When Will Our Cars Finally Speak the Same Language? DSRC for Vehicles

At the turn of the 21st century, it became pretty clear that even our cars wouldn’t escape the Digital Revolution. Years before anyone even uttered the term “smartphone”, it seemed obvious that automobiles would not only become increasingly computer-laden, but they’d need a way to communicate with each other and the world around them. After all, the potential gains would be enormous. Imagine if all the cars on the road could tell what their peers were doing?

Forget about rear-end collisions; a car slamming on the brakes would broadcast its intention to stop and trigger a response in the vehicle behind it before the human occupants even realized what was happening. On the highway, vehicles could synchronize their cruise control systems, creating “flocks” of cars that moved in unison and maintained a safe distance from each other. You’d never need to stop to pay a toll, as your vehicle’s computer would communicate with the toll booth and deduct the money directly from your bank account. All of this, and more, would one day be possible. But only if a special low-latency vehicle to vehicle communication protocol could be developed, and only if it was mandated that all new cars integrate the technology.

Except of course, that never happened. While modern cars are brimming with sensors and computing power just as predicted, they operate in isolation from the other vehicles on the road. Despite this, a well-equipped car rolling off the lot today is capable of all the tricks promised to us by car magazines circa 1998, and some that even the most breathless of publications would have considered too fantastic to publish. Faced with the challenge of building increasingly “smart” vehicles, manufacturers developed their own individual approaches that don’t rely on an omnipresent vehicle to vehicle communication network. The automotive industry has embraced technology like radar, LiDAR, and computer vision, things which back in the 1990s would have been tantamount to saying cars in the future would avoid traffic jams by simply flying over them.

In light of all these advancements, you might be surprised to find that the seemingly antiquated concept of vehicle to vehicle communication originally proposed decades ago hasn’t gone the way of the cassette tape. There’s still a push to implement Dedicated Short-Range Communications (DSRC), a WiFi-derived protocol designed specifically for automotive applications which at this point has been a work in progress for over 20 years. Supporters believe DSRC still holds promise for reducing accidents, but opponents believe it’s a technology which has been superseded by more capable systems. To complicate matters, a valuable section of the radio spectrum reserved for DSRC by the Federal Communications Commission all the way back in 1999 still remains all but unused. So what exactly does DSRC offer, and do we really still need it as we approach the era of “self-driving” cars?

WiFi Hits the Speed Limit: DSRC

Saying that this technology is “WiFi for cars” isn’t just some oversimplified sound byte for marketing purposes, that’s precisely what it is. Officially designated IEEE 802.11p, DSRC is an amendment to the WiFi standards which make it more suitable to the unique challenges of automotive applications. Communication between vehicles or between a vehicle and a stationary object on the side of the road needs to be very low-latency, relatively short ranged so as not to overwhelm the system with irrelevant data, and be able to cope with exceptionally short windows in which it can transmit data. This specific combination of requirements is not easy to meet, and is arguably one of the major reasons that we’ve yet to see any significant DSRC roll out after all these years.

In the most basic implementation, a vehicle supporting DSRC is supposed to beacon out its speed and GPS coordinates up to ten times per second to a range of 300 – 500 meters. If even just half of the vehicles on the road were equipped with such beacons, you could imagine the deluge of data that would be pouring into your vehicle’s computer while driving down the highway. Vehicles on the opposite side of the highway or on the surrounding surface streets will go in and out of range within a matter of seconds, and even though the data they transmit will almost certainly be irrelevant to the operation of your own vehicle, it all still needs to be analyzed and categorized. On your side of the highway there might be some actionable data hiding in the sea of telemetry, but processing all of that information fast enough to do anything about it is no small feat.

With all of this data flying around, the traditional WiFi association process is out of the question, there’s simply no time to wait. Because of this, DSRC devices do away with unique basic service set identifiers (BSSIDs), and instead use a wildcard ID to match all potential receivers. This also means that the normal security considerations of WiFi such as encryption are also unavailable, so DSRC devices would need to implement any sort of authentication or data verification at a higher level.

