It’s important to draw attention to the threat posed by distracted driving. When your mind is taken away from the road by a text message or a phone call, you’re unable to react to changes in driving conditions as fast as you otherwise would be able to, and the door is thus left open to a potential accident. But how do you limit distracted driving when the vehicle itself poses a distraction?
Apple and Volkswagen have partnered for a new automobile known as the iBeetle, but it remains to be seen whether this type of vehicle will increase safety or increase distraction.
After all, some of the functions offered by the iBeetle could arguably disable distractions. By plugging an iPhone into a docking station, a user gains access to all those things already in place on an iPhone. That includes hands-free calling and texting, navigation instructions, and more. A tool called Expert allows one to monitor such things as oil and coolant temperatures in the engine, which could also improve safety.
But could certain other functions actually increase distracted driving? After all, if a person is paying more attention to their iPhone, they are arguably paying less heed to the road, even if the phone is plugged into a dashboard. Apps like Reader, which reads aloud social media posts to the driver, will necessarily take one’s mind off the road, even if their eyes remain facing forward.
The iBeetle will reportedly roll out next year. In the meantime, interested persons can catch their first glimpse at this week’s Shanghai Auto Show or by clicking here.
A new article investigates the possible safety dangers associated with keyless ignition systems. The case of a Missouri woman whose car went out of control possibly due to the malfunction of the keyless ignition is also observed and analyzed. The increased scrutiny has caused some safety officials to question whether keyless ignition systems are themselves dangerous or if they’re only dangerous due to the lack of familiarity of the system by the driver.
Click here for more information.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has ruled that vehicle event data recorders popularly known as black boxes will have to display standardized information. Experts believe that the ruling could mean we’re not far away from a future ruling mandating such devices in new vehicles. The ruling takes effect at the beginning of October. Privacy advocates fear that the information may be used against drivers involved in crashes.
Click here to learn more about this ruling.
Keeping distracted drivers safe is the goal of the new Vehicle to Vehicle technology. The author of a report about the testing of such technology in Ann Arbor got to take a ride in a luxury car, although other types of cars can be outfitted as well. Equipped with V2V, the car alerts the driver with a noise and a dashboard light that they need to brake before they hit another car. It can also sense cars in the driver’s blind spot. Simulation courses are already training drivers while the final refinements are being made to the devices.
Click here to learn more about this technology.
Vehicle systems that detect pedestrians are becoming increasingly common. Euro NCAP is going to start taking into account a car’s ability to avoid pedestrian injuries when calculating their ratings, giving automakers an added incentive to install such detection technology. Continental’s tech utilizes a camera to prevent collisions, Volvo uses cameras and infrared sensors, and General Motors is developing a technology that would allow a car to communicate directly with a pedestrian’s smartphone.
To learn more about this technology, click here.
New vehicle safety technology is being tested in Frankfurt, Germany. The device aims to allow cars to relay information between each other in order to promote road safety and ease congestion along busy thoroughfares. The project will involve 120 cars equipped with technology called “car-to-x”. Other commodities in the new technology include brake lights optimized for advising drivers in the rear to a sudden stoppage.
Click here to learn more about this trial run.
The Mazda CX-5 has been awarded the top safety pick award from NCAP for the technologies it has placed inside. The European Car Safety Council was so impressed with Mazda’s air braking technology that they want it to become a standard in cars across Europe by 2014. The car utilizes technology to determine if an obstruction is in close proximity to the car, and simultaneously cuts the fuel and applies the brakes automatically if a threat is sensed.
Click here for more about the vehicle.
Safe Pick is a tool a consumer can use to pick a safer used car based on their budget and taste in automobile. Two cars on the safety rankings list are the Volvo S40 of the 1997 through 2004 model years and the Honda Accord of the 2003 through 2007 model years. The New Zealand Automobile Association recommends newer model used cars. Look for a strong steel body, airbags, and seat belts with sensor technology.
For more information, click here.
The Chief Executive of the Australian New Car Assessment Program has given a big endorsement to Automated Emergency Braking systems, going so far as to call such technology vehicle safety’s next big thing. He thinks that yearly fatalities would decrease by a quarter, leading to 250 less fatalities in the country per year with mandatory usage. The Head of the Pedestrian Council of Australia has gone so far as to petition the government to make such systems mandatory, but such a move has not yet gained favor with officials.
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In response to rising insurance costs and serious road accidents, motorists in London reportedly want car manufacturers to start installing new in-car safety technology. In a poll, many motorists reported wanting in-car blood alcohol level detectors and cameras to provide recorded evidence in the event of a crash. Others would also like to see satellite navigation moved up higher and an increase in voice-activated controls. Car Loan 4U, who commissioned the research, says one of the main problems with adding more technology to vehicles is making sure it is easy enough for most people to understand and use.
Click here to find out more about the survey.