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Vehicle-to-Vehicle: 7 Things to Know About Uncle Sam's Plan

Snapshot of NHTSA report
8/22/2014 08:10 AM EDT
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kfield
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Interesting, but....
kfield   8/22/2014 10:59:52 AM
This plan sounds really exciting in its potential to reduce accidents and save lives, but aren't there some even more basic hazards we could take care of first. For example how we can in this day and age manage to crash two trains head-on traveling on the same track? 

SpeedEvil
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Why this is unlikely to be anonymous.
SpeedEvil   8/22/2014 12:24:08 PM
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"no data in the safety messages exchanged by vehicles or collected by the V2V system that could be used by law enforcement or private entities to personally identify a speeding or erratic driver."

I note the interesting video on TPMS. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u4nAeKsYTAU

Tyre pressure monitoring systems. In principle there is no identification.In practice, the wheels have 32 to 104 bit unique IDs.

And there are four of them - plenty to ID a car.

It is hard to see how you can have non-identifiable cars in V2V without allowing easy spoofing.

I question seriously if a new standard would be created without intentional holes for the NSA/Law enforcement.

If you can cause a car to stop to avoid a collision, you can cause it to stop because you believe the driver did something bad.

mhrackin
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Two points
mhrackin   8/22/2014 1:24:03 PM
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1.  NHTSA has a horrible reputation for issuing specs that are incredibly voluminous yet do not cover ANY critical areas in depth (like explaining the GOAL of the document!).

2.  I found it interesting the NHTSA thinks "software is FREE"!  Typical bureaucrats.

sixscrews
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V2V - free software and certification
sixscrews   8/22/2014 2:42:50 PM
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mhrackin makes an excellent point about the NHTSA's blind spots - such as not anticipating the cost of software and an seeming inability to understand that standards should have an overall objective that is achievable and achieved by the framework of the standards.

This all seems like a nice set of tinker-toy scenarios - maybe because I'm drawn to the cartoons more than the text - but I don't see a baseline concept of 'vehicle' and 'communication' and 'event' - all of which require fine-grained definitions before any code is architectured.

Finally, I'm very concerned about the NHTSA's ability to develop a certification framework that will ensure that these systems work all the time and every time - witness the Toyota throttle contol module cases of the past few years.  These have shown the NHTSA as a toothless animal (I hesitate to call it a tiger - maybe a jackal since they show up after the meat is killed) unable to define standards for even the most basic of vehicle systems - speed control, braking, steering and incident reporting.  This allowed a bunch of amateur engineers at Toyota to crank out millions of badly designed software modules, most of which are still on the highway today.

If these things were flying the FAA would have grounded them before the first test flight, let alone going to manufacturing.

If we are going to let software protect us in hazardous situations (and it does today, even though it may not be obvious) that software must be known, understood and tested in real conditions.  The days of 'it complies, it must work' are long gone.

I'm not sure how a system like that proposed by the NHTSA will be developed and implemented, but, withougt standards and realistic testing with hard pass/fail boundaries I will stick to walking in my central Wisconsin woodlands - maybe a tree will fall on me - well, OK, but that's not due to software...

ss/wb

junko.yoshida
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Long at last
junko.yoshida   8/22/2014 3:13:57 PM
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We should all know that NHTSA (and those in the automotive industry) have been particpating in the V2V plan for a long time. This isn't a paper plan -- their proposal has been backed up by data generated by many hours of testing done on the roads in Michigan. 

That said, I find it almost ironic that some of the collision avoidance technologies suggested here in the proposal have been already executed by ADAS, thus this paper spends a lot of time comparing V2V with ADAS. 

I get that there are things that could be only accomplished by V2V. I think it's useful. But as the proposal points out, in the end, our smartphone might be enough to satisfy this V2V mandate of the future.

John_Galt
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Impaired driver is the major cause of accidents
John_Galt   8/22/2014 3:47:15 PM
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While this technology is all well and good any advance in making sure the driver is fully engaged in driving the vehicle would have a larger benefit. Impairments such as driving under the influence are common knowledge and certainly distraction due to texting or other high-tech actvities have also received much needed attention. As typical in any human endeavor there are always unintended consequences - would these high tech safety nets encourage more drivers to rely on the technology bailing them out of a dangerous traffic situation? 

betajet
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Re: Interesting, but....
betajet   8/22/2014 4:27:50 PM
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Karen asked: For example how we can in this day and age manage to crash two trains head-on traveling on the same track?

That's usually caused by technology, specifically by an operator texting or otherwise illegally using a mobile device instead of watching the track ahead and observing signals.  It's pretty boring looking at the same stretch of track every day when nothing unusual ever happens.  But an operator is paid to watch for that unusual event that can cause so much damage if it occurs.

Similarly, how does that V2V technology help when a driver is texting illegally instead of watching the control panel?  (Maybe that's addressed in the article, which I haven't read yet.)

mhrackin
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Re: Interesting, but....
mhrackin   8/22/2014 4:41:15 PM
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Surely you've seen the Mercedes commercial for the E-class with the ability to slam on the brakes when the car decides it's necessary to avoid an accident...  no Government edict (or infrastructure- ignored in the report) required!

betajet
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Re: Interesting, but....
betajet   8/22/2014 6:19:04 PM
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mhrackin wrote: Surely you've seen the Mercedes commercial for the E-class with the ability to slam on the brakes when the car decides it's necessary to avoid an accident...

I'm afraid you have vastly overestimated the amount of time Betajet spends watching TV :-) 

I wonder how the E-class makes the decision, and how easy it is to spoof?  At what point do bored teen-agers with nothing better to do drop fire crackers and tires off overpasses in front of "smart" cars to watch them slam on the brakes and maim their occupants?  "Trolling for Taillights" (circa 1992) is fairly harmless and only targets speeders, but triggering sudden braking could really hurt people.

Addendum: Toyota and others seem to have enough trouble just detecting throttle position reliably.  And now the auto industry and USA government expect us to believe they can do something vastly more complex even more reliably?

 

Bert22306
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Re: Interesting, but....
Bert22306   8/22/2014 8:25:05 PM
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Karen asked: For example how we can in this day and age manage to crash two trains head-on traveling on the same track?

That's usually caused by technology, specifically by an operator texting or otherwise illegally using a mobile device instead of watching the track ahead and observing signals.

One can also argue that the accident is caused by LACK OF technology. Specifically, that a distracted/distractable human is being permitted to put a whole train at risk.

Today I avoided an accident that V2V would have been perfect at preventing. Driving down a street, hulking long truck parked on the right, just before an intersection. Distracted human driver approaches the street I'm on, from the perpendicular side street, on my right. So, approach the intersection, and even though she obviously couldn't see the oncoming traffic from the main street, due to this hulking parked truck, she finds it perfectly acceptable to barge on through and turn to her left (i.e. broadside in front of me).

LIDAR, radar, human eyeballs, none of that works in this case. We're at the mercy of the other driver's attention and skill. But V2V would have given me and the other driver a warning that someone was moving that we couldn't see, coming right in our respective paths.

And yes, of course, V2V requires interoperable standards, as would V2I, where local sensors don't. Much as communicating with other people requires an interoperable standard, called "language" (not to mention vocal cords and ears that operate at the same frequencies). Where using your eyes does not.

I wouldn't expect the NHTSA to work out those details, but rather some other organization like the IEEE. V2V sounds like an application of ad-hoc networking. It would help if vehicles could relay comms from other vehicles, within close range but obstructed by buildings or big, hulking trucks.

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