Note that Bluetooth low energy was designed and optimized for use-cases that have a relatively low dutycycle. For example, a heart rate belt may stay connected for several hours during a long work-out, but it only needs to transmit a few bytes every second, so in an optimized protocol, the radio would be on for less than a millisecond. Compare this to a headset or wireless speaker, where the amount of data is measured in the hundreds of kB per second and the radio might be on for a two-digit percentage of the time. The original Bluetooth specification was designed to do general-purpose wireless data transmission, and has been successfully adapted to other use-cases such as input devices and wireless audio. Bluetooth low energy was designed to address use cases that the original Bluetooth specification is less suited for, and therefore extend the overall addressable market for Bluetooth.
I was looking at the 2017 SHSP report on Highway Safety in PA and I was pretty happy to see a continued reduction in the number of automobile fatalities and serious injuries. These policies identified many areas of concern, from road traction, to divergent diamonds and aggressive driving PSAs, monitoring drugged driving, reflective signage and so forth. The report states "The Pennsylvania Strategic Highway Safety Plan (SHSP) has been developed as a multi-agency effort to substantially reduce traffic related fatalities and serious injuries. The SHSP is a comprehensive, data-driven strategic plan. The goals and strategies included in this plan were established in collaboration with our SHSP Steering Committee (key safety stakeholders and partners). By signing this document, the signatories agree to support Pennsylvania’s Vision, Mission and Goal and implement the highway safety strategies for which they are responsible." I was thumbing through the stats and feeling better page by page. Overall, deaths and serious injury were down. That's good. But when I got to Distracted Driving, it was basically flattening out and that might indicate in the future, as more and more tech savvy people are on the road, you might even see an increase in such unfortunate events. Pennsylvania is a grey state. People with clamshell phones aren't putting stuff on Snapchat and sending emojis to their friends while riding with one hand on the wheel. I was wondering, since Bluetooth inundates cell phone markets with all sorts of cool peripherals available, why can't we explore more direct intervention to prevent distracted driving.
I know this set-up would help in remote sensing, would improve avionics and flight control of commercial drones, give UUVs the chance to get busy in harbors clearing debris and helping to maintain fiber networks, and all sorts of cool cutting edge work, but right now...I just heard an accident outside my window, a huge bang, while I'm actually writing this. I'm an engineering student at Cal U in SW Pennsylvania and I have a nice time studying primarily commercial drone applications with the help of professor Jeff Sumey and Dr. Wiilburn, whose expertise reach beyond embedded systems, computer sciences, aerospace engineering. I'm pursuing technical studies with a concentration in robotic engineering technology. I have a NASA Space Grant and I work part-time doing delivery work.
I know that target enforcement and PSAs about aggressive and drugged driving are always frontline, and I see State Patrol working the hotspots, and our little town is fighting to keep its police department AND maintain safe roads, and the costs are ENORMOUS. If distracted driving is so difficult to enforce, perhaps I could create a conditional barrier against activity which predictably leads to death and horrible injury. Seriously, texting and driving, using your car like a big old phone, its killing people. Knock on wood, I have been in only a few serious accidents, but I've seen distracted drivers peel the doors off of a line of cars, people leaving the lane on rural twisty roads, and it gives me nightmares. In many places, there are no signs, no road lines, no reflective material on signs. it might be cheaper to install devices into a car or at a "hotspot" that could be used to limit or alert drivers to an increased chance of injury or death while using Bluetooth to use their car to communicate to other people. The low power system could unobtrusively defund the signal in a target enforcement area. This savings could go towards improving roads and transportation systems. So, it could be done with proximity tags, or using peripherals ( you get sensor data which makes the electronic suspension system adjust to non-compliant drivers activity, allow for remote user interfaces, create smart metering that could be useful for insurance companies and law enforcement as a way to save lives and wallets. If this system could launch from sleep with analog and digital data collection capabilities, it would be awesome to see sensor fusion mapped with light, portable, rugged TI stuff that the Bluetooth SIG would enjoy seeing deployed.
It could be as easy as temporarily bagging the phone or communication channel when it could result in an accident. I know plenty of places locally I could try this. I've been driving and training for marathons on these roads since 2012. I would love to try out this MCU and SDK to try some real-time testing and tweaking.
I would try to put this project into motion this semester and complete it by Christmas with a "Road Test" and report. Since Highway Safety pulls in Stae Resources, I would bend some ears with a presentation in two weeks time after consulting my mentors t school, try to run the program out of the Monongahela Valley. I know a security firm that could help, a couple of mayors, and I'm interviewing for an internship through a subsidiary of Leonardo DRS on Tuesday, fingers crossed. So, this project will be on my lips, on my mind, and in my hands in short order if you could help me get my paws on this RoadTest initiative. My proof-of-concept would be useful for fleet management and commercial applications wherever the rubber hits the road, which is just going to be another vector for automated meshes anyways.
Pan B: I always have a plan B - The other option is to use the devise to connect with secure drone data links on wind turbines to allow a rope access technician a chance to run diagnostics on a unit before having to climb to the top, with a remote VO checking the specs and deciding what and how to do the do.