Hi Jenn--thanks for the follow-up! I was attributing my attitude to my age...:-) I've never managed to master the cell-phone-while-driving thing and it's now illegal to text (DUH!) while driving in Massachusetts (did we really need a law for that?) I'm not sure the best electronics will ever offset distracted driving. Convenience is a great thing, but you are right--some things just don't belong in a car.
Taxi cabs in New York have ad displays that could handle rotating ads. As for individuals, some drivers get paid for wrapping their cars in signs that promote certain business, and some do it to promote their own business, though now it's already passe:
Mr. Roques, good point, we have to not lose sight of the essential function of the car, which is the key to its safety. As for weather and road updates, that is usually what radio stations cover. It should be possible to set up a radio station to pick up on local signals that focus on that particular area --even when it is not mentioned on the regular news. Some places already offer that. I've seen signs that say "tune your radio to ---" and in the tunnel from NJ, broadcasts from the Port Authority broke into the regular radio broadcasts.
It's always fun to see how the conversation revolves here, going from funny to more serious.
On the funny (or perhaps not so funny) side, rotating pop up ads may not be far off.... look around the highway and you'll already see some strangely colored cars with also sorts of banner ads plastered around them. Maybe we'll start seeing cars splayed with multiple sponsor and brand names, like the professional race cars. Then again, many of use wouldn't even notice because we're conditioned now to not see/hear the marketing noise.
Speaking of race cars, they also provide an incredible example of what's possible down the road for the more normal lot of commuters and roadies. The Formula 1 cars are pure electronics genius. I'm a not a race car fan necessarily, but I do stand in awe when I see them move around a track at lighting speed, and am constantly shocked to see the drivers walk away from horrible crashes. If OEMs can figure out how to "dumb" down some of that very sophisticated technology to the point where it's both cost-effective to broadly roll-out and can be easily managed by the user, then they'll be adding true value in multiple ways, but primarily on the safety side.
That said, I'm also concerned that too much reliance on embedded technology that sees, hears and senses everything that's going on around us on the road, while make drivers lazy. If we assume the smart car will save us from oursleves, then we're certainly going the wrong direction.
Oh, BTW, take a looks at this video to see how electronics are used in F1 cars. It's a couple years old, but you get the idea: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tLHqIM6-Gbc
ECUs and sensing are very reliable and a lot of work is done to assure that.
Typically ECUs do not use OS, but embedded software without operating system. Multitasking is achieved by interrupts when processor executes different part of a program not accessible without interrupts. The scheme is to assure safety since qualifying an operating system is very challenging process. There are some RTOS (Real Time Operating Systems), which are qualified for safety but their cost is very high.
Quite a few postings are focusing on what we know and how that can be applied to cars. This makes things funny. The idea of infotainment is only flashy and will not lead us to a fascination. We have the technology and we have to put together such a way that it is innovative, useful and safe. Having real time weather, road conditions, re-routing to lower congestions are the necessary things for the driver. Accident notification is a very good idea too. All these features need to be packaged and presented to the driver in very simple concise manner. I am not going to unveil new ideas here, because I don’t have them. We need engineers who look at the same thing and see it out of the box, just like Apple did with the first iPhone. They used technology, which was known to all cell phone manufactures and created new entity. Smart cars are going in the right direction and someone will find the right mixture of features by braking stereotypes and creating new meanings.
EBN Dialogue enables and encourages you to participate in live chats with notable leaders and luminaries. Not only editors and journalists, but the entire EBN community is able to comment and ask questions. Listed below are upcoming and archived chats.
Thailand Stages a Comeback Join EBN contributor Jennifer Baljko on Thursday August 23, 2012, at 11:00 a.m. EST for a live chat on how electronic manufacturers in Thailand have shored up their supply chain to reduce the impact of future natural disasters.
Microsoft Surface: Potential Winners & Losers What are the implications for the electronics industry supply chain of Microsoft Corp.'s decision to launch its own tablet PC? Join industry veteran and EE Times' systems and OEM expert Rick Merritt on Tuesday, July 3, at 12:00 pm EDT for a Live Chat on this subject.
Join EBN contributor Jennifer Baljko on Thursday August 23, 2012, at 11:00 a.m. EST for a live chat on how electronic manufacturers in Thailand have shored up their supply chain to reduce the impact of future natural disasters.
Peter Drucker famously said "Trying to predict the future is like trying to drive down a country road at night with no lights while looking out the back window." Yet in the razor's-edge world of electronics—with a lean supply chain and just-in-time demands—the need to know the future is vital.
While no one really can accurately predict the future, we can take guidance from another Drucker saying which is the best way to predict the future is to create it.
You've heard the saying "the No. 1 supply chain risk is your people." That hasn't always been the case. But today's complex global supply chain requires a new type of multitalented employee. It's one who understands, finance, marketing, economics, is savvy with technology, graceful with relationships and can think analytically.
Where are these people? Are universities properly preparing the next generation supply chain professionals? How do train your existing workforce for these new, demanding positions?
Brian Fuller, editor-in-chief of EBN, will lead a 60-minute Avnet Velocity panel discussion that will ask and answer these and other questions swirling around today's supply-chain talent challenges.