Did you know that traffic accidents are the leading cause of mortality in America? According to the US Department of Transportation, there are over 6 million automotive crashes each year. 60% of these 6 million could have been prevented had the driver been alerted a mere half second before the collision. Last summer, our teammate Colin drove 5 hours a day on what is known as "America's deadliest highway." He wished he was able to notify other cars when he wanted to pass them or merge into another lane.

What it does

We created an app called "Aware" that allows vehicles to notify other vehicles if they wish to pass or merge. The app is purely voice command because driving should be hands-free with minimal distractions.

How we built it

Hands-free interface using Android Text-to-Speech and Google Speech-to-Text, Android app using Android Studio, sending and receiving messages using Firebase. The reason we chose to do this as an app rather than integrated in a car is because not everyone's car has the technology to communicate with other cars (also because we're broke college students and don't have Teslas to test on). If many cars can't send/receive messages, then that defeats the purpose of our idea. However, almost everyone has a phone, meaning that the majority of drivers on the road will immediately be able to download our app and start using it to communicate with each other.

Challenges we ran into

This is our first time using Google APIs, Android, and Firebase so there was a lot of time spent figuring out how these technologies worked.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

Brainstorming an impactful idea! Learning new skills! Great teamwork!

What we learned

Lots about Android development, Google APIs, Firebase, and voice integration!

What's next for Aware

We plan to implement proactive warnings, for example if there is a pedestrian walking behind when a car is reversing. Additionally, Aware could interact with infrastructure, like detecting how much longer a light will be red or where the nearest empty parking lot is.

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