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pinchvalve MegaDork
3/17/18 3:39 p.m.

Cars are becoming more connected than ever before, and the Internet of Things (IoT) is getting more prevalent all the time.  It is time to embrace the technologies that we have at hand to improve every day driving, making it safer, more efficient and more enjoyable.  It is time to institute tiered driving privileges.  

The key to this system is that your car, driver's license, the police and roads you use are all interconnected.  The easiest way to understand the new system is by example.

Case #1: Fred 

Vehicle Mechanical:
Fred drives a brand-new Kia Stinger GT.  His mandatory state inspection takes place every year to ensure that all performance, emissions and safety systems are 100%. This information is not reflected by an inspection sticker, it is instead stored in a chip/transponder on the vehicle.  With all systems in perfect working order, the vehicle gets a grade of "A". The vehicle's diagnostic computers also report the vehicle's condition to this chip continuously to ensure that should a system fail or under-perform, the vehicle's mechanical "grade" can be downgraded on the fly.  

Vehicle Performance:
If, and only if, the mechanical grade is an A, a rating that reflects the performance potential of the vehicle is released.  In this case, the Stinger GT gets an 8 out of 10. The point is to consider the car as it can be used safely on regular roads, not the track. 

Driver Mechanical:
Fred visits his doctor regularly and he confirms that his eyesight is 20/20, his reflexes are excellent and he has no risk of heart-attack or stroke. This information is kep up-to-date by the device he wears on his wrist that ties into the Stingers' computer system.  This provides his health grade to his vehicle, in Fred's case, he get an "A".

Driver Performance: 
Fred has taken his state driver's test, but also several driving schools, certified HPDE track events, defensive driving training and is a National-level autocrosser.  His license grants him an "A" driver rating.

Road Grade: 
Fred has to get to work, a commute of 60 miles. As he approaches the interstate, he passes under a sensor that reads the four criteria above.  The system knows that the road is 2 lanes wide and the time is 7:30 am and that the weather is clear and dry.  Fred rates high in all categories and is therefore permitted a vMax of 140mph.  The police are using radars that display his speed, but also his rating, so he can swiftly get to work.  

When he nears his destination, surface roads will similarly allow him a vMax of 50mph on the winding route to his office. He has to avoid Route 32 because that is used by school busses and at this hour, he would be restricted to 25mph as are all other vehicles.  Safety first for the kids! 

Case #2: Owen

Vehicle Mechanical:
Owen drives a well-worn diesel Oldsmobile 88. While it passed state inspection, it can only receive a grade of "C" because it is a diesel Olds 88. 

Vehicle Performance:
See above, it gets a 2. 

Driver Mechanical:
Owen is 84 years old, has cataracts, a pacemaker and severe gout.  He receives a "D"rating. 

Driver Performance: 
Owen learned to drive in a Model A, and hasn't improved his skills since.  

Road Grade: 
Owen needs to go to the bank to turn a bag on nickles into a deposit.  He attempts to leave his house at 7:30am, but his car is disabled.  This allows people who need to use the roads to get to work to get to work.  At 10am, he can leave his house and stay on surface streets to get to the bank. 

His car will be disabled from 11:30 - 12:30 because people need to get lunch and again from 4:00 - 6:00 because people need to get home.  This does not affect his dinner plans because the early bird discount ends at 4 and he is already seated by then.

People would adjust to it rather easily I think.  Eventually, when a car blasts down a rural street at 80 mph, instead of saying "that guy is a menace" people would say "that person is clearly capable of handling that safely".  Cars would display their rating, as well as their driver's rating, so if you did notice someone that looked out of place, you could easily report them.  

When you get on the highway, you would know that the other cars around you are all within a reasonable span of ability, making high-speed transport safe and effective.  People who suck at driving would be inconvenienced by having their routes and times restricted, but that's for the greater good.  And they can always improve their ratings with training and buying better cars.  Simple.  

Will UltraDork
3/17/18 4:24 p.m.

1988RedT2 UltimaDork
3/17/18 4:26 p.m.

Elitist swine!  Skewer him!

KyAllroad (Jeremy)
KyAllroad (Jeremy) PowerDork
3/17/18 5:38 p.m.

I'm on board.

it's curious to me that today people can operate vehicles without insurance.  Wouldn't that be the simplest of steps to have an "onstar" dongle in all cars and trucks that simple prevent their operation if the insurance bill isn't paid.

Think of how much the rest of us could save by not having to buy uninsured motorist coverage!

Appleseed MegaDork
3/17/18 6:09 p.m.