Trust, But Verify

The more security-minded reader might take pause at this point and consider what would happen if somebody deployed a rogue DSRC transmitter. Could that person send out a signal that mimicked a car stopped in the middle of a busy intersection, and bring traffic to a standstill? If hackers can build a functioning Tesla Model S out of the parts recovered from the junkyard, how long until somebody hooks a DSRC module up to an Arduino and starts wreaking havoc on our roads?

At the same time, the pessimistic reader will turn their mind to the cars on the road that don’t have a DSRC system installed. Sure, your DSRC vehicle will respond to the slowdown of another DSRC vehicle, but even if we mandated that all vehicles made from this day forward must support the technology, it would still be decades before even half the cars on the road could be counted on to helpfully beacon out their current status to anyone who cares to listen. A system that can only avoid a collision with a select few cars on the road sounds like a recipe for building a false sense of security in drivers.

Unfortunately, neither group is likely to be happy with the official answer in this case. As explained by Motor and Equipment Manufacturers Association (MEMA) Chief Technology Officer Brian Daugherty in an interview with Viodi, the modern view of DSRC is that of a supplement to contemporary collision avoidance systems which rely on radar or other technologies which can detect passive objects:

These systems have their most value when you get a warning from a vehicle that’s stopped in the road ahead or slamming on their brakes down the road ahead of you that you might not be able to see, but now that your radar systems or your camera systems start to perceive that something is stopping in front of you, that combined with the additional knowledge that somebody said “Yes I am stopping” in front of me, now together with that data fusion, you’re able to take action.

In other words, DSRC can’t actually be relied on to prevent collisions on its own. Whether it’s because somebody spoofed the signal or because the car in front of your doesn’t have a transmitter, that fact your car is or isn’t receiving a “STOP” signal from the DSRC network can’t be trusted to have any relation to what’s actually happening on the road ahead of you.

Pumping the Brakes

So if even those in the industry admit that DSRC information needs to be cross-referenced with other sensors before a vehicle’s on-board computer can decide to act on it, you have to wonder what the advantage is. After all, radar and LiDAR systems don’t require a secondary data stream to engage the brakes in the anti-collision systems currently on the market. Adding DSRC to one of these systems would at best give them a secondary confirmation that a collision is imminent, but it would do nothing to prevent or even reduce false positives.

Due to this uncertainty as well as the potential for additional cost to consumers, in 2017 the White House and Department of Transportation officials expressed doubt about pushing ahead with a mandate that would require all newly manufactured cars and light trucks to include DSRC capability. The DOT doesn’t deny that vehicle to vehicle communication has the potential to save lives and ease traffic, but the official position is there are simply too many other factors to consider before requiring auto manufacturers to implement the technology. Without such a mandate, it’s highly unlikely DSRC will ever reach the adoption rate necessary to become truly useful on the road.

WiFi Needs Room to Grow

But the biggest threat to DSRC might not come from a lukewarm White House or an evolving automotive industry; it could be our insatiable desire for high speed wireless Internet. That’s because there’s another trait that DSRC shares with WiFi: the frequencies they operate on. Or at least, they could operate on.

In October 1999, the FCC reserved the frequencies between 5.850 and 5.925 GHz for “intelligent transportation systems” such as DSRC. Within that slice of the spectrum there are ten channels, one of which is dedicated to high priority collision avoidance messages. Twenty years ago, this probably seemed like a nice quiet part of the spectrum to tuck away this potentially lifesaving service.

But today it has a very noisy neighbor. In accordance with the FCC’s 1999 decision, the highest frequency WiFi channel in the United States has a center frequency of 5.845 GHz. The fact that there are more WiFi channels to be had if DSRC wasn’t sitting in the middle of the proverbial road hasn’t gone unnoticed by telecom companies, and they’ve been hounding the FCC to reevaluate the situation. The argument goes that DSRC has had more than enough time to catch on and prove that it deserves exclusive rights to what’s ended up being a highly valuable part of the spectrum. They contend that any communications cars need to do can be done on LTE or next generation cellular technologies.

