Highlights from the 2014 LA Auto Show

Safety

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

Honda's booth at the ITS World Congress

Honda took the occasion of the 2014 ITS World Congress in Detroit to show off some of the company’s latest accomplishments in the field of intelligent transportation. The technologies on display are part of Honda’s goal of a "collision-free society" and "safety for everyone" through assisted driving systems that protect not only the car’s occupants, but pedestrians, cyclists, and others on the road.  Read More

Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class shown during a frontal crash test (Photo: Euro NCAP)

The new Mercedes-Benz GLA was the only vehicle to achieve the maximum 5 stars in Euro NCAP's latest safety ratings, scoring an impressive 96 percent for adult occupant protection, 88 percent for child occupant protection and 70 percent for safety assist.  Read More

The Riddell Speedflex, with its flexible hinged panel visible at the top

Although we may admire older cars' ability to "hold together" in a collision, it's now generally accepted that it's safer for vehicles to feature impact-absorbing crumple zones. With that in mind, shouldn't football helmets also be safer if they're able to give a little when whacked? That's what Riddell's new SpeedFlex helmet does ... along with a few other interesting things.  Read More

Vehicle-to-vehicle technology allows cars to communicate with one another – and with their...

Early this year, the US Department of Transportation’s (DoT) National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) announced that it would begin steps to enable vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) technology, in a bid to prevent accidents. Now, the NHTSA has come one step closer to making V2V a reality.  Read More

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

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