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Location Is Everywhere
Location is Everywhere, How is it Changing our Lives? It affects everything in our daily lives. How do we manage it to live, work and play smarter?
Curated by Luigi Cappel
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Cars Are Not Driving Away Any Time Soon

Cars Are Not Driving Away Any Time Soon | Location Is Everywhere | Scoop.it
I've been reading a book called 'Traffic: Why We Drive the Way We Do' by Tom Vanderbilt, which resonates very well with me. Now I'm no petrol head, but I still like driving my car and it is still m...
Luigi Cappel's insight:

It only takes a little pain to have people hop in their cars. A wet day, having to stand on a bus, or having to stand on the side of the road and watch the bus go by. Driving is part of our culture. We are how we move. Even in cities where driving is impractical, like Tokyo, I have friends who still own a car, almost a status symbol because of the costs of even parking your car. They go driving in the weekend and enjoy the countryside.

The most popular and profitable radio time, even today when so many people are connected to their smartphones for entertainment, is drive-time. Of course this is also when we get our critical traffic reports.

We don't even want to get out of our cars. An estimated 22% of ALL restaurant meals in America are ordered through the window of a car.

I really like the footer, that a pedestrian is someone who has just parked their car.

Just last night I was reading in the news that sales of new passenger cars in New Zealand have gone up in the first months of this year by 3.6% breaking a 26 year record. Sales of commercial vehicles for the first four months in this country are up 14% on the same period last year.

Still think more people are ditching their cars?

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About 100 DOT workers now testing digital driver's licenses - KCRG

About 100 DOT workers now testing digital driver's licenses - KCRG | Location Is Everywhere | Scoop.it
AMES — Someday, workers at an Iowa driver's license station may ask, “Do you want a regular license, or an app for your smartphone?” That “someday” could actually be only a short time away.
Luigi Cappel's insight:

Your mobile phone is the one ubiquitous device you carry. It accompanies people everywhere from the bathroom to the car, to the beach, to the office, to school. If you have a device that uses your fingerprint, iris or other biotechnology to authenticate you, then it can potentially be a lot safer than credit cards.

This means that a lot of things we currently do via pieces of plastic with chips attached can become a thing of the past.

As the story suggests, one of the things you don't want to do is give your phone to someone else and this developer has come up with a solution, where you can transmit a piece of information, like your holographic drivers license image and details to the Police reader, also a mobile phone app.

This would eventually reduce transaction costs and make personal identification much easier.

This would seem to me to be one of those technologies that is inevitable, however given the issues of developing international standards like passports, this could be a long time in the making. There is no point in having a drivers license app that is only usable in one state or even one country, however it is these little steps that generate major evolution.

I have been studying up on ways to generate change and have often been a decade ahead of myself in predictions and one of the challenges with that is the task of getting from here to the future state takes a lot of time. The concept I am looking at is how to define a possible future state and then working out the steps to achieve that.

This is a classic example.

Yesterday was a poignant day for me, a family funeral from cancer which also happened to be daffodil day, but I had no cash to buy a daffodil to wear on my suit. Fortunately they had a daffodil day stand at my local bank and I was able to take out cash in order to make a donation. This is the first time I have had cash in my pocket in months. It just isn't relevant to me any more except for the odd occasion. Already some charity collectors are able to accept payment by credit or debit cards.

I have loyalty cards and membership cards for Africa. When I stopped using cash, I also stopped carrying a wallet or billfold. That means I also stopped carrying most of my loyalty cards. You will have noticed that most of them now offer apps.

Many people I know have mobile phones that not only carry credit cards, but are also shielded so that people with chip scanners can't activate the RFID chip. So if you only need to carry a few cards, that's sufficient for security.

Whether it's a drivers license or a Subway card, it is only a matter of time before they are phased out and become another thing that we consign to history of the ways that we used to do things. For those who don't want to use a phone, there is still RFID technology, little tags that could be carried on a key-ring. That would remove the excuse of my phone is broken. I have an airline loyalty tag on my phone case, but I never actually used it because my phone app gives me so much more info and value.

So would I use this drivers license app? In a heartbeat.

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Connecticut adds GPS tracking to 500 public transit buses - StateScoop (registration)

Connecticut adds GPS tracking to 500 public transit buses - StateScoop (registration) | Location Is Everywhere | Scoop.it
Gov. Dannel Malloy is launching a new plan to bring real-time GPS tracking to hundreds of public buses.
Luigi Cappel's insight:

Once again I started asking myself why they have waited till now, but this is just a next step. We have been waiting for these initiatives for so long. The concept of having total confidence that the next bus will be at the stop at a certain time. I think a key is to under promise and over deliver given that you can't guarantee a bus will be there at exactly a certain time unless it is truly dynamic.

It is not a failure when a bus stops longer than expected because it had to pick up a large group of passengers at the last stop, it doesn't just drive to pick you up. But if the time changes dynamically that's fine.

The complaint I hear with some of these systems today is that I got there on time, I timed it to perfection but the bus went through 2 minutes earlier and then I had to wait 15 minutes for the next one.

Some years ago the winning entry into the Location Innovation Awards in Auckland included a walk indicator which told you that at your current pace you had to walk a little faster or you could take your time. That to me is an innovation I would still like to see. Some bus apps route you to your nearest stop, but wouldn't it be great to know you and the bus are reaching synchronicity?

So it's one thing having the app, the next is the hook that keeps people using it, because that helps everyone. What about closing the loop so that the bus driver is told that someone is using the app and is at the stop. Then they are forewarned that a passenger is wanting to be picked up and we will stop having those complaints (I experienced it myself a few weeks ago) where the bus didn't stop and drove right past me.

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How technology adds value to freight services - Lloyd's Loading List

How technology adds value to freight services - Lloyd's Loading List | Location Is Everywhere | Scoop.it
RT @PalletwaysUK: It is evident to us that technology adds value to freight services. Read more on @lloydsloading http://t.co/uYXFWIgcCW #s…
Luigi Cappel's insight:

When I first read this,I thought, "but we've been doing this for years". The reality is perhaps more that certain industry segments have been doing this for years. I was involved in the development of the first courier track and trace system in New Zealand with Courier Post, probably around 20 years ago.

We used Casio Portable Data Terminals with touch screens and bar code readers to scan and capture customers' signatures on delivery for the first time in this country. A modem in the cradle offered a choice of communication modes, which at that time was an exciting choice of CDPD wireless radio communications at 19.6bps, or the slower two-way radio. The savings were immense. Customers could go online and do their own track and trace. Couriers saved probably an hour a day of admin that was no longer required, less product dissapeared and more deliveries were being made a day. They got paid for every jo, which didn't happen if they lost any of their job stickers.

Today with GPS and mobile data at high speeds, the same options are available for any form of freight and before too long it's likely that instead of bar codes on consignment notes, everything from an envelope to a pallet will carry an RFID tag. Customers (with appropriate security) will be able to see that their piece of freight is on the truck and is the the third item to be delivered off the truck's manifest for the day. With an app not dissimilar to the Uber or the new Domino Pizza app on their smartphone, customers will be able to see the location of their unique item, perhaps something a customer is standing in the store waiting for in real time.

Being able to see where the truck is, they could also see on the smartphone the current status of traffic congestion in the area as provided by the DOT or Travel Information Service data feed, whether traffic is flowing freely or perhaps a crash means that even though it is only a few miles away, it is not going to get there in a hurry. They can also see that the cause is not the fault of the driver or the freight company. One of the biggest frustrations for customers isn't so much the delay itself, but not knowing what is going on and what to expect. We all know about those voice messages when we call the call centre that tell us our call is important.

I was visiting a friend recently and they were playing music from their phone in their holiday home. After about 40 minutes I offered them a really good old stereo that I no longer use and they said "Thanks, but that's the on hold music from our power company that we have been trying to call for the last 3/4 of an hour!"

