When Car Technology Gets Creepy

Bad idea...

Bad idea…

Sometimes the “thank-you wave” just isn’t good enough.

I can’t even count the number of times I’ve wished I could contact another driver with whom I’m sharing the road to convey a piece of information that a wave simply cannot.

Sometimes I wish I could apologize for a dumb move on my part or tell another motorist that I’ll stop and let him or her into traffic. Waving is good for a thank you, but not much else.

I’ve wondered what it would be like to type the license plate of the car I want to contact into some kind of device, then have access to the driver so I can convey my message.

Naturally, there would be a downside to such technology, because unfortunately, people like to use good inventions for evil. Road rage would become more personal, and the ability to curse out other drivers would rarely end well.

A new app could make the possibility of car-to-car communication a very real, and very scary, reality.

AutoExpress says,

General Motors’ Chinese research and development arm has announced its idea of a smartphone app – dubbed DiDi Plate – enabling drivers to text others, by simply scanning their number plate with their camera.

Bad idea, people. I think a lot more bad than good would come from such technology. Even in the promo video, potential uses are scary. A guy contacts a girl and asks her on a date. A woman scans a car blocking her and asks for it to be moved.

In a video demonstrating the product, which AutoExpress references but doesn’t share, a male driver uses DiDi Plate to scan and then message a woman driving in front of him. He asks her for a date, which she quickly accepts.

In another scenario, a woman’s car is blocked in a parking lot, so she scans the plate of the car that boxed her in and tells the driver to move the vehicle.

Right. Imagine the creepo factor at play here—if a woman in the U.S. received a random message from a stranger somewhere in a car behind her, she’d never accept, because she’d know the outcome would be nothing short of a horror-movie scene.

The app is even said to work with Google Glass. Just stare at the plate while it’s scanned, and then see the owner’s online profile. Convenient and wonderful, right?

While this technology will not likely ever see the light of day as a publicly available app, it’s scary enough that it even exists. I think I’ll give up my dreams of car-to-car communication and stick with the thank-you wave, even with all its limitations.

Car-to-car electronic communication: yes or no?

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