[e2e] information superhighway finally realized.

Jon Crowcroft Jon.Crowcroft at cl.cam.ac.uk
Fri Apr 1 07:45:03 PST 2005

Thinking about this, what Al Gore really meant has just sunk in:

What you need is a person and vehicle tracking system - this can be
multi-modal - if a person carries a device that has gps (or cell/tower
or wifi, or other triangulation based) location services, then its
easy - but its also easy if you have plenty of surveillance cameras -
these have two benefits
1/ you can then implement car registration recognition, and charge for
road usage (and congestion charge) fairly and efficiently, reducing 
pollution, accidents and delays and permitting the police to catch 
folks that break laws (bad and fast driving etc) with hi resolution
instead of notoriously inaccurate human witnesses
2/ you can also use this to recognize and catch terrorists, since the
recognition system can be plugged into a traffic anomaly detection
system and autmatically detect people renting cars in airports and
driving them full of gas into tall buildings

Looking further afield, one could put in automatic speed control in
the cars, and even immobilizers so that if the camera at the roadside
shows a person who doesn't have the visage of one of the recognized
(safe, approved) drivers of the said car, it either goes very slowly
or not at all  - even further afield, the vehicle could be
autmatically routed to a county jail - this could also apply to people
who havnt paid their tax, or are on the run.

It could prevent soldiers awol from iraq driving over the border to 
canada or way down south to mexico

3/ M-ad hoc
think of all the benefits - if all the cars are fitted with 802.11
devices, we could also use them to provide a network - we could cause
cars to route to places where there is a gap in the connectivity at
the moment - as per the grossglauser/tse result, and using network
coding, this would provide for arbitrary capacity almost unbounded in
gas rich countries.

4/ crative accountancy
at the same time, one could have creative CRISPS (Connectivity Rich
ISPs) that have ingenious billing schemes - your wireless ad hoc
broadband bill could be rolled into the tax on your gas at the gas
station - you go fill up with 10 gallons of gas and 100Gbytes of
download  - if you run a multi-occupancy vehicle, and you also
run peer-to-peer file sharing you would get a double discount.

5/ border routing considerations
Of course one would need to consider the regulatory problems - if the
US were to build a lot of roads just south of the canadian border to
offer "offshore network capacity"< but the canadians used Hydro to
re-charge lots of fuel-cell and electrc/hybrid cars, then someone is
going to think about power-line broadband - then there could be
interference unless one deploys OFDM (Oil For Download Mobility)

6/ denial of service, and other security problems
of course it is easy to jam radio, and its easy to jam on the radio
too. so we need to worry about this, but not too much - if someone
blocks your download, you just drive to blockbuster and pick up the
DVD there anyhow...

7/ network management considerations

The system should be just as manageable as the internet and the road
system. congestion will be rare (there will be no packet loss in my
car), and resilience will be provided by fast oregon bypasses.
overlay routing (put that bike in the pickup, put that laptop on the
bike, put that USB memory stick in the laptop) will naturally occur
and is a matter for further study.

Now, back to your normal service... 

In missive <424D6067.9040401 at reed.com>, "David P. Reed" typed:

 >>David - exact position may not matter in most cases, but that's what 
 >>Vonage is being beaten up about (I have 911 on the Vonage line 
 >>activated, and it gets through to my local emergency services just fine 
 >>because I told the system when I set it up where that was.)
 >>I note that getting the Massachusetts "state police" is rarely useful 
 >>unless you are driving on the Massachusetts Turnpike (they might as well 
 >>be a call center in Bangalore).   They cannot by law assist you, and do 
 >>not have the best means to pass on calls to localities, who might help 
 >>you if you observe someone being mugged or raped on the street in (say) 
 >>downtown Brockton.
 >>As far as I know, every CDMA cell phone being sold today (the vast 
 >>majority in the market) have GPS in them (in the form of A-GPS, a 
 >>proprietary technology that comes from qualcomm, which used GPS receiver 
 >>in the phone, plus an assist from towers that gets the autonomous GPS 
 >>re-locked fast when it goes out of satellite coverage).   I think that 
 >>GSM phones also all have GPS onboard as well.
 >>You are right that tower triangulation has failed, but the E911 mandate 
 >>for cell phones still holds, and GPS is the technology that has been 
 >>universally adopted, and works pretty well, as far as getting location.
 >>But as I said, knowing approximate or exact location isn't very good if 
 >>the system design actually routes calls away from local responders to a 
 >>single point of failure in some remote, windowless building that has no 
 >>direct local presence.



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