Researchers from the Eindhoven University of Technology in the Netherlands have developed an augmented reality driving system intended to reduce road rage by improving communication between drivers. Usually we get by on exagerrated expressions and gestures to denote our disapproval of dangerous or dozey drivers. Augmented reality adds more information, sometimes its pertinent.
A smartphone is on the dashboard. A transparent screen displays information as a head-up display. The camera spots other cars and gives information on the screen. They describe how the speeder is on an urgent trip to the hospital or airport. The prototype version uses stickers, wider deployment could use automatic registration plate software. Which is a large can of privacy worms.
Other features include being able to send Likes and Dislikes to drivers. The rational of gamifying driving adds more depth to insurance profiles. Adding a crowdsourced element to risk determination has its risks. The weight of user reports would need vetting against cyberbullying. Gamification of daily activities gets easier the more sensors in existence. Personalised insurance policies using data from systems like these. in the future as the proportion of networked vehicles and automotive surveillance grows.
Augmented Reality Driving
All in all this system takes parts of the automated vehicle experience, cars communicating with other cars, but the main brain is still human. 30 people took part in a trial of the augmented reality driving experience. In the driving simulation half saw the augmented display and half did not. Once completed the participants took a test quantifying empathy. The results suggested those who saw the signs were more likely to be empathetic to the ‘bad’ drivers. Unfortunately many also said the system was distracting. Hence why artificial intelligence might be better at distilling the information for human consumption.
Facilitating communication between drivers is obviously very useful in a lot of situations. Instead of visual cues the system could use audio announcements. Sat-nav systems have been giving us directions for decades now, perhaps providing audio (verbal) information rather than visual would prove less of a distraction?