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Specifically, what data should vehicles be allowed to communicate? What data should not be allowed?

I feel like this is the type of question that SHOULD have been discussed before the smart phones came on the market.

This question might also give auto-makers guidelines/ideas as to building future vehicle communication systems. I am curious to know what others think about the topic and if anyone thinks cars will never have vehicle communication systems, also when they might have them would be nice too. I would say the first will come in 4-5 years, all will have them in 10 years, that's just an uneducated guess though.

Driver's personal information? No
Trip origin? No
Destination? No
Vehicle purchased date? No
Vehicle charge percent? No, could easily calculate possible trip origins.
Last charge time? No

Yes List
Current lane
Planned lane changes
Next turn
Vehicle type (gas, electric, diesel, hydrogen)
Wireless hotspot, automatically encrypt and distribute data to increase bandwidth?
Chat capabilities? (incomming message from nearby vehicle. Ok, Accept. Hey, you know your gas tank door is open?)
A list of information that your car is capable of communicating. It does no good for a car to expect a lane change message and it never come...

Please contribute your suggestions

  • Apr 11 2011: This is a very important question. I agree with the proposed lists of communicable information, though I think the prospect of inter-car communication leads to two more issues:

    1. If driver-less technology takes off: will a car designed for use in one country be able to function in another country with different rules of the road? The solution to this may be as easy as selecting what country you are driving in from some sort of menu, but it becomes more diffucult when you consider developing countries that still don't have universal driving laws, or countries in which driving laws are not enforced. Even if cars remain user-operated cooperation between car manufaturers will become very important, as a car manufactured in America will have to communicate with a car manufactured in Japan, or Germany, or anywhere else.

    2. What sort of information will your car store? And who will have access to that information? There is already some controversy over the use of information stored by "black boxes." With the increase in built-in GPS systems it is not unreasonable to assume that your destinations and travel routes will be stored as well. In that case will your car notice that you tend to go to a certain chain of grocery store most often and start displaying ads? Search engines do much the same thing with your search history, so why not your car? Information stored by your car would be instrumental in determining who is at fault during an accident, but does the government have the right to access that information? As always, it seems that an increase in convienience is accompanied by a decrease in privacy.