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Vehicle Route Heuristics Braking

It knows the route and brakes automatically.
  [vote for,

There have been two big stories in the news recently. The Croyden tram incident and Tennessee school bus crash.

Both services run regular routes, one on rails and one taking a very similar path along roads.

Driverless vehicles aside, this is a far easier market to penetrate in that the route or routes are repetitive and the route signature could lock in some braking statistics.

A school bus at the start of its journey taking a left turn of 60 degrees, then a straight of 100 metres, then a 90 degree right then locks in the profile for the rest of the journey unless is differs. But while it is following the same route as yesterday the motion of the bus is predictable and therefore safe automated braking strengths could be applied automatically if they are not given by the driver.

The driver is still relied upon to avoid other traffic, but given a sequence of 20 turns, the machine learning can basically say the next turn is a gradual sweep right and the safe speed is X.

So what we need to retrofit this to any tram or bus is a power supply (could be battery), a gps and inertial monitoring system and something mechanically mounted into the cab to press the brake. This could be a lever actuated plate that goes between the drivers foot and brake pedal.

It learns the route through the tram's motion and applies the brake if necessary.

bigsleep, Nov 28 2016


       You wouldn't want it to brake for the traffic that had been there the previous day. So long as you avoid that, I like it.
caspian, Nov 28 2016

       //You wouldn't want it to brake for the traffic that had been there the previous day.//   

       Valid point. Inertial mapping would know all accelerations and decelerations, but even using a $2 sensor all that can be discounted to make a route plan. In fact the average e.g. mobile phone accelerometer is so sensitive you can almost get an altitude reading from it.   

       GPS is an entirely different technology and I'm thinking of that as a back-up.
bigsleep, Nov 28 2016

       You could get quite far with optical readings of QR codes, to simply set a speed limit for a portion of track. If the QR codes were acoustic, it'd work on foggy days. If the acoustics were ultrasonic, it'd keep dogs and cats away from the line. If it were strapped to a cat, it'd always be the correct side up. If it were pointing up, it could be under the tram. If that were the case, it'd be like retrofitting the tram line with the more sophisticated signalling systems that keep the Jubilee line from ever turning up on time.
Ian Tindale, Nov 28 2016

       The important thing here is to begin the process of permanently attaching cats to the underside of trams.
8th of 7, Nov 28 2016

       sp- Croydon - I know, I grew up in the dump.   

       I'm not sure how effective this system would have be in this crash. The tram had just gone through a tunnel and deep cuttings for about half a km - I'm not sure the GPS would have had time calibrate its whereabouts before it was too late.
Gordon Comstock, Nov 28 2016

       It probably wouldn't - that's why ATP uses lineside beacons.
8th of 7, Nov 28 2016

       Impractical and likely to lead to accidents [+]
Voice, Nov 28 2016

       reading this I imagined it to mean " a series of rotations and brakings such that if there were an accident involving another vehicle the system would be at 99th percentile of harmlessness" so very gradual turns and very modulated acelerations, compatible with lots of stochastic other drivers.
beanangel, Nov 28 2016

       //reading this I imagined it to mean//   

       Yeah, but you're just a beta AI chucking out words strung together.   

       //I'm not sure the GPS would have had time calibrate its whereabouts before it was too late.//   

       Forget the GPS, I already mentioned that is secondary. It's more about the inertial sensor - the cheap thing that's in every mobile phone to flip the screen when you rotate it. It's also capable of sensing a turn or acceleration within a fraction of a percent. So learning a route based on types and degrees of turns and lengths of straights is very easy.   

       Left, right, 100 metres, right, 5 metres, sharp right.
Left, right, 100 metres, right, 5 metres, sharp right.
Left, right, 100 metres, right, 5 metres, .. automatic brake .. .. more brake .. stop (driver obviously had a heart attack or fell asleep at the wheel).

       Very easy retro-fit.
bigsleep, Nov 29 2016


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