This is an idea I’ve had for a while – thought I’d publish it here in case anyone can make use of it (or so there’s some evidence of prior art in case someone tries to patent it)
Add haptic feedback to the accelerator pedal of a car that increases the force required to depress the pedal in relation to the fuel consumption. So, if you’re mashing the accelerator pedal down and using lots of fuel, more force is required on the pedal. This way, drivers would have a physical reminder of fuel consumption, which would hopefully alter driving habits.
I imagine this would be fairly simple to implement (the most basic – a progressive spring attached to the pedal – more complicated – a motor introducing resistance proportional to instantaneous fuel consumption) on modern cars with electronic throttle control. This might be a good project for a cognitive psychologist to measure the impact on driving behaviour.
I often hear grumpy old farts complaining about the accuracy of weather forecasts, and it seems that (grumpy, old) people who have lived in an area for a while actually do have a fairly good idea of the weather in their area. I guess this is based on experience noting prevailing conditions and subsequent weather patterns. Of course, this knowledge isn’t going to do anything for predicting weather in a neighboring city, but for their own area, they could probably be considered an expert. Considering that the Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) is making forecasts for large geographic areas, it isn’t surprising that they cannot match the accuracy of a local expert.
So, this got me thinking – a crowdsourced weather forecasting system. For a given region, users can predict the weather (rain/storm, hot/cold, humid, dry etc). Actual observations from the BoM and other recognised sources can be used to score the accuracy of predictions. Users can also rate the accuracy of predictions of other users. These ratings can be used to give confidence in future predictions.
I haven’t the time (or skill, really) to implement something like this – anyone want to have a go?