Thursday, December 23, 2004

Car Based WiFi

The German government has given a group of auto makers (BMW, Audi, Daimler Chrysler, Volkswagen, Renault and Fiat) a grant to produce a working wireless standard for cars. According to this article on The Register, the car companies are working with a German group called NOW (Networks On Wheels) to produce a method for cars to share data with each other, trucks, even bikes as they pass each other.

I can imagine the possibilities right now, and most of them are positive. A slightly disturbing possibility is this: If all of these vehicles are trading info with each other, there is nothing to prevent them from say, sharing that data with the police. Now there is a good side to that - drunk drivers, accidents, etc. could be identified and picked up quickly. The bad part of that, the police, and therefore the government as a whole could learn everything there is to know about your driving habits, including everywhere you travel to.

As with all technologies like this, I just hope that we can gain from the potential while somehow keeping Big Brother at bay.

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