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New Smartphone Tech To Alert Pedestrians: 'You Are About To Be Hit By a Car'

Soulskill posted about a year ago | from the for-when-looking-with-your-eyes-is-too-old-fashioned dept.

Cellphones 136

cartechboy writes "Usually, smartphones are a problem for humans transporting themselves — a massive distraction. But Honda is working on a way to use smartphones to protect pedestrians from bad drivers. The 'V2P' (Vehicle-to-Pedestrian) tech uses a smartphone's GPS and dedicated short range communications (DSRC) to warn drivers when a pedestrian say, steps out from behind a parked car. So the driver sees a dashboard message warning of an approaching pedestrian (which also notes whether said walker is using phone, texting or listening to music — which sort of shouldn't matter as you, uhm, brake.) The lucky pedestrian gets an alert on their phone telling them there's a DSRC-equipped car coming – that's if, say, actually looking at the road isn't telling you that already." The lesson here is to always keep your eyes on your smartphone when you're crossing the street. If you get an alert, stop where you are and read it! Relatedly, there's another phone app in development to help you avoid gunfire.

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More useful... (2)

ackthpt (218170) | about a year ago | (#44761305)

"You will not win the lottery!"

"Whoa! Good thing you warned me, phone, I was about to buy a ticket ... um ... this is one of those Catch 22s isn't it?"

"HA HA HA!"

"Damn."

Re:More useful... (4, Funny)

Rockoon (1252108) | about a year ago | (#44763107)

I was looking for an easy way to distract people while I attempt to run them over. Looks like someone else solved the problem for me.

On the iPhone it will be... (5, Funny)

nospam007 (722110) | about a year ago | (#44761307)

You were hit by a car......30 seconds ago.

And on Android, exact TOI (4, Funny)

SuperKendall (25149) | about a year ago | (#44761451)

Meanwhile Google's answer is to embed NFC chips in the bumpers of all cars, so that you can be told you were hit exactly at the moment of impact.

Truly a technically superior solution, and finally a use for those NFC readers they keep shipping.

Re:On the iPhone it will be... (2)

slash.jit (2893213) | about a year ago | (#44761459)

In Indian Roads you will get a million alert messages per second... and it doesnt matter if you are pedestrian or the driver!

Re:On the iPhone it will be... (1)

ackthpt (218170) | about a year ago | (#44761509)

You were hit by a car......30 seconds ago.

On the Android phone - You are about to be hit by a Google mapping car! Massive pr0ps!

Re:On the iPhone it will be... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44761537)

"Told you!"

Re:On the iPhone it will be... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44761545)

On the iPhone, it only works if you're about to be hit by a Prius. Well, at first. Rest assured it'll keep a database of whatever's the trendiest city car of the time, updated hourly, so you'll be the first to know when you're about to be hit by the most popular and prettiest in vehicle technology!

Google will come up with a web API for it for Android phones, but nobody will implement it. So they'll make their own car that's compatible with it, but only market it for developers. Three months later, they'll come up with a better idea that depends on the oncoming car having wifi turned on, so they'll scrap all their cars and go with that. Three months later, it'll be NFC. Then Bluetooth. Then a crazy idea involving HDMI...

Windows phones would just throw themselves in front of cars in the hopes they can be put out of their misery, but that doesn't work very well if the phone's safely packed in a nice box alongside its millions of unsold brethren in the backrooms of cell phone shops. Maybe someone will crash into the back of the building and give them hope.

Re:On the iPhone it will be... (1)

deviated_prevert (1146403) | about a year ago | (#44761995)

Thanks for the giggle, just wondering what a Z10 will do under the same circumstances? Call 911 for you? If connected to a remote bluetooth heart monitor [amazon.com] , inform relatives, update your facebook status, setup a reading of your will, and call an funeral parlor, do a sell off e-trade of all your holdings and add any profits to your portfolio account, the phone itself will automatically list itself on e-bay and wipe all personal data at the moment all transactions have been completed after your heart stops? Those with mods mod parent up please!

