Smart Highways, Foolish Choices?

The Mercury Sable was loaded with smarts. With an onboard navigation computer and a CD-ROM filled with maps, it should have gone the 16 blocks from the Capitol to the White House easily. But just two blocks into the demonstration, the computer froze. After driver James Costantino rebooted it three times, it barked an order to turn into the Capitol's east plaza--off-limits to cars. Then it signaled that the car was on an unnamed road when it was actually on Constitution Avenue. "I've never had these problems before," said Costantino, executive director of the Intelligent Transportation Society, a trade group. "It's just not working."

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