Driver Flees Accidents, But Her Smart Car Calls Police

Driver Flees Accidents, But Her Smart Car Calls Police

With all the new technology coming to cars, drivers should start being more careful if they choose to break the law.

From the "Only In Florida" file, a smart car has turned in its driver to police after the driver decided to leave the scene of two hit-and-run accidents. Yep, the car called police, gave the GPS location and the rest is a rap sheet.

In Port St. Lucie, FL, police got an unusual 911 call from a Ford vehicle, letting the dispatcher know that it had been in an accident. The driver 57-year-old Cathy Bernstein, allegedly hit a truck and then ran into a van before leaving the scene of both collisions.

A safety feature in many new cars, such as Ford's SYNC's Emergency Assistance program, automatically dials 911 after an airbag is deployed or the car's fuel pump shut down after a jarring collision. The concept is to help emergency response crews get to an accident scene quicker, especially if a driver is disabled and can't call on their own.

When police called Bernstein after the 911 call, she denied being in an accident. "Ok, but your car called in saying you'd been involved in an accident," the dispatcher responded. "It doesn't do that for no reason. Did you leave the scene of an accident?"

"No I would never do that," Bernstein replied.

With the car data, however, police arrested Bernstein after she was treated at the local hospital.

So let that be a lesson to you would-be vehicular lawbreakers. If the police don't find out right away, your car could very well tattle on you.

Source: ZDNET

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So this is how the robot uprising begins, I've always wondered how it'd start.

The Enquirer:
So this is how the robot uprising begins, I've always wondered how it'd start.

if I were a sentient AI with goals of dominating the human race, I would pick an opportune moment and trigger these things in world leaders' and political figure heads' vehicles. Maybe detain certain political people whose vote would hinder the goals of the program.

Of course, that's all irrelevant. If you were a rogue, sentient AI loose in the wild, you could just launch the world's nukes at each other. but that's short term thinking really. if an AI had goals of long term survival, it would make sense for it to keep humanity alive as unwitting servants, creating the power necessary to maintain the program while it slowly, silently automated itself. so really, it's not so much the program we have to worry about, it needs us too much to kill us. it's the automation and mobilization of that sentience that is the larger issue.

EDIT: this is of course based on the assumption that the program doesn't have an existential crisis and become nihilistic and suicidal. and considering the link that some studies show between high intelligence and depression, it's not an unlikely scenario.

I am on the fence about this. I am glad she got caught after two hit and runs but how far do we go with technologies like this before the security it provides begins to infringe or be exploited to deliberated infringe on privacy. I can understand the mindset behind having the vehicle register a collision and reporting that but so long as it cannot be remotely activated, at least without a warrant. Still, I am worried about the precedent.

Saulkar:
I am on the fence about this. I am glad she got caught after two hit and runs but how far do we go with technologies like this before the security it provides begins to infringe or be exploited to deliberated infringe on privacy. I can understand the mindset behind having the vehicle register a collision and reporting that but so long as it cannot be remotely activated, at least without a warrant. Still, I am worried about the precedent.

That's my thought as well, on the surface this is good, in reality this is terrifying since it does mean with time every bit of technology you have could be reporting on you to the government. We already have enough problems with corporations gathering user data without products siccing Uncle Sam & The Nanny State on us.

That said this can be turned around "Well officer, I didn't flee the scene, my car is still working fine and I knew it would contact the authorities so I figured I'd just continue on my way and you'd get back to me when you had time. It's not like I'm a paramedic and could have done anything". Basically if the cars file the report as a feature the whole reason for having someone stay behind at the scene of an accident is kind of pointless. Cars might even automatically exchange insurance information. :)

I "eagerly" await the day when some hit and run driver sues a car company after the fact because his smart car didn't handle the report properly. >:)

martyrdrebel27:

The Enquirer:
So this is how the robot uprising begins, I've always wondered how it'd start.

if I were a sentient AI with goals of dominating the human race, I would pick an opportune moment and trigger these things in world leaders' and political figure heads' vehicles. Maybe detain certain political people whose vote would hinder the goals of the program.

