Thursday, November 22, 2007

Software Engineering for Automotive Systems - Safety Vehicles

In a previous post, we discussed about software engineering and reuse for automotive systems. Even with the known advances and benefits in the field, motor vehicles present a considerable risk. According to the World Heath Organization, traffic collisions account for an estimated 1.2 million fatalities and up to 50 million injuries worldwide each year (
Moreover, most accidents are caused by driver errors. A study shows that driver inattention contributes to nearly 80 percent of crashes and 65 percent of near crashes (
In this scenario, the Laboratory for Intelligent and Safe Automobiles, at the University of California, San Diego, is working with researchers from different disciplines to design, develop, and evaluate intelligent driver-support systems (IDSSs) [see full paper here]. These multidisciplinary efforts have led to the creation of novel instrumented vehicles that capture rich contextual information about the environment, vehicle, and driver (EVD) as well as realistic data for developing better algorithms to analyze multisensory input. The developed technology emerging of this work is the dynamic display, a system that projects safety-critical warnings based on EVD data was well as in response to a unique driver-intent analysis and situational awareness system onto a windshield-size heads-up display.
The challengers for this area are various and I believe that we need more tools, processes, and reuse techniques to improve it. Moreover, our inspiration in reuse, e.g., working in software product lines, is based on this industry (Henry Ford’s ideas). In a future post, we will discuss how reuse is working in this new field of research.

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