For their part, the DOT doesn’t want to give up 5.9 GHz without a fight. They acknowledge the need for more WiFi channels, but say that even the limited use of DSRC in some areas of the US means it needs to stay put. They propose working with the FCC and related agencies to explore technology which would allow WiFi and DSRC to coexist on the same frequencies, so long as DSRC is given priority over people streaming the latest season of Stranger Things on Netflix.

Third Time’s Decade’s the Charm?

There’s no question that DSRC and related vehicle to vehicle communication technologies haven’t made much headway in the United States, but to be fair, we’re only just now seeing cars that are smart enough to make much use of it. No matter which side of the self-driving car debate you’re on, the fact of the matter is that vehicles with robust anti-collision systems have been unavailable to most consumers until the last few years.

At this point, it’s hard to say what the future of DSRC really is. The current White House Administration has certainly put the technology on the back burner, but they haven’t given up on it either. Experiments with spectrum sharing between DSRC and WiFi have so far been promising, so it looks fairly likely that in the next few years all involved parties will get what they want. Hindsight tells us we didn’t need DSRC in 1999, 2009, or even 2019. But by 2029, our cars might finally be on speaking terms with each other.

77 thoughts on “When Will Our Cars Finally Speak the Same Language? DSRC for Vehicles

  1. Without precise and inexpensive positional information of themselves and obstacles around them, which we don’t currently have, I see no practical reason for cars to communicate.

    With such futuristic hardware, cars could easily drive themselves and still wouldn’t need to communicate with each other.

    It’s odd to see people, who claim to care about DRM and security, think communicating cars is a good idea, even over ‘open’ networks.

      1. Actually no. This is because the human has a way to validate (kind of) the information received. How does the computer tell if the signals it received indicating that traffic is stopped up ahead in all lanes came from cars that are actually stopped up ahead, or maybe by those kids over there with a phone and a desire to obtain the wheels from your fancy car.

        I really wish people would put on their “how could somebody misuse this” hats… that way the protocols end up more robust than say the crap that is ADSB.

        1. Why shouldn’t a car be able to validate its information? You’re putting imaginary limits on an already imaginary idea. Obviously everyone is concerned about misusing this information, and no one is going to make a car that emergency brakes whenever another car’s brake lights turn on.

          1. Sensor fusion is difficult for AI that doesn’t have any idea how to prioritize or doubt conflicting information.

            Adding unreliable and potentially false information to the loop just makes it more difficult for self-driving AIs to do anything.

    1. We still have channel 19 CB. I even have a license: KARE3823.

      But Waze works a bit better. It’s rudimentary V2V now. With a little improvement, it could do the DSRC job. If only it wasn’t proprietary.

    1. +1
      Government officials are notorious for not understanding tech.
      Most are elected, not promoted based upon skill.
      Those that are hired, are hired by the electorate, who know nothing.

        1. Democratic elections suffer from the Dunning-Kruger effect, where people cannot recognize competence very far beyond their own because they don’t understand the difference and cannot evaluate it. That’s why the average representative is only slightly above mediocre, or a competent fraud. The saving grace of democratic elections is to weed out the clearly incompetent, which almost everyone can recognize.

          As a result, most politicians actually don’t know any better than the man on the street, and to save all the trouble and avoid the professional frauds who climb up the system, you would do better to pick up some five hundred to a thousand random people by lottery, check that they can read and write and have a passing grade in math, and make a government out of that. You’re actually more likely to have a more competent body of representatives that way.

  2. I am really not interested in driving or passengering in a vehicle which is taking part in some sort of swarm control over radio waves.
    Any system allowing this is simply going to be hacked. Every cay will have a tx/rx and people will gain control over them to broadcast fake data.
    Be it for dangerous purposes or just to gain an edge in traffic.