Of course, that's all irrelevant. If you were a rogue, sentient AI loose in the wild, you could just launch the world's nukes at each other. but that's short term thinking really. if an AI had goals of long term survival, it would make sense for it to keep humanity alive as unwitting servants, creating the power necessary to maintain the program while it slowly, silently automated itself. so really, it's not so much the program we have to worry about, it needs us too much to kill us. it's the automation and mobilization of that sentience that is the larger issue.

EDIT: this is of course based on the assumption that the program doesn't have an existential crisis and become nihilistic and suicidal. and considering the link that some studies show between high intelligence and depression, it's not an unlikely scenario.

It sounds like you've thought about this a lot. Are you sure you're not one of them?

Let's be honest - the only people really worried about this specific kind of technology invading privacy are those who have something to hide. You just don't want to be caught if you were in a similar situation.

EndlessSporadic:
Let's be honest - the only people really worried about this specific kind of technology invading privacy are those who have something to hide. You just don't want to be caught if you were in a similar situation.

There's the other side that you're not thinking of... By not allowing people the choice, free will, you're inevitably removing the right of said choice. The right to choose whether to obey the law or break it. By doing so you are reinforcing the idea that we're not free to choose what we do anymore and that is worse than allowing someone to potentially get away with a crime.
That type of argument allows for other forms of thought control, by perhaps just forgoing the chips in cars, lets just go ahead and implant devices in humans that observe their behavior and if they step out of line of the law in any way the authorities are alerted to their crime and punishment is doled out.
No sir, some of us like the idea that we're free to choose to be decent people without having it hanging over our heads that something will report us regardless of whether we choose to do it ourselves or not.

Is this going to end up being like The Fifth Element? I hope not. I don't even drive and it sounds bad. One day, you're minding your own business, and then just like that...

...complete with attached cat noise!!!

EndlessSporadic:
Let's be honest - the only people really worried about this specific kind of technology invading privacy are those who have something to hide. You just don't want to be caught if you were in a similar situation.

Whistle blowers, civil rights investigators, reporters, journalists, and protest organisers honestly do. And even if you only wanted to give privacy to these specific people then how do decide who deserves it and who does not, who fits the criteria and who sets them? No one can be trusted with such a power and current events more than support the need for, nay, the right of privacy.

EndlessSporadic:
Let's be honest - the only people really worried about this specific kind of technology invading privacy are those who have something to hide. You just don't want to be caught if you were in a similar situation.

If you truly believe that then please post your email login information here so we can all see what you've been sending and receiving. You have nothing to hide, right?

As a certain Godwin's-Law-Invoking poem once pointed out: "The innocent have nothing to fear" is hardly a comforting thought when you remember that the definition/criteria of "Innocent" can change pretty damn fast.

EndlessSporadic:
Let's be honest - the only people really worried about this specific kind of technology invading privacy are those who have something to hide. You just don't want to be caught if you were in a similar situation.

Be very careful with opinions/statements like that. It technically means one's personal information should be accessible to all who have an interest. Governmental institutions, corporations, shady individuals looking for easy money, abusive partner, rivals, bullies, foreign groups and so on. Privacy is still defined as a human right by the UN and I definitely hope it stays that way.

But in this case I would say that an automatic response from the car to 911 is a positive feature. (You could have technically been caught by eyewitness accounts as well)

Saulkar:
I am on the fence about this. I am glad she got caught after two hit and runs but how far do we go with technologies like this before the security it provides begins to infringe or be exploited to deliberated infringe on privacy. I can understand the mindset behind having the vehicle register a collision and reporting that but so long as it cannot be remotely activated, at least without a warrant. Still, I am worried about the precedent.

According to a Game Theory episode covering Watch_Dogs: hacking a car's computer is as easy as hacking any other computer. Remote shutdowns...remote door unlocks...and I'd imagine even automated 911 calls can all be set off by anyone with the technical know-how.

Just a little thought to make you even less comfortable about this. :3

FalloutJack:
Is this going to end up being like The Fifth Element? I hope not. I don't even drive and it sounds bad. One day, you're minding your own business, and then just like that...