Secure transparency is going to make a big difference to the freight industry. I say secure because we obviously don't want unauthorized shrinkage . Only those who are authorized to see the information should be able to receive it.That data can be encrypted such that only licensed users of the app can see the correct information.

The combination of real time travel information contributing to route optimization and a real view of the state and type of all freight could have a great impact on customer service, the first part of which is being able to tell the customer exactly where their consignment is, when they are likely to receive it, ensure it is going to the right location and anything unplanned that could interfere with it getting there.

Would you rather know your production line should shift to another JIT function, or have them hanging around waiting for something that was never going to arrive today?

Knowledge and the ability to act on it can have a huge impact on productivity and profit drains today.

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Driverless Cars Going Nowhere in America

Driverless Cars Going Nowhere in America | Location Is Everywhere | Scoop.it
10 years ago they introduced incentives for people to purchase driverless cars. They also encouraged shared ownership designed to reduce the number of cars on the road. They have in fact reduced th...
Luigi Cappel's insight:

From the Future Diaries. Currently it is estimated that the average car spends 97% of it's time parked up. Consider with family car sharing or sharing with 3rd parties that each car is utilized say 15% of the time, that effectively means 5 times more car journeys on the road, even if the actual car stock is reduced by as much as 30-50%.

It could reduce the car parking space required in urban centers, businesses and other locations, it could certainly improve convenience of transport but would also mean more people traveling more often, (think about kids for example, they would find a million reasons why they needed to use the car. Could you put a child of any age in a car to go visit friends, get to school, to sport practice or other activities?). If the congestion problem was solved in some areas through special lanes and platooning, it could be mitigated to some extent.

It would not encourage people to use public transport without incentives.

The concept of driverless cars is fascinating. It is inevitable although I think it will take a long time to cross through the Gartner hype cycle through the peak of inflated expectations and the trough of disillusionment, which is a good thing because, it will generate a whole new set of problems we need to solve before the real value is realized.  Of course at the rate of change we are currently experiencing, we could see other initiatives in public transport, remote working and time shifting, as well as creating livable smart cities, that reduce the value proposition of this concept.

The likely early winners of this technology will be the data companies like Google and Apple and car manufacturers rather than society. It may be that the concept morphs into other areas such as driverless public transport, driverless shuttles to transport hubs, driverless freight. Often the outcome of new technologies like this evolve into something quite unexpected.At the moment most of the focus is on cool gadgets and technology, not on the impact and dramatic change it would have on society. When they created text messaging and smartphones, who could have predicted that children as young as 9 would be fixated on the need to have a Smartphone and how pervasive it would become to our lives?

 

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Car hacker finds flaws in Mercedes, BMW, Chrysler systems - Washington Times

Car hacker finds flaws in Mercedes, BMW, Chrysler systems - Washington Times | Location Is Everywhere | Scoop.it
Two weeks after a security researcher revealed how he could remotely control upwards of millions of GM automobiles by exploiting a vulnerability with its OnStar navigation systems, the hacker now says that cars sold by Mercedes-Benz, BMW and...
Luigi Cappel's insight:

It's all very nice in the safe world of DEFCON where hackers show off their

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Hacker drone is armed for aerial assault - RT

Hacker drone is armed for aerial assault - RT | Location Is Everywhere | Scoop.it
Hackers may have a new weapon in their arsenal: a drone loaded with software capable of probing any wireless network in range, and relaying the data to its operator. The drone is available to anyone willing to afford the $2,500 price tag.
Luigi Cappel's insight:

DEFCON is over for another year and will have instilled fear in a number of industries two of which are of particular interest to people with an interest in location based services.

I have blogged many times about autonomous cars over the last few weeks https://solomoconsulting.wordpress.com/?s=autonomous+cars while the hackers have been 'driving' cars, including those that are not supposed to be able to function driverless like the Jeep Grand Cherokee.

These are just sophisticated cars with a CAN Bus and lots of on board computers. Why is this a good thing? Because it forces manufacturers, standards organizations and Governments to consider the risks and mitigate them before driverless vehicles are launched on an unsuspecting market. We should be safer as a result when these cars come out.

The other industry that is going sky high is drones. They are everywhere, they are literally falling out of the sky. My neighbor had one crash into his back yard.

We know all about military drones, we have seen consumer drones on TV firing weapons and we have seen many near misses with commercial aircraft in recent weeks. You can't go far without seeing one for sale. Probably in your latest junk mail.

The story above is something that should make everyone stop and think about the technology they buy for their business and their home. I have long wanted a WiFi system (and had spoken to the manufacturers) which would allow me to see who has rung my doorbell at home, identify them through an indoor WiFi video camera via my Smartphone and then using the same Smartphone, turn on the house lights and unlock the deadbolt on my front door to let them in because I have been held up at work.

Science Fiction? No. You can buy these Internet of Things (IoT) gadgets at your favorite consumer electronics store or online today, same with the drones.

Can they be hacked? Of course they can? How good is your home security system now? How predictable are your pin codes? You answer that one.

So now for $2,500 you can own a drone that can fly around your neighborhood, collecting WiFi router information, information about any devices connected to it, like your computer network, your TV, your smartphones, your computers, your light controls, your house alarm, you finish the list. It will also tell you the GPS coordinates of the house or building you are looking at and anyone can then with the help of free web sites like Google's Satellite View, look at the property and plan whatever nefarious activities they have in mind.

Events like DEFCON are great and smart vendors selling cool IoT consumer electronics, home automation and alarm systems will be asking, "would you like security with that?" If you say no, it will be at your peril.

Insurance companies will soon be asking some interesting questions, like "So you have a dead bolt, there are no signs of breaking and entering and yet your house has been cleaned out. How is this possible?" What did you do to protect your property and reduce our risk?

Is drone use like this legal? Of course not. What can you do about it? Interesting question. I wonder if it would be legal to shoot down a drone 10 meters above your property. I guess we'll find out because that is bound to happen, perhaps not in my side of the world, but in the USA, I'd be surprised if it doesn't happen very soon.

Is it illegal to sell these $2,500 drones? Probably not. It's not what it can do that's illegal, it's how it's used. I could think of many legitimate uses.

Before I start investing in anything more than WiFi controlled lighting, I'm going to be talking to a security specialist.

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Muslim mother fitted with GPS tracking device to stop her from taking her ... - International Business Times UK

Muslim mother fitted with GPS tracking device to stop her from taking her ... - International Business Times UK | Location Is Everywhere | Scoop.it
Court orders the parents from two British families to be tagged to ensure they stay in the UK.
Luigi Cappel's insight:

You could be forgiven for thinking that my blogs are just about autonomous cars and hackers, that is because these are obviously both hot topics at the moment, but so are GPS anklets and lots of other stories that I don't want to lose site of.

In New Zealand there was a high profile story last week of a sex offender on parole who removed his home detention GPS bracelet an left his home, which was not discovered for 7 hours, despite the tamper alarm and then when the Police arrived at his home to check, they were not legally permitted to enter his home without a warrant. It took some time and a huge amount of resources to catch him and return him to jail. In New Zealand they are looking at expanding the use of this technology http://m.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11494429.

This story is very different because it involves GPS tagging of people who have not yet committed a crime. They are GPS (and RF tags to alert authorities if they leave the house) tagging four children's (aged 3 to 13) parents because they suspect they are going to leave the UK with their children to go and join ISIS.

I don't want to get into the debate of whether this is the right thing to do or not. I'll leave that to other bloggers and commentators.

 

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New GPS monitoring devices will track Domino's Pizza delivery drivers - Stuff.co.nz

New GPS monitoring devices will track Domino's Pizza delivery drivers - Stuff.co.nz | Location Is Everywhere | Scoop.it
A woman whose son was killed while delivering pizza says tracking devices could have saved him.
Luigi Cappel's insight:

Back in 2009 when I was launching the Location Innovation Awards in New Zealand, I suggested a concept of delivering pizza on the beach. https://geosmart.wordpress.com/2009/03/25/location-based-services-and-agencies/ Already back then, 6 years ago we had a variety of mobile phones with GPS in them. We were already playing cops and robbers with GPS games on Nokia mobile phones in Europe, knowing exactly where people were, how fast they were going in what direction.

