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Safety on Roads and Car-Centric Mobile Services


In developed countries, many users of the mobile phones are at the same time the car drivers. As we know from the current statistics, it is often dangerous to drive and use mobile device at the same time and if the problem for phone call service can be relatively easily solved by using hands-free garniture, the problem for advanced services is still there. Millions of car accidents take place every year that leads to a huge loss of lives, comparable to the losses you might see in a serious regional war. For example, in Russia alone during last nine months of 2008, more than 156,000 car accidents took place, in which more than 21,000 people lost their lives and almost 200,000 were injured. We believe that by applying the right design principles and addressing vital needs of the drivers, mobile services can bring new levels of information support and comfort to drivers and even increase safety on the roads. As a result these services could attract a huge new group of active users – car drivers, and help in solving one of world’s largest social problems.

Project description

In the first project stage we would like to implement for cars the analogue of the aircraft’s black box service. By recording video from the main camera of the mobile phone placed in the special holder at the forward panel of the car, we can trace development of the road situation. At the same time, the front camera of the device can be used for capturing information about development of the situation in the cabin. The recorded video along with other key parameters such as speed, can be preprocessed for further use and then deleted, so that by default the services will always store only the last N minutes (e.g. 5 minutes) data. Information about car’s speed can be obtained from the device GPS, car’s computer or recognition of the speedometer value. Availability of this information is useful for guiding the driver about dangerous situation that he/she had created on the road, as well as help to the police and insurance companies to define the actual reason of the road accident and see behavior of all involved drivers.

Unlike aircraft’s black box, the phone is not so well protected from physical damages in case of a road accidents, so depending on user preferences some scheme for uploading data to the external repositories will be considered. Studying this issue is one of the key research questions of the project.


  1. First Symbian demo of the car black box service by end on 2009.
  2. Presentation of the project status report at autumn seminar of FRUCT program in 2009.
  3. Preparation of the project development paper by spring seminar of FRUCT program in 2010.


Project leader: Kirill Alexandrov, student, St Petersburg State Electrotechnical University “LETI”
Tutor: Sergey Balandin, principle scientist, Nokia Research Center


Final deadline: 
пятница, апреля 30, 2010 (Весь день)