Highlights from the 2014 LA Auto Show

Pedestrian

The trampoline bridge would cross the River Seine near to the existing Bir-Hakeim bridge

There are currently 37 bridges spanning the River Seine in Paris, but there must surely be room for one more; one that's rather different than the rest, that is perhaps inflatable and comprising three huge trampolines. Such a bridge may not be practical, but it would be fun, and no doubt become something of a tourist attraction in a city already blessed with an abundance of tourist attractions. Such a bridge exists, at least in the form of a concept design by Paris-based architectural studio Atelier Zündel Cristea.  Read More

The Volvo V40's pedestrian airbags are designed to mitigate a collision with a pedestrian

Debuting at the Geneva Motor Show, the all-new Volvo V40 possesses some high-tech features, including the world's first pedestrian airbag system. The five-door, five-seater sibling to the Volvo C30 features (as standard) front bumper sensors that register the physical contact between the car and a pedestrian. When impact occurs, a section of the bonnet (closest to the windscreen) is released and elevated by the deployment of the airbag. The inflated airbag covers the area under the raised bonnet, around one-third of the windscreen as well as the lower section of the A-pillar. The system is designed to help to reduce the severity of pedestrian injuries.  Read More

L & A Design Group has designed an iconic pedestrian bridge projected for Wuxi Xidong Cent...

China's L & A Design Group has created plans for an iconic pedestrian bridge projected for Wuxi Xidong Central Park, in Jiangsu, China. The bridge will connect the north and south foreshores of the park, and includes a man-made island in its design. The island will offer pedestrians commanding waterfront views and the opportunity to relax and enjoy the surrounding gardens or tea room facilities.  Read More

New study highlights mobile device dangers for pedestrians

This year, according to the United States' Governors Highway Safety Association, pedestrian deaths in the U.S. rose for the first time in four years. While there could be a number of reasons for that increase, one likely culprit is mobile technology - or, more accurately, pedestrians' reluctance to disengage from their mobile devices when crossing the street. New research from the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) lends weight to this argument and show that it's not just texting and talking that can get you into trouble when you step out onto the road.  Read More

New spotlight function for Active Night View Assist Plus illuminates pedestrians

Since 2009, Mercedes Benz's luxury class models have included an Active Night View Assist Plus feature that detects pedestrians on the road and highlights them on the display on the instrument cluster using infra-red light projectors. The company has now taken the assistance system a step further with a new spotlight function that specifically directs light on people on or near the road so that both the driver and the pedestrian are alerted to the presence of the approaching vehicle.  Read More

The Infiniti M35h hybrid will have an audible pedestrian warning system as standard.

Those looking forward to quieter city streets as a result of near-silent electric vehicles (EVs) and hybrids replacing internal combustion engine vehicles on our roads may have to think again. To ensure that cyclists and pedestrians, including the visually impaired, are aware of stealthy oncoming vehicles, researchers have been looking at different noises that can be applied to EVs. Toyota has also already announced plans to sell an onboard audio alert system for its Prius but it looks like such systems are set to become more widespread with the Infiniti M35h to be the world’s first hybrid to get an audible pedestrian warning system as standard.  Read More

ELVIN the EV is equipped with a variety of driving noises

Electric vehicles are set to become a common sight on our roads, but one potential problem needs to be addressed – their lack of engine sound. In a perfect world, of course, pedestrians would always look both ways before crossing the street, and cyclists would always shoulder-check before turning, but this isn’t a perfect world. There are also blind people to consider, who must rely on the sound of oncoming vehicles (or lack of it) to know when it’s safe to cross the road. Toyota has already announced an onboard audio alert system for the Prius, but now researchers at the University of Warwick are experimenting with sounds that could be applied to all EVs – and you could help them.  Read More

Mobileye's warning system alerts drivers to imminent forward collisions and other driving ...

Before we go any further, let’s get this out of the way right up front – nothing is ever going to stop cars from running into things. Until drivers are taken out of the equation completely, accidents will always happen. Nonetheless, Dutch tech company Mobileye has declared that with the release of its new C2-270 collision warning system, “an end to motor vehicle collisions [is] now in sight.” This system warns drivers of dangerously-close cars, alerts them when drifting out of their lane and includes a Pedestrian Collision Warning component.  Read More

Toyota's onboard audio alert system warns pedestrians of an oncoming vehicle

Having grown up with the roar of gasoline-powered engines, most people rely not only on their eyes, but also their ears when detecting the danger of an oncoming vehicle. The quiet whirring of an electric a hybrid vehicle operating at low speeds isn’t enough to alert pedestrians of the vehicle’s approach and poses particular risks to the blind. To address this problem Toyota has announced that it will begin selling an onboard audio device that provides alerts pedestrians to the presence of quiet vehicles, such as its gasoline-electric hybrid Prius.  Read More

A pedestrian is removed from a Google Street View image using experimental new software

Google Street View, while very useful, fascinating, and full of wonderful bloopers, does rub some privacy advocates the wrong way. Should people on public streets have a reasonable expectation of not ending up with their photo on the Internet? There’s a whole other article in that, but in any case... for all the folks who do have a problem with it, a computer science graduate student is working on a solution: software that digitally removes pedestrians from Street View images. One of the byproducts of the current version of the system is somewhat unsettling, however – areas where people were in images are sometimes marked by ghost-like shapes, or even by disembodied shoes and feet.  Read More

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