While not condoning the actions of these scumbags, their creative ways of conning people are sometimes quite clever.
Here's a smart scam that's cropped up on the US East Coast. It appears people have installed a free smartphone app – quite possibly a traffic monitoring tool – that keeps an eye on their whereabouts, and then emails them fake speeding tickets. Victims are tricked into thinking the messages are legit and have come from the cops …
By the time they can institute some sort of mandatory tracking of cars for purposes of traffic enforcement, we'll all have self driving cars so it won't matter. You can't get a ticket for your self driving car's actions if all you are doing is telling it where you go, but don't have control over the speed at which it travels.
I sometimes wonder what police will do for revenue collection when they can't shake people down for speeding and lose the drunk driving revenue as well (not saying drunk driving should be ignored, but the police around here treat it as a profit center and constantly hassle the cab drivers who help minimize the number of drunks on the road)
> You can't get a ticket for your self driving car's actions if all you are doing is telling it where you go, but don't have control over the speed at which it travels.
Dear poster, please do not persist that myth that self-driving cars will somehow relieve the driver of responsibility. If I may speak on the basis of my past experience as commercial pilot, even though most of the flying was done by a computer (called FMS) controlling both aircraft speed and course, I still:
* Had to be licensed, in current practice, and medically fit to fly. Even though theoretically I might not touch a single control during an entire flight (in practice this doesn't happen, but for the sake of argument).
* Was responsible for telling the aircraft where and how fast to go.
* Was expected to be sufficiently knowledgeable of the aircraft systems' operation and able to recognise, and react to, abnormal situations.
* Responded with my licence, and potentially my freedom, if I endangered myself, "my" aircraft, or somebody else's life, limb, or property.
In addition to that, the Captain responded for any and all of my own fuck-ups, whether computer aided or not even if, as above, he hadn't touched a single control.
For your hypothesis to be remotely conceivable, all the occupants of a vehicle would need to be mere passengers and exempt of any licensing or similar requirements. As of today this does not happen on public roads (thought there are some such systems, such as airport trains and metros) and it is unlikely to happen. The closest thing we've seen is the wee Google car (the ridiculous looking white things) and to my knowledge those are not intended to operate on public roads.
I do believe that flight has traditionally been more strictly controlled than driving. When a plane crashes, there is always an inquiry. Full examination is made of all the debris, and a lengthy report is written to establish the cause and possible procedures, or changes in procedures, to mitigate said cause in future.
When a car crashes, if no one is injured it is generally self-declared to the insurance. If the car is damaged enough, an "expert" will be dispatched to put a price on the repairs, but he won't be there to find out what happened - that is not his job. Only when people have been severely injured or killed is there a more thorough investigation, but that practically never results in instructions to car makers to change this or that. It is just an official record that this many people died because car crash.
So I find it perfectly believable that autonomous cars will, in time, not require a person to physically capable of driving, or even have a license. Not immediately, but there will be a time in the future where people will only learn to drive as a hobby, an eccentric fad, when everyone else is just driven everywhere by Johnny Autobot.
> So I find it perfectly believable that autonomous cars will, in time, not require a person to physically capable of driving, or even have a license
Such autonomous vehicles have existed for years, just not on public roads. It is not currently foreseen that vehicles will be allowed to operate fully autonomously without qualified drivers on board, on public roads. In the longer term it may well happen, but for now that's in the realm of fiction.
> How the hell do you get airborne without anyone touching a single control?
I did not say "anyone". I said "me", in the sense of "one of the flight crew". It is certainly not common, but it serves to illustrate the point.
All commercial operations (with a couple exceptions) under EASA are multi-crew. My specific aircraft requires two pilots to fly regardless of type of operation, so save for incapacitation both the pilot flying and pilot monitoring roles involve operating certain controls during specific phases of flight. However the point is that even under the monitoring role one retains responsibility for the safe conduct of the flight.
With that said, there are certainly scenarios where one's entire flight might be conducted without physically touching any controls. Long haul cruise pilots come to mind, in what is said to be the most boring job in aviation.
"The closest thing we've seen is the wee Google car (the ridiculous looking white things) and to my knowledge those are not intended to operate on public roads."
Google was already trying to get cars that don't have steering wheels or other driver controls onto the road, but California wouldn't let them. I think it is clear that's the way things are going, they just need to prove the cars a little more. While I agree that at first only licensed drivers capable of taking over control will be allowed in 'driverless' cars, I think that will only be a transition period. Eventually you'll have as much control over the car as you have from the back seat of a taxi and without a steering wheel or pedals how are you going to control it directly? Presumably there will be some way to drive off road like to a campground, they would need some way to drive off marked roads but I don't know how that would be handled.
