Saturday, August 11, 2012

Avoid a Traffic Jam and Get a Free Gift - Where Do I Sign Up For That? Not So Fast

In the future engineers and computer scientists imagine that all automobiles, trucks, and perhaps even flying cars will all be on the same network talking to each other, announcing their positions, and of course this means no more car wrecks. Yes, that would sure beat killing 30 - 40,000 people on our highways each year in auto accidents wouldn't it? All of this technology will also tell us of impending traffic jams perhaps even 10-minutes before they occur based on the intended destination of each vehicle, speed of traffic, flow, and number of vehicles. Okay so, let's talk.

There was an interesting article posted to the Detroit Free Press on June 14, 2012 titled; "Automation may cut traffic deaths," by the famous business writer and columnist Elisa Priddle which stated;

"Human error is the critical reason for 93% of crashes," said Maddox. "That's an overwhelming number. We now have an opportunity to do something about it. Our goal should be crashless cars," and "We need a significant body of research to understand how far it will go to meet our goals," as "The bottom line: people won't drive an automated vehicle if it's not safe."

Good, again, no more crashes, we all agree that saving lives is a worthwhile endeavor for science and technology - we are all in. Now then, on June 12, 2012 in the Science section of the New York Times another article titled; "Incentives for Drivers Who Avoid Traffic Jams" appeared written by John Markoff one of the leading science writers of all time noted that some cities are re-thinking penalties, fines, and the inconvenience factor in trade for rewarding behavior, namely if a driver diverts from a traffic congested area, well they get something.

Okay so, yes, this is a decent idea, so how about a free-electronic pass for a toll road, highway, or toll bridge? Or how about a future token to ride in a diamond or high-occupancy lane even if they only have one person in the car? This is possible if all the cars are net-centric, connected together in a digital intranet as they drive. Perhaps, there might be businesses getting in on the game - get off the freeway, go to McDonalds, get free WiFi and a free Super-Sized Soda with no NYC tax on it, stay there until traffic subsides and then get back on the freeway.

Indeed, I bet this will work, offer incentives just as they do on airliners. If you agree to give up your seat and take the next flight, you will get a free ticket to use sometime in the future. This is basically the same concept, and yes, it ought to work just fine. Please consider all this and think on it.

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