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safe driving / passenger comfort feedback

Display that shows your safety and passenger comfort rating when driving.
  [vote for,

After reading a previous idea about a GPS-linked accident statistic database with real-time reporting, I thought it would be a good idea if your car could provide feedback on the safety of your driving and the potential comfort of your passengers in a positive and easy to understand way.

This system works by having a display on the dashboard or centre console that is able to display icons which change in relation to the potential comfort of your passengers and the safety of your driving. It could also beep or speak. It could have different paranoia modes too. Paranoid wife, even more paranoid mother, family drive with the kids, drunk mate cheering you on etc.

This would be linked to the aforementioned GPS-linked accident statistics system as well as sensors receiving input about the state of the car and outside conditions. (In other words, a "what is the probability of me killing us" display and a "will my passenger shit themselves, jump out and walk home" given the current input display.).

For example:

You are driving along a clear road at 45mph with no other traffic on a sunny day. The sun is not in your eyes. You are looking ahead and responding well in time, not getting too close to the vehicle in front and not braking or accelerating sharply. Your feedback display shows an icon of a smiley happy person (possibly even a sleeping person?) and a safety rating of 10.

It starts to rain. The sky clouds over. Your safety rating drops to 9 (more dangerous road conditions). Your virtual passenger is still smiling.

Suddenly, you look down to fiddle with the stereo (safety rating drops a couple of points, your virtual passenger starts to look a little nervous).

You look up. A warning sign appears for a tight right-hander. Your accident statistics monitor picks up data for this corner, it is dangerous and it should be taken at 40 mph. You accelerate to 50mph. Your virtual passenger begins to look decidedly jumpy, you safety rating drops another couple of points.

You round the bend and accelerate out onto the straight following the bend. The road looks clear. You are looking carefully and there is good visibility. You safety score climbs to 8 again. Your virtual passenger looks happy once more.

You accelerate again to 100mph. Your passenger gets more nervous. Your safety rating drops to 6 as this road has hazards that are not negotiable safely at this speed.

Suddenly, some fog rolls in. You continue. Your safety rating drops another couple of points.

You see a lorry (truck) too late and slam on the brakes and swerve, narrowly missing a head-on collision. Your safety monitor drops to 2. Your passenger looks like he is going to be sick and is hanging on for dear life.

You continue to accelerate, 140mph and rising. Your safety monitor drops to one.

Your warning device shows a sharp lefthander imminent with a long drop into a steep-sided gorge off of one side. Recommended speed 20mph. Stopping distance, too much! Your passenger is now in the brace position, hands on head, head between knees. He shouts and swears at you. Your safety rating drops to 0, an absolute certainty of a bad accident. You fly off of the edge of the bend, your virtual passenger screams. In that couple of seconds of freefall you just have time to think "oh fuck, I wish I’d listened to that guy on my dashboa..........".


webfishrune, Sep 19 2006


       You just know that some people would take pride in seeing just how sick they can make their virtual passenger... [+]
Freefall, Sep 19 2006

       This device seems to have an all-knowing omnipresence about it, which unnerves me somewhat.   

       How is this device not magic?
Texticle, Sep 19 2006

       As described, it is left up to magic... but any number of devices could aid in determining if passengers were nervous. Facial pattern recognition, sphincter tightening pressure sensor in the seat, galvanic response sensors attached to the skin. Anyway, I agree that the magical wish should have had some thought put into implementation.
craigts, Sep 19 2006

       The implementation would be relatively simple. A piece of software that analyses input statistically from:   

       Accident statistics   

       Road speed   

       Recommended safe speed   

       Approaching hazards   



       distance from other vehicles   

       Past recorded information when the vehicle has travelled this route   

       time of day   

       time of year   

       number of passengers in the car   

       And many more......   

       The device is not designed to measure *actual* passenger response, but is designed to statistically predict the likely response given the input parameters.   

       The safety rating is a probability. 10 represents absolute safety and 0 represent certain death. Probaility calculations are well know and accepted and not, in my opinion, magic.   

       The passenger comfort feedback is an inteligent application of these statistics and probabilites to suggest the likely response of a human passenger. Initialy, response would need to be measured from a variety of test subjects' responses to various risks or perceived risks. This would most likely be done in a simulator for safety.   

       The expected human response could then be mapped from this data and used as the basis of the code for the actual production of the device.   

       Various different passenger groups (i.e. my suggestion of paranoid wife, even more paranoid mother, mate etc) could be analysed during the reasearch and development phase for this product, allowing the ability to select the feedback given based on the type of passenger you are carrying.
webfishrune, Sep 20 2006

       There's an Institute of Advanced Drivers in the UK, and you have to do an extra test to join. I understand the favourite of the bald examiner is to wear a slightly loose fitting hat, and any differential head/hat movement results in a fail.
Azazello, Sep 20 2006

       [rcarty] Sorry... I've been lurking awhile, and reading nearly all of [benfrost]'s ideas.
craigts, Sep 20 2006

       [webfishrune], explain to me how your system knows when:   

       /It starts to rain. The sky clouds over./   

       /you look down to fiddle with the stereo/   

       /You look up/   

       /The road looks clear/   

       /You are looking carefully and there is good visibility/   

       /some fog rolls in/   


       /You see a lorry (truck) too late/   

       and I won't call this magic. Until then, it seems magical to me.
Texticle, Sep 20 2006


       I thought that I already did. I have mentioned that the system takes input from sensors placed upon the vehicle (rain, light, distance, speed etc.) and also receives. accident statistics data, GPS position. It then does statisitcal calculations based on the algorithms stored in memory for a particular passenger group in software to determine the actual feedback it provides.   

       Short of listing every input sensor used and actually doing the research and publishing the alogrithms and varibles used on here, what more can I say?
webfishrune, Sep 21 2006


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