    The need to link multiple vehicles together in a mesh network requires constant auth/deauth of multiple vehilces arriving and leaving the swarm. Or else dropping off a swarm from the front to the back of it as your relevance becomes less to thsose in front.
    Oh but let’s not forget about vehicles at the side of this swarm, and how long is it ?

    How long does it take for a vehicle on a side road to authenticate, and broadcast it’s directions so that other cars know it’s not about to become a dangeroous obstacle?
    The faster that is suggests less security checking. Suggests more chance for broadcasting fake data and causing accidents.
    Or cars are randomly going to be braking all over the palce because of spurious data and a probability aimed at saving life.
    Phantom jams will be massive. You could throw a cardboard box into traffic and bring down a city block or 3.

    No, this needs limiting to sharing data on speed / distance travelled, status of traffic lights ahead, weather, best routing data.
    To allow individual vehicles to react to changes in traffic patterns. They can then make “their own mind” up which route to take, but I dare say feature creep will determine that certain vehilces or those in a certain position will be routed one way vs the other.
    With batteries I could see for example those with lower charge geting routed a shorter distance than those with higher charge.
    More things to game…

    Cars like drivers need to react singularly.
    If you bind cars together, you make a train. treat it as a train.
    That train might break into carriages. Treat each one as it’s own train on the same track going the same way.
    Not a train going in several differnet directions linked by some invisible teather over several km.

  3. Why are comments taking forever to show up?
    They are not being marked for moderation, they are jut not showing up.
    Then you resubmit and it says dup detected.
    Of course not having teh ability to edit them….

          1. I suppose there are worse things to be called. I don’t worry about it. There’s nothing that needs to be enshrined for prosperity. Ashes to ashes, dust to dust, the only people who’ll really care are those I owe money.

  4. “DSRC is supposed to beacon out its speed and GPS coordinates up to ten times per second to a range of 300 – 500 meters.”

    You’d hope that’s velocity rather than speed in order to make the recipient’s life a whole lot easier.

  5. TEN YEARS ago I was at a sort of a grown-up science fair where one of the exhibits was about a V2V system, and how cool it was that it could tell a car was slamming on the brakes 2 or 3 cars ahead, and apply your own brakes before the driver could notice. I asked “OK, what does it do if some punks on a bridge are transmitting BRAKE BRAKE BRAKE!”? It honestly hadn’t even occurred to the poor guy :-(

  6. “…your vehicle’s computer would communicate with the toll booth and deduct the money directly from your bank account.”

    No car of mine is ever going to have the ability to automatically deduct money from my bank account!

      1. No way in – should your vehicle require you to enter billing information to drive it. If mine did, i would buy a pre-paid card and put maybe $20 on it. I agree with BT. my vehicles wont get anywhere near my bank accounts.

        1. its a sad fact of life for most people that travel through Sydney and Melbourne. If your car doenst deduct money automatically from your account via your etag fro tolls you might as well forget going there. There is no toll booths. (Actually I would prefer never to go to Sydney but …)

        2. As soon as you get toll roads you’ll change your mind. We have electronic tolling – so in essence I am required to enter my credit card to drive my car. You can do it without it but they add an extra couple of $$ to cover the cost of dereferencing your plate and mailing you a bill.

    1. EZPass is exactly this. Some toll booths are 5 MPH, some 20, some you don’t slow down at all (Mass Pike). Remember the olden days when you had to get a ticket then wait in line at the exit and give a toll collector some cash money?

  7. Even without faking an emergency vehicle, without hacking receivers, without faking neighbors, it’s still got a lot of potential for abuse. Just broadcasting the wrong speed, position, braking or signalling behavior could cause shifts, delays or holes in traffic that could be taken advantage of.

