Smartphone App to Intelligently Prevent Car Accidents
Most people are likely familiar with warnings about using a smartphone while driving, as the distraction of the phone can lead to a serious accident. Smartphones are not the only distraction though or cause of preventable accidents either, but they may be able to provide a solution. Researchers at Dartmouth College have created an app to alert drivers when they are at risk of having an accident by processing data from its many sensors.
Along with the phone's accelerometer, gyroscope, and GPS, the CarSafe app also uses the front and back facing cameras of the smartphone to monitor the driver and the road. The back facing camera measures the distance to the car in front and tracks the road, to detect swerving, while the front facing camera watches for signs of distracted driving or drowsiness. This was not easy for the researchers to achieve though, as smartphones are not designed to handle the streams from both cameras at the same time, but by switching back and forth they achieved real-time performance.
Sadly this app is not available at the moment as it is going through large-scale evaluation, but the researchers hope to have it out early next year. As this will bring functionality only available as optional features on specific cars at the moment, it will hopefully be welcomed by many as a way to keep safe and without purchasing a new vehicle.