Up until about 1990, the automobile had not really changed too much, in
terms of the car's technology, from the Old Tin Lizzie. But consumer
technology has taken a giant leap forward in the past few decades, and
tomorrow's car may only resemble today's car in the fact that
both have four wheels.
Intelligent Transportation Systems has already changed the way some people
drive in Lamont and Shafter, with such things as steering assistance and
driver alerts. ITS may soon also
change the face of speeding enforcement.
Nearly all drivers in developed countries have at least one mobile device
with them at almost all times. Technology already exists that can find
a person's location by measuring and analyzing network data.
That same principle could be applied to speeding enforcement. Not unlike
VASCAR, triangulation could pinpoint a motorist's location at Point
A and again at Point B, and use the time difference to calculate the vehicle's speed.
Vehicle re-identification is essentially LIDAR enforcement without the
LIDAR hardware. A roadside sensor in Bakersfield would identify a vehicle
based on a unique number, similar to a toll-tag. Another sensor further
down the road would record the vehicle's passing, and the elapsed
time between the two sensors could calculate the vehicle's speed.
Our society currently values security more highly than privacy, so ITS
enforcement is not just an outside possibility. One concern with ITS enforcement
is the nature of speeding tickets, and there should be a definitive answer
to the question of whether speeding tickets really make travel safer.
There are some Fourth and Fourteenth Amendment concerns as well. The flip
side of the privacy argument is that motorists do not have a reasonable
expectation of privacy on a public roadway with regards to their speed;
privacy concerns may also be dissipated by providing fair notice -
e.g., a road sign that says the speed limit is ITS-enforced.