    1. Interesting… Imagine a cantankerous, early Gen X cyberpunk/techwizard type in his 40+ year old truck, coming upon a large “swarm” on the interstate blocking up everything, and he needs to merge. He has a little hidden button on the console which he presses. The magick box hidden in the center console does it’s thing. It is hacked it to run a custom flavor of linux and interface to some canbus swarmtech wizardry he grabbed off a wreck in the junkyard. It fakes some authentication, ID’s as one of the swarm in the middle, fires off an emergency protocol that tells the swarm that this particular car is malfunctioning (or perhaps sends a “bad” signal so the others can decide it is malfunctioning, for instance “Im going right and left at the same time”), and behold, the swarm parts in the middle like the red sea, and the “bad” car (hopefully a Prius with a “feel the burn” sticker) is diverted to the side road. Meanwhile techwizard presses his old fashioned accelerator pedal, his old fashioned Rochestor Quadrajet opens up (he just loves the sound of the secondaries when they suck open and whine), and he merges into the convenient hole, powered by 400 cubic inches (no metric for him either); the swarm then adapts to the new, “non-smart” vehicle, splits into two swarms that give the truck a wide berth, and he has now merged. Loser Prius is forced to wait for AAA to take him to a garage to inspect and re-certify his swarmtech. Who’s smart now?

    2. Some years ago, My city installed some “priority” sensors on some of our traffic lights on some busier streets (I believe it was infrared based). They were intended for first responder type vehicles that had the transmitter.
      As you can guess, it took maybe a month for a civilian to get caught with a “homemade” transmitter.

      1. Some of those sensors, responded to a Xenon strobe mounted on the front of the emergency vehicle. If there were multiple emergency vehicles, the largest got priority, (a firetruck is harder to stop than a meter maid motorcycle).
        Putting a 555 chip into a automotive timing light and a potentiometer on the case allowed some people to counterfeit the signal.

  8. Yeah, yet another useless tech trying to fix stupid (and giving some even more data). Sorry, if you are to whatever to maintain secure distance, look at the brake light of the vehicle in front of you and brake if necessary you just should take the bus.

    1. As with all these advances it’s not that people are too stupid to do the task, it’s that the task is dull and we’re awful at enduring boredom even if it’s vitally important. Heck, I fell off my bike the other day because I got distracted while going round a corner (saying hello to my better half who was on the pavement) and forgot to brake. No one was seriously injured but I’m glad the drivers behind me weren’t also distracted at that moment or I might not be around to write this comment.

  9. so basically once they start rolling this out they will cut the police force down because instead of sending them out to look for violators on the streets they will know the speed of every car on the road and just simply mail you the ticket.
    Or if you came to a complete stop at that stop sign.

  10. There’s no sensor in a car that can be trusted. I can make my speedo jump to 100 by slamming the accelerator on a patch of ice. GPS can just jump around 40-50 meters at random due to multi-path reflections. Brake sensors can go on the fritz and start flashing your rear lights for no reason – anything the electronics of a 20-30 year old car say is happening has to be taken with a grain of salt.

    Even with people driving, you never completely trust what messages other vehicles are sending – you only trust what they’re doing. If you’re standing in a T intersection and you trust that the person coming in from your left will make the turn because they have their turn signal on, prepare to have your quarter panels in because you turned and they didn’t.

    You always wait to see that they indeed start the turn.

    1. Ever noticed how stories of runaway acceleration by the vehicle control (not from the driver hitting wrong pedal)
      Is almost always in a crowd of RF devices? Cellphones, etc.
      What are the chances of random Heterodyning in a swap of Rf noise?
      On a note of just interference.
      I wish I could still find the story, from a while back (printed magazine), about an experimental “smart road” that was purportedly interfering with the anti-lock brakes on certain vehicles.

