About 100 DOT workers now testing digital driver’s licenses – KCRG

AMES — Someday, workers at an Iowa driver’s license station may ask, “Do you want a regular license, or an app for your smartphone?” That “someday” could actually be only a short time away.

Sourced through Scoop.it from: www.kcrg.com

Your mobile phone is the one ubiquitous device you carry. It accompanies people everywhere from the bathroom to the car, to the beach, to the office, to school. If you have a device that uses your fingerprint, iris or other biotechnology to authenticate you, then it can potentially be a lot safer than credit cards.

This means that a lot of things we currently do via pieces of plastic with chips attached can become a thing of the past.

As the story suggests, one of the things you don’t want to do is give your phone to someone else and this developer has come up with a solution, where you can transmit a piece of information, like your holographic drivers license image and details to the Police reader, also a mobile phone app.

This would eventually reduce transaction costs and make personal identification much easier.

This would seem to me to be one of those technologies that is inevitable, however given the issues of developing international standards like passports, this could be a long time in the making. There is no point in having a drivers license app that is only usable in one state or even one country, however it is these little steps that generate major evolution.

I have been studying up on ways to generate change and have often been a decade ahead of myself in predictions and one of the challenges with that is the task of getting from here to the future state takes a lot of time. The concept I am looking at is how to define a possible future state and then working out the steps to achieve that.

This is a classic example.

Yesterday was a poignant day for me, a family funeral from cancer which also happened to be daffodil day, but I had no cash to buy a daffodil to wear on my suit. Fortunately they had a daffodil day stand at my local bank and I was able to take out cash in order to make a donation. This is the first time I have had cash in my pocket in months. It just isn’t relevant to me any more except for the odd occasion. Already some charity collectors are able to accept payment by credit or debit cards.

I have loyalty cards and membership cards for Africa. When I stopped using cash, I also stopped carrying a wallet or billfold. That means I also stopped carrying most of my loyalty cards. You will have noticed that most of them now offer apps.

Many people I know have mobile phones that not only carry credit cards, but are also shielded so that people with chip scanners can’t activate the RFID chip. So if you only need to carry a few cards, that’s sufficient for security.

Whether it’s a drivers license or a Subway card, it is only a matter of time before they are phased out and become another thing that we consign to history of the ways that we used to do things. For those who don’t want to use a phone, there is still RFID technology, little tags that could be carried on a key-ring. That would remove the excuse of my phone is broken. I have an airline loyalty tag on my phone case, but I never actually used it because my phone app gives me so much more info and value.

So would I use this drivers license app? In a heartbeat.

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Survey says: Drivers don’t want autonomous cars

Autonomous cars may be the future, but they might not be what consumers want, a new survey says.

Sourced through Scoop.it from: www.digitaltrends.com

I think it can be taken as read that we all want safer cars. Hands up anyone who hasn’t been in a crash or been impacted by a crash. I didn’t think so.

I enjoy driving, but I also enjoy being able to slam on my brakes and know how my car will behave. I am a lot safer in my 7 year old car than the cars I drove in my youth. Anyone remember having to pump the brakes?My first defensive driving courses were about how to manage despite the car, now it is more about buying cars that understand the conditions at a speed much faster than a human’s hand-eye coordination.

I love the systems such as from Mercedes, where cameras monitor your eyes to see if you are falling asleep, a system that gently nudges the steering wheel to see if you actually intended crossing the centre median so that you can continue the manoevre if you need to.

We have been indoctrinated since birth that driving is fun and car ownership is something to aspire to. That doesn’t change overnight.

Statistics are interesting things, you can use them to form any argument you like and people do. If 18% of people polled said they liked the idea of an autonomous car, I would find that extremely exciting and encouraging.

I wonder if they used those pictures in the surveys. Would you want to sit with your magazine and coffee behind a steering wheel that is turning and are afraid to touch in case it thinks you want to take over? Of course not. The point of an autonomous car is that you have the space and confidence to relax and trust the vehicle. If you can’t then we are not ready to let them on the road.

In the meantime we are approaching the problem from both directions. Intelligent Transport Systems provide new features that improve safety, intelligence and performance, components that will evolve into driverless cars and at the other end the genuine article.

As in previous blogs http://bit.ly/1HOUtBV there is a lot of water to go under the bridge before our roads and technology intersect, such that we can let anyone loose in a driverless car. But it will happen.

