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Laser lane guide

To help you stay in your lane
  (+9, -2)
(+9, -2)
  [vote for,

Okay, it's a weak idea but here it is.

Ever drive a car you're not familiar with? Especially if you're used to your Honda Speck and have to borrow your friend's Ford Gargantuan to move or some such. This idea is for you.

The most basic implementation would be a laser pointer-like device mounted to the front center of the of the car (in the grill or hood ornament) aimed at the ground about 10' out from the front of the car. This gives you a little red dot indicating the centerline of the car. Keep the dot in the middle of the lane and Bob's yer uncle.

The middle-of-the-road (sorry) version would be *two* laser pointers - one on each side of the car. This doesn't seem like much of an improvement over the basic model, but might be useful for navigating narrow throughways.

The top-end version also includes two pointers but also has detectors tuned to the frequency of the laser light. The sensors pick up (laser light) scatter from road reflectors and sound a chime. This serves as a warning that you (or someone with the same system) may be drifting out of your (or into your) lane.

It's worth pointing out that all versions, if properly aligned, would be useful for determining when you're too close to the car in front of you. Also, all versions can be turned off as necessary or desired.

Selling these aftermarket might be problematic as there is potential for abuse.

{03/30/2004} Two more uses have come to mind: Align two lasers to indicate where your tire will hit as you tool down the road. This will help avoid roadkill, potholes, etc.
Aim the laser(s) so the point(s) indicate your shortest stopping distance (perhaps as determined by OEM equipment). Then the driver will know how much room to leave for the car ahead. {10/22/2004} A mod I posted just prior to the crash was to eliminate the lasers altogether and use a HUD. I can't believe I didn't think of it sooner. I can't believe you didn't think of it sooner, either. Anyway, this will be all the rage in the future. Just wait and see.

phoenix, May 30 2002

Citroen Lane Departure Warning System http://www.citroen....GIES/SECURITY/AFIL/
The Citroen C5 already has lane departure warning system. - Good try tho... [Minimal, Jun 23 2005]


       the big prob with a new car is you go to turn on the indicator and how embarrassing is that ?- the windscreen wipers go like barmy in a heat wave!!!
po, May 30 2002

       was that a fish Jon?? does it really deserve a fish? considering your late rants? or is it the ghost boner at work again?
po, May 30 2002

       //Okay, it's a weak idea but here it is.//   

       you're not in sales are you phoenix?
rbl, May 30 2002

       no, a very modest half-baker! + a b****y good one at that!
po, May 30 2002

       [rbl] I call 'em like I see 'em.
phoenix, May 30 2002

       I was kinda going along with the "weak idea" comment until you hit the student driver implications.   

       How powerful would the laser have to be in order to be visible on a black road in full sun? (Is that where the potential for abuse comes in?)
half, May 31 2002

       Would it be possible to somehow 'lock' your car onto a lane? If there was a strip put down along the centre of the lane that reflected back to a sensor on the car, then it could keep itself on track. The lock could be turned off by simply touching the steering wheel.
stupop, May 31 2002

       Certainly possible - it's how some warehouse robots navigate.
drew, May 31 2002

       Surely focusing on a small red dot - that would be bouncing all over the place whilst driving is quite a dangerous prospect?
Osborn, May 31 2002

       [Osborn]: I must say that was my take on it too. I don't think this would be very helpful for student drivers at all. Given a dot on the road, people will follow the dot, literally, to the exclusion of all else. Happens with pilots at night, following the landing light down into the ground. Tends to only happen the once though.
drew, May 31 2002

       I can see where the idea is comming from, being a student driver myself, it is a strange swich to be riding on the right to driving on the left. It is also useful for the huge Crown Vics we have to drive on, you can't see the ground for about five feet out of the left side of the car if you are looking over the hood.   

       You would tend to get focused on the lights.   

       May also be useful for parking
dtstyle, Jul 31 2002

       Great, now we have to wory about terrorists shooting cars with laser sights.
Thoughtnaper_1, Jun 23 2005

       Well, you don't *have* to worry about them; you could just accept them in a relaxed manner.
angel, Jun 23 2005


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