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Road Safety

The relationship between cyclists and motorists can be a tense, frankly unpleasant aspect of the morning commute, but a new invention by Seattle-based company Artefact (or more specifically its incubation program, Startefact) is aiming to patch things up and hopefully save some lives in the process. BrakePack is an LED-fitted smart backpack designed to make cyclists more visible to motorists, while signalling their intentions.

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BMW Motorrad and Alpinestars have just launched an exclusive partnership to develop airbag safety clothing. The first product from the pairing will be a motorcycle jacket equipped with an airbag waistcoat based on Alpinestars' Tech-Air airbag technology.

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Volvo is a company known primarily for two things: safety and cars that look like the crate they're shipped in. The company may have lost the boxy image years ago, but it has never lost its dedication to safety. At the forefront of a raft of safety trends and developments for decades, Volvo recently announced that it is escalating its ongoing project allowing cars to share information about road conditions. Read More
Last week's Wearable Technologies Conference in Munich showcased the future of cutting edge wearable design. While much of the exhibitor area was dedicated to usual suspects like performance-tracking sensors and wearable cameras, there was one design that immediately stood out. Still just a rough concept in need of partners, the i Gel protective system proposes a full-body airbag suit for protecting motorcyclists, bikers, skiers, and other hobbyists and professionals. Read More
Drivers on a road in the Netherlands are now being guided by glow-in-the-dark road markings. The N329 in Oss is being used to pilot the concept, which is part of the Smart Highway project by construction firm Heijmans and design firm Studio Roosegaarde. Glowing Lines is aimed at increasing visibility and safety. Read More
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

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

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 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
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
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