Driving down the highway the other day, I saw one of those signs that said "Amber Alert, White Dodge License Plate MD xxx-xxx."
I wondered..."how often does that work?
I mean...3 seconds after I pass it, I've forgotten the license plate number.
Should I write it down and check each license plate? If so, for how long?
Then, it dawned on me.
What if we had our cars equipped with visual recognition devices (like those that detected objects and make the car brake on its own) that were also able to scan the license plates of the cars in front of us and then, if they are wanted by the police, notify the cops of the location of the sought-for vehicle?
Then, the police could use that info to start tracking it (via other cars in the network) and they could send a cruiser (or whatever) to do the dirty work.
You'd have a privacy switch so you can opt out of the network at any time.
Alternatively, by participating in it, you'd essentially be extending the police network (with no risk to yourself), making society safer by enabling the apprehension of criminals faster, and saving costs for the muncipal government.
Perhaps you'd get a tax break/credit for participating.
Think of it as an evolution of the collaborative economy...you loan the fact that your car is on the road, connected to the network, and visual recognition to the police in exchange for less taxes and (hopefully) a safer society.