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Automatic airbag trigger transponder

In case of incapacity
  (+3, -2)
(+3, -2)
  [vote for,

If a vehicle crashes in a remote location it may go undetected for some time.

This system consists of a transponder linked to the airbag system.

If the airbag triggers, then an alarm starts to bleep loudly.

The system can then be inhibited by turning on the hazard warning flashers.

If the system isn't inhibited within 3 minutes, the transponder starts to emit a coded distress signal, possibly including "last-known-good" GPS location information.

This will alert emergency services and guide them to close proximity of the vehicle.

(Google searches didn't show up anything similar to this)

8th of 7, Nov 15 2009

OnStar http://www.onstar.c...glish/jsp/index.jsp
The "lite" version [8th of 7, Nov 15 2009]

Rapid conversion http://news.bbc.co....d/worcs/8261078.stm
Jesus saves ? [8th of 7, Nov 15 2009]

Emergency beacons http://www.sarsat.noaa.gov/emerbcns.html
Ships, planes, people... but not cars [lurch, Nov 15 2009]

Watch beacon http://www.luxist.c...stress-transmitter/
[coprocephalous, Nov 16 2009]

Fatal crash victim 'not found for 12 hours' http://news.bbc.co....cashire/8387012.stm
BBC NEWS CHANNEL [8th of 7, Nov 30 2009]

12 Hours? Pah! http://www.thisislo...is-wanted-robber.do
[AbsintheWithoutLeave, Nov 30 2009]

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       Similar but not the same. This uses a satellite relay, not cellular telephony, for remote areas where coverage may be limited. And it alerts the emergency services directly.
8th of 7, Nov 15 2009

       If this isn't baked (and, being lazy, I'll take 1.125's word for this), it's a good idea. [+]
MaxwellBuchanan, Nov 15 2009

       OnStar does use GPS. However, GPS is not a communication system. GPS provides the user with the ability to calculate their position; it is *not* capable of communicating that information to anyone else.   

       OnStar formerly used analog cellular communications because it provided the largest coverage area; as of 1 Jan 2008 analog coverage became unavailable and OnStar now uses CDMA. Which is not of much help in "remote locations".   

       Anyway, [8th], you've just re-invented the Personal Locator Beacon:   

       "PLBs are portable units that operate much the same as EPIRBs [Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon (marine use)] or ELTs [Emergency Locator Transmitters (aviation use)]. These beacons are designed to be carried by an individual person instead of on a boat or aircraft. Unlike ELTs and some EPIRBs, they can only be activated manually and operate exclusively on 406 MHz. And like EPIRBs and ELTs all PLBs also have a built-in, low-power homing beacon that transmits on 121.5 MHz. This allows rescue forces to home in on a beacon once the 406 MHz satellite system has gotten them "in the ballpark" (about 2-3 miles).Some newer PLBs also allow GPS units to be integrated into the distress signal.This GPS-encoded position dramatically improves the location accuracy down to the 100-meter level…that’s roughly the size of a football field!"   

       See link.
lurch, Nov 15 2009

       It was reading the documentation on an ELT that gave us this idea. A PLB wouldn't be much good if you were injured and trapped in a disabled vehicle - activation needs to be automatic.   

       And the shortcomings of CDMA/WCDMA and GSM are only too well known.
8th of 7, Nov 15 2009

       If you can fit a 48 hour duration, 100 mile range 121.5MHz beacon in a watch, [link], it seems a simple job to fit one to an airbag.
Perhaps the deployment of the bag flings out the antenna. [+]
coprocephalous, Nov 16 2009

       Would there be a penalty for false alarms? I would hate for my airbag to deploy in a non-emergency situation without my knowledge (e.g. my car gets crashed into while I am parked on a city street) where I end up rousing the local authorities unnecessarily.
Jscotty, Nov 16 2009

       There would be a penalty for malicious misuse, but that applies to calling out the emergency services in existing ways (prank calls, etc.).   

       If the alerter could demonstrate "good faith" then the authorities would no doubt take a commonsense view. Besides, are airbag systems actually armed when the vehicle is parked, with the ignition off ?
8th of 7, Nov 16 2009

       Yes they are. I was in a car wreck where the air bags did not deploy at the time of impact but they later deployed while the vehicle was sitting in the parking lot.
Jscotty, Nov 16 2009

       //I'll take 1.125's word for this//   

       0.875, shirley? Or have I misunderstood?
Wrongfellow, Nov 17 2009

       Hey, watch it when you flip him over - ya' never know what might fall out of his pockets.
lurch, Nov 17 2009


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