Consider dropping a review in iTunes if you haven’t in the last year. iPhone 6 and iOS 8 first impressions – the good and the bad, How to Upgrade a Drobo The Hardest Way Possible, and How to Make a Nokia 635 Smart Phone into a 635 Touch. In Chit Chat Across the Pond, Ian Douglas joins us to talk about the Intelligent Transportation World Congress, where he tells us about the future of automated vehicles.
Hi this is Allison Sheridan of the NosillaCast Mac Podcast, hosted at Podfeet.com, a technology geek podcast with an EVER so slight Macintosh bias. Today is Sunday September 21, 2014 and this is show number 489.
Before we dig in, I’d like to take a quick second to ask if you enjoy the show (or even if you have ideas for improvement) that you might pop over to iTunes and leave a review. It makes a big difference in podcasting if we get a lot of reviews, and many people don’t realize that you can post a new review every year. Maybe you’ve done it before but it’s been a while, or maybe you’ve always meant to do it but never got around to it, today would be a lovely day to type in a word or two and pick the number of stars you think the show deserves. Many thanks to all of you who have done this before and plan to in the future!
You guys probably think I make these stories up, but I use Clarify ALL THE TIME. This week my friend Maryanne wanted to know how to figure out if her Macbook Air had the necessary hardware to support the new Handoff feature in iOS 8 and Yosemite. Handoff is the feature that will allow us to start an email on our Macs and then finish as we walk away using our iOS devices. It’s one of the big magic integrations so many of us are excited about. However, you do have to have Bluetooth 4.0 Low Energy (aka Bluetooth LE). I was pretty sure I knew how to figure it out but I did a quick bit of the Googles to verify. None of the sites I looked at showed graphically how to point and click to quickly find the answer, instead they relied on long drawn out explanations. I whipped open Clarify, took two entire screenshots, dropped in a couple of rounded rectangles and an arrow, and then through in maybe 20 words of text.
I tapped on Edit, Copy Document to Clipboard, flipped back to her email and hit paste. I knew that there’d be no questions, no misunderstanding of my instructions and she’d have the answer to her question. I think that’s the real beauty of Clarify. It’s not just that it’s easy and fun to make the instructions, it’s that you only make them ONCE. No follow up questions, no clarifying questions if you will. If you love helping people, it’s great. If you HATE helping people, it’s great too because you get them out of your hair! Either way, it’s great.
Chit Chat Across the Pond – Time 29:20
You’ve heard Ian Douglas on Nosillacast before, and he’s here today with a really interesting topic he’s dying to share with the Castaways. You know the guy who ends with “an idea worth sharing”. He’s been a photographer from the time his Dad gave him a camera at age four, with interests in astronomy, radio and aviation in grade school before finding computers as his passion in high school. He’s recently returned to University and is working on a Masters in Computer Science, with motivation to study security and now focusing on Connected Vehicle Communications. The 21st Intelligent Transportation System 2014 World Congress was a week ago in Detroit, and Ian was so excited he couldn’t wait to tell you about it.
What is the Intelligent Transportation World Congress? 21st Annual – they started in 1994 ?
Yes, I had not noticed them before either. They started meeting 1994 in Paris, and it was Tokyo last year. They sure get around, Bordeaux France in 2015, then Melbourne Australia in 2016, and Montreal after that for 2017. It’s gathering of the world’s top research scientists, interested government officials, industry insiders and the automotive press — plus students like me.
What does the future of transportation really look like?
– flying cars, push a button like George Jetson. Not really.
In the very near future, your car will be able talk to other cars, to traffic lights, and to other roadside devices. Basically the road systems will talk back to your car too! Your Connected Vehicle will find out about disabled vehicles, lane closures, traffic tie-ups, and dangerous road conditions. And instead of TV “traffic on the two’s” or the AM/FM radio broadcasting all the regional road conditions, you’ll only hear about local on route conditions when they will affect you.
What is a Connected Vehicle?
Connected vehicles rely on a special version of WiFi called DSRC, which is dedicated short-range communications. Every car will have an On-Board Unit (OBU) and they will all continuously chat. It’s a really short range transmission system by design. Basic Safety data will include GPS position, speed, direction, etc. and broadcast 10 times every second. On-board safety applications will interpret this data, and forewarn drivers about potential collisions in advance, allowing you to avoid incidents!