Cannot use phone. Cars passing over there. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44761625)

Is this April 1st? The GPS is imprecise, phones won't both have this, wont be fast enough, etc etc. I doubt this works. Seems like a publicity vaporware stunt.

Re:On the iPhone it will be... (3, Insightful)

mrmeval (662166) | about a year ago | (#44761691)

No, they need to play irritating music with a DO YOU WANT THIS IMPORTANT MESSAGE DISPLAYED? By the time they figure out how to dismiss it their genes will be out of the pool.

Re:On the iPhone it will be... (1)

GoodNewsJimDotCom (2244874) | about a year ago | (#44761709)

We would have called 911 automatically, but Samsung patented that technology. Instead we automatically tweeted for you,"Help! I've been run over by a car."

Re:On the iPhone it will be... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44763051)

You'll never see that message. The phone will be stolen before that.

Car (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44761327)

"You are about to be hit by a"*BANG*!

This how google will get out responsibility for th (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | about a year ago | (#44761329)

When one of there driver less cars hit's some one they use some like this to say it's the person who get hit's fault.

Re:This how google will get out responsibility for (0)

pspahn (1175617) | about a year ago | (#44761617)

Because the pedestrian should be allowed to step out into traffic from behind a parked car?

Re:This how google will get out responsibility for (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | about a year ago | (#44762277)

that is what in the cars EULA so your on your own.

Missing moderation option (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44761941)

-1, Wanton cruelty to English language.

Tho'se apo'strophe's, their crying!

Like most cruel crimes are perpetrated by people close to victims, this mauling's certainly a native speaker's deed.

Re:This how google will get out responsibility for (1)

mrsquid0 (1335303) | about a year ago | (#44762293)

We usually blame the victim when someone runs into a pedestrian.

Missing the point as always (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44761337)

The point is that it's something with minor utility right now (great utility in niche areas, like alerting blind users where cars are and how fast they're travelling).

Beyond this, having little devices that warn self driving cars where people are sounds pretty useful.

Accuracy (4, Insightful)

Ben C. (2950903) | about a year ago | (#44761357)

I don't think GPS is accurate enough for this. When using my phone for driving directions it routinely has difficulty telling if I'm on the highway or access road next to it.

Re:Accuracy (2)

chichilalescu (1647065) | about a year ago | (#44761413)

reversing bad moderation

Re:Accuracy (1)

ackthpt (218170) | about a year ago | (#44761521)

I don't think GPS is accurate enough for this. When using my phone for driving directions it routinely has difficulty telling if I'm on the highway or access road next to it.

"You have gone through the guardrail, knucklehead, stop looking at your phone while driving"

Hey, these really are smart phones!

Aliens (0)

Archangel Michael (180766) | about a year ago | (#44761359)

So, all those movies with Aliens coming to earth to steal our water is ... probably not true? Say it isn't so!

Obvious question (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44761363)

Will it display said pedestrian's point value?

Re:Obvious question (5, Funny)

Longjmp (632577) | about a year ago | (#44761673)

> walk left
: You were eaten by a prius.

Re:Obvious question (1)

TrollstonButterbeans (2914995) | about a year ago | (#44762893)

^^ POTD!

Can you hear me now? *whomp!!!* (3, Funny)

themushroom (197365) | about a year ago | (#44761365)

"...Good!"

iSplat (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44761381)

Instead just install an app the declares "LOOK OUT DIPSHIT!" and random intervals when your phone is out of your pocket.

Re:iSplat (1)

ganjadude (952775) | about a year ago | (#44761965)

Wait til someone writes a virus that alters the program to tell you its safe while you get hit by a bus instead of being alerted.

but in all seriousness, this is something that at this point in time is of little value, but in a future of self driving cars may mature into something very useful.

Best alert ever will be.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44761387)

Warning, this txt message will self destruct in 5...4...3...2...

