Most of us have heard about the P2P filesharing network BitTorrent, so when we present the term CarTorrent, you probably already grasp the concept. A UCLA project with big partners like BMW and Toyota, cars communicate through 5.9GHz wireless LAN over ranges of 100-300 meters. During its first implementation—currently project for 2012—the system will communicate navigation info (road/traffic conditions), various media (ads and attractions) and surveillance (data from car cameras, etc for police to comb through later).

The system will run an (optional) $500 premium when it's unrolled, and obviously, such a system can only be as good as its network. Eventually, CarTorrent could be a whole lot more that a way to share small amounts of information—it could be a way for cars to communicate in times of crisis, allowing car computers to sync in split-second decision territory where individual drives could fail.


Of course, many of us realize what CarTorrent really is: a means for cars to eventually assemble into a giant Megatron and destroy all of mankind (pending oil prices stay in check). [guardianunlimited via digg][image: gettyimages]