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Road Safety

Watching the fun at AstaZero

It seems like hardly a week goes by without our hearing about another automated safety feature for cars. Such technologies include systems that detect when drivers are getting tired, that allow multiple cars to safely travel together in speed-controlled "convoys," or that warn drivers when they're drifting out of their lane. Now, in order to help foster the development of more such concepts, a new Swedish test-track facility has begun operations.  Read More

An autonomous car being tested in the UK

Driverless cars are an exciting glimpse of the future, with great potential to improve road safety. It seems the UK has caught on to this, announcing a £10 million (US$17 million) scheme to test driverless cars on public roads from January 2015.  Read More

The Glowbelt is a retractable, one-size-fits-all belt covered in 13 micro LEDs to make its...

It can be scary and more than a little perilous to be on the roads at night if you're not in a car, with being visible the first step to avoiding an accident. Even if you wear light colors, many drivers may not see you until it's too late. Such concerns about road safety drove UK-based design house BMC Innovations to create the Glowbelt, a self-retracting one-size-fits-all belt covered in enough LEDs to make you both highly visible in the black of night and well-dressed for a rave.  Read More

BMW Korea Driving Center bird's eye view

BMW has invested some US$75.5 million building the ultimate test drive center in Incheon, near Seoul, South Korea. Customers can stretch the legs of BMW's range of performance cars and motorcycles on a 2.6-kilometer (1.6-mile) closed circuit racetrack, or put an SUV through its paces on an off road area. The 240,000-square meter (almost 60 acre) site will also house a service center, bars and restaurants, training academy, historical exhibits, kids' area – and of course, a giant BMW and MINI showroom.  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

PSA Peugeot Citroen has teamed up with EPFL to develop an emotion detection system designe...

Ever experienced road rage? Someone cuts you off while you’re trying to merge and next thing you know you’re tailgating them like a NASCAR driver at Fontana trying to get a slingshot off the bank. Then they hit the brakes … "screech-crash-bang" … there goes your platinum rating with the insurance company. What if an on-board emotion detection system could tell that you were getting annoyed and intervene? PSA Peugeot Citroen has teamed up with the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology to develop an emotion detection system designed to recognize signs of irritation and fatigue in a driver’s facial expressions.  Read More

Real-time data about slippery patches on the road is used to warn nearby vehicles nearby

Volvo has a history of shaping many safety features we take for granted today, regardless of what brand of car we drive. From the first introduction of the safety cage in 1944 and pioneering laminated windshields that same year, Volvo has always prided itself as a safety trailblazer. Now the Swedish automotive company is further developing its cloud-based infotainment system as part of a safety-focused pilot project.  Read More

A schematic of the Ko-TAG system in use

As some readers may already know, Volvo recently developed a system that uses an in-vehicle radar system to alert drivers to the presence of pedestrians and cyclists on the road in front of them. Now, Germany's Technische Universitaet Muenchen has come up with a system of its own, that can even detect pedestrians that aren't within line of sight of the car.  Read More

The SEIL LED grid signaling system installed in a bag

Cyclists wanting to notify other road users of stopping or turning intentions can use their arms, but it's not always convenient or safe to do so. Bike-based blinking technology like the Spooklight system is a good way to go, but having to detach and carry your lights between rides to keep them out of the hands of opportunist thieves can be a bit of a pain. A sleeker idea would be to integrate a wirelessly-controlled lighting system into your backpack? That's precisely what SEIL from Myung Su Lee does. Bright directional arrows, stopping signals or custom animated text messages shine through the fabric at the back of the bag at the press of a button on a bar-mounted wireless controller.  Read More

An Intelligent Transport System being developed at La Trobe University is aimed at prevent...

In the quest for smarter and safer transportation networks, automakers have been working on communication systems that use wireless technologies to share information between vehicles and infrastructure, such as traffic lights, road works, intersections and stop signs. The potential applications of these vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) and vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) systems are constantly being expanded, and while GM has been working to bring cyclists and pedestrians into the mix, a team from La Trobe University in Melbourne, Australia, is looking to improve safety at railway crossings by developing a system that enables communication between trains and road vehicles.  Read More

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