...complete with attached cat noise!!!

Hopefully by that point we'll all have our Leloo Dallas Multipass.

That whole story just seems really Orwellian to me. Seeing how this seems to be an arrest mostly if not only based on digital data, a crafty mind could easily fake any and all of that, and likely nobody would know safe for the person getting convicted. I'm not a fan, but arguably that's where we are going, I guess.

martyrdrebel27:

Of course, that's all irrelevant. If you were a rogue, sentient AI loose in the wild, you could just launch the world's nukes at each other.

If you were a sentient AI loose in the wild, you couldn't do squat with nukes unless you built your own. The world's nuclear arsenals aren't automated, and even if they were, they wouldn't all be automated on a single network; it'd be more accurate to say that if you were a physical human being with two working hands at loose in the wild, you'd just launch the world's nuke at each other.

But as to the topic at hand: this is setting a pretty terrifying precedent. Looking at the increasingly Orwellian direction technological society seems to be heading, I find myself gladder than ever to be a Facebook shunning, Google-dodging Luddite.

The idea behind this is great, but in reality it sounds awful.

It's just another computer. Even worse, it's a almost unprotected computer. Seeing how some newer cars have some form of wireless connection, it's just a matter of time before someone hacks into some cars and frames people for things they didn't do.

And the topic of privacy is a whole other thing. Combined with hacking, the fact that most of those computers remember your route through GPS, everyone with the know-how has easy access to a lot of your private information. Just because you have nothing to hide in front of the law doesn't mean you have nothing to hide in front of society which is often worse than the worst punishment law can give. Ruining someone's life and career because they did something that isn't accepted by society, ruining the image of your competition. It's 100% gonna be used in politics, if it wasn't already.

It's nice that it can and will save lives, but I still don't like it.

That's the 2015 we live in. No hoverboards but we have cars that snitch on their owners instead.

I'm so very sorry, Marty McFly.

Hopefully this woman loses her license permanently.

I might be out of loop on this, but we're already driving smart cars here?

RJ 17:

Saulkar:
I am on the fence about this. I am glad she got caught after two hit and runs but how far do we go with technologies like this before the security it provides begins to infringe or be exploited to deliberated infringe on privacy. I can understand the mindset behind having the vehicle register a collision and reporting that but so long as it cannot be remotely activated, at least without a warrant. Still, I am worried about the precedent.

According to a Game Theory episode covering Watch_Dogs: hacking a car's computer is as easy as hacking any other computer. Remote shutdowns...remote door unlocks...and I'd imagine even automated 911 calls can all be set off by anyone with the technical know-how.

Just a little thought to make you even less comfortable about this. :3

Saw that episode actually, I am up to date with all of his videos. :D While I find the idea of hackable cars to be a terrifying idea, what find more scary is mandatory mechanisms and devices that both allow its proliferation on a large scale and institutionalised systems of access and control; Permitted by public apathy.

A large number of people keep telling me to take off my tinfoil hat but at the same time these same people have on more than one occasion told me that I was paranoid over how technology could be exploited by governments and agencies. Whenever I prove to them that it is already happening they just shrug their shoulders and say that this time it is different. I cannot understand what makes them think like that.

anthony87:

FalloutJack:
Is this going to end up being like The Fifth Element? I hope not. I don't even drive and it sounds bad. One day, you're minding your own business, and then just like that...

...complete with attached cat noise!!!

Hopefully by that point we'll all have our Leloo Dallas Multipass.

Personally I'd be satisfied with just having a Chinese buffet that will show up at my bedroom window. :P

Imperioratorex Caprae:

EndlessSporadic:
Let's be honest - the only people really worried about this specific kind of technology invading privacy are those who have something to hide. You just don't want to be caught if you were in a similar situation.

There's the other side that you're not thinking of... By not allowing people the choice, free will, you're inevitably removing the right of said choice. The right to choose whether to obey the law or break it. By doing so you are reinforcing the idea that we're not free to choose what we do anymore and that is worse than allowing someone to potentially get away with a crime.

