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Braking

— Bicycles

Flywheel Bicycle: KERS for pedal-pushers

By - August 16, 2011 6 Pictures
In order to help boost their range, many electric and hybrid cars employ regenerative technology where braking energy is stored in the battery instead of simply being wasted. This idea can also be applied to electric-assist bikes, but what about bicycles of the plain old human-powered variety? Isn't it a shame that after having built up some good momentum, you just have to write it all off once you stop? Maxwell von Stein, a student at New York City's Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art, thought so. As his senior project, he recently rigged up a flywheel to an existing bicycle, in order to harness the energy that's lost during braking. That energy can then be used to boost the bike when needed. Read More
— Bicycles

Duplex lever lets disabled cyclists activate both brakes with one hand

By - August 12, 2011 4 Pictures
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
— Automotive

Hitting the brakes by reading drivers’ minds

By - July 28, 2011 1 Picture
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
— Automotive

BMW’s left turn assistant puts the brakes on creeping drivers

By - May 17, 2011 3 Pictures
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
— Automotive

Continental forward braking system to get stereo vision

By - May 9, 2011 2 Pictures
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
— Automotive

Air hybrid vehicles could halve fuel consumption

By - February 7, 2011 4 Pictures
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
— Bicycles

F1 tech helps stop high-end bicycles

By - September 21, 2010 2 Pictures
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
— Automotive

Drivers (won't) flip over Ford's Curve Control

By - July 6, 2010 1 Picture
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
— Automotive

Volvo S60 details revealed ahead of Geneva premiere

By - February 10, 2010 8 Pictures
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
— Automotive

New driver-assist systems from Nissan help straighten out curvy roads

By - July 31, 2009 3 Pictures
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
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