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back to article Spy under your car bonnet 'worth billions by 2016'

Technology that allows cars to snoop on motorists and tell insurers about their bad driving will form a worldwide market worth $14.4bn (£8.95bn) by 2016, analysts reckon. A new report from Juniper Research suggests intelligent vehicles chock-full of gear for navigating, recording info for insurance purposes, and telling the AA …

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Anonymous Coward

Before anyone says "here comes big brother"...

...big brother is already here!

This has been on offer in the UK for ages (check out GoCompare's already running Comparethebox.com telemetry car insurance comparison website already....)

Its unlikely to yield serious discounts in the long run though simply because of the way protection rackets^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H insurance works as a business....

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Re: Before anyone says "here comes big brother"...

Nailed it... it won't mean cheaper insurance for safer drivers. It'll mean ludicrous insurance for regular speeders.

I'd accept this, provided my car speedo was absolutely accurate (it isn't, so I don't actually know how fast I'm going), and I got an audible warning when nudging over the limit.

Plus, there's no reason why cars can't safely tail off the gas themselves when the driver pushes beyond the limit to stop them speeding.

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Boffin

Re: Before anyone says "here comes big brother"...

UK speedometers, IIRC, are guaranteed to not under-report your speed, but may over-report by up to 10%. So, if your actual speed is 70mph, the speedo may say anything between 70 and 77mph - i.e. if you stick to the speedo-reported 70mph, you are guaranteed not to be speeding (in a 70mph zone, anyway).

On the other hand, a functioning speedometer is not a requirement for an MOT certificate...

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Re: Before anyone says "here comes big brother"...

Big Brother wasn't an opt-in scheme. Being compulsory is a fairly important aspect of a repressive autocracy.

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WTF?

Re: Before anyone says "here comes big brother"...

"Plus, there's no reason why cars can't safely tail off the gas themselves when the driver pushes beyond the limit to stop them speeding."

Err , yes there is. If you're overtaking a car you want to get past as fast as possible and if that means breaking the speed limit for a few seconds so be it. The last thing you want is to suddendly find your car has stopped accelerating, you're in the wrong lane and there's a 40 ton truck heading towards you.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Before anyone says "here comes big brother"...

providing you've not fitted aftermarket tyres or changed out the gearbox or replaced the dashboard...

All factors which can require the speedo to be recalibrated.

I have faith that the GPS unti I use reports my speed accurately, I have less faith in the speedo, it's actually got a hump in the calibration curve around 70MPH, it is more accurate below 70 and above 80.

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@JetSetJim, was Re: Before anyone says "here comes big brother"...

"i.e. if you stick to the speedo-reported 70mph, you are guaranteed not to be speeding (in a 70mph zone, anyway)."

You'll also be guaranteed to have 1/2 a mile of traffic behind you within minutes, and a [insert favourite rep car of the year here] reporting 68mph 12 inches from your boot.

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MJI
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Re: Before anyone says "here comes big brother"...

"Plus, there's no reason why cars can't safely tail off the gas themselves when the driver pushes beyond the limit to stop them speeding."

In the middle of an overtake, would be the best place to do this

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MJI
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Re: JetSetJim

Inaccurate speedos, what what is the point in having them if they are not accurate?

Real hate of mine, I know mine is wrong, but no easy way to fix it, so I tend to ignore it.

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Holmes

@JetsetJim Re: Before anyone says "here comes big brother"...

You are right, speedos in the UK are not allowed to under-indicate, and that has been the case for a long time, from when they were all still mechanical and not as precise. This is to prevent motorists caught for speeding pleading "But my speedo only said 29mph!"

I fitted larger than standard tyres to my 4x4, which would give an under-indication. However, it was possible to change the speedometer drive gear because the transfer case on which it is fitted is used in many different vehicles with many different tyre sizes. For a week I did a series of timed measurements between motorway kilometer posts, enough to average out variations, and calculated what gear I needed to compensate, and fitted that.

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Re: Before anyone says "here comes big brother"...

Since April it is.

Along with a load of other things.....like the abs....trailer electrics sockets......the function indicator lights on the dash (no high-beam light ?...fail)

Coming soon to an mot station near you....re-chipped ?

Fail...

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Re: Before anyone says "here comes big brother"...

