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Accidents

Will the crash of SpaceShipTwo put and end to space tourism before it begins? (Image: NTSB...

With the crash of Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo within four days of Orbital Science’s Antares/Cygnus spacecraft exploding on the launch pad, it’s been a bad week for commercial spaceflight in general and space tourism in particular. Even though the investigations into the SpaceShipTwo incident are only beginning, there are those who already claim that Sir Richard Branson’s dream of sending tourists on suborbital flights into space is as dead as the Hindenburg. But is it?  Read More

Project 360° is developing a system for integrating data from a suite of onboard sensors

Driver assistance technologies are becoming more common and more sophisticated with each passing year, but despite this, their function is still to reduce accidents rather than eliminate them – at least, for now. Volvo's project 360° is going the whole hog with a new technology that the Swedish car maker believes has the potential to eliminate deaths and injuries by a Volvo car or truck by 2020.  Read More

The new Direct Vision truck cab is designed to reduce blind spots

A UK team at Loughborough University is proposing a new cab design for lorries that would offer drivers a better view of the road around them, thus potentially saving the lives of pedestrians and cyclists. According to the researchers, the redesign of the cab could offer a 50-percent increase in front and side field of view, compared to traditional cabs.  Read More

Mercedes-Benz has developed a radar-based system that alerts the truck driver of imminent ...

Trucks today are big and getting bigger, and even with cameras and superior spatial awareness, the operators of these leviathans can never be totally aware of potential collision hazards, especially when turning. To help alleviate this problem, Daimler, the truck division of Mercedes-Benz, has introduced a radar-based system that alerts the truck driver of imminent collision danger from anywhere on the entire unobservable portion of the vehicle.  Read More

Volvo's XC90 will feature two 'world first' safety features

Volvo has already been bragging about how the XC90 will be the world's cleanest and most powerful SUV. Now it is touting the all-wheel drive, seven-seater's safety features, which will include an auto brake at intersections function and a run-off road protection package – both of which Volvo claims are world firsts.  Read More

Working on HARKEN in the lab – the finished version wouldn't include the extra chest strap...

It was just last week that we heard about how researchers from Nottingham Trent University are looking at embedding heart rate sensors in car seats, to detect when drivers are nodding off. Well, it turns out that they're not the only ones. A consortium of European companies and institutes is developing a similar system known as HARKEN, which uses seat-located sensors to monitor both the driver's heart rate and their rate of respiration.  Read More

Sensors right in car seat textile could be used to monitor heart rate and detect when a dr...

Falling asleep at the wheel is extremely dangerous both for the driver, and for others sharing the road with them. A team of researchers at Nottingham Trent University are working on a solution to this driving threat. They're doing it with sensors in a car seat that detect the driver's heart rate, and alert the driver if they start dozing off.  Read More

Ford's new knee airbag (bottom) uses the outer panel of the glove box to distribute the fo...

There's little doubt that knee airbags serve an important role in automobiles, protecting occupants' knees and shins from hard impacts against the dash in the event of a collision. However, as with any added component, they do take up space within the vehicle. Ford is addressing that factor in its 2015 Mustang, which will feature a passenger-side knee airbag that's built into the existing glove box.  Read More

A new system developed through the SAFEBUS project is designed to reduce accidents around ...

Drivers operating city buses have a tough job ensuring the safety of people on the vehicle as well as those outside it. But technology technology is stepping up to overcome the limitations of rear view mirrors, especially concerning children. A new system being tested in Spain is designed to improve bus safety by issuing a warning when a potential risk to pedestrians is detected so the driver can react accordingly, or bringing the bus to a stop if they don't.  Read More

Variability in steering wheel movement has proven to be a tip-off that drivers are getting...

Driver drowsiness is a major cause of accidents, so it's not surprising that a variety of technologies have been developed for its detection. Most of these systems require the use of prominent hardware such as eye-tracking cameras, reactive testing devices, or even Google Glass. A team from Washington State University Spokane, however, has developed a system that detects drowsy drivers through inexpensive electronics that monitor movement of the steering wheel.  Read More

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