Automobiles are becoming more and more advanced thanks to the development of various sensory and wireless technologies. Indeed, car manufacturers are quite enthusiastic about tomorrow’s car, stating that drivers of the future can enjoy a safer ride as the vehicles they drive will be able to communicate with each other and with the road itself. But with such a large volume of information moving around, you need a computer giant like IBM to pick up the ball.
IBM has recently initiated a project to create a system that can supply drivers with the right information at the right time, namely information on congestion, accidents, and weather via roadway sensors.
“IBM calls the research initiative collaborative driving, and the company says it's designed to prevent accidents and reduce traffic congestion. The work will be spearheaded by the IBM lab in Haifa, Israel. ‘More than a million people die on the roads every year around the world, and people waste a lot of time and money sitting in traffic jams,’ says IBM researcher Oleg Goldshmidt.
“Goldshmidt says that through a combination of computer modeling and driving simulations, the company can better determine how all the data generated by today's high-tech cars and roadways can be gathered and organized, then processed and prioritized in a way that's most helpful to the driver.
Of course, as most of us know, computers are limited by the fact that they do not have the decision making abilities that humans have. Hence, it can be very difficult to figure out how to prioritize road data. For instance, if the vehicle has a lane-departure warning system and a collision warning system, what would happen in the case that a car has stopped in the lane that you need to keep driving on? On the one hand, the system tells the driver that he/she needs to get out of the lane to avoid collision, but on the other, such a move would veer the car off its course. Obviously it is better to be live than to miss your stop, but the contradictory warning systems going off at the same time could confuse the driver. Experts acknowledge that this is no small task to tackle.