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One of the planned EV charging stations

If all goes according to plan, in two years The Netherlands will have the world’s largest nationwide network of EV fast-charging stations. It was announced this week that by 2015, there should be over 200 such stations along Dutch highways, leaving no resident farther than 50 km (31 miles) from a charge-up at any time.  Read More

Ford's Electronic Brake Light system alerts drivers to other vehicles that are braking in ...

The Ford Motor Company recently tested its experimental “Electronic Brake Light” system, as part of the 4-year Safe Intelligent Mobility - Testfield Germany (simTD) joint industry research project. The technology causes a dashboard light to illuminate in your car, when a vehicle in front of you applies its brakes.  Read More

McLaren P1 undergoing extreme testing in Sweden

You don't create one of the utmost masterpieces of the high-performance supercar market without countless hours of testing. Much of that testing is dirty, sweaty and anything but sexy, but a few select aspects are riveting enough to make for edge-of-your-seat video – aspects like the McLaren P1 drifting through snow-powdered ice in northern Sweden. McLaren released just such a video this week.  Read More

BMW and Continental have joined forces to develop technology that will enable highly auton...

German automotive companies BMW and Continental have teamed up to develop self-driving car technology, or as they call it, an “electronic co-pilot” for cars. The main goal of the joint venture is to develop and test technologies that would usher in an era of highly automated driving on European freeways from 2020, with fully automated systems expected from 2025.  Read More

ORIGOSafe won't allow a car to start unless the driver first hands over their phone

According to a recent study by the American Automobile Association, seven out of ten drivers admit to text messaging while driving. Combine that with a study by Virginia Tech, which concluded that texting drivers are 23.2 times more likely to be involved in an accident, and you begin to see how big of a problem it is. ORIGOSafe is one of the latest products designed to stop texting-and-driving – it won’t let your car start unless your phone is plugged into the device.  Read More

The Automatic Link plugs into your vehicle's diagnostic port, and communicates with an acc...

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

The Inventioneers present the first working prototype of the SMARTwheel to Secretary of Tr...

Driving safely requires that both hands remain firmly on the steering wheel, but some people find the temptation to use their smartphone at the wheel all too enticing, often resulting in road accidents. To combat this, a group of students has come up with SMARTwheel: an aftermarket steering wheel cover that detects when drivers are engaging in unsafe activities like texting while driving, and provides sonic and visual alerts to refocus their attention.  Read More

UC3M's combined GPS unit and inertial measurement unit

Many of us use our vehicle navigation systems on a daily basis, and as self-driving cars come into common use – assuming they do – such systems will become even more important. Unfortunately, however, the GPS technology that’s integral to vehicle navigation can be thwarted by obstacles such as tall buildings. A team of researchers at Spain’s Universidad Carlos III de Madrid (UC3M) are attempting to address that problem, with a system that is said to drastically boost GPS accuracy in city driving.  Read More

A conventional flat mirror (left) and the progressive mirror

Usually when we hear the term “progressive optics” it’s in reference to bi- or trifocal glasses, that don’t have sharp lines between the different focal zones of the lenses. A group of scientists from Korea and the US, however, have recently used the technology to create something else – a prototype driver’s side car mirror that has no blind spot, yet that also doesn’t distort images in an unsafe manner.  Read More

The HUD prototype at CES

While walking through CES 2013, we happened upon something intriguing from JVC Kenwood. The company had a prototype laser heads-up display (HUD) on the floor that sports some interesting features, and that could soon show up as standard equipment on a variety of automobiles.  Read More

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