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Nitrogen oxides emitted from car exhausts can lead to acid rain, smog and damage to respir...

Although much of the focus of pollution from automobiles centers on carbon emissions, there are other airborne nasties spewing from the tailpipes of fossil fuel-powered vehicles. These include nitrogen oxides (NOx). In the form of nitrogen dioxide it reacts with chemicals produced by sunlight to form nitric acid – a major constituent of acid rain – and also reacts with sunlight, leading to the formation of ozone and smog. Everyone is exposed to small amounts of nitrogen oxides in ambient air, but exposure to higher amounts, in areas of heavy traffic for example, can damage respiratory airways. Testing has shown that surfacing roads with air purifying concrete could make a big contribution to local air purity by reducing the concentration of nitrogen oxides by 25 to 45 percent.  Read More

Audi's travolution project sets up a dialogue between vehicles and traffic lights

Traffic lights are an essential part of keeping chaos at bay on our city streets, but the idea didn't exactly get off to a flying start. The first gas-lit traffic light appeared outside the British Houses of Parliament in London in December 1868 but exploded two months later (which was bad news for the policeman operating it) and when the first electric lights appeared in the U.S. in 1912, apparently no-one wanted to stop for a “flashing bird house.” Gradually the technology improved and interconnected lights that could be automatically rather than manually controlled appeared in the 1920s. Now we could be seeing another great leap forward - traffic lights that talk to cars. That's the basis of Audi's travolution project which sets up a dialogue between vehicles and traffic lights in order to keep traffic flowing, save fuel, reduce emissions and possibly help keep drivers saner in the process.  Read More

Road trains promise safe and efficient travel

Is there anything more monotonous than being stuck in a long line of traffic when you still have miles to go before your reach your destination? Wouldn’t it be great if you could relax and let somebody else do all the hard work? Well if all goes well with a European research project, that possibility might just become a reality. The Safe Road Trains for the Environment (SARTRE) project will look at linking a series of vehicles in a road train, controlled by a lead vehicle, with communication occurring via wireless sensors.  Read More

Street View, regular and satellite View - Google Maps Navigation does them all

Every platform needs a killer app and for the Android OS the early contender for that title has to be the just announced Google Maps Navigation for mobile. Only available for Android 2.0 phones, the new application takes the current Google Maps for mobile and gives it a hefty shot of steroids. Most of the new features that set the app apart from most in-car turn-by-turn navigation systems come courtesy of its Internet connectivity, which makes it possible to access a wealth of relevant information residing on Google’s servers while out and about.  Read More

The Dosun J-1 LED safety pedal, helps you to be seen from all directions

Taiwan's Dosun Solar Technology has added a flashing LED bike pedal to its range of safety lighting gadgets. As well as sporting the familiar orange reflective plastic strips on the front and back, each outer corner of the J-1 Pedal Light holds four bright LEDs which start to flash when the rider begins to pedal.  Read More

The original MotionPower prototype undergoing testing at a Burger King drive-thru

Apparently, the ongoing testing of the MotionPower system for generating electricity from the movement of cars and light trucks - as reported here previously - is paying dividends. New Energy, the company developing the technology, reports it can produce a 25-fold increase in the system’s capacity to capture kinetic energy from moving vehicles, bringing the commercialization of the MotionPower system another step closer to reality.  Read More

The Mercedes Benz Smart Stop technology allows intersections and vehicles to communicate
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Taking driver-assist technology to the next level is the “Smart Stop” system currently in development by Mercedes Benz. The wireless safety system, which allows intersections to communicate with vehicles, would automatically cause a car to stop at a red light should a driver fail to heed it.  Read More

The Nissan EPORO concept robots are programmed to move like a school of fish

Taking its cue from under the sea, Nissan has revealed the latest offering in its ongoing Safety Shield line of research and development, aimed at making our roads and vehicles safer and smarter. Programmed to think and move like a school of fish, Nissan’s EPORO robot car prototypes move in unison as a group while communicating to avoid collision.  Read More

Researchers have found that traffic pollution levels change dramatically within small geog...

Low emission vehicles, such as the Toyota Prius, promise to dramatically cut levels of noxious fumes on city streets. But, until such vehicles start to dominate the roads, people still have to cope with what spews forth from the tailpipes of their fossil fuel-powered cousins. However, researchers have recently found that pedestrians may be able to reduce the amount of traffic pollution they breathe in simply by crossing the street.  Read More

The DRIVSCO system learns from driver's good behavior and recognizes changes in driving pa...

Scientists from six European countries have collaborated to develop a new computer system that enables vehicles to recognize their drivers’ normal behavior and therefore avoid accidents caused by unusual behavior. The DRIVSCO system detects the anomalies, often caused by inattention or poor visibility, and signals an alarm that warns drivers to beware early enough to give them time to react.  Read More

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