back to article Intel, Ford: Project Mobii will harpoon unsafe, unauthorized drivers

Intel and the Ford Motor Company have announced a joint effort to equip the automaker's vehicles with cameras – but not ones that will survey the driving environment; instead, interior-mounted eyes will keep their gaze on you and your passengers. The in-vehicle camera effort comes with a whale of a name: Project Mobii, for …

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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Big Brother

    I must be becoming an old codger...

    Because I have absolutely NO appreciation for the modern concept that any product can be made better by attaching a camera to it, so you can be observed at all hours of the day and in every humdrum aspect of your life.

  2. Hero Protagonist

    No possibility of abuse

    Nope, none at all. Go about your business as if I'm not even watching you.

    -- NSA

  3. Scroticus Canis
    Facepalm

    Smart control? Um...

    So this system would open the hood/bonnet while the car is in motion? Useful, really useful. What will they think of next?

  4. lee harvey osmond

    B*gger me...

    ... this is "Jipi and the Paranoid Chip", isn't it?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jipi_and_the_Paranoid_Chip

    http://www.vanemden.com/books/neals/jipi.html

  5. Gene Cash Silver badge

    That's ok

    Since it's a Ford product, it'll work for about 6 months, and then nobody will have the slightest idea how to fix it, except by swapping out $1500 engine control modules.

    1. Tom 35

      Re: That's ok

      No it will be completely bug free like the current Windows for cars thing they have.

      How long before the insurance companies offer to not double your rates if you let them watch?

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Hmmm, Cameras watching the drivers eh? I guess we'll start seeing more drivers wearing full-face helmets soon so as to avoid the cameras.

    1. Stoneshop Silver badge
      Alert

      full-face helmets

      Owner's smartphone: <bleep> "Someone is requesting the use of your car.

      Allow [ ] Decine [ ] Limit [ ]?

      The person requesting is identified as The Stig"

  7. Mark 85 Silver badge

    Hmmm... gesture control?

    So the single finger salute will control what? The blood pressure of anyone watching?

  8. Steven Roper

    Just imagine

    when this shit is linked to the facial-expression and emotional analysis software being mooted for monitoring your expression while watching smart TVs. I can picture you at the wheel, gritting your teeth and swearing at the moron who just cut you off, when this thing takes control, pulls the car over, and chimes in with:

    "Look, Dave. I can see you're really upset about this. I honestly think you ought to sit down calmly, take a stress pill, and think things over."

    Rest assured, I'd have the fucking thing singing "Daisy, Daisy" before it got to the end of my street!

    1. Hank Waggenburger III

      Re: Just imagine

      <i>when this shit... ...I can picture you at the wheel, gritting your teeth and swearing at the moron who just cut you off,... ...Rest assured, I'd have the fucking thing singing "Daisy, Daisy" before it got to the end of my street!</i>

      srsly I can see you're really upset about this. I honestly think you ought to sit down calmly, take a stress pill, and think things over

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    In other news....

    Sales of Chewing Gum to Ford owners skyrocket.

    Can we stop this silliness where certain people think we need to be watched every second of the day not matter where we are? What next, Bog rolls with cameras to ensue we don't use more than two sheets at a time?

    Any car that I drive that has devices like this will have them disabled right away with tape, glue or just about anything I can lay my hands on. I could wear my full face motorcycle helmet with dark visor but that would just make identifying me by the Big Brother Police that much easier.

    I guess we could all suddenly wear Chadors, Burkas etc.

    Perhaps the inventors of this wouldn't mind subjecting themselves to closeup 24/7 surveilance for the next 25-life because that is what they clearly want for the rest of us.

    1. Martin Maloney
      Coat

      Re: In other news....

      "...What next, Bog rolls with cameras to ensue we don't use more than two sheets at a time?"

      No need for such a device in my loo. To save money, I always only use two sheets at a time.

      Yep -- I'm a cheap shit.

      (Well, somebody had to say it!)

