GPS Will Now Tell You You're In A 'Bad' Neighborhood

from the now-that's-a-point-of-interest dept

While various GPS systems are competing to provide better, more interesting or more detailed "points of interest," it appears that Honda is going even further. Its new GPS system will also warn drivers when they're in a "bad neighborhood" where there's a high crime rate, and where their cars may be more likely to be vandalized or stolen. Right now, the product is only targeted at the Japanese market, but it's likely to eventually make it to the US. What will be worth watching is how communities respond if they're listed in GPS systems as being bad neighborhoods. These days, such designations are usually made by random people -- but having it in a GPS system (especially given how slavishly some listen to what their GPS tells them) may make it seem more "official." While I can imagine some communities getting angry about the designation, some might try to improve their reputations, which could have a very positive end result. Of course, when talking about American communities, that's probably not the case. They'll probably just sue, claiming defamation.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
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    Jeremy, Apr 23rd, 2008 @ 6:17am

    There is a 100% chance that a lawsuit will be formed on the basis of racial descrimination/defamation.

     

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  2.  
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    JackieTreehorn, Apr 23rd, 2008 @ 6:24am

    Bravo!

    It is about time that crime rates are incorporated into a GPS. Certainly there will be those that cry about profiling but as this is not focused at a specific "entity," rather an "area" no lawsuit would ever stand.

    Ultimately, what will happen is crime statistics (and other statistics) will be integrated and a threshold set by the user for the GPS to notify once the threshold is met. Simple, legal, and effective.

     

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  3.  
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    Shaniac, Apr 23rd, 2008 @ 6:35am

    I have prior art

    I have to admit this is a very interesting set of data to include in any navigation calculation, I would be willing to bet they are in violation of more than a few patents...one of which is mine. But they are not selling it in the states so I am not worried yet. Looking at the details I think they are focusing on where you park not the route you drive.

    Mine was filed after a GPS told me to walk through a very rough neighborhood at night, but at the time I didn't know it was bad.

     

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  4.  
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    WarOtter (profile), Apr 23rd, 2008 @ 6:45am

    Hmmm

    What if someone kills you and steals your GPS? Will it update automatically?

     

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  5.  
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    Accountability, Apr 23rd, 2008 @ 6:45am

    Accountability is always a good thing.
    those who are not held accountable for their actions "think" they can do anything and that not a thing they do is wrong (in their own eyes)

     

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  6.  
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    Matt Bennett, Apr 23rd, 2008 @ 6:56am

    I think a map telling you were the "bad neighborhoods" are might be useful before you're trip, but afterwards, you'll already know. Most people know hoe how to recognize a bad neighborhood when they're in one, it's not just the crime rate that's different.

     

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  7.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 23rd, 2008 @ 6:57am

    What's Next

    When do the insurance companies stop paying if something is stolen from your car in a "bad" neighborhood?

     

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  8.  
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    Bobbknight, Apr 23rd, 2008 @ 6:58am

    Hummmm

    I have never had trouble telling if I were in a bad area, but if your not sure ask one of the hookers or the crack sellers.

     

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  9.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 23rd, 2008 @ 7:02am

    If you're talking about facts, can you really claim defamation?

     

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  10.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 23rd, 2008 @ 7:06am

    if im a criminal, i get one and go to nonproblem areas and try to restore balance to the random crime problem. i dont think will be alone in this.

    also will we see paople parking right at the borders of bad places lik if i park 1/2 a block down from where i am now my car is in a less dangerus place.

    wow how about real time calculations of the odds of your car being stolen. in vancouver honda civics are the most stolen vehicle. the system can look at the area match with the theft statistics and inform you that if you park here your car will have a 75% chance of being stolen, but if you park 1/2 a block back the chance is 25%. then we can have the city take that info and do tricky stuff like the parking meter at the 25% mark is triple the price

     

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  11.  
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    Steve R. (profile), Apr 23rd, 2008 @ 7:16am

    A visit to the Local Brothel

    Now your car will "rat" on you to your spouse.

