Highlights from the 2014 LA Auto Show

Driving

Scientists have used lasers to gauge the alcohol vapor content of the air in moving cars  ...

It used to be that the only way you could get a speeding ticket was if a police officer personally witnessed your overly-fast driving. Then photo radar came along. Well, when it comes to drunk driving, lasers could soon be the equivalent of photo radar. Polish researchers at the Military University of Technology in Warsaw have demonstrated how the high-intensity beams of light can be used to detect the presence of alcohol – even exhaled alcohol – in passing vehicles.  Read More

This Corvette C7 Stingray is different than most in that its driver is quadriplegic and is...

What might it take to put a former Indy Racecar League driver back in the driver’s seat after a racing accident renders him quadriplegic? Perhaps a customized Corvette C7 Stingray, decked out by military and industry engineers to allow Sam Schmidt, now an owner of his own Indy team, to take back the metaphorical wheel.  Read More

Gizmag feature writer Loz Blain headed for the wall at Monaco

Like a video game arcade on steroids, Motionators offers drivers the chance to experience the thrill of Formula 1 racing in a giant, lurching motion rig that simulates bumps, acceleration, deceleration and cornering G-forces – and crashes; very physical crashes, as the rather pedestrian Gizmag Race Team discovered. Thankfully we had budding US F2000 racer Scott Andrews on hand, who holds every lap record at the facility, to show us the way around Monaco.  Read More

Variability in steering wheel movement has proven to be a tip-off that drivers are getting...

Driver drowsiness is a major cause of accidents, so it's not surprising that a variety of technologies have been developed for its detection. Most of these systems require the use of prominent hardware such as eye-tracking cameras, reactive testing devices, or even Google Glass. A team from Washington State University Spokane, however, has developed a system that detects drowsy drivers through inexpensive electronics that monitor movement of the steering wheel.  Read More

The KP1 system is capable of transmitting video footage of a traffic incident within 60 se...

SmartWitness, a UK-based manufacturer of vehicle safety systems, has unveiled the latest in its line of traffic incident cameras, the KP1. The system was showcased at last month's Commercial Vehicle Show 2014 in Birmingham, UK and is capable of compressing and transmitting video footage over 3G or 4G within 60 seconds of an incident occurring.  Read More

Illustration of Honda's driving support system functions

In addition to freeing up time and creating lounge-like cabins, one of the big selling points of semi- and fully-autonomous vehicles is in creating safer, more efficient roadways. Toward that end, Honda is beginning to test a driving support system that uses car-to-infrastructure communications to create freer flowing, more efficient roadways.  Read More

British drivers will soon face 'zero tolerance' drug driving laws (Photo: Shutterstock)

The UK has put in place some of the strictest drug driving laws on the planet in an effort to get drug-impaired drivers off the roads. Breath screening and blood tests will be used to detect eight illicit drugs at "zero tolerance" levels, and eight further prescription drugs at levels that would begin to impair driving. Naturally, since the British government can’t be seen to encourage recreational drug use, these limits haven’t been put into a practical context. So we contacted several drug testing experts and a forensic pharmacologist to try to work out what they mean. And as it turns out, some drugs will make you illegal to drive long after their physical effects have worn off.  Read More

Volvo Driver State Estimation uses a dash-mounted infrared sensor

Back in the days of black-and-white newsreels, an inventor came up with a bell on a collar that rang whenever a motorist wearing it nodded off. Since this is the 21st century, Volvo is developing a high-tech version of this gadget. It uses face recognition technology to let a car know when the driver is tired or inattentive, so appropriate action can be taken.  Read More

Volvo has completed a research project testing the use of magnets in the roadway to help s...

Volvo is continuing its work on autonomous vehicle technology with a research project that involves the use of magnets to keep self-driving cars on the road. As well as preventing cars from running off the road, the Swedish automaker says the technology could help improve road maintenance and allow for lanes to be narrowed.  Read More

The studs in their extended state

Studded tires may make it easier to drive on ice, but those same studs will quickly wear down when used on dry asphalt – plus, they'll create a very rough, noisy ride. The problem is, most winter drivers encounter both types of road conditions, often even on the same trip. That's why Nokian has created a snow tire with retractable studs.  Read More

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