University of Michigan Connects 3,000 Cars For Safety Experiment

The University of Michigan’s Transportation Institute  is conducting a year long experiment that connects 3,000 cars via a wi-fi like network. The cars will send data to servers at a rate of up to ten times per second. Other cars then pick up the data and warn drivers of hazardous conditions.

“The participants are parents driving kids to school, picking them up after school, or driving them to ballet or football,” said Peter Sweatman, UMTRI’s director. “We have a platform, with five or six applications on that platform intended to avoid certain major classes of crash, whether at an intersection, a lane departure, a rear-end or whatever it might be.”

I mention this first, because it’s cool, and second because I’m a Michigan alum. Mrs. GolfBlogger, also a Michigan alum, actually was invited to participate in this, but it turns out that she doesn’t spend enough time driving in the experimental area to collect sufficient data points.

But there’s also a golf connection:

I recently played a course in which the GPS units in the carts showed you the locations and distances to other carts on your hole. Or at least I think that’s what it was doing. The starter didn’t explain it, but when other carts were in the fairway ahead, little cart icons with distances showed up on my screen. The screen also warned you when you were violating the 90 degree rule. And, of course, you could use the screen to order food and beverages on the fly. The starter did explain that part.


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