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Drones: Coming Soon To the New Jersey Turnpike? 249

Posted by Soulskill
from the you-can-trust-us dept.
redletterdave writes "The FAA predicts 30,000 drones will patrol the US skies by 2020, but New Jersey drivers could see these unmanned aerial vehicles hovering above the New Jersey Turnpike and Garden State Parkway much sooner than that. New Jersey lawmakers from both Republican and Democratic parties have introduced a number of bills to tackle the drones issue before the federal government starts issuing the first domestic drone permits in September 2015."
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Drones: Coming Soon To the New Jersey Turnpike?

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  • Frosty Piss (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 14, 2013 @08:03PM (#43726927)

    I for one welcome our hovering unmanned overlords!

    • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 14, 2013 @08:08PM (#43726967)

      In Soviet Union, hovering unmanned overlords; welcome you!

    • Re:Frosty Piss (Score:4, Interesting)

      by jklovanc (1603149) on Wednesday May 15, 2013 @02:58AM (#43729109)

      Unmanned is am misnomer. Even if the pilot is on the ground there is still a person involved with controlling the drone. Calling a drone "remotely manned" is much more accurate.

      • by symbolset (646467) *

        Symbolset school of linguistics here: If there is no person inside the aircraft it is an "unmanned" craft, commonly given as "drone". If there is a human inside and nominally in control of the aircraft it is a "plane". If there are one or more humans inside but none in control it is a "manned drone" or "passenger drone".

        Whether an AI is a person is still subject to debate. The of aircraft by a person is assumed, except in UFO situations. Whether UFO controllers exist or are persons is also open to deba

        • Symbolset school of linguistics here: If there is no person inside the aircraft it is an "unmanned" craft, commonly given as "drone". If there is a human inside and nominally in control of the aircraft it is a "plane". If there are one or more humans inside but none in control it is a "manned drone" or "passenger drone".

          How about "flying thing".

  • Risk vs. Reward? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by dgatwood (11270) on Tuesday May 14, 2013 @08:08PM (#43726973) Journal

    How often do these things fall out of the sky, and does the added revenue offset the lives lost when they do?

    Just saying.

    I tend to think that drones should be used only in unusual circumstances, where unusual is translated as "high reward and low risk." Locating a lost hiker in a national park qualifies. Raising traffic fine revenue does not.

    • by ArcadeNut (85398) on Tuesday May 14, 2013 @08:11PM (#43727003) Homepage

      In addition to that, what is it going to do with an already over stressed Air Traffic Control system?

      • Re:Risk vs. Reward? (Score:4, Interesting)

        by ShanghaiBill (739463) * on Tuesday May 14, 2013 @08:23PM (#43727101)

        In addition to that, what is it going to do with an already over stressed Air Traffic Control system?

        These drones can be easily programmed to keep clear of any airports, flight paths, and other restricted areas. There are plenty of good reasons to be concerned about drones, but this isn't one of them.

        • by stanlyb (1839382)
          The company that starts to sell "Kill one drone, win $1000" game would became the next Google in guns :D
          • by hajus (990255)

            How would such a business plan make money?

            • by gstoddart (321705)

              How would such a business plan make money?

              Private donations? The idea of drones doing constant overwatch isn't going to make many people happy.

              Because, of course, sooner or later this gets used for speeding tickets and all of the inevitable mission creep something like this will undergo.

        • by Smauler (915644)

          They can.... but when you've got 30,000, what's the chances just one gets hit by something and goes a little haywire.

          I'm _not_ being melodramatic here.... just looking at the percentages. If it can be shown they have 0.001% odd failure rate per year (that is, not just crashing to the ground), then we'll have 30 per year doing odd failures.

      • by icebike (68054)

        In addition to that, what is it going to do with an already over stressed Air Traffic Control system?

        What added revenue?
        How are these going to generate revenue from a thousand feet up without the help of another officer on the ground to actually issue the ticket?
        Bar codes on every car roof?

