Better driving with a bullduino

Despite what you may have heard from the kids hanging out in the parking lot of Taco Bell, there’s a lot to be said about driving conservatively. Not peeling out after ever red light and stop sign does wonders for the life of your engine, and not slamming on the brakes 50 feet away from an intersection will keep your brake pads going a long time. [aromaoftacoma] wanted a dashboard gauge telling him how good of a driver he is, so when he got a bullduino he knew what he had to do.

[aromaoftacoma]‘s project for the Redbull creation contest uses the very cool Arduino shield/Redbull logo known as a bullduino with an accelerometer to track how conservatively he’s driving. Quick stops and starts are murder on an automobile – it’s the same reason your grandmother has had the same car for 20 years – so [aromaoftacoma] made a wonderful display using red and blue LEDs behind each charging bull.

Because simply blinking a LED in response to data pulled from an accelerometer is a little boring, [aromaoftacoma] added a servo to change the orientation of the charging bulls. When he’s driving well, the blue bull is tilted up, and when he stops short the red bull becomes the focus of attention. Not a bad build at all.

You can check out [aromaoftacoma]‘s build video after the break.

Comments

  1. KillerBug says:

    My grandma goes through cars like shoes…maybe she should press the brakes a little harder. Neat build anyhow…not sure if it’s “extreme” enough for redbull…but a quick adjustment could make it into a g-meter.

    • Mental2k says:

      My Granda is much the same. We reckon it’s cause he didn’t have cars when he was younger. First time I sat in a car doing 100 was with him in a sporty Honda Civic. He was in his 70s at the time. Still hammers on at 84, bloody legend.

  2. Good idea! I’m going to tweak the sketch so it will become a crash test meter. Green bull means you survived the crash, Bullduino stuck in your forehead means you didn’t.

  3. Spike Snell says:

    Perfect product placement with the RedBull can.

  4. M4CGYV3R says:

    You would probably get pulled over for having Red/Blue LEDs on your dash negating any possible benefit of this. Also, at least on my dash, it would obscure half the road. WTG Red Bull, you made an arduino even less useful than the original.

  5. bhtooefr says:

    The thing is, with modern cars, moderate driving is actually the way to go.

    Babying it means that the piston rings never seat properly, increasing oil consumption and reducing compression. Also, you end up getting carbon buildup in various areas.

    Beating the crap out of it on occasion, once the engine is warmed up, is actually good for some things (especially burning off carbon buildup and seating rings), but doing it all the time does cause undue wear.

    • signal7 says:

      I would agree with this comment. I have a 4 cylinder saturn sl and the thing isn’t powerful enough to ‘baby’ it. Resting your right foot on the floor is relatively common :-) I’ve been driving this car for over 10 years this way and it’s never given me any problems. The best part is the gas mileage – 35+ MPG city driving.

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