What is better than a driver assistant? Millions of driver assistants! Crowd-sourced traffic and road data is something fantastic. One thing missing so far from the idea to collect information from multiple cars on the road is better, ergonomic usability of the data. There are several smartphone apps that collect data from a number of users – but besides the battery drainage that all of them have in common you should not use your smartphone while driving. Never. No. Stop it. Period!
Good thing there are alternatives to get real-time, crowd-sourced data from millions of drivers all over Europe. Coyote, a french company is offering several solutions based on their driving assistant system technology. The algorithm in combination with the non-stop working editorial team deliver real-time data comparisons of the crowd sourced data from the Coyote users and traffic news from databases ensuring highly accurate road assistant information.
Coyote assistance system (image: Coyote)
Coyote offers several hardware products from simple devices informing about traffic status and Coyote notifications to complete navigation systems. The Coyote S even employs a dashboard cam in order to present information and notifications similar to augmented reality apps on the real-time picture taken of the road ahead. All devices allow to easily send alerts to the Coyote cloud either via touchscreen or voice recognition and thus to support the other users. Therefore the data contains not only traffic updates but also additional information about speed limits and speed controls.
The Coyote S with augmented reality and dashboard cam (image: Coyote)
The iCoyote smartphone app utilises the same data as the other products but as mentioned before, having the screen turned on and the smartphone often lying on the passenger seat from where drivers pick it up for a better look on it – well, it drains the battery and decreases your awareness for what’s happening on the road.
The iCoyote app (image: Coyote)
The good news are iCoyote works perfectly with MirrorLink, a technology which enables you to display the apps installed on your smartphone on your car’s touchscreen in order to prevent distractions. MirrorLink is a project of the Car Connectivity Consortium (CCC) a non-profit organization of automakers, smartphone vendors and aftermarket car electronics providers who strive to provide a simple way to connect any device to any car.
Getting the notifications via your car’s integrated infotainment system will likely motivate even more than the current 4,7 million users to use the app and also increase the data which can be collected, supporting more accurate and wide spread traffic updates and coverage. With further mobile integration into the car system in the future it could be possible to use the vehicle’s GPS system as well as data from the car’s sensors in order to improve the functionality of the assistance system.
MirrorLink displaying smartphone information in the car (image: Daimler)
Similar to the now available augmented reality function of the Coyote S it could also be possible to integrate Coyote data into the head-up display of your car.
MirrorLink is currently available in selected Buick, Chevrolet, Cirtoën, Honda, Peugeot, Seat, Skoda, Toyota and Volkswagen models. Other car manufacturers will soon join the list as Daimler has already announced the introduction of MirrorLink in the next generation smart fortwo and forfour models.
With Coyote being an innovative company based in the consumer segment and CCC being an automotive consortium, the MirrorLink project shows how the borders between segments are vanishing as we connect more and more devices from all kinds of markets and segments to each other in order to simplify our lives. It seems the IoT era has arrived on our streets.