A sensing probe in every car?

Another immensely large potential fleet of sensor-laden vehicles that might be employed is all the privately owned passenger cars on the roads.

Indeed, the Transportation Department is in long-term talks with car makers about what kinds of data could be collected by sensors placed in new vehicles. 

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“The theory is that there would be a probe device in every car and that the data that would be submitted is anonymous,” said Michael Pina, program manager for communications at the department’s Research and Innovative Technology Administration.  “The devices could actually be able to track bad weather on roads.  But the primary purpose is related to preventing cars from crashing into each other.”

In addition, Pina said, “We could have a real-time sense of traffic situations. You might be able to tell a bicyclist what roads to take because there are fewer cars on those roads. You might be able to tell a person what routes to take so that their travel would be a little bit greener. There are myriad potential uses.”


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