Travel demand experts say that in order to achieve significant benefits, we actually only need a small number of people to adopt new technologies. TomTom research said that if 5% of people used real time traffic information a significantly higher percentage of people would be better off. We also know that if 100% of people took an alternate route to avoid congestion, all we would do is move the problem, or create more problems.

I remember reading about the fear and trepidation from people about the introduction of the train (“they’ll never get it started” and “they’ll never be able to stop it”, of the Model A, the aircraft, of pretty much every major transport innovation that has changed the way we move around the world.

If more surveys came along with a similar number, rather than being discouraged, I would be investing in the leaders in this industry. Don’t you wish you had invested in some of those idiotic inventions like smartphones and PC’s? It wasn’t long ago that people were still saying that Facebook would never have a viable business model.

The future is coming, will you be on board?

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Connecticut adds GPS tracking to 500 public transit buses – StateScoop

Gov. Dannel Malloy is launching a new plan to bring real-time GPS tracking to hundreds of public buses.

Sourced through Scoop.it from: statescoop.com

Once again I started asking myself why they have waited till now, but this is just a next step. We have been waiting for these initiatives for so long. The concept of having total confidence that the next bus will be at the stop at a certain time. I think a key is to under promise and over deliver given that you can’t guarantee a bus will be there at exactly a certain time unless it is truly dynamic.

It is not a failure when a bus stops longer than expected because it had to pick up a large group of passengers at the last stop, it doesn’t just drive to pick you up. But if the time changes dynamically that’s fine.

The complaint I hear with some of these systems today is that I got there on time, I timed it to perfection but the bus went through 2 minutes earlier and then I had to wait 15 minutes for the next one.

Some years ago the winning entry into the Location Innovation Awards in Auckland included a walk indicator which told you that at your current pace you had to walk a little faster or you could take your time. That to me is an innovation I would still like to see. Some bus apps route you to your nearest stop, but wouldn’t it be great to know you and the bus are reaching synchronicity?

So it’s one thing having the app, the next is the hook that keeps people using it, because that helps everyone. What about closing the loop so that the bus driver is told that someone is using the app and is at the stop. Then they are forewarned that a passenger is wanting to be picked up and we will stop having those complaints (I experienced it myself a few weeks ago) where the bus didn’t stop and drove right past me.

Got a moment before the bus arrives? How about leaving me a comment and telling me what features you would like on a bus app?

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Posted in Bus Apps, GPS Bus Tracking, GPS Tracking, Public Transport | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Volvo Cars Autonomous Parking Concept

Volvo Car Group has developed an ingenious concept for autonomous parking. The concept car finds and parks in an open space by itself, without the driver …

Sourced through Scoop.it from: www.youtube.com

The autonomous parking car. Personally, I am pretty good at parking and getting in and out of tight spaces, but the number of people I see on the road who don’t have those skills is high.

I’m sure you could quote examples that you have seen just in the last week or two of people having to make multiple attempts at getting in and out of a car parking spot, perhaps holding up traffic or bumping into an adjacent car.

I’m not a big fan of having an autonomous car when it comes to actual driving. I enjoy driving, always have, from the day I turned 15 and got my Learner’s License (OK maybe even earlier on motor bikes and cars).

I made up all sorts of excuses as to why I had to borrow my father’s 4 liter Straight 6, 2 and a half ton family car. Most of the time I actually had nowhere to go at all, I just wanted to drive. I did live in a city where public transport was pretty pathetic, so sometimes I truly did need it.

Doubling the clutch, juggling the clutch, brake and accelerator on the very steep hill T intersection at the end of my street was good for an adrenalin rush in the big car and curbside parking was a challenge because it was difficult to see over the big guards, so I learned to make really good use of the 3 mirrors. I only pranged it once parking, following my mother’s instructions “You have plenty of room, oh sorry, you actually didn’t”. At least that saved me a hiding.

Today with automatic cars that hold their position when you stop on on a hill, people don’t need to have the same driving skills. Although this is a problem when they have to drive a manual car. A number of cars are now coming out with automatic parking, which is cool. Not as cool as this Volvo video though.

I used to have a car with remote start and I loved it when it was in the company car-park outside my first floor window, or at the mall and someone leaned on it. They would always get a good fright. I’d love to have my car drop me outside the front door or my destination and then park itself, subsequently coming back to pick me up.

That would be a good starting feature towards autonomous cars  that could be introduced today. It would certainly be a cool factor for those who could afford it, because I’m sure it won’t be available at entry level.

