Next Up, Skynet: Siemens Teaches Cars to Read!

Illustration for article titled Next Up, Skynet: Siemens Teaches Cars to Read!

Never let it be said that the Germans haven't done their part for literacy. Besides providing the world with the works of Goethe, Brecht and Werner von Braun, Deutschland also gave rise to industrial conglomerate Siemens, who've developed a system that reads speed limit signs and can adjust a vehicle's speed downward at the driver's discretion to stay within limits. The all-seeing eye cross checks the electrosensory stimulus it takes in with GPS data to ensure it's not wonky. We imagine this would be a highly-useful invention in a Gatso-riddled society.

Cars to Automatically Detect Speed Limit [Driving.ca]

Related:
If You Can't Buy It, Build It: Wanky The Safety Cat [Internal]

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DISCUSSION

After the war, Wernher von Braun became the backbone of the American rocket program, working from the NASA research center in Huntsville. One day poor Wernher finally becomes fed up with the poor excuses for German restaurants in Alabama. "I really must find some good schnitzel. I'll visit my cousin Helmut in Chicago; we will go to a fine restaurant."

Wernher drives to Chicago, and when he arrives, he's pulled over by Illinois' finest. The officer, not recognizing the distinguished former Nazi scientist, challenges him to explain why he's going 75 in a 55 zone. Wernher responds:

"Once the speed limits are up, who cares where they come down? That's not my department", says Wernher von Braun.

(With apologies to Tom Lehrer.)