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WTF guy
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Scientists invent machine that forces driver to use turn signal before changing lanes

Scientists invent machine that forces drivers to use turn signals before changing lanes. Still waiting for the machine that shoves the driver's cell phone up her ass

Your own electronic 'rumble strip'

By Bill Griffith | July 17, 2005

It was a miserable April evening in Boston. The rain, fog, and raw wind also made for nasty traffic; in short, a typical day during our ''Spring of 2005" -- the one when nice weather never arrived. But it was a good time to test a new automotive system.

We were passengers in a 2005 Infiniti FX, cruising north along Morrissey Boulevard, headed toward South Boston from Quincy just before darkness settled. Traffic was moderate going against the rush-hour crunch, and we were able to go at the speed limit.

It was tough to keep a good-sized vehicle in its lane while dodging potholes and being bumped to the side by expansion grids on bridges.

Francis Memole, senior vice president of in-vehicle systems for a company called Iteris, was at the wheel. Every time he strayed over the lane markers, a warning beep sounded -- unless Memole had signaled a lane change by using the directional signals, not always standard operating procedure in this metro area.

He was demonstrating the company's Lane Departure Warning system, an option offered on the 2005 Infiniti FX crossover SUVs and the 2006 Infiniti M premium luxury sedan.

Even in spots where the lane markers were largely obliterated, the system -- Iteris software -- worked.

Over the past decade, while a good portion of the automotive R&D folks were working on radar systems, Iteris went in another direction, using cameras and ''smart" software to develop an electronic version of ''rumble strips."

''Studies show that 55 percent of fatal accidents in the United States are caused by lane departure," said Nissan's Robert Yakushi, a Nissan product safety director, citing National Highway Transportation Safety Administration figures from 2003, which were based on 2001 data.

Why? Yakushi cited a group of factors including driver distraction, inattention, and drowsiness. Those are all situations in which Lane Departure Warning can help.

We can think of a lot more: changing the radio, inserting a CD, adjusting the navigation system, talking on the phone, reading directions, yelling at kids, looking for a highway sign, answering a passenger's question, or searching for that dropped french fry.

''Rumble strips already have been proven to reduce fatalities by 30 to 50 percent," said Memole, referring to the bumpy strips alongside the high-speed or breakdown lanes of major highways, designed to nudge wayward drivers back into their appropriate line of travel. ''We figure crashes by people running off the road cost the US economy something on the order of $80 billion each year."

A system that duplicates the ''wake-up call" of the rumble strip makes sense. We're a generation used to all sorts of beeps and buzzes in our cars, mostly for not fastening seat belts or leaving doors open. This reminder is different.

''The camera is totally invisible unless you go looking for it," said Iteris chief executive Jack Johnson. Just before the vehicle starts to move out of its lane, audio -- and potentially all sorts of other warnings -- alert the driver.

''Infiniti decided on a beep, but you could have a flashing light, vibrating seat, or voice alert," said Johnson. ''We can write the software any way the manufacturer wants."

For example, to avoid upsetting passengers, European bus companies opt for a dashboard light or vibrating seat to alert the driver to a line departure.

Infiniti took a gamble with the system, offering it only as part of a package on fully loaded vehicles. And, to make it less intrusive, it only activates at speeds over 45 miles per hour, which can be adjusted in future systems.

''You can shut if off with a manual canceling switch," said Johnson, ''but it will reset itself and be operating again the next time the vehicle is started."

Even though the system has, in effect, been ''dumbed down," the ''take rate" has been double what Nissan executives predicted. They credit wise shoppers with recognizing the system's potential.

''The goal is to keep you in the center of the lane," said Memole, who worked on developing the system with Mercedes in Europe.

How well does it work?

Simply put, the system makes you a better driver. That was apparent in our time at the FX's wheel.

''Some drivers think they're in the middle of the lane but actually they're hugging the line on one side of the lane or the other," said Memole.

''The system eases them back into the middle of the lane. And it also subtly promotes use of the directional signals. Somehow, we're programmed to recognize the beep as a negative signal and it's a natural reaction to, even subconsciously, keep it from going off."

That sounds like a winner. It's nice to have a device that turns what you don't know about your driving into a warning that can save your life.
© Copyright 2005 The New York Times Company


Source

What do you guys think... good or bad?
 

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You got that right.
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Good idea!

Have you ever riden in New York, Boston or Jersey? Licenses are available in Cracker Jack boxes up here.
 

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Resident Freak
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Vibrating seat as a warning... mmmmmm... I'd be driving in two lanes all day long on purpose if such action resulted in a vibrating seat...
 

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Registered
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Lol!
 

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Now before you post saying that this sucks arse, read the article.

http://www.boston.com/cars/articles/2005/07/17/your_own_electronic_rumble_strip/

Sure it may be annoying at first, like your mom next to you lecturing on how you didn’t signal. But eventually the system will teach you, at least on a subconscious level, to signal a lane change which makes the road safer for everyone. Eventually, it will become a habit just like turning your head to look behind you when backing up instead of just using your mirrors.

Not to mention that this also helps prevent drivers from dozing off.

Wonderful idea; if you don't like it I’d certainly like to hear why. And if your reason against the system is because its an extra noise you don't want to deal with, or to much of a strain to use your left hand, or you lost your left hand in the great war, etc. you should go to hell.
 

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WTF guy
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Discussion Starter #7
rush989 said:
OMG LOLZ, didnt see your post, peldor, sry plz dont hit me
:eek:nfloor :eek:nfloor
ahhh that was great! No prob man!
I really do think its a great idea... hell they should put an elecro shock to reenforce the message.
 

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Banned
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Good idea. A dumb bitch almost sideswipe me today-- didn't even see me. Even worse, she was in a Landcruiser and I was in my 442 (huge car, not exactly tough to see). She didn't even know she almost hit me, every time I pulled up at a light next to her she had her window up and was babbling on her cell phone. Eventually I tossed a penny at her window, she rolled down her window, I gave it to her-- she had no idea what I was talking about. I asked if she usually drove in two lanes-- illegal operation, her brain shut down, nothing to say. Worthless moron.
 

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King of Oilernation
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1,237 Posts
Considering all the stupid assholes with licenses in the world, I think it and every other idea to improve crappy driving is an excellent idea!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 

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Banned
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Considering all the stupid assholes with licenses in the world, I think it and every other idea to improve crappy driving is an excellent idea!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I did all that typing and ranting.... I knew there was a more concise way for me to get my point across.
 
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