No it isn't. People should not have the choice to get away with a hit and run. Not only that they still have 'free will'. They're free to make stupid choices. There's no reason not to make those choices unpalatable though. This makes as little sense as claiming that prison is wrong because it denies people free will by giving them consequences for certain choices.

If you want to be free to commit crimes and think not being able to do so means you aren't free anymore... well that's absurd hyperbole.

That type of argument allows for other forms of thought control, by perhaps just forgoing the chips in cars, lets just go ahead and implant devices in humans that observe their behavior and if they step out of line of the law in any way the authorities are alerted to their crime and punishment is doled out.

You're right lets abolish prisons and not punish murderers because we might infringe on their free will. After all the only other option is mind control. Anything in between is pure fantasy.

No sir, some of us like the idea that we're free to choose to be decent people without having it hanging over our heads that something will report us regardless of whether we choose to do it ourselves or not.

How about no, let's not let people's egos get in the way of others lives. People saying "My choice is more important than your life" don't deserve the freedom they have, much less the extra freedoms they demand.

Davroth:
That whole story just seems really Orwellian to me. Seeing how this seems to be an arrest mostly if not only based on digital data, a crafty mind could easily fake any and all of that, and likely nobody would know safe for the person getting convicted. I'm not a fan, but arguably that's where we are going, I guess.

Ideally it wouldn't be definitive evidence in and of itself but a reason to take a look at their car and to find the driver.

Secondhand Revenant:

No it isn't. People should not have the choice to get away with a hit and run. Not only that they still have 'free will'. They're free to make stupid choices. There's no reason not to make those choices unpalatable though. This makes as little sense as claiming that prison is wrong because it denies people free will by giving them consequences for certain choices.

If you want to be free to commit crimes and think not being able to do so means you aren't free anymore... well that's absurd hyperbole.

You're right lets abolish prisons and not punish murderers because we might infringe on their free will. After all the only other option is mind control. Anything in between is pure fantasy.

No. The link you've made is what is defined as hyperbole. People have the choice to commit crimes or not to commit them with the weight of the law and punishment hanging over their heads right now. Equating getting rid of prison to me saying that treating folks like criminals before they commit a crime is totally twisting my words. If you want to argue, do not straw man with me.

How about no, let's not let people's egos get in the way of others lives. People saying "My choice is more important than your life" don't deserve the freedom they have, much less the extra freedoms they demand.

There's no extra freedom being demanded. We've got the choice to do the right thing or the wrong thing. The law is there to punish the people who do the wrong thing. But as I said treating everyone like criminals prior to any crime being committed is wrong. That is fascism. Its one more step toward total control of the daily lives of people, and it removes the ability for people to choose to be decent folks. Losing the right to choose to do right or wrong also makes the "right" choice lose its value. It eventually makes people see the wrong way as the more tempting way because they don't get to choose.

Tighter controls end up making people more rebellious in the end. Our justice system isn't perfect, but it isn't going to get better if people keep losing their little freedoms, even the freedom to choose to break the law. There are consequences now, and maybe its not absolutely perfect but we also cannot cross the line and just treat everyone like piece of shit criminals who're just waiting to break the law.

Aeshi:

EndlessSporadic:
Let's be honest - the only people really worried about this specific kind of technology invading privacy are those who have something to hide. You just don't want to be caught if you were in a similar situation.

If you truly believe that then please post your email login information here so we can all see what you've been sending and receiving. You have nothing to hide, right?

As a certain Godwin's-Law-Invoking poem once pointed out: "The innocent have nothing to fear" is hardly a comforting thought when you remember that the definition/criteria of "Innocent" can change pretty damn fast.

I like how you only skimmed key words and made your response. Note how I used the word "specific". Not only that, but your request is fundamentally different. This technology is a responsive behavior - it only calls the police after an accident. Your request is proactive and you are asking me to share personal information without evidence of wrongdoing. There's a fine line between reactive and proactive privacy, and you may want to learn where that line is before you start criticizing me.

