Saturday, April 16, 2011

Need of the hour:Remove the Guesswork from Driving

Left Turns, Blind Spots, Lane Changes, Back Gears - Just consider if we could remove the guesswork from driving! I think we can avoid thousands of car accidents, millions in medical and insurance costs if we can arrange better sensors and have a handshaking mechanism(wireless signalling based protocol) in place. Let's consider different cases:

Left Turns and Lane changes: We need to have new devices, protocol and laws to eliminate the guesswork. When a Car wants to change the lane or take a left turn(driver can indicate through Indicators) the other stakeholder car driver(which must agree to avoid the collision) will get a notice(using some wireless signals activating some alert sounds) to 'approve' the request for lane change. The car requesting the lane change can only take the turn once this request is approved(again through a wireless signal). This Request Approval process will be recorded and in case of any accident during the lane change the history will be analyzed. If the driver made the turn without the Approval - it will be his/her fault. But if the other driver 'approved' the turn and still hit the car during lane change - the driver approving the Turn will be at fault.

Blind spots and Sudden stops: Blind spot driving(backing or taking left turns in a 4-way crossing) and Sudden stops cause lot of car accidents. We need sensor mechanism in place so that driver knows that a moving car is nearby reducing any guesswork. Also the need to stop(forcefully) if it recognizes a potential collision(the car in the from suddenly stops or while backing driver is going to hit a wall etc.).

Introduction of these technologies is not that difficult. I think the difficult piece is the agreement of this protocol(may require new driving laws) and corresponding unlearning and relearning by all the drivers. But considering the huge potential this is worth the effort.

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