Mechanical engineers are working to develop intelligent onboard transportation systems that can prevent car crashes - the leading cause of death worldwide.
A team of engineers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology are working on a new ITS algorithm that incorporates models of human driving patterns to warn drivers of potential collisions and that ultimately takes control of the vehicle if needed to prevent traffic accidents.
Co-authors Rajeev Verma, a visiting Ph.D. student, and Domitilla Del Vecchio, assistant professor of mechanical engineering, determined that driving actions fall into two main categories: braking and accelerating.
Depending on which the driver is doing, there is a finite set of possible places the car could be in the future. Combined with predictive models of human behavior (when and where drivers slow down or speed up), this set of possible positions all figured into the new algorithm, reports Discovery News.
The result is a program capable of computing, for any two vehicles on the road, a defined area where two cars are in danger of colliding. Using information from onboard sensors, along with roadside and traffic light sensors, the ITS-equipped car reacts accordingly, making situation-based decisions to prevent a crash.
When both vehicles are equipped with ITS, they're able to cooperate with each other by communicating their postions to avoid a collision.
The research will be published in the journal IEEE Robotics and Automation Magazine.