While there certainly are drivers who knowingly exceed the speed limit, many others aren't even aware that they're doing so. Given that using cruise control isn't all that practical when driving around town, Ford has instead introduced the Intelligent Speed Limiter. The technology will debut on the newest incarnation of the automaker's S-Max
We may all be excited about Google's autonomous car hitting the roads of California
this year, but that's small-fry to British-based auto-firm Delphi. The company's autonomous car is set to travel 3,500 miles (5,600 km) across the US, starting near the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco on March 22.
When drowsiness sets in on the road, drivers typically open a window and turn up the radio. We've also seen a number of alert systems introduced over the years, including the EyeAlert Driver Fatigue Monitor
, which tracks the eye-closure rate of drivers, and Audi has researched putting heart-rate monitors in car seats
. The Impecca Alert Band takes a different approach. It monitors brain activity and warns drivers that they are becoming fatigued in advance of it becoming dangerous, giving users more time to do the one thing that helps: stop and take a break.
Most parents are fairly diligent about making sure that their young children buckle up at the start of car trips. Unfortunately, due to the fact that many cars don't have rear seatbelt warning systems, they may not
realize that their kids have released their belt while en route. Needless to say, the outcome of an accident under such circumstances could be tragic. That's why an Australian startup has launched buckle me up, a system that wirelessly adds a rear seatbelt warning system to cars that don't already have one.
Take one BMW i3
, add some autonomous smarts like laser guidance, vehicle-to-vehicle communications, radar, motion sensing systems, and an advanced camera monitoring set up, then give it a quirky robot arm to do the steering, and you have Rinspeed's new Budii concept car. Described as your "friend on wheels," the Budii is also designed to adapt to the habits and preferences of the owner via a user interface. In this way, according to its creators, it becomes your proactive and attentive companion who knows just how you like your driving experience.
Driver assist technology (like the impressive array of features we reviewed in Ford’s Kuga SUV
) is making new cars a lot smarter, and probably safer, every year. But what about older cars? CarVi is a stick-on unit that adds collision warnings, lane change assistance and driver skills assessment to your current ride. But we can’t decide if it’s going to be a nice addition, a missed opportunity or an annoying electronic back-seat driver.
The emergence of adaptive cruise control
in recent years has certainly been a welcome development, and now Honda is promising to take things one step further. It has today unveiled its Intelligent Adaptive Cruise Control (i-ACC), a technology it claims is capable of predicting the chances of a car cutting into your lane up to five seconds before it occurs.
Having shown off its transparent bonnet concept
earlier this year, Jaguar Land Rover is now looking into how to make other parts of its cars disappear. The firm is researching how to let drivers see through a vehicle's roof support pillars, while also developing a ghost car navigation system.
When it comes to safe driving tips, taking your hands off the steering wheel to make or receive calls doesn't rate way up there. Many people instead use hands-free voice prompt systems, although these can also be be distracting, as they require users to think of the correct prompts and then speak them very clearly. Drive offers an alternative – it's a device that's controlled using finger movements, and it won't work unless the user's hands are on the wheel.