        These are going to cause more accidents than they prevent as every driver will be rubber necking th sky instead of watching the road.
        Just ban them instead of going down that road.

        • by dgatwood (11270)

          How are these going to generate revenue from a thousand feet up without the help of another officer on the ground to actually issue the ticket?
          Bar codes on every car roof?

          License plate readers. That part isn't even hard.

          • by icebike (68054)

            So you postulate the drones flying at an altitude of less than 20 feet?

            Because if you can read license plates well enough to issue tickets from 50 feet above the roadway just mounting cameras on light poles would suffice. But that really doesn't work and license plates do not have to be readable from above.
            .

      • Re:Risk vs. Reward? (Score:4, Informative)

        by girlintraining (1395911) on Tuesday May 14, 2013 @10:16PM (#43727785)

        In addition to that, what is it going to do with an already over stressed Air Traffic Control system?

        The ATC system is "over stressed" because of large numbers of commercial flights, of which the majority are shipping. UPS, DHS, FedEx... they all have larger fleets than any commercial airline you're flying.

        Drones don't need runway clearances, etc., and as long as they maintain flight separation (vertical and horizontal) in controlled airspace they're a non-event. ATC could care less -- they probably wouldn't even be on radar anyway, since to my knowledge they don't carry transponders. Remember that guy who decided to go hook up a bunch of weather balloons and float through the LAX holding pattern? Their first indication of trouble was a pilot radioing that he saw some guy with a shotgun float by the window sucking down a beer.

        Controllers don't usually look at the actual radar. It's all transponders. You could fly an aircraft carrier through the flight corridor and it would go unnoticed by ATC until someone called it in. -_-

    • by houbou (1097327)
      You haven't seen the drivers on the Garden State Parkway. Speed Limit varies from 55 to 65 mph where there is no construction happening and people typically average 75 mph, many easily go 80 mph. In the short term, these drones will catch a lot of offenders. I'm pretty sure of that.
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        you mean it is about revenue? not safety?

        I submit that if people are regularly going 75 in 55 zones and there are not massive pileups every week then the speed limit is set too low. Why would they do that?

        • by ShanghaiBill (739463) * on Tuesday May 14, 2013 @08:30PM (#43727161)

          you mean it is about revenue? not safety?

          Of course it is about revenue. Governments need revenue to operate. A tax on speeders seems like a good way to do it.

          I submit that if people are regularly going 75 in 55 zones and there are not massive pileups every week then the speed limit is set too low. Why would they do that?

          Because if they raise the limit to 75, people will drive 85. Americans have been conditioned to believe that the "real" speed limit is at least 10 mph over the posted limit.

          • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

            by flayzernax (1060680)

            Also Americans are unwilling to adjust to a slower safer speed when necessary. Inclement whether, snow, ice, fog. Nope speed limits 55, better go 65 when there's deer and the fog is thick enough that your headlights don't max out their beam distance.

            The universe is a fairly forgiving place though when it comes to that kind of stupidity en-masse. Except for those tragic times when an avoidable accident could be avoided.

            • "Also Americans are unwilling to adjust to a slower safer speed when necessary."

              Citations?

              I've driven professionally. And, I drive as fast as just about anyone. But - I drive for conditions. In the millions of miles that I have driven, I've seen some memorable wrecks caused by morons who didn't understand the laws of physics. But, overall, Americans are quite willing to slow down for snow, ice, rain and low visibility.

              There are exceptions, like the California freeways. Seems that everyone is afraid to

              • Re:Risk vs. Reward? (Score:4, Informative)

                by ShanghaiBill (739463) * on Tuesday May 14, 2013 @11:15PM (#43728245)

                I would hazard a guess that we have roughly the same percentage of morons driving to fast for conditions as can be found in Europe, Asia, or anywhere else.

                Your guess would be wrong. American roads are among the safest in the world. There are a few countries in North Europe that are better, but nearly everywhere else is far worse. Citation:List of countries by traffic related death rate [wikipedia.org]. When you look at this chart, you should ignore the meaningless raw death rate (many countries have few cars) and instead look at the number of deaths per 100k cars or number of deaths per billion miles driven.

