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A smart solution to safe travel: Is connected vehicle an answer? (Part-2)

Guest post by
Ashish Verma, Senior Consultant, Infosys


Picking up from my previous blog on "Safe Travel" where we discussed about possible ways to enable safe travel and a possible solution. Now we know our expectations from an intelligent mode of travel. In nutshell, four types of data are important for safe travel.

  • Driver's Data
  • Infrastructure data
  • Vehicle data
  • Historical data

Infrastructure data is not limited to only establishments like restaurants, hotels, gas stations and rest rooms but also includes data related to dangerous curves, turns, high accident prone cross sections & area and permissible speed on various roads & tracks. Safe travel requires evolution of intelligent vehicle devices which can sense and analyze vehicle parameters like speed, RPM and coolant level etc.

In my previous blog we also talked about providing useful alerts to the driver so that he can take an informed decision. Here, the main challenge is for the vehicle to process and analyze data from various sources and then arriving on an intelligent conclusion.

"Connected Vehicle" (CV) is one such technology helping to reduce the accident rates and to increase the safety level of passengers by providing prognostics messages to the driver on the vehicle dashboard. It takes advantage of telematics and intelligent database to identify high risk potential accident scenario based on current and historical data and immediately sends information to the driver.  This can further enable data communication between nearby vehicles. This helps in making hazardous roads & tracks less vulnerable to accidents.

For such solutions to be more fulfilling, we need ergonomics sensors in the vehicle to identify the driver's stress level apart from other vehicle related critical parameters and to inform the driver about his physical & mental status. Accordingly preventive measures can be initiated to minimize chance of any collision.  Most of the vehicle manufactures (Audi, Mercedes, Toyota, BMW, and Volvo etc.) are partnering with technology vendors like Nokia, Apple, Microsoft and Google to come up with in-built connected vehicle platform to make driving an even exciting affair. Infosys has also developed competency to provide an integrated connected vehicle solution right from the content delivery platform to the telematics embedded software and up to the enterprise suite of applications.

Certainly future is to equip all modern vehicles with connected vehicle technology for safe travel. But, can we surely say that connected vehicle is the ultimate solution for safe travel? In good sense, somewhat, but we should also see its flipside before making any judgment. Providing alert messages to the driver when vehicle is in motion may lead to driver's distraction. Isn't it? It is similar to losing one's concentration when attending a call on a mobile phone while driving. Receiving multiple messages on dashboard of a vehicle can become a cause of accident instead of a safety signal. Also when a system identifies a high risk accident scenario, can the vehicle control system shift from manual to automatic or vice-versa so that it takes the safest path to avoid collision?

Going forward we have to see how technologies such as Vehicle to Vehicle (V2V), Vehicle to Infrastructure (V2I) and Google Car evolve to overcome these limitations.

I am leaving it to readers to judge if the connected vehicle is the right answer to overcome above challenges? Or is the connected vehicle a partial answer?

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