November 28, 2006

Car Communication

Updated: Ask and ye shall receive (link courtesy of a commenter - thanks Chris!)

Its seems like the car horn has basically become an instrument of anger. I don't think you can honk it without seeming mad. Even a tap is a sign of impatience, not communication (think about whenever you're on the receiving end).

I guess CB radios were an attempt to create transient communities for commuters and the like - and cel phones have taken their place for fixed communities, but wierd to me that there's no good way to communicate with the folks around you when driving... maybe this will be one of the emergent expressions of location based services?

In of itself that's surprising - you'd think geography and technology would be a great(er) fit; look at the success of GPS. Like wireless computing, once you do it, you'd can't go back. So why is it so hard finding a behaviour pattern for location enabled computing that's more than a techno-fad?

Important factors (I think): ease of setup, discovery, of course, but more than that - what's the new behaviour eco-system this enables?


gmadkat said...

Yeah, there is no effective way to communicate to another driver that their door is not shut properly, something fell off the back of their truck, their lights not working, something hanging off their car doors etc etc etc. Frantic honking simply doesnt convey the message!!!

Anonymous said...

The first time I was in Bangalore, I was surprised by the amount of honking going on. I thought everyone was ready to explode.

Then I realized that they weren't honking to express anger, just to announce their presence. (And if you've seen traffic in India, you know that a bit of sonar is necessary!) An interesting twist!

Anonymous said...

amazing comments on the Bangalore experience, goes to show seemingly similar behavior patterns to casual observers has quite different meanings in different social context.

Rob Otrock said...

Rob Otrock said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sree Kotay said...

Joe - good point about the Bangalore thing; being FROM India, you'd think I'd have mentioned that :)

You're right though... the car horn/anger thing is mostly a U.S. colloquialism (AFAIK).

niko - funny!!!; yeah that was my point exactly! :P

My favorite car/tech mess still comes from the BMW/Windows CE/iDrive mess... which I hear is actually a lot better these days, but ... too late?

deepsat said...

well, in bangalore you cannot run your vehicle without your horn. sometimes you need it to inform the ignorant denizen!! and other times its for the animals (literally) from the jungle!!

yesterday i saw a guy whose thumb was jammed to his horn switch all the way for more than 5 kms!! thankfully after that he went the other way!!


Anonymous said...

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