Cars In The UAE Will Have IBM-Installed Back Seat Drivers

from the as-if-i-need-yet-another-voice-nagging-at-me dept

In an effort to stem a rising tide of automobile-related accident deaths, the UAE has contracted IBM to install telematics "black boxes" in tens of thousands of emergency and government vehicles. The systems will be connected to a nationwide wireless network, making it the largest telematics network in the world. In addition to tracking vehicle speed and location, the system will also vocally warn the driver if they are speeding. While this is a huge win for IBM in its big bet on becoming the world's high-end services and business process vendor, will this system actually make the roads any safer? We've discussed numerous times here that speed cameras don't work. Also, in the case of traffic light cameras, thinking that big brother is watching makes for some nervous, brake-happy drivers -- which, in turn, results in a higher number of rear-end collisions at camera equipped traffic signals. With the telematics system, the UAE could end up with a nation full of enraged drivers, not paying attention to the road because they're busy being nagged by their cars for driving too fast. Just because big brother is watching doesn't mean it's safer.

Reader Comments

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Time | Thread

  • identicon
    dorpus, 15 Apr 2005 @ 1:11am

    Different legal system

    Under their laws, if a chauffer or taxi driver causes an accident, it is considered the passenger's fault. All the drivers over there are Pakistani or Indian. I can see why they might want cameras to prove it really was the driver's fault.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      e3ashig, 15 Apr 2005 @ 8:33am

      Re: Different legal system

      That is not true. If a taxi or a chauffer driver causes an accident, and he was at fault, he takes the blame for it. Just like everywhere else in the world. The problem we have is an extremely high number of road traffic accidents and millions of lives are lost every year. Not sure if installing these systems will work though.
      PS: I am from UAE myself.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    SJ, 15 Apr 2005 @ 10:42am

    Cars UAE's Back Seat Drivers

    One thing of note. This project is being done in conjunction with the Higher College of Technology and will have software / hardware designed and developed by HCT. This has garnered a lot of press here (I live in Dubai) and just goes hand-in-hand with all the taxis that already have a similar system installed.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Syed A, 13 Aug 2005 @ 7:02am

      Re: Cars UAE's Back Seat Drivers

      The one thing that is not discussed is the cost of this extra feature, and how it will end up being paid by the consumer.
      I think the Taxi system in Dubai is among the finest and safest in the world, with GPS tracking, well-versed drivers, abundant availability of cars and fairly low fares. I welcome new innovation, as long as it does not mean rising costs.
      Dubai cab fares are more than double the neighbouring Emirates of Abu Dhabi or Sharjah.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Maha, 21 Mar 2006 @ 8:44pm


    This system may work, we need to give it a shot. But there are realistic solutions to reduce accident numbers, which people are running away from. These are:
    1. Increasing penalties for speeding, double them, triple them, whatever. Make them high enough to make the 'rich' nationals here think twice about speeding.
    2. Put radars or cameras EVERYWHERE because people actually slow down for these (Im a national in Abudhabi).
    Get rid of the corruption at the traffic department where some peope get out of paying for speeding tickets.
    3. Close down all the private driving training companies because some of the instructors don't know what they're doing. Currently, a monopoly is present, however dozens of cheaper private companies flourish because of their low service costs
    4. Maybe raise the minimum driving age. 18 may be too young for the nationals.
    The accident numbers are one the highest in the World. Something should HAS to be done.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Use markdown for basic formatting. HTML is no longer supported.
  Save me a cookie
Follow Techdirt
Special Affiliate Offer

Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Techdirt Insider Chat
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Recent Stories
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads


Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.