I would love to use this app (1)

a_big_favor (2550262) | about a year ago | (#44761409)

  1. 1. Walk down the street sending fake honda GPS signal
  2. 2. Find idiot
  3. 3. ???
  4. 4. Profit

Many uses for this technique (5, Funny)

SuperKendall (25149) | about a year ago | (#44761417)

A similar technique could be used to avoid muggings. A user would download the MugMe app, and a DSRC equipped mugger would detect that you were near - instead of having to physically assault you, he would simply input the percentage of cash on hand you have that is to be debited to his account, and a pre-paid mailing box would be sent to your home wherein you could deposit your belongings on return. It would avoid ruining a night out and physical contact with the lower classes.

You might wonder how well adoption would fare; obviously the state would make installation of the app mandatory for cell phone users and declare physical mugging illegal. To get a mugger DSRC you could employ a system much like taxi medallions, where a would-be mugger had to buy a medallion in order to have the right to mug citizens. This would also have the benefit of capping the amount of crime in a city to a well-regulated value.

Later iterations of the app could add an improvement like the "Aid Other" feature, if someone near was being mugged other users in the area would be alerted and could chose either to "come to aid" in which case there would be a percentage chance the mugger would be virtually "scared" and get nothing. The other option would be "look away furtively" which would confer a one-day pass of freedom from mugging.

Re:Many uses for this technique (1)

sosume (680416) | about a year ago | (#44761471)

Imagine what good can happen when the government and insurance companies get hold of this data, no thanks.

Re:Many uses for this technique (1)

RoknrolZombie (2504888) | about a year ago | (#44761531)

Nice merger of reality & Diskworld...if I had mod points I'd do more than commend you, but as it stands you're stuck with some photons on a screen.

Re:Many uses for this technique (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44761559)

You laugh, but I can see the germ of a kind of MMORPG based on this technology. Everybody has a character, and when you happen across another player in RL, you both roll your "dice" to see who wins the encounter. Encounters, progress, and points posted online.

Re:Many uses for this technique (1)

nytes (231372) | about a year ago | (#44761583)

This sucks. Now I'm going to have to mug someone to get the cash for a DRSC equipped phone and a medallion.

Re:Many uses for this technique (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44761663)

B-b-but thats illegal!

Re:Many uses for this technique (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44761613)

In an later update, social media and location sign-in integration to let all your friends know where you're going to get or have been mugged and a chance for a free burger and fries or a $5 off coupon through local sponsors, and support for DLC, including but not limited to virtual weapons & attire.

Re:Many uses for this technique (1)

gman003 (1693318) | about a year ago | (#44761749)

The saddest thing about this is that I can actually envision it actually happening...

Re:Many uses for this technique (2)

uvajed_ekil (914487) | about a year ago | (#44762453)

As a would-be mugger, I already use something very similar. The "app" users install is called "Microsoft WIndows," and it is effective at transferring their banking information to me, preventing any physical muggings. Your suggested system sounds as if it could gain real traction given sufficient marketing, but the competition already has a large, apparently theft-tolerant user base established. My MS-based mugging-prevention system requires no user interaction, and in fact thrives on inaction once Windows is installed.

Reverse the polarity of the neutron flow! (4, Funny)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about a year ago | (#44761425)

If you switch to the reverse mode, will it act like a guidance system for the killer car?

Let me check my phone (1)

nytes (231372) | about a year ago | (#44761433)

I'll finish this comment right after I check the message I just got on my ph

More blame culture crap (5, Insightful)

JustNiz (692889) | about a year ago | (#44761437)

Here's a crazy idea.... How about letting the pedestrian take responsibility for stepping into a busy road without looking first? ...actually you'd think it would be a self-rectifying problem through natural selection.

Re:More blame culture crap (0)

aphelion_rock (575206) | about a year ago | (#44761525)

Protect pedestrians from bad drivers?

More like protect drivers from preoccupied, non observant pedestrians.

