On-dash g-meter project is another way to distract drivers

[PJ Allen] built a meter to display gravitation force in an easy to read way. Good thing it’s easy to read, because he’s added it to the dashboard of his car. That way he gets instant feedback when he puts the pedal to the metal. We’re hoping this encourages safe driving practices. But since it appears that not only is he watching the meter while he drives, he’s also holding a camera at the same time, we’d say this makes him a menace on the road.

But we do like the hardware concept. He used five Red/Green LEDs to show what the accelerometer is sensing. A green display reflects acceleration, while a red display shows deceleration. Inside the project box you’ll find a Parallax 2-axis accelerometer and an SX28 micrcontroller. This is an 8-bit Parallax chip family that was discontinued a few years back.

Comments

  1. Alwar says:

    I would change the blinking led by fade in/out to show more accuracy…

    Caution with this man in the road xD

  2. Aaron says:

    I’ve been thinking about a “speed bracket” that’d read current speed off the OBD-II port and compare it with a speed setting adjustable via rotary encoder; it’d allow for a five-miles-an-hour range either side of the set speed, and light up a yellow LED for “too slow” and a red one for “too fast”.

    I probably won’t build it, because I don’t do enough highway driving to make it really useful, but it does seem like it could be handy for someone who did. (Unlike the project in the OP, it’d also serve a useful purpose rather than being purely a distraction, if a nifty one, for the driver.)

  3. biozz says:

    lol i have one of these on my car computer
    pointless as it only goes up to 1G and my tires go up to 2G each XD

    fun at a track day but if your making more than a half G turn on the road you need to slow down XD

    plus im more worried about my limiter and speed going around a track … i can tell the G force well enough by how far my face distorts XD

  4. biozz says:

    only goes up to 0.5g*
    sorry i had to recheck it, HaD needs an edit button

  5. Aaron says:

    biozz: wouldn’t you need to mount the accelerometer with its axis perpendicular to the car’s, in order to measure the turning force as you describe? This one appears to be mounted parallel — judging by the “gee job” reference I get the impression it’s purely for making his friends go “wow, what’s that?”

  6. jesse says:

    lol @biozz and his “2G each” tire crap

    I’d love to see you pull a 2G corner.

  7. AP says:

    I was kind of hooping he’d just printed out a sticker that read “9.8” and stuck it on his dash.

  8. @ jesse: lol agree, and how wide is his wheelbase?

  9. Haku says:

    I remember a Top Gear episode from a while back, Clarkson was driving a car with a 2-axis G meter built in, he compared the car to rivaling Sega rather than other cars as he tried as hard as he could to get the G meter display to max out whilst wildly swerving left & right on the private driving track.

    Here it is, Nissan Skyline GTR:

  10. pogyhauler says:

    G meter? in a car? for the Driver?

    Is this supposed to tell him something his ass doesn’t already know?

  11. Microguy says:

    If you’re going to do something like this, make it a heads up display! Man, just mount it on the dash in front you, and it’ll reflect off the windshield. Mine is blank, and I have a hard enough time keeping the sun from blinding me!

    But I guess, if he’s going to be fascinated by looking at the blinky lights, it won’t matter.. Kinda like people in the grocery store that still can’t push the cart and talk on the phone at the same time. It’s hands free, but it doesn’t matter, they’re still staring off into space….

  12. Pete says:

    And which two bodies is this device measuring the “gravitation force” of exactly…?

  13. Mike says:
  14. Pete says:

    @Mike: That is the point I was making.

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

  15. Hirudinea says:

    Just two comments, first change the display from LED to an analogue dial, second, points off for using Neil Diamond music in your video. :)

  16. M H says:

    Seems like this could conceivably be useful to help train drivers to avoid jackrabbit starts and hard breaking. (Which can make passengers prone to motion sickness feel queezy, and are claimed to be harder on cars.)

    However the indicators would be more useful if it gave red for strong acceleration or deceleration (and green or no indicator for mild, or perhaps yellow for borderline and red for the lead foot).

  17. Dan Fruzzetti says:

    He should be more responsible and ‘fake’ acceleration for the photo by going up a hilly onramp where he might not kill anyone’s kids.

  18. PJ Allen says:

    Dan, you speed everytime you drive your car, so spare me the hypocrisy. “Killing kids”, that’s wasted, contemptible. Thanks, you’re a saint. ***
    Most everyone else, seriously; you don’t stare at the “blinky lights”, unless you stare at your speedometer or, uh-oh, your CD display, or whetever else you have going on in your auto. It’s there, if you note it at all it’s in your peripheral vision. *** Anyone wants analog, HUD, green instead,… go ahead, knock yourself out, I’m not stopping you.

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