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IBM Extreme Blue Smarter Vehicle
IBM has shown off technology developed by UK students under its Extreme Blue summer internship scheme, which gives participants 12 weeks to develop cutting-edge ideas and business plans for new products.
The programme has been running every summer since 1999. The 2011 intake — four teams of four students — came up with proof-of-concept products for smart cars, e-voting machines, accessibility devices and network analysis tools. The projects were demonstrated at IBM's London offices on 31 August.
The Smarter Vehicle platform (pictured) uses RFID technology to wirelessly identify the driver as they walk toward the car. Once they are identified, the car is loaded with data of their past driving behaviour.
The dashboard developed by the Extreme Blue interns has a touchscreen interface, used in tandem with sensors placed throughout the car. "It's a real Jaguar dashboard," said Stuart Wilkinson, IBM manager of the Extreme Blue UK scheme. "The sensors on the steering wheel sense how hard you are gripping the wheel."
Other sensors track tyre pressure, locks, radio settings, GPS-based location and brakes. "[The] sensors pick up information and display it on the screen with the output of what could happen," Wilkinson said.
Photo credit: IBM