GM’s data mining is just the beginning of the in-car advertising blitz

It wasn’t until The Detroit Free Press reported on General Motors’ radio-tracking program — which monitored the listening habits of 90,000 drivers in the Los Angeles and Chicago areas for three months in late 2017 — that it became clear that the future of targeted advertising in cars is… well, it’s practically already here. GM captured minuted details such as station selection, volume level, and ZIP codes of vehicle owners, and then used the car’s built-in Wi-Fi signal to upload the data to its servers. The goal was to determine the relationship between what drivers listen to and what they buy and then turn around and sell the data to advertisers and radio operators. And it got really specific: GM tracked a driver listening to country music who stopped at a Tim Horton’s restaurant. (No data on that donut order, though.)

Pasadena, CA’s controversial Orange Grove Boulevard ‘road diet’ is off

Pasadena is quitting its plan to put Orange Grove Boulevard on a so-called “road diet.” The plan would have converted a 1.8-mile stretch between Allen and Sierra Madre Villa avenuesfrom its current four-lane, vehicle-oriented layout to a “complete street” — removing two lanes to slow vehicle traffic to more equitably consider the safety and movement of pedestrians, bicyclists and motor vehicles. It also called for enhancing crosswalks and adding a bike lane. The City Council on Monday voted unanimously to ax the plan in a victory for the 500 residents who formed a group they call Keep Pasadena Moving to fight the project and a loss for groups like Pasadena Complete Streets Coalition. A lack of consensus driven by the vocal pushback from Keep Pasadena Moving were among the reasons elected officials decided to end the plan.

Gag Order For Corruption Tainted Bus Camera Operator Legal Challenge

Texas Appeals Court issues gag order shielding legal challenge of troubled bus camera company from public scrutiny. The issues in the case are of public concern because the deals struck behind closed doors concerning BusPatrol’s camera systems have to date resulted in four felony convictions on public corruption charges. Force Multiplier Solutions, which later rebranded itself as BusPatrol, was caught delivering $3 million in bribes to Dallas County School officials as well as Dallas politicians.

Editorial: Is Autonomous Car Data Subject to Copyright?

Recently, the European Parliament’s Committee on Legal Affairs voted down an amendment that would have made it impossible to make telemetric data from an autonomous vehicle subject to copyright. This has outraged media and certain users. But is there an actual reason for being that alarmed?

VW’s next matrix lights could project information onto the road

Not content for them to simply illuminate, Volkswagen is experimenting with ways of using head- and taillights to project information onto the road around a car. The automaker said in a news release today that it’s working on new lightings systems that would use a cluster of 30,000 tiny elements within a light housing to be able to communicate with other drivers. As an example of the technology, Volkswagen says it’s working on headlights with a feature called Optical Lane Assist. The lights would project lines onto the roadway that indicate the vehicle’s width, helping a driver keep his or her vehicle within the lane. The system could also project the width of a trailer being towed, useful for avoiding clipping fixed objects.