Let Darwinism run its course.

Re: (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44762203)

Honda better have a feature to turn off app while in Chicago to avoid frequency overload

Re:More blame culture crap (2, Funny)

mrsquid0 (1335303) | about a year ago | (#44762331)

In the US, if you live in a Stand Your Ground state, just shoot drivers who refuse to yield when you are crossing the road. Be sure to tell the police immediately afterwards and let them know that you were crossing legally and in fear for your life.

Re:More blame culture crap (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44761605)

How about letting the pedestrian take responsibility for stepping into a busy road without looking first?

There is more profit to be made and more opportunity to reinforce propaganda if people are allowed to stare at their gadgets rather than pay attention to the real world.

Re:More blame culture crap (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44763271)

How about letting the pedestrian take responsibility for stepping into a busy road without looking first?

There is more profit to be made and more opportunity to reinforce propaganda if people are allowed to stare at their gadgets rather than pay attention to the real world.

Hey genius, tell me: if that is the case, why of all companies is it Honda that's implementing this rather than say, Google, Apple or MS?

While reading the alert (1)

grantspassalan (2531078) | about a year ago | (#44761441)

on your phone you get hit by that car unless you are REALLY fast and jump out of the way.

I can see it now. (3, Interesting)

Doug Otto (2821601) | about a year ago | (#44761449)

How long before the first lawsuit because someone's phone didn't warn them in time?

Protecting pedestrians from bad drivers (3, Insightful)

dr2chase (653338) | about a year ago | (#44761455)

You don't "protect" the pedestrian by telling the bad driver to activate his brakes. Instead, automatically activate the brakes, take the bad driver out of the loop.

This is similar to my gripe about people who think that a horn is a useful safety device -- as if the guy who you are beeping at is going to listen the horn, figure out that it applies to him, and figure out what he is doing wrong, fast enough to make a difference. Better to simply assume that he's an idiot, and work around him.

Re:Protecting pedestrians from bad drivers (2)

H0p313ss (811249) | about a year ago | (#44761579)

Better to simply assume that he's an idiot, and work around him.

In fact... if you don't work around him you ARE the idiot.

Re:Protecting pedestrians from bad drivers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44761837)

This is similar to my gripe about people who think that a horn is a useful safety device -- as if the guy who you are beeping at is going to listen the horn, figure out that it applies to him, and figure out what he is doing wrong, fast enough to make a difference.

That happens frequently enough that yes, a horn IS a useful safety device. You moron.

Re:Protecting pedestrians from bad drivers (2)

swillden (191260) | about a year ago | (#44761937)

This is similar to my gripe about people who think that a horn is a useful safety device

A horn is a useful safety device, just not for the scenario you described. It's useful to alert others of your presence in situations where they might not notice you and where they do have time to react. I'll grant that horns aren't that useful in the US, but some other countries have driving styles which make them essential equipment, because everyone expects that if you're coming around a blind turn that you'll hit the horn to warn any oncoming traffic so that both of you can act appropriately -- and everyone expects that if no sound is heard that there is no oncoming traffic.

Re:Protecting pedestrians from bad drivers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44762771)

How many people bother to react or even notice the weak sound coming from a horn?

There are issues with this tech or idea, for one if the driver isn't following the speed limit in a pedestrian area/section it will not really help him or her to stop on time. Two, if the ped., and or driver, are to busy with there phones its going to be difficult for one of them to stop.

I can already see the lawsuits piling up from this

And I believe autonomous vehicles already have this tech, so there could be the potential for patent lawsuits.

My honest opinion of this if the person crossing the street/road or even trying to just open the vehicle to get in or out isn't smart enough to keep an eye out for LARGE SHINY OBJECTS that could kill them then the deserve to be hit, weed out the morons...

Re:Protecting pedestrians from bad drivers (1)

hurfy (735314) | about a year ago | (#44762267)

You seem to be responding as if there is something to this....

