Print 27 comment(s) - last by Le Québécois.. on Oct 16 at 7:04 PM

Siemens puts a stop to "Officer, I didn't realize I was going that fast" excuses

It seems as though technology is further creeping into our automobiles and there's no end in sight for how far it will go. We've got semi-automatic transmissions like BMW's SMG, VAG's DSG and Ferrari's F1 which can out-shift a traditional manual transmission, lane departure systems which vibrate your seat if you drift out of your lane, adaptive cruise control and the Advanced Driver Assist System (ADAS) which can steer your vehicle for you at highway speeds. And we can't forget Toyota's Intuitive Park Assist found on the new Lexus LS460 which can park your vehicle.

Siemens is looking to add yet another technology item to vehicles in a bid to make them safer through automation. The company's new Traffic Sign Recognition (TSR) system scans the road ahead and can recognize road signs. For example, when used in conjunction with adaptive cruise control, the TSR system could recognize a speed limit of 65MPH, warn the driver if he/she is driving too fast and automatically match the vehicle to the posted speed limit without driver input.

Siemens says that the system will soon go into production although it did not mention which auto manufacturers would adopt the system. If history is any indication, we'll start seeing systems like this employed on high-end Mercedes, BMW and Lexus models and then later see them filter down to "lesser" vehicles. We've already seen adaptive cruise control systems filter down to $30,000 Toyota Avalons so the technology encroachment is slowly coming to the masses.

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actually this ......
By otispunkmeyer on 10/16/2006 11:08:54 AM , Rating: 1
isnt really that new

i havent got a link to hand right now coz im at work, but there was a system (prototyped/demo/propsal) that limited your top speed to that of the road

it used a GPS reciever and sat nav software, only instead of telling you where to go, it just told you what the speed limit was

it then gave you the option to then limit the top speed of the car to that speed. it could be fitted to any car with fly by wire throttle.

RE: actually this ......
By otispunkmeyer on 10/16/2006 11:12:15 AM , Rating: 1
forgot to mention.... it was shown on a motoring program on tv. fifth gear i think

and Brandon PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE fix this software... ive lost count how many times ive seen "Oops there was a problem"

RE: actually this ......
By Brandon Hill on 10/16/2006 11:13:03 AM , Rating: 2
Don't look at me. I didn't code it :-)

RE: actually this ......
By sprockkets on 10/16/2006 2:54:14 PM , Rating: 1
it is asp, whadda expect?

RE: actually this ......
By theapparition on 10/16/2006 12:41:02 PM , Rating: 2
If you refresh the page before replying, you shouldn't get the oooops.....message anymore. Also, tabbed browsing (or opening several windows doesn't seem to work too well with this comments software since you'll get the message if you open another window to follow a link, and then try to reply to the original.

I don't know why, but I'd rather get a 404 screen than see that stupid "ooops....". For some reason, makes me want to punch the screen. Brandon, maybe you can change the message to something......else, maybe more mature (since we all know how mature the dailytech readership is! /sarcasm)

As far as the article goes, neat technology. Never see it in the US though, since so many local governments profit from unecessary fines like speeding. An GM engineer who was working on a similar program where the signs all had RF tags told me that the program was killed since local governments had no interest in stopping speeding.

RE: actually this ......
By isaacmacdonald on 10/16/2006 1:17:42 PM , Rating: 2
excellent point -- though I'm not this form of taxation (as a sizeable proportion of traffic tickets are little more than arbitrary taxation) bars eventual acceptance. While revenue might be lost in one form, widespread acceptance of this in conjunction with other traffic technologies (adaptive cruise, etc) pay dividends in the form of decreased accidents and highway congestion.

RE: actually this ......
By dnd728 on 10/16/2006 3:50:29 PM , Rating: 3
Here's one:

A mature commercial off-the-shelf product that also does this...
I was sure Siemens couldn't possibly be the first in October 2006, so I just googled it.

One step closer to the self driving car
By isaacmacdonald on 10/16/2006 9:49:15 AM , Rating: 2
It seems like we're getting progressively closer to eliminating driver error alltogether. All I can hope is that by the time that happens american & european build quality has been brought up to snuff. I can't imagine such a world would be safe with the equivalent of today's Audi's -- replete with mechanical and electronic failures -- roaming the streets.

RE: One step closer to the self driving car
By otispunkmeyer on 10/16/2006 11:02:31 AM , Rating: 2
odd lol

i honestly cant remember the last time i saw any german marque on the hard shoulder waiting for the AA

over here its citroens and fiats that have the electrical problems, though suprisingly ive not seen any citroen break downs. (but they do happen)

we have a toyota, and usually i regard japanese reliability as the defining standard along with the germans, but our rav 4 has been having multiple electronic problems. its bearly a year old!

By isaacmacdonald on 10/16/2006 1:06:01 PM , Rating: 2
I don't think I've ever seen a citroen or a fiat here (in New York). My brother, however, recently leased an A4 turbo, and within 3000 miles, the front mirror fell off and the engine started misfiring (the dealer reset the computer and explained they didn't know what was causing the misfires). VWs and Audi's are widely regarded here as having the build quality of a typical domestic (chrysler, etc).

By UNCjigga on 10/16/2006 2:55:50 PM , Rating: 3
Great, now I can concentrate on sending emails on my BlackBerry and watching movies on my DVD while driving a 4000lb steel and glass projectile at speeds of 75mph..."safely".

