How to Prevent Crashes With "Smart" Cars That Detect Obstacles

How to Prevent Crashes With "Smart" Cars That Detect Obstacles

The U.S. Department of Transportation is testing cars with wireless tech that will alert drivers to impending crashes before they occur.

Ok, so say you're driving down the road and through an intersection with a green light. No problem, you think, but what you can't see is a truck barreling down the hill that can't stop in time for the red light on his end. Normally, your car would be sideswiped and anyone in the passenger seat, and perhaps yourself, would be horribly mangled and possibly killed. But if your car was equipped with a wireless detection system, you'd be warned and possibly be able to swerve out of the way. The technology that the DoT is testing will allow what they call "Connected Vehicles" to wireless communicate with each other - and with traffic lights, dangerous road segments, and railroad crossings - to hopefully make traffic accidents a thing of the past.

"A NHTSA report found that connected vehicle technology has the potential to address 81 percent of all unimpaired driver related crashes, but we must take a serious look at how this technology will work in the real world to create a safer transportation system," DoT representative Peter Appel said.

The DoT will test 100 vehicles equipped with a wireless system and a bank of red warning LEDs to help drivers assess dangers that may not be in their line of sight. The test starts in suburban Michigan, but will eventually move to cities like Dallas and San Francisco by the start of 2012.

"We need to continue to research vehicle-to-vehicle technology, but these systems show a great amount of promise. We could be on the brink of making a real cultural change in terms of preventing crashes altogether," another rep said.

While I don't think this kind of technology will remove the chance of roadway fatalities, it's certainly a step in the right direction. We use computers in cars to park themselves and help maintain gas mileage, why not use them to help reduce crashes?

I'm sure that's exactly what the scientists at Cyberdyne Technologies said before they switched on SkyNet. Why not give a computer more control over our actions? Please, stop giving power to our robot overlords! We have to mobilize before-

... End of Line ...

Source: Department of Technology

Permalink

Greg Tito:
Why not give a computer more control over our actions? Please, stop giving power to our robot overlords! We have to mobilize before-

... End of Line ...

Permalink

Hahah love how you guys are always talking about the robot apocalypse. I think its a pretty safe bet when the *error ???>[email protected]^#1)* take over you guys will be leading the resistance :D

OT: I think this is a great idea. I actually am yet to first hand see a car to that parks itself but ive heard about the feature in the fancy cars so this really seems like a good idea. Even if you just get some kind of a warning message it might still make a huge difference in the timing of people and in some cases even reducing the speed before the crash might make a huge impact on the outcome. IM GAME!

Gentlemen, the future is now officially upon us.

I, for one, welcome our new vehicular overlords.

Some may seem aghast at the technology or say "stupid people = stupid drivers" but a car that can relay its velocity and trajectory to another car at another velocity and trajectory without having to do painful calculus in your head definitely could win over the hearts of the security minded individual.

I can see it now driver has heart attack after car swerved out of control to avoid accident. Or someone hacks wireless signal for car thousands die as cars fly off roads. Person gets harsher sentence for driving old car and getting in accident. Children walking to school mowed down as car avoids collision by flying onto sidewalk.

OT: We don't really need this technology. Sure it's nice but having mandatory driving tests every few years could work too. Plus this would only work if it was put on every car. Who do we blame though if this technology causes deaths? The makers or the owner of car?

Now if we can just get the cars to send a text message to the driver telling them to stop reading their fucking text messages while driving then we can make great leaps in road safety.

I do like the idea of it being able to warn you if something is about to happen that you can't see or might not notice but I worry that it might just make people freak out and end up causing more issues unless it's very specific. Like, "Danger of sideswipe" or "Danger of rear ending." or something to that effect. Because if they don't know where it's coming from and it's just a "DANGER!" then, well, people often don't make the best decisions when panicked. I didn't see any mention of how specific (if at all) the technology currently was in where the danger is, but one would hope they went or at least go in that route.

Roboto:
Some may seem aghast at the technology or say "stupid people = stupid drivers" but a car that can relay its velocity and trajectory to another car at another velocity and trajectory without having to do painful calculus in your head definitely could win over the hearts of the security minded individual.

But that's the issue, a "security minded" individual doesn't end up in accidents, they usually avoid them. Most accidents happen due to stupidity behind the wheel. The radar-vehicular communication system would be neat but the people who actually need it would not use it properly or at all. Put all of the gadgets you want in a car, nothing will replace being a good driver. Further more, you don't need to do "painful calculus" in your head to know if the way you're currently driving will lead to an accident.

I drive a 90s car without all of the current tech and I'm glad to say I've avoided 3 accidents (2 of them possibly fatal) due to being an attentive, defensive driver.

I think this new system will be great and they should implement it immediately but technology in cars has been nothing but progressive yet the amount of accidents and deaths from them continue to rise. By the way, not trying to hound your post; it worked for me to bounce off of and make my point

Greg Tito:
How to Prevent Crashes With "Smart" Cars That Detect Obstacles

The U.S. Department of Transportation is testing cars with wireless tech that will alert drivers to impending crashes before they occur.

