San Diego’s Ready to Hit the Road With Auto-Based Social Networking

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picture of the license plate.

Predictably, one of’s key applications is romantically hitting on someone attractive in another car.

Suzanne Somers in American Graffiti

If the technology had been around for the 1973 film “American Graffiti,” for example, Richard Dreyfuss could have used his smart phone to scan an image of the white T-bird license plate being driven by the beautiful and mysterious blonde (Suzanne Somers). He then could have used the Bump network to send her a message directly instead of seeking help from radio DJ Wolfman Jack and spending the rest of movie desperately trying to find her.

“It’s this amazing communications platform that allows anyone to connect with anyone in their cars,” Thrower says. He sees endless possibilities for using the Bump network—not to be confused with Mountain View, CA-based Bump Technologies—pointing out that the technology enables users to communicate V-to-V (as in vehicle-to-vehicle, or consumer-to-consumer) as well as B-to-V (business-to-consumer) and G-to-V (government-to-consumer.)

Thrower, who founded an online marathon registration business called Racegate (which became the Active Network), told me that was “a reverse-engineered business.” He said he set out to start a new company thinking, “Let’s find a … Next Page »

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Bruce V. Bigelow is the editor of Xconomy San Diego. You can e-mail him at or call (619) 669-8788 Follow @bvbigelow

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