My idea was a bit like the Uber concept. If the pizza company is paid in advance, by a customer they can identify and both the delivery person and the customer can see where each other are on a mobile app, there is a vast new market for fast food delivery. It could be to the beach, at a concert in the park, a sporting event on a public field. All places that have hungry people.

It amazes me that even today, when we are talking about drones dong deliveries, we are still talking about delivery to a home, not to where the hungry people are. So it's taken 6 years to get to this, but congratulations Domino's for doing it at all.

Now let's go back even further in time to 2001 and the founding of the NZ Wireless Forum where The Hyperfactory (I can't even remember if the Handley family had come up with the brand name at that point). As President of the Forum I was one of the judges of a wireless competition we ran, which they won, with a mobile gambling app that allowed you to place bets against your friends in-situ at sporting arenas like Eden Park. It could tell you which of your friends were also at the site.Unfortunately powerful competitors made that idea difficult to proceed with. We knew it was a winner and we knew that the young ambitious team would go places. They were very exciting to be around, I felt like I was surrounded by kindred spirits.

My point is really that none of this is new. I owned a mobile and location based services consultancy called Mission Control at the time and was frustrated that so many cool things could be done with location and smartphones (at that time there was no Google and Navman was a sleeve on a Palm device) I've still got the Palms, but the Navman sleeve was only on loan from Nick Maire with whom I shared a circuit of conference presentations on the future of location based mobile devices. This was the day when iPAQ's and Psion's, Apple Newtons and Casio Cassiopeia's connected via Bluetooth to mobile phones at an astounding speed of 9600 baud for an exorbitant cost exacted by the telcos, Telecom, Bell South and subsequently Vodafone. All of whom were hugely supportive.

So congratulations Domino's. 6 years after I suggested a location based pizza delivery service, you are doing it. Be courageous and pick up my idea this summer of delivering pizzas to beaches and parks. It looks like no one else believed my idea because Pizza On The Beach hasn't even been used as a trademark yet. Maybe you can deliver me a free pizza occasionally, if you pick up my idea. It most certainly would be a gold mine.

As to safety, that was also part of my idea. If you are delivering to random places, you want to know that it is not a set-up. Today that's reasonably easy to manage. I had many ideas around that back in my Mission Control days where I was talking to the Waitakere Health Board and others about internal navigation through the bowels of hospitals and location based panic buttons on mobile phones for district health nurses and midwives attending to patients in their homes. Some of the people I made those proposals to back around 2000 are still around and may remember those discussions or the follow ups when I sold the company to Rocom Wireless.

What amazes me the most is that we suggested these ideas over a decade ago, and now they are being hailed as innovation. I can't wait to see what great ideas they come up with next. But at least they eventually came up with something.

In the next year or two we are going to see a plethora of mobile location based apps and people are going to ask, why didn't we think of that before. I have to say, we did. The right people were just too busy with BAU and weren't ready for it. Welcome to the world of the futurist.

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GPS satellite networks are easy targets for hackers - CNNMoney

GPS satellite networks are easy targets for hackers - CNNMoney | Location Is Everywhere | Scoop.it
A pivotal network of space satellites doesn't properly guard its communication, allowing hackers to hijack signals and wreak havoc.
Luigi Cappel's insight:

I briefly saw this story on CNN last night and while I don't think the risk is anything new, it is pretty serious and the sooner it is dealt to, the better. I'm talking GPS security in general.

There are new technologies emerging that may enhance or even replace GPS as we know it, however today we have millions of devices that rely in varying degrees to it being there and it being accurate.

There are subsets of systems for military use, for aviation, shipping etc that might be able to have advanced encryption and authentication, but people are still involved and have access to keys, so ultimately the risk is proportional to the reward.

For example of you wanted to hack into the system controlling a plane on a bombing mission, the reward is pretty high to deliberately send it of course.

When GPS was first available only the US military had access to accurate GPS data, the rest of us made do with deliberately less accurate data. Of course with cellphone technology, we developed assisted GPS and in the high quality automotive systems we added gyros, inertia sensors and even paddles on vehicle wheels that measured the revolutions to compensate for poor odometer accuracy and suddenly you had a system that only needed periodic high quality GPS fixes. It could run for quite some time without GPS. My original car nav system, which I still have, works inside tunnels and car-parks where it can't see any GPS signal, but it has to have previously had a good signal to start with.

I have a few concerns here:

1. We are incredibly reliant on GPS today, It pervades our lives. This week I flew twice (as a passenger), landing in a 140km gale where  there was zero visibility until we got to about 300 meters. I used GPS in my phone to find my hotel. I used my TomTom Live to find the quickest route home from the airport avoiding the tail of the evening congestion. I also used the GPS to see if any of my friends were in the neighborhood while I was away and my phone recommended where I should have lunch. I also used it to check what the traffic was like during a taxi ride to make sure the cabbie  was taking the quickest route and not gypping me on the fare. These are everyday things that we rely on and take for granted.

2. GPS navigation has a huge impact on traffic congestion, with many people getting from A to B much faster than without when they are driving on routes they are unfamiliar with; and where they have real time traffic on their nav system, even more so, because it shows them alternatives that have less traffic congestion and allows them to avoid incidents.

3. GPS frequently guides emergency vehicles such as fire and ambulance to sites, saving lives and reducing the impact of incidents by getting to the correct site more quickly.

4. We are talking about driverless and autonomous cars in the very near future. Just like the difference between portable navigation devices which you can buy for $100 and in-car systems that have high accuracy, a system that controls cars with previous cargo (people)  in them, has to have the best possible location information all of the time. Imagine a car driving itself on a winding or busy road that suddenly thinks it is somewhere else.

5. More sophisticated encryption is all very well for future devices that haven't been built yet, however retro-installation of software in the majority of consumer devices would be all but impossible and with the massive volume of new devices being introduced from high volume factories around the world today, even changing systems that are the very latest, would be a slow tedious process.

Therefore hacking of this technology is something that could impact everything we do and disrupt society as we know it. Just losing access to the satellites would be all it took.

When you go around your day today, have a think about the world around you. Everything from the milk you put on your breakfast cereal was aided by GPS.

 

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Hackers Can Disable a Sniper Rifle—Or Change Its Target

Hackers Can Disable a Sniper Rifle—Or Change Its Target | Location Is Everywhere | Scoop.it
If a hacker attacks your TrackingPoint smart gun over its Wi-Fi connection, you may find the weapon is aiming at a different target than you think.
Luigi Cappel's insight:

Hacking has a number of different meanings. My involvement with hacking has been around events designed to share open data and allow developers and communities to mix and match data, writing code to help people develop mobile apps of value to communities. In my case, mostly using location based data.  For example the winner of the Location Innovation Awards came up with a concept to help students find the right bus, get directions to the bus stop and be shown how much time they had to get there in case they wanted a Coke and a pie on the way, or perhaps a newspaper. The runner up was an agency with a Facebook based carpooling app that much like Uber, but years earlier allowed you to see the location of the car and the car could see where you were waiting to be picked up. It also used Facebook to allow you to get a gauge on how safe you felt hopping into a car with a stranger. Secure information that they agreed to share for the one and only specific purpose of ride-sharing.

Hacking also has a malicious context about accessing data for nefarious or illegal purposes, such as the video doing the rounds on Facebook about scammers who only need to brush up against a woman's handbag in order to steal her chip credit card details.

Another example I used in a previous blog recently, was where crooks would sniff out the remote access keys of expensive cars by being in the vicinity when the owner remotely unlocked them.

