Talking, eating, texting, changing the radio station…all things that we do while we are driving. They take our attention away from the road and significantly increase the likelihood of an accident, especially at intersections. A new system from Ford, called “Smart Intersection” was designed to reduce the number of accidents related to driver distraction.
By using a GPS system for accurate location of your vehicle and pre-programming the location of traffic lights and stop signs, the system can warn you if it determines that you are going too fast. At intersections with traffic lights, a small box containing a receiver and transmitter is wired into the timing computer that will communicate with your vehicle. If your light is red, and the computer decides that you haven’t slowed down enough, or aren’t stopping at all for that matter, a wireless signal will be sent to the system in the vehicle. In less than a second, your vehicle will give you both an audible and visual alarm that you need to stop. Red LED lights will flash while a voice tells you either “stop sign” or “stop light.”
The system will take a long time to be fully operational as there are more than a few stop lights, intersections and stop signs in the US. Ford however is very optimistic about the whole program and plans on pushing further into the endeavor. General Motors Corp., Toyota Motor Corp., Honda Motor Co. and Daimler AG are also partners in developing the system along with the Federal Government.
The benefits from this extend even farther than the person who avoided an accident. The amount of fuel wasted while waiting for an accident to clear the road, more specifically around crowded cities and larger intersections, is substantial. Especially since almost 40% of traffic accidents occur at intersections. Even more importantly, out of that 40%, nearly 20% will include a fatality. You will never be able to put a price on someone’s life and if it saves just one, it has more than paid for itself.