And NO automatic crap for me please. You are coming to an intersection with red light and someone crossing. How does it know you will stop in time? By then i would be 10 ft away and the message wouldn't even get there much less get read before the splat. If you try and warn farther away then it will beep and flash warnings at every intersection. Or in your case, slam on the brakes a few feet short of the crosswalk and have everyone rear-end me.

Most people that step out from between cars are probably on a sidewalk first. This will detect when they take two steps left toawrd the road and warn me/them before the 4th step, lol.

As if anyone (outside of NYC) would remember to turn it on when walking. Drive to work with it off so it doesn't go nuts, park in lot, get hit crossing street to office :( Are you really going to turn on your crossing the street app.

Like it matters...there won't be enough cars/phones with this tech to make it more than a gimmick for a long, long time.

Makes me think of the article/demo of the car (or the truck one for that matter) with brake assist that they show it stopping when it got to close to a truck it was following. It seemed to come to a STOP when it was caught tailgating...hard not to picture a string of cars behind that one when it suddenly stops in the middle of the road and....

Not much of a feature if you compare the damage of rear ending a moving truck at like 5-10 mph difference VS stopping on freeway with no warning :O

On the other hand, i do want to take it downtown and play with it on the skywalks.

Re:Protecting pedestrians from bad drivers (1)

dr2chase (653338) | about a year ago | (#44762351)

I don't think the pedestrian does know that you will stop in time, but a certain number of pedestrians aren't paying attention and this could help them. Defense in depth, after all. The few crashes that I've watched happen (and one I heard recounted in which a cousin was killed) all involved multiple coincident screwups. Not one was caused by a single point of failure. Cars currently kill thousands of pedestrians each year; there's plenty of room for improvement.

And we do manage to (eventually) design safety devices that result in a solid net reduction in harm, so I imagine we could get this one working pretty well, too. Airbags we (finally) got right. Seatbelts are low-tech and effective. ABS braking is pretty startling compared to old-style (I've never owned a car that had it, but I always check out the new features in rental cars).

Re:Protecting pedestrians from bad drivers (3, Interesting)

jamesh (87723) | about a year ago | (#44762367)

You don't "protect" the pedestrian by telling the bad driver to activate his brakes. Instead, automatically activate the brakes, take the bad driver out of the loop.

That would be kind of cool. Kids would soon figure out that if they run flat towards the road (but stop in time), all sorts of hilarity will follow.

This is similar to my gripe about people who think that a horn is a useful safety device -- as if the guy who you are beeping at is going to listen the horn, figure out that it applies to him, and figure out what he is doing wrong, fast enough to make a difference. Better to simply assume that he's an idiot, and work around him.

It works great with a lane change. If you see a car starting to change lanes into you because they haven't done their head check then a beep will normally get them to cancel their move. And yes I've been on the bad side of that (young and stupid and "i don't need to check i know there's nothing in my blind spot").

Re:Protecting pedestrians from bad drivers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44762711)

Horns on cars shouldn't even have their own button they should simply be automatically activated whenever you hit the breaks hard.

The only time I've used the horn as intended was to warn off a truck that was backing into me when I was sitting in a parked car.

Every other time it might have been useful I was too busy breaking and steering to also hit the horn.

Re:Protecting pedestrians from bad drivers (1)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | about a year ago | (#44762867)

yeah, have the car just jam on the brakes. ...nevermind the car that is tailgating you. its their problem, right?

(sigh)

Re:Protecting pedestrians from bad drivers (1)

dr2chase (653338) | about a year ago | (#44763009)

I don't suppose that my car's computer could have a little chat with your car's computer, maybe they could coordinate?
Seems like one of the very first things that smart-ish cars should get right is not running into stuff that is right in front of them.

And we have that problem now, with ABS. A couple of years ago, renting a car, junk flew off a truck in front of us and everyone stopped fast. The guy behind me did not have ABS. Oops. Royal pain with all the paperwork, but in the end, yes, it was their problem.

dan ackroyd called it (1)

hamburger lady (218108) | about a year ago | (#44761463)

i wonder if the technology is based on the 'silver-haired bat' [jt.org] ?

