Background

It may take a while longer until we are all in self-driving cars. Until then, we're stuck behind the wheel in traffic. Texting or checking social media whilst driving is a no-no and people shouldn't do it. It would be great to have the information you're eager to check spoken to you in the car, whilst keeping your eyes on the road.

Use Cases

Adding Tweets - an alternative to radio emitters on cars?

What if drivers in a given area (e.g. a 15-mile radius) could share information in near-real time, without taking their attention away from the road and without having set up a radio emitter/receiver?

They could simply plug in their Android device to connect to Android Auto, sign in to Twitter in an app and start listening for nearby tweets with a given hashtag, just like a radio channel number. If they want to share something, they can just use speech-to-text captured by the app, which will "geo-tweet" for them with that hashtag.

When someone tweets something e.g. about traffic, police, better routes, a notification is displayed on the dashboard of all other drivers that are set up. A simple tap will voice the notification.

Treasures and points of interests

Using a different hashtag, drivers on vacation can get notified of places to see or great spots to visit, based on where they are driving. If they like the sound of a place, they can request, by voice, that the app fetches directions to the mentioned tweet.

Implementation and Testing

The search endpoint from Twitter API takes a parameter to specify tweets from within a given radius from a given lat-long point. Tweets created by drivers should also be geo-tagged.

For testing, Esri Driving Directions API was used to generate GPS data and timestamps for a car driving from San Francisco to San Jose. An Android app was then hooked to Honda Android Auto to demonstrate searching nearby, live tweets.

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