                • by Alioth (221270)

                  But one of the least safe amongst developed countries. The US has a worse rate than Italy, and Italian drivers have one hell of a reputation for being bad. It's also worse than Spain which has a similar reputation to Italy, and double the accident rate per 100k cars than the UK and Germany (which has autobahns without speed limits).

                • by mrvan (973822) on Wednesday May 15, 2013 @03:59AM (#43729375)

                  Interesting wiki link, thanks!

                  If you compare the US with mostly "developing" nations, you are right, and I would guess that a lot of them are caused by bad roads, bad cars, and really bad driving, the latter presumably caused by easy to get licenses and bad policing.

                  If you compare the US to some OECD countries, the picture is different:

                  Country / deaths per 100k vehicles / deaths per 1B miles
                  USA / 15 / 8.5
                  Germany / 7.2 / 7.2
                  Netherlands / 7 / 5.6
                  Switzerland / 7 / 5.6
                  Sweden / 7 / 5.1
                  Belgium / 17 / 10.8
                  Italy / 12 / ?
                  Poland / 18 / 23.5
                  Serbia / 43 / ?
                  Egypt / 188 / ?
                  India / 315 /
                  Nigeria / 1042 / ?

                  So, the US has twice the per-vehicle death rate of countries like the Netherlands (really crowded), Germany (really fast driving), Switzerland (mountain roads and inclement weather) and Sweden (low population density). The per-mile deaths are higher (but not so much higher) than germany, and still a lot higher than the smaller countries. Even southern European countries like Italy but also Spain and France (both around 10) have less deaths/vehicle, even though people have "interesting" driving habits there. Unlisted countries like Sweden, the UK, denmark etc. are mostly similar to the Netherlands / Germany. Belgium is a weird outlier, as they are quite similar to the Netherlands in a lot of respects but have a much higher death rate.

                  Eastern (central) european countries like Poland but especially Serbia are a lot worse, and it seems to loosely correspond with economic development. If you look at countries like Egypt or India it becomes pretty bad, and a lot of African countries have >1000 deaths per 100k vehicles, e.g. a >1% annual death rate for vehicle owners. (That means that if you drive for 30 years, there is a chance of a fatal accident of around 25%... yikes!)

                  From the list above, it seems that there is a rough predictability of the danger of traffic based on national income and maybe population density, but the US is certainly on the "wrong end" of the prediction, comparable to Germany or Sweden in terms of wealth and population density, but with much higher death rates.

            • by 0111 1110 (518466)

              Americans are well known as some of the slowest and most terrified drivers in the world. Fast is subjective. What is fast to one person is slow to another. It's almost funny, but more pathetic, to watch all the cowardly slow drivers putting around deathly afraid of an accident.

              • Meh depends on where your at and what your doing. I routinely see drivers race each other only to catch up to them 2 minutes later at the red light. People don't drive very efficiently where I am at.

                I would agree that in general the over all speed limit could be adjusted up about 15-20 mph. But that would require everyone in general understanding that speed was closer to vehicle and human limitations then the current speeds which leave room for error.

                • Also, roads and interstates would need to be redesigned as well as traffic flow.

                  There are very few autobahn like places in the more densely populated areas. And I personally still drive a vehicle that performs poorly at 65mph. I would not want to drive it at 85-90 or even 100mph. I avoid the interstate with it, but there is one trip that requires a few miles on interstate. There's no way around it. On the other hand every American should have access to cheap safe efficient cars that can easily do 120mph. Bu

              • by Alioth (221270)

                You obviously have never driven in Houston.

          • So in other words the best way to steal money is from people doing victimless "crimes"? Lets put a tax on breathing! Think of all the money the government could raise!

            The real issue (assuming we have government provided roads) should be safety.
          • Re:Risk vs. Reward? (Score:5, Interesting)

            by Alex Pennace (27488) <alex@pennace.org> on Tuesday May 14, 2013 @08:48PM (#43727281) Homepage

            Because if they raise the limit to 75, people will drive 85. Americans have been conditioned to believe that the "real" speed limit is at least 10 mph over the posted limit.

