar to keep from crashing into things, local signals to communcate with other cars to move in an orderly fashion and to avoid anything unexpected that another car sees frist.

It could work, of course it would take alot of work to get people to buy into it. (not to mention the billions spend on R and D, marketing, and stadardization).

It would have to happen slowly, because people are not going to give up control of the wheel easily or trust the machines.

Vestigial Fish said...

The system would have to be well designed and as simple as possible. The focus on security would have to be fierce and start from day one. Can you imagine the damage if a worm got loose in the system and started re-writing GPS coordinates or falsifying radar returns? Yikes!

Cubicle said...

"re-writing GPS coordinates "

yea people would just have to learn to drive again in about five mins time