Nordic's BLE SoC Powers Safe Driving Device to Monitor Dangerous Driving Practices

Nordic Semiconductor's Bluetooth low energy technology has been integrated in to a safe driving support device designed to deter dangerous driving in company and fleet cars by Optex Co., a Japan-based company. SAFE METER is based on Braveridge’s BVMCN5103 Bluetooth low energy module which employs Nordic’s multiple award-winning nRF51822 System-on-Chip (SoC).

The SAFE METER can be placed on the dashboard of a vehicle and records sudden acceleration and braking, as well as irregular steering via the device’s built-in three-axis accelerometer. Optex explains that the device provides the driver with immediate feedback via alarms and icons in the event of potential accidents so they can take corrective action. SAFE METER also provides the driver with an easy to understand careful driving ‘count’ display, designed to promote safe driving awareness. The fewer logged ‘incidents’ during a trip, the higher the count, displayed numerically on the device’s display.

The device is paired to the user’s Bluetooth 4.0 (and later) smartphone or tablet - using the Nordic-powered Braveridge module’s Bluetooth low energy wireless connectivity-allowing the driver’s performance metrics to be downloaded to the iOS- and Android-compatible SAFE METER app. From the app, the driver’s travel summary logs can be uploaded to the company’s Cloud platform, from where, for example, fleet managers can review the driving performance of their staff.

Powered by a single lithium battery, the device provides up to 12 months operation in standard operation between replacement, thanks in part to the ultra low power consumption of the Nordic SoC.

Nordic’s nRF51822 is a powerful and flexible multiprotocol SoC ideally suited for Bluetooth low energy and 2.4 GHz ultra low-power wireless applications. The nRF51822 is built around a 32-bit ARM Cortex M0 CPU with 256 kB/128 kB flash and 32 kB/16 kB RAM. The embedded 2.4 GHz transceiver is fully compliant with Bluetooth 4.2.

Optex said that they chose the Nordic SoC because of its ability to minimize battery power consumption, with a fast wake-up, short RF active time, and minimal standby power consumption of the nRF51822 SoC. The Nordic SoC’s low power consumption also allowed us to divert the remaining battery capacity to enriching the device’s user interface.