    As for a "1984" scenario, the car will report your location to the police station. You will be automatically cited for speeding, running lights, and parking illegally.

     

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  12.  
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    Joe, Apr 23rd, 2008 @ 7:30am

    Yes lawsuits will hit in the US

    Not that they should sue but people will...they will smell the money and lawyers will break out a buffett for class action suits. doesn't make it right, our legal system definitely needs a revamp.

    Suits will most likely range from Racial discrimination to defamation leading to financial loss of property value for communities.

     

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  13.  
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    TriZz, Apr 23rd, 2008 @ 7:34am

    Remedying a bad neighborhood...

    ...I'm pretty sure that once you're marked as a "bad community" there'd be no way to get that mark off of your map.

    Plus, neighborhoods with bad reputations KNOW they have bad reputations. What member of ANY community doesn't know the extent of the crime involved?

     

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  14.  
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    Chunky Vomit, Apr 23rd, 2008 @ 7:35am

    Re: Hmmm

    You ought to patent that idea.

     

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  15.  
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    Chunky Vomit, Apr 23rd, 2008 @ 7:36am

    I would be interested in a GPS unit that would tell me how far I am from Natalie Portman, and the quickest way to find her.

     

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  16.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 23rd, 2008 @ 7:48am

    Re: I have prior art

    Sure you do.

     

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  17.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 23rd, 2008 @ 7:51am

    Re: What's Next

    Opps...

    I just realized how stupid my prior comment above was.

    Well what can I say. I'm alike tarded that way, please bear with me.

     

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  18.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 23rd, 2008 @ 7:55am

    Re:

    I'm with you on that.

    Except I want Hulk Hogan and Hacksaw Jim to both scr#w me real good....lol.

    I've had the biggest crush on those guy since the 80's.

     

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  19.  
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    Strofcon, Apr 23rd, 2008 @ 8:08am

    "Of course, when talking about American communities, that's probably not the case. They'll probably just sue, claiming defamation."

    You assume I'm a litigious individual, which is -obvious- profiling, defamation, and various other not-nice words. I'm gonna sue.

     

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  20.  
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    Mike, Apr 23rd, 2008 @ 8:45am

    The next step, is the Honda automatically locking the doors and rolling up the windows when a Vagrant approaches.

     

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  21.  
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    TheDock22, Apr 23rd, 2008 @ 8:50am

    Bad Neighborhoods

    I'm not so sure it will be the people from the "bad" neighborhoods who will sue (chances are none of those people care about GPS anyway).

    I could see a whole crop of lawsuits pop up over a car being vandalized in a supposed "safe" neighborhood.

     

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  22.  
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    Tom, Apr 23rd, 2008 @ 8:54am

    Global Positioning System

    GPS = Global Positioning System...no need to put system after GPS.

     

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  23.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 23rd, 2008 @ 9:07am

    Re: A visit to the Local Brothel

    Actually, the on-board diagnostics that technicians plug-in to and receive data from your car can already report (in some cars) the last N-minutes of engine activity and gearing. Software can then determine your speed for those last N-minutes. Conceivably, with a box and a warrant, an officer could "jack in" to your car and GPS and start issuing tickets. Don't be surprised that capability becomes wireless and required in order to register a vehicle. Watch the opening minutes of the remake to Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea to see a motorcycle rider automatically issued a citation.

     

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  24.  
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    Me too, Apr 23rd, 2008 @ 9:19am

    Re: I have prior art

    I have similar art (filed 2000). What's your patent #?

     

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  25.  
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    Chronno S. Trigger, Apr 23rd, 2008 @ 9:23am

    Re: Re: What's Next

    Actually, that sounds like a valid concern. If your GPS is telling you that you're in a bad neighborhood than theoretically you should not be there.

    But, what qualifies as a bad neighborhood?

     

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  26.  
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    Steve, Apr 23rd, 2008 @ 9:46am

    Can they make one for people coming from the bad neighbor"HOODS" that will tell them where the police are most likely to target and arrest them?

