Photokina 2014 highlights

Driving

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

TRW Automotive is developing a folding, retractable steering wheel, that would make it eas...

As small, ultra fuel-efficient or electric cars become more popular as urban runabouts, automotive designers are looking for more ways to maximize their interior space. One possibility: get rid of the steering wheel. Of course, you need a steering wheel for driving, but the engineers at Michigan’s TRW Automotive are working on one that folds up and retracts into the dashboard when the vehicle is parked. They claim it would making getting in and out of the car considerably easier, particularly for elderly or disabled drivers.  Read More

Volkswagen has presented a new technology called Temporary Auto Pilot (TAP) which allows s...

Despite research by automakers such as Audi and events such as DARPA's Grand Challenge, we're still waiting for fully autonomous cars to chauffeur us about town. Volkswagen has presented a new system called Temporary Auto Pilot (TAP), which is a link between existing driver assist technologies and completely automated vehicles. While still being monitored by the driver, TAP allows semi-automatic driving on a highway at speeds of up to 130 km/h (80 mph).  Read More

A prototype driving device allows disabled people to steer, accelerate, change gears and b...

Your driving instructor probably told you to always keep two hands on the wheel, and your feet ready at the pedals. For people lacking the use of one or more upper or lower limbs, however, this isn’t always possible. Such people shouldn’t be precluded from driving, but they shouldn’t have to worry about not being able to fully control their car, either. While there are some solutions that can be applied to existing steering wheels and pedals, a group of Spanish researchers have come up with something else – a single device that allows drivers to steer, accelerate, change gears and brake with one hand.  Read More

Microsoft has unveiled the new driving controller for Xbox 360: Wireless Speed Wheel

Perhaps Microsoft's employees responsible for product naming don't drive very often, given that they call this cordless gaming accessory a "wheel". For racing fans who own an Xbox 360, however, the arrival of the Wireless Speed Wheel is good news, as there aren't many driving controllers for the Microsoft console on the market. This one's price tag is pretty decent, too.  Read More

One of the GCDC participants will be the AnnieWAY team, from Germany's Karlsruhe Institute...

When it comes to developing new technologies, running a competition is always a good way of helping to speed progress. Not only do such events give researchers more of an incentive to develop their ideas to the fullest, but they also give them a chance to see and be inspired by what other people in their field have been working on. While last year’s Automotive X-PRIZE helped usher in utra-efficient yet practical automobiles, hopefully this weekend’s Grand Cooperative Driving Challenge will do the same for cars utilizing cooperative adaptive cruise control (CACC).  Read More

The Bridgestone study checked 38,000 cars in 9 European countries

With the spotlight shining on of hybrid vehicles, kinetic energy recovery systems and stop start functionality, it's easy to forget that a very effective way to reduce fuel consumption and cut emissions is right in front of us – air. A study recent study by tire manufacturer Bridgestone suggests that it's not only easy to forget, most of us do forget. The company checked 38,000 cars in 9 European countries during 2010 with results showing that 71% of the drivers were driving on under-inflated tires.  Read More

German researchers have demonstrated a system that allows a car to be driven by thought co...

Since its formation in 2006, Freie Universität Berlin’s AutoNOMOS team has been researching and developing systems that could someday result in driverless, autonomous cars. Previously, they have successfully used an iPhone, an iPad, and an eye-tracking device to maneuver their Volkswagen Passat MadeInGermany test car. Now, using a commercially-available Emotiv EPOC brain-machine gaming interface, they have demonstrated that the car can be controlled by mind power.  Read More

The Eco-Navigator provides real-time fuel consumption and CO2 output data to drivers, to h...

Pretty much everyone knows that driving too fast wastes fuel and creates excess carbon emissions, as does revving the engine and not bothering with tune-ups. We can try to alter our driving habits accordingly, but how can we know how much to alter them? What speed should we drive at when, and how often should we take our car to the garage? These questions can be instantly and completely answered, right in your car, if you’re using an Eco-Navigator device.  Read More

One of America's numerous repurposed Muffler Man statues, spotted by Gizmag staff near Ann...

They – whoever “they” are – say that getting there is half the fun. While that might not be true for trips where you spend hours wedged into an airliner seat, it can definitely apply to cross-country road trips. Often, the things seen en route end up being just as fascinating as those that await you at your destination. This fact is not lost on the folks behind the RoadsideAmerica website and books, who have spent the past 25 years collecting and sharing accounts of quirky museums, Big Things, “natural wonders” and other weirdness encountered along the highways and byways of North America. Now, road travelers can be alerted to the locations of these must-sees as they near them, via the RoadsideAmerica.com Attractions and Oddities GPS guide.  Read More

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