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Emergency Alert System for Cell Phones and Instant Messaging Printer Friendly Version
Just recently my father's van was stolen from our driveway; with over 5,000 dollars of tools inside. We did report it to the police, but living among the millions of people who also live in Denver, and the fact that it has been four days, my dad considers it a tragic loss.
Lojack would have been a great but now it's to late.
I am proposing a simple cell phone system that would benefit tragic loss, missing persons, advance weather warning, and everything you need to know right at your fingertips. With the advent of cell phones that can display pictures, "and video" people could buy into a system that gives you alerts to your specific area. Kinda like the new "MSN direct watch" (see http://www.msn.com).
Let's say your local bank was robbed and the bank got a good picture of the thief. The bank in conjection with news, and police, would use your phone to alert you to this. If your car was stolen, give the police a picture and within minutes everyone with a picture phone are scanning the highways and byways for a certain vehicle. Just got hijacked? Take a quick picture of the suspect! Or your car driving away. If you can.
What about the innocent? Let the police handle that. And if you'r edoing anything wrong, you deserve to have your face pasted up for the public to see.
It would be like a reverse 911 for cell phones. "Calling ALL cars" suspect on the lose at fifth and main!
Reward: A cool picture phone, and the service, of course. 

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 United Kingdom
Automatic pothole reporting Printer Friendly Version
These days high end cars have GPS, dashcams/reversing cameras and SIM cards (cellular connectivity). (In the UK at least) there are websites where you can report pothole locations, so that the authorities can direct their road repair teams.
Now, with nothing more than a sensor on the car's suspension and some control module, the car should be able to detect when it hits a pothole. When this happens, the GPS location is noted, a suitable still frame from the dashcam or reversing camera video feed is retrieved, this gets overlaid with a mark indicating where the pothole should be seen (calculated from the camera angle, car speed, distance traveled and steering angle). Also, the car's compass bearing is recorded. All of this gets submitted to the appropriate pothole reporting website.
Perhaps, to avoid overwhelming the local authority's websites, each motor manufacturer should collate the reports, and only submit to the website when a certain number of hits are reported.
While this has merit in all vehicles, it may be more desirable in self-driving cars where the driver is less likely to pay attention to the exact location of the pothole.
Reward: As this idea is unlikely to make money for motor manufacturers, it would be somewhat cheeky to ask for the first car fitted with such a system. So, just be generous! 

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Automatically control speed limits Printer Friendly Version
Have something put on every city block that emits a signal that tells the car what speed it can go up to in that area. Also have all the cars in the U.S equipped with a "receiver" and some kind of a governor that adjusts according to the signal received. To make sure the chip in the car isn’t messed with you could have them checked every time you get your emissions checked. Also make sure the emitters installed on every street checked and also have them pick up the cars that don’t have a chip installed and report them.

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