Whilst there are all sorts of security encryption protocols and tools, systems that are designed to communicate will frequently have weaknesses either because of their function (i.e. they need to be able to talk to other systems, such as autonomous cars) or because of inattention to detail in design, (poorly written code) or inattention to detail in passwords ( a study a few years ago of Scada systems, software used to run utility networks like electricity companies, were still set on 'password' or 'admin' or 'super'. These are the original passwords that come with the software, just like the security padlock that starts with the number 0000 that you were going to get around to deciding on a code for before your trip.

This brings us into areas that are more scary. In this example a sniper rifle could be remotely controlled to shoot the person next to the target. Imagine if all cars in a grid, of a particular make and model, could have their brakes jammed on, or disabled at the same time.

We are now getting into the Internet of Things and I love the idea that I can turn on my heat pump 5 minutes before I get home, or be able to see the face of an invited guest on my smartphone who got home before I did, and using my smartphone open up the deadlock and invite them to make themselves comfortable until I got there.

I will be able to do that in future. I'm starting with my lights this year. What's the risk? I would suggest they are proportional to the value of whatever some criminal wants to take. If it's a Ferrari or I had a valuable work of art in my home, it's pretty high. Don't for a minute think criminals are all unsophisticated.

I'm not scaremongering here. I'm suggesting you make sure that you have your basics right and if you are purchasing any device with remote control or remote access that it has guaranteed very high levels of security to prevent someone ruining your day. Like this $15,000 rifle, don't assume because it costs a lot of money, it is secure. This one probably will be a lot more secure after this story, but that's just one thing.

The IoT (Internet of Things) is about billions of devices being able to talk to each other, and in many cases autonomously. When it comes to things like weapons and cars, both are devices with computers that can keep you safe or kill you.

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Autonomous Cars: More on the Pros, Cons, and Competition

Autonomous Cars: More on the Pros, Cons, and Competition | Location Is Everywhere | Scoop.it
The Automated Vehicle Symposium tracks the state of the driverless vehicle, examining the pros and cons of autonomous cars.
Luigi Cappel's insight:

It's really interesting how people can pounce on an idea and love it 100% and then defend it to the hilt. This is often the case with technology investments, cars and the value they generate. Talk to anyone who has just bought a new car, a new camera, mobile or piece of software.

I caught some snippets of news this morning on my NPR app. One of them was that the White House is getting together with large corporates who are committing to reducing climate change. I love it.

Meanwhile back in the jungle they are flat out trying to sell more cars by adding cool features. The autonomous car is a great way to get more people into cars, because you don't even need to know how to drive, the car will do it for you and you can use it as your mobile office.

I'm surprised Bose or some other audio giant hasn't already come up with the perfect audio environment that allows you to appreciate your favorite music in ways that you never imagined possible, in your little cocoon that puts you in the appropriate state of mind to your destination, whether that be on the way to work, sport, hoe to see the kids, or simply to have a nap. In fact even if you have nowhere to go, hop in your car and go for a drive just to listen to the latest track from your favorite artist. It's like radio with pictures. Want some urban music, drive through the hood, want some Vivaldi, go for a country drive, you'll love it as the only sound is those perfect strings as you drive through a park covered in fall colored leaves.

A great thought of the day at the Symposium which I'm sure will be popular, related to a reduction of the parking problem. The problem being both finding and having to pay for a park. In some areas car park pricing is being increased to stop you using them and to force you to consider other modes of transport, such as cycling or catching a bus.

Your autonomous car could drop you off at work and simply drive home, coming back to pick you up at the end of the day. Fantastic, no more parking problem!

As Philipp von Hagen from Porsche pointed out, that will double the number of trips. Imagine if a large percentage of cars take their, frequently single occupants to work, then turn around and clutter the highway, going home again to park, causing an equal amount of traffic congestion in both directions.

Interesting that they are suggesting that at the same time as the US Government is saying let's act on climate change. These cars run on energy. Energy could be petrol or diesel, or it could be electricity. How is that electricity generated? Coal, nuclear power, is any of it it green?

So the car park problem is solved, but our cities are not designed to have a massive number of cars waiting in line to pick up their occupants.

Think about what it's like at the end of the day when thousands of parents arrive at schools to pick up their children. They clog up roads, car parks and pretty much shut down areas such as the business park where I work, waiting for their kids to wander over from their last minute gatherings.

Now how about we have even more cars coming to pick us up from the office or workplace, all jockeying for position (no road rage of course because they are driverless). They can notify us via our smartphones when they arrive, but what if we aren't ready? What happens to the 200 cars behind mine when I get to the bottom of the stairs (I need my exercise) and realise I have left my laptop behind and have to go back to my desk? Sorry 220 cars that are now waiting and the 220 people waiting for them, jostling to see their car, like international passengers at an airport waiting for their bag, which is identical to the one that 10 other people also own, I'll be back in a sec.

We are in a situation with urban population growth soaring and the latest contribution in driverless cars, could be to double the number of daily trips those cars make on roads that are already congested. That's great foresight.

Of course the car could be equipped with a microwave and the whole family could come along for the ride. Turn the front and back seats to face each other with a table in the middle and we can save time by eating our evening meal in the car while listening to our Bose sound system, playing table music. We got our family time back!

Of course there are hurdles to overcome, for example, taking four trips a day (maybe 8 if the driverless car drops off and picks up the children from school each day as well) puts extra reliance on range and if the car is electric, it might not be able to recharge in time between trips, but there is always the potential for induction charging from the motorway barriers. It could be cost effective because they won't be going very fast. Of course someone has to pay for those, I guess that's us, the taxpayer, because we want better transport systems.

I'm getting tired of all this. I'm going to catch a bus today. I will thank the driver for taking responsibility for my safety and catch up on a few emails. Maybe some more stories about driverless cars.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not anti. I love the idea of a driverless taxi (sorry cabbies), or driverless Uber. I love the idea of a driverless bus shuttle taking me to the main line. I love the driverless trains at Narita Airport. I even love the sushi in Tulsa (sorry wrong song). I just wonder sometimes if people think the whole story through.

Today there are thousands of people around the world saying "They've solved the parking problem. I read it in the paper, it must be true! What a relief."

 

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Google Tests Autonomous Cars for 'Weird Situations' on Surface Streets - Government Technology

Google Tests Autonomous Cars for 'Weird Situations' on Surface Streets - Government Technology | Location Is Everywhere | Scoop.it
The director of Google’s self-driving cars says the cars have confronted a variety of scenes on surface streets around the company’s Mountain View, Calif., headquarters.
Luigi Cappel's insight:

It's great that Google are doing this testing with autonomous cars It highlights exactly some of the things I have been blogging about lately http://bit.ly/1HOUtBV. The Google car comes across a woman in a wheelchair chasing a duck. Yes, truth is sometimes stranger than fiction. The driverless car stops and waits, where a human driving a car would probably honk their horn, scare them both out of the way and carry on instead of waiting and increasing congestion.

Ducks are a classic. We had a major problem in New Zealand earlier this year when all over the country mother ducks took their ducklings across highways and motorways and just like in this video clip from Minnesota DoT cars swerved or even stopped on busy motorways. http://www.examiner.com/article/ducklings-cross-busy-minnesota-highway-dodging-traffic-viral-video I was caught twice myself having to stop suddenly from around 50mph because cars in front of me suddenly stopped. 

Another Google example was where 3 lanes of vehicles were proceeding after lights at an intersection turned green. The Google car stopped for a cyclist who decided to run a red light (not uncommon and sometimes deadly). The autonomous car stopped, the others didn't and the cyclist had to swerve to avoid being hit by the vehicles who were in the right.

So here's a thought. Google said that they haven't caused any of the accidents they have been in. Is that because the law says if you rear end a car that suddenly stops, it's your fault? Therefore they didn't cause the crash.

Who do you think is the dangerous driver? The vehicle that swerves in front of you, or slams on the anchors (check the video on the link above) to avoid the cute ducklings on the freeway, or the person who is driving normally, can't see the ducklings and has no reason to expect vehicles in front and has to suddenly perform evasive manoeuvrings?

