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Safety

VTTI researchers demonstrate connected-vehicle technology on the Northern Virginia Connect...

An important element to the notion of self-driving cars is that they are able to communicate between each other and surrounding infrastructure. While automotive manufacturers have begun to explore this technology and even banded together to hasten its emergence, the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute has been quietly working toward a similar goal. With the an award of US$1 million in funding courtesy of the US Department of Transportation, its researchers hope to develop a framework to facilitate a safe future for autonomous vehicles.  Read More

The Vaco12 tech uses bead-filled pods to dissipate impact forces

Hard plastic-coated foam is the traditional recipe for bicycle helmet design, but we've seen designers experimenting with new ways of protecting the rider's noggin. Inflatable and cardboard helmets are just two recent examples, but German company Rockwell has another idea: bean bags.  Read More

The Fly6 HD camera and tail light

The behavior of drivers at junctions monitored by cameras or on stretches of road under the ever watchful gaze of a radar can be very different to those without. Keen cyclists Andrew Hagen and Kingsley Fiegert from Perth in western Australia are on a mission to give fellow riders the same kind of power. They've designed a rear cycle light named the Fly6 that's capable of recording everything that goes on behind, the theory being that if drivers think there's a camera pointed at them, they'll give cyclists more space and show more courtesy.  Read More

The Parasol system uses passive radar sensors and mathematical algorithms to determine if ...

With aspirations to claim 80 percent of its power from renewable sources by the 2050, it follows that Germany is taking a proactive approach to its clean energy transformation. Wind farms, while set to play an important part in achieving this goal, often meet impassioned opposition from disgruntled neighbors piqued by their perpetually blinking beacons. In an effort to address this issue, researchers have developed a sensor system for wind turbines which detects nearby aircraft, switching on a beacon warning system only as they approach.  Read More

Yu Wang and Katie Zhong, with their gum-inspired electrolyte

Although high-capacity lithium batteries make many of today's mobile electronics possible, they do have one flaw – they occasionally catch fire. This can happen when they overheat, and their liquid acid electrolyte ignites and leaks out. Now, however, scientists at Washington State University have created a gummy electrolyte material that could make such fires a thing of the past.  Read More

The Galileo-SmartLVS hardware (prototype pictured) coupled with the LawinenFon app transfo...

In October of last year, the Canadian Avalanche Centre (CAC) issued a warning about the dangers of relying on smartphone apps that were being marketed as economical alternatives to avalanche transceivers. But a new smartphone app and add-on hardware component could provide an alternative that is not only cheaper than dedicated avalanche transceivers, but also provides additional functionality.  Read More

By offering substantial rewards for technological solutions to gun safety, the Smart Tech ...

While legislative solutions to curbing gun violence in the US continue to meet fervent opposition, the Smart Tech Foundation, formed to incentivize free-market solutions to firearm safety, aims to take a different route. Through its Smart Tech for Firearms Challenge, it believes circumventing the political debate and fostering innovation in smart gun technology is a viable way to move toward a safer society.  Read More

A schematic of the Ko-TAG system in use

As some readers may already know, Volvo recently developed a system that uses an in-vehicle radar system to alert drivers to the presence of pedestrians and cyclists on the road in front of them. Now, Germany's Technische Universitaet Muenchen has come up with a system of its own, that can even detect pedestrians that aren't within line of sight of the car.  Read More

The Kurio Phone is made for kids – and their parents

KD Interactive recently made the headlines with the debut of its latest child-friendly tablet, the Kurio 7x 4G LTE. The company is now taking on the smartphone market with the launch of the Kurio Phone. It's a high-tech android smartphone designed solely for kids that incorporates enough parental controls and special features, the company claims, to allay any concerns parents might have about its use.  Read More

The carbon nanotube coating (inset), applied to polyurethane foam (Image: Kim/NIST)

Your furniture could kill you. According to the US National Fire Protection Association, nearly 20 percent of home fire deaths between 2006 and 2010 occurred in fires where upholstered furniture was the first item to ignite. It's actually not so much the exterior fabric that burns, as it is the foam beneath it. With that in mind, scientists at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have used carbon nanotubes to create a coating for that foam, that reduces its flammability by 35 percent.  Read More

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