I’ve written before about spaces that blend the virtual and physical, but those spaces didn’t move. Now we have new vehicles planned that take this blended reality on the road.
Below are just some news items that caught my eye over the past few months featuring the frontiers of vehicle technology, beyond the well-publicized self-driving cars.
First up is Lexus’s Art in Motion, which analyzes the way the car is being driven and reflects that in a portrait of the driver on the display screen in the car, as in the next picture. For more information see http://www.artismotion.com/ and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e8cqJptwNVI
Toyota’s FV2, “Fun To Drive”, concept vehicle is not quite a car. But it combines features of a car, a motorcycle, augmented reality, robotics, human/machine communications and sensing of the driver’s mood. Like other concept cars, it may never hit the road, but it’s fun to think about. Here are two pictures and read http://www.toyota-global.com/tokyoms2013/fv2/ for more information from the company. Oh, and they also have a smartphone app, that you can get now, to simulate what the FV2 is like.
We’ve seen self-parking cars on the road, but for those really tough parking spaces you may need to ask your passenger to get out and guide you in inch-by-inch. But what if you’re driving alone? Well, you’ll have to be your own passenger. Just get out of the car and park it using your smartphone. See how this is done with a VW car at http://youtu.be/PfcHm70BHL8
Prof. Michael Ferreira of Portugal’s University of Porto has developed what he calls a “see through” system that lets you see through the vehicle ahead of you. The project has a video that sort of shows the system – http://youtu.be/Esh1EjgBQaI . More information, in English, can be found at http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg22029394.600-augmented-reality-system-makes-cars-seethrough.html
MIT Professor Berthold Horn has developed a system that would tame traffic jams by coordinating cruise control among all the cars. For more information, see http://web.mit.edu/press/2013/algorithm-could-mitigate-freeway-backups.html
Finally, for those drivers who end up being pursued by the police, law enforcement agencies have a new tool from StarChase that’s being tested now. It enables the police to shoot GPS locators on the target vehicles so they don’t have to engage in one of those dangerous car chases.
© 2014 Norman Jacknis