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— Automotive

Ford to lighten the steering load with Adaptive Steering system

By - June 5, 2014 3 Pictures
While power steering has made it possible to drive around without giving yourself an exhausting upper body workout, the steering ratio of most vehicles – that is, the number of turns of the steering wheel required to turn the front wheels a certain amount – is fixed. Ford is shaking things up for non-luxury car buyers with its new Adaptive Steering system that will be available on select models from next year. Read More
— Automotive

Steering wheel system could detect driver fatigue on the cheap

By - April 24, 2014 1 Picture
Driver drowsiness is a major cause of accidents, so it's not surprising that a variety of technologies have been developed for its detection. Most of these systems require the use of prominent hardware such as eye-tracking cameras, reactive testing devices, or even Google Glass. A team from Washington State University Spokane, however, has developed a system that detects drowsy drivers through inexpensive electronics that monitor movement of the steering wheel. Read More
— Automotive

Student-designed SMARTwheel aims to make driving safer

By - March 8, 2013 3 Pictures
Driving safely requires that both hands remain firmly on the steering wheel, but some people find the temptation to use their smartphone at the wheel all too enticing, often resulting in road accidents. To combat this, a group of students has come up with SMARTwheel: an aftermarket steering wheel cover that detects when drivers are engaging in unsafe activities like texting while driving, and provides sonic and visual alerts to refocus their attention. Read More
— Automotive

Experimental EV has four independently-actuated wheels

By - January 24, 2013 1 Picture
As any fan of electric cars will tell you, one of the keys to improving their range is getting their weight down. With that in mind, a team of researchers from Ohio State University are currently developing an EV that they claim weighs half as much as a conventional car. Because it’s so light, handling is definitely an issue – that’s why each of its wheels is independently controlled, and contains its own motor and battery pack. Read More
— Automotive

2014 Infiniti Q50 sedan features drive-by-wire steering

By - January 15, 2013 8 Pictures
Fly-by-wire systems are the sort of thing we associate with aircraft and space shuttles, but they’re now moving into the automotive world. This week at a press conference at the 2013 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS), Infiniti unveiled its Q50 luxury sports sedan. Based on the Infiniti Essence concept, this is the first production car to feature drive-by-wire steering instead of conventional mechanical and hydraulic linkages. Read More
— Automotive

BMW M Performance steering wheel puts driving data at your fingertips

By - November 12, 2012 5 Pictures
Taking a BMW M series car out on the track is an occasion for daydreaming that you're Michael Schumacher at the wheel of a Formula 1 racer. Unfortunately, the average BMW doesn’t come with a US$50,000 F1 steering wheel, making the illusion that bit harder to maintain. To help rectify this, BMW is offering a steering wheel with a touch of the racetrack as part of its M Performance accessories catalog. Read More
— Automotive

Folding, retractable steering wheel could make tiny cars roomier

By - June 30, 2011 1 Picture
As small, ultra fuel-efficient or electric cars become more popular as urban runabouts, automotive designers are looking for more ways to maximize their interior space. One possibility: get rid of the steering wheel. Of course, you need a steering wheel for driving, but the engineers at Michigan’s TRW Automotive are working on one that folds up and retracts into the dashboard when the vehicle is parked. They claim it would making getting in and out of the car considerably easier, particularly for elderly or disabled drivers. Read More
— Automotive

Thought-controlled car demonstrated

By - February 18, 2011 3 Pictures
Since its formation in 2006, Freie Universität Berlin’s AutoNOMOS team has been researching and developing systems that could someday result in driverless, autonomous cars. Previously, they have successfully used an iPhone, an iPad, and an eye-tracking device to maneuver their Volkswagen Passat MadeInGermany test car. Now, using a commercially-available Emotiv EPOC brain-machine gaming interface, they have demonstrated that the car can be controlled by mind power. Read More
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