A simple app makes your car smarter

No need for a new car, you can use your phone to get real-time vehicle safety technology.

Sure, new high-end cars are increasingly equipped with high-tech sensors that make driving safer. But shouldn't vehicle safety technology be available to everyone else who can't afford to upgrade their vehicles? A new app will bring some of the safety technologies available in new cars to anyone with access to a smartphone.

With CarSafe -- developed at Dartmouth College's Smartphone Sensing Group in partnership with Microsoft Asia and the University of Bologna -- you mount an Android phone to your car's windshield. The app uses the dual cameras from the phone to detect dangerous driving patterns. If you're falling asleep at the wheel or become distracted the app can sense that based on your head position and blinking rate. Another camera points to the road and can detect if you're getting too close to another car and analyzes your lane changes. If something isn't right, the phone makes alerts you. This video explains more:

"One of the breakthroughs the team made was getting computationally demanding algorithms to work in real-time on a phone and coming up with fast camera switching techniques to process each camera’s video in real-time," said Andrew Campbell, a professor at Dartmouth.

Last year, the Smartphone Sensing Group built the WalkSafe app for pedestrians.

[Via New Scientist, Dartmouth]

This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com

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