ITS World Congress Showcases Future Technology We'll See in Our Cars
We visited the ITS World Congress event in nearby Orlando, Florida yesterday and came back with a whole new understanding about keeping tomorrow's drivers safe on our roads. Check out the blog for more details.
Walking the show floor we had an opportunity to see much of what will become standard (or mandatory) updates in the new cars we'll be driving soon. From lane assist (where the car steers back into your lane when it detects a driver veering off course, shown above in the Bosch booth), to back up cameras and navigation systems built right into liquid crystal gauge packages, the items we saw were very interesting. While current cars have mandatory stability control and ABS, by 2014 we'll see mandatory backup cameras and more safety items becoming standard driver aids instead of options.
Of course it's not all on the car manufacturer's to do list either. Major cities all over the world are working towards more intelligent traffic control with cameras, bluetooth and GPS enabled software to detect traffic speeds, density, and even provide collision avoidance above and beyond what is currently car based hardware and software. In the next five to ten years a roadside box will be able to determine connected vehicles and their location, as well as if there is a potential collision (driver not slowing for a red light for example) and can send alerts to both cars and even apply the brakes to slow the cars! It's some amazing tech, that's for sure.
Ford was a bronze level supporter of the ITS World Congress and several companies, like Alcatel-Lucent, Kapsch, and others used Ford vehicles such as the Flex, Expedition, and Econoline to demonstrate connected vehicle abilities. Attendees could ride in the vehicles and experience automated tolling, collision avoidance, and other technologies.
Many of us here the name Sony and think of PlayStation or car audio, or even televisions, but there's a whole division of Sony dedicated to ITS cameras for license plate capture, automated tolling, and more. Probably one of the most unique displays we saw at the World Congress, Sony had this slot car set up and running using their cameras to catch the scale car's plates as they passed by. Of course we had to take the Mustang (foreground) for a few hot laps; all in the name of technology of course.
Another booth we just couldn't shy away from was Forum8 (www.forum8.com), a provider of 3D virtual reality driving and environment software that cities can use to determine road demand and so forth. While designed as a serious application, the guys couldn't help but partner with the folks at Simcraft (www.simcraft.com) for a little more interesting driving simulation using one of their three-axis simulators. Here Greg Clark, Modified Mustangs & Fords' web producer shows off his driving skills (or lack there of!) to the small crowd gathered around the machine.