Responds to Frisch letter

December 21, 2018

Dear Editor,

In response to Mr. Frisch’s letter about “The Internet of Things”:

I’ve been following the news about self-driving cars with interest, and am frankly astonished that the engineers have been at all successful with the technology, given the complexity of real world problems. The idea I have not heard yet is to pair self-driving cars with smart roads.

This idea is not meant for rural areas where traffic is not a problem. But there are places where the traffic couldn’t be made worse! Think of the images on TV. Tuesday night before Thanksgiving when the 405 through Los Angeles turned into a parking lot for miles, both ways! What if all the cars virtually linked with each other and the interstate itself to move together as a train?

Or think about trying to park at Ford Stadium in Detroit. What if your car could drop you off at the door and park itself in an automatic parking garage? When you’re ready to leave, you call your car on your smart phone. It knows from your location how long a walk you have to the loading zone, mentions the locations of the restrooms on the way, signals “I am going” to the garage and all the cars in it, and comes to pick you up.

One problem at a stadium is that everyone wants to leave at once. This is where smart cars all communicating with each other, would be more efficient than human drivers. And if it were going to take, say 20 minutes for your car to arrive it would be able to tell you so and suggest you wait in a lounge, instead of at the wheel of a car, staring at cement, pedestrians, and slowly moving steel and glass cages containing (apparent) idiots driving them.

Here’s another cool thing about smart cars on smart roads. Say a cat runs into traffic. The first car on the road chip to “see” it “tells” all the nearby cars so they all act at once. If they “decide” to slow down, they all do it as a unit instead of having a pile-up. And if a passenger in one of the cars asks “Why are we slowing down?” the car answers “cat in the road 5 cars ahead,” and displays an image on the screen. If the cat has a chip, as many pets already do, it might be possible to identify it and inform the owner.

Obviously this technology would be used in places where traffic is impossible right now, and cars not equipped to link in would not be allowed. However, new cars already have enough computing power to be included!

Thanks Mr. Frisch
Sincerely, Lee Thomas

Share This Post

Error, no group ID set! Check your syntax!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *