Technology To Help Drivers Avoid Killer Curves

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Vehicles may soon be equipped with technology capable of calculating the likelihood of a crash as a driver rounds a bend in the road, claim researchers from the Queensland University of Technology.

Samantha Chen, from QUT’s Centre for Accident Research & Road Safety, is leading a research project to design an intelligent transport system that seeks to reduce the number of curve-related crashes on our roads.

“We are developing a computer model that analyses situational driver behaviour and proposes real-time countermeasures to minimise fatalities and casualties,” Chen said.

“The main innovation of our system is that it integrates information about driver behaviour, vehicle dynamics, environment and crash history from IAG (an insurance company), to assess and monitor crash risk.

“This approach could allow the driver to have sufficient time to react promptly, and therefore has the potential to promote safe driving and reduce curve-related injuries and fatalities,” she claims

“[The system] can determine an intervention according to a risk assessment score which will be transferred to the vehicle to warn the driver, or to correct the mistake automatically for the driver.”

“For example if a crash occurred on a particular curve in the past and a driver was approaching that same location or a similar location, then the system would be able to determine that the driver was facing a high-risk situation,” she said.

Chen claims the Australian Transport Safety Bureau reports that intelligent transport systems (such as hers) should bring benefits worth a total of at least $14.5 billion by 2012 – thus making it a financially viable option for Australia

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