Flying is different from driving in that you don't just follow signs and traffic laws and lane markings to get where you are going, you follow instructions from the ground about heading, altitude and speed, which are different at different times depending on other traffic, weather, how loaded your plane is / how much fuel you have remaining, etc. Since most of flying is done far away from other planes, there is limited 'experience' an autopilot could get in handling emergencies so it really needs a pilot. With so many more car trips being taken the car's "autopilot" can gain that experience much more quickly, and the consequences for being wrong is a lot less fatal in a car.
Given the consequences in terms of death toll for a plane crash versus a car crash - as well as the public acceptance (or lack of) for each (people fret about dying in plane crashes even though they are statistically more likely to die in a car crash on the way to the airport) it makes sense that they have higher standards for aviation than they will for self-driving cars.
> Google was already trying to get cars that don't have steering wheels or other driver controls onto the road, but California wouldn't let them
Could you please reference that?
All I am asking is a report that at least one legislature somewhere in the world is currently contemplating allowing autonomous cars without a duly licensed driver on board to drive on public roads.
So far a few people have chirped in to express their opinion of what the future could look like, which is very interesting and all, but nobody has bothered to show any actual evidence of change on that crucial point. Of course you would have read on some website / heard on TV about all kinds of fancy "rise of the machines" scenarios--their job is to sell copy / get clicks / audience and they're good at it. They're not so good at offering actual information though.
Found in the first few paragraphs:
Here, proof that NHTSA considers the computer the "driver", which implies no licensed driver is needed (or any human at all, necessarily)
First you complain about the myth of future cars and later end by stipulating the current situation? Nice.
Planes are not cars and licensing requirements are quite different between the two. The push by self-driving car makers is exactly as you would dispute: they want governments in various jurisdictions to work out the various liability issues so that autonomous vehicles can be turned loose on the roadways of the world. They are reportedly willing to accept liability for their cars' actions if that means they will be able to manufacture and sell them. As long as the risk is a known factor, they will be able to work it into their respective business models. This is not the world as we know it today, but it is conceivably the world of the very near future.
> First you complain about the myth of future cars and later end by stipulating the current situation?
Beg pardon? I did not say anything about "future cars" but about the hypothetical shift of liability from the driver to the manufacturer. And I do not understand what you mean by "stipulating the current situation". I am not entirely sure "stipulate" means what you think it does.
> they want governments in various jurisdictions to work out the various liability issues so that autonomous vehicles can be turned loose on the roadways of the world.
And could you please point where exactly are they lobbying for autonomous vehicles to be operated on public roads without a qualified driver on board?
> They are reportedly willing to accept liability for their cars' actions if that means they will be able to manufacture and sell them
Could you please tell me where I may find one such report?
> This is not the world as we know it today,
> but it is conceivably the world of the very near future.
Conceivable: "Capable of being imagined or grasped mentally."
So yes, of course it's conceivable, out of an infinite number of possible scenarios.
And could you please point where exactly are they lobbying for autonomous vehicles to be operated on public roads without a qualified driver on board?
Since you asked nicely, here is the first example that Google (how apropos!) returned:
I think vehicular tracking real-time will become the norm anyway regardless of so called autonomous cars.
Welcome to the UK my friend, where the police track all vehicles in real time using a big network of number plate recognition cameras.
Of course, they have no statutory authority to do this, nor have they ever laid a report on its operation before Parliament, or even provided more than the most basic justification or information about its operation to anyone, but that is how they like to do things around here.
'twould need to be clever to include an image of my license plate.
I can understand the GPS thing and getting the email address, but how do they get the license plate picture?
Not, of course, that I would ever pay something like that. Ask yourself: how would the police know my email address? Then ask yourself: is this a legal way of delivering a violation notice? (hint: no)
"Tredyffrin doesn’t have speed cameras, and the police say that they have nothing to do with these citation notices, but here’s the thing: The residents were, in fact, speeding at the locations cited in the citations."
Sounds like this hacker's primary crime is that he is usurping the prerogative of government. Big govt. proponents in the US often call for GPS to be built into cars so that authorities can see where and how fast you have gone. The data would be hard to delete and also protected by Force of Law. But it's all for good reasons, of course, and would never ever be mis-used.
Just think, every time you break a traffic rule you would be fined automatically. Teenaged drivers would wear a haunted look. Before long the streets would be safe enough to eat off of. I can't wait!
One would think that the mark would realize that the authorities don't use e-mail and all communication, such as a speeding ticket from an automated camera are sent to the address on record for the owner of the licence plate. That is the way it works in this province (Canada BC). I suspect jurisdictions where e-mail will suffice for delivery of legal papers would be rare, or even non existent.
