1. Ragers. Not known for their apologies. So screw them. They don't need another tool to communicate their rage.
2. Recipients of rage. Is this so they can offer an apology? Surely nobody believes they need to apologize for their driving frequently enough to buy and install such a device. And if they want to respond to the rager with a plausible defense message, well, that's not going to quell a rager!
3. Those who want to broadcast an undirected opinion. Mod the device to bypass the 50 sanitized preset messages and you can show everyone your political beliefs, meme, or pithy quote. So basically dynamic LED bumper stickers. Free speech, fine, but more distraction. Yawn.
edit: and trolling messages through black tape with profanities using the same fonts.
Trouble is, the UK Police and authorities are against even hands free phones (https://inews.co.uk/news/technology/hands-free-mobile-phones...) , let alone a mechanism to communicate visually with other drivers. I could see it getting banned here before it even takes off, which is a shame.
Maybe in the UK, but there are some interesting legal debates to be had. This is a freedom of speech issue. This is an electronic bumper sticker, one that can be changed on the fly but still a form of speech.
See Kovacs v. Cooper, 336 U.S. 77 (1949) for the debate re "sound trucks", vehicles with PA systems for making public announcements. They upheld the ban, but it wasn't a simple case. Freedom of speech goes a long way. A silent sign that can only be seen by a handful of cars behind you? Imho the 1949 court would have allowed it.
If the display was made out of white or green LEDs then I can only assume there would be no issue using such device.
And what's the consequence if you got flagged? I find it disconcerting for the government to dole out punishments based on (what is essentially) downvotes from random people. How can you ensure those flagged people are getting due process?
First is positive reinforcement, let people "upvote" others for good driving etiquette, then give the top 0.1% or whatever a special decal to display on their plate, or a special plate. Fakes are enforced by when, if you're ever pulled over, the officer looks up whether you were entitled to that decal and then a hefty fine if you faked it. Or maybe even officers just randomly noting down the plates to later check if it was legit, can even enforce it via existing traffic rules enforcement cameras and in both cases, fines are imposed like redlight cameras do now. Maybe even allow the driver to share the designation with their insurance company which may decide to reduce their rates.
Another way would be to send some nastygrams via snail mail to the worst 1% or so, "you were voted the worst 1% of drivers by your peers". However without any other negative consequences, this might be gamed i.e "I'm so badass that I got this letter", leading to some people trying to get those letters. Since the tagging is by car, maybe give access to the insurance companies to the very worst offending cars to raise the rates for insurance on that _car_, not the driver associated with it, since someone else could be driving it.
Duck and cover seems to be the time tested favorite go to nonsolution solution of the human race.
Wrt. the original post - how availability of instant communication between strangers affects civility of the discourse one can just look at Twitter... At least Twitter users usually don't have a 2 ton deadly device right in your immediate vicinity which they can use to substantiate their angry tweet.
Imagine it. Doesn't it feel totally natural?
I wonder what it would take for something like this to spread across the globe as the standard way to say "I'm sorry" to someone in another vehicle.
Perhaps a "thank you" is the right tone - something that encourages better social interactions.
Although you can get thumbs up "thank you" from arsehole drivers too: it's not just angry drivers that are selfish. One of my favourite stories is a little old lady that prangs into my stopped vehicle - and then does a runner - bless her.
Car twitter is the last thing we need both from distraction point of view & just de-escalating situations.
“Please get out the way/this lane/go faster”
Put a bunch of actual police plate numbers on bumper stickers...
(Recall police plate numbers never contain letters) just numbers.
Put these numbers all over your bumper and see if you get a tocket going through a toll
(Keep your actuallly legal plate and tags on the car, just tesf which ones they pickup first)
Looks like no modding needed, unless the thing has a profanity filter, in which case boo
So what we really need is rude driver shadow-banning, using “SEP Field” technology from the Hitchhiker’s Guide:
”An SEP is something we can't see, or don't see, or our brain doesn't let us see, because we think that it's somebody else's problem. That’s what SEP means. Somebody Else’s Problem. The brain just edits it out, it's like a blind spot.”
PS. See also, Betteridge’s Law of Headlines.