Clever cars may decrease the amount of road-accidents

Clever cars may decrease the amount of road-accidents

Usually, most car accidents occur because of the driver. This invention might be the solution for the human-factor in driving.

Usually, most car accidents occur because of the driver. This invention might be the solution for the human-factor in driving.

The new technology is being developed by the researchers of the Cornell and Stanford universities. Typical smart car uses outside mounted cameras and sensors to read line marks and watch other vehicles around, whereas the new smart system also uses cameras mounted inside the vehicle to control the driver.

Small motions of the driver’s face and body can point at the driver’s intention to turn or change lanes in a few moments. Combining this information with the information from the external cameras, a car computer can decide whether or not the driver is making a dangerous move. For example: when trying to drive out on the road in front of the upcoming car, the driver can be warned about such a dangerous move. Also, the above described data, can be analyzed together with the information, received from the GPS-receiver, for example, warning the driver that he is going to make a forbidden move at that moment.

During the process of development of the prototype, scientists recorded video of 10 drivers during 2 months of driving. In general, almost 1200 miles of highway and city driving were videoed and analyzed. This material was enough to teach the computers to predict oncoming driving maneuvers with the 77% accuracy. Sometimes, the system was unable to detect driver’s movements because of the casual obstacles like passing shadows. Also sometimes, the system was confused in the cases, when the driver was interacting with other passengers in the vehicle.

Average time of predicting a typical maneuver, like the change of lane was around 3.5 seconds. But, according to the researchers, the system is still in its germinal state and needs serious improvement before it could be mounted on cars. The accuracy of the system can be improved by adding more complicated cameras that will monitor the eyes of a driver or sensors on the steering wheel and pedals that will detect driver’s movements.

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