Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Monitoring other cars

The sooner we get to driverless cars the better. In the meantime, it would be good for cars to provide us information about the driving behaviour of other cars around us. This would make use of existing adaptive cruise control technology (for the car in front) and other range sensors for cars to the sides and rear, combined with GPS data and data from road marking detectors.

One particularly useful piece of information would be an indication of the car in front's speed (and average speed over a period of time) - allowing a judgement on whether its worth overtaking (and whether doing so will allow the driver to remain within the speed limit).

Another useful piece of information would be on the variability lane positioning of other cars (perhaps combined with speed consistency). This information could be used to warn drivers of other cars that might not be safe (e.g. driving under the influence, or tireness, etc) and that the driver should maintain additional distance.

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