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Driving

The autonomously controlled Volvo convoy takes part in the first demonstration of SARTRE t...

The automobile has been with us for more than a century and while road laws, traffic management and automotive technology in general have constantly evolved during that time, the act of driving remains essentially the same - it's all up to the person behind the wheel. That's what makes the SARTRE (Safe Road Trains for the Environment) project so significant - it represents the beginning of a new era where the organized chaos of individual drivers can be blunted by a semi-autonomous "follow-the-leader" approach that has clear benefits for road safety, congestion and vehicle fuel consumption ... not to mention being a bonus for those of us who would rather read the paper than concentrate in the road ahead. As demonstrated by a platoon of Volvos driving automatically along a public motorway outside Barcelona recently, this reality may be closer than you think.  Read More

Dragon Drive! will provide hands-free control of various in car features

Nuance Communications, the company responsible for the Dragon line of speech recognition software, has announced a new natural-language voice platform designed specifically for in car use. Targeted at automotive manufacturers and suppliers, the Dragon Drive! platform will allow hands-free and eyes-free dictation of text messages and emails, and voice control of car entertainment and navigation systems.  Read More

Some of the vibrating actuators within the experimental steering wheel

Many drivers would be lost – quite literally – without their in-car navigation systems. When installed in vehicles that some people would say are already overcrowded with instrumentation, however, could such systems be just one visual distraction too many? Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University and AT&T Labs are addressing that concern, by experimenting with a system that conveys navigational cues through vibrations in the steering wheel.  Read More

Cadillac's 'Super Cruise' semi-autonomous driving technology is currently undergoing road ...

While much work is being done to bring autonomous vehicles to the roads, the closest most of us have yet got is cruise control, which has actually been around since the 1950s, appearing as “Auto-Pilot” in 1958 Chryslers and Imperials. Now Cadillac is looking to update things with road testing currently underway on a semi-autonomous technology dubbed “Super Cruise” that offers fully automatic steering, braking and lane-centering in highway driving – under certain conditions.  Read More

A group of students have created a unique material that they say could be sealed in bags w...

Have you ever mixed corn starch with water? If you have, you probably noticed how it oozed like a liquid when flowing across a surface, yet hardened like a solid if you suddenly struck it. That’s because the corn starch/water mixture is what’s known as a non-Newtonian fluid – the particles it’s composed of slide past one another easily when moving slowly, but jam against each other when forced to move quickly. Recently, a group of students from Cleveland’s Case Western University encased such a fluid within sturdy bags, to create a simple product that could be used to temporarily fill potholes in roads.  Read More

The Python 5000's single operator can quickly fill potholes from within the vehicle's cab

Nobody likes potholes, but it often seems that they’re one of those hardships we just have to put up with until they get almost impassable ... after all, it’s a big deal to send out a road crew who will have to block one or two lanes of traffic for half an hour or more, while they risk being struck by inattentive drivers. Apparently, however, pothole-filling needn’t be such an involved process. Cities now have the option of using the Python 5000, which is a vehicle that is operated by one person from inside its cab, and that can patch a two-foot (0.6-meter) pothole in about two minutes.  Read More

Nurburgring is as ominous as the clouds in the background (Photo: VnGrijl)

Germany's Nurburgring is possibly the most famous racetrack in the entire world. Not only does it host racing competitions, but it also provides the ultimate testing grounds for new cars and prototypes – manufacturers from around the world travel to Germany to test their cars. Speedway Motorsports wants to make some of those journeys a little shorter, by building an exact replica of Nurburgring just outside of Las Vegas.  Read More

The Turny Evo is a system that moves a vehicle's seat through the door, so disabled passen...

People with limited mobility face a challenge when getting into a conventional vehicle. Not only do they have to put aside their crutches or get out of their wheelchair, but they are also required to step up and across the vehicle’s door sill and swivel themselves sideways onto the seat. One option is to get a converted van, with a side- or rear-mounted ramp. Autoadapt, however, is now offering an alternative. The Swedish company’s Turny Evo system actually lifts the front driver or passenger seat out the door of the vehicle, turns it toward the user, and lowers it down. Once the user has seated themselves, the seat and passenger are then pulled back inside, and driving can commence.  Read More

Ford used the Hackathon event to get creative with potential features

Automakers have begun slowly integrating social networking into vehicles via advanced infotainment systems that provide voice-activated social functions. In a recent collaboration with Facebook called "Hackathon," Ford gave the world a glimpse of what in-car social networking 2.0 might look like. It's scary and intriguing at the same time.  Read More

The EcoSpeed app takes into account various factors, such as the number of traffic stops, ...

By now, we should all know that how you drive has a huge influence on fuel economy, but knowing exactly how to drive in certain circumstances to maximize fuel economy isn't always easy. We've looked at various technologies designed to make the task of traveling at the most fuel efficient speed, taking the most fuel-efficient - if not necessarily the shortest - route, and taking into consideration traffic conditions, that little bit easier. Now there's an app for mobile devices that does all these things. Called EcoSpeed, its creators say it could provide fuel savings of as much as 30 percent.  Read More

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