I don’t want them tracking me — what is going on with that?
That’s a really good point. The designers of these systems don’t want to be traced either. The benefits of collision avoidance are so huge that they had to figure out something, and they have devised a clever system to use pseudonym mac addresses, and roll them frequently to prevent tracking. But you absolutely do want them to pinpoint you when there is an accident to get the EMS to the right location.
So this is setting up WiFi for our cars? Who pays for the internet access then?
Not exactly. WiFi is a part of this, and the communications will run through 5.9 GHz in North America and Europe, and 700 Mhz in Japan. But Cellular is part of it, WiMax, UMTS, whatever signal they can get to allow a communication channel. Verizon is really behind this program, their CEO gave a keynote speech at the conference. Basic Safety data will transmit on the free channels, and infotainment and other applications are slotted for the paid channels.
What is the benefit of these vehicles talking to each other on the roads?
Oh — the problem to be solved? There’s the nosillacast question…
Vehicle crashes kill over 33,000 Americans annually. It is the leading cause of death for young Americans between 4 and 35 years. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) preliminary tests results state that Connected Vehicle systems may help to reduce unimpaired incidents by up to 80%. About 10% of these deaths are due to distracted drivers (SMS texting). US DOT & NHTSA are really pushing to fix both these problems.
Why is this happening now?
We have the technology to implement today. IP cameras at traffic lights and highway sites are already being deployed. This means the infrastructure for Road Side Equipment/Units (RSE / RSU) DSRC is already there for TMS (traffic management systems). The Manufacturers, standards groups and governments are more connected than ever. MDOT (Michigan) has cooperative feeds and partnerships now with MTO (Ontario) on border crossings. The standards have been in draft mode since 2007, and are about to be frozen and published. Plus our friends at NHTSA have issued a ANPRM (Advanced Notice of Proposed Rule Making) to require the V2V technology in new cars in the near future.
Will I need to buy a new car to get a Connected Vehicle?
That’s the beauty of this system. Since 1996 all North American cars have the On Board Diagnostics (OBD-II) ports which should make this retrofit a simple plug in accessory, much like adding a stereo system is today.
US DOT, VTTI (Virginia Tech Transportation Institute), Honda and several others were demonstrating these real world systems at Belle Isle. I was able to ride in several of the vehicles tricked out with this tech — and when you see the system working in person it is truly amazing.
US DOT showed off two retrofitted Infinity G37’s — one fully builtin as you might see from the factory, and one with the envisioned aftermarket addon. They demo’d BSW (blind sport warning) and T-bone collisions in both vehicles — and it is really impressive.
VTTI demo’d a tricked out Cadillac ATS which actually can self drive — and it is impressive too.
Extending the system…
Road Crews and Emergency Responders will have little belt clip transmitters to signal P2V and help avoid collisions also.
Various clips from some of the Keynotes…
General Motors CEO Mary Barra
In two years, every Cadillac CTS will come with DSRC standard.
She’s building out 120 miles of connected roadway in the Detroit area as proof of concept for these systems.
Ford Motor Company Executive Chairman Bill Ford
Autonomous Vehicles – aging population – don’t want to leave anyone behind…
Described Global Gridlock and responsibly developing integrated transportation systems…
Lowell McAdams Verizon CEO
“We think the technology exists… to connect the vast majority of vehicles to a wide range of intelligent services…
We need to move beyond individual projects to think in a holistic way about integrating all these smart systems — connected cars, roads, buildings, power grids and communications — into a comprehensive intelligent eco-system.“
That’s going to wind this up for this week, many thanks to our sponsor for helping to pay the bills, Blue Mango Learning at bluemangolearning.com makers of Clarify. Don’t forget to send in your Dumb Questions, comments and suggestions by emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org, follow me on twitter and app.net @podfeet. Check out the NosillaCast Google Plus Community too – lots of fun over there! If you want to join in the fun of the live show, head on over to podfeet.com/live on Sunday nights at 5pm Pacific Time and join the friendly and enthusiastic NosillaCastaways. Thanks for listening, and stay subscribed.