Described here, with a video. What’s not to like? It’s just, it’s fun, it rewards good behaviour and punishes bad. Especially nice since it would make Jeremy Clarkson so very, very unhappy!
Described here. Sadly no sustainable transport or driver behaviour angle to it at all, though traffic avoidance will deliver some sort of carbon reduction benefit. I suppose the safety thing won’t hurt either – support for e112, and so on. But it’s mainly aimed at making things even nice for drivers – concierge services and so on. As described elsewhere on this blog, that reduces the ‘misery price’ of driving, and makes it more likely that people will drive more.
A service to prevent drivers from texting while they drive, even if they wanted to, but provided that they opted in. Described here. Surely the real innovation would be to stop the morons wanting to? If you can’t do that, how you can make the idiots opt in?
Unlike me to post pictures of a religious origin, but hard to dislike this one!
This one isn’t really a sustainability-related application of ICT (except in so far as car crashes don’t do much for the planet or resource reduction), but it’s (a) interesting and clever and (b) contains elements that could be used in an application that was aimed at promoting more sustainable as well as safer driving. Though I have to admit it looks a bit distracting to me – I hope they’ve got evidence that demonstrates there’s an overall safety benefit.
It uses the smartphone’s camera to acquire visual data (the size of the car in front) and the accelerometer to add speed and acceleration data – I have to say I think that’s a really clever use of the phone’s capabilities. This one a ‘best start-up’ award, and for once it seems genuinely deserved.
Perhaps this is an idea whose time has come, because we’ve seen a few similar ones (like the Sprint safety app described here) in the last couple of weeks. There is a video here and a longer description here. Love the way that street names on the smartphone map are still in Hebrew, even though everything else has been translated.
From Ford – using WiFi and GPS to warn drivers about potential accidents, and described here. Boringly, they don’t really talk like the cute ones in the picture- they just flash red warning lights on the windscreen for the driver to see. And it works best once it reaches critical mass and lots of other cars have the system enabled – WiFi, remember. Hope BT Openzone doesn’t sod this up for everyone, they way it does with my smartphone.
Short post on their blog – good stuff guys.
Nothing (much) to do with ICT, although some ICT might help a bit with enforcement. This is an easy win – what the UK Energy Research Centre, a government-funded research body calls a ‘quick hit’ on carbon reduction.
It’s really easy to understand – reduce the speed limit, so people drive slower. Their engines run closer to the optimum speed, so they use less fuel and emit less CO2. No clever unproven technology required, no complex and unfamiliar behaviour change needed – just driving a bit slower. And of course, some side benefits in less road deaths and reduced noise from traffic.
The UKERC calculated that just enforcing the existing speed limit on motorways would remove 1 million tonnes of CO2, and reducing the limit to 60mph would remove almost as much again. Read the report, published in 2006, and weep that no-one has taken a blind bit of notice.
So why do we spend so much time and effort thinking about technology-based solutions that might not work, and/or might cost a great deal? Partly, I suspect, because the kinds of organisations usually called upon to give advice about transport issues tend to like complex technology-based solutions, because that’s the kind of thing that they do. And partly because our democratically-elected politicians are more scared of offending Jeremy Clarkson and his like than they are of climate change. After all, climate change is some time in the future, but a bad headline in the Daily Mail is right now.
Time for a national campaign to lower the speed limit, I think.