By StevoLincolnite on 10/16/2006 8:14:14 AM , Rating: 4
All these advancements with cars amazes me!
With the cars computer I wonder what Operating system they are running And what hardware is in it? Because I know with Holden Commodores, the Computer out of the old Camira's computer were used right up untill the VX commodore.
Which leads me to beleive that every iteration of a cars computer must be a huge leap. (for instance with the holden reference thats like 25 years of cars with the same box driving it all!).
All these advancements will make the roads alot safer, but at the same time making drivers lazy, so if something goes wrong with the cars electronics they might get lost! For instance, the trailer connector on the back of my VX commodore, was buggered up and some wires got crossed, a placed my foot on the break and ALL the lights in the car came on. When I turned a corner turning right the left blinker came on and didnt "Flash" but just stayed on, Cruise control wouldnt work, Power Mode wouldnt work, And the car wouldnt change from Petrol to LPG. Alot of "Average Joes" would be completly dumbfounded if it happend to them. But all it required was some crimp termanels to fix it. So realistically (I'm asking a question) would you want all this technology in your car?

RE: Advancements.
By Exodus220 on 10/16/2006 9:42:23 AM , Rating: 3
I wish we had Holden's here in America. I lived in Australia for two years and those cars were simply amazing. We have the Pontiac GTO which is the same as the HOlden Monaro, but it just isn't the same as in Australia. Oh well, I will just have to keep dreaming I guess.

How about the engine?
By Egglick on 10/16/2006 11:16:02 AM , Rating: 2
And yet, all the cars still use the same Internal Combustion Engine, which is based off of a 130yr old design.

RE: How about the engine?
By Brandon Hill on 10/16/2006 11:30:18 AM , Rating: 3
By Le Québécois on 10/16/2006 3:51:02 PM , Rating: 1
Seriously, I know law are pretty strick in the States or the rest of Canada but in Quebec, it doesn't works that way...

99.9999% of the time you can drive 19kph over the speed limit without getting any police car chassing you.

I.E.: speed limit of 50=69, 90=109, 100=119.

If you wonder why it's 19 and not 20 it's because you won't get any speed ticket at 70...but the chance your car isn't calibrated like the police radar is too slim to take that chance.

So a technology like that while being very great in other country would really bug us here in Quebec.

And for all you from the US or the rest of Canada, you now know why we flash our light behind you when you're in the left lane and drive at 100kph on the Highway.

By muffins on 10/16/2006 5:21:51 PM , Rating: 2
there not as strict as you think....10-15 over in alberta and theyll let ya go 90% of the time...and we dont flash lights we just drive really close to ya until you move over hahaha

By Le Québécois on 10/16/2006 7:04:09 PM , Rating: 1
Well I don't see much people from alberta, mostly it's from ontario or more eastern provinces.

And we too do drive really close until the guys moves. But at night getting you "road light" on is a pretty good way to make then understand.

cool tech
By quiksilv3r on 10/16/2006 8:11:12 AM , Rating: 3
Cool technology. Hopefully it will come in handy soon, although I don't exactly see the point to use it yet.

By jmke on 10/16/2006 8:43:22 AM , Rating: 1
For example, when used in conjunction with adaptive cruise control, the TSR system could recognize a speed limit of 65MPH, warn the driver if he/she is driving too fast and automatically match the vehicle to the posted speed limit without driver input.

and let the other cars behind you without the tech drive straight into you.

RE: great...
By therealnickdanger on 10/16/2006 9:40:54 AM , Rating: 2
and let the other cars behind you without the tech drive straight into you.

I know the comment was satirical, but the only person to blame in that situation is the driver that rear-ends you. There is a science behind setting speed limits to the safest speed possible. Realistically, with the proper equipment, every speed is a "safe" speed. That uber-freeway scene from Minority Report is the ultimate goal of the industry: high-speed, automated, individualized transportation. Statistics show that the safest speed is achieved when all vehicles are going the same speed, so if all cars on the road follow the what the sign says and adapt to the car in front of them, you've eliminated the #1 cause of crashes: inter-vehicle conflict.

RE: great...
By cgrecu77 on 10/16/06, Rating: 0
By muffins on 10/16/2006 1:27:26 PM , Rating: 3
who would want to go the speed limit? honestly

but this would be great for old people that drive 20km/h under it :)

The future
By othercents on 10/16/2006 10:38:45 AM , Rating: 2
This with all the other technology coming out I don't see why there wouldn't be a time that you would just program your car where you want to go and sleep through the trip. Granted you will still need to get fuel, but maybe by then the cars will go so much further than before and you could take your 800 mile trip on one tank of gas. (How long do you think that will take?)

If the cars where also max speed controlled by the speed limit listed on the signs, then there wouldn't really be an issue of bumping the speed limits up on the main freeways.

However, I can hear it now. All the airline lobbyist will be all over any type of technology that might take away sales from the airline industry.


By bldckstark on 10/16/2006 12:39:15 PM , Rating: 2
Whenever any of this automated automobile stuff comes up people always reference Minority Report. I always think of the Audi in I Robot, with Will Smith trapped between two "semi's" driving sideways, then putting it in manual at like 200mph. My kids love that movie.

By Scorpion on 10/16/2006 6:04:10 PM , Rating: 2
Since this works off of an image recognition system, I can see deviant youths going about spraypainting signs, or even more sophisticated, creating fake replican signs with much higher or lower speeds. This would in turn modify your cruise control settings to match the speed (if lower). I have such a devious mind today... >:)

By Wwhat on 10/16/2006 6:21:14 PM , Rating: 2
Sometimes on roads the signs for the road next to it are very near to eachother, I wonder how they can make this error-proof, I'd certainly would not advise automatic behavior using this technology, if the thing reads a sign of a road next to the highway that says 30 and your car suddenly brakes down the chaos would be immense.

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