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— Automotive

Tesla Model S receives top marks in NHTSA safety testing

By - August 21, 2013 13 Pictures
With glowing reviews and positive sales, Tesla's Model S seems to be on a roll in 2013. Now the EV has joined the 1 percent of vehicles to have achieved a 5-star safety rating in testing by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), scoring a record 5.4 rating in its overall Vehicle Safety Score (VSS) ... and breaking a roof crush testing machine in the process. Read More
— Sports

Mark Cuban funds SMU biomechanics study targeting flopping in basketball

By - June 9, 2013 3 Pictures
Mark Cuban, billionaire entrepreneur and outspoken owner of the Dallas Mavericks NBA team, has awarded Southern Methodist University (SMU) Associate Professor Peter G. Weyand a grant of over US$100,000 to carry out an 18-month biomechanics study of flopping on the basketball court. The study is aimed at determining if video or other records of the on court action can be used to distinguish between a player going down as a result of a collision or whether they are taking a dive. Read More
— Space

We nearly lost Fermi: The problem of orbital debris

By - May 2, 2013 7 Pictures
Julie McEnery is NASA's Project Scientist for the Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope. When she checked her email on March 29, 2012, she was startled to find an automatically generated message stating that in six days, her half-billion-plus dollar satellite was going to cross paths with Cosmos 1805, a Soviet-era spy satellite. The predicted encounter had the two satellites occupying the same coordinates only 30 milliseconds apart. Not only that, but Cosmos was in an orbit moving nearly perpendicular to Fermi such that their collision would be equivalent to tons of high explosives. Essentially total destruction. Read More
— Bicycles

BikeSpike GPS tracker improves chances of recovering a stolen bike

By - March 19, 2013 3 Pictures
Bicycles are a notoriously easy target for thieves, but technology is here to help in the form of a new device that promises to help cyclists safeguard their property and recover it if stolen. Currently seeking funds on KickStarter, the Chicago-based BikeSpike team has designed a GPS tracker that features a built-in antenna, an on-board accelerometer and a connection to a GSM mobile phone network that allows users to keep tabs on their bike via a smartphone or computer. Read More
— Automotive

Volvo’s auto-braking detection system adds cyclists to the mix

By - March 5, 2013 3 Pictures
You couldn’t accuse Volvo of ignoring those people at risk of encountering the exterior of its vehicles rather than sitting inside them. The Swedish automotive manufacturer has already introduced pedestrian airbags and an automated braking system designed to avoid hitting pedestrians. Now Volvo has enhanced the latter to develop the world’s first auto-braking cyclist detection system, which is being presented at the 2013 Geneva Auto Show. Read More
— Aircraft

AirBurr UAV navigates by crashing into things

By - March 1, 2013 4 Pictures
If you’ve ever watched a fly trying to find its way around a house, you might have noticed that it didn’t take a particularly graceful approach – it probably bounced off a lot of windows and walls, until by process of elimination, it found a route that was clear. Well, researchers at Switzerland’s EPFL Laboratory of Intelligent Systems are taking that same approach with the latest version of their autonomous AirBurr UAV – it’s built to run into things, in order to map and navigate its environment. Read More
— Space

Space debris: Where does it come from, and what can we do about it?

By - November 12, 2012 9 Pictures
Orbital debris is (nearly) forever, and threatens to render near-Earth space unusable, and all but impassible. The 2007 Chinese anti-satellite test and an accidental collision between two communications satellites in 2009 highlighted the need to study orbital collisions of modern satellites. The NASA Standard Breakup Model, based on hypervelocity collision studies of 1960s-era satellites, fails to accurately describe collisions of modern satellites, owing to advances made in materials and construction. To address this problem, NASA is updating the SBM by building and destroying a modern dummy satellite called DebriSat. Read More
— Automotive

New Nissan tech is designed to take over the steering when collisions are imminent

By - October 25, 2012 2 Pictures
In the same way that we didn’t go straight from landline phones to smartphones, there are likewise going to be some intermediate steps between today’s manually-driven cars and tomorrow’s fully self-driving models. We’re already seeing some of those steps starting to pop up, in the form of things like Cadillac’s Super Cruise control, Volkswagen’s Temporary Auto Pilot, and Volvo’s traffic jam assistance system. Nissan’s latest contribution is its recently-announced Autonomous Emergency Steering System. Read More
— Automotive

Smart braking system joins list of firsts for Mazda CX-5

By - February 12, 2012 2 Pictures
The CX-5 Crossover SUV marks a few firsts for Mazda. It will be the company's first production vehicle sporting the new KODO - Soul of Motion design language seen originally in the Shinari concept vehicle, the first vehicle featuring Mazda's efficiency-boosting Skyactiv technology, and the first to feature Smart City Brake Support (SCBS) - a system designed to avoid or reduce the damage from low speed collisions. Read More
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