Your car may have GPS navigation and radar blind-spot monitoring, but it still doesn’t stand a chance against traffic. The Department of Transportation's Vehicle Infrastructure Integration program, which faces its final testing in 2007, might even the odds. The program involves installing a 5.9-GHz short-range wireless link in your car that can talk with other cars, as well as with control units at intersections and along the side of the road. Pool all the information being beamed from cars -- speed, location, whether the wipers are on—and you have a map of traffic and weather conditions, so that drivers can be directed away from trouble spots.A friend and I had this idea a couple years ago. In fairness, I think it was his idea. And it looks like we might've been too late even then.
SHORT-TERM IMPACT: LOW This is only the latest -- albeit the smartest -- in a long history of federal initiatives to win the war on traffic. Next year, lawmakers will decide whether to wire up hundreds of thousands of intersections and roads, but getting automakers to install standardized transmitters might prove even trickier.
Back in elementary school (I think the year was 1989), I had to do Invent America. My idea was for a "silent ring" (if I remember my wording correctly; I was 8, after all) for beepers. I am convinced that someone from Invent America stole my idea and made millions. Ok, I'm not really convinced of it, but it might be a possibility.
I wish I knew more rich people who wanted to invest in my ideas. I have lots.
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