Could technology eliminate fatal crashes?

10.57 | 9 February 2011 | | 1 comment

Engineers and medical experts believe that fatal crashes could be eliminated completely, according to a BBC News report.

The report says that scientists and engineers are developing technology and enhancements to cars that would aid drivers to the extent that crashes would become rare events.

Volvo believes that in the future it will be able to stop cars from ever crashing. The manufacturer is developing auto-braking technology to ensure cars come to a stop when they sense another car coming close to them – both from the front and the side.

At General Motors’ research lab in Detroit, scientists are developing a prototype windscreen, which they hope will give drivers a kind of ‘superhuman’ vision. Infrared cameras film the driver to monitor head position and gaze direction. An awareness of exactly where the driver is looking allows the car to assist them.

While in Miami doctors are developing a robot doctor, known as ‘advanced telemedicine’, which will allow Dr Antonio Marttos (a surgeon) to communicate directly with the team at work in the accident and emergency unit.

By controlling cameras on the robot (which bears his image), Dr Marttos can make a rapid diagnosis, and talk the resuscitation team through advanced procedures which might be needed straight away.

Dr Marttos said: "I can really support the nurse or physician from long distance, and really help them to have the best expertise always."

Technology is already available that enables cars to alert the emergency services if something has happened that is not within the normal range of driving, and might mean danger to the occupants. A computer in the car sends a message and exact location of the car. This technology is already on the market in thousands of cars in North America.

But at Jackson Memorial Hospital, trauma surgeon Dr Jeff Augenstein is now taking this to the next level. He is running a trial project where the computer in the car can also transmit detailed information about the crash forces experienced by passengers.

Click here to read the full BBC News report.


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    Robots to control people for the people’s sake. Who pays? Who benefits? If government pays, the costs will be passed to the tax payer. If the people must pay direct – and this goes either way – they pass their own judgement, decisions and preferences – their lives – to a robot. In which case, why exist at all. Alternatively, to stop all fatal crashes simply stop all moving vehicles. Walk – everywhere. No bicycles, cars, buses, trains, aircraft, nothing. It does seem at times this is the direction we are all being pushed in. ‘You are human. You are a risk. Eliminate the risk’.

    Derek Reynolds, St Albans
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