December 2


Below is a five minute video from the GAO, in association with the US DOT,  about V2V that covers EEBL, BSW, LCW, FCW, DNPW, IMA and LTA.

The jargon combined with the formal dialogue are just short of parody.

In English – it’s a semi-interesting video that shows the different ways cars will warn you to slam on the brakes, stay in your lane, or don’t turn at an intersection.

I interviewed with Lockhead Martin coming out of college to work in their Intelligent Vehicle Highway System division.  They ended up hiring an experienced traffic engineer.  I was very disappointed at the time.  To this day, it was still the most interesting interview I’ve been in.

The vice-president interviewing me had spent most of her career working on the layout of controls in fighter plane cockpits.  I’ll never forget this – she said the challenge with cockpit design is deciding what information the pilot doesn’t need and then laying out the information they do need in a simple to comprehend layout.

Similarly – it’s fine to build all of these sensors into the car, but conveying the information (without annoying the driver) is a very big challenge.  It might be easier to just go the next step – instead of warning the driver not to change lanes, just prohibit the car from changing lanes.

I also wonder how they’ll tailor the warnings based on driving ability.  The warnings the car gives my grandfather should be much different than the warnings the same car gives Dale Earnhardt, Jr.

  • Two years ago tomorrow (Dec 5, 2011) I attended a live demonstration on vehicle-to-vehicle communication at the Texas Motor Speedway. The demonstration was hosted by the US DOT and featured ~10 passenger vehicles (each from a different manufacturer). Participants like myself were allowed to ride in the vehicles with a professional driver. Each situation described in the video was demonstrated in a “live” situation at highway speeds on the race track to showcase the vehicle-to-vehicle warning system. I enjoyed the demonstration, but have reservations about the practical application. If drivers treated this as a safety “enhancement” I think it would work great. However, I think some drivers will see it as a safety “replacement” (i.e. they don’t have to pay attention to driving as much and can rely on the system to save them from a crash) and the overall benefits from the system will be negated by those that misuse it. My supervisor refers to this as the “Safety Paradox” – the safer the roads and vehicles get, the less people focus on driving.

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    Mike Spack

    My mission is to help traffic engineers, transportation planners, and other transportation professionals improve our world.

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