The coming car-to-car communications requirements are just a sample of what is in store for drivers.
“Cars in need of repairs will call a repair center for instructions and do the repairs themselves.” Not a high priority in the industry, it is just a fall-out of the growing “internet of things,” as reported by Janna Anderson in the Club of Amsterdam Journal for February 2014. She is the Director of the Imagining the Internet Center at Elon University and lead author of the Pew Internet & American Life Project “Future of the Internet.” In that same issue a “Wickipedia For Robots,” posting describes a “RoboEarth as a World Wide Web for robots: a giant network and database repository where robots can share information and learn from each other about their behavior and their environment.
The goal of RoboEarth is to allow robotic systems to benefit from the experience of other robots, paving the way for rapid advances in machine cognition and behavior, and ultimately, for more subtle and sophisticated human-machine interaction.” Still more in the same issue on cars and the future is a description of urban mobility shaped and facilitated by the Internet to link all forms of transportation in ways that save travel time, energy costs and congestion.
Of course there is a downside to this progress as Neil Winton describes in his European Perspective column in the Nov. 30 Detroit News. He says: “Cars that are driven by their computers will have massive social and industrial ramifications, and they will be ubiquitous by 2025. In addition to pluses he notes that taxis, bus companies, railroads and short-haul airlines will lose business. And, he says that when it becomes obvious that car computerization works, short-term rentals will boom and bring sleepless nights to carmakers.