Highlights from the 2014 LA Auto Show

Safety

Xenex's robots us UV radiation to kill Ebola viruses

Dealing with highly infectious diseases like Ebola is often like a logic problem. Disinfecting rooms is hard enough, but what about protective suits? True, they greatly reduce the chances of infection, but getting them off can bring the risk straight back again if the suit isn't decontaminated first. Xenex has created protocols that conform to those of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for its a line of robots that use UV lamps that to decontaminate hospital rooms and protective clothing exposed to the Ebola virus.  Read More

Orfos' Flare lights are made to be seen

When it comes to bike lights for commuting, there's one thing you have to remember ... they're needed more for being seen than for seeing the road. With that in mind, many head- and tail lights are designed not just to cast beams in front of and behind the bike, but to be seen from all directions. Seattle-based Orfos' Flare lights appear to do a particularly good job in that department, plus they feature a unique mounting system.  Read More

If the FITGuard glows green, the player should be OK

It's an ongoing problem within sports such as football and hockey ... players receive a severe blow to the head, yet they either don't realize that they've got a concussion, or they don't want to tell anyone so that they can keep playing. While there are already some helmet-mounted devices that detect and report such impacts, Force Impact Technologies' FITGuard is built into a mouthpiece – which the company claims is a better approach to take.  Read More

Project 360° is developing a system for integrating data from a suite of onboard sensors

Driver assistance technologies are becoming more common and more sophisticated with each passing year, but despite this, their function is still to reduce accidents rather than eliminate them – at least, for now. Volvo's project 360° is going the whole hog with a new technology that the Swedish car maker believes has the potential to eliminate deaths and injuries by a Volvo car or truck by 2020.  Read More

Whistl is designed to protect against sexual or other violent crimes

Whistl is an iPhone case that’s designed to add a layer of extra protection to the user’s daily routine. The accessory feeds off the linked smartphone’s battery, and offers three different modes that let the user quickly get in touch with friends and the authorities, as well as emit a bright strobe light and 120 dB alarm.  Read More

The non-blinding Double O headlight

As bicycle headlights continue to get brighter, a certain problem is starting to occur – they can actually be too bright, blinding oncoming drivers and cyclists. Lessening their output isn't a particularly appealing solution, so British designer Paul Cocksedge came up with an alternative. His Double O lights distribute the individual LEDs out around a ring, instead of concentrating them in a searing cluster. The lights also offer a few other handy features.  Read More

The new Direct Vision truck cab is designed to reduce blind spots

A UK team at Loughborough University is proposing a new cab design for lorries that would offer drivers a better view of the road around them, thus potentially saving the lives of pedestrians and cyclists. According to the researchers, the redesign of the cab could offer a 50-percent increase in front and side field of view, compared to traditional cabs.  Read More

A cut-away view of a car door with the Slamstop device installed

At some point or another, you've probably half-heartedly swung your car's passenger door closed, only to see the "door ajar" light come on once you're on the road. In some cases, this can even result in the door swinging open while driving. Slamming the doors shut is one option, although Slamstop is designed to be a quieter alternative.  Read More

Smart's Dancing Traffic Light aimed to capture the attention of pedestrians and incentiviz...

Pedestrians will often ignore the "red man" at pedestrian lights in order to cross the road sooner. Unfortunately, this leads to accidents. Car manufacturer Smart created an experiment to see if it could improve safety at traffic lights by incentivizing pedestrians to wait for the green man.  Read More

The B-Class Electric Drive draws on Mercedes' experience with the SLS Electric Drive

Mercedes has given its B-Class a midlife upgrade with a range of more efficient engines, including electric and natural gas options, along with small styling tweaks and an updated infotainment system.  Read More

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