1. GPS Speed calculations are actually very accurate.

2. It's been well proven through research that speed limiting with habitual speeders is actually more dangerous than letting them exceed the limit by a few mph.

Speed doesn't inherently kill, it's just the easiest thing to prove.

Sudden changes in speed and direction are the problem, added with the capability of the driver.

Unfortunately in this country there is no desire to actually educate, just dictate, it wins political brownie points and costs little, compared to attempting to educate the public correctly.

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Meh

@Steve Evans Re: Before anyone says "here comes big brother"...

It might come as news to some people, but in the UK the speed limit is 60mph on single carriageway roads. A 70mph limit is on a dual carriageway or motorway where [insert favourite rep car of the year here] can overtake you.

Unless you are in the outside lane and there are vehicles inside of you doing exactly the same speed as you, but that is a different issue

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@annodomini2 Re: Before anyone says "here comes big brother"...

"It's been well proven through research that speed limiting with habitual speeders is actually more dangerous than letting them exceed the limit by a few mph."

So the most disobedient drivers are still bad even when partially harnessed? Reference please?

"Speed doesn't inherently kill"

Do they teach basic physics in school these days?

1) Available time to take evasive action (like braking) for a bad situation goes down as speed goes up, linear relationship.

2) Destructive energy goes up as the square of the speed, square law relationship.

There are also reasons for speed limits nothing to do with danger. Noise and road capacity are others.

At one point on my commute I turn right from the stem of a T junction. There is a lot of traffic doing the same as me, about 4 times as much as is coming along the "main" straight-through road. Although it is all in a 30 mph limit, the main road traffic is doing 40-45 mph. As a result, this light sprinkling of traffic on the "main" road holds back the much larger amount of traffic trying to pull out because much more space must be left in front of a faster vehicle.

So I (and about 30 other cars at any one time) waste 5 minutes every day at this junction, just so that the "main" road cars can drive at 40mph instead of 30mph for a 400 yd stretch (saving themselves about 7 seconds).

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Re: Before anyone says "here comes big brother"...

If it isn't safe to overtake without exceeding the speed limit then you shouldn't be overtaking.

I can see why you'd be worried about this type of scheme if you've never read the fucking highway code.

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Trollface

Re: @annodomini2 Before anyone says "here comes big brother"...

<-----Do the drivers on the main road look like that as they pass you?

"So I (and about 30 other cars at any one time) waste 5 minutes every day at this junction, just so that the "main" road cars can drive at 40mph instead of 30mph for a 400 yd stretch (saving themselves about 7 seconds)."

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"Speed doesn't inherently kill"

There's nothing wrong with that statement. If speed did kill then travelling on an airliner would be the most dangerous thing anyone could do.

There's a lot of silly stuff said by Clarkson but on this issue at least he speaks sense:

"Speed has never killed anyone, suddenly becoming stationary... That's what gets you."

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Re: "Plus, there's no reason why cars can't safely tail off the gas themselves"

They can: my 6 year old Peugeot has cruise control that has a speed limiter option, so I can set it to say 70mph and it won't go any faster than that no matter how hard I push the pedal.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: @JetSetJim, was Before anyone says "here comes big brother"...

I find an occasional flash of the rear fog lights preferable to hitting my brakes, with usually the same effect :-D

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Boffin

Re: "Plus, there's no reason why cars can't safely tail off the gas themselves"

As do all HGVs!

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Anonymous Coward

Re: @Nuke Before anyone says "here comes big brother"...

They do teach physics...

And Speed does not kill, the impact in an accident does, and TBH, at 60-90mph, it don't matter, your still going to probably die in an impact if you don't wear a seat belt and don't have airbags..

BUT on the other hand, if you are wearing a seat belt, have airbags, you'll might survive a 90mph impact unless your crushed by a lorry.

But its mainly the other things that keep you safe, i.e. Keeping proper distance, checking mirrors before maneuvering, paying attention to your surroundings...

But doing 40 in a 30 is stupid, not for your safety but for pedestrians and others.

Oh and sounds like the T Junction needs replacing with a roundabout, you know the things designed to allow cars to turn easy?

I have a junction near my house that has 2-3 accidents a year, but has the council done anything to improve safety? no

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Re: Before anyone says "here comes big brother"...