When I researched this story I found many examples of drivers complaining when they were ticketed for swerving. The charges were dangerous or reckless driving. I'm with the police. As they say in New Zealand, "It's you or the possum"

I love possums, my brother had a pet possum called Peter which used to hold a sandwich between it's paws lick the jam off neatly, before eating the bread. They are just as cute as ducklings. Its interesting isn't it, that you will see plenty of possum roadkill, but I have only once seen a dead duck on the road, and it was in the air when it was killed. That's another story entirely.

So where do you sit? Stop for the small animal or swerve and risk involving others in a crash that could have far greater consequences (for humans at least)?

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Jeep hackers get new jobs at Uber's autonomous-car lab - Engadget

Jeep hackers get new jobs at Uber's autonomous-car lab - Engadget | Location Is Everywhere | Scoop.it
Uber hires the Jeep hackers to work in its autonomous vehicle lab.
Luigi Cappel's insight:

I often wonder if hackers do their thing to get work. They are obviously the perfect type of people to advise on IT security and this will be a huge risk market with the future of autonomous cars.

 

Sounds like a great win for everyone. There are obvious security risks with Uber and the safer people feel about it, the more it will prosper.

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Survey says: Drivers don’t want autonomous cars

Survey says: Drivers don’t want autonomous cars | Location Is Everywhere | Scoop.it
Autonomous cars may be the future, but they might not be what consumers want, a new survey says.
Luigi Cappel's insight:

I think it can be taken as read that we all want safer cars. Hands up anyone who hasn't been in a crash or been impacted by a crash. I didn't think so.

I enjoy driving, but I also enjoy being able to slam on my brakes and know how my car will behave. I am a lot safer in my 7 year old car than the cars I drove in my youth. Anyone remember having to pump the brakes?My first defensive driving courses were about how to manage despite the car, now it is more about buying cars that understand the conditions at a speed much faster than a human's hand-eye coordination.

I love the systems such as from Mercedes, where cameras monitor your eyes to see if you are falling asleep, a system that gently nudges the steering wheel to see if you actually intended crossing the centre median so that you can continue the manoevre if you need to.

We have been indoctrinated since birth that driving is fun and car ownership is something to aspire to. That doesn't change overnight.

Statistics are interesting things, you can use them to form any argument you like and people do. If 18% of people polled said they liked the idea of an autonomous car, I would find that extremely exciting and encouraging.

I wonder if they used those pictures in the surveys. Would you want to sit with your magazine and coffee behind a steering wheel that is turning and are afraid to touch in case it thinks you want to take over? Of course not. The point of an autonomous car is that you have the space and confidence to relax and trust the vehicle. If you can't then we are not ready to let them on the road.

In the meantime we are approaching the problem from both directions. Intelligent Transport Systems provide new features that improve safety, intelligence and performance, components that will evolve into driverless cars and at the other end the genuine article.

As in previous blogs http://bit.ly/1HOUtBV there is a lot of water to go under the bridge before our roads and technology intersect, such that we can let anyone loose in a driverless car. But it will happen.

Travel demand experts say that in order to achieve significant benefits, we actually only need a small number of people to adopt new technologies. TomTom research said that if 5% of people used real time traffic information a significantly higher percentage of people would be better off. We also know that if 100% of people took an alternate route to avoid congestion, all we would do is move the problem, or create more problems.

I remember reading about the fear and trepidation from people about the introduction of the train ("they'll never get it started" and "they'll never be able to stop it", of the Model A, the aircraft, of pretty much every major transport innovation that has changed the way we move around the world.

If more surveys came along with a similar number, rather than being discouraged, I would be investing in the leaders in this industry. Don't you wish you had invested in some of those idiotic inventions like smartphones and PC's? It wasn't long ago that people were still saying that Facebook would never have a viable business model.

The future is coming, will you be on board?

 

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Volvo Cars Autonomous Parking Concept

Volvo Car Group has developed an ingenious concept for autonomous parking. The concept car finds and parks in an open space by itself, without the driver ...
Luigi Cappel's insight:

The autonomous parking car. Personally, I am pretty good at parking and getting in and out of tight spaces, but the number of people I see on the road who don't have those skills is high.

I'm sure you could quote examples that you have seen just in the last week or two of people having to make multiple attempts at getting in and out of a car parking spot, perhaps holding up traffic or bumping into an adjacent car.

I'm not a big fan of having an autonomous car when it comes to actual driving. I enjoy driving, always have, from the day I turned 15 and got my Learner's License (OK maybe even earlier on motor bikes and cars).

I made up all sorts of excuses as to why I had to borrow my father's 4 liter Straight 6, 2 and a half ton family car. Most of the time I actually had nowhere to go at all, I just wanted to drive. I did live in a city where public transport was pretty pathetic, so sometimes I truly did need it.

Doubling the clutch, juggling the clutch, brake and accelerator on the very steep hill T intersection at the end of my street was good for an adrenalin rush in the big car and curbside parking was a challenge because it was difficult to see over the big guards, so I learned to make really good use of the 3 mirrors. I only pranged it once parking, following my mother's instructions "You have plenty of room, oh sorry, you actually didn't". At least that saved me a hiding.

Today with automatic cars that hold their position when you stop on on a hill, people don't need to have the same driving skills. Although this is a problem when they have to drive a manual car. A number of cars are now coming out with automatic parking, which is cool. Not as cool as this Volvo video though.

I used to have a car with remote start and I loved it when it was in the company car-park outside my first floor window, or at the mall and someone leaned on it. They would always get a good fright. I'd love to have my car drop me outside the front door or my destination and then park itself, subsequently coming back to pick me up.

That would be a good starting feature towards autonomous cars  that could be introduced today. It would certainly be a cool factor for those who could afford it, because I'm sure it won't be available at entry level.

I'd be very interested in the view of the insurance companies, because this isn't anything remotely like today's examples of standing your car next to the space you want and then allowing it to park for you.This car appears to be trolling for a car park and then telling you where it parked. What if it takes the boss' park, or parks in a mobility park or a loading zone? How does it get through the payment barrier at the airport and come and find me? What happens when someone else wants the same park? Lots of questions which I'm sure will be answered.

I like the direction this is going. Let's answer one question at a time. With so many people who aren't great drivers, who are poor at parking in tight spaces, or at all, this will be a popular feature.

As to the example of being able to do anything you like when a car is driving itself, tuck that steering wheel away. Who could sit in front of steering wheel and not have your hands on it? "You can do anything you like when the car is driving itself". The poor guy only had room to put his hands on his knees, he didn't even have enough room to fold his arms. What else could he do while a steering wheel is turning in front of him?

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Jewish-Arab school in Jerusalem targeted on Google-owned GPS app - Business Insider

Jewish-Arab school in Jerusalem targeted on Google-owned GPS app - Business Insider | Location Is Everywhere | Scoop.it
JERUSALEM (Reuters) - A mixed Jewish-Arab...
Luigi Cappel's insight:

This is an interesting angle on the concept of crowd sourced data. In the traditional environment of cartography with mapping companies, many calls are received questioning accuracy of data or filling gaps in the content.

For example, with new housing construction and suburbs being built, it is very normal for people moving into new homes in new streets where the address is not be found on a map. I recently visited a friend in their new (4 year old) holiday home where the street itself wasn't on the map yet, therefore the many reasonably new homes weren't on it either.

A lot of calls to mapping companies come from angry people who were awarded a speeding violation because they were following the speed zone on the car navigation map and the mapping company didn't have the latest changes on the data set.

In most mapping companies they receive those calls and in various ways check the validity of the information. They might even use Google Earth to check from their imagery, perhaps government aerial photography and some companies even use services like Fiverr  https://www.fiverr.com/ to pay a local person a mall sum of money to go and view the location, take a photo together with coordinates from their smartphone to confirm the exact location to go with the details.

Companies like TomTom compare historical driven data with map share information provided as a means to reduce the risk of malicious or incorrect information contaminating their maps.