Die from God (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44761495)

You are about to die from God!

God says...
C:\TAD\Text\WEALTH.TXT

  at all times
more within his view and command, is more secure than that of the
foreign merchant. In every period, indeed, of every society, the surplus
part both of the rude and manufactured produce, or that for which there
is no demand at home, must be sent abroad, in order to be exchanged
for something for which there is some demand at home. But whether the
capital which carries this surplus produce abroad be a foreign or a
domestic one, is of very little importance. If the society has not
acqui

Oblig xkcd (1)

BenSchuarmer (922752) | about a year ago | (#44761523)

Re:Oblig xkcd (1)

CCarrot (1562079) | about a year ago | (#44761773)

Or this [xkcd.com]

will i be able i share it.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44761543)

On Facebook? or maybe tweet about the impending event

Sounds quite similar to TornadoGuard (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44761555)

http://xkcd.com/937/

what car? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44761569)

splat

Bad *drivers*??? (0, Troll)

markdavis (642305) | about a year ago | (#44761593)

>"But Honda is working on a way to use smartphones to protect pedestrians from bad drivers"

Bad *drivers*???

Um, no. How about idiot pedestrians who walk into the road without looking because they are too busy with their damn phones.

Re:Bad *drivers*??? (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about a year ago | (#44762353)

There is a third course. It's about preventing bad drivers from bad pedestrians. A good driver will account for bad pedestrians without a warning. If someone steps out from between two cars and you hit them, you were going too fast. For what? For the road, for your own ability, it doesn't really matter. Slow down. I hate driving in cities too, and I get the fuck out of them as quickly as I can to where I only have to worry about plowing into wildlife, escaped livestock, or a boulder the size of a Volkswagen.

Re:Bad *drivers*??? (2)

markdavis (642305) | about a year ago | (#44762411)

>"If someone steps out from between two cars and you hit them, you were going too fast."

In your example, they were jaywalking, which is illegal. If you hit them in a crosswalk, there would be far less question about liability. But you are not automatically at fault when someone just pops out in front of you elsewhere.

What about..... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44761621)

Perhaps would be better to teach people to be alert when walking, pay attention to their environment and most important, don't licence imbeciles to control equipment that could kill a pedestrian! Technology is being used to make the largest percentage of the population even dumber than they are already.

More like bad pedestrians (0, Troll)

Snotnose (212196) | about a year ago | (#44761635)

"a way to use smartphones to protect pedestrians from bad drivers."
More like protect good drivers from bad pedestrians. It always amuses me to see how many people will walk into a street without ever looking for traffic. They just assume a crosswalk provides them some sort of magical protection from the 3,000 lb dragons.

Re:More like bad pedestrians (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44761763)

Around my office, if you hit a pedestrian in a cross walk, you are at fault, even if they have a suicide note and jump in front of your car. So its a matter of, I don't care about anyone else.

Re:More like bad pedestrians (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44762147)

"They just assume a crosswalk provides them some sort of magical protection from the 3,000 lb dragons.

Well, it does. I've been using crosswalks for years and have not even once been attacked by a dragon.

Fair enough to joke about this crap (3, Insightful)

dinther (738910) | about a year ago | (#44761641)

But on a serious note. I am seeing way to many hairbrain schemes where drivers attention on the road is drawn to a screen where graphical information about potential dangers is displayed.

I am willing to put money on it that in every single case the results of the distraction causes more harm then it prevents.

How the hell can people be banned from using a mobile phone in a car but it is perfectly fine to use Satnav, radio or a gazillion new doodads. Each of them far more distracting then a conversation on the phone.

I while back I even saw an IPad application that uses the camera to interpret the car's dashboard ( http://www.gizmag.com/audi-a3-augmented-reality-manual/28693/ [gizmag.com] )

Madness.

