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Driving

Automotive

Ford's new technology chief ponders the future of driving and mobility

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.Read More

Automotive

New tech from Ford keeps you from speeding – if you want it to

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 vehicle. Read More

Wearables

Impecca Alert Band monitors brainwaves to detect driver tiredness

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.Read More

Children

buckle me up lets parents know if kids undo their seatbelts

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. Read More

Automotive

Rinspeed Budii autonomous concept designed to be your friend on wheels

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. Read More

Automotive

CarVi brings modern driver assist technology to older cars

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.Read More

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