Don’t honk at peds in the road with headphones send a WiFi Honk warning!

wifihonkWiFi-Honk, for Android is an app developed by University of Missouri  SCE faculty and student researchers received the Best Video Award at the ACM Mobisys 2014 conference. The app is useful for when someone walking with headphones on, or watching videos on a smartphone, who can’t hear a horn honk or won’t notice it.

The app for drivers and pedestrians combines their smartphone’s WiFi, GPS, accelerometer, and gyroscope data to determine their exact locations. If their paths are on a collision course, the pedestrian gets audio, visual, and tactile alerts.  The app uses Wi-Fi beacon stuffing.

Traffic accident study shows the number of headphone-wearing  roadside accidents has increased by 300% in the last 10 years. However, a recent report shows that road users are increasingly shut out to external warning sounds, and distracted by smartphones such as listening to music, watching videos, texting or making calls while walking or bicycling.

Developers call it smartphone-based Car2X-communication system. WiFi-Honk provides an efficient collision estimation algorithm to issue appropriate warnings. Our experimental and simulation studies validate that WiFi-Honk can successfully alert those invloved in a sufficient reaction time frame, even in high mobility environments.

WiFi-Honk team conducted road tests of WiFi-Honks’ performance by driving around the UMKC campus in cold winter weather. Currently, a lot of pedestrian safety systems mostly use nighttime infrared cameras and other extra sensors in vehicles for pedestrian detection which warns drivers.  An alert is then, manually generated by a driver, relying on traditional sound honk.

WiFi-Honk delivers the safety alert using the devices that pedestrians are using thus increasing the likelihood of the warning being received.