One of these days, what with requiring automatic crash detection, etc. installed in cars, they'll probably add in a speed monitoring app that WILL snitch you off to the police, who will happily mail (or perhaps e-mail) you a REAL traffic ticket if you speed. Why bother with speed cameras when they can make your car do their job for them?
Got to love Big Brother, don't we, fellow citizens of Oceania?
Actually I just reached 50, so I am enjoying my new privilege of going the actual speed limits, especially since Gov. Scott vetoed the "slow people keep to the slow lane" bill, so I go 25mph in the left lane. (yes, a lot of the local speed limits are a ridiculous 25mph around here)
I've been stopped for impeding traffic, and I love the look on the officer's face when I pull out the newspaper article about that. I've been like "PLEASE CITE ME" because it would be something I could take to court against the stupid speed limits, but they don't want to be tied up as a witness in such a case.
Why are you proud of being an asshole and impeding traffic? If you think the speed limit should be higher, then either go faster and risk a speeding ticket or go 25 mph in the right line. Your solution is like people who protest police violence by rioting and destroying cop cars.
Correct, and in all my US driving I didn't encounter any self-righteous "you're not driving-quite-fast-enough-for-my-lane" cutter-inners. But people were still sensible on clearer stretches, using the outer lane for faster travel. Marvelous relaxed driving.
But most don't. My state doesn't, but I was always taught to drive in the right lane, pass on the left. There's no penalty for staying in the left lane but most people are pretty good about it, and those who aren't are often just daydreaming and forgot to switch back to the right. I'll usually switch lanes to come up behind them instead of just passing on the right, and usually they'll move over, but if they don't get the hint then I'll pass on the right.
Even though I am typically in the 98% percentile of overall traffic speed (i.e. I probably pass 50 cars for every one that passes me) I get over into the right lane whenever I can stay there for longer than 5-10 seconds and always move over when someone is coming up behind me unless I'm stuck behind a car in front of me.
What irks me the most is when I'm cruising along in the left lane, and a slow vehicle that's moving 0.25 mph faster than the cars ahead of it cuts right in front of me at the last moment. If they just waited two seconds to change lanes, they could have cut in behind me and not slowed me down so instead they force me to travel slower while taking minutes to pass the brigade of traffic they were behind.
For some reason semis are especially bad at this, to the point where if I'm approaching a truck that's in the right lane with some other traffic not far ahead of it I think he might be planning to pass I'll speed up trying to get past him before he has a chance to cut me off! Inevitably a semi that does this will switch lanes right before a long uphill stretch, leaving him unable to make any progress past the traffic on the right. Really makes me question whether semis should even be permitted in the left lane at all if they can't exercise any common sense.
" because it would be something I could take to court against the stupid speed limits, "
Speed limits have little to do with road laws which generally have "keep right when not passing" built into them. (or left, for places which drive on the left side of the road).
I've lived in a number of places where "slow people in the slow lane" bills have been proposed - and been trumped by someone (usually the police) pointing out that existing laws are sufficient.
A cop pulling you over and citing you for "failing to keep right" doesn't need to mention that you're holding up traffic if it gets to court.
"Try adaptive cruise control. Best invention since the steering wheel."
Correction. Another 'gadget' to allow the driver to take less responsibility for his driving and become an even lazier driver. you ARE supposed to be concentrating on what you are doing you know.
Just like eye level brake lights. If you are relying on a brake light at eye level you are probably travelling far to close to the car in front, and are certainly not reading the road ahead of you.
Like all of these things, it CAN be useful in certain circumstances, but is inevitably misused.
I'll be "That Person" who suggests it might benefit drivers to have law enforcement tracking us, with the right transparency.
First, I think that many traffic laws are not enforced. Some of those would probably be impossible to enforce (in an honest way. There are, of course, speed traps and the like.) A tool that catches literally all infractions would force traffic laws and traffic behavior to meet. We would probably see rationalization in both.
Second, traffic laws are not enforced consistently. It's not always the fastest driver who gets pulled over for speeding, nor the most reckless driver who gets pulled over for doing something stupid. Some argue there are other factors at work, like personal appearance (race, dress, gender), type of car, neighborhood, and whether the officer had Wheaties that morning. If there's a full-scale surveillance of driving behavior, defendants could ask "why was I cited for a violation when your data shows that I was driving at typical traffic speeds, while other drivers were grossly exceeding the norm?" "Your department prosecutes dark-skinned drivers at a much higher rate than light-skinned drivers. Please provide data to show you are applying the law fairly."
This reminds me of when the US adopted a 55mph speed limit. Protesters drove down the highways across all lanes, at precisely the speed limit, destroying traffic flows.