The risk comes in when an organization doesn't have the resources to check all crowd sourced content. For example with Waze, which is based on crowd sourcing, they have services where people can report something, perhaps a crash or a change to the conditions (safely from the passenger seat through a disclaimer that says you are not driving at the time). However the quality, being crowd validated could easily be abused, or ignored. They have a function for example that tells a passenger that previously an accident was reported at this location and asks for confirmation. You can then edit the incident or say it doesn't exist.

When it comes to confirmation of information, such as a POI or Point of Interest as in this story, it comes down to individual users. Great for pranks or political interference/disinformation with data. This particular story doesn't surprise, because Waze originated in Israel where it probably has one of the highest per capita of users.

A bunch of students or hackers could quite easily add, modify AND confirm incorrect data and it would only be found out if people went out of their way to point out the incorrect information, which in this case for obvious reasons they did.

In other cases, the risks are more likely that if solutions like Waze are not regularly monitored for changes and then don't validate them, their reputation simply drops and less people will use their app in favor of apps with more trustworthy data. POI data has the highest risk, because details about a location won't interfere with your navigation to it, unless people change the name itself, so that the correct name no longer resides in the database. This is also not an unlikely eventuality, because a large percentage of businesses change their names, or when the premises are sold, a new tenant may come in with a new name and brand.

For the cost of an unwitting speeding fine, (yes you should go by what you see through your windscreen) you could purchase a navigation application where the brand spends the money to give you a higher degree of accuracy. Of course they will all get it wrong sometimes, hence, refer back to what you see through your windscreen.

What's the answer to this? Ultimately, for now at least, you get what you pay for. Crowd sourcing in many cases is wonderful as evidenced by products like Open Street Map. Wikipedia is another example. The difference with Wikipedia is that if it gives you incorrect information, you are unlikely to drive your car through the fog into a river after reading it.

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How Much Cash Will An Autonomous Car Save You? More Than $1000 Per Year - The Car Connection

How Much Cash Will An Autonomous Car Save You? More Than $1000 Per Year - The Car Connection | Location Is Everywhere | Scoop.it
Self-driving cars are just around the corner. Many people worry about the added expense of autonomous technology and the effect it'll have on car prices, but in fact, self-driving vehicles are likely to save owners a good bit of money.
Luigi Cappel's insight:

There is definitely an argument that says car sharing will reduce the number of cars in resistance, but the scenario of Mum driving to work, then sending the car to pick up her son to take him to school and then send the car back home to pick up Johnnie again, then back to work to pick Mum up, isn't necessarily likely to reduce traffic congestion. Johnnie could have caught the school bus and in effect this scenario may have generated double the number of journeys that would have happened with Mum going to work via school and back. Ergo less cars doesn't mean less traffic on the road, it could mean more.

As to insurance, I will leave that up to the industry. It would be interesting to see what would happen if I went to AA Insurance today and said I want to insure a driverless car for use anywhere, any time on the road. I suspect they will consider it a much higher risk than a motorcycle or a convertible. I would.

Back to the money saving, how does doubling the number of trips save you money. Maybe in 30 years time driverless cars might become cheaper than conventional motor vehicles, but for now, entry level is likely to be in the region of 3 times or more the price of a typical popular car, so a $1,000 saving is not going to mean much.

Once again, I have to say, I love the concept of both autonomous cars and car sharing, however this article's argument doesn't work for me. What do you think?

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United Airlines Brings Highly Detailed In-Airport Maps To Its iOS App - TechCrunch

United Airlines Brings Highly Detailed In-Airport Maps To Its iOS App - TechCrunch | Location Is Everywhere | Scoop.it
No matter how advanced phone mapping technologies have become, stepping into an airport takes you back several decades into the era of physical maps. With no..
Luigi Cappel's insight:

It's about time! I'd struggle to find anyone who hasn't had an issue at major airports like O'Hare, LAX (my nemesis), JFK, Beijing and Schiphol. Especially when you are changing planes and yours was late arriving. Combined with most airlines deliberately overbooking, that means that if you don't get to your next gate in time, chances are someone on standby is going to get your seat!

I've been involved in project requests over the years to map universities, hospitals and other municipal buildings, but there was never enough budget. It's much easier where there is money involved.

There is a lot of money involved in airports. I think I would be safe to in saying that literally dozens of flights that I've been on, have been delayed due to passengers not arriving on time.

Once upon a time before 911, the plane might have just taken off, but with new safety laws, if someone doesn't arrive to take their seat, their luggage has to be removed from the plane before it can depart. That means major delays.

Those people who inevitably have one more drink in the lounge, or are doing last minute shopping and then get directionally challenged and arrive late cost the airlines huge sums of money. They have to pay more for the time the plane sits at the gate, stopping another plane from taking it; they will have lost their queue waiting for a runway allocation and then they typically burn more fuel flying faster to try to make up time wasted waiting at the gate.

So when there is a high value proposition like this it is easy. Hopefully they will do the same at major train stations and then as it becomes a bigger industry, the costs of setting up indoor navigation systems will continue to reduce such that institutions with little funds will also be able to afford to use the technology.

There are of course many low cost systems for navigating buildings, the big thing here is the variables. The gates don't move, but the flights do. Just listen to the PA's. "Your flight may not be boarding from the gate shown on your boarding pass." Of course time is critical in hospitals and in universities, it can mean not getting to lectures on time, but that is more a really nice to have.

This is a technology that will benefit the airlines, the airport companies and their passengers. Next lets track the passengers (anonymously) and their luggage such that we can confirm that they both go to the same destination at the same time. That should be a security default anyway!

The Unclaimed Baggage Center in Scotsboro http://www.unclaimedbaggage.com/ may not like it, because it will kill a great business model and probably impact on Alabama's domestic tourism, but I've never been a fan of that concept. OK if I had realized how close I was a couple of years ago driving through Fort Payne on 59, I would have stopped, but I would have felt really guilty if I had bought anything:)

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Autonomous, Connected Cars Fuel Next-Gen Cartography Race

Autonomous, Connected Cars Fuel Next-Gen Cartography Race | Location Is Everywhere | Scoop.it
Whichever company can draw the best digital atlas, update it at lightning speeds and control who can use it has an edge on future industries from robot taxi and package delivery fleets to personalized shopping apps.
Luigi Cappel's insight:

No surprises HERE and pun intended. We learned the hard way at GeoSmart that existing Government maps were not suitable for car navigation and definitely not for more advanced ITS like autonomous cars. The company was forced to build a mapping car to drive all of New Zealand, setting back our plans for the introduction of high quality car navigation in NZ significantly by a couple of years.

There is an irony now that TomTom bought the company that they are the only ones with access to that fully driven data-set of every road in the country to 15cm accuracy including inclinometer, camber and other data. That's a gold mine now. I know how long it took to drive every road and in the case of major roads, in both directions. Data is certainly king.

Great that HERE now has an owner in the industry which will no doubt provide the funding needed to delivery the quality required for autonomous or driverless cars. Not only do you need all roads to be driven with LiDAR and a host of other technologies (and that's just the data collection) It takes huge amounts of data processing as well once it's mapped; and those maps need to be current all the time because there are so many factors that impact on information a vehicle needs in order to make the right decisions.

These include name changes, speed zone changes, minor and major improvements, such as road alignment (removing corners from roads for example. It also needs to know about temporary road works, events, signals and right of way; and much more.

Unless they have similar expensive data collection technologies on board, to those used by map data collection cars, which costs more than the average car by itself, they will only be able to safely drive on roads already certified for them, or the risks will be very high if passengers aren't ready or able to intervene.

Say for example a slip, or flooding where it can't be established how deep the water is; conditions like the black ice we are currently experiencing on many roads this winter which is frequently invisible, the ambient light conditions we have in New Zealand, especially in winter, which make streets signs hard to machine read, even with a lot of processing in a lab!

