The Group of Computer Networks-DISCA of the Universitat Politècnica de València has developed a mobile phone application called DrivingStyles that characterizes our driving style. The system detects bad habits and helps promote better driving behaviour.
Using a Bluetooth device, the application collects information from the electronic control unit of the vehicle such as speed, acceleration, revs, accelerator position and geographical position by GPS. After gathering the information, the user sends the route data to a web site where they are analyzed. "From an algorithm based on neural networks the system is able to characterize the type of road and the user's driving style," says Carlos Tavares, head researcher of the project.
The Valencian researchers aim to help correct bad driving habits, especially the overly aggressive driving patterns that are generally associated with greater danger while driving and higher fuel consumption. "This system could be used by insurance companies to offer discounts to low-risk drivers," says Tavares.
The free application is available for Android smartphones at https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.driving.styles.
Drivers involved in this pilot experiment have direct access to all routes recorded by the web portal of the platform (http://www.drivingstyles.info), and to data such as acceleration graphics, speed and route maps, including also an individualized analysis of driving style. A correct driving behaviour can save up to 20% of fuel consumption and improve road safety.
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