When three of your friends are tragically killed in a car accident that could have been avoided had the driver had more information you make it your mission to help the rest of the world become more informed about traffic dangers such as dangerous intersections and areas. At least this was the mission for Hari Srinivasan after three of his friends were killed when the driver misjudged a curve and went over a cliff near Big Sur. Hari has spent his time trying to find a way to alert drivers of possible dangers on the road so others do not suffer the same fate as his friends.
Seven years after the accident, Srinivasan is the head of Signal Labs and has created a traffic app for smartphones that brings in a great deal of data to alert drivers of the possibility of a dangerous area. This app uses a complex algorithm of information in order to create the need to alert a driver to be cautious upon approach. This app certainly does not replace driver reflexes or reactions, but with advanced information any driver can actually be more sensitive to the need to be cautious in an area and avoid potential dangers.
We already have vehicles that make use of cameras, radars and sensors that are all around us to provide real time data to the driver, this app is built to also add situational context. This context would alert a driver if they are approaching an area where several accidents have occurred or an area where other motorist often brake hard. With this information at hand, drivers can then make a more educated approach to the area and avoid a potentially hazardous or fatal experience on the road.
This app has already started to gain a buzz around Silicon Valley and some Uber and Lyft drivers have already tests the app and its use over the past couple months. The expectation is for Signal Labs to outfit several cars with this app and its technology in the upcoming months to help alert drivers of the potential dangers they face. one of the most challenging parts of this app and its use is ensuring drivers don’t get too many alerts and end up suffering from “alert fatigue” which will eventually lead to them ignoring the alerts altogether.
The variable installed in the calculations for this app are still being modified and improved, but having an app for a smartphone that could eventually be installed into the app suite of infotainment systems gives us a chance to avoid more potential danger than ever before. This app actually will have uses in under developed countries just as much if not more than in countries like ours. An accident that has haunted Hari for over seven years has now turned into something fantastic that will hopefully have the ability to help save lives and make it much safer for all of us to drive.