The Endeavour Project at the University of Cambridge (the project formerly known as VBRAD) is investigating the use of computer vision and related technologies in the automotive world, and in particular how we can develop a better understanding of the driver's activities, emotions, and environment. 

The aim is to allow cars and their related systems to make more intelligent decisions about how to keep the driver informed, comfortable, safe, and heading in the direction they want to be going!

Here's an example...

Smarter vehicle-initiated communication

My current focus is on the process by which a car communicates with the driver.  There are many things a car may want to tell you during your journey, and they all have different degrees of importance or urgency. Some examples might include:

  • Your brakes have failed.
  • You need to turn left in 100 metres.
  • Your phone is ringing. It's your mother.
  • You need to take the next exit, in 5 miles.
  • You need fuel in the next 50 miles.
  • A service is due in the next 1000 miles.
  • That was 'Shake it off' by Taylor Swift.
  • You're crossing the River Don, an important navigational canal serving the city of Sheffield.

At present, your car will typically just inform you of such things as soon as the information becomes available.  But if you're negotiating a difficult junction with fast oncoming traffic, the last thing you need is to hear a 'ping' and see a warning light flash to tell you that you need a service in the next thousand miles.

We think we can do better.

(This project has some factors in common with my Augmented Vehicles work, many years ago at AT&T.)