Now, an app that reduces motor pile-ups on highways by 40 pc

Washington, July 12: A new application for automatic detection of accidents, developed by researchers from the University of Bologna, could reduce the number of vehicles involved in pile-ups by up to 40 percent.

Road tests will be carried out this summer, on the streets and highways of Los Angeles, around the campus of the University of California.

"Basically, what we are doing is placing cars in peer to peer communication," comments Marco Roccetti, professor of Internet architecture at the University of Bologna.

All it requires is an acceleration sensor so that if an accident occurs further along the road, the car can find out about it and inform those behind immediately.

In a realistic scenario, with hundreds or even thousands of vehicles on an eight-lane motorway, the problem lies in making the grapevine as fast as possible, and in preventing the system from being flooded.

If all the cars pass on the message received, the maximum available bandwidth would be reached very quickly, blocking all communication. So the system needs to be selective.

When a car sends an accident alarm message, all those within a range of between 300 and 1000 metres receive the signal, but only one of them in turn sends it on, to reach cars that are further away.

Each vehicle knows the direction and speed of all other cars around it, along with their transmitting capacity. All this information is updated every second or so.

"The technologies we are using are already mature and available," says Alessandro Amoroso, another of the project's authors.

"It could be integrated directly into the car dashboard, or in the satnav. If the road tests go well, deciding whether or not to launch on the market is merely a commercial issue," he added.

Copyright Asian News International/