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Vehicle warning system trialed

A German research project on show at hi-tech trade fair Cebit envisions a peer-to-peer network for vehicles on a road passing road condition data back and forth. Cars or bikes experiencing problems would be able to convey the information to other drivers via a dashboard screen or through a mobile phone headset. For spotting dangers and jams, the system would use data from sensors that were likely to be fitted to cars, bikes and trucks in the future, said Dr Anselm Blocher, a researcher at the German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence who is co-ordinating the project. For example, cars could spot oil on the road by combining temperature readings with wheel traction information, he said.

The system was smart enough to recognise how busy a driver was and would adjust warnings accordingly. Based on the driver's situation, the system could use a blaring alarm, a warning on the dashboard, mark the danger point on a digital map or alert about the problem via a headset. As well as giving information about dangers, drivers could also ask the SmartWeb system for information about traffic jams, speed traps, parking availability and other problems in natural language. Starting a query would kick off a web search for the area a car was travelling through which would generates requests to vehicles ahead or nearby. The SmartWeb project already has 16 partners including BMW, Siemens, Daimler Chrysler, Deutsche Telekom and the European Media Lab.

News source: BBC News

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