     

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  27.  
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    Todd, Apr 23rd, 2008 @ 9:50am

    I want a location based sex offender locator for my phone.

     

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  28.  
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    Murgatroyd, Apr 23rd, 2008 @ 9:54am

    deja vu!

    The ACLU has an interesting Flash animation showing how information gained through surveillance (such as "bad" neighborhood locations) can be put to other uses.

     

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  29.  
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    chris (profile), Apr 23rd, 2008 @ 9:56am

    just call it what it is

    instead of calling it a "bad" neighborhood, just call it a "high crime area". the fact that "high crime areas" are often "low income" and "minority" neighborhoods is peripheral to the issue, issue warnings based on crime and accident statistics and not ethnicity or income statistics.

    besides, if you have a GPS and a car worth stealing, you probably never leave your gated community except to drive to work where you park in a secure garage, so the odds of coming into contact with a "bad" neighborhood are slim. how's that for profiling?

     

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  30.  
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    Hellsvilla, Apr 23rd, 2008 @ 9:59am

    Forget discrimation!

    People won't be suing for discrimination... thats just crazy talk.

    Nono, the people who will be suing are the ones trying to protect their precious property values. The ones worried about property value are the ones with the cash to hire the most vile of lawyers.

     

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  31.  
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    Ben Kaeding, Apr 23rd, 2008 @ 10:16am

    Property Values

    If someone can't sell their home because of crime int he area, you would think they would doing something about the crime. I truly doubt that this will be the case.

     

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  32.  
    identicon
    Alex, Apr 23rd, 2008 @ 10:16am

    Re:

    You shouldn't assume that anything is 100% probable. This defies the laws of mathematics.

    You are right though. There is a high chance of this. Especially considering the ridiculousness of some folks in the county.

    But stating facts such as a crime rate in the area isn't any different than looking them up on the inet. Not discriminating. Math doesn't discriminate.

     

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  33.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 23rd, 2008 @ 10:27am

    If its based on facts, then how can people sue over discrimination? Crimes investigated by the police are public knowledge, so there is absolutely nothing wrong with relaying this information.

     

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  34.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 23rd, 2008 @ 10:29am

    Re:

    Yes, people don't need reason to make claims

     

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  35.  
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    asdf, Apr 23rd, 2008 @ 10:37am

    Re:

    if its 100% its not so much chance as it is certainty. :)

     

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  36.  
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    asdf, Apr 23rd, 2008 @ 10:39am

    Re: Hmmm

    lol

     

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  37.  
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    asdf, Apr 23rd, 2008 @ 10:43am

    Re:

    like the batmobile?

     

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  38.  
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    Tom's not too bright, Apr 23rd, 2008 @ 10:46am

    Re: Global Positioning System

    Or, here's something "way out there"

    GPS= Global Positioning SATELLITE System.

    Duh!

     

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  39.  
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    john, Apr 23rd, 2008 @ 12:43pm

    People watch too much Dateline

    Not only is this going to be inevitably racist, but it is completely pointless as well. I don't even know where to start in describing the rediculous level of paranoia that people have resorted to.

     

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  40.  
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    Rob Erbaron, Apr 23rd, 2008 @ 12:59pm

    What ABout The Good Neighborhoods?

    Now if it would tell me that, I'd have less trouble picking homes to rip off.

    So, when it announces you're in a bad neighborhood, will it show POIs like where to score some dope? Crack houses? That would be cool.

     

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  41.  
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    Cyberia, Apr 23rd, 2008 @ 1:23pm

    Detouring Crime

    Crime's agains people who made the mistake of driving through high-crime areas because they were relying on their GPS will go down.
    You'll have to set the threshold pretty high if you're in South America and don't want to be told to detour around Brazil. Cyberia

     

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  42.  
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    Rose M. Welch, Apr 23rd, 2008 @ 1:25pm

    In Oklahoma, we can look up neighborhood crime statistics on our police websites. I can definitely see a GPS utilizing that service to offer the information to you. And GPS giving it to you is no different than the police giving it to you.

