The UK government today announced a plan to remotely control vehicles on roads using wi-fi technology in order to reduce traffic and offset global warming, the latest manifestation of the ‘Internet of Things’ that will stir up concern amongst privacy advocates.
A report released today by Ofcom, the government-controlled body which regulates communications in the United Kingdom, lays out a blueprint that could be realized in as soon as 10 years where cars would communicate with each other to “reduce congestion”.
The proposals are being billed by some media outlets as a means of solving traffic jams and taking the stress out of finding a parking space, while also serving to reduce “greenhouse gases” and offset global warming.
However, buried in the report is a detail that will horrify many libertarians and privacy advocates. The state plans to achieve this new high-tech solution by fitting sensors in all cars that would wirelessly send information to a “central traffic control system”. The control system would then react by imposing remote speed limits on each vehicle, a “shockwave effect” which would cause each one to brake and accelerate in unison.
In other words, in the name of reducing traffic and helping the environment, the government could at any time seize control of your vehicle against your will.