back to article Vauxhall launches virtual backseat driver

Vauxhall has developed an in-car safety system designed to alert drivers to roadside signs, or give them a ticking off when veering out of their lane. Vauxhall_FCS_01 Vauxhall's FCS lets you know when it spots a road sign The Front Camera System (FCS) relies on a wide-angle camera positioned between the windscreen and rear …


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  1. Richard Evans


    1. Take the thought out of driving.

    2. ???

    3. Profit!

  2. Anonymous Coward


    last thing we need is driving made easier for those who cant be bothered to keep a lookout anyway. Give this to all drivers with no insurance claims for things their fault in the last 10 years and then we're talking!

  3. John Robson Silver badge

    How many articles

    Two unrelated articles smushed together...

    If the camera/computer systems doesn't require 10% of the engined power then it looks like a sensible system, can you tell it it's wrong as well though - for when some miscreant has turned the speed limit signs round?

    For that matter wouldn't GPS with known speed limits work quite well.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up


    Last thing we need is a reason to buy a Vauxhall.

    What's that? There still isn't one?

    I like the way the article's about a Vauxhall, and then the hack says "Talking of road noise..." Yeah, very good that one. Made me laugh. :)

  5. Anonymous Coward

    Wide Angle?

    Doesn't look very wide to me from their diagrams. Looks rather more like it's mildly telephoto to me.

  6. Nev
    Thumb Up

    Not very useful...

    ...unless you can also use it to take pictures of the car in front

    with someone behind the wheel who's driving like a twat.

    Especially if you could immediately post it on YouTube.

  7. Jamie

    Motorway driving made easy.

    Should be fun for people driving down the motorway having a backseat driver telling you that you are swerving out of your lane, or having it shout because you have to swerve to miss something on the side of the road.

  8. Steven Raith
    Thumb Down


    So, drivers have to look at the dashboard to find out information that they would have noticed had they been paying attention to the road in the first place?

    Vicious circle anyone?

    Steven R

  9. Colin Millar

    Lane markings? Which are the lane markings?

    Most of the roads in the UK look like some crazy with a pitch-liner has been dancing a foxtrot on them.

  10. Philip Cheeseman

    Home made signs?

    Whats to stop people putting up home made signs to get people to slow down outside their house?

    People paying attention would know the difference but I bet many people will just stick to fake speed limit - The 'Computer says no' mentality...

  11. Solomon Grundy

    Out of Line

    Does this mean that the thing will be warning me every time I change lanes as I am weaving in and out of D.C. traffic?

    I wonder what it displays for cattle crossing signs? Or for deaf child signs? Or slow children signs?

    This sounds like a silly idea as it gives people even more of a reason to drive less aware than they already do.

  12. Simon
    Thumb Down

    Great idea!

    So long as it has an "OFF" switch.

    FFS Do they think we drive with our eyes shut, hmm then again White Van Man was doing it this morning.

  13. Robajob


    We could just teach people to drive.

  14. DM

    A combination...

    of toyota's noise reduction and the vaxhaull system to stop me hearing back seat drivers sounds to be the best solution to me!

  15. Anonymous Coward

    Already fitted!

    I have a car with a similar device already. It's called a windscreen! I can look out of this transparent glazed portal, and not only see pertinant roadsigns and markings, but also other road users!

    I find it invaluble, along with the dial that allows me to avoid speeding tickets, just make sure the number it points at is the same or below the one on the sign, and you'll never get done! :)

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    International options?

    Road markings vary quite a deal from country to country, not to mention some speed limit signs are in km/h instead of mph. Does this system employ gps to automatically work out which country you're in? What about what planet you're on?

  17. Danny Roberts

    @Solomon Grundy

    --Does this mean that the thing will be warning me every time I change lanes as I am weaving in and out of D.C. traffic?--

    Probably not if you are indicating ;-)

    Having said that, I agree this is a daft idea. If it doesn't fly, I don't care!

  18. Anonymously Deflowered
    Thumb Down

    If you think "oh, that's a good idea"

    Please hand in your driving license forthwith.

    Thank you.

  19. Mike Tree


    So nobody has anything good to say about this, then?

    No,didn't think so.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Philip Cheeseman

    why not just stick your home made sign over the real one? It's only one black number on a white background that you need to change anyway.

  21. Mike Moyle

    Not really sure who this is targeted at...

    Based on their sign-reading graphic, the camera appears to be angled towards seeing signs on the RIGHT side of the road.

    Maybe the target market is Brits who plan to drive somewhere off-island and will need to be reminded of where to look for the road signs...?

    Just guessing... It's the only way that their graphic makes sense, unless Vauxhall plans on selling an awful LOT of vehicles overseas...

  22. The BigYin

    No, no and thrice NO!

    We have enough brainless drivers as it is, let's not give them an excuse to use even less of their brains.

    Though a similar system for BMW, Merc, Lexus and Volvo drivers would be good. When the car detects they've changed lanes or made a turn without indicating, an arm should come out of the dashboard and beat the driver into a bloody pulp.

  23. Robin


    Is it able to read signs obscured by trees etc.? The number of times I've had to crane my neck round to see that yes, I did miss my turning or no, I haven't been sufficiently alerted as to potential danger from deer.

  24. pctechxp

    @ Mike Moyle

    I think these graphics are taken from documentation for OPEL (GM's European brand for Vauxhall, its Holden in Oz) so that might explain the camera angle.

    @ Dave yep probably will happen, think a better system would be one that takes over, drives them into the nearset car park when they start to drive like a dick and disables the engine which can only be re-enabled by your friendly Vauxhall for a couple of grand, that'll stop 'em

  25. Geoff May

    Stick it on all cars driving past my house!

    If it stops people driving past my house (30mph zone) at 70 to 100 mph then I want it installed in all cars. Either that or I want to have a speed hump, directly in front of my house ... one about 100 feet high will do me.

    Will stop them thoughtless and witless pillocks from doing stupid speeds past my house ...

  26. Nebulo

    A great opening here ...

    for a small factory somewhere making stick-on speed limit signs!

    Mine's the one with a 20mph sticker on the back ...

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Fake sign fun.

    What's next is, cars that limit using these systems.

    Children that put up fake signs randomly.

    Fun... (I wish I was young, in the future).

    Or that sign that is covered over by 10 years of bush growth.

    Soon though, we are going to have generations learning in these cars, passing a test, and then, being able to drive any car without these features and stuff in them. So, will we have a new licence band? One for people who learnt to drive in cars for regards? and One for people who are actually able to? (bit like the Manual vs Automatic now :p)

    @Solomon Grundy

    The previous systems that did this (but I don't know if ALL did), would shut up if you are indicating, so if you indicate to change lanes, it won't warn you.

  28. Andraž Levstik

    Interesting idea but...

    ... a slight improvment:

    a) go from looking at the dash to a HUD overlay that would highlight such things along

    with other traffic etc and calculate their vectors of movement etc...

    b) provide an audio warning: "approaching 30 mph zone" "approaching traffic lights"

    c) detect traffic around the car and warn on a HUD overlay with a warning for that area

    Yes I am a driver, I have been one for 3 years(I belive exactly to the day) and yes I would find such a tool helpful even though I drive more carefully than most.

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Adaptive sound control

    I recall years back there was a show called "Beyond 2000" and they had a segment about the original work done by Lotus engineering The woman presenting the segment was driving around on a country lane in the smallest, meanest little econobox I had seen in a long time. It had the Lotus testbed car and it had a high-powered amplifier, microphones, speakers, and a few sensors to pick up throttle position and engine RPM.

    She twisted a knob on a little box under the dash and switched the system from "Normal" to "Porsche" to "Ferrari" to "Mustang" and magically, the auditory experience within this little s**tbox of a car became that of the high-dollar, high performance automobile the knob selected. It was an instant "I WANT IT!" experience.

    It was also hilarious seeing the car from the outside as the sound from the inside of the car was heard on the soundtrack.

  30. Chris Fleming

    Chris F

    Just the thing for Mr Magoo...

    I get my coat because I'm taking the tube home.

  31. Jim

    @Andraž Levstik

    "Yes I am a driver, I have been one for 3 years...and yes I would find such a tool helpful..."

    Seriously? You need help in spotting and responding to large, (mostly) obvious signs? And you think that you should still be driving a 1 tonne lump of metal (and glass and plastic) around? Seriously?

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