The Finch Formerly Known As Gold

14 March 2007

Hang up and drive, dammit

There have been, I admit, times when I gazed longingly at another driver out here in the Teeming Milieu, but no way am I going to mess with this:

Delta Meridian Inc announced today it is now beta testing its new network called SameLane which enables riders in vehicles on any roadway to make social cell phone calls to riders in other vehicles by simply calling a premium charge phone line and entering the license plate of the vehicle in view they wish to contact.

A unique feature of the SameLane system is its ability to connect cell phone calls between vehicle riders without either party knowing the other's cell phone number. In a social call environment on any roadway vehicle riders will now be able to chat to each other, much the same way they might do while sitting on a plane to pass the time of day, without having to reveal each otherís identity unless they choose to do so in conversation.

Then again, unless you're the pilot, sitting on a plane doesn't require the level of concentration demanded of a driver.

I suppose this might work if you're stuck on an L.A. freeway for the better part of an afternoon, but here in the Okay City, where Mayor Cornett once bragged that it was possible to get a speeding ticket during rush hour, this is a Bad Idea.

(Via Lachlan, who doesn't like it either.)

Posted at 8:32 AM to Driver's Seat

Guess I'll just have to get an unlisted license plate number.

Posted by: McGehee at 8:46 AM on 14 March 2007

Besides, the most likely reason I'm going to have to talk to another driver is to tell them to back the @#$!! off, or to learn how to @#$!ing drive.

And that's not social -- that's public safety business.

Posted by: McGehee at 8:48 AM on 14 March 2007

Somehow this concept was less obnoxious when it was called "CB radio."

Posted by: Andrea Harris at 6:43 PM on 14 March 2007

And, I suspect, no more safe.

Posted by: CGHill at 7:33 PM on 14 March 2007

The question which needs to be asked is - why do so many people, who are typically well mannered, turn into monsters in their cars? We believe that a contributing factor to this anti-social behavior is that once behind the wheel drivers are caged in walls of glass and steel and have no way of communicating with other drivers. This inability to communicate with the driver a of vehicle less than 100 feet away frequently means that drivers in two vehicles may have to second guess what moves the other driver intends to make and this lack of communication leads to frustration, anger and in some cases road rage. SameLane however is a new network which promotes privacy protected vehicle to vehicle communications and this improved communications between vehicles will, we believe, ultimately lead to a reduction in driver stress and anger and generally make the roadways a safer place to drive. Above all, SameLane is a network for people who wish to be sociable on the roadways of this country.

SameLane a service provided by Delta Meridian Inc

Posted by: Vince Waterson at 9:02 PM on 15 March 2007

I can assure you, sir, that were I able to speak to the dolt who dropped to 20 mph on a freeway onramp in front of me this afternoon, she would not particularly appreciate the sentiments. Being able to talk to idiots does not, as a general rule, make them less idiotic.

I don't second-guess bad drivers; I put as much distance between them and me as the laws of physics and the laws of traffic — in that order — permit.

Posted by: CGHill at 9:11 PM on 15 March 2007