Saturday, November 03, 2007


No need for one more drop in the bucket of news about Google Social API.

Instead, I will comment on a kind of old, but interesting, news.

An article by Roy Furchgott (Navigating With Feedback From Fellow Drivers) in the New York Times describes a new GPS-enabled device that is able to receive traffic information based on the aggregation of the information collected from other cars using the same device.

The rationale behind the Dash Express (as the device is named) is that there is a wealth of information that individual cars can generate. Moreover, if such information is aggregated it can become extremely useful for drivers. Examples are obviously related to traffic, but they can also be related to business around a certain area (such as parking space).

The idea is neat. However, the aggregation is currently done in a centralized fashion. I do not have a clear picture on whether this centralized component limits the scalability or not.

In any case, there seems to have an interesting research problem in enabling a Dash-2-Dash communication, without relying on a central point to aggregate the information, and yet maintaining the quality of information by coping with devices that could report wrong data (maliciously or due to mechanism faults). In fact, there are some interesting results in the community of wireless sensor networks along these lines.