While there are already some technological solutions like apps that can help drivers avoid traffic jams, one solution is taking assisted driving to a whole new level.
Autotalks, an Israeli company founded by Nir Sasson and Onn Haran, has been working on a chip to be installed in cars that transmits electronic messages every second, which include the car’s position, direction, and warning messages. Other cars in the area that also have the chip would receive and emit messages as well. All these messages can then be analyzed to evaluate the chances of accidents, traffic jams etc, according to Sasson. The warning messages can be shown via audio and visual means to the drivers (in the navigation screen for example.) If a system is installed at a crossroads it could also provide information about the traffic lights and pedestrians crossing.
Other solutions exist but they sometimes provide minimal time to react – sensors installed on the exterior of the car can tell the driver when to break only when he’s a few seconds away from crashing- a distance which most of the time is enough to reduce the impact of the crash but not to prevent it. Moreover, Autotalks can help drivers to be more aware of the road in tricky areas with many curves, slopes or bad weather, as it does not use visual sensors that can be limited.
“If our chip is installed at a traffic light at a junction, drivers can get a warning about something which is over the corner, something they couldn’t see beforehand because of limited field of view,” Haran told website The Marker. “We are not in competition with optic or radar-based systems. These systems are complementary systems and at the end every car will have different kinds of systems installed. Every system will reduce the chance of an accident.”
Besides the chips in cars, Autotalks’ chips are suited for road infrastructures such as junctions and traffic lights. While governments might be slow to adopt it because of cost, Autotalks says the long-term financial benefits are worth it because of the high rate of car accidents around the world. There’s no need to net all the junctions, only the problematic ones.
“Our chips work in a certain standard. Nowadays most of the communication standards are maturing. It started in Japan, when their government decided to integrate a smart road infrastructure back in 2006, and that’s why Japan will be the first country with that infrastructure. We’re the only foreign company that works with the Japanese standard, along with other Japanese companies,” Sasson added.
The prototype for Autotalk’s chip is ready but the entry to the Japanese and American markets won’t be easy. Haran explained that “the car manufacturers are conservative; introducing new technologies intended for cars can take a few years.” The American government decided to implement new regulations for new cars and to force drivers to install alert systems. “We have a window of opportunity until 2015 to be aggressive and get in the field of mandatory alert systems. I believe that in 2014 we’ll see cars with our chips,” Haran added.
COULD HAVE AVOIDED SNOOKI’S CAR ACCIDENT!
Photo by Malka Packer
By Benji Lovitt, SDM
Last Thursday was the 10th annual March for Pride and Tolerance in Jerusalem and if you happened to be there in person, you’d be excused if you found yourself wondering what you were watching. As you may have picked up from this blog, Jerusalem is not like any other city so why should the gay pride parade be any different?
If you may have missed out on recent headlines, the winds of revolution spreading through the Middle East finally hit Israel late last month. Although instead of fighting for basic democratic rights, the protestors here have been primarily middle-class citizens dissatisfied with lack of affordable housing and the widening gaps between the rich and the poor.
In a nation as tiny as Israel, perhaps it shouldn’t be so surprising for various groups to join together in hopes of effecting change, which is exactly what happened at the march on July 29th. Doctors, young people camped out in “tent cities” to protest against housing prices, and as expected, members of the GLBT community and their supporters came together to march as one.
Sponsored as always by the Jerusalem Open House, the march began at Independence Park attracting over three thousand people to walk through Jerusalem to the Knesset, the national parliament building. Upon their arrival, the marchers listened to speeches by various community leaders. If those events sound like par for the course for a pride parade, well, they are. But it’s the way they were done that made this event Yerushalmi (“Jerusalem-like”).
According to one attendee, British-born immigrant Nadia Levene, “The event was very tzanua (modest) and not flamboyant which says something about Jerusalem.” Whereas Tel Aviv’s annual parade more closely resembles something you might find in Montreal or San Francisco, complete with floats, music, and lots of skin, Jerusalem’s parade was by all accounts tame.
Malka Packer, an American currently living in Israel, explains: “It was so dramatically different from Tel Aviv. Whereas there, you feel like you’re in a celebration, this was more a political march. In Tel Aviv, people who aren’t gay go because it’s a big party. Here, people came from many protest groups because they genuinely care about the message of equal rights for all.” (To be fair, many in Tel Aviv care about the cause as well but the point is clear: if you showed up to the Knesset looking to dance, you should have quickly turned around and headed straight for the beach.)
Both Levene and Malka witnessed quite a few marchers wearing kippot (Jewish head covering traditionally worn by the more religiously observant Jews), a sign that in the holy city, stereotypes and assumptions about what it means to be gay or religious won’t get you too far. Rainbow kippah anyone?
The town of Abu Ghosh, in the green hills outside of Jerusalem, is the “humus capital” of Israel. And the most well known restaurant there is the Abu Ghosh Restaurant, owned by Jaodat Ibrahim. With a vision of coexistence, Ibrahim put Israel on the map by winning last year the World’s Record for largest amount of humus made at one time. by Harvey Stein