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Clever Cars to Mean Safer Driving

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emergency responders

Smarter in-car computer systems could mean emergency services respond more quickly.

Credit: CKNW

At the recent Future World Symposium researchers discussed possible applications for on-board computers and sensors in cars. "The car is probably going to be the most compute-intensive possession that we will have," says Freescale Semiconductor's Steve Wainwright. Computers and sensors are helping to augment a person's driving skill and that trend will only continue as technologies such as collision-detection systems and radar become more commonplace, Wainwright says.

Future cars could send data about their location and the number of occupants in a car to get emergency services responding much more quickly, says analyst Paul Burnley. Smart sensors could lead to the widespread use of electric cars because they will be able to tell exactly how much charge is left in a battery and how far it is to the nearest charging station.

The United States has set aside radio spectrum for car-to-car communication systems to enable inter-vehicular exchanges about road conditions, and Europe is planning a similar system. "If you think about what you can do with smart routing and dynamic routing if you have a good [intelligent transportation system], it absolutely makes anything that you can do on engine management completely pale into insignificance," Wainwright says.

From BBC News
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