Using solar power and the IoT to improve automotive security

Using solar power and the IoT to improve automotive security

Considering the dangers of driving and numerous possible automotive-related crimes, people are looking for solutions or prevention methods to protect themselves while on the road. It is known that CCTVs, dash cams, and other video or image capturing devices prevent accidents and resolve crimes. Engineers and electronic enthusiasts are trying to develop devices in response to the demand of current problems related to automotive security.

People who rely on their vehicle for everyday transportation treat their car as a second home. Now, drivers can help protect themselves and their vehicle by implementing a custom security system. With Arduino boards, accessories and boards readily available, creating these systems are easier than ever. Microcontroller technology is rapidly developing, making upgrades and add-ons quick and simple. My theoretical prototype is a strong foundation to help advance DIY automotive security systems and improve general road and vehicle safety for makers.

Dash Cam Replacement

Cameras that capture in real-time and record incidents are one of the main components of my design, such as the VC0706 camera. Capable of 30 fps CVBS video output and JPEG picture format, this camera is like a CCTV for your vehicle. The camera catches images which serve as data that is analyzed in according to the configurations stored in microSD. These configurations primarily determine the current situation inside the car like sensing there is a robbery if weapons are detected pointing at the driver or passenger. Forced entries or unauthorized usage of the vehicle are also resolved since it captures images that can help identify the unauthorized person using the vehicle. With accidents, the driver side of the image is then focused since fatigue or drowsiness can still be identified using an image but not accurate as a bio-radar instrument for detection.

Connecting to the IoT

The camera will be connected to an Arduino Uno R3 as a host controller through two digital pins instead of serial pins RX TX of the board (serial pins of the board can still be used for other functions). An ethernet shield is attached above the Arduino Uno R3 and handles the microSD data storage such as images from the camera and configurations/functions for the system. It also handles the internet connection as its UDE will be connected to an ISP modem or any module that can provide access to the internet at higher speed accommodating image size file/s.

Solar Energy

This system won't interfere with the automobile's built-in battery since it is powered by renewable energy. The battery is connected to a solar panel, as shown, which will charge the battery as long as it receives sunlight or solar radiation for energy charging. Through internet access, the owner of the vehicle will receive notifications and can monitor or verify images captured. The ISP module or modem will use the vehicle's battery as a power source but should be in sleep mode as much as possible in order to save power.

Summary

Although my automotive security system is still in the development stages, it will be flexible, expandable and completely customizable once it's together with its software. In order to determine images related to crimes and the actual state of risky drivers, the configurations will be based on the actual circumstances and happenings from surveys and research. Images should be highly defined to accurately identify objects but small enough to easily and quickly send over the internet.

Pros

  • Perfect project for makers, DIYers and engineers
  • Completely customizable
  • Powered with renewable energy

Cons

  • Requires advanced knowledge for implementation and customization
  • May not be as affordable as current systems on the market
  • Solar power limits night-time usage

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