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Driver Assistance

Automotive tuners and aftermarket companies offer many ways of adding performance, luxury and personalization to cars and trucks. Each year, the SEMA Show highlights the latest and loudest. Now there's a start-up advertising an aftermarket kit designed to tune your car into a self-driving chauffeur … kind of. Cruise's Audi automation kit lets the car take over most of the driving but still requires a human driver at the ready. Read More
Vehicle-to-vehicle communications are a fundamental pillar of autonomous, self-driving cars. Once vehicles can exchange data with each other and the greater driving infrastructure, they'll be able to "see" and adapt to driving obstacles more completely, preventing accidents and delivering more efficient driving. Mercedes plans to be the first automaker to bring a Car-to-X vehicle-to-vehicle communications system to market. Read More
The Range Rover Sport, long a staple of the affluent, inner-city SUV demographic, has had an urban makeover for 2013. Out from under the tarp at New York’s Auto Show the new Sport is espoused to be the most agile and responsive Sport to date. Given New York proper is the largest Range Rover Sport market, it’s fitting the new Sport should unveil here. Read More
Perhaps you’ve got a decent, several-year-old car that you’re still happy with, but that you wish had some of the helpful computerized features of today’s newer models. Should that be the case, don’t go trading in your ride just yet. The Automatic system accesses your existing car’s onboard computer, then displays driving and diagnostic data on your smartphone’s screen. It could potentially save you money, trips to the garage, and even 911 calls. Read More
It’s probably happened to all of us at one time or another ... we’re driving with a passenger in the car, we get distracted by some thought or task, and are suddenly jolted back into the present moment by our passenger yelling “Look out for that guy!”. Without their warning, we might have run into “that guy.” Given that many of us spend a lot of time driving alone, Continental has come up with an electronic version of that watchful passenger – it’s a driver assistance system that uses LEDs to alert zoned-out drivers to danger. Read More

The seamless vehicle technology previewed by the Connectivity Concept may take a few years to become reality, but Hyundai's in-vehicle tech is getting incrementally more advanced. The Korean automaker announced today that it will integrate Google Maps application programming interfaces (APIs) into its U.S.-based Blue Link infotainment systems, underpinning a smoother navigational experience for drivers. Read More

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
As GM's marquee brand, Cadillac is the launch vessel for the automaker's technological advancements. The newest Cadillac technology that GM has announced is a vibrating driver's seat that provides tactile feedback to help keep drivers safer. While the vibrating recliner you have at home is designed to keep you comfortable and relaxed, in contrast GM is using a vibrating seat to keep you alert. The Cadillac Safety Alert Seat comes equipped with dual vibration zones that are connected to the car's sensor-based safety systems. Read More
It’s no secret that teen drivers have to pay higher automobile insurance rates than most people – after all, they’re less experienced, and some of them can be pretty reckless. If you’re a good teen driver or one that doesn’t drive much, however, it might seem rather unfair that you have to pay rates that are based on the worst driving habits of your peers. Well, Gibraltar-based insurethebox has what it claims is a better alternative – teens’ cars are fitted with a telematics box that records the way and amount that they drive, and they end up paying less for their insurance if they drive well. Read More
At one time not all that long ago, cars had a warning light on the dashboard that simply said “ENGINE.” That’s pretty vague. Really, it might just as well have said “CAR.” Some newer automobiles now have codes that appear on the console, which the driver must then look up in an index in the vehicle’s owner’s manual. Working with Audi, Germany’s Technische Universitaet Muenchen (TUM) Institute of Business Informatics is now working on taking things a step farther, with the development of an on-screen avatar that will talk to drivers, and even understand their spoken questions. Read More
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