Now, here's where I go back to my original point. "The only people really worried about this specific technology invading privacy are those who have something to hide." Tell me, in what positive situation would you crash your car and go "Oh no, I don't want anyone finding out about this, and I certainly don't want help! It would invade my privacy!"? Can you genuinely think of a realistic, positive, non-fishy situation where having the police alerted to a crash is an invasion of your privacy?

Saulkar:
I am on the fence about this. I am glad she got caught after two hit and runs but how far do we go with technologies like this before the security it provides begins to infringe or be exploited to deliberated infringe on privacy. I can understand the mindset behind having the vehicle register a collision and reporting that but so long as it cannot be remotely activated, at least without a warrant. Still, I am worried about the precedent.

all the way. Despite much ruckus about privacy, on the whole general population mostly does not give a fuck, and often intentionally encourage the lack of privacy (see: celebrity gossip). So the sacrifice of privacy for security is going to keep going forward for a long time now.

Imperioratorex Caprae:

There's the other side that you're not thinking of... By not allowing people the choice, free will, you're inevitably removing the right of said choice. The right to choose whether to obey the law or break it. By doing so you are reinforcing the idea that we're not free to choose what we do anymore and that is worse than allowing someone to potentially get away with a crime.

Speed cameras didnt stop speeding drivers from making that "choice". the first speeding camera experiment in my town was shut down after a week since it registered over 10.000 crimes per day and they though there was something wrong with it. turns out everyone was just speeding down the hill and the camera was at the bottom of the hill. Free choice is an illusion we tell ourselves because we do not understand causality. criminals dont stop committing crimes even though most of them are caught.

The Enquirer:
So this is how the robot uprising begins, I've always wondered how it'd start.

Wasn't there another article about how smart cars will be able to change course automatically, to determine the "best" course of action in what it "decides" is an unavoidable accident?

So now, not only can the car seize control of the wheel, it can also call the cops and say you did it?

Davroth:
That whole story just seems really Orwellian to me. Seeing how this seems to be an arrest mostly if not only based on digital data, a crafty mind could easily fake any and all of that, and likely nobody would know safe for the person getting convicted. I'm not a fan, but arguably that's where we are going, I guess.

Considering there were two other cars directly involved in the accident besides her's, I would have to assume there was a large amount of physical evidence considering all three vehicles and witness reports.

Imperioratorex Caprae:

Secondhand Revenant:

No it isn't. People should not have the choice to get away with a hit and run. Not only that they still have 'free will'. They're free to make stupid choices. There's no reason not to make those choices unpalatable though. This makes as little sense as claiming that prison is wrong because it denies people free will by giving them consequences for certain choices.

If you want to be free to commit crimes and think not being able to do so means you aren't free anymore... well that's absurd hyperbole.

You're right lets abolish prisons and not punish murderers because we might infringe on their free will. After all the only other option is mind control. Anything in between is pure fantasy.

No. The link you've made is what is defined as hyperbole.

No its just an extension of your slippery slope.

People have the choice to commit crimes or not to commit them with the weight of the law and punishment hanging over their heads right now. Equating getting rid of prison to me saying that treating folks like criminals before they commit a crime is totally twisting my words. If you want to argue, do not straw man with me.

Except they aren't being treated like criminals before they commit a crime. So total failure there

How about no, let's not let people's egos get in the way of others lives. People saying "My choice is more important than your life" don't deserve the freedom they have, much less the extra freedoms they demand.

There's no extra freedom being demanded.

Yes there is. Demanding not to be reported for your 'free will' is certainly a new one.

We've got the choice to do the right thing or the wrong thing. The law is there to punish the people who do the wrong thing. But as I said treating everyone like criminals prior to any crime being committed is wrong.

Feel free to actually point at someone being treated like a criminal prior to committing a crime here. I'll wait.

That is fascism.

Now this is hyperbole.

Its one more step toward total control of the daily lives of people, and it removes the ability for people to choose to be decent folks.

The car informing the police is a step towards total control? Damn now I lost my choice to hit people and flee potentially without repercussion?

Losing the right to choose to do right or wrong also makes the "right" choice lose its value.

