by BN Frank, Activist Post:
Evidently, a test run for smart pavement in Colorado that I reported on back in May 2018 was successful enough to give it the all systems go.
A plan to turn a portion of Interstate 70 into a roadway where cars communicate with street lights, signs and other internet-connected things just tripled to more than 500 miles.
Colorado’s “internet of roads” project will now extend to highways that reach from Pueblo to Wyoming, and Sterling to Utah, after the state Department of Transportation was awarded a $20 million federal grant earlier this month.
(Source: The Colorado Sun)
The article’s author goes on to tout the many potential benefits to driver safety, although there were no definitive studies revealed to support those claims.
However, what we do know is that the auto industry is working with government to provide a seamless transition into the future Internet of Things. So far, the threat to privacy has been at the forefront of criticism, as well as indications that data mining for profit is also behind the scheme. Even Reutersfeatured this concern in a recent article:
As vehicles get smarter, your car will be keeping eyes on you.
This week at CES, the international consumer electronics show in Las Vegas, a host of startup companies will demonstrate to global automakers how the sensor technology that watches and analyzes drivers, passengers and objects in cars will mean enhanced safety in the short-term, and revenue opportunities in the future.
Whether by generating alerts about drowsiness, unfastened seat belts or wallets left in the backseat, the emerging technology aims not only to cut back on distracted driving and other undesirable behavior, but eventually help automakers and ride-hailing companies make money from data generated inside the vehicle.
And, rest assured, the data that will be collected includes EVERYTHING. Reuters explains, my emphasis added:
“There’s no doubt this is a hot area,” said Modar Alaoui, founder and CEO of Eyeris, in a recent interview. His company combines five 2D cameras with AI technology for “in-vehicle scene understanding,” including car occupants’ height, weight, gender and posture.
Alaoui believes once automakers see the benefits of a camera tracking the driver, they will opt for more.
Analysis from driver monitoring technology could help turn on the heat, lower the seat or play a certain kind of music when a particular occupant enters the car. If a passenger looks toward the dashboard, a certain control could light up to help anticipate a need.
Naturally, one aspect left out of most mainstream reporting is the potential access granted to law enforcement. All manner of data has become irresistible to both central planners and police to conduct warrantless public surveillance. This would seem like yet another tool to be added to their growing arsenal. Let’s not forget the major news story when Seattle was discovered to have put in a secret WiFi mesh network funded by Homeland Security. Or the ongoing controversy surrounding warrantless Stingray cell phone surveillance, among other abuses of public trust and privacy in both the government and private sectors.
More connectivity also offers more opportunities for wide-scale hacking and interconnected systems collapse, for which we also have a mountain of evidence to warrant serious concern. In fact, security experts have been vocal about the risks created by the Internet of Things which already has an almost 75% failure rate. So, the appeals to increased driver security provided by smart pavement connected to vehicles in a two-way data stream seem dubious at best.