    Also, I'm pretty sure it has to be untrue before it can be defamatory.

     

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  43.  
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    SilentMountain, Apr 23rd, 2008 @ 2:57pm

    It depends...

    How this is perceived depends on how the information is presented and framed. A unit that says "entering a bad neighborhood" would probably elicit more indignation than "entering area with high crime rate". One is a judgment that can lead to arguments of libel, the other is a statement of statistical information. Leave it up to the driver to form a judgment based on the facts.

     

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  44.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 24th, 2008 @ 5:13am

    Re: Re: Re: What's Next

    Get real Chronno S. Trigger.

    Are you saying that theoretically our movements should be limited by that type of info?

    Please.

     

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  45.  
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    Lucretious, Apr 24th, 2008 @ 1:13pm

    If its based on facts, then how can people sue over discrimination? Crimes investigated by the police are public knowledge, so there is absolutely nothing wrong with relaying this information.

    Go announce on several high profile blogs that blacks are responsible for the majority of violent crime (fluctuating between 72-83%) and you'll be showed just how "wrong" it is even though the stats are fully accurate.

     

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  46.  
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    Nasch, Apr 24th, 2008 @ 3:51pm

    Is there any evidence this is actually coming to the US? Wouldn't Honda be crazy to release such a product here? There are already features on other cars that don't make it to the US because of fear of lawsuits; I expect this to be another one.

     

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  47.  
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    Nasch, Apr 24th, 2008 @ 3:52pm

    Oh, and before you reply saying such lawsuits could never hold up in court - it doesn't matter. The expense of dealing with them even if they're groundless and get thrown out fairly quickly could very well overwhelm any incentive to release the product.

     

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  48.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 24th, 2008 @ 5:30pm

    Re:

    If its based on facts, then how can people sue over discrimination? Crimes investigated by the police are public knowledge, so there is absolutely nothing wrong with relaying this information.

    Telling the truth can get you crucified.

     

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  49.  
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    Tourist, Apr 25th, 2008 @ 9:33am

    I want this for my next US trip!

    I would have no need for it where I live. The bad areas in town are not bad enough to justify such a device. I can even walk in the worst areas in the capitcal city, at night, without any worries.

    However, when traveling to the US, driving in major cities is very scary. I have NO idea where the bad parts of LA, Dallas etc is. We ended up in some wrong place in Texas and a couple of people tried to run us off the road. I am so glad I had rented a really good car...

     

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  50.  
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    a thought, Apr 25th, 2008 @ 10:50am

    If this allows the end user to "customize" what he or she thinks is "bad" for him or herself, then this would work no differently than, say, how a certain manufacturer's radar detector would "lock-out" false radar alerts based upon the user's inputs.

    On the other hand, these so-called "technologies" upon which we humans become reliant are really just robbing us of our common sense...

     

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  51.  
    identicon
    Douglas, Jun 3rd, 2008 @ 4:14pm

    Re: I have prior art

    Shaniac
    This seems like an interesting concept. What is your patent number

     

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  52.  
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    You know, Aug 5th, 2008 @ 8:24am

    It's about time!

    Way too often, both GPS and direction websites have lead me into some pretty sketchy areas of cities that I am not familiar with. If you travel to large cities often, I think this is about time!

    I don't see how any law suits would hold up:

    1. The areas are based on "crime statistics". The only profiling here is based on facts, not judgements or prejudices.
    2. The GPS doesn't guarantee your car won't be stolen, it just gives you a probability.

    I can't wait for mapquest and/or yahoo maps to start giving this option, that would be great! I honestly don't see why they don't now.

     

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  53.  
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    Jon, Jul 15th, 2010 @ 9:24am

    Dangerous area alert

    I think that is an amazing thing. will it be installed in gps? I'd love to hear more about it

     

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