Automobile Situational Awareness System

November 27, 2008

Automobile Situational Awareness System
~James Dunn

Create a system of displays which can be selected and retrofit by car and vehicle owners for a wide variety of applications. Examples include:

(1) A wide but low height message display on the dashboard of cars, trucks, and heavy equipment that displays information related to the vehicle health status, operational characteristics, and emergency awareness.

(2) A LED light bar to place over the instrument panel to bring the attention of the driver to out of spec conditions like low fuel.

(3) A flat panel display mounted over the rear view mirror that has wide angle camera view of what is behind the vehicle, or the back seat, inside the trailer, …

(4) A flat panel touch display with a tether for the back seat for passengers to interface with on-board utilities like: navigation, vehicle health, games, communications via a common cell phone, vehicle to vehicle video conferencing, ….

(5) Weatherproof flat panel displays for the bumper or car doors that provide people outside the vehicle with information, like: advertising, your seat belt is dragging, I’m turning right, …

(6) A narrow display for the outside mirrors that provides proximity information for the entire vehicle. Part of the collision avoidance system perhaps.

The displays could be configurable to supercede operational data like speed, time, or music station, with out of spec information, like: oil pressure too low, engine temp too high, emergency vehicle in the area, owner being paged because of unauthorized entry, unauthorized access to back of trailer, … Or even for commercial use like the next address for a delivery with inputs from a navigation system telling the driver to slow down, get back on track, break is over, police have been notified of unauthorized entry, …

Wireless hookup to a computer box under the seat using blue-tooth and wifi is practical. The cost of the computer is negligible (<$100>, but the software development needs considerable customizing.

1) The computer could have inputs from the car computer via the car computer data access port.

2) Any bluetooth or wifi device currently on the market could be incorporated.

3) Current navigations systems could be interfaced to utilize Heads Up Displays

4) Police could provide a signal to automatically shutdown the engine if the vehicle is being chased.

5) The GPS location and ALL vehicle resources can be transmitted to the police or individual of choice during an emergency situation (on-board cameras and microphones, GPS, vehicle parameters like speed, outside temperature, whatever the computer has access to).

The multi-function computer would glue all bluetooth and wifi devices together to allow for greater situational awareness for the driver. And the diverse displays to select from would allow a variety of uses in almost every vehicle and piece of equipment.

This would also allow many other products to spawn seamlessly with advancing technology, like: collision avoidance systems, driver under the influence detection, impending mechanical problem detection systems, community emergency response systems, vehicle to vehicle communications while traveling, shortwave operator displays, even games to amuse the kids, …

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