Re: GPS Car speed control advancing in UK

Date: Sun Jan 28 2001 - 10:10:38 MST

In a message dated 1/28/01 10:47:53 AM Central Standard Time, writes:

> So, while this may be a "good" application, it does appear that society is
> gaining more and more powerful technology which will be used to enforce
> objectives which the majority in a society accept as "good". This will be
> unfortunate for minorities and perhaps society as a whole should pay more
> attention to the rights of minorities. Just because they are "different"
> doesn't mean they have to be fined or locked up. Where does being
> "different" shade into being "criminal"?
> On the other hand, this technology is not being used to fine people or to
> lock them up. Instead it is being used to make the unwanted (criminal?)
> behaviour impossible to carry out. This seems a less threatening way for
> authorities to behave. It is like developing an immunisation jab that makes
> pot have no effect on people, or an added ingredient to beer that stops
> people getting drunk, or a car that refuses to drive with a drunk driver,
> etc. Is it likely in future that there will be far fewer people in prison
> because more "crimes" will become impossible to commit?

Ugh - I read this with dread. As someone who has always gotten pleasure out
of high-performance cars (and other machines) (see:, I sincerely hope this kind of
technology WILL be used to improve the safety and reliability of autos and
other transportation technology, but that it won't tempt the nannies to
castrate high-performance cars.

What I wouldn't at all mind seeing and something I've thought about before is
employing technology to allow multiple classes of driver's licenses and to
regulate speed in proportion to a machine's capabilities and the road
conditions it encounters. I would gladly pay more for, take a test to get
and tolerate some slight intrusion into my road-going privacy to be able to
legally drive faster than current law allows.

How about this: One can take a test for one's self, submit one's car to
periodic inspection and testing and pay more for a "High Performance Driver's
License". Certified training at something like the Skip Barber driving
schools might be a pre-requisite. In it's full-blown "smart' form, such a
system would allow one to activate the "high-performance" feature of one's
car/license on open roads, which would then initiate a special session of
two-way communication to the road system. The road network would sense the
traffic and weather conditions and then allow you to drive up to some
fraction of the limits of your combined car and driver rating under the
existing conditions. The car reports real-time data on its operations to the
road system, such as tire pressure and temperature, lateral acceleration,
excessive yaw, vibration and aerodynamic downforce. Exceeding the car's
"rating" on any of these parameters would change the limit at which the car
would be able to operate. Under the such a system, there are lots of places
here in Texas where I could run my 'vette up to the drag limit (~160-180 mph
- a nice safe margin, since Car and Driver magazine determined that the side
windows on my car tend to blow out from Bornoulli Effect above c. 200 mph;
something you can fix with duct tape, but which doesn't look so hot).

       Greg Burch <>----<>
      Attorney ::: Vice President, Extropy Institute ::: Wilderness Guide -or-
                                           ICQ # 61112550
        "We never stop investigating. We are never satisfied that we know
        enough to get by. Every question we answer leads on to another
       question. This has become the greatest survival trick of our species."
                                          -- Desmond Morris

This archive was generated by hypermail 2b30 : Mon May 28 2001 - 09:56:26 MDT