  10. Neil Barnes Silver badge

    Gaffer tape

    That's what's needed. It works for all the other cameras I don't have control over...

    There's a real problem with a mature product like a car, in that there is nothing other than brand loyalty really to select one over another, so the manufacturers stick pointless extras on left right and centre. Sometimes it's vaguely useful, mostly it's just pointless crap with confusing and distracting features. In this case, every one of the control functions listed (with the exception of spying in the cabin, of course) has been available for ten or twenty years just by issuing Junior with a different ignition key.

    On the bright side, the chance of it working for more than a few months it probably pretty low. The 'smarts' on my 2008 Eurobox regularly lock up and require the car to be stopped and restarted... Probably there are failure modes which require me to close all the windows, too, though I haven't yet found them.

  11. Chairo
    Unhappy

    Another "invention"

    driven by insurance companies. Will this madness ever end? Hopefully this will never find public acceptance, but somehow I doubt it.

    1. Martin Maloney

      Re: Another "invention"

      "Hopefully this will never find public acceptance..."

      It doesn't have to find public acceptance -- it will be government mandated.

  12. Will Godfrey Silver badge
    Unhappy

    Madness

    I already can't take my phone in to various sites where I work. I'm trying to imagine the reaction to the possibility there might be any camera actually fixed in my car.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So when you run over a cyclist you won't be able to ditch the car and claim it was stolen? Deal killer for me ;)

  14. Nameless Faceless Computer User

    Never happen

    First, you need to find someone dumb enough to buy a Ford.

  15. Tom Chiverton 1

    DARYL

    Seems like all the antitheft and so on is defeatable with chewing gum. Their not stupid enough to make this joke default to not starting, right ?

  16. Fungus Bob

    "Our goal with the Mobii research is to explore how drivers interact with technology in the car and how we can then make that interaction more intuitive and predictive,"

    How about not having a shitpile of buttons placed randomly throughout the instrument panel? Saturn figured this out with the S series in the 90's.

    1. Tom 35

      Solved

      They now have then on a touch screen, scattered randomly across 8 different screens.

      Learning from Windows and Office they will automatically be re-arranged depending on what button you pushed last.

  17. Stephen Hurd
    FAIL

    Front facing?

    The blokes who put together the image also don't seem to know where the front of a car is if they're locating a "front-facing camera" on the dash to monitor the interior.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Bluetack

    I have a strategic mod on all my devices (Kubuntu Thinkpad, MacBook Air, iPad mini & Galaxy S2) - a tiny piece of bluetack which can be smeared over the camera for privacy but can be cleanly smeared to one side when the camera is needed by me (as distinct from the various interested enterprises or governments keen to find out what I, secret agent X, am up to)

    1. Martin Maloney

      Re: Bluetack

      "...a tiny piece of bluetack which can be smeared over the camera for privacy..."

      That will be prohibited by law. The charge will be "tampering," probably a felony.

  19. Martin Maloney
    Thumb Down

    The total surveillance society

    The reason that CCTV cameras are ubiquitous is that "the authorities" are paranoid. They don't like us, they don't trust us, and they feel the need to watch us continuously.

    And now they want to install always-on cameras (and microphones) in our cars.

    For those who favor this abomination, please consider that if you can access the camera in your car from your smartphone, then the authorities can use their own spy kit to do the same.

    Moreover, with their spy kit, they will be able to access the navigation controls. They will be able to force your car to the side of the road -- or into a brick building at high speed.

  20. regadpellagru

    There is however a good use for this

    "And if you happen to reach for the navigation console while the car is in motion," Davis notes, "Mobii will gently remind you that's a bad idea, requiring you to speak your destination instead."

    Who would buy this for being bugged by a defective program, surely hardcoded not to be able to be de-activated like those numerous bipping systems warning you've not your belt on.

    Not me !

    There is however a single legit use: driver asleep detection. Will save your life if triggered, and the techno already works. It's not rocket science by the way, only a matter of closed eyes detection + timer ...

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