        1. Took a while to find a find the external interference with ABS. It’s the curved section of Autobahn.
          http://www.emcia.org/awareness/Pages/InterferenceExamples/Automotive.htm

          On the unwanted acceleration, I’m having no luck in trying to filter out the high profile cases that dominate the generic rehashed articles.
          And of course it’s a given that the data log in the vehicle is going to show accelerator pressed. that would be basis of the failure mode in itself.
          But bare in mind this was a more of question, based on random news coverage in the last decade or so.
          Trying to find any concise details is feeling like a fools errand.
          So it may remain just anecdotal observation, simply driven by no more than the randomness of whatever news reports I happen to see.
          But that’s why I tossed the question out.
          It has me curious if this could be happen.
          As someone who grew up with, primarily, terrestrial open air broadcast vs wired (cable & internet), the idea of interference at multiples and harmonics was just a part of life.
          I’m just thinking about some of the articles here, about stray emissions and unintended receptors.
          But again it’s just a question at this point in time.
          Maybe one day I’ll even get the hang of writing out my questions. :)

      1. Unless you have shift by wire that is software controlled vs hard wired logic.
        On connected vehicles I think always on internet connections to the drive train should be banned for safety reasons as having some things connected all the time is just asking for trouble.
        The way things are going and the amount of blind trust people are putting into connected systems I feel we’re not going to have a digital Pearl Harbor but a digital London Blitz someday.

  11. We can all rest assured that none of this will ever happen, it’s not enough for car manufacturers to sell you something, they want a continuous income from it as well, it’s why we have crappy sensors for everything instead of reliable switches, and chocolate cam chains, by design DSRC there will be no advertising (rather freakishly my tablet suggested “advertising”) and no porn, without these there’ll be no way to make money so no one will lobby govts to push manufacturers to fit it.

    1. That’s where you’re wrong. Cellular chipmakers and network operators are pushing a competing system, based on the cellular network. It offers top-down approaches to the authentication questions, and most importantly for them, it requires every car with the system to pay for an active cellular network subscription.

      There’s a mountain of money to be made.

      Expect intense legislative pressure to mandate this so-called “Cellular Vehicle To (vehicle/infrastructure)”, aka CV2X.

      1. This is a common misunderstanding about c-V2X
        A/C-V2X is not “based on cellular network” it just uses the modern LTE SCFDM wave-forms and modulations to update DSRC. Its just another type of decentralized broadcast DSRC that requires no cost/license/carrier. The C-V2X update brings the DSRC concept 20 years into the present, to dramatically improve the costs, scalability, and range . China has already selected this system.
        B/ C-V2X is not being pushed by chipmakers, but rather “pulled” by auto OEM’s who don’t want to have DSRC radios mandated on their cars. they would rather just have their safety communications V2V, V2I, V2P messages performed by the same LTE super-chips they’re already buying for their telematics units.

        There isn’t really that much money in this safety as they’re very small cheap radios, integrated into existing chips, and using free open public spectrum for public good. however it should save tons of lives and prevent enormous numbers of accidents, as well as enables cooperative maneuvers between autonomous vehicles

        Its not any kind of swarm/mesh control network like some mentioned, its just very short signed broadcasts ( not session based) to all nearby vehicles so that vehicles can use that information to augment their existing ADAS and other safety systems either for autonomous algorithms or just to warn human drivers about impending fatal mistakes.

  12. I worked on a DSRC project for a state transportation authority. We used another vendors 802.11p radios that ran DSRC firmware we created. I can tell you from first hand experience there is zero security. These radios were mounted in their vehicles (OBU – onboard unit) and along their roads (RSU – road side unit). The radios can do whatever you want and send whatever you ask, not much effort was involved. Although NDA, vendor support, etc. made it that simple.

  13. I will not buy, or get equipment in my car, that boardcasts my GPS location all over the place. I can go with anonymous, encrypted, relative position, but that’s it.

    Besides, what the hell do we need position information on breaking situation? Only the cars behind me needs to know that i’m breaking, and if they are far enough it doesn’t matter. All there is to send is a relatively short distance encrypted emergency stop signal.

      1. Or they’ve planted radio receivers along the roads and monitor traffic remotely to track people.

        E.g. put a raspberry pi around an exit from a sub-urb and record who goes in and out. Observe the patterns for a few weeks, then rob the houses when you know the people are unlikely to be home.

    1. Agreed on all counts I would rather drive a model A than a car that transmits that kind of information.
      Any bureaucrat who even suggest making such things a requirement should be removed from office for being a traitor to the people.

