I recently read an article on car-to-car communications detailing a possible implementation of this concept. I’m not a pessimist, but following is my initial reaction and thoughts.

The idea of car-to-car communication to provide detailed traffic reports, to alert drivers of possible dangers, and to network people on the road is a good idea. However, how will this simplify driving? I don’t think it will — it will only complicate things. I have witnessed plenty of people who have a hard time holding a steering wheel and concentrating on the road. If they use a GPS, operate the stereo, or use a cellphone while driving, they suddenly appear as if they were DUI. Before a method of integration is determined to seamlessly incorporate car-to-car data into the drivers’ experiences, these “safety features” will only be a distraction. Sure, most people could handle it just fine, but for those who already feel stressed simply being behind the wheel?

Crazy drivers are crazy drivers. No software will change that. Until seamless methods of integration are developed to add all of this extra information into the driving experience, the “safety benefits” (for individual drivers) of car-to-car communication are merely over-hyped security blankets used to gain support for a developing industry. Whatever sells.

Regarding wireless security, I am not too concerned. What concerns me more is the possibility that this useful-by-name technology will someday become so admired that it will become standard (that is, if you don’t want it, you’ll need to pay a price for nixing it). This is just another layer for taxation and insurance companies to farm for money. What if I don’t want my car to be a wireless beacon, hotspot, etc? Yea, I’ll probably end up having to pay to not have this “safer” feature.

I am all for car-to-car communication, but until useful data can be delivered to the driver in such a way that it is a natural part of the driving experience (non-intrusive, that is, not distracting), the reputation for this technology is all wishful thinking.

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