This week saw hope for solving the age old problem of glaring high beams, a crackdown on an online scheme to sell counterfeit drivers licenses in New Jersey, and the challenges of having an accent and speaking to Siri. Apple also revealed their full-fledged iPhone experience for drivers, CarPlay.
As you get ready for the weekend, here are some stories brought to you by NJ Car Coupon to help you stay on top of the latest automotive innovation and news.
Smarter Headlights That Don’t Blind Other Drivers
We’ve all had the issue of headlights that seem brighter than the sun, blinding us on a pitch black road. Luckily there are researchers out there trying to solve this annoying, and potentially dangerous, drawback of driving at night.
Carnegie Mellon University have developed ‘smart headlights’ that can provide brighter illumination of the road “without blinding the motorists in oncoming vehicles.” As more aspects of driving (navigation, fuel, rear-cams, etc.) begin to embrace technology, it makes sense that our headlights would get smarter.
A leading professor of robotics behind the project, Dr. Srinivasa Narasimhan, described the system:
“With our programmable system… we can actually make headlights that are even brighter than today’s without causing distractions for other drivers on the road…”
The new headlight technology can sense oncoming drivers and adjust the light automatically. This process helps avoid glaring the light onto drivers, while maintaining brightness on the other side of the road. Smarter headlights can save lives.
Despite there being 60% less traffic at night, “more than 40% of all fatal car accidents happen” at that time.
NJ Trio Accused of Selling Fake Driver’s Licenses Online
Most Americans are familiar with buying products online, finding coupons for their next car, and even buying used cars on EBay. But a local NJ trio were caught selling fake drivers licenses online to seven states.
They charged around $150 per license, and operated a fully functional website for users to order them. A disclaimer on the site read as follows:
“No refunds. No snitches.”
The three men, from Jersey City and Newark, were charged with “conspiracy to commit fraud and related activity in connection with authentication features.” While everyone loves a story about young Internet entrepreneurs, this was certainly not the case.
Struggles Between Accents and Voice Control
New Jersey is one of the most diverse states in the country. Which is why this story should hit home. For those of us with an accent, even those who speak English with a Southern drawl, it is a struggle to use Siri and Cortana type voice technologies.
This is especially challenging inside their car. Whether it’s a British, Spanish, or Southern accent, many people are getting into hilarious (and sometimes frustrating) situations while ‘talking’ to their car.
A Kelley Blue Book analyst had this to say about the issue:
“You’ve got this highly engineered, wonderfully operating, great looking car whose voice commands don’t work well. That can spoil the whole experience – to the point of making the car unsellable.”
When it comes down to it, cars and voice technology have yet to reach a seamless level of quality. There are still hiccups and issues with interpreting a person’s voice into a digital command for a car’s computer system or a smartphone.
Although we’re not at the level of a Knight Rider type vehicle, we’ll get there eventually. But it depends on the ability of voice technology to accommodate the wide range of English speakers throughout the country (and especially NJ).