In this day of information, police still need you to produce a small scrap of paper to prove you have insurance, yet have SCMODS that show them every booger you've ever picked. 

dean1484 MegaDork
3/17/18 6:13 p.m.

Dumbest thing I have seen in quite some time. 

secretariata SuperDork
3/17/18 7:02 p.m.

Next I present the Thought Police!


Thanks for your concern, but no berkeleying thanks...

travellering HalfDork
3/17/18 8:37 p.m.

This just in, Russia has hacked the driving Gestapo control system.  Those of you who live near Owen may have seen him traveling through the farmers market at an ungoverned rate of speed.  One out of every three cars has been locked out of use hours, including some now sitting stationary in the 140Vmax Boring company owned tunnels.  Maybe trusting the system with our driving privileges would work almost as well as trusting the system alone to raise sane kids...

Mike SuperDork
3/18/18 12:13 p.m.

I had a similar idea driving a long stretch of interstate that is largely rural for a good 200 miles. 

The issue I have with OP initial proposal is that road use has historically considered least common denominator, and has given deference to the grandfathered, the less performant, and those not profiting.

Pedestrians before cars, for example. 

So, any such system has to continue to work, even if the 88 Olds Diesel is out and about in rush hour. 

My idea?

Initial focus is on long, sparsely populated sections of highway. 

High-speed vehicles are inspected, and are fitted with special plates, transponders, and some technology that works a bit like Waze to send and receive real-time data on high-speed vehicle location.

High-speed drivers get additional education, physicals, lower BAC limits, and additional driving rules. 

Dynamic high-speed vehicle limits are created that use population density, driver hours on road, quantity of high-speed vehicles and standard speed vehicles, and presence of risk factors like children, animals, stopped or disabled vehicles. 

High-speed traffic uses more fuel, increases road wear and requires more infrastructure, so fees are structured to make high-speed vehicles self-supporting. The fees should also cover outfitting low-speed and special risk vehicles with their own real-time systems to ensure lower limits around vehicles like school busses. It would also cover outfitting law enforcement vehicles with equipment both designed to allow enforcement of high-speed vehicle regulations and to allow LEOs to take advantage of the system in their own high-speed vehicle driving, including declaring, for example, the mile leading up to side of road emergencies as 50MPH zones. Finally, it would have to cover instrumenting the highway to allow for tracking the weather, disabled vehicles, and the vehicle density of each "rolling mile" of cars along the route. 

Overtaking rules would limit relative speed to no more than some well-researched differential (intuitively, I'd think no more than 20MPH) and in-vehicle systems will notify drivers of the pending overtake. 

Standard drivers may keep their existing regulatory structure and speed limit, but may choose to use apps or other in-vehicle systems to access roadway data. This would allow standard drivers to better declare their road position, declare breakdowns, and get advance notice of high-speed overtaking and upcoming road emergencies. 

barefootskater Reader
3/18/18 1:10 p.m.

Much like communism, it may sound good on paper, but it would never work in the real world. 

The real problem I have with this is in limiting the mobility of people. If you can't drive your car what do you do about getting to a doctors appointment. Or to a job that requires you to come in at noon. What about the folks who can't afford a new and "connected" car. Or the guys who figure out how to hack the system and are driving a "legal" 140mph in an illegal modified car. Or the enthusiast who meticulously maintains his old Olds, which he loves because it is neat and you just don't see them anymore and doesn't own another car to get around in.

Plus all the old people I see (and I live in a retirement town) are driving either Prii, or Cadillacs, not old worn out land yachts.

underpowered New Reader
3/18/18 6:10 p.m.

The information exchange between vehicle and infrastructure is already being developed...It's called " Car to X"

pilotbraden UltraDork
3/18/18 9:16 p.m.
Appleseed said:

In this day of information, police still need you to produce a small scrap of paper to prove you have insurance, yet have SCMODS that show them every booger you've ever picked. 

In Michigan the fuzz carry a scanner that reads the license plate. They have access to insurance company information,  warrants ,driving record of the registered owner etc. Now the bums spend an inordinate amount of time patrolling parking lots.

Crxpilot Reader
3/18/18 10:20 p.m.

Emergencies? Loaning cars to others? Faulty sensors, chips, transponders? Hacking? 

Lots of new entry points for errors to form and thrive. First time a senator’s daughter has her baby in a Tesla locked in parade mode this all gets scrapped.

