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posted by Fnord666 on Wednesday January 10, @07:37PM   Printer-friendly
from the everyone-must-carry-a-radio dept.

Trek joins with Ford to propose bicycle to vehicle communications, as an addition to already proposed vehicle to vehicle and vehicle to infrastructure communications.
http://www.velonews.com/2018/01/news/trek-takes-a-high-tech-approach-to-save-cyclists-lives_454307

The system connects vehicles to a larger communications system, which means cars can communicate with other vehicles, pedestrian devices, bicycles, roadside signs, and construction zones.

A cyclist would ride with B2V-enabled equipment, initially manufactured by Trek or Bontrager. Or, he or she could have a mobile app with C-V2X. The driver would then be alerted by their car when a cyclist is present in a potentially dangerous area.

Trek partnered with a company named Tome, who also add in the buzzword, "AI-based" to make sure you know that they are really with it. No mention of the power requirements for this system, and how they can be met within the extremely small power capability of a bike rider, or even the small battery system used on e-bikes.


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  • (Score: 2) by slap on Wednesday January 10, @07:43PM (2 children)

    by slap (5764) on Wednesday January 10, @07:43PM (#620594)

    Why not use a modified smartphone instead of something attached to the bike? Most people have their phone with them. And when you get off the bike and start walking the cars could know where you are as a pedestrian.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 10, @07:51PM (1 child)

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 10, @07:51PM (#620596)

      And like bluetooth everyone would have it on constantly draining the battery, and overloading drivers about all the pedestrians/bicycles nearby. Or one the bus, or in the car, or wherever people are since they forgot to stop the ap...

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 10, @08:38PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 10, @08:38PM (#620615)

        Not only that. Regular existing smartphones cannot be used for this. They lack support for C-V2X, which is still into the future, but more importantly (and despite what Qualcomm claims) C-V2X has some very serious technological and cost issues to overcome. Don't expect this technology to be ready to go into smartphones any time soon, if ever.

  • (Score: 4, Insightful) by bob_super on Wednesday January 10, @08:02PM (9 children)

    by bob_super (1357) on Wednesday January 10, @08:02PM (#620600)

    > The driver would then be alerted by their car when a cyclist is present in a potentially dangerous area.

    How about "The driver keeps their eyes on the fucking road and sees the biker long before it comes into BT range and/or AI can identify it" ?

    Do you know what happens when you get alerted all the time? You start ignoring things. Keep putting more detection in cars, and people will feel safer, while not actually paying attention the the constant nagging.

    The unimpaired undistracted human brain is typically pretty decent at categorizing moving objects (if they can be seen, but let's not interfere with natural selection of people wearing black at night).
    Maybe we don't need more complexity and costs in our cars, and we should have them act as a Faraday cage for microwave signals instead.

    • (Score: 2, Interesting) by Sulla on Wednesday January 10, @08:25PM (1 child)

      by Sulla (5173) on Wednesday January 10, @08:25PM (#620607) Journal

      Where I live we have a lot of trees, a lot of alleys, and a lot of bikers. On any given morning I can be tracking two or three cyclists to see what they are doing and have another shoot out from a alley and cut off my truck. Ideally motorists will pay attention to what is going on around them but you can't always predict when a cyclist will decide to act like a vehicle instead of a pedestrian and cut out into the road to cut you off before a traffic light or stop sign, or run a red light because they decided they are a pedestrian again, or dart out of a back alley or parking lot across a 35mph road instead of going into the bike lane or going to a light.

      My only use for this would be a legal defense when a biker eventually pulls out from a back alley into me. Cyclists and motorists both have a part to play in mutual safety, but I see a lot more cyclists cutting off motorists than the other way around.

      • (Score: 3, Insightful) by bob_super on Wednesday January 10, @09:42PM

        by bob_super (1357) on Wednesday January 10, @09:42PM (#620648)

        > My only use for this would be a legal defense when a biker eventually pulls out from a back alley into me.

        Get a dashcam.

    • (Score: 2) by Grishnakh on Wednesday January 10, @09:14PM (3 children)

      by Grishnakh (2831) on Wednesday January 10, @09:14PM (#620629)

      How about "The driver keeps their eyes on the fucking road and sees the biker long before...

      We've been trying that ever since cars were invented, and it doesn't work. Relying on drivers to drive properly is hopeless; they just aren't very good at it. What we need to do is eliminate human driving altogether. Remember, all it takes is one tiny error by a human driver piloting a 2-3 ton vehicle and lives are lost, both cyclists' and other drivers'.

      • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 10, @10:06PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 10, @10:06PM (#620668)

        And all it take is one tiny error in a program, written by a team of human, piloting thousands of 2-3 ton vehicles and lives are lost, both cyclists' and other drivers', but at least not the programmers'.

      • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 10, @11:25PM (1 child)

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 10, @11:25PM (#620711)

        Actually, humans watching out for each other works damn well. Have you hit a cyclist hard enough to do any serious injury? Know anyone that has? When looked at time or mileage between accidents, the current system is amazingly safe. It's just a huge system, and the news only tells us about problems, not successes.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 11, @09:34AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 11, @09:34AM (#620859)

          > Have you hit a cyclist hard enough to do any serious injury? Know anyone that has?

          Because anecdata is the best data.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 10, @11:27PM (2 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 10, @11:27PM (#620712)

      The point is: Halp, muh computer vision algo is unable to identify all the things. Instead of improving it, let's give them RFID tags so it's easier to discern a bike from a dove. Or a trash can.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 11, @09:38AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 11, @09:38AM (#620863)

        let's give them RFID tags so it's easier to discern a bike from a dove. Or a trash can.

        What are you talking about? I see only toasters. [soylentnews.org]

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 11, @11:36PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 11, @11:36PM (#621179)

        In case anyone is still reading this...I'm going to put RFID tags on doves. And pigeons, just for good measure.

        Actually, this idea is sort of analogous to transponders on aircraft. Rather than counting on the radar signature from normal radar reflections, transponders broadcast the identity the plane, I believe shortly after they are lit up by the radar beam. Makes it a lot easier for the air traffic controllers to see all the planes, both large and small.

  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by maxwell demon on Wednesday January 10, @08:08PM (23 children)

    by maxwell demon (1608) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday January 10, @08:08PM (#620601) Journal

    While at first it seems like a good idea, it actually is quite problematic: As soon as enough bikers have it that it makes a difference, car drivers will start to rely on it, and will be even more likely to overlook a bike without it.

    --
    The Tao of math: The numbers you can count are not the real numbers.
    • (Score: 2) by bob_super on Wednesday January 10, @08:15PM (21 children)

      by bob_super (1357) on Wednesday January 10, @08:15PM (#620604)

      That's easily solved, like autonomous cars soon, by outlawing or making it prohibitive to operate a non-equipped bike. (Is the son of a US senator an investor, yet?)
      What kind of evil unAmerican person would want to keep using something that endangers so many lives ? Think of the Children!

      • (Score: 3, Interesting) by maxwell demon on Wednesday January 10, @08:22PM (19 children)

        by maxwell demon (1608) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday January 10, @08:22PM (#620606) Journal

        And I'm sure the communication protocol will also contain an unique identifier …

        --
        The Tao of math: The numbers you can count are not the real numbers.
        • (Score: 1) by Sulla on Wednesday January 10, @08:28PM (14 children)

          by Sulla (5173) on Wednesday January 10, @08:28PM (#620608) Journal

          People in Oregon are already allowing gps trackers into their vehicles to track miles driven for paying a road mileage tax, this is just the next logical step.

          Its for you afterall.. with the recent uptick in bike thefts how will we be able to find your bike if you don't track it? Only doing this to protect you because you won't protect yourself.

          • (Score: 2) by Grishnakh on Wednesday January 10, @09:16PM (8 children)

            by Grishnakh (2831) on Wednesday January 10, @09:16PM (#620630)

            People in Oregon are already allowing gps trackers into their vehicles to track miles driven for paying a road mileage tax

            They are? Citation needed. Last I heard, the state (and maybe some other states too) was mulling over such a thing, maybe doing some tests, but the idea hasn't exactly been popular. It hasn't actually gone into operation or gotten the legislation it needs to do so.

            • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 10, @09:33PM

              by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 10, @09:33PM (#620642)

              Colorado has been doing tests, but is not ready to roll anything out. Seems they want multiple states to do it with them.

              https://www.denverpost.com/2017/12/12/colorado-mileage-tax-experiment/ [denverpost.com]

            • (Score: 2, Informative) by Sulla on Wednesday January 10, @09:34PM (6 children)

              by Sulla (5173) on Wednesday January 10, @09:34PM (#620643) Journal

              http://www.myorego.org/about/ [myorego.org]

              I opted into the program early on, although I chose the reader that did not contain a GPS.

              • (Score: 2, Interesting) by Sulla on Wednesday January 10, @09:37PM (5 children)

                by Sulla (5173) on Wednesday January 10, @09:37PM (#620645) Journal

                Thats was a really uninformative reply..

