Posts Tagged ‘inteligence Automotive’

Grow box controls heater, fans, and water

Wednesday, September 16th, 2009

The Cheap Vegetable Gardner wanted more automation than their previous PS2 controller based grow system. This time they set out to design a full featured, compact grow controller that can measure temperature and humidity as well as control a heat lamp, fan, and water pump. An Arduino provides USB connectivity and interfaces the solid state relays and sensors. The assembled project all fits in a box but we are left wondering how much heat the four SSRs generate and will it be a problem?

source: hackaday

Adaptive Cruise Control Goes Mainstream

Tuesday, August 4th, 2009


Heading south on the New Jersey Turnpike, Ford Motor Company engineer Jerry Engelman swings his 2010 Taurus into the left lane to pass a semi. The Taurus hesitates, slowing down, and then Engelman adjusts his heading. The car takes off. “Larry,” he calls to his colleague in the back seat, “write that down!”

Engelman is driving, but just barely. The Taurus has a radar-based adaptive cruise-control system that lets him set a top speed and then simply steer while the car adjusts its velocity according to traffic. He’s been weaving and changing lanes, doing between 45 and 70 mph—and hasn’t touched a pedal in an hour. Over the past few years, Ford engineers have driven 60,000 miles to test, tweak, and optimize this system, which also provides collision warning alerts. They’ve been focused on the future in a financially dismal present—analysts actually praised Ford for losing only $1.4 billion in the first quarter. “It’s a tough market,” says Derrick Kuzak, VP of global product development, noting that the Taurus is important for “reestablishing us in the large-sedan market.” That’s executive-speak for “This car really needs to sell.”


Nuance Studies Speech Recognition’s Effect on Driving

Saturday, July 12th, 2008

driving.pngCan speech recognition reduce driver distraction when using cell phones or in-car entertainment and navigation systems?

Vendor studies are typically self-serving, but the latest research from speech recognition specialist Nuance Communications conforms to ISO standards for automotive safety tests, the company said.  Tests were conducted at the Technical University of Braunschweig, Germany.

The ISO’s lane-change-task test exposes drivers to specified skills while performing tasks such as making calls, using an MP3 player and programming a GPS unit.  Some researchers challenge the test’s validity because it partially involves subjective observations, although it is a commonly used measurement.

In the Nuance test for making calls, “Speech input improved the ability to maintain the ideal car position by 19% compared to manual dialing.  Speech input was also approximately 40% faster in making a call, reducing the distraction period by the same amount,” the company said.

For music systems, an average driver can be 50% more distracted and take twice as long to change lanes when selecting music manually compared to using speech, while for navigation the use of speech results in 10 times less swerving, officials said.

Nuance said its technology is available in 100 models of cars and in 5 million vehicles total from all major manufacturers.

Source: Wireless Week

Car Reads Road Signs For You

Friday, June 27th, 2008


As cars become smarter than the people driving them and do more of the things humans should be doing for themselves — checking blind spots, watching for lane departures, anticipating collisions — it was only a matter of time before a car started reading road signs.

The “Traffic Sign Recognition and Lane Departure Warning” system available early next year on General Motors’ new Euro-only Opel/Vauxhall Insignia scans the road ahead at 30 frames per second to read road signs and tell you when you’re wandering from your lane.

The most innovative aspect of the system is the road-sign recognition processor, which can read signs as far as 100 meters away.

The system uses two processors and a camera — called, appropriately, the Front Camera System — mounted near the rear-view mirror. One processor identifies familiar shapes, symbols and digits on common road signs and conveys the information to the driver via a digital display in the gauge cluster. The other alerts the driver when he or she strays from the lane.

“These new features follow Opel’s philosophy of enhancing driving excitement by assisting drivers without reducing their level of control,” says Hans Demant, managing director of GM Europe Engineering. “That means the system gives the drivers information, but it doesn’t intervene.”

We’re not entirely sure why GM thinks it’s easier to read a speed-limit sign on a tiny display between your speedometer and tachometer than on a big road sign. Dement says “a car that can see and warn the driver well in advance of potential hazards is another important step in our long-term accident prevention strategy.” GM Europe also is developing vehicle-to-vehicle communication systems that allow cars to exchange information about their position and speed.

Source: WIRED

Graphic by GM.