IBM has applied for a patent that covers “a method for managing engines in response to a traffic signal”.
According to the patent the big idea is that if you are driving through traffic in 2025 and approach a traffic light, IBM hopes it will be able to take control of your car and it will not be able to go again until it says so.
Apparently IBM sees a future in which cars can be remotely controlled by traffic lights and your government will decide how you drive.
The patent application claims the technology is all in the name of “fuel consumption efficiency”.
According to the application abstract the technology is all about “establishing communications with participating vehicles”, “sending a stop-engine notification to the list of participating vehicles”, and “calculating an optimal time for an engine of a second vehicle in the queue to start”.
It is all legal too. In 2008, it became mandatory for all American cars to be fitted with CAN (Controller Area Network), a standard protocol for enabling all the car’s electronics to talk to each other so the technology is more or less there.
So it will be fairly soon that your car will tell you “I am sorry Dave, I can’t do that” when you have been sitting at a red light for half an hour at 3AM.