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Braking

Paul's Duplex lever allows disabled cyclists to activate both brakes with one hand

While commuter bicycles can generally get by with a rear-wheel-only coaster brake, mountain and cyclocross bikes require both front and rear brakes – along with the hand levers used to activate them. Although this doesn’t pose much of a challenge for most riders, it does for those who only have the use of one hand. One possible solution is to use a system that joins both brake cables to one common end, which then goes into a conventional lever. Another solution, however, is to use Paul Component Engineering’s dual-cable Duplex lever.  Read More

The team recorded brain signals of subjects using a driving simulator

With human error the predominant cause of car accidents, automatic braking systems like the Pedestrian Detection system found in the Volvo S60 use cameras and sensors to assist drivers in detecting oncoming hazards and automatically applying the brakes. Now a team of researchers from the Berlin Institute for Technology has found a way to improve the response times of drivers by reading their minds. Using electroencephalography (EEG) by attaching electrodes to the scalp the researchers demonstrated that reading driver’s brain signals can provide quicker reaction times to potentially prevent many of the car accidents caused by human error.  Read More

The left turn assistant is designed to reduce the number of accidents resulting from vehic...

BMW is working to lessen the number of fatalities caused by drivers turning left at intersections (in left-hand drive countries, that is). When the "left hand drive assistant" detects that the driver intends to turn left, three laser scanners in the front end of the car kick in to map the area up to 100 meters (328 ft) ahead. If the system detects oncoming vehicles and the driver continues to move into the intersection, it will sound a warning and automatically activate the brakes to prevent a collision.  Read More

Continental has announced that its ContiGuard forward-looking braking system will now be e...

More and more, we're hearing about vehicle safety systems that use video cameras to identify hazards. Like us humans, automotive supplier Continental's recently announced ContiGuard forward-looking braking system has two eyes, in the form of two high-resolution CMOS cameras, and a suite of electronics that enables it to analyze the difference in perspective between the left and right views – similar to the parallax shift which our brains also use to create spatial vision when processing images.  Read More

The air hybrid engine used in the Lund University study

The most commonly used form of regenerative braking is where a vehicle’s electric motor is used as an electric generator to capture the vehicle’s kinetic energy, which is otherwise lost as heat when braking. The generator converts the kinetic energy into electricity that is then fed back into the vehicle’s battery pack where it is stored for later use. New research suggests that pneumatic or air hybrids that instead store the energy as compressed air would be much cheaper to produce than the current crop of EVs and battery-electric hybrids and could halve the fuel consumption of ICE powered vehicles.  Read More

A carbon composite wheel with the Zirotec coating

Carbon composite bicycle wheels are a fantastic choice for competitive road cyclists who want to reduce their bike’s revolving weight, while maintaining wheel strength and rigidity. They do have one drawback however: standard hard rubber brake pads don’t work that well against carbon rims, especially in wet conditions or when excessive heat is being generated, such as on steep descents. Cork pads are sometimes used, but these can disintegrate when wet. Disc brakes are another alternative, although their added weight somewhat negates the weight savings gained by switching to carbon wheels in the first place. Now, heat management company Zircotec is experimenting with a thin spray-on ceramic coating for carbon rims that allows for effective use of rubber brake pads under all conditions.  Read More

Ford's new Curve Control system automatically slows vehicles down when they're entering a ...

We’ve all done it – swung too fast onto a freeway ramp and then suddenly had to yank on the steering wheel for control of the vehicle. It’s not fun, and reportedly loosing control on a bend accounts for about 50,000 crashes every year in the U.S. alone. That’s why Ford is introducing Curve Control on its 2011 Explorer and on 90 percent of its crossovers, SUVs, trucks and vans by 2015. The system senses when you’re entering a curve too quickly, and automatically slows your speed by up to 10mph in approximately one second.  Read More

The all-new Volvo S60 incorporates many technological features - including Pedestrian Dete...

Gizmag has followed the progress of the all-new Volvo S60 from concept stage and now the production version is finally here ... well, just about. The new four-door coupe which features ground-breaking Pedestrian Detection safety technology (including full auto brake) and a choice of two diesel engines (2.4L 205bhp D5 and a 2.0L 163bhp D3) and one petrol engine (an uprated high-performance 3.0L T6 petrol version with 304bhp) will make its debut at the Geneva Motor Show from 2 March. Click through for a look at the technology packed S60 in detail.  Read More

New Nissan technology makes cornering easier and safer

We've been covering a raft of new technology from Nissan this week and one of the most interesting is its innovative assisted steering system, which synchronizes navigation, engine, braking and steering systems to help drivers make smoother (and safer) turns. By linking Nissan’s existing Distance Control Assist System to on-board navigation map data, the Navigation-Cooperative Intelligent Pedal can help the driver decelerate or brake as the car enters a curve based on real-time navigation information.  Read More

UGO safety brakes for strollers

With an estimated value of USD$6.02 billion, the kids market can be lucrative, if you can crack it. The UGO automatic safety brake for strollers and prams is one of those good design ideas that could find a baby toehold in the market – one day.  Read More

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