These are just a few reasons why the purchase of HERE was so important. What we are now going to have is a global race to get the best possible data. Whilst HERE as a Nokia subsidiary that didn't make cars, wanted to collect and sell data to all and sundry, would you expect a consortium of car manufacturers who now own the company to be equally magnanimous in sharing map data with their competitors?

Traditionally it is the unique features and benefits that car and truck brands focus on in order to win market share in a highly competitive market. If BMW, Audi and Daimler (Mercedes Benz) now own the company and their map data, do you think they will be keen to offer that same crucial information to competitors wanting to build and run autonomous cars in Europe, North and South America, companies like Toyota, Mitsubishi and Honda?

If you spent billions of dollars on this data and technology, I'm sure you would want a competitive advantage. It is certainly an exciting time and we will start to see where they have the best data, because those will be the cities and countries with least risk where we will see the first volumes of autonomous cars emerge.

Whilst Governments are clambering to enjoy the benefits of platooning and other travel demand and capacity flow efficiencies from driverless cars, they will not want to be known for the first major crashes that occur as a consequence of the use of poor quality map data.

I've driven in a lot of countries with car navigation and had to interpret many a map, which as a human is not too difficult. As recently as a week ago I drove to a subdivision in a rural Auckland area which was not on the Google map even though the house I was visiting had been occupied 4 years ago and of course the road was there well  before that. Fortunately  the road and the street address were was on my trusty old TomTom.

One of my frustrations in map brand comparisons over the years for consumer reports was they always tested them on old urban roads that have been there for ever and the predictable outcomes were that they felt and stated that there was little difference between one map company/product and another. However owners of car navigation systems know different, even though there is a known law in the software industry that purchasers will support a bad software decision once they have made it, which further blurs the lines.

In Fleet Management some companies profit from the difference. For example in New Zealand commercial freight companies pay road user charges based on distance traveled on public roads, but not on private property. The RUC data their taxes are calculated against are based on electronically collecting the driven data, based on matching it to the map used by the Fleet Management company. It is known in the industry that it can be advantageous to use a map data-set that is less than accurate because the likelihood is that it will report more on-road driving interpreted as off-road, because it has a computed rather than a driven road centreline. Those map data-sets are also cheaper to obtain and license.

Ask one of those truck operators using one of those systems if they would be happy to have the truck drive itself, based on the road width and centreline information they have been using for their road user charge tax rebates. What do you think the answer will be? I know what mine would be, and I know how many more truck rollovers we would be seeing if they tried to use the cheaper road data-sets that consumer researchers say are fine. I wonder who takes the liability for that?

It all sounds so easy; and it is on certain highways and it will be for future highways that are designed to defined specifications including those needed for Intelligent Transport Systems. There aren't a lot of those around the world right now.

Next time you go out for a drive in the country and the nav unit tells you to go to the nearest road, even though you are on one, or can't find your destination, imagine you are in a car or truck with no steering wheel or controls and ask yourself if near enough is good enough.

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Police: GPS tracking is intriguing - Leader-Telegram

Police: GPS tracking is intriguing - Leader-Telegram | Location Is Everywhere | Scoop.it
Chippewa Valley law enforcement officers said using GPS trackers to track fleeing vehicles is a good idea, but that doesn’t mean they’re ready to make use of that technology.
Luigi Cappel's insight:

How often do we hear that a Police pursuit either has to be abandoned because it is too dangerous and represents to much risk to other road users. I'm sure a lot of criminals take that as an opportunity to escape, especially if they are in  a stolen vehicle or one which has stolen plates.

Many pursuits end up in crashes, often because the driver loses control frequently after the pursuit has been called off for public safety reasons, potentially further risking public safety by leaving the alleged offender at large. The quicker Police are able to locate that vehicle the better.

This technology sounds like science fiction and how well it works if fired James Bond style from the front of a vehicle will depend on the sophistication of the technology. Is it guided somehow? Will it work if vehicles are turning and it doesn't have a flat surface to adhere to? What sort of a surface angle will it stick to?

In terms of cost? If it saves lives, what sort of wastage ratio is acceptable in proportion to the number of lives or serious injuries?

Kudos to Chippewa Valley law enforcement. This is a good example of a technology which will obviously mature and become commonplace. It will save lives, incident management costs and reduce massive amounts of time cost. It has to start somewhere.

 

 

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Hackers Remotely Kill a Jeep on the Highway—With Me in It

Two hackers have developed a tool that can hijack a Jeep over the internet. WIRED senior writer Andy Greenberg takes the SUV for a spin on the highway while ...
Luigi Cappel's insight:

When you check out his video, keep in mind that this is not one of our autonomous, driverless cars, it is a standard 2014 Jeep. Cars today are a lot more connected to the Internet and are being designed with features such as sending a warning if your tyre pressure is low, the car needs a service, the ability to access infotainment services. Breakdown services are able to remotely unlock cars when customers have left the keys in the car, easy to do and a common call out reason.

As more hacking events take place, more and more people are learning how to do this and it would be very unlikely of some of those people are not criminals or other people with other malicious intent. Fortunately word is now getting out to car manufacturers who are rushing to add all the features that customers are demanding and hopefully they will be employing security experts, perhaps hackers to help design systems that can be secured.

The greater risk IMHO comes in as V2V systems come out, where cars make decisions based on intelligence they get from other cars. I have previously blogged about platooning, where cars drive very close together safely because they are in communication with each other. They accelerate in tandem and brake in tandem. I have no doubt that in the next year we will see a thriller at the movies where autonomous cars are driving and someone hacks into them. Imagine a platoon of vehicles a yard apart from each other driving on the freeway at 80mph. A hacker then slams the breaks on one or two of them without telling the other cars, or they do that turn manoeuvre that police do to spin out a car safely during a car chase, where they give the side of the car in front a little nudge. It would make great film if a couple of cars in a driverless platoon of autonomous cars were hacked by criminals doing those sorts of things. But not so if it was done in the real world. Looking at what these hackers are showing, that might not be too difficult.

Hopefully the good guys at these hack events get offered great jobs to stop the bad guys from doing bad jobs!

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Calgary school buses to implement GPS tracking - Calgary Herald

Calgary school buses to implement GPS tracking - Calgary Herald | Location Is Everywhere | Scoop.it
Calgary parents whose children will be taking the bus to school this coming year will have a new way of knowing when their children get on or off as well as whether the bus is on time.
Luigi Cappel's insight:

My first reaction was so what, all buses should have GPS. But how many parents are there that drive their kids t school because they are anxious about where their kids are and if they are safe.

Knowing where your kids are and that they are safe is a priority for parents and one of the reasons so many drive their kids to and from school. Even knowing that they did or didn't get on the school bus.

Much of this technology is already available, i.e, the bus company knows where the bus is, although a lot of it is not real time and more about managing bus inventory.

Could the evolution of this technology, (particularly the security risks of this information being only available to the ;parents or caregivers of each individual child, go a long way towards reducing school time traffic congestion?

Do you drive your kids to school? If yes, why?

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GPS Stickers Track Your Belongings : Discovery News - Discovery News

GPS Stickers Track Your Belongings : Discovery News - Discovery News | Location Is Everywhere | Scoop.it
Unlike other GPS tags on the market, the TrackerPad stickers are lightweight, flexible, waterproof and stick to any object.
Luigi Cappel's insight:

When it looks to good to be true it usually is. I have to take this story at face value because while I haven't seen the technology, it rings true. It appears to answer the questions I had, such as is this really an RFID Chip dressed up as GPS?

But reading the story, it sounds as though it is for real. The backers sure agree. A device the size of a small coin that contains a miniature GPS, a SIM card and a battery that  lasts up to 7 days is amazing.

The irony will be that by that the telemetry account annual fee from your favorite mobile operator could be 3 or 4 times the cost of the device.No wonder telcos are excited about the IoT!

The good thing is that it sounds like it will be down to a price that you will consider good value. The catch is that you will have to remember to remove each sticker once a week to charge it. If you forget, you will need to remember where you left it. If you are using it for your valuables, don't forget that you would never want your app to be accessible by strangers, or they will be able to find your valuables too.

