This App Turns Smartphones Into Safe Driving Tools

We know that cellphones and driving don’t mix. Despite the accidents and known risks, 89% of teens say they reply to a text message or email within five minutes, driving or not. So can the technology responsible for distracting many drivers, also serve to prevent roadway collisions and close-calls?

A new app called DriveScribe turns your phone into a “driving coach.” Aimed in particular at helping those new drivers learn the rules-of-the-road, the app monitors speed, and blocks all texts, updates and calls while the car is in motion. It uses GPS, social media, real-time voice feedback and a jamming function to block texts and calls. The app will tell drivers to slow down if they’re going too fast.

Why the Future of Transportation Is All About Real-Time Data
In order to tackle urban transportation challenges in cities around the world, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and the National Research Foundation of Singapore launched a five-year cooperative project in 2009 — Future Urban Mobility (FM) — to look at new models and technology tools aimed at sustainability. The FM team is one of four interdisciplinary research groups that are part of the Singapore-MIT Alliance for Research and Technology Centre, or SMART Centre. FM is developing SimMobility, a simulation platform where researchers explore transportation, environmental impacts, energy and land use and the activities of individual travelers in the mix.
Some of the projects of FM include autonomous driving — as in, cars that drive themselves — and simultaneous research is being done in the areas of vehicle-to-vehicle communication and vehicle-to-infrastructure communication. Vehicle-to-vehicle communication looks at applications for both safety and information retrieval.
Applications are being developed so your car will get information about the location and intentions of vehicles in your vicinity, contributing to the process of autonomous driving. Vehicle-to-infrastructure projects are less safety-related and more focused on traffic operations, including the possibility of your car receiving information from traffic signals regarding data like when an upcoming stoplight will turn green. With this data, you can adjust your speed and slow down without having to stop at the signal, thus reducing stop-and-go traffic movement.

Why the Future of Transportation Is All About Real-Time Data

In order to tackle urban transportation challenges in cities around the world, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and the National Research Foundation of Singapore launched a five-year cooperative project in 2009 — Future Urban Mobility (FM) — to look at new models and technology tools aimed at sustainability. The FM team is one of four interdisciplinary research groups that are part of the Singapore-MIT Alliance for Research and Technology Centre, or SMART Centre. FM is developing SimMobility, a simulation platform where researchers explore transportation, environmental impacts, energy and land use and the activities of individual travelers in the mix.

Some of the projects of FM include autonomous driving — as in, cars that drive themselves — and simultaneous research is being done in the areas of vehicle-to-vehicle communication and vehicle-to-infrastructure communication. Vehicle-to-vehicle communication looks at applications for both safety and information retrieval.

Applications are being developed so your car will get information about the location and intentions of vehicles in your vicinity, contributing to the process of autonomous driving. Vehicle-to-infrastructure projects are less safety-related and more focused on traffic operations, including the possibility of your car receiving information from traffic signals regarding data like when an upcoming stoplight will turn green. With this data, you can adjust your speed and slow down without having to stop at the signal, thus reducing stop-and-go traffic movement.

Look,  no hands: Cars that drive better than you | New Scientist
"…Alan Taub, vice-president for R&D at General Motors, expects to see semi-autonomous vehicles on the highway by 2015. They will need a driver to handle busy city streets or negotiate complex junctions, but once on the highway they will be able to steer, accelerate and avoid collisions unaided. A few years on, he predicts, drivers will be able to take their hands off the wheel completely: "I see the potential for launching fully autonomous vehicles by 2020." 

Look, no hands: Cars that drive better than you | New Scientist

"…Alan Taub, vice-president for R&D at General Motors, expects to see semi-autonomous vehicles on the highway by 2015. They will need a driver to handle busy city streets or negotiate complex junctions, but once on the highway they will be able to steer, accelerate and avoid collisions unaided. A few years on, he predicts, drivers will be able to take their hands off the wheel completely: "I see the potential for launching fully autonomous vehicles by 2020." 

Your Parking Spot is Calling
A system being tested in San Francisco uses a wireless sensor embedded in a 4-inch-by-4-inch piece of plastic, fastened to the pavement, that can tell drivers where to find an open spot. (via Can’t Find a Parking Spot? Check Smartphone - NYTimes.com)

Your Parking Spot is Calling

A system being tested in San Francisco uses a wireless sensor embedded in a 4-inch-by-4-inch piece of plastic, fastened to the pavement, that can tell drivers where to find an open spot. (via Can’t Find a Parking Spot? Check Smartphone - NYTimes.com)