Collision Warning!! For everyone...

Updated: Jan 19, 2021

Look Up

We live in a world where a large amount of technology is driven by a safety aspect. It’s even more prevalent in the automotive industry. An Advanced Driver Assist System (ADAS) is of great priority in new automobiles, going from collision alert warning to automatic braking to self-driving. Cars with that technology also comes with a relatively, hefty price tag. My goal is to create a collision alert system that is available for the general public at a relatively affordable cost so they are able to protect themselves and their families. Below you’ve see some very sobering statistics from the NHTSA. It is reasonable to assume the worldwide impact of these sorts of collisions across the world, not just United States.

2018 Statistics

· 6,734,000 crashes

· 1,894,000 injuries

· 33,654 fatalities

· 32.3% of all collisions were rear-end collisions

· 31.4% of all injuries were from rear-end collisions

· 7.2% of all fatalities were from rear-end collisions

Overall, based on numbers from NHTSA study from 2010, car accidents cost almost $1 trillion dollars in terms of loss of productivity and loss of life. Using those numbers, we can attribute a large chunk of it to rear end collisions.

In terms of cost, below are accident costs based on data from Tavss Fletcher in Virginia.

Motor vehicle accident average costs:

Average cost for each death in a motor vehicle accident: $1,130,000

Average cost for each nonfatal disabling injury: $61,600

Average cost for each property damage crash (includes non-disabling injuries): $7,500

Motor vehicle accident costs by severity:

Average economic cost for incapacitating injury crash: $65,000

Average economic cost for non-incapacitating evident injury crash: $21,00

Average economic cost for possible injury crash: $11,900

The above numbers only take into account the economic impact of motor vehicle accidents. To properly value the true cost of an accident including a measure of the value of lost quality of life, the National Safety Council came up with different numbers.

Average comprehensive cost of motor vehicle crashes per injured person:

Comprehensive cost of a death: $4,100,000

Comprehensive cost of an incapacitating injury: $208,500

Comprehensive cost of a non-incapacitating evident injury: $53,200

Comprehensive cost of a possible injury: $25,300

Comprehensive cost of no injury: $2,300

There are plenty of sources available that depict how Radars and Lidars work. As a quick summary, Radar and Lidar, respectively project electromagnetic waves or laser from a projector and the waves bounce back to the receiver after hitting the upcoming target. By knowing the velocity of the source and the target, the Radar and Lidar systems are able to gauge notify the driver of distance/time to vehicles in the vicinity, impending collisions, and blind spot detection to name a few of its functions.

The system I’m designing isn’t rocket science and in a sense doesn’t need any new technology development. Instead, it utilizes the existing technology and combines it to create an architecture, that protects drivers on the road, at an affordable cost.

This can be considered as a Stage 1 of the collision avoidance system. Stage 2 will involve a blind spot detection system and a lane-assist system. Stage 3 will provide a more enhanced prediction system for impending front-end, T-bone and cross-traffic collision avoidance system based on a localized web of communication systems between cars in a larger area.

This sort of architecture and my plan to bring it to market will also be made public. The reason I’m creating this is to ensure there are more resources for drivers to protect themselves, apart from just buying a new car. Most people cannot afford to buy a new car with a collision alert system so it is time for technology to be within their grasp, without forcing them to buy a new car. For that reason I am making this idea public. With more companies working on this application, it will increase the demand of the components needed to build this system, which will subsequently help lower the cost of the system as well. I’m also a big proponent of competition to increase innovation. As more companies are competing for the drivers’ business, each new system is bound to provide more innovation.

Let’s get into the details of how I expect this system to work.

For the sake of simplicity, the below operating procedure will show how Car 2 and Car 3 will can save/,alert their respective drivers of an immediate stoppage of the upcoming two cars and/or impending collision with an upcoming car.

Additional perks. Lidar systems can identify oncoming people or animals or other objects. This will help in reducing the amount of collisions with people or animals, such as individuals crossing the street or deer imminently crossing the freeway.

For a car traveling 60mph, the distance needed to stop a car would be approximately 268ft. The range of a radar sensor is ~ 300 ft. Driving 60mph

Initial prototypes will cost around $2500. With a mass produced system, my research tells me the price can be brought to less than $1000. I’m targeting to create a Look Up system to be $450.

After much research and consulting with Radar/Lidar manufacturers, I’ve concluded the feasibility of this system. The feasibility lies in the simplicity of the solution.


With such a predictable system, there is an impending concern of privacy of this system as well. As you saw in the layout above , Look Up will be a localized system. It will interact with automotive and their signals in their own vicinity within approximately 300 feet. There is no GPS that’s inherent to the Look Up system so the data is instantaneous and remains with the car and isn’t stored for any reason. This should help relieve concerns of privacy breach for individuals using this system.

I also have a few questions below that I have yet to find answers for.

1. How can a system such as this detect where the vector of the signal? Is it coming from the back, front, side or 3 lanes over?

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