An app can spot aggressive behaviour behind the wheel

App warns erratic drivers to calm down

An app that monitors drivers’ behaviour and even sounds an alarm if they become too aggressive has been developed by Spanish researchers.

The Driving Styles app pulls real-time data from the vehicle including fuel consumption, acceleration, speed and revolutions. The data is streamed into a smartphone via Bluetooth where a neural network-based programme performs a real-time evaluation. The newest version of the app even includes a heart-rate monitor.

Based on the available information, the app classifies the way the driver handles the car as calm, normal or aggressive. If dangerous driving patterns are detected, the driver receives a warning on his or her smartphone or smartwatch.

The app automatically creates and stores statistics about fuel consumption, the price paid for every journey and amounts of CO2 emitted.

“Users can consult all of the information collected, presented in the form of detailed graphs charting accelerations and speed, as well as maps of the routes taken,” explained Juan Carlos Cano from the Polytechnic University of Valencia, who developed the app together with his colleague Carlos M. Taveres.

The app can work with every car equipped with the OBD-II diagnostics port, which has been standard in cars since 2000. As the app tags all data with time and location information, the researchers hope that in future, they will be able to create maps based on a larger amount of users that would enable them to define which areas in cities are causing the most stress. Eventually, they would like to compare driving styles internationally.

“With this latest version we wanted to go a step further: our goal is to contribute to driver safety, while also enabling a more efficient and cost-effective driving style among our users, providing them vital information in real time,” the researchers concluded.

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