I picked a meta level problem for my innovation course project. The problem is making it easier for the driver to improve road safety.  I’ve come up with an idea for driver assistance at service level.

Too much information^ - geograph.org.uk - 1572290
Too much information on the roadside – geograph.org.uk (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The idea is that you have get your driver assistance through integrating navigation, a forward facing stereoscopic camera and the WiFi from a smartphone to provide assistance to drivers. This is then linked through the cloud to other nearby vehicles.

Driver Assistance

What it would do is mount the cameras and projector on the dash forward of the steering wheel. The cameras would provide some sense of how close the next vehicle was, and help with other driving cues.

The projector would stick a bar along the bottom of the windscreen to help the driver with speed, and also overlay the navigation directions on the windscreen. The cameras would help with this a bit. This driver assistance simplifies the information load on the driver and also keeps their eyes on the road by giving them information via a Head Up Display.

Head Up Display

The bar would be green when the driver could safely speed up. It would turn blue while the driver was at a reasonable speed (within tolerance of the speed limit or matching that of a vehicle in front). If the driver exceeded the speed limit, or needed to slow a little, the bar would turn amber (equivalent to take your foot off the gas). If there was a need to come to a halt, or actively brake, the bar would turn red.

A little ANPR magic could be added to check if the vehicle in front was also using the same app (with a call back to the cloud). They could be given a shared WiFi network to exchange data. This would effectively chain speed bars so that braking and accelerating could be anticipated. If vehicles had a shared destination it could also allow ‘follow that car’.

It might also be possible to teach the cameras to spot hazards better than the driver.

Driver assistance gives the driver better data in a clearer interface that keeps their eyes on the road.