Highlights from the 2014 LA Auto Show

Safety

The Van Gogh-Roosegaarde cycle path glows in the dark to shows cyclists the way

Cycling can be a precarious activity, especially in the dark. A new cycle path designed by Studio Roosegaarde, however, aims to make cycling in the dark a touch safer, whilst introducing an artistic element. The Van Gogh-Roosegaarde in Eindhoven glows in the dark to show cyclists the way.  Read More

The Robot Positioning System allows the Baxter robot to work in a human/robot mixed enviro...

The robotic revolution is very often less about replacing human workers than finding ways of working alongside them. That means being as flexible at doing tasks as humans, as well as being able to work with all the jostling and chaos that people take for granted. Rethink Robotics’ new Robot Positioning System lets the Baxter robot do factory work without being bolted to the floor, adjusting itself as it endures random bumps.  Read More

Researchers have developed a coating that prevents a battery from conducting electricity w...

It can be a herculean task to get kids to eat their vegetables, but they'll happily chow down on things they aren't supposed to. If one of those things is a button battery, serious injuries can result in the form of burns to the esophagus or tears in the digestive tract. Researchers may not have found a way to stop kids swallowing button batteries, but they have found a way to make such culinary no-nos safer.  Read More

Will the crash of SpaceShipTwo put and end to space tourism before it begins? (Image: NTSB...

With the crash of Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo within four days of Orbital Science’s Antares/Cygnus spacecraft exploding on the launch pad, it’s been a bad week for commercial spaceflight in general and space tourism in particular. Even though the investigations into the SpaceShipTwo incident are only beginning, there are those who already claim that Sir Richard Branson’s dream of sending tourists on suborbital flights into space is as dead as the Hindenburg. But is it?  Read More

From tip to tail the Impala stretches 16.7 ft (5.1 m), making it as long or longer than mo...

The long-tailed classic that is Chevrolet’s Impala has gone through many iterations since it was introduced in the late 1950s – some good, some excessively bland. The redesigned 2015 Impala LTZ is in the former camp and after 10 days of driving I was pleasantly surprised at how well Chevy has executed the overall package.  Read More

Visteon's HMeye 'cockpit of the future'

We've already seen eye-tracking systems being used to control things like laptops and TVs, but ... cars? Well, the Visteon Corporation isn't suggesting that we use our eyes to steer our cars. At least, not yet. Its HMeye cockpit concept, however, is designed to show how such technology could be used to help drivers keep their attention on the road.  Read More

The Velov's four panels can be put on or taken off, depending on how cold it is outside

Although fair-weather cyclists may consistently appreciate the ventilation openings in most bike helmets, riders who brave the cold aren't always so keen on them. One solution is to cover those holes using a shower cap-like helmet cover, but Italy's Limar offers an alternative. Its Velov helmet has air flow-blocking panels that can be installed or removed as needed.  Read More

A conventional fire shelter after exposure to the heat of a forest fire (left) as compared...

Last June, a wildfire near Yarnell, Arizona overtook and killed 19 firefighters – even though they had set up fireproof shelters. This inspired Phoenix-based SunSeeker Enterprises to develop a shelter that's better able to withstand the high heat of forest fires. Utilizing a material licensed from NASA to protect the Space Shuttle on re-entry, the Fire Blanket is the result.  Read More

The use of UV light, special blue-light polymers and a clever safety trigger could make th...

Startup company Future Make 3D is developing the Polyes Q1, a 3D pen with a slew of safety features that aims to make it fun and safe for everyone – children included – to sketch out three-dimensional sculptures made of plastic. The cordless, USB-charged pen will come with standard, glow-in-the-dark, transparent and temperature-changing inks and is set to hit Kickstarter sometime next month.  Read More

Motorcycle lane splitting: faster and safer for riders, plus it makes the journey quicker ...

Recent research has confirmed what many motorcycle riders have known for years. "Lane splitting" – or riding in between lanes of traffic – obviously saves riders a lot of time, but it's also considerably safer than sitting in traffic and acting like a car, as long as it’s done within certain guidelines, and contrary to what many drivers think, it actually speeds up traffic for everyone else on the road. Riders, please pass this information on to the drivers in your lives.  Read More

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