IBM labs eye giving cars 'reflexes'

IBM researchers are exploring technology that would let vehicles exchange information with each other and highway infrastructure, take corrective action and provide feedback to drivers. IBM has announced a research initiative into equipping cars with technologies that can help reduce traffic congestion and prevent accidents. Much like automatic transmission, anti-lock brakes, and cruise control, advanced driver assist technologies will relieve the driver from having to perform some manual operations in complex driving situations. An intelligent vehicle receiving information from its environment will be able to react to the rapidly changing situation on the road as if it had "reflexes."

Such electronic "reflexes" are faster than human actions and will allow vehicles to be closer to one another on the road, improving the flow without compromising safety. Humans, however, will remain better than machines at analyzing complex situations. "The idea is that the driver always stays in control, but gets additional information to help make judgment calls," says Dan Chevion, initiator of the exploratory research project at the IBM Haifa Research Lab. When a car takes corrective action the driver may get feedback, such as a change in accelerator pedal pressure or a force feedback from the steering wheel. The driver may also get audio and visual warnings.

News source: Physorg

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