‘Roadcasting’ coming to or from a vehicle near you?

“Stuck in traffic and sick of Howard Stern, you may soon be able to tune in to the music collection of the person in the car in front of you. Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University are developing an ad hoc networking system for cars that would allow any driver to broadcast music to any other vehicle within a 30-mile radius,” Daniel Terdiman reports for Wired News.

“Developed by a group of current and former master’s students at the Human Computer Interaction Institute, the Roadcasting project would allow drivers to stream their MP3 music collections by Wi-Fi or similar technology to any other vehicle within range that is equipped with compatible hardware and software,” Terdiman reports. “The system — still largely theoretical — will also feature a collaborative-filtering mechanism that compares music in a recipients’ collection to that of the broadcaster. The filter will pump out a mix of songs matching the listener’s tastes. ‘What’s really cool about this is that while you’re busy (driving), Roadcasting will just pick songs that you enjoy,’ said Mathilde Pignol, one of the Roadcasting developers, ‘and then it will let you influence the songs with your music taste without you having to do anything.'”

According to Terdiman, “Roadcasting” has been commissioned by a “major automaker” in search of applications to make use of mobile ad hoc networks to be included in production cars in the next few years.

More details about 802.11p technology, a Wi-Fi variant designed for vehicles, and other information in the full article here.


  1. isnt it a little late? Upload all your podcasts from iTunes at work, then plug it in your car and listen to ‘Waynes World for Radio’…

    You may never listen to the ‘real’ radio again

  2. just what we all want is to listen to someone else fast forward and pause and skip through their music.

    Better yet, the following scenario.

    “Sorry officer I didnt mean to run that red light. The person ahead of me was playing a really good song and I wanted to hear it”

    No thanks, Ill buy my own iPod

  3. Interesting. I guess it’s the opposite of the (across the country) satellite radio… I wonder if there will be an issue transmitting commercial songs like that. Can I charge advertisers to commercials in between my tracks.

    Reminds me of long road trips with a CB Radio where a truck driver decides to share his music with everybody and key’s his mic. You could scan the CB freqs and listen to other peoples’ favorite music all night. The only difference – the filtering by Roadcasting. Very similar.

    I think I’ll start working on my P2P software for 802.11p. You can queue a list of songs you want and get them as you travel around on your local mobile-wireless network.

    Roadcasting Tech Analysis:

    Let’s see if two cars are approaching each other traveling at a rate of 60mph (keep the math easy) and the radio has a range of 30 miles… Once we come into range, I’d get the 15 miles of approach and the 15 miles after I passed them (30 miles). That should mean I could listen to someone’s approaching iPod for 30 minutes on the interstate. Now, on the 5 in San Diego, California @ 80mph I’d get 22 minutes of coverage. I travel opposite of the traffic. In my hour and 1/2 daily commute I’d fade in and out of, at a minimum, 4 iPods.

    Not only that, Roadcasting.org states it’ll find the music you like. So if someone then plays a song I don’t like, does it switch to a nearby iPod playing a song I like which is most likely in the middle of that song? By my guess, I’d catch every song in the middle.

    I’ll stick to XM, CD and my own iPod.

    Great idea, needs some work though.

    A reply to myself – If you don’t like it, don’t use it.

  4. my friends and I do this on road trips now, air play can do it and a few of the other wireless ones can to, granted you can only be about 30ft away, but if they tune in to the same station, you are the dj.much further and I definately think you would run into serious ligalities.

  5. Lisa___

    Oh yeah, the iPod has been around forever. They only just decide to release it to the public 5 years ago. Nah just joking. I think its a Final Cut Pro add on. Or some such video editing suite.

  6. I’m already doing this with my Airplay. Was really funny when some friends of mine who happen to be DJ’s at the local rock station pulled up next to me at a Sonic drive in restraunt. I decided to play around with them and override their station. They started freaking out until they realized it was me.

  7. I can see this being abused. Now you can not only wrap an ad around your vehicle and get paid, you can load up a bunch of commercials and drive around sound-spamming everyone and get paid for that, too. 🙁

  8. Networking built into your car?

    A virus/spyware/adware spreads like wild fire through all the cars. (Do you think the average 50 year old Toyota driver is going to be able to prevent this, I think not.)

    Sorry boss I can’t come in today, my car’s sick.

    Or it becomes such a bloody headache, people just start throwing out their cars and buy an new one – OR – they go out and buy a MACar and drive with impunity. We could even have bullet proof, flower power, polycarbonate bodies for the russians.

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