You’ve seen the movie: Well-intended advanced technologies are used for law enforcement. And let’s just say they lead to unintended consequences.
We are witnessing initial but inevitable discussion of policies and procedures by law enforcement and the federal government using data generated by V2V and V2I systems to track motorists and possibly issue traffic citations based on that data. Of course, the tracking of vehicles electronically for the purposes of law enforcement is nothing new, as red-light cameras, license plate recognition and speed cameras are already in place.
We have previously reported on how in-car data collection is being examined by officers of the court and how they are attempting to use this data in their legal cases. Similarly, we pointed out that while the technologies had the potential for these uses, they were not originally developed for legal or law enforcement applications and thus could prove to be unreliable.
While we understand the privacy concerns of citizens and activist groups, we believe it is inevitable that vehicle-generated data collection will be used in some manner to enforce public safety laws. The auto industry and NHTSA have effectively confirmed the statement.
Traffic enforcement is primarily the function of state and local governments, and the potential involvement of the federal government suggests the enforcement of matters beyond traffic and public safety. “The fact you can start to track vehicles in real time, it’s too tempting to not try to implement this,” says John Bowman, communications director at the National Motorists Association. “Any type of rigorous or draconian traffic enforcement, at some point they’ll probably try to implement it. The temptation is too great.”
It is the duty of NHTSA and the auto and technology industries to continue their collaboration on the development V2V and V2I systems while ensuring that the public understands what data is being used for what purpose. And just because you can do it doesn’t automatically mean you should.
Source: How traffic enforcement could play out on roads of the future — AutoBlog