Cyber culture: The only way to guarantee safety on the roads - remove car drivers
Rhodri Marsden is the Technology Columnist for The Independent; he has also written about crumpets, Captain Beefheart, rude place names and string. He's also a musician who plays in the band Scritti Politti, and won the under-10 piano category at the 1980 Watford Music Festival by playing a piece called "Silver Trumpets" with verve and aplomb.
Wednesday 11 September 2013
At the end of August, Honda unveiled a new system it's been working on to improve the safety of pedestrians who have to cope not only with badly driven vehicles in their vicinity but also their own tendency to wander into roads without looking.
This experimental technology, says Honda, "determines if the pedestrian is in danger of being struck by an oncoming car"; it does this by utilising GPS and DSRC (dedicated short-range communications) in the car and the pedestrian's smartphone to trigger warnings that an impact may be imminent. Loud alarms and onscreen alerts appear on both the phone and in the car, raising the immediate question of whether our reaction to an electronic alert is going to be any quicker or more effective than our reaction to the sound of an oncoming vehicle, or the sight of a pedestrian appearing from behind a parked car.
The announcement came as scientists at Carnegie Mellon University unveiled what they term a "crash-proof car", a modified Cadillac SRX that uses radar and infrared cameras to detect and avoid obstacles. It reflects what we've consistently been told about driverless cars: that their safety record is extraordinarily good.
Google's driverless cars were once revealed to have only had two crashes, both of them when humans were behind the wheel. So for all the ingenuity within Honda's alert system, you can't help but feel that the best solution to safety issues is to remove humans from the equation completely. "The car's electronics are simply more reliable than people," said Professor Raj Rajkumar, at Carnegie Mellon University's transportation research centre, "and will protect drivers from their own bad behaviour."
Life & Style blogs
Alexander McQueen at auction: What makes a really great piece of fashion?
A bottle of wine a day is not bad for you and abstaining is worse than drinking, scientist claims
No female ejaculation, please, we’re British: a history of porn and censorship
Stressed nurses are 'forced to choose between health of patients and their own'
Pornhub: Kim Kardashian's sex tape is the most-watched porn video of all-time
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
Nigel Farage's approval rating hits 'record low' as popularity suffers in wake of Ukip sex scandal
Nigel Farage defends Kerry Smith 'ch***y' comment: 'If you are going for a Chinese, what do you say you’re going for?'
Pakistan school attack live: Taliban kill at least 132 children in 'horrifying' massacre
Sony hack: Angelina Jolie branded 'seriously out of her mind' in further embarrassing leaked email saga
Panic Saturday: 13 million Britons spend £1.2bn – while 13 million others across the country live in poverty unable to afford food
- 1 Nigel Farage: Me vs Russell Brand on Question Time – he's got the chest hair but where are his ideas?
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
iJobs Gadgets & Tech
£50000 per annum + 26 days holiday,pension: Ashdown Group: A highly successful...
£30 per hour: Ashdown Group: An industry leading and well established business...
£20000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A highly reputable business is looking to rec...
£28000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A highly reputable business is looking to rec...