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If Your Car Could Talk...

My name is Ankit Patel, & I'm the founder & CEO of Meerya. I'm glad that you stopped by, & would love to know what you think about the work we are doing or if you have any suggestions on blog material.

In complete honesty, this is my first time blogging & my first blog. I never really envisioned broadcasting my thoughts on a topic via posting, but if it helps get our message across...buckle up cause we are about to go on a journey!

Do you mind taking the wheel?

I don't like to put my fate in the hands of other people, but that's the risk we take when we are the passenger. Whether it'd be a bus, a plane or the back of your mom's van after soccer practice, we all will take this risk at some point of our lives. Unfortunately, traffic accidents are very real, & can lead to injuries or if you are unlucky - death. In a split moment, we can go from an is to a was with or without any fault. We take driving or crossing the street for granted when we check our text messages when we aren't suppose to, it's something I personally do & I know I'm not alone.

“You can always find a distraction if you are looking for one.”

The Distractions are Everywhere

Distractions come easily, but in the last 10 years our patience for waiting has worn thin. Combine this with driving, & it's a recipe for disaster. Unfortunately it's a trend that doesn't seem to be reversing. With the world at our fingertips, our smartphones always tempt us to be plugged-in.

More pedestrians died in 2018 than any year in the past 30 years. It was also an increase of 50% since 2009. Let that sink in for a bit. In a day of age where we have all these added safety features in our vehicles, pedestrian deaths due to motorists are on a steep rise. The question you maybe asking yourself is "why this steep increase?". I think the better question is "what didn't exist 10 years ago?". If you haven't guessed it yet, it's your smartphone. Sure they existed in 2010, but they weren't as prevalent. Not everyone was zoned in or glued to their phone.

Automotive safety has made the roads safer undoubtedly with added features for blindspot warning, collision warning & automatic braking. However, these features can only control 50% of the equation at best since they are internally focused (controlling what happens within the vehicle). These sensors have no way of controlling what occurs externally with another vehicle, pedestrian or cyclist. There's been very little done in automotive tech to warn bystanders of danger or pressing issues. This discovery isn't anything new, but it has many people wondering how do we reverse this trend?

Communication, Communication, Communication

Think of if this way, how do drivers communicate on the road? Here's the cheat sheet:

  • Flash your lights

  • Turn signal

  • 4-way hazzard

  • Horn

You could also roll down your window & yell, but this isn't something we'd recommend.

Of these communication tools, your horn is the only form of audible communication on the road. It is great at being loud & obnoxious. However, that is about what it is limited to, it's a one-trick pony. There are many driving scenarios in which having a device that can communicate with pedestrians or cyclists could be needed, & I would bet you probably have been in a few of these situations yourself. For example, anytime passing a cyclist that's not in a bike lane, how do we know the cyclist is aware that we are on their left? A few years go, I witnessed a a vehicle almost hitting a cyclist because the vehicle was passing, & the cyclist had no idea the car was there. Situations like these are almost an everyday occurrence in urban areas. The same applies with distracted pedestrians crossing a street when they shouldn't. We are very good at making assumptions & guessing next moves, but sometimes those assumptions can lead to injury or death because of a lack of awareness.

Proposed Solution

Obviously using your standard car horn in the above situations is ill advised unless you are channeling your inner New Yorker. It's the equivalent of yelling or SENDING AN EMAIL IN ALL CAPS!! It's not socially acceptable...

We believe we have solution at Meerya that will revolutionize the communication gap in the auto industry. We want to bring your horn to the 21st century by not only allowing the volume of your horn to shift, but the tone as well. Our goal is very simple, enhance safety & reduce unnecessary noise (we've all heard those horns at traffic lights). We think that bridging the communication gap between vehicles, cyclists & pedestrians will make the roads safer & more pleasant. We aren't suggesting that our smart horn should be used in all driving situations. But we see it as a tool to give your vehicle a voice (metaphorically speaking) that can shift its volume or tone based on how urgent or dangerous the situation maybe.

What do you think? We are curious to hear your thoughts, & what feedback you may have. Feel free to subscribe to get all future notifications, & to be engaged with our work. We want to hear what you have to say. Until next time!

Finding your frequency,

Ankit Patel

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