            That is an interesting point so I did some research. I found FHWA Report No. FHWA-RD-92-084 (one source of which is at http://www.ibiblio.org/rdu/sl-irrel.html [ibiblio.org] but other copies agree) that says "The results of the study indicated that lowering posted speed limits by as much as 20 mi/h (32 km/h), or raising speed limits by as much as 15 mi/h (24 km/h) had little effect on motorist' speed."

            I'm curious if you had any citations to confirm your statement.

            • That's an interesting study, but I'm not sure it answers the GP's assertion directly. From the study:

              This study was conducted to examine driver behavior and accident effects of raising and lowering posted speed limits on nonlimited access rural and urban highways. While much research in recent years has focused on the effects of the 55 and 65 mi/h (89 and 105 km/h) speed limits on limited access facilities, the major emphasis of this research is on streets and highways that were posted between 20 and 55 mi/h (32 and 89 km/h)

              In other words, this is isn't really a interstate highway speed study. Such studies are out there, but this isn't one of them. They may have drawn similar conclusions, but we should look at a study that actually addresses speed limits like 65 MPH and 75 MPH on limited access roads.

              In my experience (which admittedly is just anecdotal), highway drivers are more conscious of speed limits -- and potentially

            • I'm curious if you had any citations to confirm your statement

              3 DUI's

          • Re:Risk vs. Reward? (Score:5, Interesting)

            by dgatwood (11270) on Tuesday May 14, 2013 @08:54PM (#43727321) Journal

            Because if they raise the limit to 75, people will drive 85.

            And it would probably still be safe....

            Americans have been conditioned to believe that the "real" speed limit is at least 10 mph over the posted limit.

            Because it usually is. As far as I'm concerned, the law should simply say, "You may not travel at a speed that is unsafe for the current road conditions." Anything demanding strict conformance to a posted number (rather than driving at a speed that feels safe) is just asking for people to ignore the law... or worse.

            The worst example of a highway safety law is California's 65 MPH law. Except for a few roads where it is specifically posted at 70 MPH, it is illegal to drive faster than 65 MPH in California, period. All other speed limits are flexible, depending on driving conditions. What this means is:

            • If I speed in a 50 zone, if everyone is going 64 (even if that is verging on unsafe), you can potentially argue your way out of the ticket.
            • If I go 66 in a 65 zone, even if everyone else is going 66, you can't argue your way out of the ticket.

            So if you're running behind and trying to decide where to exceed the speed limit, you're better off speeding on the city street portions of your trip (where there are pedestrians) or the windy highways from hell (CA SR-17 with its constant switchbacks) than on the relatively safe 65 MPH stretches. In short, by any rational interpretation of California traffic laws, the 65 MPH maximum speed law is actively making the roads less safe, because on the roads where speeding would provably pose the least additional risk, the law restricts your speed in the strictest way possible, and on the roads where speeding would provably pose the most additional risk, the law restricts your speed in the most lax way possible.

            And people wonder why I think traffic laws are almost entirely written by idiots.

            • by R3d M3rcury (871886) on Tuesday May 14, 2013 @10:01PM (#43727701) Journal

              As far as I'm concerned, the law should simply say, "You may not travel at a speed that is unsafe for the current road conditions." Anything demanding strict conformance to a posted number (rather than driving at a speed that feels safe) is just asking for people to ignore the law...

              This always sounds like a good idea. Here's the problem, though: Who decides that the speed was unsafe?

              Obviously, you wouldn't be driving at an unsafe speed. So you're cruising down that rain-slicked highway at 85 MPH and everything is fine until some other idiot who doesn't believe 85 MPH is a safe speed shows up in front you doing 50. As you slam into the back of him, you think, "This isn't my fault! It's that idiot driving 50 MPH! I was perfectly safe until he showed up!"