I understand the thinking behind the idea.  The systems to make this work need to come from the private/user side and not the public/enforcement side, both for efficiency and cost as well as for scalability and flexibility. These improvements you’ve introduced will need constant upgrades and tweaks; something the public sector can’t do well.

But I don’t want to share the roads with “beta testers” either. Once you tell a computer science major his Mustang is locked on level 4, he’ll have it on level 10 in the morning and in a ditch by noon.

KyAllroad (Jeremy)
KyAllroad (Jeremy) PowerDork
3/18/18 11:14 p.m.

Easier to just finish rolling out the self driving cars, legalize pot, and smoke up while your personal transport pod delivers you to your destination without your slightest involvement.

Daylan C
Daylan C SuperDork
3/19/18 12:29 a.m.

I gotta be honest I'm a bit buzzed and didn't read the whole post. But as somebody who drives a E36 M3box to work every day mostly by choice I'm a bit upset about the idea of having to plan my already annoying schedule around your grand plan of a better tomorrow. I drive like enough of an shiny happy person that I'm pretty sure I'm not the one holding up your commute. I completely agree that my oil burning 318 is killing the polar bears though.

I'm not going to edit this post after I read the rest of the thread.

This is how an adult argument works right?

Something about gun control here...or something.


The edit I lied about: I read the whole thing, it's as dumb as I thought. In my comparatively short time commuting I've observed that the elderly gentlemen in the diesel Olds isn't actually a concern anymore. It's the large number of 20-50 year old able bodied people in a Nissan Altima. Not enough people are going to change their car buying habits or pursue more driver education to make a noticeable change.  Another part of my complaint with the idea is that for it to work all cars on the road would need to be at minimum OBDII compliant. I quite enjoy keeping cars that aren't OBDII compliant in my life. Yes this is a selfish way of looking at things.

SVreX MegaDork
3/19/18 6:13 a.m.

Someone must have skipped class the day they read Orsen Well's "1984". 

...or didn't understand the significance. 

Fueled by Caffeine
Fueled by Caffeine MegaDork
3/19/18 6:21 a.m.

If we could get access to the data you could mostly do this today. 


Dmv + insurance records + geolocation data from your phone + some gis data    





¯\_(ツ)_/¯ UltraDork
3/19/18 6:39 a.m.

Damage in car crashes is all about the energy being dissipated- so how about we just have kinetic energy limits instead of speed limits?  That way your safety is up to you, but the safety of others is more or less guaranteed by the energy limit.


Example- on the highway, a 6k lb Suburban is limited to the current normal 65mph  or 1.14896 MJ of kinetic energy.  Therefore, on a sportbike with a combined bike+rider weight of 600lbs I'm allowed the same energy, and can go up to 205mph at my discretion.  cheeky

A 2k lb Miata would be allowed about 110mph on the highway under this system, which seems like a reasonable terminal velocity for that vehicle.

volvoclearinghouse UberDork
3/19/18 6:55 a.m.

In my 40 years on Earth, I've come to realize that anytime anyone says "A Modest Proposal", or "Common Sense Legislation", or "Bipartisan Support", look out, because a load of absolute horseE36 M3 is about to get hocked your way.  


dculberson UltimaDork
3/19/18 9:19 a.m.

You guys do know that "A Modest Proposal" was satire, right? I would hope that anyone using "A Modest Proposal," then, would be doing so in that spirit, otherwise they're using it entirely wrong.

And yes, "A Modest Proposal" was not prefaced with "this is a joke." And reading it at face value meant thinking it was serious. That's how satire works.

SVreX MegaDork
3/19/18 9:32 a.m.

In reply to dculberson :

So, you are saying that all we have to do is preface any stupid idea with "A Modest Proposal", and all can ignore it and it will therefore be acceptable?

Sounds useful...

A Modest Proposal:  Every political thread or comment on this forum shall be prefaced with the phrase "A Modest Proposal". 


volvoclearinghouse UberDork
3/19/18 9:34 a.m.

In reply to dculberson :

I did not know that, thank you for the education.  I feel slightly more enlightened, now. 

Unfortunately, whenever I've ready anything entitled "A Modest Proposal" it seems abundantly obvious that the author has no knowledge of where that title comes from, nor that it is satire.  it seems like they just use it to seem clever.

bentwrench SuperDork
3/19/18 10:22 a.m.

How does this differ for an immodest proposal?

Brian MegaDork
3/19/18 10:31 a.m.

Has this been an episode of Black Mirror yet?

Brian MegaDork
3/19/18 10:32 a.m.
bentwrench said:

How does this differ for an immodest proposal?

You could go for an indecent proposal. 

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