The last thing you'll be capable of doing when you've rolled your Beemer after a fourteen-hour binge on root beer and Junior Disprin is find your phone and call the authorities. So why not let SAVE do it for you?
SAVE stands for Sun/Java-based Automatic VEhicular accident reporting system (surely SJAVEARS?), and is the brainchild of Georgia Southern University researcher, Debopam Acharya.
SAVE uses inexpensive sensors (including an inclinometer) to monitor your car's acceleration and deceleration, interior temperature and angle.
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Always aim for a pile of cardboard boxes
If it detects you flipping through the air in slow motion, or starting to roast in an explosive engine fire after a crash, SAVE calls the emergency services and reports its position. Oh, right, I should have mentioned that it has a GPS and GSM connection built-in, too.
"Prompt communication is crucial during life-threatening events, such as fire, floods, explosions and traffic accidents, and is especially true for vehicle rollovers and crashes," says Acharya, winning today's TechRadar prize for a statement of the bleeding obvious.
"In the event of an accident, all this information can be transferred to the response specialists," continues Acharya. "A suitable combination of these parameters may lead to accurate analysis about the type and severity of accident and hence our system may be used in vehicles intended for different operations, civilian or military."
Don't read the Journal while driving
Acharya was writing in the International Journal of Intelligent Defence Support Systems, which explains why he's so worried about squaddies stacking their Saracens.
TechRadar can't help noticing that just about everything Acharya has put into SAVE is also found in today's Apple iPhone. Except a thermometer. And Java. And the ability to run applications in the background.
Oh well, it looks like in the future only Nokia users will get automatically rescued from flipped, burning car wrecks...