Germans to Use Networked Car Horns for Disaster Warnings
What's a country without emergency sirens to do? That's the question Germany has been pondering ever since its sirens were dismantled at the end of the Cold War. The country has long used a satellite-based system that broadcasts warnings via TV and radio, but not everyone watches TV or listens to radio. So, over the years, they've considered everything from using cell phones to smoke detectors, but nothing's really stuck.
But now, some researchers at Germany's INT believe they have found the perfect solution, according to Oh Gizmo!. Car horns. Yes, cars will honk when disaster is near. Starting in September 2010, all new German cars will be equipped with a system called eCall. It's similar to OnStar, but if a disaster is about to strike, the system can trigger even parked cars' horns to sound. Since the system uses GPS, it can activate horns in specific areas, too. So only certain neighborhoods will think there are hundreds of car thieves outside.
Researchers hope the car horns will prompt folks to turn on their TV or radio to find out exactly what's going on. But wouldn't it be easier just to reinstall the siren system? it seems to work fairly well for most other countries. [From: Oh Gizmo!]