Good Thinking

Rail power could light up rural crossings

While city dwellers may be used to railway crossings marked with flashing red lights, the easier-to-miss warnings at rural crossings often just consist of a sign. That's because there's no easy way of providing electricity to such isolated locations. While solar panels could provide part of the solution, a team of engineering students and faculty at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln believe that photovoltaics alone can't consistently provide enough power. Instead, they devised several systems that harness power from the rails themselves.Read More


RECCO streamlines helicopter search and rescue

RECCO is well known within skiing and snowboarding circles. For decades, the Swedish company has been supplying ski patrols and rescue agencies with an avalanche rescue system that helps locate buried victims. It is now working on a more versatile, year-round system designed to make helicopter-based search and rescue faster and more efficient.Read More


Ford's smart lighting technology spots potential hazards

There are some incredible technological strides being made to improve road safety, but the key to avoiding accidents remains the same: seeing what's ahead. Unfortunately, avoiding potentially dangerous situations before they pose a threat can be difficult on well sighted roads during the day, let alone at unlit junctions after the sun sets. To try and give drivers a better chance of avoiding hazards, Ford is developing headlight technology that widens the beam at junctions and detects pedestrians and animals.Read More

Health & Wellbeing

Is a breath test for marijuana nothing but a pipe dream?

Difficulties in testing for THC mean that curbing cannabis use amongst drivers hasn't been all that straightforward. Though marijuana use can be detected in the saliva for up to 24 hours after use, it can show up in blood and urine samples for anywhere up to a month. Existing methods like blood and urine samples therefore make it hard to determine whether a driver is actually impaired at the time that they jump behind the wheel. But companies like Canada's Cannabix are working on portable breathalyzers designed to test exclusively for recent use of the drug, a solution that could be of great assistance to law enforcement personnel in keeping impaired drivers off the road.Read More


Mercedes to pack greater semi-autonomy into upcoming E-Class

In the push to lower the road toll and make life easier for drivers, auto manufacturers are packing more and more semi-autonomous features into their cars. When it comes time to launch the new E-Class, Mercedes is hoping to be ahead of the curve by offering up a range of comfort- and safety-oriented semi-autonomous features in its new driver assistance package that do everything from help the driver steer in dangerous situations, to protect occupants' hearing in the event of a crash.Read More


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