Inspired by Nosedive from Black Mirror, Microsoft Invents Social Credit System for Drivers

Inspired by Nosedive from Black Mirror, Microsoft Invents Social Credit System for Drivers

Imagine that you are driving peacefully on a road. Suddenly, you see passengers in overtaking your car while pointing their phone cameras at you recording every move while you are driving. Feel like your privacy is being invaded? What is more, your fellow drivers report you and provide ratings to you based on their limited perceptions.

A recent patent from Microsoft reveals Augmented Reality (AR) technology to create an AR-based social community for drivers, where other drivers will be able to rate you based on driving behavior on the road. For example, you will be rated for perceived behaviors such as the aggressiveness, politeness, risk-taking, quality of driving, and so on. Further, drivers may cast a “down” vote for you if they feel that you are behaving badly.

The Microsoft technology has an eerie similarity to the technology shown in the Episode “Nosedive” from Black Mirror.

How it Works

According to the patent, individual votes or ratings are collected and used to generate an overall assessment for you, which is visible to other drivers (through a Virtual Reality headset) in the form of an indicator such as a bar chart, or a pie chart, or even a text etc.

Further, you are also allowed to view ratings or votes given to your driving behavior by the other drivers on the road. Further, if a threshold number of other drivers have voted that you are driving erratically, then you may be provided an explicit warning on your VR headset. For example, the explicit warning can be a text message such as “you seem to be driving erratically.” Now, these ratings may even be used to put points on your driving license, and may possibly lead to confiscation of the license.

Such technology may encourage drivers to shift the focus away from the road, and towards how other people may perceive your driving skills, leading to disastrous outcomes on the road.

Patent Information
Publication Number: US20190020844A1
Patent Title: Augmented Reality Based Community Review for Automobile Drivers
Publication date: 2019-01-17
Filing date: 2017-07-17
Inventors: Steven L. TEIXEIRA;
Assignee: Microsoft Technology Licensing, LLC