Internet of Things in the Car
The product is developed with a single aim of improving safety on the road and reducing accidents. Implementation of IoT in the car with the smartphone, smartwatch and car console (which are now manufactured by tech companies with ability to interact with phones) creates an interface for transfer of important information. Safety can be greatly improved through monitoring driver activity from phone and smartwatches. The product involves two parts – development of a smartphone app and also a IoT enabled Breathalyzer which is a hardware product.
Globally, road accidents contributed to 1.25 million deaths. Distracted driving is the number 1 cause of road accidents in the U.S. with 424,000 injuries in 2013 due to distracted driving cases. The annual cost of alcohol related accidents is over $44 billion in the U.S. alone, with 121 million self-reported cases of alcohol impaired drivers in 2014.
Road accidents are one of the major research area in the automotive industry with manufacturers innovating to make cars safer. IoTc implementation can mitigate a large portion of the problem, the plan is threefold-
The first is implementation of an IoT enabled Breathalyzer. This is designed to send a signal which acts as the key in the ignition circuit. Thus a mandatory breath check for alcohol will be required before ignition in the car and therefore preventing a drunk driver from starting the engine.
The second utilises data sent from the smartphone and smartwatch. The smartphone is connected to the car and can detect who the driver is and therefore restrict usage of phone preventing distraction of drivers by blocking the ability to read texts or notifications on the phone display while the car is running.
The third part uses the smartwatch which can read motion and heart rate and can predict fatigue or if the driver begins to fall asleep through the heart rate monitors and can wake up the driver through vibration while also communicating the data to the car for it slow down.
This utilises already available hardware making the software which is under development as an android, android auto and android wear apps as the product. The IoT Breathalyzer can be considered as a standalone product and it utilises currently available hardware with an Arduino microcontroller and a Bluetooth module. Another Arduino microcontroller is placed in the ignition circuit of the car and is powered directly through the battery in the always on condition.
This innovation has the potential to save millions of lives around the world each year which is its aim.