                Back in like 2015/6 you could opt-in to test out the program. You had your choice of tracking device (ones that were full GPS and provided those abilities to you and one that only tracked direct mileage) and then you went and paid your taxes directly to the state on the OReGO website. The state estimates what your vehicles gas mileage should be and then whether you paid more in Gas Tax than you should have. The basis was that prius have the same effect on road wear as f350s based on DOT studies, so truck drivers can get money back and prius drivers can end up owning more.

                • (Score: 4, Interesting) by bob_super on Wednesday January 10, @09:55PM (4 children)

                  by bob_super (1357) on Wednesday January 10, @09:55PM (#620659)

                  > prius have the same effect on road wear as f350s based on DOT studies

                  Studies sponsored by Ford ? Everything I've read is that damage is proportional to an exponent of weight (4th is usually cited here).

                  My solution is to make people pay license plate fees based on the square of (weight of their vehicle / 1 metric ton). Taylor it or so that a Civic or Fiesta pays about a hundred bucks (less that what I pay now in CA), but people driving 2 or 3 tonnes around pay 400 to 900 bucks, properly accounting for the damage they do. Bonus: it's easier to implement than the current value-based fee, which doesn't match road wear.

                  • (Score: 1) by Sulla on Wednesday January 10, @10:21PM

                    by Sulla (5173) on Wednesday January 10, @10:21PM (#620675) Journal

                    http://www.community.myorego.org/blog/splitting-the-check-to-help-fund-our-roads/ [myorego.org]

                    While a Hummer tips the scales at about 6,500 pounds with a V8 engine, a pint-sized Prius c hybrid checks in at 2,500 pounds.

                    It might surprise you that each contributes about the same wear and tear to our roads and bridges. No matter how tricked out your light-duty car, pickup truck or passenger van may be, there is no significant difference in the impact these vehicles have on a typical highway.

                    However, the same cannot be said for large commercial trucks and big rigs. Because of the heavy payloads they carry, an 18-wheeler weighing 80,000 pounds causes the same amount of road damage as 9,600 passenger vehicles.

                  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by Grishnakh on Wednesday January 10, @10:23PM

                    by Grishnakh (2831) on Wednesday January 10, @10:23PM (#620679)

                    Studies sponsored by Ford ? Everything I've read is that damage is proportional to an exponent of weight (4th is usually cited here).

                    I was about to respond with the same thing. WTF? It's common knowledge that tractor-trailers cause immense damage to roads, and that's the very reason they have weigh stations, because if they're overloaded they cause even more damage. Obviously, heavier is worse, and an F-350 is a whole lot heavier than a Prius. I suppose this is neglecting the idea of pressure, which can vary depending on the vehicle weight and how many tires it's spread over and how wide those tires are, but still, the idea that a Prius is as damaging as huge pickup truck is just ridiculous. (And similarly, huge pickup trucks are nothing compared to semis.)

                    I agree with your proposal. People should be encouraged to drive smaller, lighter cars for many reasons, not only road damage, but fuel usage, the damage they cause to other vehicles in collisions, etc. And charging a plate fee is administratively very, very simple, unlike the absurd complexity that comes with having GPS devices in everyone's car and trying to accurately monitor all that data.

                  • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 10, @11:30PM

                    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 10, @11:30PM (#620716)

                    Studies sponsored by Ford ? Everything I've read is that damage is proportional to an exponent of weight (4th is usually cited here).

                    It is proportional to the per-axle weight. But since the vehicles in question both have two axles, more weight => more wear.

                    Road wear and tear is completely dominated by large transport trucks anyway.

                  • (Score: 2) by t-3 on Thursday January 11, @08:16PM

                    by t-3 (4907) on Thursday January 11, @08:16PM (#621066) Journal

                    And my '78 Caprice, lacking any weighty safety features, will be the cheapest of all!

          • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Wednesday January 10, @09:30PM (4 children)

            by JoeMerchant (3937) on Wednesday January 10, @09:30PM (#620635)

            You know, if they would only actually use this to catch bike thieves and return stolen bicycles, that might even be an argument for an opt-in system.

            Unfortunately, I've never seen a bike registration program anywhere that made a damn bit of difference in the rate of bike theft. The only thing I know of that reduces bike theft is to ride and park in isolated affluent neighborhoods (or countries) where nobody cares about stealing your bike.

