Friday, May 10, 2019

My Machines Keep Speaking

Tonight I travelled to an unfamiliar location, so I used my smartphone's navigation application to guide me to my destination. While gradually rounding the northwest portion of Anthony Henday Drive, the app suddenly blurted, "There is a speed camera ahead."

Like Pavlov's dog reacting to the dinner bell, I instinctively tapped my brakes and looked down at my speedometer, even though I already knew I'd used cruise control to set it to 100 km/h, the speed limit on that road. I was in no danger of being ticketed, even without the warning.

For a moment, I wondered if Apple had started building photo radar into their phones, but then I realized that there are probably fixed speed cameras that wind up in the navigational data of the app. Until tonight, I hadn't imagined that fixed speed cameras were a thing, but there are fixed red light cameras, so why not? 

2 comments:

Totty said...

Since all the fixed red-light cameras are now able to send you speeding tickets as well, maybe it was referring to one of those?

Jeff Shyluk said...

Interesting and disquieting. Who maintains the database and its security? I found an article on how easy it is to hack ICAO, who keeps watch on international air traffic control. More and more aircraft are relying on GPS navigation, and new standards are coming into play that will allow commercial jets to travel closer together in the sky since GPS should be able to keep them apart.

You can't easily hack the database, and it's even harder to hack GPS, so it would be extremely difficult now to either make an airplane drop off the map (in populated areas)nor can you directly spoof GPS. What you can do, though, is add fictitious traffic into an already busy airlane, much the same way your GPS warned you of the camera.