Pioneer will soon launch a new car navigation system in Japan that uses dashboard cameras to scan the road ahead for approaching street signs and other cars, and will share images of road conditions with other vehicles.
In the quest for smarter and safer transportation networks, automakers have been working on communication systems that use wireless technologies to share information between vehicles and infrastructure, such as traffic lights, road works, intersections and stop signs. The potential applications of these vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) and vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) systems are constantly being expanded, and while GM has been working to bring cyclists and pedestrians into the mix, a team from La Trobe University in Melbourne, Australia, is looking to improve safety at railway crossings by developing a system that enables communication between trains and road vehicles.
According to the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB), there were over 630 collisions at railway crossings in Australia between 2001 and 2009. While active warning system, such as boom gates, flashing lights or barriers, can help cut the incidence of accidents, they are expensive to deploy and maintain. While being cheaper, passive signs are much less effective, particularly when poor visibility and driver fatigue is involved.
A team at La Trobe University’s Centre for Technology Infusion (CTI) has developed an Intelligent Transport System (ITS) that uses GPS and Dedicated Short Range Communications (DSRC) wireless technology to establish a wireless connection between trains and vehicles approaching a railway crossing. The system is designed to detect the possibility of a collision and alert the driver with in-car audio-visual alerts that escalate in volume and intensity as the train gets closer to the crossing.
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Highway signs are an unavoidable and unmistakeable part of the American landscape, and they’re not likely to disappear anytime soon (Wikipedia says that the United States has "no plans for adopting the Vienna Convention on Road Signs and Signals...
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"When Stanford Professor Lee Shulman was first enmeshed in the research that led to Board certification of teachers by NBPTS, I asked him – in a hotel bathroom, of all places – what interesting findings were turning up about great teachers as compared to the rest. He replied: 'Well, you might not find this such a big deal, but a big indicator is the degree to which a teacher accurately describes what happens in her classroom.'"
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