Spatial Distance Sensors

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Our goal is to create a network of sensors to help the driver better understand their surroundings. We are aiming to use both ultrasonic sensors and cameras to give both oral and visual cues to the driver.

Our project is relevant to build because of the safety benefits. The resulting network will assist the driver by alerting them to any sudden changes in lane spacing, obstacles, and the location of other cars around them. These benefits allow the driver to remain relaxed and comfortable on the road.

This project will be installed around the perimeter of the car. Figure 1 shows the approximate placement of the sensors. The red and green letters correspond to when each sensor will be active. The ones with a red ‘R’ will be active when the car is in reverse and the sensors with a green ‘D’ will be active when the car is driving forward.

Car locations

This project is important to the conversion of electric vehicles because these features are common in all electric vehicles that can be bought on the market. If the goal is to turn a car into an electric vehicle then one must include all of the features.

Our group has faced many challenges throughout this project. We were made up of mostly second year students so we had a lot of information to learn before we were able to start developing the project. Another challenge that we faced was the testing of our prototype. Meeting virtually meant that we had to test alone and forward our results to the rest of our team, limiting the sense of progress that comes with testing as a group. Had we been able to meet together the testing would have been much more engaging and motivating for the team.

This year we had one major accomplishment. We built a prototype sensor using the microcontrollers and ultrasonic sensors that we purchased as a club. This prototype was tested and filters were added to clean up the data. This was a major milestone in the path to completing the project.