A LED suggestion that i've always wanted to develop myself but dont' have the know-how would be this.
A digital measuring device would keep track of the distance of the car behind you. Then taking into consideration how fast both cars are moving the LED sign would flash up to the driver behind you that they are following you to close. Hopefully causing them to back off. I'm sure you could come up with something awesome like that.
That is a neat idea, but probably not worth the cost of an expensive sonar or other rangefinding system.. Since I check my rearview while driving every 3-5 seconds anyway, I could just have a button to flash "Back Off" or something :-)
Hey AvWuff, I know this almost a dead thread about now but i've checked out ur site and i love your gps tracking and the site that lets you see where your car is located. I'm interested in implementing this to run in the background. Any thoughts? How difficult was this?
It wasn't very difficult at all. Basically, I have a MySQL database running on the Car PC with two tables: "trips" and "gps". The Trips table contains "trip" information -- that is, each drive from point A to point B is a "trip". The software automatically creates a new trip if the car is started more than 10 minutes from the last event of the previous trip.
The "gps" table basically contains latitude, longitude, trip ID, date & time, and speed. A new record is added to this table every 2 seconds while the car is running.
Because keeping the data in the car isn't very useful, when I arrive back home, my software "syncs" this trip & gps data with my web-based MySQL server. For each trip, there's a flag "synced", and if that flag is false, it simply copies all of the GPS records over to the remote database, and then sets the flag.
The final part of the equation is displaying the data. That's pretty simple -- the trips table turns into the listbox that lets you select which trip you'd like to view, and when you select a trip, all of the points are loaded into a GPolyLine (part of the Google Maps API).
Then there's some extra stuff so that you can click on the line to see the date & time at that point, and the speed... data that is just pulled from the database.
The "Live" position reporting works in much the same way -- except it uses the internet connection in the car. It simply calls a script on my webserver with the current latitude and longitude every few seconds, and the server stores that info in the database and can then generate a map to display that information live.
This is what i thought but my problem is getting the information to the website to update the position. I'm new to webpage development so maybe it is simple and i just don't realize it.
You need to have skillz in some kind of server-side scripting language (ASP, PHP, something like that) and a place to store the data server-side (such as a database).
I'm sure you'll figure it out. If not, there's a bunch of services online that do this sort of thing for you.
Thats what i'm trying to pick up. I think i can write the webpage in java since i did some research on the google api and i think i can make the map page with no problem but i'm trying to find info on how to upload the gps info from the com port to the webpage. I wondered if i just stored it in a file and then send the file to the server. I'm not sure how efficient that would be if i want it to be updated at a decent rate. What do you think?
No, no, basically you need a program running on the car PC that can open the com-port and read the NMEA data, and every 10 seconds or so, call a URL like this one:
with the numbers there replaced with the actual numbers
Then, in your php/java/whatever page, you look for those values coming from the URL string and store them in the database. It's not that hard to do server-side.
Interesting... I'm looking into PHP. This is probably gonna take me a while lol.. I know how to write in C and C++ but i've never written in java or php. Do you know if the google api can be used in php or is it just java?
Ok i think i have a handle on thhis MySQL database thing. Enough to start writing code. Quick question. How do you get the information to the database? Basically how do i setup a url that will store information into the table of the database?
****NEVERMIND... i'm such an idiot lol****