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Roads Become Safer, Less Private as Cars Learn to Think for Themselves

Excerpt from NBC News

Jul 26, 2013 9:43 am

Skift Take

Improvement entertainment and navigation inside cars isn’t only good for sales and drivers; the government could soon push for industry-wide upgrades that help avoid accidents while tracking users’ every move.

— Samantha Shankman

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Jane Tierney  / Flickr

A smart car in Berlin, Germany. Jane Tierney / Flickr


Cars are already equipped with cutting-edge innovations such as accident-avoidance lasers and smart parking. Soon, they’ll get wireless car-to-car communications, and even city-wide traffic control. And while most of these innovations will steer us to safer roads, they also raise some concerns over privacy and security the likes of which the century-old auto industry has never seen.

The benefits are easy to imagine. A 2012 study found that cars working together on the road could increase efficiency by as much as 273 percent. This could be done both by careful routing at the city or even state level, but also by “platooning” vehicles closely together if they’re headed to the same destination, increasing fuel efficiency.

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