              Yes, in an ideal world, we would all drive at a safe speed and be respectful of each other. But the reality is that you have different people with different driving abilities and different cars with different capabilities and the whole idea that everybody on the freeway can be trusted to "do the right thing" is completely absurd. That's why you need to have an arbitrary number.

              • by dgatwood (11270)

                This is why you post a speed. That speed dictates what is typically safe. If your car is well maintained and the road is wide open and dry, you can go a bit over that. If the road is wet and you have bald tires, you'd better go more slowly.

                Who decides that the speed was unsafe?

                Whoever is patrolling that stretch of highway, and has footage showing you swerving between lanes at 85 while the rest of the cars are going 50. For the most part, roads self-regulate, and cars tend to run along at about the same

              • by tftp (111690)

                Who decides that the speed was unsafe?

                In addition to what you already explored, there is yet another aspect. What vehicle are we talking about? A low-riding Corvette is probably capable of better handling at speed than a tall, box-like RV that tows a couple tons of an SUV. That yellow sign "40" that you see before the switchback, who does it apply to? The answer is obvious, of course - the sign is designed for the worst possible vehicle that can venture onto a public road. My car can take these turns at

            • by drinkypoo (153816)

              Highway 17 is perfect and beautiful compared to highway 175. If somehow human nature changed and the dickweeds who aren't fast would get the fuck out of the fast lane, it would be one of the best highways ever. Back before all the fucking valleys moved into my hometown, it was one of the best highways ever. Okay, so it had a couple of sections with undefined camber, but you shouldn't push your car too hard on roads you don't know, period. Also, it's not very windy at all. The 101, that's windy. Or did you m

              • by dgatwood (11270)

                Highway 17's biggest problem is that they allow trucks and buses on it.

                • The car speed limit is 50. Most cars drive 50-65, with the most common speed being about 55, but with 65+ being not uncommon.
                • The truck speed limit is 35.

                So, there's a 30+ MPH difference between the fastest and slowest vehicles. Anything more than about a 15 MPH speed difference translates to a very, very unsafe road.

                When you get a truck going 35 in the right lane, all the cars who want to go 50 have to pass in the same fast lane as th

          • by c0lo (1497653) on Tuesday May 14, 2013 @08:54PM (#43727325)

            you mean it is about revenue? not safety?

            Of course it is about revenue. Governments need revenue to operate. A tax on speeders seems like a good way to do it.

            What exactly does operate means? Is it by chance "spend a imperial fuckton of money on drones to catch a few drivers that will quickly learn to adapt?" followed by "raise taxes to pay back the wasted fuckton"?

          • by Kahlandad (1999936) on Tuesday May 14, 2013 @08:59PM (#43727353)

            you mean it is about revenue? not safety?

            Of course it is about revenue. Governments need revenue to operate. A tax on speeders seems like a good way to do it.

            Exactly! How else are they going to pay for those 30,000 new drones?

          • by hb253 (764272)

            Because if they raise the limit to 75, people will drive 85. Americans have been conditioned to believe that the "real" speed limit is at least 10 mph over the posted limit.

            Nope. Most will drive at at the speed the road was designed for. The minority of idiots will drive stupidly no matter what laws are in effect.

          • by Nyder (754090)

            you mean it is about revenue? not safety?

            Of course it is about revenue. Governments need revenue to operate. A tax on speeders seems like a good way to do it.

            ...

            We could legalize drugs. It would not only get rid of the whole "war on drugs" problem, and earn a decent revenue for the government. Would reduce the cost of prisons and courts, and a whole bunch of other wasted costs we have because of it.

            Would bring in a bit more money then fining speeders.

            • We could legalize drugs.

              Colorado and Washington already have, and since the sky hasn't fallen like all the chicken-littles predicted, more states will likely follow. Legalization might be on the ballot this fall in California.

