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Hybrid Vehicles/Automobiles Detecting Electronic Traffic Signboards

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Traffic Signs
Traffic Signs  
Dear Bob

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Traffic_sign

Is it possible to convert the existing Traffic signs into electronic traffic signs so that Automobiles viz cars, trucks, buses, jeeps can play the Traffic sign within their built in internal speaker at a distance ?.

For example :

The transmitter / sensor in Electronic Traffic sign boards will pass the Radio frequency signals and this will be detected by the automobile receiver electronics at a distance. The receiver sensor within the automobile will pay the respective sound files example : "Zebra crossing ahead", "Go Slow, School Ahead", "Drive slow, Dangerous curve ahead" etc


If the cost could be the factor in implementing all electronic traffic sign boards, then locating the Strategic Electronic Traffic Sign Boards on the road could be useful.

The Automobile can have a New feature integrated "Automatic Detection of Traffic Sign Boards by playing Sound files to the Driver".

Awaiting your reply,

Thanks & Regards,
Prashant S Akerkar

Answer
Very nearly anything is possible with electronics in that sort of endeavour.  However, since signs are carefully placed for visibility, and are of standard design, it should be quite easy for a vehicle-mounted camera and processor alone to do the job.  When a police car drives through a parking lot or traffic, it can scan every licence plate it passes.  The optical method would avoid the need to update all the sign hardware, and reduce RF problems.  If the signs were not powered, at considerable expense, the vehicles would need a strong broadcast to trigger them.  

Automatically generated warnings can quickly become a new form of sound pollution, as when an aircraft generates frequent warnings when the pilot is already engaged in a tricky job and is trying to listen to ATC.  There is a danger of them soon being "tuned out" automatically, like a nagging human.  

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Bob Stuart

Expertise

I'm best on questions of the suitability of new technologies, but will try to keep up with retail offerings of hybrid vehicles too.

Experience

Designing human-electric hybrids.

Organizations
International Human Powered Vehicle Association

Publications
4th Annual Velomobile Seminar proceedings, many listserv postings.

Education/Credentials
few academics, but my 1st prototype won a world championship, and I've lectured to engineers.

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