I come back to one of those concerns about where and when you should use these. For example if you are on a plane to Paris and you are worried your luggage might be going to Miami, that's not a good time to be pinging your luggage to see if your luggage is on board the plane, you might find you are dropping in to see Mum and Dad s they head off home after seeing you off because your communications interfered with the fly by wire on the plane. Imagine if 100 passengers decided to do the same thing!

This is a great example of the emerging state of the Internet of Things (IoT). The price is ridiculously cheap. Invest 45 pounds in this Kickstarter solution which looks like it will easily be fully subscribed and you will get a system with 5 tracker pads! Technology I have seen in the past wouldn't buy you one pad for that price!

If the rain don't fall and the creek don't rise, this is going to be a very exciting couple of years as the Internet of Things moves into the slope of enlightenment.

 

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Chrysler Recalls 1.4 Million Cars After Jeep Vulnerability Exposed

Chrysler Recalls 1.4 Million Cars After Jeep Vulnerability Exposed | Location Is Everywhere | Scoop.it
After researchers hack a Jeep Cherokee as it's on public roads, highlighting vulnerabilities in the car, Chrysler pulls 1.4 million in to update them and protect drivers.
Luigi Cappel's insight:

Is this a case of being hoisted by their own petard? Are car manufacturers in such a hurry to meet our demands for computerization and connected cars, that they haven't figured out all of the risks, especially when they have dozens of OEM component suppliers?

When my 'Check Engine' light came on in my car on Thursday, I thought "that's strange I've never run low on oil before." I drove to the nearest gas station and I still hadn't.

I rang Torbay Service Station who look after my car and they were closed until 8AM the following morning. so I was on their doorstep on the dot next day.

Whist they were very busy, booked solid in fact and had no loan cars left, Mike the owner kindly agreed to hook his diagnostics computer into my ODB2 port (interface to the car computers) but he found nothing and said most of the 8 pages of diagnostics for my car model require that the car is driving and he didn't have time to do a road test. He released the emergency light from the alert status and said if it came on again,I should call him or bring it straight back.

Many years ago, a company I worked for became the distributor for a new Canadian car security system and my company car was the guinea pig. The features included remote start, which makes sense for Canadian winters. That meant, from my office window, looking out over the management car-park, if someone was leaning on my car, I could start it up and give them a fright. It was lot's of fun.

It had security algorithms in the communications system because it was not uncommon in the USA for designer car thieves to wait for people to unlock their Ferrari's and Lamborghini's, recording the signal from their remote controls so that they could copy them wirelessly and then steal the car after replicating the signal. This is not much different to scams where people in restaurants copy all the  information off your credit card magnetic stripe, while you aren't looking, so as to create an exact copy they can resell to access your bank account.

So now we go to a world where there are ready buyers for your car's location information. All benevolent of course. They might be DoT's for traffic demand management, gas companies looking at where to build new petrol stations, insurance companies managing risk, in-car entertainment companies, satellite broadcast media, emergency services, car navigation, Google and many more.

Most of these companies want your data for 'benevolent purposes'. To understand how you drive for insurance risk, to find you if your car breaks down or runs out of gas, to remotely unlock your door if you left your keys in the car, to monitor the status of your battery or when your brakes need service, or to point out to you that you are heading in a direction where the next gas station is 90 miles away and you only have a quarter of a tank left, or that you have been driving for 2 hours and there is a Starbucks up ahead, with  free muffin with your name on it.

The weak link is that so many different networks want access to your data, plus you want remote access, key-less ignition, remote start, real time traffic information (which is crowd sourced, meaning they get your data as well as you getting information from them).

You want a connected autonomous car in the future, which is going to rely on communication with other cars, with your breakdown service and the DoT, for traffic signals and highway information.

To achieve all that (and it is all achievable now and more) means that not one but several computers in your car are going to be communicating with other computers and devices all the time. Viruses, Trojans, keyboard loggers and other security breaches on personal computers happen thousands of times a day around the world, whether you are just a law abiding citizen at home, or a high level executive in a corporate, or in a Government department. Why would you think that connected cars would be any different and what a great was to cause chaos, whether for mischievous reasons, terrorism or crime?

The more features you demand from car manufacturers, the greater the risk.Hacking into car security systems is old school and because they are systems designed for one purpose only, to prevent access and disable the vehicle, security is relatively easy.

When it comes to the warehouse of computers racked in a modern car, the problem becomes compound and complex.

This recall is a great thing, if inconvenient. Imagine if hackers were able to disable the brakes in thousands of vehicles in one city. If you've ever driven a vehicle where the brakes failed, like I did in a motor-home full of people after a ski-trip where the brake-hose froze and broke, that T intersection comes up mighty fast. Now multiply that by hundreds or thousands of vehicles.

Kudos from me to Fiat Chrysler for taking this step.

I would be asking the question if buying a new car, as to how secure it is from hackers and looking for an intelligent answer fro the sales person. When they tell you there is absolutely no risk, try asking for a written guarantee of that. They won't be able to give it to you.

We all want the cool new features, but you have antivirus on your computer because there is risk. The thing is that you don't sit inside your computer and race up the freeway. Well actually if you  have a late model car, you already do. What if your car is autonomous and you aren't sitting behind a steering wheel or brake pedal.

Has your computer ever crashed?

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EXCLUSIVE: Uber says De Blasio misleading on NYC congestion

EXCLUSIVE: Uber says De Blasio misleading on NYC congestion | Location Is Everywhere | Scoop.it
Mr. Mayor, don’t blame Uber for your claims of congestion on the streets of Manhattan, the app-based taxi service said Tuesday.
Luigi Cappel's insight:

It appears that there is dissension in the Big Apple, where I experienced my one and only scary gypsy cab ride. I wonder how many of them are in NYC, while they complain about Uber. Anyway, Yellow Cabs have been an institution since Johnny was a baby, well maybe not quite, but the cars weren't that far behind the railroad.

The Yellow Cabs, have been an institution, but the thing Uber brings is the service and the knowledge they are there because of the app.

I once started walking from Battery Park back to my hotel in Manhattan via Chinatown on a real hot day. After about 3 miles having headed off the main roads, do you think I could find a yellow cab anywhere?

Actually I saw a couple of them but they had passengers and ignored my frantic semaphore waving, they wouldn't even stop to let me ask them to call another ca for me. It was a really interesting walk and I probably did about 7 miles by the time I got there. did I mention it was a scorching hot day?

If I had Uber, I would have jumped at the chance to have a nice drive, perhaps talk to someone who was actually from NYC and ease my weary legs.

So here's my argument. Uber is redefining a transport mode. It's providing levels of service that are perceived as better than many taxi companies offer. The app lets you see where your car is and lets them see where you are, also useful in a strange town, especially if like me, you enjoy random exploration of a city.

When a business is mature, it tends to focus on business as usual or BAU. That's how we roll.

I predicted the demise of Borders in New Zealand long before they disappeared. If they had been more nimble they could still be here, successfully competing with Amazon in my humble opinion. https://luigicappel.wordpress.com/2011/05/22/ideas-for-retailers-including-borders-and-whitcoulls/

If taxi's really don't want Uber around, perhaps they should emulate them. Offer similar services such as an app where they can see the location of the cab, negotiate the fare in advance, take payment via the app, rate the driver and the customer. Offer loyalty programs, with taxi miles.

They could even copy the airlines and have their own budget car network as a sub brand using a similar system.

Let's face it, Yellow Cabs must have an amazing historical database and know exactly what traffic is likely to be like on any given day. Not moving (sorry little joke). They could easily beat Uber at their own game. I offer this advice to all cab companies. If you don't keep up with the times you will end up on one of those Facebook pages, or whatever it's equivalent is in 10 years and people will be saying remember when you knew you were in NYC, with all those yellow cabs? Here's a picture of one, remember them?

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