      • by xaoslaad (590527)
        How is that different than anywhere else in the country, (where traffic isn't backed up) in the morning. I do 70 and feel like I'm in the way and going to be run off the road.
      • by afidel (530433) on Tuesday May 14, 2013 @08:20PM (#43727073)

        And yet people aren't dying at an alarming rate on the turnpike or any other interstate highway, the roads and cars are built to handle at much higher speeds than are posted in the U.S. Hell, 20 years ago cars sucked compared to today but I was able to drive a fairly normal sedan at 100mph on the autobahn without incident. What we really need to do to improve safety isn't to crack down on speeding, it's crack down on distracted driving, a week doesn't go buy that some idiot on a cellphone or putting on their makeup doesn't come within second of crashing into me (defensive driving and ABS for the win).

        • by drinkypoo (153816)

          My car is more than 20 years old and the American cars of today still don't handle as well. The 300M for example got a fucked-over E-class front end. I have an S-class. The cars of today can bite my choad.

      • by PopeRatzo (965947)

        In the short term, these drones will catch a lot of offenders.

        "Catch"?

        Oh. I was sorta hoping for the COD4-style Predator drones. There was a lady in a blue MDX, talking away on her cell phone who cut me off on the Eisenhower this morning. I immediately thought how nice it would be if I could call down a drone strike on her with my smartphone.

        So that's NOT what this story is about?

        • by deimtee (762122)
          Oh the irony. Or did you mean, "safely pull over and stop, and then use my smartphone to call down a drone strike" ?
      • by Nyder (754090)

        You haven't seen the drivers on the Garden State Parkway. Speed Limit varies from 55 to 65 mph where there is no construction happening and people typically average 75 mph, many easily go 80 mph. In the short term, these drones will catch a lot of offenders. I'm pretty sure of that.

        And it bothers you that drivers drive a bit faster when traffic conditions permit it? Do you get mad when there is construction and people have to drive at 45 mph?

        Is there children walking along side this "Parkway" that people speed on? School zones? Stop lights? No? STFU.

      • Re:Risk vs. Reward? (Score:4, Informative)

        by Runaway1956 (1322357) on Tuesday May 14, 2013 @10:18PM (#43727807) Homepage Journal

        What is a "safe speed" anyway?

        Speed limits are NOT set to safe speeds. They are set to maximize revenues. The 85th percentile was the standard, before politicians got involved in speed limits. Open up a highway, and post no speed limits at all. Monitor the speeds at which people travel. After a period of time, set the speed at the 85th percentile, and you have a safe speed. In the case of a blind curve or something, you should post a lower limit as a warning.

        Enforcing the law just because it is the law is moronic. Change the law.

        One of the first lessons of leaderships is, "Never give an order that you know will not be obeyed." Ask any military officer of NCO/petty officer.

        You know, I know, everyone in America knows that the nationwide 55 mph limit was ignored while it was in effect. Ditto with many speed limits around the nation.

        Go back to the 85th percentile, then aggressively go after people who break THAT law. Stop robbing people for conforming to the flow of traffic.

        • by dgatwood (11270)

          No, the 85th percentile is a good limit as a baseline. You should aggressively go after people who are driving above... say the 99th percentile. Enforcing any law that 15% of people break is generally a bad idea.

      • by Jonner (189691)

        You haven't seen the drivers on the Garden State Parkway. Speed Limit varies from 55 to 65 mph where there is no construction happening and people typically average 75 mph, many easily go 80 mph. In the short term, these drones will catch a lot of offenders. I'm pretty sure of that.

        So, you're saying the reward is a dramatic decrease in transportation time efficiency?

    • by BitterOak (537666)

      How often do these things fall out of the sky, and does the added revenue offset the lives lost when they do?

      Ummm, the whole point of drones is, they're unmanned. There may be loss of money when they fail, but not life.

      • by OhPlz (168413)

        How often do these things fall out of the sky, and does the added revenue offset the lives lost when they do?

        Ummm, the whole point of drones is, they're unmanned. There may be loss of money when they fail, but not life.

        You're assuming that they don't hit anything when they fall out of the sky.

        • by dgatwood (11270)

          How often do these things fall out of the sky, and does the added revenue offset the lives lost when they do?

