With all of the apps and in-car communication devices proliferating on our phones and in our vehicles, I think there’s an opportunity to solve our road rage issues.
Like the anonymous internet, where everyone feels empowered to say whatever cold, ruthless, and heartless things to people that they would never say to their face, people freely sit in their cars and shout at each other or give other drivers the finger (or a variety of other meaningless articulations).
So what if we personalized driving? What if there was a way to communicate with the drivers around you.
Obviously, one of the main challenges is that you don’t know who’s going to be around you at any given time, and you don’t know them personally.
But is it possible to build a kind of short-range radar app that picks up the phones (or communication devices) in the vehicles within 20 yards? To work, this would have to detect every car within range and plot them out so you knew which vehicle you were addressing.
Given the visual displays in cars these days, that could be a simple visual depiction of the cars around you, plotted from an aerial view, so you can identify who is who.
If you want to speak to one of them, you could just press the car you want. Then it would put you in touch with that driver over their speaker system. From there, you could say whatever you want. For example…
“You’ve been driving next to that car to your right for three miles. Could you please slow down or speed up so I can get around you both?”
“If you watch the walk light counting down, you’ll notice that the light is going to change to red in five seconds. Could you please speed up so we can both get through it?”
“If you could just move over and let me go, I won’t bother you, and you can drive however you like the rest of the way to your destination.”
Instead of raging at each other for reasons no one but the rager will understand, we could communicate with each other. Removing the anonymous nature from driving would cause us all to be more civil and communicative. We may also become better drivers. (Think of all the people who may start learning about how slower drivers are supposed to stay to the right.)
Someone should get inventin’, because this one could change society in a very positive way.