These days, the sight of drivers with phones pressed to their ears is all too familiar. Unfortunately, though, the problems posed by such behavior are mounting. Some call it an epidemic, others say it's worse than drunken driving.
One solution to the dilemma would be to outlaw use of distracting technologies in the vehicle. But the question is, which technologies would you outlaw? Phones? Music players? Navigation systems?
In truth, consumers will have none of it. When the National Traffic Safety Board called for the "first-ever nationwide ban on portable electronic devices" earlier this year, the proposal was greeted with nationwide derision.
That's why automakers and suppliers are taking it upon themselves to improve the safety of devices that they're building and putting into vehicles.
Click on the photo below to see 14 examples of how car companies are studying the problem of driver distraction and how they propose to solve it.
The Ford Escape employs Integrated Blind Spot Mirrors to make it easier for users to see "blind spot drivers" while keeping their eyes on the road. (Source: Ford Motor Co.)
Yes, Chuck, I was so impressed by the hands-free voice recognition, it makes me wonder why so much effort is being put into the systems in your slide show. Although, the systems in your slide show are pretty cool to see.
Make cars less safe? Hilarious!! I'm lucky enough to be in Generation-X and remember cars that didn't have seatbelts but love the new technology too. One of my best memories growing up is playing with dolls in the back of my mom's Pinto. The big window was awesome!
I don't know if kids today are missing out on the fun but there has to be an in between. Technology needs a balance of personal responsibility on the users part in order to progress.
Back when rally racing was aired in the USA, I thought it fascinating that rally racers have navigators that could reference a map if need and tell the driver exactly what is coming up while traveling around 100mph on a usually unpaved road. I think a system like this is a better answer than proximity switches and voice recognition devices. The driver has the option of muting the audio, but it comes back on as soon as a button on the dash is pressed unless the stereo is on and it would tell the driver straight-away and turn information using GPS and the car has a device that can notify the driver of objects around the car and notify the driver of there speed and distance from them. All this could use road sign style symbols on the HUD and the stereo speaker system to notify the driver.
Couldn't agree more with you. My car doesn't have a radio and I completely agree. Same when I ride my bike (either motorcycle or bicycle).
The other alternative I have is a bit unorthodox, but it would work; make the cars less safe! If you take out the safety devices from the car, people will think twice about being distracted because there is no cushion of safety. Too many people that I know are very flippant about driving because they are not worried of getting into an accident because chances are good that they will not get hurt in an accident and that insurance will pay for a new car. So the consequences are very minimal for bad driving.
Advances in voice recognition are amazing, Rob. Ten years ago, VR systems only understood a few words from a very small menu. Now, they can run radios, entertainment systems, HVAC systems and mobile phones. They've come a long way.
They say HUD cuts the time required to shift your eyesight from the road to the instrument panel by about 0.4 seconds, naperlou. If you're going 60 mph, that translates to about 35 feet. So, yes, I agree, HUD has value.
The "innovation" in the first slide has been around for a couple of decades, at least in the stick-on version. I'm surprised it's taken so long to integrate these blind spot mirrors into the side-view mirrors.
It's obvious, driverless cars is the only way to go. To truly remove the issues with distracted drivers, we must remove the drivers.
But in the meantime, I am liking the head-up display and voice recognition options. The only free HMI in voice in these cases. However, an intuitive interface is needed first. Otherwise, it's just another device to learn all the shortcuts on.
For industrial control applications, or even a simple assembly line, that machine can go almost 24/7 without a break. But what happens when the task is a little more complex? That’s where the “smart” machine would come in. The smart machine is one that has some simple (or complex in some cases) processing capability to be able to adapt to changing conditions. Such machines are suited for a host of applications, including automotive, aerospace, defense, medical, computers and electronics, telecommunications, consumer goods, and so on. This discussion will examine what’s possible with smart machines, and what tradeoffs need to be made to implement such a solution.