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Driving

— Automotive

Student-designed SMARTwheel aims to make driving safer

By - March 8, 2013 3 Pictures
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
— Science

New system gives in-city GPS navigation a big boost

By - February 12, 2013 2 Pictures
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
— Good Thinking

Car mirror copies eyeglasses to eliminate blind spots

By - January 28, 2013 1 Picture
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
— Automotive

Mercedes updates traffic sign assistance system to stop “wrong-way drivers”

By - January 22, 2013 2 Pictures
The traffic sign assistance system currently offered in Mercedes-Benz’s S- and E-Class models uses a camera mounted on the inside of the front windscreen to identify speed restriction signs. This speed restriction information is relayed to the navigation system and displayed in the instrument cluster and in the map view to help prevent drivers exceeding the speed limit. Mercedes has now updated the system to also recognize no-overtaking zones and no-entry signs so as to prevent drivers from accidentally traveling in the wrong direction. Read More
— Automotive

Second phase winners announced in BMW Urban Driving Experience Challenge

By - December 23, 2012 75 Pictures
Cars and cities don’t mix together very well. Most cities were built without the horseless carriage in mind and even the ones that tend to become overwhelmed by cars after a certain point. BMW Group and Local Motors’ “BMW Urban Driving Experience Challenge” hopes to redress the balance with car concepts that “do good” based on technology predicted to be available in 2025. The winners of the second phase of the competition have been announced, made up of the 10 finalists responsible for the best concepts of premium-class motor cars designed for “Doing Good” in an urban environment. Read More
— Automotive

Optical camouflage turns car's back seat transparent

By - November 8, 2012 2 Pictures
When you turn around to look behind your car as you’re reversing, what do you see? If your car is like most, you see a bit of the road through the back window, with a whole lot of your back seat underneath. If only you could see through that seat, you could see so much more of the road. Well, a group from Japan’s Keio University has developed a system that lets drivers do that ... sort of. Read More
— Urban Transport

Insect-inspired virtual traffic lights could replace – or augment – the real things

By - November 7, 2012 1 Picture
If you’ve ever seen two groups of ants meet up with one another on intersecting paths, you’ll notice that they don’t crash into each other. Instead, the larger group instinctively takes the right-of-way, followed by the smaller group – the same thing applies to bees and termites. Inspired by this behavior, Carnegie Mellon University telecommunications researcher Ozan Tonguz wondered if the same thing could be applied to traffic flow. Read More
— Automotive

Volvo joins the CAR 2 CAR Communication Consortium

By - November 6, 2012 5 Pictures
Automakers such as Honda, GM, Audi, BMW and Daimler have already done it, now Volvo has too – it’s joined the CAR 2 CAR Communication Consortium. The aim of the project is to establish a standard system that would allow vehicles to wirelessly communicate with one another, regardless of make or model. If the system works as planned, it should reduce accidents, improve traffic flow, and just generally make driving a more enjoyable experience. Read More
— Automotive

Volvo traffic jam assistance system takes over the chore of stop/start driving

By - October 23, 2012 5 Pictures
There are few things more frustrating than crawling along in stop/start traffic. Volvo has now come up with a system designed to make such monotonous trips a little more tolerable. At the push of a button, the traffic jam assistance system will automatically follow the preceding vehicle in slow-moving lines of traffic traveling at speeds of under 50 km/h (31 mph). Read More
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