I’d be very interested in the view of the insurance companies, because this isn’t anything remotely like today’s examples of standing your car next to the space you want and then allowing it to park for you.This car appears to be trolling for a car park and then telling you where it parked. What if it takes the boss’ park, or parks in a mobility park or a loading zone? How does it get through the payment barrier at the airport and come and find me? What happens when someone else wants the same park? Lots of questions which I’m sure will be answered.

I like the direction this is going. Let’s answer one question at a time. With so many people who aren’t great drivers, who are poor at parking in tight spaces, or at all, this will be a popular feature.

As to the example of being able to do anything you like when a car is driving itself, tuck that steering wheel away. Who could sit in front of steering wheel and not have your hands on it? “You can do anything you like when the car is driving itself”. The poor guy only had room to put his hands on his knees, he didn’t even have enough room to fold his arms. What else could he do while a steering wheel is turning in front of him?

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How technology adds value to freight services – Lloyd’s Loading List

RT @PalletwaysUK: It is evident to us that technology adds value to freight services. Read more on @lloydsloading http://t.co/uYXFWIgcCW #s…

Sourced through Scoop.it from: www.lloydsloadinglist.com

When I first read this,I thought, “but we’ve been doing this for years”. The reality is perhaps more that certain industry segments have been doing this for years. I was involved in the development of the first courier track and trace system in New Zealand with Courier Post, probably around 20 years ago.

We used Casio Portable Data Terminals with touch screens and bar code readers to scan and capture customers’ signatures on delivery for the first time in this country. A modem in the cradle offered a choice of communication modes, which at that time was an exciting choice of CDPD wireless radio communications at 19.6bps, or the slower two-way radio. The savings were immense. Customers could go online and do their own track and trace. Couriers saved probably an hour a day of admin that was no longer required, less product dissapeared and more deliveries were being made a day. They got paid for every jo, which didn’t happen if they lost any of their job stickers.

Today with GPS and mobile data at high speeds, the same options are available for any form of freight and before too long it’s likely that instead of bar codes on consignment notes, everything from an envelope to a pallet will carry an RFID tag. Customers (with appropriate security) will be able to see that their piece of freight is on the truck and is the the third item to be delivered off the truck’s manifest for the day. With an app not dissimilar to the Uber or the new Domino Pizza app on their smartphone, customers will be able to see the location of their unique item, perhaps something a customer is standing in the store waiting for in real time.

Being able to see where the truck is, they could also see on the smartphone the current status of traffic congestion in the area as provided by the DOT or Travel Information Service data feed, whether traffic is flowing freely or perhaps a crash means that even though it is only a few miles away, it is not going to get there in a hurry. They can also see that the cause is not the fault of the driver or the freight company. One of the biggest frustrations for customers isn’t so much the delay itself, but not knowing what is going on and what to expect. We all know about those voice messages when we call the call centre that tell us our call is important.

I was visiting a friend recently and they were playing music from their phone in their holiday home. After about 40 minutes I offered them a really good old stereo that I no longer use and they said “Thanks, but that’s the on hold music from our power company that we have been trying to call for the last 3/4 of an hour!”

Secure transparency is going to make a big difference to the freight industry. I say secure because we obviously don’t want unauthorized shrinkage . Only those who are authorized to see the information should be able to receive it.That data can be encrypted such that only licensed users of the app can see the correct information.

The combination of real time travel information contributing to route optimization and a real view of the state and type of all freight could have a great impact on customer service, the first part of which is being able to tell the customer exactly where their consignment is, when they are likely to receive it, ensure it is going to the right location and anything unplanned that could interfere with it getting there.

Would you rather know your production line should shift to another JIT function, or have them hanging around waiting for something that was never going to arrive today?

Knowledge and the ability to act on it can have a huge impact on productivity and profit drains today.

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Posted in Freight App, GPS, real time traffic, RFID, SmartPhone, Track and Trace | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Jewish-Arab school in Jerusalem targeted on Google-owned GPS app – Business Insider

JERUSALEM (Reuters) – A mixed Jewish-Arab…

Sourced through Scoop.it from: www.businessinsider.com

This is an interesting angle on the concept of crowd sourced data. In the traditional environment of cartography with mapping companies, many calls are received questioning accuracy of data or filling gaps in the content.

For example, with new housing construction and suburbs being built, it is very normal for people moving into new homes in new streets where the address is not be found on a map. I recently visited a friend in their new (4 year old) holiday home where the street itself wasn’t on the map yet, therefore the many reasonably new homes weren’t on it either.

