at speed down the highway with a heads-up display (HUD) constantly feeding data
into your line of sight can make anyone feel like a jet pilot on the road;
totally in control of your vehicle and primed to avert any potential danger that comes
your way. However, recent studies by the University of Toronto show that the HUD multi-tasking method of vehicle piloting may well not provide
the extra margin of safety that we think it does. In fact, according to the researchers, it could
be downright dangerous.
Drunk driving is a serious problem and – despite being conscientious –
at a certain point in the evening, trusting one's own judgement means
trusting someone who isn't sober enough to make the call. While
costing less than US$30 are available, they're not the most reliable,
while the more professional models need to be sent back to the factory
on a regular basis for recalibration. Recently, we got hold of an
AlcoMate Revo by AK GlobalTech. The device is aimed at the consumer
market, and uses a replaceable sensor module that eliminates the need for
recalibration. We put it through its paces.
Formula Drift driver Matt Powers has successfully driven his Roush Stage 3 Mustang at high speed in the real world while immersed in a 3D virtual world (via an Oculus Rift headset). Instead of the test track that he was actually driving on, Powers saw falling boulders, sheer cliff drops, crumbling and collapsing track, and other game-like elements.
Few driving noises can be as deflating as that of a car wheel scraping against the curb when parking. It means you've misjudged your distance from the sidewalk and inflicted some ugly and potentially expensive damage on your wheel. The SmartRim is a device aimed making this a thing of the past.
There are already in-vehicle systems that keep people from driving while intoxicated, although most of them require users to blow into a breathalyzer. The prototype AlcoStop system, however, takes a less intrusive approach – it measures users' blood alcohol levels by analyzing their sweat via built-in sensors, and won't allow the car to start if those levels indicate that they're too drunk to drive.
BMW has announced a host of new technologies that will be coming to its new 7 Series range. The firm says the tech, which includes driverless parking and gesture control functionalities, will deliver improved lightweight design, driving dynamics, comfort, intelligent connectivity and operation.
NASA has unveiled a one-of-a-kind vehicle that can perform a few out-of-this-world maneuvers ... perhaps because the technology behind it is borrowed from concepts for astronaut rovers designed for eventual use on the moon or Mars.
We keep hearing about systems designed to either alert drivers to impending collisions
, to let them know that they've made a mistake (such as drifting out of their lane
), or to tell them that they're getting tired
. Brain4Cars, however, takes yet another approach. Created by scientists at Cornell and Stanford universities, it monitors drivers to determine when they're about
to do something wrong, so it can warn them not to.
To mark Drowsy Driving Awareness Day on April 6, Nissan is presenting its Driver Attention Alert system as part of the safety package for the 2016 Nissan Maxima, which is debuting at the New York International Auto Show.
Global trends appear to be moving towards a future where in many markets, car ownership may look like an expensive, impractical and inconvenient way to get around. So what's the next model of personal transport, and where do the big automakers fit in? Ford's new global VP of Research and Advanced Engineering, Ken Washington, sat down in Melbourne for a "crystal ball" discussion about autonomous cars, on-demand vehicles, car sharing, smart parking, multi-mode transport, and how a car company might learn to cater to a new generation of customers that are far more interested in upgrading their phones than getting their driver's licenses.