Maybe we should all be chipped at birth too and everything we do monitored, everything we do on our computers sent back to "the authorities" (or Microsoft), our television sets watching and listening on every word and deed in our living rooms, our mobile phones tracking everything we do and where we go notifying "the authorities" (or Google) and when outdoors, CCTV cameras watching our every move, all in the interests of upholding "the law". Transparently too as we all know about the monitoring.
War is peace.
Slavery is freedom.
Ignorance is strength.
> Maybe we should all be chipped at birth too
Except that, everything else you mention is already being done, and quite overtly at that.
But to be fair, the person above (jtaylor) makes a reasonable point. Let me explain.
Traffic accidents (which for the sake of argument, we will say traffic laws are meant to minimise, although we know this is a somewhat leaky argument) have an immense cost both in terms of fatalities and economical impact, many orders of magnitude bigger than our favourite root-of-all-evil these days, terrorism: 25,900 road fatalities vs 4 terrorism-related deaths in the EU in 2014.
Now let us reflect on the price we are paying in terms of individual freedoms for those four victims (and how little bang for the buck we are getting, seeing the 150 or so intra-EU terrorism casualties in 2015). Remember, this is a price we are already paying. What if instead, we were to pay a similar price in order to save 25,900 lives, remembering that in every case there is a family, friends, and colleague behind each victim. We know that society can tolerate such level of intrusion, since we are already subject to it. The question that remains is, would that be a fair price to pay?
In brief, what I believe jtaylor is implying is that it is not so much the tracking that society finds unacceptable (regardless of what a number of individuals, me included, may think of it), but the morally dubious and non-transparent use being made thereof.
At the end of the day though, repression always has limited effectiveness in the absence of proper education and sense of individual responsibility.
I'd be careful of what you wish for. We're already having our privacy eroded on the Net by governments, corporates, etc.
This is a very slippery slope to be on. Ok.. so they use it to enforce speed limits. Then what? Visiting certain neighborhoods? Attending meetings... especially political? This will escalate so fast in almost every country I can think of that it's scary where we could all be in a few years.
Go read the posts and articles on "snooping",... this is just as bad, maybe even worse.
> it might benefit drivers to have law enforcement tracking us
Here in the UK, the last Labour Government wanted to introduce ANPR cameras at all junctions on major roads (ie motorways and dual carriageways) with the idea that if you got from A to B faster than the speed limit, they could automatically issue you with a speeding ticket.
Fortunately saner minds prevailed after it was pointed out that not only would this create a massive Snoopers Database (even bigger than the current ANPR database) that could be used to track the journeys of road users, but it would also result in many people leaving the major roads and, instead, going through the small towns and villages which said motorways and dual carriageways were designed to bypass, in order to avoid the cameras, thus clogging up those roads instead.
If traffic laws are not enforced well, this is not the way to improve such enforcement.
Even better, a standard-looking car GPS unit that secretly watches what the car does even while "switched off" and regularly phones in the data. The parent could be waiting at the door with all the facts ready, or even chase down the wayward child in the act.
It could be called Auto Narc.
I'm not sure how it is elsewhere, but in my U.S. state, at least, an automated traffic ticket of any type has no legal standing and simply doesn't have to be paid. By law, not paying it can have no effect on your driver's license, insurance, credit report, or what have you. In other words, paying it is a purely voluntary act, despite what the notice itself might say, or what the municipality where it was issued might say, or what the representatives from a third-party issuing company might say. In fact, they're trying to get a law passed right now saying that the "ticket" itself must clearly state this - "This ticket has absolutely no legal standing" (or words to that effect) - but they are of course having a bit of trouble getting this pushed through.
It may not be enforceable in your state, but they ARE enforceable in Virginia. IINM it was by an Act of Legislature so it has full legal backing. I think the way it's set up is that the cameras, as set up by authority of the local police, have limited police authority under the Act, so the fines they issue must be paid (there's a split of the proceeds) or further legal action can be taken. OTOH, offenses from these cameras cannot accrue demerit points in regards to being required to take remedial courses or getting your license suspended, plus you CAN challenge the case in traffic court if you have reason to believe it is in error, so this puts an onus on the company to only submit pretty clear violations.
They'd have to "ping" my phone off the cell towers. I turn it off and turn off geo-tracking unless I am currently in an app that needs it (find closest gas station). Since I can't answer my phone while I'm driving, why have it turned on? Maybe I'm misunderstanding this, but can they track a turned-off phone?
"They" are not the ones tracking you. The app on your phone is snitching on you, to a person who has zero authority to send citations.
Since it is the phone doing the snitching, if it is off, no snitching can happen. And yes, we've all heard about how the FBI can turn on the microphone of a switched-off phone. We're not talking FBI here, just some Internet scum.
Intelligent Internet scum.
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