Mesh networks and saving the world



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Posted by: stak
Tags: reciprocity
Posted on: 2012-09-24 23:17:53

Back when I first blogged about reciprocity networks, I said that a reciprocity network similar to Airbnb could be implemented for car-sharing and could compete with something like Zipcar. Well, as it turns out, Robin Chase, founder of Zipcar, has done just that - her latest venture is called Buzzcar and is basically peer-to-peer car rentals. It's currently only offered in France, but I imagine it won't be long before she brings it to other places as well (and actually there are already other companies such as RelayRides offering similar services).

Anyway, it gets better. There's a 2007 TED talk: Robin Chase on Zipcar and her next big idea. In it, she describes how she'd like to get a US-wide wireless mesh network going by making every car a node. This makes possible road usage pricing, which has the potential to dramatically reduce car usage, emissions, and delay the onset of global warming. I particularly like that she's calling for a standards-based (and open source) mesh network, that's free for all to use.

Mesh networks themselves are reciprocity networks - more so than the Internet itself. That just makes the whole thing even more awesome, in my mind. I admit, a country-wide mesh network is something we're unlikely to see anytime soon (for reasons technical and political), but I still think it would be pretty amazing. That it can help reduce emissions and help with global warming (probably the single biggest threat to our current way of life) is icing on the cake.

Posted by Johana MIller at 2012-10-04 02:41:08
Wireless sensor networks promise an unprecedented fine-grained interface between the virtual and physical worlds. They are one of the most rapidly developing new information technologies, with applications in a wide range of fields including industrial process control, security and surveillance, environmental sensing, and structural health monitoring.


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