Feeds

'Big Brother' - the price of self-driving cars

Privacy concerns forbid in-car beer, movies, snoozing

3 Big data security analytics techniques

That's all fine - but where the hell is my self-driving car?

And it's worth noting that the only real difficulty in building cars able to drive themselves is that of letting the autodrive system know about other vehicles in a way it can understand. The ability of the human brain to use 2D video for this requires far too much processing power to be viable here: so an alternative such as laser radar mapping droidvision or CVIS is required. Apart from that missing capability, optionally self-driving cars - and indeed 600-tonne godzilla lorries - have already been built.

CVIS, in other words, would be a significant step towards a working robo-chauffeur car which would drive itself and let the user enjoy a beer, a read or a restful nap - or do some work - as it did so.

That would take a while, of course, and would also - as the CVIS people freely admit - require that the kit be universal and compulsory. Nobody is planning to introduce any such rules in the near future, though the DfT are very keen to get stuck in on the congestion-busting toll lane and adjustable speed limit parts of their "managed motorway" plans. The vulnerability of existing numberplate-scan systems to fraud and spoofing is well known - though it's not clear that CVIS would be that much harder to beat.

The privacy implications of the system are clear, of course. Police or other authorities with access would be able to look up details of any journey taken by any vehicle, and track them in real time too - even better than they already can using the TfL enforcement numberplate cams, and the many others on the UK highways.

Equally clear is that universal CVIS would offer useful safety and convenience benefits right off, and potentially move forward one day into the realm of auto-chauffeur cars: which will never be feasible without some such infrastructure, but would be a lot safer and offer much better point-to-point times than human drivers can, if built.

Ultimately then, there's a price to be paid in terms of road deaths, traffic jams and economic strangulation for privacy above a certain level. The question is whether that price is worth paying - it might not be all that big. (Always remembering that if you really wanted to keep a journey off the books you could still take a minicab and pay in cash, use public transport and wear a hoodie to beat the CCTV face trackers - which don't work anyway - hitchhike, etc etc.)

Like all technology since stone tools, CVIS can be used for good or bad - or not used at all if that's what people want.

So far, so ordinary. Just another tech debate.

What's a mild puzzler here is how the Brussels chaps handing out some documents in an attempt to have an open discussion got turned into the headline "Big Brother is watching: surveillance box to track drivers is backed". In fact it's fairly hard to see how it even made the national news.

Looks as though it's not just the government who can play naughty games in an argument of this sort. ®

SANS - Survey on application security programs

More from The Register

next story
Lavabit loses contempt of court appeal over protecting Snowden, customers
Judges rule complaints about government power are too little, too late
Don't let no-hire pact suit witnesses call Steve Jobs a bullyboy, plead Apple and Google
'Irrelevant' character evidence should be excluded – lawyers
Record labels sue Pandora over vintage song royalties
Companies want payout on recordings made before 1972
EFF: Feds plan to put 52 MILLION FACES into recognition database
System would identify faces as part of biometrics collection
Edward Snowden on his Putin TV appearance: 'Why all the criticism?'
Denies Q&A cameo was meant to slam US, big-up Russia
Ex-Tony Blair adviser is new top boss at UK spy-hive GCHQ
Robert Hannigan to replace Sir Iain Lobban in the autumn
Judge halts spread of zombie Nortel patents to Texas in Google trial
Epic Rockstar patent war to be waged in California
German space centre endures cyber attack
Chinese code retrieved but NSA hack not ruled out
APPLE FAILS to ditch class action suit over ebook PRICE-FIX fiasco
Do not pass go, do cough (up to) $840m in damages
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
SANS - Survey on application security programs
In this whitepaper learn about the state of application security programs and practices of 488 surveyed respondents, and discover how mature and effective these programs are.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.