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AUS students develop “smart system” to lower rate of car accidents
Four Emirati students from the Department of Computer Science and Engineering at American University of Sharjah (AUS) have designed and developed an innovative senior project that aims to lower the rate of car accidents in the UAE.
The “smart system” helps drivers detect the driving activity of surrounding vehicles. It is a simple and affordable device that aims to notify drivers of irregular driving behavior around their vehicles at a radius of their choice that can go up to several kilometers. The device serves drivers in becoming more alert of possible threats from others and detects reckless driving activity such as tailgating, speeding, frequent braking, swerving, and others.
It was developed by AUS students Saud AlQasimi, Abdalla Al Noman, Abdulla Ahli and Mohamed Al Marashda. The students were supervised by Dr. Fadi Ahmad Aloul, Professor and Head of the Department of Computer Science and Engineering, and Dr. Imran Zaulkernan, Associate Professor of Computer Science and Engineering.
Commenting on the outstanding efforts of his students and the system they have developed, Dr. Aloul said:
“Top reasons for deadly car accidents include reckless drivers swerving and speeding. These two issues are covered in this new device and thus would serve to lower the rate of accidents in the UAE and globally. This device is a simple yet effective and cheap solution and can make an enormous difference for drivers.”
Dr. Zaulkernan also added, “As the age of self-driven vehicles dawns, the next evolution of this system is to allow cars to automatically react to anomalous behaviors of nearby vehicles and hence help prevent accidents."
Saud AlQasimi, student team leader elaborated on the team’s project and said:
“Car accidents are one of the leading causes of death in the UAE and our project is aimed mainly to reduce those numbers by warning unaware drivers about road hazards like an over-speeding vehicle, sudden braking, tailgating, and even a swerving vehicle by wirelessly sending messages between the cars. Our project is meant to be installed in all vehicles as a standard safety mechanism, which is why we made sure to keep it inexpensive and universal to most cars nowadays.”
There are several components to the device which include it being connected to the car’s dashboard to gain data of speed, brakes, engine reading, etc. Once it is read, the device communicates with other surrounding devices through Zigbee, which is a high-level communication protocol used to create personal area networks with small, low-power digital radios, without the need to connect to the internet. Hence, each device connects to the others cars equipped with a similar device through Zigbee, thus sharing data. The anonymity of the drivers and their plate numbers remain secure with only the location and driving behavior being shared.