That assumes that the arse you are overtaking doesnt speed up in the way that a lot of pompous arrogant halfwit British drivers do to protect their manhood. What should you do? Brake and try to get into the gap behind which has been closed by another arse or speed up to get out the way of these fools?

To overtake safely requires both parties to behave sensibly. This is often not the case but you dont actually find out until alongside a twat.

It is quite possible to drive quickly and safely. It is also possible to drive within the speed limit at all times and be the greatest menace on the road - no spy-in-the-car will protect the good driver against them.

If speed is so dangerous then we must stop all police, fire and ambulance vehicles from exceeding any limit as they are endangering the public. Any excuse that the driver is properly trained cannot be allowed as properly trained drivers in their own vehicles are not exempt.

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Mushroom

@Wombling_Free

I realise you're trying to be funny but I really would recommend that you try and grow up and leave your ego and self-righteousness at home when you get in your car. It is unlikely that you are as "in the right" as you seem to think that you are.

Of course, this goes for the tail-gaters too but you are making a bad situation worse with your simpering and moralising little japes. If you don't believe me, ask a traffic policeman.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: @JetSetJim, was Before anyone says "here comes big brother"...

And that's why driving in the UK is such a pain - you can't go more than a few miles without coming across some idiot trying to teach some other idiot a lesson that is never, ever going to be remembered in any other terms than "that teacher was a [insert swear of choice]"

There are people beyond your little antagonistic tussle bubble. You might think you're being clever causing the tailgater to lock up/do 20mph/whatever, but the guy or girl three cars back doesn't think so.

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Re: @annodomini2 Before anyone says "here comes big brother"...

On the one hand we have decades of scientific research into road safety and the power law correlation between speed and fatalities

http://www.trg.dk/elvik/740-2004.pdf

And on the other hand we have some bloke from sunny Donny with a small gift for sarcasm

http://www.maxfarquar.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/jeremy-clarkson.jpg

I wonder which will get the most support from the luddite reactionaries of the Reg Commentariat?

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Anonymous Coward

Decades of road safety research

I take it you are the part of the extremely vocal speed kills lobby?

Then please explain why motorways are still our safest roads despite speed reductions across many towns and cities.

Motorised transport was created with the explicit purpose of getting us to places faster, if you lot keep campaigning for speed reductions then we might as well go back to horses and carts. Its all very well saying more people survive if hit at 20 but how far do you take that? Even more would survive if hit at 10mph and even more if reduced to 5mph so why not do that?

I like to have more time at my destination so I want to get there as quickly as possible. Speed is not the problem, dangerous driving and poorly maintained vehicles are. I am all for the removal of speed cameras and the employment of more traffic police. Most traffic cops are quite sensible and will leave you alone for going a couple of mph over the limit as long as they feel it is safe for you to do so with good road conditions etc but they can take dangerous drivers off the road as soon as they see them and they have a very dim view of putting other peoples lives at risk.

I also think that we should have variable speed limits, this can be done cheaply enough now with LED signs e.g. Outside schools down to 20 in the morning and at kicking out time with an increase to 30 for the rest of the day. Motorways up to 90 with good visibility, good road conditions and not too much traffic but down to 50 if the traffic is really heavy or the rain is teeming down. I have seen people trying to do 100 in conditions so bad you couldn't see 10 feet through the spray and that is what causes accidents.

If the campaigners really are that bothered about the number of road deaths (which realistically is a tiny tiny fraction of a percent considering just how many journeys are made every day) then they would support the removal of speed cameras in favour of real policemen.

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Re: Before anyone says "here comes big brother"...

And it will of course be perfectly easy to get insurance when you break the rules set by the ahem insurance companies. People talk about government health and safety gone mad when the real cause of extreme risk averseness are insurers. I am waiting for the day when my insurer insists on putting black and yellow tape round all the trip hazards on my boat - the whole boat is a trip hazard! </rant>

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Re: Before anyone says "here comes big brother"...

But a functioning speedometer is a requirement of a motorised vehicle so you can't use "no [working] speedometer" as an excuse for speeding. Non-motorised vehicles do not need a speedometer.

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Anonymous Coward

@Wombling_Free

Having been a motorcycle police officer in the dim distant past, I can tell you that despite the fact that I can see that you're making a funny here that driving like that is every bit as dangerous, even more so than someone speeding.