Re:Fair enough to joke about this crap (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about a year ago | (#44762335)

How the hell can people be banned from using a mobile phone in a car but it is perfectly fine to use Satnav, radio or a gazillion new doodads.

It's not legal to drive while distracted and some states actually have laws which explicitly prevent you from using the satnav while driving.

Information is bad (1)

AK Marc (707885) | about a year ago | (#44761675)

I love how most of the comments so far expound upon how bad more information is. Oh no, issuing a warning beep when a collision is predicted is a bad thing because [pedestrians that stupid deserve to die, a warning will cause the crash, this will never work because of some technical issue]. I've seen plenty of CCTV footage of people messing with a phone walking into a fountain, a wall, or otherwise harming themselves. I'm not sure how a warning is a bad thing. But nobody here seems willing to indicate that a warning beep on collision detection is a good thing.

Why?

Re: Information is bad (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44762131)

If my phone beeps I'm going to look at it to see what notification came through. I'm now too busy looking at my phone to notice I've just been hit by a car.

Re: Information is bad (1)

AK Marc (707885) | about a year ago | (#44762361)

And if you hear a gunshot, you'll run at the sound to see what happened (startling the shooter and getting your own bullet dispensed). But someone lost in their own world listening to music may look up and around if they hear the music pause for an alarm sound, and stopping to look down at your phone is a better result than continuing walking. Now, if you'll walk into a street without looking at the street, no matter what else is going on, yes, the warning won't help you.

I hit a pedestrian that stepped out... (1)

pongo000 (97357) | about a year ago | (#44761719)

...from behind a car stopped in traffic. I never saw him, and and he never looked my way. I was traveling about 30 mph, and later reconstruction of the incident by the county sheriff's office (used in my defense during the civil court case) showed that there was probably less than 2 seconds between when he stepped out and when I hit him. I seriously doubt this app would have helped him or anyone else in a similar situation.

BTW, he was issued a ticket in the hospital for "failure to yield right of way to motor vehicle." Never knew there was such a law, and it certainly helped in my defense. (Needless to say, the insurance company paid anyway because it was cheaper than going to court.)

Re: I hit a pedestrian that stepped out... (1)

alen (225700) | about a year ago | (#44761967)

And then these idiots cry livable streets and other nonsense

Same in NYC. Dummies on feet and bikes do stupid things and when they get hit by a car cry that drivers should drive 5 mph to stop on a dime

yes it does. (3, Funny)

Dishevel (1105119) | about a year ago | (#44761753)

which sort of shouldn't matter as you, uhm, brake

It does matter. Because if some asshole is texting I will not be braking but accelerating.

Text message (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44762003)

With smart enough servers, this could even be done by text message. And that text message could be a simple four-letter word: "Stay"

Posting anonymously because I know about the Machine, obviously.

But can it tell what music they're listening to? (1)

Radical Moderate (563286) | about a year ago | (#44762291)

Nickelback fans beware!

We have become the dinosaurs (1)

p51d007 (656414) | about a year ago | (#44762405)

In the course of the evolution of the homosapien, it's time for a huge asteroid to come wipe us out, and let nature start all over again. If we really need a phone app, or a computer program on the vehicle, to warn us of the other, then we are screwed! Yeah, I see people driving during the day, about as attentive as a 2 year old with a toy, thinking that driving is the 3rd or 4th most important thing they are doing, and, I also see people with their stupid phone, ear buds jammed in the ears 24/7, without a care in the world stepping out in traffic. Darwin can only fend off so many before he even gets tired of it. Perhaps its time, to coin a phrase from "War Games" and just give up, and let nature start all over again.

T-Mobile (1)

uvajed_ekil (914487) | about a year ago | (#44762429)

It will be a great help while I am on the way to the hospital to find out that I was just struck by a vehicle. Nice to see T-Mobile will be there to clue me in as to what happened after the fact, since my texts often arrive too late to function as an effective preventive measure.