      1. You assume wrong. I have 2, work and my own. Both have GPS disabled when i don’t need it, which is 99% of the time. I have disabled all google services as far as i can. So is bluetooth and wifi.

        I’m sure there are ways to track me with my phone, but not for every jerk out there. That doesn’t mean that there should be easier ways to track me for every unknown a-hole. And especially when i get nothing in return.

  14. The idea that cars could need some vehicle to vehicle communication is fairly logical.

    Like the idea with things like break-lights, turn signals, and to a degree high beams and even the good old horn are all there to loosely communicate with other drivers about what one is planning or currently doing. So that they in turn can more easily react to that action.

    Downside with the above mentioned is that one needs to either see, or hear it.
    But it can be hard to see in the glaring sun, and hard to hear at times too. Radio tends to have less “sensory overload” in comparison. Or at least radio communication is harder to effect with regular stuff one finds on the road. (like bright sun shine, and noisy drivers, construction work, dirt, grime, smog, etc. All of these mostly effecting audio and visual information. While short range RF would still be clear as day.)

    So using radio is logical.
    If it is DSRC or WiFi, bluetooth, or some other RF standard doesn’t really matter much. (As long as there is some international standard that everyone can follow)
    As long as it can in a fairly latency free way inform of what the other cars plans on doing (changing lanes), or what they are currently doing. (breaking.) While also providing a way to locate the other cars position relative to one’s own as to more easily take them into consideration. (Exact GPS location isn’t really needed.)

    Maybe also provide an emergency signal for those times one is at the side of the road with a problem. So other cars knows that one is there. (in case one is stuck in a place with poor visibility.)

    In the end, I wouldn’t rely on any singular system to tell the orders for the overall system, but rather rely on the sources that at the current time are giving logical data. (Driving out from a dark tunnel and into the glaring sunlight will usually overexpose a camera until it adjusts, during this time it can hardly be considered reliable.)

    Though, even RF has its downsides, it can “easily” be swamped by nearby RF transmitters.
    A lot of structures can reflect RF and create a lot of different paths for the signal to reach the desired destination, blurring the positioning of the source. Not to mention that the error rate can go through the roof at times…. And RF can also be effected by sources of EMI, like lightning, or poorly implemented electronics products.

  15. To hell with all this tech ‘driver assist’ garbage in cars. More dangerous than getting people back to you know, actual driving.

    I do like mechanical improvements like disk brakes. ABS is only ok if I have the option of turning it off in dry weather. A lot of this stuff will never be thoroughly tested and it’s scary the safety zealots designing cars via bureaucratic decree have more say than the consumer. I myself would like the option to remove the air bag system from my car that I in theory own. But ownership is relative to these days.

    1. At first glance, your points seem correct.
      Looking deeper, not so much.
      Disk brakes have been around quite a while, and are much better than drum. (And cheaper)
      ABS prevents the car from skidding by “Pulsing” the brakes, and as a side benefit, allows you to steer when braking.
      Air bags will save you bacon in a crash. Remove at your own risk.
      It’s true that bureaucrats are stupid.. That we agree on.

      1. ABS is dangerous under dry road conditions from my personal experience. ABS is great for slick, wet, snowy, icy roads. Worthless on dry roads.

        Some of the air bags are claymores and the governments along with the transcendental corporations have done little to address this issue.

        I can only afford to drive older vehicles and don’t make the same money as the bureaucrats. Go see Eric Peters Autos for some rants about car design by government decree.

        I guess private property is an alien concept to you?

          1. Better watch the video again Jii

            Jii says:
            February 26, 2019 at 10:35 am

            ABS makes braking distance longer and MIGHT make steering possible in slippery conditions, but not always.

    2. A properly designed traction control system should have an off switch.
      Though airbags can often prevent serious injury as it’s better than having your face hit the steering wheel though they also can become dangerous when shoddy Chinese parts enter the mix.
      But I will agree bureaucrats are are idiots and often have their heads far up their rears.

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