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Safety

The SharkStopper PSR is worn on the ankle, and produces orca-like sounds

As regular viewers of a certain TV channel will already know, the orca (or killer whale) is one of the only animals that kills sharks. It would follow, therefore, that sharks generally try to stay away from them. It was with this fact in mind that the SharkStopper Personal Shark Repellent (PSR) device was created. The ankle-worn gadget emulates orca vocalizations, and has reportedly been shown to repel various species of sharks.  Read More

UAVs could someday be used to prevent bridge collapses, such as this one in Minneapolis  (...

When bridges are inspected for cracks and other defects that could lead to their collapse, engineers must either hang beneath those bridges on lines, or view them from elevated platforms. Whichever approach is used, a lot of setup is involved, and defects may get missed. In the future, however, unmanned aircraft may be able to more quickly and thoroughly check out bridges, working with wireless sensors built into the structures.  Read More

A mock-up of what the finished Intelligent Blinker may look like

As any serious bicycle commuter will tell you, it's important to let drivers know what you're doing by signaling your intention to turn. Needless to say, the more visible your hand signals are, the safer you should be. That's why a group of doctoral students at Switzerland's EPFL research institute created the Intelligent Blinker. It's a wrist bracelet that automatically starts flashing when the wearer raises their arm to signal.  Read More

Sainsbury's Mercedes-Benz Antos 1824L with 360 degree video technology.

According to the London Cycling Campaign, lorries are involved in over half of cyclist fatalities in Greater London, despite the fact that they make up only 5 percent of the traffic. Fortunately, UK supermarket chain Sainsbury’s may have an answer. The food giant has recently launched a lorry specifically designed with the safety of cyclists in mind.  Read More

The electric parking brake can assist in hill parking

If you've ever wondered why your car is acting sluggish and has a burning smell only to discover that you've forgotten to release the parking brake, take heart. Automotive supplier Continental is developing an Electric Parking Brake (EPB) for drum brakes that's designed to bring this functionality out of the luxury cars and into the economy segment. As well as opening up new possibilities for car designers, it may also be integrated into driver assist systems that can remove the brake as you touch the accelerator.  Read More

The Backtracker handlebar unit indicates the position of the cyclist (green LED at top) an...

Earlier this month, we first heard about a radar system for cyclists, known as the Backtracker. In a nutshell, it emits radar pulses to the rear of the bike, then warns the rider when it detects vehicles approaching from behind. Although it's not yet commercially available, I recently had the chance to try out a pre-production review unit. It definitely shows promise, but could perhaps use one tweak.  Read More

Volvo's XC90 will feature two 'world first' safety features

Volvo has already been bragging about how the XC90 will be the world's cleanest and most powerful SUV. Now it is touting the all-wheel drive, seven-seater's safety features, which will include an auto brake at intersections function and a run-off road protection package – both of which Volvo claims are world firsts.  Read More

pd.id is a reusable electronic device designed to quickly determine if a drink has been sp...

Date rape drugs are often the substance of choice for perpetrators of sexual assaults, the effects of which leave the victim unable to defend themselves, not able to remember any of the events that ensued and – worse – not able to recall details of their attacker. In an effort to help people avoid such despicable acts, a group of designers has produced a miniature reusable electronic device that they claim will determine if a drink has been spiked.  Read More

Working on HARKEN in the lab – the finished version wouldn't include the extra chest strap...

It was just last week that we heard about how researchers from Nottingham Trent University are looking at embedding heart rate sensors in car seats, to detect when drivers are nodding off. Well, it turns out that they're not the only ones. A consortium of European companies and institutes is developing a similar system known as HARKEN, which uses seat-located sensors to monitor both the driver's heart rate and their rate of respiration.  Read More

BMW's HP4 is the first supersports bike to feature cornering ABS

When motorcycle ABS first came out, many riders (including myself) took a dim view of it - until we tried it, and realised just how incredible it was to be able to jam on the brakes fearlessly in the wet and on imperfect surfaces. But you still had to be careful putting the brakes on in a corner. Now, BMW has announced ABS Pro - the first lean angle-sensitive ABS system for a supersports bike, so road riders can brake safely, effectively and extremely quickly while the bike's leaned over.  Read More

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