Sigh (2)

Murdoch5 (1563847) | about a year ago | (#44762491)

Passing the buck again and making no one responsible for being a dumb ass. Yes bad drivers exist and yes none observant pedestrians exist but I don't think we need to use technology to protect these people. If you're going to be walking around in a traffic populated area and not pay attention then don't complain when you get hit. In the same right if you're in a car and you are in an area where there is high pedestrian traffic then pay attention and drive slow. It shouldn't be the phones problem to warm idiots that there own stupidity is about to get them in trouble. After all with a system like this what will end up happening is that the system will start getting blamed when it doesn't work rather then the idiots being blamed for being the problem in the first place.

recipe for disaster (1)

anarcobra (1551067) | about a year ago | (#44762497)

So you start to cross the street and get a message on your phone. Now you're distracted, you look at your phone, and it says: "congratz you're dead". Instead of looking at the road, you are reading some message about the car that just hit you. Ideally people would respond to the car rather than the phone. But then again, ideally people wouldn't drive off a cliff just because gps said to turn right.

Alert: You haven't used the bathroom in a while (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44762507)

Damn, too late.

Or... (1)

FuzzNugget (2840687) | about a year ago | (#44762513)

You could just slip the phone into your pocket for five damn seconds

Clippy time (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44762521)

It looks like you're about to be hit by a car...

_
/ \
| |
@ @
|| ||
|| ||
|\_/|
\___/

"You Are Now Dead" (0)

stenvar (2789879) | about a year ago | (#44762561)

(Sorry I couldn't warn you in time; network delays, you know.)

I've got a better idea (2)

smash (1351) | about a year ago | (#44762577)

Use those 2 ultra high def video processors in the front of your face, idiots. I await the coming lawsuits from people who were hit by a car without being warned by their phone in earnest.

Distracting the driver is the solution? (1)

89cents (589228) | about a year ago | (#44762649)

So if a person is about to step out from behind a parked car and the driver is actually paying attention to the road, send him an alert to the dashboard which makes him briefly take his eyes off the road to read a message? Seriously?

Natural selection at work (2)

Beeftopia (1846720) | about a year ago | (#44762657)

The car is like a predator on the hunt. The inattentive smartphone user is like an oblivious gazelle. Suddenly the car pounces! One less oblivious gazelle on the savannah.

Eventually, selection pressure will weed out the oblivious gazelles, leaving only the alert ones.

Nature is both terrible and beautiful.

Re:Natural selection at work (1)

TheSeatOfMyPants (2645007) | about a year ago | (#44763109)

Then the 'best & brightest' would be killed due to being distracted by thinking intensely about their projects, while the many Average Joes/Janes that bumble obediently through life would survive -- that's not exactly progress. Being "fit to survive" in a particular environment is usually tied to how physically capable the person is, not how brilliantly talented or otherwise good for society they are, just as people's mental and physical abilities are two separate beasts.

Besides that, the entire reason that humanity tends to think of itself as distinct from animals is because our species has figured out how to transcend nature in most ways -- curing diseases, creating electronics, following rules rather than just doing whatever our biological urges suggest, creating comfortable shelter where we're warm & dry regardless of weather, and so forth. Coming up with ways to make life around machines safer doesn't carry us farther from nature, as being with machines isn't natural in the first place...and removing people from the gene pool based on how well they do in society isn't going to do a damn thing beyond cause a lot of suffering, as many eugenics programs of the past have demonstrated.

Spammers? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44762981)

Isn't this just going to be used for localized spamming?

"I notice you are near my Samsung retail outlet, you should upgrade that iphone to something awesome"

How about apps to alert about true issues? (1)

mysidia (191772) | about a year ago | (#44763221)

Where can I get the app to alert me; if there's a need to evacuate the building? Specifically.... if there's a fire in the crowded theatre; I want an app to alert me immediately, so I can scramble for the door, and get out first: trampling anyone who dare stand in my way.

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