iPhone App Developed for Preventing Car Crash

Aug 29, 2012
Hideyoshi Kume, Nikkei Electronics
Safety Sight, an iPhone application for helping auto drivers drive safely
Safety Sight, an iPhone application for helping auto drivers drive safely
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The "Approaching Forward Vehicle Warning" function
The "Approaching Forward Vehicle Warning" function
[Click to enlarge image]
The "safe driving diagnosis"
The "safe driving diagnosis"
[Click to enlarge image]

Sompo Japan Insurance Inc and Nipponkoa Insurance Co Ltd co-developed a smartphone application that helps auto drivers drive safely.

The companies released the application, Safety Sight, for the iPhone Aug 27, 2012, for free. It plans to offer the application for Android in October 2012.

Safety Sight has the "Approaching Forward Vehicle Warning" function, which emits a warning sound when a vehicle ahead is approaching. The smartphone estimates the distance to the vehicle ahead by analyzing the image of the scene in front of the user's vehicle (such as the shapes and sizes of objects). And it gives a warning when the vehicle ahead is approaching rapidly.

The warning sound is emitted when the distance between the user's vehicle running at a speed of 20km/h (approx 12.4mph) and the vehicle ahead becomes 6m. When the speed is 40km/h, the distance is 16m. And, when the speed is 100km/h, the distance is 40m.

When the application is in use, the iPhone superimposes the symbol of a vehicle ahead and the information about the distance to the vehicle ahead on the image from its camera. The application also has the "Starting Forward Vehicle Notification" function, which notifies the user of a starting vehicle ahead with a sound.

Event data recorder, 'safe driving diagnosis'

Safety Sight comes with the "Event Data Recorder" function. When the smartphone detects an impact such as from sudden braking and car crash, the function automatically records video of the scene in front of the vehicle for several tens of seconds before and after the impact. After the recording, it displays the phone numbers of a police station, Sompo Japan Insurance Inc and Nipponkoa Insurance as well as other emergency numbers.

Furthermore, Safety Sight has a function to conduct a "safe driving diagnosis" by analyzing vibrations detected by the smartphone, location information and the image of the scene in front of the vehicle to collect data on speed, rapid acceleration, sudden braking and inter-vehicle distance.

Those functions of the application were developed in collaboration with Car Mate MFG Co Ltd (See related article).