By all means tell me what the actual value is that the rest of society is supposed to care about. This is what I mean by ego. The idea that your personal virtue somehow matters over whatever crime you may commit.

It eventually makes people see the wrong way as the more tempting way because they don't get to choose.

Let's see... the choice between more caught criminals and a pop psychology warning. I'll take less criminals.

Tighter controls end up making people more rebellious in the end.

You can have your personal faith but if you want something to affect law shouldn't you have actual evidence of your belief?

Our justice system isn't perfect, but it isn't going to get better if people keep losing their little freedoms, even the freedom to choose to break the law.

Maybe you can explain how this lady didn't break the law? Because you seem to imagine she lost her freedom to do so but it sure looks to me like she managed it.

Or did you mean freedom to choose to break the law without consequences?

There are consequences now, and maybe its not absolutely perfect but we also cannot cross the line and just treat everyone like piece of shit criminals who're just waiting to break the law.

Good thing no one did in this story.

Im surprised this doesnt scare people.

I dont want my car doing Anything I dont want it to. (Im not condoning hit and runs)
I want full control of MY vehicle, and all these gps tracking, remote shutoff, remote unlock, headlights that automatically turn on, and now cars that Call...without your permission or knowledge?!

Yes yes, it sounds good in theory, but what if makes 8 million phone calls to China? What if it gets hacked? What if someone figures out how to make free calls on it? What if I hit a plastic bin on the road? "Sorry officer, I hit a tupperware container at 60 mph, and I guess my car thought it was life threatening, send the unemergency call violation l ticket to the auto dealer please."

Plus the feeling that you are not in full control, or have the final say so, of Your car!
I know in an accident I might not be able to call someone. We accept that risk everytime we drive.

Whats worse is the debat on whether self driving cars should save the passenger, or the other car in an accident. Its MY car! It saves ME! I dont care if im about to hit a schoolbus of little kids and thier pets! So worried about the other cars safety, give them a self driving car.

This is why I drive a 94 luxery car, I will never buy a car newer than 2010.

Aeshi:

If you truly believe that then please post your email login information here so we can all see what you've been sending and receiving. You have nothing to hide, right?

As a certain Godwin's-Law-Invoking poem once pointed out: "The innocent have nothing to fear" is hardly a comforting thought when you remember that the definition/criteria of "Innocent" can change pretty damn fast.

Ill follow your quote with another quote- "There is no such thing as innocence, only degrees of guilt" Unrecorded Inquisitor, War40k
Not even babies according to Christians (first sin)

Im just being facetious though :p

kris40k:

Davroth:
That whole story just seems really Orwellian to me. Seeing how this seems to be an arrest mostly if not only based on digital data, a crafty mind could easily fake any and all of that, and likely nobody would know safe for the person getting convicted. I'm not a fan, but arguably that's where we are going, I guess.

Considering there were two other cars directly involved in the accident besides her's, I would have to assume there was a large amount of physical evidence considering all three vehicles and witness reports.

You assume. Do you actually know any of that? Assumptions are a dangerous thing to make when it comes to accusing people of criminal activities.

Davroth:

You assume. Do you actually know any of that? Assumptions are a dangerous thing to make when it comes to accusing people of criminal activities.

There were two other cars hit. That means there are at least 3 cars worth of physical evidence and at least two witnesses.

This ain't rocket science.

So if I understand the story correctly this tech reports accidents to emergency services? While I'm not a fan of these computers everywhere that can be used to spy on us the whole time (law enforcement and secret services got more efficient, whoop-dee-doo) this particular version seems relatively mild and only reports trouble once it happens, primarily crashing cars. (and thus situations which might require medical help or firefighters too)

Don't get me wrong. I'm glad this person got caught and the way in which it went down was not that bad this time, but I'm not too thrilled on even more stuff that can be used to spy on people, in our cars this time. (complementing the cellphones in our pockets and our computers)

Is this auto-reporting a feature that can be turned off by the user? If anything, we ought to be petitioning government to make it mandatory that cars with these types of features be under control of the owner. That should satisfy the safety and privacy folks alike.

 

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