I’ve mentioned my shit box of a car pretty often here, usually in connection with trying to get someone to buy it. I had another flat this morning from a rim that is so rusty it doesn’t hold a seal anymore. I thought I’d replaced it at the junkyard last week but it seems they replaced the wrong rim. That’s what happens when you buy tires and rims at the junkyard. I’m not really in to cars, which is why I can keep driving my 14 year old monstrosity. It gets me from A to B, which is what I want. It doesn’t have much hi tech stuff, although I like that kind of thing. My next car maybe.
It does have a radio, and I have a GPS (suction cup mount) and a cell phone, each of which I use rarely and the phone, never when I drive. I listen to the radio a lot, though, which reminds me that when my late uncle bought a car with a radio in it in the 1930s the family thought this was one of the craziest and most dangerous things they ever heard of. I’m reminded of it especially when I get passed at 65 mph on the highway by some asshole who appears to be either texting or dialing someone. “No hands” phones have not been shown to decrease the increased risk from inattention while talking on the phone as you drive. But it’s not just phones. It’s changing the radio station, fiddling with the GPS, turning up the heat or the air conditioning. Lots and lots of technological distractions in the car these days. Which is why I found this so interesting:
European research and the automotive industry have joined forces and developed a dashboard interface that can link and control the increasing information and vehicle controls systems currently emerging in the automotive industry.
Right now, dozens of research projects around Europe are working on new technologies to improve automotive safety and to develop intelligent vehicles. But all of these systems must then be added to the dozens of controls and user devices that are already found in a car.
Current in-vehicle systems like open door and seat belt warnings will soon be joined by lane assistance, hazard detection and a host of other information and systems for safe and efficient driving. (Science Daily)
The press release was about the EU-funded Adaptive, Integrated Driver-vehicle interface, or AIDE, a sort of attention demand control system for a car’s attention demanding devices:
If the car is approaching a tricky junction, for example, it can hold all mobile calls and text messages, or suspend non-safety critical information.
The AIDE system can support many different functions, and help to ensure that drivers get the best possible use out of those functions, and that the system is safe and easy to use.
It works by sharing input and output controls among the various subsystems, such as collision avoidance or the mobile phone unit. It then coordinates information centrally, deciding the best course of action for both a given driving situation and the driver’s current state.
If the driver is distracted, for example, the system issues warnings with greater intensity. AIDE also developed the interface so that it could adapt to different types of driver.
This is an EU initiative. I’m not surprised the US doesn’t seem to have a comparable industry-wide effort underway. That’s why the US auto industry is foundering. No imagination and no innovation equals no profits.
Meanwhile I’m still driving my 1995 Volvo and listening to the radio. Hold on a second. I’m coming to a tricky traffic circle and should probably stop blogging for a minute. Just to be safe.
OK. Where was I?