A lot of calls to mapping companies come from angry people who were awarded a speeding violation because they were following the speed zone on the car navigation map and the mapping company didn’t have the latest changes on the data set.

In most mapping companies they receive those calls and in various ways check the validity of the information. They might even use Google Earth to check from their imagery, perhaps government aerial photography and some companies even use services like Fiverr  https://www.fiverr.com/ to pay a local person a mall sum of money to go and view the location, take a photo together with coordinates from their smartphone to confirm the exact location to go with the details.

Companies like TomTom compare historical driven data with map share information provided as a means to reduce the risk of malicious or incorrect information contaminating their maps.

The risk comes in when an organization doesn’t have the resources to check all crowd sourced content. For example with Waze, which is based on crowd sourcing, they have services where people can report something, perhaps a crash or a change to the conditions (safely from the passenger seat through a disclaimer that says you are not driving at the time). However the quality, being crowd validated could easily be abused, or ignored. They have a function for example that tells a passenger that previously an accident was reported at this location and asks for confirmation. You can then edit the incident or say it doesn’t exist.

When it comes to confirmation of information, such as a POI or Point of Interest as in this story, it comes down to individual users. Great for pranks or political interference/disinformation with data. This particular story doesn’t surprise, because Waze originated in Israel where it probably has one of the highest per capita of users.

A bunch of students or hackers could quite easily add, modify AND confirm incorrect data and it would only be found out if people went out of their way to point out the incorrect information, which in this case for obvious reasons they did.

In other cases, the risks are more likely that if solutions like Waze are not regularly monitored for changes and then don’t validate them, their reputation simply drops and less people will use their app in favor of apps with more trustworthy data. POI data has the highest risk, because details about a location won’t interfere with your navigation to it, unless people change the name itself, so that the correct name no longer resides in the database. This is also not an unlikely eventuality, because a large percentage of businesses change their names, or when the premises are sold, a new tenant may come in with a new name and brand.

For the cost of an unwitting speeding fine, (yes you should go by what you see through your windscreen) you could purchase a navigation application where the brand spends the money to give you a higher degree of accuracy. Of course they will all get it wrong sometimes, hence, refer back to what you see through your windscreen.

What’s the answer to this? Ultimately, for now at least, you get what you pay for. Crowd sourcing in many cases is wonderful as evidenced by products like Open Street Map. Wikipedia is another example. The difference with Wikipedia is that if it gives you incorrect information, you are unlikely to drive your car through the fog into a river after reading it.

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Driverless Cars Going Nowhere in America

10 years ago they introduced incentives for people to purchase driverless cars. They also encouraged shared ownership designed to reduce the number of cars on the road. They have in fact reduced th…

Sourced through Scoop.it from: thefuturediaries.com

From the Future Diaries. Currently it is estimated that the average car spends 97% of it’s time parked up. Consider with family car sharing or sharing with 3rd parties that each car is utilized say 15% of the time, that effectively means 5 times more car journeys on the road, even if the actual car stock is reduced by as much as 30-50%.

It could reduce the car parking space required in urban centers, businesses and other locations, it could certainly improve convenience of transport but would also mean more people traveling more often, (think about kids for example, they would find a million reasons why they needed to use the car. Could you put a child of any age in a car to go visit friends, get to school, to sport practice or other activities?). If the congestion problem was solved in some areas through special lanes and platooning, it could be mitigated to some extent.

It would not encourage people to use public transport without incentives.

The concept of driverless cars is fascinating. It is inevitable although I think it will take a long time to cross through the Gartner hype cycle through the peak of inflated expectations and the trough of disillusionment, which is a good thing because, it will generate a whole new set of problems we need to solve before the real value is realized.  Of course at the rate of change we are currently experiencing, we could see other initiatives in public transport, remote working and time shifting, as well as creating livable smart cities, that reduce the value proposition of this concept.

The likely early winners of this technology will be the data companies like Google and Apple and car manufacturers rather than society. It may be that the concept morphs into other areas such as driverless public transport, driverless shuttles to transport hubs, driverless freight. Often the outcome of new technologies like this evolve into something quite unexpected.At the moment most of the focus is on cool gadgets and technology, not on the impact and dramatic change it would have on society. When they created text messaging and smartphones, who could have predicted that children as young as 9 would be fixated on the need to have a Smartphone and how pervasive it would become to our lives?

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Posted in Driverless Cars, Future, Futurist, traffic | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment