Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Concept for new HW/SW to combat bad driving

Collapse
X
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Concept for new HW/SW to combat bad driving

    I have had this idea for a while, but another thread recently (in SW development) inspired me to bring it up again.

    Intro:
    Everyday, we see people do things wrong while driving, and we look the other way. I mean, what can we really do? Many times, we are guilty of the same things ourselves. What would we gain by confronting someone? If the situation escalates, you will likely be seen as the instigator and will get all the flack about it. People seem to have trouble regulating themselves, resulting in more and more laws (police state) that are needed to regulate your behavior for you. This really isn't the solution. More laws just make more criminals, and besides...people will continue to break the law when they have a reasonable assumption that they will not get caught. Sometimes, things aren't actually illegal, but are just plain wrong and dangerous. In fact, I would argue that by creating more laws, we are just further destroying people's incentive to self-regulate. Basically, "It's only illegal if you get caught." Wonderful concept isn't it? How many times have you heard that? Sounds like an invitation to a police state to me!

    The Problem:
    Actually, there are so many popular bad driving habits that are wreckless, dangerous, and all too common that I couldn't possibly list them here. You know them when you see them.

    [example removed since it wasn't universe-friendly and apparently distracted from the purpose of this topic]

    IMO, the main reason for the rapidly decaying self regulation is that too many of these bad behaviors are culturally accepted. Not to mention that we would much rather someone else deal with the unpleasantness. This not acceptable! If the problem were not already so prevelant, it would be enough just to confront and scold someone. They would know you would be backed up and everyone else would see what they did as wrong. I could go on and on about the social aspects this, but I believe deep down, everyone understands this already.

    The Solution:

    As I already stated, my preferred solution is definitely not creating more laws. Creating a bunch of snitches is also not honourable. In fact, I submit that in many cases laws are not needed at all and police are not needed. One of the most effective deterrents against bad behavior is simple embarassment. This is no. 1 reason crime is so little in tribes and small communities. People regulate themselves because of acceptance by thier peers. Even people that claim they "could care less what other people think" only mean they could care less what people think outside thier circle of influence. It's very simple really. In many cultures, it is believed that exile is a punishment far worse than death. It's no coincidence that these cultures usually suffer very little crime!

    So, in conclusion, the solution is very simple. If it were possible to somehow bring shame and scorn to wrong-doers from within thier circle of influence it would be an effective incentive to self-regulate themselves.

    By recording our daily driving experiences and publishing edited video on public TV (which is free and everybody can use) or local internet forums, we may actually see results. It would also remain somewhat light-hearted in that it would be entertaining (people love to watch other people do stupid things and think they are so much better!)

    The biggest problem is legality, of course. I am aware of several concerns, and have yet to balance them into the system. I invite discussion on this. However, the overall possibility for good is too great to not explore this option. "Pie in the sky" ideas would be insurance companies offering a discount for having this system in your car, rewarding you for activism in safe driving. The obvious one result I would NOT want to see in this is the police using it to scan plates for people with warrants/suspended licenses, etc.. I am VERY much against a police state and 'spying' on your neighbor. It would be great if it could remain a simple citizen-activist tool. Any other purpose only invites abuse of power, which is never in the common good. So, if it isn't clear already, I AM NOT advocating that at all (sorry, had to be said.)

    The Concept:
    A software/hardware system cosisting of:

    1. Video cameras located around the vehicle. Positioned to capture the majority of the field of view around the vehicle. Low light, high resolution, and concealed are important specifications of the cameras.

    2. A video interface system.
    This is the meat and potatoes of the system-
    This system will take in telemetric data from your vehicle and overlay it on the video. Information such as speed, indicators, steering position, seat-belt, and other data can be configurable for display.
    Additionally, key vehicle data is recorded seperately and timestamped in machine readable form regardless of what is overlaid on the video.
    Additional features might include x minute looping of video capturing, while monitoring things like collision sensors and sudden loss of speed (braked or no brake.) A triggered event would store all related information seperately for later investigation. There are usually more than enough of these sensors built directly into a modern vehicle that installation would be easier and modifications minimal.

    4. Software interface - depending on whether this is a standalone device or a background application to an existing carpc, this part may be different. The software should run entirely of in the background and require no (or minimal) input from the vehicle occupants while in operation. It should be fully configurable except where critical data is concerned. The software would be somewhat complex in that it loops the data of all the senors and all the cameras. A trigger event (either manual or from the vehicle's sensors) would store x number of minutes before and after the trigger. This is the hard part, actually. How easy would it be to remember to trigger the system manually? Of course most drives are fairly short and a trigger could be set using the ignition of the car, so it starts recording when turned on, and permanently saves the data when turned off (or prompting whether to keep the data, defaulting as "yes" with a timeout.)

    A simple and convenient method of offloading the data should be available.

    Conclusion:

    I truly believe this has a great potential of working. It should be cheap enough for a normal citizen activist to implement. Simple enough for most people to use. Have safeguards against abuse of the technology. I know there are already commercial systems which provide many of the features I presented in CONCEPT, but they usually do not meet the above criteria.

    It could only be truly effective if enough people are doing it, since it would be easy to figure out who was participating, especially when most people travel the same routes every single day. The information needs to be random enough that people will think about the possibility that at any time or any place they could be the next subject of the next episode. No criminal punishment to a person (except of course in extreme rare cases.) The central idea is simply that the people and/or thier vehicles will be recognized only by thier immediate center of influence. For the thousandth time, it is not my intention to snitch on people to line the pockets of law enforcement by providing them with easy means to fine and accost people. That is thier job to do, however ineffective that actually is. In fact, I think it would only have the complete opposite effect to what I am trying to accomplish.

    I invite discussion of the ideas involved in this, and possible solutions to any of the obstacles it will inevitably encounter. However, I will simply dismiss any accusations of "...you are trying to be a snitch" because it would simply mean that you ignored everything I have said. If you have a rational argument to the contrary, I am open to hearing it. Perhaps, it will simply highlight a flaw in the logic that needs to be addressed to avoid it being used for that purpose.

    Scott McDonnell
    http://sonatapc.blogspot.com

  • #2
    I should add that this is not necessarily an idea I am throwing out there that I want 'someone else' to do. I work on Flight Data Recorders as an Engineering/Technician for a living. I am great with hardware, but mediocre with SW (at least on a PC...assembly/machine language on micros-no problem.) I believe the SW involved is within my technical limits, and the hardware definitely is.

    I had already thought of a name for the system (probably not original at all) which is 'iWitness.'

    Finally, it is most important that the system is as anonymous as possible. This ensures the safety of the participants and subjects. Nobody should feel singled out or infringed upon enough to incite rage or legal proceedings. Of course, socio-politcal aspects of this are almost entirely dependent on the person publishing the results. Nothing you can do about that. However, the technology should take into consideration as much as possbile protections against the misuse -mistaken or otherwise.
    http://sonatapc.blogspot.com

    Comment


    • #3
      I have already designed most of what you are proposing. A VVR (Vehicle video recorder) with upto 16 camera inputs all capable of recording at 25/30fps (PAL/NTSC) and an audio channel per channel of video. Also there are at the moment 5 sensor inputs (12v input to interface directly with vehicle sensors) but the hardware is scalable upto 125 inputs. This kind of system in the UK is fitted to almost ALL buses and coaches to protect against anti-social behaviour and fraudulant insurance claims. The biggest problem for a system is to get the costs down to a managable figure for consumer level (in you scenario). At the moment systems like this inthe UK retial for around 1500 GBP which is about 2300 dollars.

      Comment


      • #4
        That is awesome, but yeah, we have those systems for those same purposes here in the states as well. As you noted, though, cost is a bit prohibitive for this purpose. Also, the overall purpose of that system is meant to be 'big brother' and report incidents to the police.

        I think the low cost is actually doable with sacrifices. Definitely doable if a carpc is the center of it (not sure I want to limit it to that, though.) The trick is coming up with the right balance of sacrifice.

        I imagine only 4 cameras would be needed. Recording simultaneously might pose a bit of a problem. The FDRs that I work with obviously have separate channels for audio, video, and frequency related inputs. Discretes (similar to the 12V to TTL translation you are talking about, but at aircraft 28V) are muxed, though. The number of discrete inputs matters little actually. It's fairly cheap to add as many as you want (within reasonable limits of course.) The video portion itself will be the most challenging, I think.

        How did you deal with that? Do all 16 cameras just record independently, or are they switched/genlocked/digital dsp?

        The secret will probably be big buffers stacking up frames for processing, which means fast ram, which translates to moderately expensive. Question is - will this be cheaper than adding processing power?

        Scott McDonnell
        http://sonatapc.blogspot.com

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by RetroPlayer

          You have a 5 lane road. Two lanes going in both directions and a center lane for turning left. This lane is shared by both directions of traffic. The concept is simple and safe if used properly. However, people abuse this lane when turning left into traffic. They pull into this lane to merge with traffic, sometimes driving down that lane for several hundred feet. This is EXTREMELY dangerous! If I could only convince you how many head on collisions are a result of this, and how common it actually is. I witness it (accidents of this type) almost once a week with my own eyes, and I am just a citizen driver.

          Scott McDonnell
          Your concept has merit. Your example of bad driving, however, doesn't hold true. In many states it is legal for a vehicle seeking to merge with traffic to enter the "fifth" lane of traffic, stop, and wait for a break in traffic to allow them to continue. Although driving down the center lane is patently stupid, the use of it as a merging tool is both sensible and legal in many areas.

          In short, choose another example.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by TheLandYacht
            Your concept has merit. Your example of bad driving, however, doesn't hold true. In many states it is legal for a vehicle seeking to merge with traffic to enter the "fifth" lane of traffic, stop, and wait for a break in traffic to allow them to continue. Although driving down the center lane is patently stupid, the use of it as a merging tool is both sensible and legal in many areas.

            In short, choose another example.
            Why? First of all it is illegal in more states than it is not. To be honest, I would really like to see where this is 'officially' legal..probably would be covered under wreckless driving if a cop bothered to enforce it, which they rarely bother to do even where it is clearly illegal. Just because a law is rarely enforced does not make it legal to break that law. Try arguing that in court!

            Besides I specifically mentioned that driving down the center lane is very dangerous (and always illegal in some way) in my example, which you have eluded to yourself. I'm sorry, not to be a jerk, but YOUR example is flawed- not mine.

            In short, it is a great example of a 'bad driving habit' which fits perfectly with the topic at hand (and doesn't HAVE to be illegal.) Whether it is illegal or not is really beside the point.

            Scott McDonnell
            http://sonatapc.blogspot.com

            Comment


            • #8
              Originally posted by Enforcer
              sorry, what a load of cack.
              Thank you for adding a reasonable, educated, and well thought out response to a topic you could have clearly ignored if you really had nothing significant to add.

              Scott McDonnell
              http://sonatapc.blogspot.com

              Comment


              • #9
                Originally posted by RetroPlayer
                Thank you for adding a reasonable, educated, and well thought out response to a topic you could have clearly ignored if you really had nothing significant to add.

                Scott McDonnell

                well I could have made a long winded and puffed out description of why it wouldn't work, how many civil rights it would probably infringe, how impractical it would be and how your example probably means nothing to most of the world (it may be illegal in most states in the US, but not in most countries of the world). However I thought that the readers would have done enough reading and decided to give a short, sharp, and brief description of my opinion.

                It would appear I have now had to extend it.

                Comment


                • #10
                  Yes that would have been welcomed, and I have no doubt you could have made some extremely reasonable arguments. However, you just simply assumed that you were right, and everyone else in the world, besides me, would just agree. In effect, trying to ostracize me. Again, the most effective tool of getting someone to self-regulate themselves. See if it were successful, I would simply concede and withdraw as I would be among my peers. Unfortunately, your method was just a little bit arrogant, really.

                  So please, unless you simply aren't interested enough in the topic, expand on your arguments. I don't mean that as confrontational. I really would like to hear them. I am sure if someone has 'read enough' they can decide that for themselves and simply click on the back button in thier browsers. I am almost certain they don't need you to 'save' them.

                  Scott McDonnell
                  http://sonatapc.blogspot.com

                  Comment


                  • #11
                    To be honest, I lost interest midway through the top half of your first post.

                    Basically what I am trying to say is, stop waffling and be more precise. Also remember this is an internationall forum, not just an American one.


                    Oh and as for arrogance (we'll leave the 'assuming the world is american' one, as that is a given), assuming you know what is and what is not bad driving comes under that.

                    The idea of having cameras in itself, for recording things like accidents etc, is not a bad one, but putting footage filmed by the public up for public comsumption is really a no no.

                    Comment


                    • #12
                      Originally posted by Enforcer
                      To be honest, I lost interest midway through the top half of your first post.
                      Yes. No offense, but that much appears obvious. I didn't really want to say it because I would be assuming.

                      Not really fair to have responded with having only that small snippet of context. You had already decided your opinion and response by that point. Am I right?

                      Anyway, you have that right. I appreciate your eventual response, nontheless.

                      Originally posted by Enforcer
                      Basically what I am trying to say is, stop waffling and be more precise. Also remember this is an internationall forum, not just an American one.
                      Waffling? I am not very familiar with that term. I don't want to respond to that because I am not sure I know what it means. Sounds kinda like an insult, though from the context. What am I not being precise about?

                      Yes it is an international forum. I can only 'hope' that people have enough imagination and experience to insert thier own example, instead of mine. I simply offered an 'example.' One that relates to my current surroundings and experiences.

                      Really, it is interesting that the two opposing arguments (and only opinion type responses...perhaps that does say something) to this idea have mostly focused on my example. Any coincidence that it is the easiest to dismiss, though it has so very little to do with the overall topic that I will just simply remove it when I am done typing this? I'm curious to see how much removing it breaks the entire idea or changes the responses. Hopefully, it will at least remove the ridiculous and unimaginative focus on it.

                      Originally posted by Enforcer
                      Oh and as for arrogance (we'll leave the 'assuming the world is american' one, as that is a given), assuming you know what is and what is not bad driving comes under that.
                      That's actually very interesting. I cannot find one example in my posts where I state that the world revolves around America. I actually can find one where someone could have made that assumption, and it is... my example.

                      BTW, I live in America. Do you believe I owe it to you to research the laws in every country, when much of my concept relies on what facilities I only know we have in America (such as public TV?) I guess I was hoping that if people were interested, they could adapt it to thier own country. Since I am not trying to sell anything, I don't see how I am responsible for creating a complete package that works in every country as delivered. I don't believe anyone from any other country owes it to me to know anything about America. I certainly will not assume you are ignorant if you don't.

                      Now, your second part has some bite to it. Completely my fault for not clarifying that. Your assumption here is clearly logical. My point wasn't that I am the only one that knows 'bad driving habits.' In fact, the idea is that by public forum, it is judged whether something is a bad driving habit. If it isn't viewed as bad, well then, people will not rib anyone. This honestly isn't about me, unless you make it about me. You could argue that by deciding which footage to publish, I (or whoever) am making that judgement, however, I think I am only making the accusation. The judgement and 'punishment' is metted out by the circle of influence in the form of ridicule. People make judgements about others every day. In fact, you are just as guilty of that yourself, as shown here. And I am also not without guilt.

                      Originally posted by Enforcer
                      The idea of having cameras in itself, for recording things like accidents etc, is not a bad one, but putting footage filmed by the public up for public comsumption is really a no no.
                      Right. Total agreement with the first part of your statement. Very good reason to continue forward regardless of the second part. This feature would probably be of interest regardless of country.

                      Your opinion is noted. I can make no arguments against your opinion, and won't try. There are definitely legal issues involved- civil rights, privacy, serendipitous recording, just to name a few. Of course, these laws very from state to state and country to country. What I was hoping to gain from the discussion was suggestions on how to implement the idea without having these problems. Without causing any real harm to anyone. Perhaps, there is no way, but I am not yet convinced of that. Is it just morally, ethically wrong? More so than risky driving that could very likely effect the physical life of someone not even remotely involved in your decision to drive that way? Yes. Most accidents involve more than one car. Usually one person that made a decision to drive badly, and sometimes one person that is now dead as a result of that decision. If only it were 100% only the person that made the decision. Then I would argue that they have every right to drive that way.

                      In my state - in America - it is the law that you must wear a seatbelt. I mostly disagree with that. Since in most cases, you deciding not to wear a seatbelt has little effect on the safety of others, except in the case of your children learning by example. However, I decide to wear my seatbelt. Not because it is the law, but because it is my decision regarding my own safety. I have done it from the very first day I drove, long before the law. However, until I see just one case where a human body flies through the windshield of thier car and into the windshield of another, killing that other person on impact, I completely disagree with a law demanding it. I truly abhor attempts at saving me from myself.

                      Since you stated that you had lost interest, I am going to assume you aren't reading this. I don't demand a reply, you have made your point. Hopefully my response will be helpful to the discussion in general, however. I only wish that nearly the entire crutch of your argument hadn't relied so heavily on assumption. Perhaps, that is what you meant by waffling and not being precise? I left too much open to assumption?

                      Thank you for indulging me with the expansion of your thoughts. I do, honestly (not sarcastically) appreciate it.

                      Scott McDonnell

                      Moderators: I am sorry for posting this discussion in this topic. I can see now that it is clearly going the way of philosophical and political, not technical (at this point anyway.) If you would like to move it to the general discussion area, I think that would be best.
                      http://sonatapc.blogspot.com

                      Comment


                      • #13
                        you know what, recording for insurance is not a new concept at all, a little research show this

                        Like Enforcer, I very much agree that an accident black box would be useful in the car, and I've been toying with this idea in my head for a quite a while now. actually. In fact, it's really scary how much you've mentioned which I've thought and talked about before. are you spying on me?

                        Like Enforcer I think recording for the sake of naming and shaming is a bit too much like "Cops part II" and "America's Wildest Police Chases". It also sounds like you want to have a cheesy voice over saying "This driver thought her mum wouldn't see her, but she was no match for the communal hidden crew". Comon dude, it does sound cack!

                        regarding your style of discussion... no offence but I mean this in a constructive fashion. you do come across as an arrogant yank! that's my opinion. and it's also my opinion that if you were to be a little less pedantic and more humored, you'd gain a few freinds on here.

                        BTW waffling means to go on a bit.

                        as for the idea itself, I'll post a more elaborate reply with what can be done with software a bit later. off to work now.
                        Current:
                        [BMW E46 ///M3 Convertible]

                        Previous:
                        [BMW E31 850CSi]|[BMW E39 535i]|[BMW HVAC Research]|[IBUS Scrolling Text]|[BMPuter]|[Velocity]|[TomTom]|[Vision]|[Space Navigator Driver]|[Super Fast Boot]

                        Comment


                        • #14
                          I record the video/audio streams on a channel by channel basis. As SAMA knows (I have discussed my project with him) we spent probably a month or two coming up with a robust disk structure to prevent/eliminate problems associated witht he recorded media suffering shock/vibration miswrites. We use a single DSP to encode on the FLY 4 channels. Even on a VIA EPIA 800mhz board we are consuming around 10% CPU while encoiding 8 25/30fps video streams (the CPU load is taken by the disk I/O as all the encoding is done in hardware).

                          Comment


                          • #15
                            in otherwords... prepare to pay
                            Current:
                            [BMW E46 ///M3 Convertible]

                            Previous:
                            [BMW E31 850CSi]|[BMW E39 535i]|[BMW HVAC Research]|[IBUS Scrolling Text]|[BMPuter]|[Velocity]|[TomTom]|[Vision]|[Space Navigator Driver]|[Super Fast Boot]

                            Comment

                            Working...
                            X