New Program Offers Car-to-Car Instant Messaging

A new Web service called Bump allows drivers to connect their license plates
with an e-mail address or phone number, enabling communication
with other motorists

Almost daily I find myself wishing I could communicate with other drivers on the road. I can only give out so many thank-you-waves and extend so many middle fingers before I just feel like there should be… more.

Plus, on rare occasions, I might make an utterly boneheaded move and need a quick way to say, “Sorry! My bad. Totally my fault!” Since there’s no quick way to convey that message, I just end up flapping my arms and shrugging my shoulders, which probably makes the other driver think I’m suffering some kind of seizure when really I’m just apologizing.

Wouldn’t it be great to just punch a license-plate number into a device and immediately be able to message that car’s driver?

“Hey Red Camry, so sorry I took your parking spot. I didn’t see you waiting.” And if she’s really attractive, “Maybe I can buy you a coffee to make up for it…”

Ladies and gentlemen, wish no more. The future of car-to-car communication is here! But on second thought, maybe that’s not such a good idea…

A website launched this week, Bump.com, connects license plates with an e-mail address, allowing drivers to connect with each other. Using the site’s smart-phone app allows messages to be delivered instantly to other drivers.

It works like this:

Your car’s license plate is connected with a Bump user account, which in turn can be connected to social media sites like Facebook and Twitter. You can even add your physical address and cell number, too. Users just dial in the license plate number of the car they wish to contact and bam… instant communication.

Nothing can go wrong there, right?

In theory it’s great, and drivers will exchange nothing but pleasant apologies and thank yous. Popsci.com says,

But this could also bring Web-style instant, anonymous personal nastiness to the road. For instance, did someone park too close to you? With Bump, you can quickly tell that SUV driver precisely where he can go next.

Then there’s this, from the Bump website,

Have you ever been at a stoplight and a really cute girl was in the car next to you? Now, you can do the unthinkable and and actually make a connection with her and hundreds of other drivers you pass on the road daily.

Okay, I’m sold.

Yes, there are certain privacy concerns, and yes, this is another potential distraction on the road, but I have to admit I like the idea behind it.

Would you sign up for a program offering car-to-car communication?

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1 Comment

  1. You bet I’d use this! Can someone pleasssse message me next time my car is being towed, or on the verge of a parking ticket (I’m a regular offender).

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