Neither driving like an idiot as you purport to, nor driving like an idiot and speeding are as safe as driving sensibly, responsibly, and around the speed limit. We all, from time to time, exceed the speed limit by a few mph, and nobody gets stopped for that simply because overtaking at something like 73mph on a motorway isn't a problem.

Driving at 60mph and causing queues and bunching or driving at 100mph and weaving in and out are more dangerous, and you shouldn't do either - you're the one who's likely to end up in an accident, along with others, so why do it?

You need to grow up.

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Re: Before anyone says "here comes big brother"...

"If you're overtaking a car you want to get past as fast as possible and if that means breaking the speed limit for a few seconds so be it."

That is illegal. You should not start a maneuver that you cannot complete safely. The correct thing to do when overtaking and there's a vehicle in front of you is to brake and pull in behind the thing you were overtaking. Speeding up just increases your chances of hitting the oncoming vehicle, slowing down gives you more time to avoid collisions.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: @Wombling_Free

Enigmatix: au contraries mon amis. I was actually told by a traffic cop to pull the light tap on the brakes manouevre to deal with tailgaters and to then perform the slowdown if they did not repent. He though them all to be pricks too. Tailgating is one of the worst things you can do on the highway as, compared with speeding, it shuts down the reaction distance to an unachievable interval way sooner. Of course you still get the high achievers that combine both.

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Re: Decades of road safety research

Speed is never the problem. It is inappropriate use of speed that is the problem. Vehicle, traffic, road conditions etc.

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Re: Decades of road safety research

I take it you are the part of the extremely vocal speed kills lobby?

I'm not part of any lobby. I simply pointed to the research. There is a power law correlation between speed and death. A fourth power correlation. If you don't like the research then feel free to point out its flaws.

Or ... you know ... whimper and moan about not being allowed to drive your tonnes of metal around at whatever speed you like. There's nothing sociopathic about that.

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Re: @annodomini2 Before anyone says "here comes big brother"...

Early exit polls give a three to zero majority for the luddite reactionaries.

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xyz
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Re: @JetSetJim, was Before anyone says "here comes big brother"...

@Wombling_free...I'm presuming Wobbling is an older version of "Muppet" given what you've written. I hoping that the next car you try that on is an unmarked cop BMW.

You're not from Bedford are you?

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Re: Before anyone says "here comes big brother"...

"If speed is so dangerous then we must stop all police, fire and ambulance vehicles from exceeding any limit as they are endangering the public"

But when they are speeding, there's those bright flashing blue lights and really loud sirens to warn everyone for miles around that they are there.

Speeding without those lights and sirens should rightly be punishes - lead by example after all.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Before anyone says "here comes big brother"...

.. but my car wouldn't oass an MOT until the speedo was changed from kph to mph. So the needle doesn't have to move but the units need to be right??

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Re: Decades of road safety research

Motorways are safe because that's how they have been designed. For example:

* There is a barrier between you and oncoming traffic

* There are no pedestrians, cyclists, horses or underpowered motorbikes

* Traffic joins and leaves the motorway at the speed of the traffic on the motorway (i.e. traffic filters onto / off the motorway)

* Relative speeds are quite small

Having condition-dependent limits is a stupid idea as it requires common sense and an amount of judgement not seen in the average driver. Plus, it becomes a subjective limit - what would happen if you think it's safe to do 90 but a police officer thinks the 80 is the most you should be doing?

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Re: Before anyone says "here comes big brother"...

"Plus, there's no reason why cars can't safely tail off the gas themselves when the driver pushes beyond the limit to stop them speeding."

No reason, as long as there is some way to tell the gadget when you get into a situation where the choice is literally "break the speed limit or crash", and it doesn't take an inordinately long time to put the vehicle into this mode.

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Re: Decades of road safety research

>Then please explain why motorways are still our safest roads

Because they're wide, well-lit, with carefully-engineered curves, with no (immediate) junctions with other traffic.

IOW, they were designed to be safer - that's why.

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FAIL

Unfortunately in this country there is no desire to actually educate,....

Now if there was some sort of speed awareness course that could be offered instead of points and a fine, you know one that you could even do off your back.

I mean if ONLY I could find somewhere that did some sort of advanced driving course, but know I can't find anything of the sort.

Shame nothing like that exists isn't it?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Before anyone says "here comes big brother"...

