Ofcom has proposed that intelligent traffic radio systems be licence-exempt, but initially only where it improves the the safety of the driving experience. The EU has already mandated that 30MHz of spectrum, between 5875 and 5905MHz, be reserved for Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS), but while Viviane Reding seems to think ITS …
Cars with Windows? - Never
Ah, I see what you mean. The ones where the blue (wind)screen of death was the one with the darker tint at the top bearing the icons for Kevin and Tracey.
May I have a switch that kills the fog lights on the car being driven by the plank that doesn't know their correct usage? (Alternative, just ban fog lights!)
Oh, and a message system that tells slow-poke in front to get their foot down or pull over?
And a brake control system that removes the small car with no brakes from the arse of my sports car before they spike their brakes and spin out of control?
"would seem to be redundant if one has a car with windows, as is most popularly the case."
I can't help feeling there's a million dollar spacepen / pencil lesson there...
I think an optical system would be ideal
Road signs could output a spatially modulated signal in visible light, and cars could have optical transmitters built into them by law, giving a frequency modulated visible light output when certain vehicle actions are taking place, eg braking, changing lane, reversing etc. It would also be possible to build roadside 'dynamic optical transmitters', receiving information from a control centre as necessary and retransmitting this information in optical form. In extreme circumstances signals could be exchanged as physical oscillations in the air ("sound"), with a distinctive signal reserved for emergency vehicles. All of this information would be received by an organic control system in every vehicle, capable of real-time assesment of the output of a high resolution binocular camera system assessing the road ahead of the vehicle.
Of course every organic control system would need to be individually tested and licensed.
Uses for In-vehicle Signage
In-vehicle signage broadcasts, coupled with in-vehicle text-to-speech, means that drivers could have the signs spoken to them in their language of preference. Blind drivers will be able to better handle the motorways, too.
This will be ideal for warning me of the delays caused by motorway roadworks removing all those huge signs just put in telling us there is fog when there isn't or invisible workman in the road or something in Welsh.
Why did we get this horrible, expensive technology when RDS/Traffic Info would have been far better if someone could have bothered to get the content right?
Mor on fog lights
Various other fog light solutions apply.
The cheapest and probably most effective, as found in several different cars I know, costs approximately nothing. You just design a combined headlight/foglight switch which has a little mechanical interlock so that when you switch off the headlights, the adjacent foglight switch also goes to its off position. A tiny piece of plastic does this. This design sorts the dimwits (sic) who don't actually know they've got foglights on, which is probably a good proportion of them. A variation on that theme, also already in use, powers the foglights via a relay which drops out when headlights go off and is only repowered when the "foglights on" button (non-latching) is pressed *while the headlights are on*. Quite why something like this isn't already a requirement in the Construction and Use regulations (?) is a bit of a mystery. Doesn't need much bandwidth either.
A more rewarding, more complex and technically more interesting (but actually still not very expensive) idea is to link the foglights to the engine management. If either front or rear foglights are on, the engine management limits engine revs to (say) 2000rpm and speed to (say) 25mph. Turning off the foglights removes the restriction. This has, as smarter readers will appreciate, a number of benefits. Imitation Clarksons will have the choice of *either* putting their foot down *or* having cool-looking foglights on. And when there really is legallly acceptable reason to put the foglights on (eg very poor visibility), speeds will be limited to match (or the dickheads without lights will have a not quite zero risk of getting done for driving too fast WITHOUT foglights :))... Just needs one extra input to the engine management computer, net cost maybe a pound or two. Again, Construction+Use regulations could be used to make sure it happens. (Is that worth patenting?)
Oh no I'm sure it'll be great.. the car won't be able to make heads or tails out of all that non-standard equipment jamming up the band, but it can be all like "Wow, look at all that RF noise in the ITS band up ahead! Must be a traffic jam!" 8-)
Foglights - an easier solution
Just follow the fuckwit home - you can probably tail them from a good mile or two since they never turn the bastard things off - and then apply a significiant overpressure event to the light array. I normally find a sledgehammer is a reasonably effective tool for this.
Alternatively, buy an old (Series 2, 2a or 3) Land Rover. When some idiot can't be arsed to dim their lights, just steer towards them (if in front - "Sorry mate, I was blinded by your lights") or stomp on the brakes - if they hit you then they were obviously far too close anyway (hardly the most effective braking system in the world, so they must have been **really** close!)
Of course, in an ideal world the correct solution is to report them to the Boys in Blue (or is it all black body armor now?) since the fuckwits are (a) breaking the law as per the Road Traffic Act and (b) driving without due care and consideration for other road users.
Mind you, Plod can't seem to quite grasp the concept that only offical Emergency Services vehicles are supposed to show blue lights anyway, and so there's an increasing number of little scrotes with blue 'accessory' lights, and drivers (especially fucking BMW drivers!) with those headache-inducing blue/white headlights, so I don't suppose they'll bother stopping Joe Genaro with his fog lights on when visibility is well over 100m, no matter how nicely you ask...