Ok, so say you're driving down the road and through an intersection with a green light. No problem, you think, but what you can't see is a truck barreling down the hill that can't stop in time for the red light on his end. Normally, your car would be sideswiped and anyone in the passenger seat, and perhaps yourself, would be horribly mangled and possibly killed. But if your car was equipped with a wireless detection system, you'd be warned and possibly be able to swerve out of the way. The technology that the DoT is testing will allow what they call "Connected Vehicles" to wireless communicate with each other - and with traffic lights, dangerous road segments, and railroad crossings - to hopefully make traffic accidents a thing of the past.

"A NHTSA report found that connected vehicle technology has the potential to address 81 percent of all unimpaired driver related crashes, but we must take a serious look at how this technology will work in the real world to create a safer transportation system," DoT representative Peter Appel said.

The DoT will test 100 vehicles equipped with a wireless system and a bank of red warning LEDs to help drivers assess dangers that may not be in their line of sight. The test starts in suburban Michigan, but will eventually move to cities like Dallas and San Francisco by the start of 2012.

"We need to continue to research vehicle-to-vehicle technology, but these systems show a great amount of promise. We could be on the brink of making a real cultural change in terms of preventing crashes altogether," another rep said.

While I don't think this kind of technology will remove the chance of roadway fatalities, it's certainly a step in the right direction. We use computers in cars to park themselves and help maintain gas mileage, why not use them to help reduce crashes?

I'm sure that's exactly what the scientists at Cyberdyne Technologies said before they switched on SkyNet. Why not give a computer more control over our actions? Please, stop giving power to our robot overlords! We have to mobilize before-

... End of Line ...

Source: Department of Technology

Permalink

see funny thing, most drivers have these things called eyes that could tell them when a car was barreling towards them at full speed.

Yeah... OK, but it's also more or less been demonstrated that one way to reduce accidents is to make cars drive themselves, and not allow human beings to do so.

Yet... Somehow that idea makes people uncomfortable. XD

(We like the illusion of control I suppose).

spartan231490:
see funny thing, most drivers have these things called eyes that could tell them when a car was barreling towards them at full speed.

and yet so many car accidents happen every year

i curse toucan sam's advice for ending the life of my parents every year on this day

weirdguy:

spartan231490:
see funny thing, most drivers have these things called eyes that could tell them when a car was barreling towards them at full speed.

and yet so many car accidents happen every year

i curse toucan sam's advice for ending the life of my parents every year on this day

"Folow your nose" for driving?

OT: I think it'd be more useful for the inattentive driver who's coming up fast to the intersection and still has their foot on the accelerator. There's only so much other drivers can do if they're not moving very fast or are looking in the direction they're turning which happens to be away from the oncoming car.

Of course it's a matter of time before there's a system that watches what the driver does and alerts other cars that "This bimbo is on the phone, painting her nails AND drinking at the same time. AVOID AT ALL COSTS."

EDIT: Or if a system is developed to see what the driver is up to, calling the local police and emailing the images to them for evidence that they weren't watching the road.

Because what could possibly go wrong with transmitting data about your car wirelessly?

Meh. Undoubtedly in the future we're just going to have AI cars that drive themselves. Humans are stupid and irrational but if you have robots driving the car and coordinating things it could run like clockwork. (until you get that one idiot who simply has to drive ten MPH over the speed limit because he's late for work, switches off the AI, and kills someone, asshole).

Also, Obligatory: AI DOES NOT WORK THAT WAY! on Skynet reference since I'm not feeling the humor today.

I see this technology causing far more accidents then it would prevent. Shitty paranoid drivers are going to be the main target, and this sounds like it will make them even more paranoid. They will be spending more time staring at those lights instead of the road.

weirdguy:

spartan231490:
see funny thing, most drivers have these things called eyes that could tell them when a car was barreling towards them at full speed.

and yet so many car accidents happen every year

i curse toucan sam's advice for ending the life of my parents every year on this day

Thats because people do not use their eyes.

So they're trying to take the danger and excitement out of driving? Oh boy.

Twilight_guy:
Meh. Undoubtedly in the future we're just going to have AI cars that drive themselves. Humans are stupid and irrational but if you have robots driving the car and coordinating things it could run like clockwork. (until you get that one idiot who simply has to drive ten MPH over the speed limit because he's late for work, switches off the AI, and kills someone, asshole).

Also, Obligatory: AI DOES NOT WORK THAT WAY! on Skynet reference since I'm not feeling the humor today.

Woah a whole 10 mph.... Are you the angry grandpa in the caddy?
Cellphones and idiots putting on their make up cause accidents, not 10 mph.

I mean it's a good intermediary but the fact is that humans just don't react at high speeds. Honestly I haven't looked it up but I'd probably find that this distracts me in a time where I should be trying to figure out what to do to get out of the way.

The thing is this will all be moot in a few years. People are already testing cars (google is the biggest that I know of) that drive themselves and have been show to be much much much safer then humans. Software is cheap too, it won't be difficult to get this into most cars relatively shortly.

