Scientists have developed technology to prevent car accidents, copied from insects

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Scientists have developed a car accident prevention technology copied from insects

Photo: Global Look Press

Engineers have created a new collision detector for dark conditions with low power consumption. This is reported by the American Chemical Society, and an article with a description of the device published in ACS Nano.

About 25% of all crashes and 50% of fatal collisions occur after dark. Modern cars with driver assistance systems are able to detect the threat of a collision and avoid it themselves, but the night sensors they use are very complex or do not work well at night.

As a result, scientists at Pennsylvania State University, led by Darsit Jayachandran, tried to create a simple energy-efficient collision avoidance sensor, similar to those used by swarming insects like locusts. The locust avoids contact, relying mainly on the apparent size of the locust. Such a system does not require any radar or optical image recognition technology. Instead, the sensor analyzes only one variable: the brightness of car headlights. The device consists of eight light-sensitive memristors (memory transistors) from a layer of molybdenum disulfide (MoS2), combined into a circuit. It occupies only 40 square microns and uses several hundred picojoules of energy — tens of thousands of times less than existing systems. Finally, in real at nighttime, the detector can detect a potential accident two to three seconds before it would happen, leaving the driver enough time to correct the situation.

The authors believe that the system created by them can either complement the existing ones to increase reliability, or be used independently of them.

Prepared by: Sergey Daga 

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