Vauxhall launches virtual backseat driver
Camera system warns of roadside signs
Vauxhall has developed an in-car safety system designed to alert drivers to roadside signs, or give them a ticking off when veering out of their lane.
Vauxhall's FCS lets you know when it spots a road sign
The Front Camera System (FCS) relies on a wide-angle camera positioned between the windscreen and rear-view mirror. The camera continuously snaps 30 pictures each second to scan the horizon for road signs and lane markings, at a distance of up to 100m.
FCS then picks out, say, speed signs by analysing the images for known roadsign shapes and detects numbers on the signs, such as 30mph, through colour comparison. Software’s then used to interpret the shapes and numbers, before a warning is sent to the driver.
For example, if FCS recognises a 30mph sign then it’ll display a warning on the car’s instrument panel to alert the driver that they’re approaching a 30mph speed zone.
FCS also keeps you in-lane with visual and audible warnings
The system also recognises lane markings in much the same way. But, if a driver veers out of line then the virtual backseat driver gives off both a visual and an audible warning.
Vauxhall will introduce FCS as an optional extra on all new Insignia model cars.
But if engine noise reduction sounds more appealing to you, then you’ll be glad to hear that Toyota’s looking at ways to reduce the in-car noise on its hybrid vehicles.
The firm’s Active Noise Control uses three interior microphones to monitor in-car noise caused by the engine. Three speakers positioned around the inside of the car, including on the parcel shelf, then counteract the engine’s irritating noises by up to 8dB.
"Yes I am a driver, I have been one for 3 years...and yes I would find such a tool helpful..."
Seriously? You need help in spotting and responding to large, (mostly) obvious signs? And you think that you should still be driving a 1 tonne lump of metal (and glass and plastic) around? Seriously?
Just the thing for Mr Magoo...
I get my coat because I'm taking the tube home.
Adaptive sound control
I recall years back there was a show called "Beyond 2000" and they had a segment about the original work done by Lotus engineering The woman presenting the segment was driving around on a country lane in the smallest, meanest little econobox I had seen in a long time. It had the Lotus testbed car and it had a high-powered amplifier, microphones, speakers, and a few sensors to pick up throttle position and engine RPM.
She twisted a knob on a little box under the dash and switched the system from "Normal" to "Porsche" to "Ferrari" to "Mustang" and magically, the auditory experience within this little s**tbox of a car became that of the high-dollar, high performance automobile the knob selected. It was an instant "I WANT IT!" experience.
It was also hilarious seeing the car from the outside as the sound from the inside of the car was heard on the soundtrack.