The Next Big Thing
Posts about next generation technologies and their effect on business.

How long until we’re all part of the Internet of Cars?

robots and cars.pngThe July issue of MIT Technology Review had an article stating The Internet of Cars Is Approaching a Crossroads.


“Officials from the U.S. Department of Transportation in Washington, DC, will see the technology in action, in a demonstration organized by experts from the University of Michigan’s Transportation Research Institute and various communications equipment and car manufacturers.”


There are a number of efforts in this space including the Car2Car Communications Consortium looking for what to communicate and the best way to do so.


Recently the largest ever real-world vehicle-to-vehicle experiment—involving 2,800 vehicles has been under way in Ann Arbor, Michigan. It involves a wide variety of types of vehicles and drivers.


“The main purpose of the exercise is to record data to determine how effectively information is relayed between vehicles. But some participating drivers also receive dashboard alerts, offering a glimpse of how the technology may eventually work. These participants are shown a warning if, for example, another driver several cars ahead (and out of view) applies the brakes suddenly, or if their onboard computer notices another car approaching an intersection ahead at a speed that could cause a collision.”


This effort focuses on an area that I’ve mentioned before Attention Engineering and actionable information. There is definitely a need to present information into the driving process in a way that a non-technical user can interpret and change their behavior.


I see the potential for all kinds of interesting applications to assist drivers in addressing areas of concern and techniques beyond the current beeps and bells currently applied. Of course most of them need some way to customize them as well.


I purchased a car earlier this year and every time I pull the car out of the garage warnings go off with my car "thinking" that my storage shelf is somehow going to collide with the side of the car. These well understood situations can be identified, understood and avoided to minimize false alarms with the sensors that are in the cars today. Ensuring that the driver’s attention is only drawn to situations where it is needed may be as important as being able to identify the real situation. 

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