P2P? How About Car-to-Car?

Become your own radio station, broadcasting your music while you roll down the highway.

It may seem like science fiction, but five graduates of Carnegie Mellon's Masters in Human–Computer Interaction program have developed a new technology that lets drivers broadcast their own radio stations as they hum down the highway. They call it "roadcasting."

"The basic idea is that every car on the highway can be its own radio station," says Jim Garretson, who co-developed the new technology.

The prototype system currently works over a WiFi-enabled laptop, but eventually the broadcast signal could be picked up and played through your car's stereo, just like a regular radio station.

"We don't see it as a new way of disseminating information; it's mainly a consumer-level entertainment system," he says.

Sounds nice, but not exactly practical. The team will have to overcome a number of roadblocks before an actual product could be produced—including the development of a mobile wireless technology with enough range to make roadcasting useful.

And the team still has to suss out the legal issues around broadcasting copyrighted music. The work is being commissioned by the R&D arm of a major automaker, and Garretson thinks a service such as this could exist by 2010.

This article was originally published on 07-05-2005
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