          Ummm, the whole point of drones is, they're unmanned. There may be loss of money when they fail, but not life.

          You're assuming that they don't hit anything when they fall out of the sky.

          Which, on the New Jersey Turnpike, is about as likely as a polar bear on the New Jersey Turnpike.

    • With 3D printed surface to air missiles, every day!

  • by stevegee58 (1179505) on Tuesday May 14, 2013 @08:20PM (#43727059) Journal
    I've seen one or two drivers on the Turnpike that could have used a Hellfire missile up the tailpipe.
  • ...counting the drones on the New Jersey Turnpike

    we've all come to mourn for America...we've all come to mourn for America.

    • (not Garfunkel). I'm an amateur videographer and have combed Vimeo and other sites for artistic videos, a number of which were taken from various flavors of "drones". Is this now illegal ?
  • by WillAffleckUW (858324) on Tuesday May 14, 2013 @08:35PM (#43727189) Homepage Journal

    It's too late, the local Seattle paper The Stranger is already using drones in public, under both the First Amendment (free press) and Second Amendment (Right To Bear Drones).

    Wake up and smell the privacy-disabled future!

    (caveat - Canadians have privacy rights, and technically the Washington State Constitution has strong privacy rights - but there are still drones)

  • by EmperorOfCanada (1332175) on Tuesday May 14, 2013 @08:44PM (#43727245)
    Many laws today if taken to their logical extreme are pretty stupid. But the two things that tend to ameliorate their implementation is that there are limits to how many police can do so many things along with that the police themselves(usually) use common sense. So if you are zipping down the road going 68 in a 65 zone most police won't bother with you along with the fact that there are a limited number of police.

    But with more and more policing becoming automated it is possible that you will drive, as you usually do, from home to work and arrive to discover that you have $10,000 in fines. Every time you bumped up over the speed limit, even for a few seconds, gets you another $500. Every time you didn't come to a complete stop (as in not moving at all) at a stop sign $150. Not to mention the zillion stupid laws that most people, including policemen, don't even know; so every time you didn't signal 150 feet before turning another $150. Did you jaywalk to cross the quiet street to go into work? $300!

    Right now the robotic systems are fairly stupid and can only monitor basic concepts like the physics of automobiles. But both their information gathering ability (have every traffic light make a record of all license plates.) along with their analytical ability (you are acting suspicious) is only going to get better and is going to give the police more and more probable or actual cause to arrest, fine, and detain us.

    Applying information theory can allow people to see all kinds of interesting things but will also throw up many false positives. Your driving habits might overlap with a series of murders/robberies.

    Then you get into who will have access to this information. If you join a political group fighting against the robotization of policing the police might suddenly take great interest in your movements and without much effort make life hell by say the above $10,000 worth of fines every time you drive.

    I don't see this as a bizarre conspiracy so much as the mathematics of how our laws are created and then implemented are going to become incompatible with robotic policing. Right now the lawmakers are inclined to grease the squeaky special interest groups. They pass laws that they know will rarely, if ever, be implemented but quiet down the self righteous special interest groups. Just look at most drug laws in the western world. These are most definitely not the laws of the majority but those of a small group of stick-up-the-ass whiners. Now picture a world where all their existing stupid laws are enforced rigidly and nearly as often as the supposed offenses.
  • The future looks bright for Hardware and Software hackers alike, with new self driving and self flying targets and deployment platforms.

    I mean, really... [gawkerassets.com]

  • Oh come on (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Bruce Perens (3872) <bruce@perens.com> on Tuesday May 14, 2013 @08:49PM (#43727289) Homepage Journal
    Mounting things to light poles is 10,000 times more practical.
  • i hit 92mph last week week on the way back from philly

  • by MoronGames (632186) <cam@henlin.gmail@com> on Tuesday May 14, 2013 @08:56PM (#43727335) Journal
    We are turning into a nanny state, and we need to put a stop to it. There are no reasonable arguments for spying on people with 30,000 drones.