How about one that "is" in your line of sight? I nearly barralled into the back of a guy yesterday as I was driving tired (don't do it kids, it's not big and it's not clever) and it just didn't register the guy in front had stopped as the guy in front of him was turning and I had a full tyre-locking screech to a halt millimetres from his bumper when the brain kicked in with the impending rear-ending.

A little "bleep" from the dash or visual warning would be nice - but then I suppose if I had one of those fancy new German cars they do the braking for you and you can't even drive them into someone else - shame I drive a twelve year old Nissan Micra...

666Chaos:
I see this technology causing far more accidents then it would prevent. Shitty paranoid drivers are going to be the main target, and this sounds like it will make them even more paranoid. They will be spending more time staring at those lights instead of the road.

weirdguy:

spartan231490:
see funny thing, most drivers have these things called eyes that could tell them when a car was barreling towards them at full speed.

and yet so many car accidents happen every year

i curse toucan sam's advice for ending the life of my parents every year on this day

Thats because people do not use their eyes.

No one is 100% perfect, I'm an extremely attentive driver (I get yelled at cause ignore people, especially on long trips) and I have had close calls. The fact is when you drive as much as people do mistakes will happen. People can reduce these but only computers will eliminate them. A computers "eyes" are much much better then ours as is it's reaction speed and it's ability to calculate the best result of actions.

Richard Allen:

Woah a whole 10 mph.... Are you the angry grandpa in the caddy?
Cellphones and idiots putting on their make up cause accidents, not 10 mph.

Ya I know, where I live if your driving 10mph over then your driving safer because that is how fast everybody else is going.

Richard Allen:
No one is 100% perfect, I'm an extremely attentive driver (I get yelled at cause ignore people, especially on long trips) and I have had close calls. The fact is when you drive as much as people do mistakes will happen. People can reduce these but only computers will eliminate them. A computers "eyes" are much much better then ours as is it's reaction speed and it's ability to calculate the best result of actions.

Yes a computer has a better reaction speed and its ability to calculate the best result may be good but incredibly flawed. From the sounds of it this system detects other cars with this system and can warn of potential accidents. The problem is that it is still up to the human to prevent the accident and that wont happen with shitty drivers. Hell I could see somebody avoiding an accidnt with another car but instead driving into a ditch or a telephone poll because the device told them to.

A computers eyes are only as good as the guy who programed them, which means they are fatally flawed.

666Chaos:

Richard Allen:

Woah a whole 10 mph.... Are you the angry grandpa in the caddy?
Cellphones and idiots putting on their make up cause accidents, not 10 mph.

Ya I know, where I live if your driving 10mph over then your driving safer because that is how fast everybody else is going.

Richard Allen:
No one is 100% perfect, I'm an extremely attentive driver (I get yelled at cause ignore people, especially on long trips) and I have had close calls. The fact is when you drive as much as people do mistakes will happen. People can reduce these but only computers will eliminate them. A computers "eyes" are much much better then ours as is it's reaction speed and it's ability to calculate the best result of actions.

Yes a computer has a better reaction speed and its ability to calculate the best result may be good but incredibly flawed. From the sounds of it this system detects other cars with this system and can warn of potential accidents. The problem is that it is still up to the human to prevent the accident and that wont happen with shitty drivers. Hell I could see somebody avoiding an accidnt with another car but instead driving into a ditch or a telephone poll because the device told them to.

A computers eyes are only as good as the guy who programed them, which means they are fatally flawed.

Not being argumentive because you are right, this system is flawed since it relies on other cars to provide it data. The google system (it's the one I'm most familiar with) actually uses sensors on the car, and could easily be extend to create a mesh network of each cars data (this is the ultimate goal I would guess) that prevent that from happening since the car can tell on it's own that it's about to drive into another moving object.

I listening to a friend on an article he read (sry I didn't catch it so it will have to remain word of mouth) about how some of the developers were talking about a no avoidance situation where the car knows, that it's going to be hit no matter what it does. The system then gets out of avoidance mode and into crash your car with least impact mode. No driver can or will be able to do this on the level of a computer we're just not built for it.

And yes software does have flaws and can only be as good as the person designing it but humans can only be as good as our reflexes. Software undergoes an iterative process and is continuously improving and the fact that the alpha software that is just now being developed is several magnitudes safer (again, I'm lacking with links but I'm pretty sure there are 0 crashes in 2 years with over 2000 vehicles(numbers probably are off but I can assure you that the results are pointing to a clear trend here)) is enough for me to feel safe to relie on. Even more so when these hit the market.

Let me put it this way if Audi can put a 2400hp vehical with a computer in it up pikes peak (famous off road mountain climb) 2 years ago then getting these things on the road won't be an issue.

 

Reply to Thread

Log in or Register to Comment
Have an account? Login below:
With Facebook:Login With Facebook
or
Username:  
Password:  
  
Not registered? To sign up for an account with The Escapist:
Register With Facebook
Register With Facebook
or
Register for a free account here