Sunday, March 18, 2012

NTSB recommends wrong-way detection for GPS devices

GPS wrong way warning

Can GPS receivers help prevent wrong-way collisions?

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has recommended mitigation efforts to prevent wrong-way accidents that “include better lighting, enhanced signage and roadway markings, and GPS devices that could provide a warning to alert drivers of wrong-way movements.”

While it is true that the distance separating traffic going opposite directions on limited access highways may be less than the accuracy of consumer-grade GPS receivers using current technology, there are entrance and exit scenarios where this could conceivably work. For a more complete solution we’ll need to wait for next-genration GPS and/or smart highways with road to vehicle communication.

Even then, with drunk driving being the leading cause of wrong-way collisions, some offenders probably wouldn’t be deterred by a blaring warning message coming from their GPS.

Source: NTSB

About Rich Owings

Rich is the owner, editor and chief bottle-washer for GPS Tracklog. Connect with him on Twitter, Facebook or Google Plus.


  1. The common thread through all the “GPS” issues is maps. The GPS itself is a solved problem – cheap, accurate and ubiquitous. Maps are a complete mess – there are public ones (eg TIGER) that are virtually useless close up, private companies have better maps but it is in their commercial interests not to share and they spend money to duplicate each others work, people can report errors and updates but not to everyone at once, and it takes forever for fixes to appear in end user devices.

    The obvious fix is for the government to provide good accurate timely maps (work can be contracted out to existing mappers) so that competition is in using the maps, not creating them.

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