A new in-vehicle system developed at Clemson University promises to gather key information about traffic and road conditions that can help drivers make better decisions.
We’ve seen several mobile apps designed to users’ driving — insurer State Farm’s Driver Feedback is one recent example — but it seems safe to say a mobile app can only go so far. A new in-vehicle system developed at Clemson University, however, promises to tap an emerging class of open source Dedicated Short Range Communications (DSRC) technologies to gather key information about traffic and road conditions that can help drivers make better decisions. Clemson’s Integrated Intelligent Transportation Platform (IITP) aims to use DSRC to build what it calls a “true connected vehicle ecosystem.” Specifically, the DSRC-based platform inside the car will make possible four key areas of functionality. First, an enabled car will be able to automatically report when it’s been involved in a crash; it will also gather data about road usage and help drivers plan their routes accordingly, steering away from those with too much congestion, for instance. IITP-equipped cars will also be able to warn drivers of electric vehicles when their car doesn’t have enough charge for a particular trip, including suggesting specific features — such as the back-seat TV — that could be shut down in order to conserve energy. The video below explains the premise in further detail: There are other related platforms in the works, including Sakura Associates’ Connected Vehicle Proactive Driving system and technology from the University of Buffalo that focuses on upgrading emergency response in the event of an accident. Both were also involved in a recent Department of Transportation competition, according to a report on FastCompany. Tech-savvy entrepreneurs: how can you make cars and driving safer for everyone?