@skizz which specific law of physics is changed by flashing blue lights, sirens, driver training etc?

What about those police jobs where 'silent response' with no blue lights or sirens is called for?

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Re: @Wombling_Free

Some of us have to pay for our petrol, tyres, brakes and servicing all of which increase in cost as the sped and intensity of use climbs. Add to that the fact that not all roads are fully dry with perfect visibility 365 days a year, free of mud, bends, children with other hazards and that includes motorways, so it is clear that there is a vanishingly small case for always driving at the maximum speed allowed. I tend to drive at anything up to 5 mph below the speed limit in normal urban conditions avoid rapid acceleration and allow stopping distances in front of my vehicle - I would like one behind as well!

When approaching my sharp left hand turn off a 40 MPH road I guess I have several choices, blast long at 45~50 as many would like or shave the 40 Mph by 0.00001 mph below 40 until the last moment and brake hard, or signal just after I pass the last turn before mine and allow my speed to fade until I complete the speed reduction to the 10 ~15 MPH required to safely turn into the sharp turn (is a 40 limit even right?). As for the stupid faction that leave no space between them and my boot, they do deserve any and all contempt for not observing signals, road conditions and having zero judgement.

The idiot rushing to the airport, 60MPH in the 40 limit with torrential blinding rain on near bald tyres might recognise his error, shame his passenger ended the trip there and then and another was out for more than a month. I felt sorry for the driver going the other way, put in hospital and her car destroyed, but she was only going 30 or so in the appalling conditions or was she guilty for getting hit on her side of the road?

A speed limit is supposed to be a maximum speed allowed, not a minimum cruise speed.

There is never a valid reason for tail gating, however there are no obvious ways to remove the hazard from one's own road space, that is the space required in front of and behind your vehicle to allow hazard management. If fog lights remind a dumb ass that they are being stupid, better that than they cause an accident.

Some commercial vehicles are governed to less than 70 mph anyway and a number of vehicles are limited by other means to a lower speed.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: strum

Your argument falls down when you consider:

Much higher volume of traffic

Much higher average speeds

Many many more idiot drivers (usually in a BMW or Audi)

Many badly designed slip roads

Many people not giving way to slip roads

Many people not accelerating enough when joining the motorway

Many more idiot HGV drivers racing each other

So overall these aspects should show that motorways are more dangerous places than a 30mph in a residential area but they aren't so once again speed is not the dangerous factor.

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Re: Decades of road safety research

A few points taken from the study you pointed to :-

Page iv is titled "Some limitations of the study"

1. 77 out of 175, could not be included in the meta-analysis

2. There is a possibility of publication bias in the data

3. The results may to some extent reflect the effects of other road safety measures, not just changes in speed

4. Data concerning speed and/or accidents can be unreliable

5. A number of studies contain multiple estimates of effect.

6. The study does not state what the relationship between speed and accidents is for specific types of accidents or in specific types of traffic environment.

It also states that "The Power Model applies to injury accidents only, and not to accidents at large."

So it's saying that speed is related to the severity of the accident not whether speeding is safe or not.

All of that kind of puts the report in the bin really in this context.

It also mentions other studies that show that cars travelling slower or faster than the mean speed of traffic are more often involved in accidents

So, slow speed also kills to coin a phrase.

There's lies, damn lies and statistics.

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MJI
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Re: Before anyone says "here comes big brother"...

Ever heard of "Time exposed to danger"?

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Re: @JetSetJim, was Before anyone says "here comes big brother"...

"- tap the brakes occasionally, you win 10 pts per wheel they lock up.

- very gradually slow down, you get 100 pts if they have a heart attack or brain hemorrhage."

I have even more fun with people like you: Arrest for dangerous driving... limitless points and a potential jail sentence!

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Re: Decades of road safety research

"All of that kind of puts the report in the bin really in this context."

"The conclusion of this study disagrees with my preconceptions so despite it coming from a very credible source, being a well-recorded meta analysis, being one of a large number of similar studies and having a high citation index, I am going to contrive some minor niggles and then discard it altogether."

There. Translated that into "honest English" for you. You're welcome.

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Paris Hilton

Re: Before anyone says "here comes big brother"...

'round here, if you have to break the speed limit to pass then you are not allowed to pass.

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