    To combat such measures against American citizens, we need to start developing plans to take these things out of the sky. Perhaps we can do this by interfering with their radios, causing them to crash, shooting rockets at them, shooting at them with conventional firearms (while wearing a mask of course), or chasing them down with other drones and ramming into them. We need to be able to easily, cheaply, and effectively stop them. Of course, and I think it goes without saying, I'm NOT advocating that people actually do any of these things, but we still need to discover the best way to do it before it's too late.
    • We've already passed the point of being a totalitarian state I'm afraid. The battle has already been lost. I mean,the US has the highest incarceration rate in the world, the supposedly "independent" IRS just got caught targeting opposition groups for extra auditing, and they seized the records of the AP.

      So just to recap, we've got:

      A sky high incarceration rate
      A tax regime which targets the opposition
      Numerous foreign wars that don't make us safer
      A lack of a free press
      Etc.

      The war is lost.
    • The problem is the average citizen can't, legally, get his/her hands on some SAMs. Plus, do you know how much a Stinger costs on the second-hand market? There is the whole import problem too. A directional EMP (if there is such a thing) would probably rank in the top ten list of weapons Joe Citizen is NOT allowed to own. Shooting them isn't an option either. Most are too high, too fast, and shooting at them with automatic weapons would draw massive amounts of attention.

      Passive measures are probably the

  • If we are to have a government, its primary job should be for providing for the safety of its citizens, not creating "crimes" to milk for revenue. And an (unarmed!) drone can be used for both. A drone would be great for search and rescue operations, unfortunately, with the track record of government, it will most likely be used to help kidnap people for growing plants and for breaking arbitrary speed limits.
  • Security in these things, from what I understand, is pretty shabby.

    So what's going to happen? Civilians will resent being monitored and harassed by drones. They will start trying to figure out ways to confuse, disrupt and hack drones. There is this wonderful thing called the internet. Information tends to spread on the internet. Smart researchers will speak at Black Hat & Defcon about fuzzing, confusing and otherwise disrupting drones (which they have every right to do). And this information will eventu

  • Just make (keep?) it legal to use any drone over public land or your private property for target practice, and the problem will quickly take care of itself.

    • Years ago, all you people voted to ban private ownership of surface-to-air missiles. "Why would you need a surface-to-air missile?" you asked. "Duck Hunting? That's just crazy!"

      Well, look who's laughing now!

      (For the humor impaired, this is intended to be funny.)

  • by OhANameWhatName (2688401) on Tuesday May 14, 2013 @11:56PM (#43728455)
    Is riding on the autobahn in heavy, heavy traffic. 5 lanes, no speed limits. The left lane was doing 70kph, second left 80, 90, 100 and the right lane was 'as fast as you want'. If someone in the right lane saw somebody bearing down on them, they switched one lane to the left and let them past. But you hardly saw anyone driving above 120, and I didn't see a single soul above 130. The car doing 130 was a brand new Porsche on a flat straight stretch of road ... a perfectly safe speed for such a car.

    All lanes moved smoothly, if you needed to change lanes .. just flip on the indicator and the next person let you in. Nobody cutting people off, driving aggressively or getting frustrated. Everyone was driving very sensibly and patiently, with 60% of the people driving slower than what the marked speed limits would say if you were in Australia.

    If you can drive however fast you want .. you make a conscious decision on how fast you want to drive. Give someone a limit and they react to that limit. Either by driving right on it, exceeding it or being aggressive toward others driving in their own way in relation to the limit.

    Speed limits are a mechanism of control. They're designed to fill your head with ideas that you otherwise wouldn't have were you thinking without limits. The limits don't limit the speed of the car, they impact the mind of the driver. The more troubled the mind of the driver, the greater the impact of the limit. Roads are unsafe because of the impact of speed limits on drivers, not because of drivers exceeding speed limits.

    Take the red pill.
  • I'm talking HERF here. Pretty hard to do EMI protection when you lack a real ground. Just fry the communications on the things and they'll cease to be a useful tool to the pigs that run them.

"The only way for a reporter to look at a politician is down." -- H.L. Mencken

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