Mobile Onboard Vehicle Event Recorder


Each year the stockpile of old and new Android smartphone devices increases and the hardware capabilities increase. Many older devices, fully and partially functional, are replaced. Old devices which are disposed and or improperly recycled create pollution and Lithium batteries which power the devices can leak into water supplies and release fumes when disposed.

Previous work which repurposed smartphones has included pothole detection, monitoring road quality, accident detection, geriatric fall detection, and human-robot safety. Accelerometers were always a focus but unexpected components like the microphone and light sensor were implemented in some work e.g. the sound of a motorvehicle accident and motorvehicle rolling (or the smartphone rolling inside the car).

The Mobile Onboard Vehicle Event Recorder (MOVER) project was proposed by the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), based in Pretoria, South Africa. The project proposes implementing sensors widely available across new and obsolete Android smartphones to detect collisions among motorvehicles and runners. Collisions are defined as collisions with another motorvehicle (or stationary object) or a runner falling down (respectively).


MOVER comprises accident detection (and collection), and accident visualization and analysis. These two components produced three different modules. The modules are Mover Vehicle, Mover Runner, and Mover Data-Viz.

Mover Vehicle

Mover Vehicle is an Android application which detects motorvehicle collisions.

Mover Runner

Mover Runner is an Android application which enables a runner to store a smartphone however they prefer and will detect a runner falling down.

Mover Data-Visual

Mover Data-Visual is the third and final module. It collates the accident events from Mover Vehicle and Mover Runner and provides an online platform to explore the dataset.

As MOVER could provide early-notification for emergency response services upon accident detection, the Global Positioning Systems (GPS) available on the smartphones are utilized and allow tracking the location of accidents.

MOVER Design

MOVER implements a client-server architecture. The clients are the Android applications which detect and send accident events using HTTP requests. The server receives and stores the accident event data which Mover Data-Visual provides an analysis platform.

A headshot of Luke Kingsley Bell

Figure 1. A basic overview of MOVER's client-server architecture.



Special thanks to Thomas Meyer of the University of Cape Town and Francois Mouton of the CSIR.