            • (Score: 2) by Grishnakh on Wednesday January 10, @10:25PM (3 children)

              by Grishnakh (2831) on Wednesday January 10, @10:25PM (#620681)

              What countries are those, besides maybe Japan? From what I've read, bike theft is a real problem even in bike-happy Netherlands, and that's a rather affluent country.

              • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Thursday January 11, @12:02AM (2 children)

                by JoeMerchant (3937) on Thursday January 11, @12:02AM (#620726)

                Well, nobody cared to steal the bikes _I_ was riding on in Amsterdam, or the countryside in the Netherlands, Belgium or Germany... but, in places like Miami they'd steal anything with two wheels and at least one pedal.

                • (Score: 2) by Grishnakh on Thursday January 11, @01:13AM (1 child)

                  by Grishnakh (2831) on Thursday January 11, @01:13AM (#620746)

                  Well that's no surprise, Miami is basically like a 3rd-world country.

                  • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Thursday January 11, @04:19AM

                    by JoeMerchant (3937) on Thursday January 11, @04:19AM (#620800)

                    They were shipping them to Haiti via old scows that would dock on the Miami River - layer of bicycles, layer of mattresses, another layer of bicycles... If your bike was stolen, odds were it left the country within a week or less.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 10, @08:40PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 10, @08:40PM (#620618)

          Nope. Randomly generated pseudonyms that expire after some time and are replaced with a new one.

        • (Score: 4, Interesting) by JoeMerchant on Wednesday January 10, @09:27PM (2 children)

          by JoeMerchant (3937) on Wednesday January 10, @09:27PM (#620634)

          Without a unique identifier how can you catch the terrorists?

          We can't have terrorists riding around freely, untracked, on bicycles now, can we?

          • (Score: 2, Funny) by Sulla on Wednesday January 10, @09:39PM (1 child)

            by Sulla (5173) on Wednesday January 10, @09:39PM (#620647) Journal

            Probably better to regulate bikes now before someone rides down the street mowing down civilians with deadly mountain assault tires and high capacity gears.

            • (Score: 3, Funny) by JoeMerchant on Wednesday January 10, @09:57PM

              by JoeMerchant (3937) on Wednesday January 10, @09:57PM (#620660)

              I'm surprised they're not regulated more tightly already. As long as you have 3 wheels or less, in a certain weight class, under a certain power level, all you have to do around here is follow all the rules of the road plus wear a helmet if you're under 18... I think you're also required to carry valid ID if you're over 18, so there's that, but at least (I don't think) the ID cards are readable by long-distance RFID, yet.

      • (Score: 2, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 10, @08:45PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 10, @08:45PM (#620621)

        Beyond your obvious trolling: This is not easily solved.

        There are technical reasons why the V2X community has "forgotten" about (motor)bikes for a while. Actually, they have not forgotten, but they know very well that the V2X standards don't work properly for motorcycles. To name just one reason steering angle cannot be used as a predictive indication of where a bike will go next. Cars relying on that info would draw very wrong conclusions and cause accidents instead of avoiding them.

    • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Wednesday January 10, @09:24PM

      by JoeMerchant (3937) on Wednesday January 10, @09:24PM (#620633)

      No matter, legislate it - right alongside bike helmets, reflectors, flags, high visibility vests, and super annoying flashing LED lights.

      That way, anybody not in compliance with the law is a fair target, unable to sue in case of death or injury because they were illegally operating a pedal vehicle.

      I can see a Black Mirror episode where self driving cars make this a reality.

  • (Score: 4, Insightful) by Thexalon on Wednesday January 10, @10:22PM

    by Thexalon (636) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday January 10, @10:22PM (#620677) Homepage

    There's perfectly clear car-to-car communication that's been available for decades. Horns and turn signals, for starters, but there's also a longstanding form of 1-digit communication particularly popular in Brooklyn.

    --
    A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of bad gravy.
  • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 10, @10:31PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 10, @10:31PM (#620686)

    *2V is a Client-side Validation Vulnerability [owasp.org]. Everyone involved already knows better through years of their tech business exposure. Stop this madness already.

    ~ IL.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 11, @10:02AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 11, @10:02AM (#620870)

    So now you've got bikers of 2 tier: wealthy banksters with a lovely brand spanking new safety beacon and then the worthless blebs who have nobody but themselves to blame for getting run over...

    If this technology was actually useful, then the only way would be to mandate every biker use it. I think the company behind this gizmo wouldn't mind. However it is hardly a useful idea or are we going to make all pedestrians carry such a beacon too, perhaps all wild animals as well?

    Nothing but another useless feature or actually worse a distraction. Driving isn't hard if you keep your eyes open and stupid gizmos closed.

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