safety

iPad close to takeoff and landing approval

iPad close to takeoff and landing approval

Restrictions on using electronic devices during takeoff and landing could be lifted, after a regulatory committee told the FAA to loosen its guidelines on when gadgets like iPads, Kindles, and other hardware can be turned on. The recommendation by the Aviation Rulemaking Committee, which comes after a year-long investigation into the potential safety issues, is believed to include select smaller gadgets, while laptops and other larger hardware would still need to be stowed, albeit for physical reasons of potential crash danger, rather than because of whatever electrical signals they might give out.

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Crash-avoidance tech rated as safest “smart cars” named

Crash-avoidance tech rated as safest “smart cars” named

Independent testing on crash-avoidance systems has begun for the first time in the US, with the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) putting auto-braking and other technologies through their paces. The new program - which has started out testing 2013-14 model year midsize cars and SUVs - assigns one of three levels of performance to the systems it reviews, either basic, advanced, or superior. So far, out of 74 vehicles tested, the IIHS has found seven worthy of the top-tier superior rating.

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Toyota and Nissan announce recalls over rollaway risk and sensor issues

Toyota and Nissan announce recalls over rollaway risk and sensor issues

Both Toyota and Nissan have issued recalls for select models they offer, with Toyota recalling a tad under 700,000 Sienna minivans and Nissan recalling over 900,000 models. In Nissan's case, some of its cars are experiencing problems with an accelerator sensor that could fail, causing the car to stall. Toyota's Sienna minivans, meanwhile, have an issue with a shift lever making a rollaway situation possible.

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Attention-operated vehicle uses EPOC headset to detect distraction, shut down car

Attention-operated vehicle uses EPOC headset to detect distraction, shut down car

Distracted driving, whether due to cell phone usage or other reasons, is a major cause of car crashes and the related fallout both in the U.S. and abroad, something that has prompted the NHTSA to propose an in-car system to automatically block cell phones. The Royal Automobile Club of Western Australia, more commonly called RAW WA, has come up with a more novel solution involving a so called attention-operated car.

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Nissan promises self-driving cars for the masses by 2020

Nissan promises self-driving cars for the masses by 2020

Nissan has announced that they will have self-driving cars available by the year 2020. Or more specifically, that they will have "commercially-viable Autonomous Drive in multiple vehicles by the year 2020." Nissan has detailed plans to have availability across the model range within two vehicle generations and to launch a proving ground in Japan that will be dedicated to autonomous driving.

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Nissan Safety Shield upgrade makes Leaf EV self-driving

Nissan Safety Shield upgrade makes Leaf EV self-driving

Nissan has demonstrated a new version of its Safety Shield technology, adding 360-degree sensors to a custom Leaf EV that, with onboard AI, tease the company's ongoing work on autonomous, self-driving cars. Safety Shield, the first version of which will debut on production Nissans later this year, monitors activity around the car; in its new prototypes, shown off for the first time at Nissan 360, the Leaf adds to those senses with full camera coverage from every angle to track potential risks, pedestrians, other vehicles, and road signs.

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Apple USB Power Adapter Takeback Program settles safety snag with $10 swap

Apple USB Power Adapter Takeback Program settles safety snag with $10 swap

Apple has kicked off a power adapter exchange program, aiming to settle safety concerns about counterfeit or poorly-made third-party adapters by offering to switch them out for a $10 fee. The USB Power Adapter Takeback Program will run between August 16 and October 18, and allow anybody with "concerns" about the safety of an adapter they're using to exchange it for an official one in an Apple Store. The program follows recent claims that an iPhone user was killed after trying to use her handset while it was recharging.

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Google Glass faces driver-distraction ban in UK over safety fears

Google Glass faces driver-distraction ban in UK over safety fears

Google Glass is likely to face a ban for in-car use in the UK, with government regulators supposedly concerned that the wearable will be too distracting to drivers. The decision, still yet to be made official, could put use of Glass - which offers a driver navigation mode, among other features - in the same "careless driving" category as using a cellphone while behind the wheel, Stuff reports.

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Apple investigates iPhone 5 electrocution death claim in China

Apple investigates iPhone 5 electrocution death claim in China

Apple is investigating claims that an iPhone 5 owner was killed while answering a call, with Chinese police confirming the user, 23 year old Ma Ailun, was indeed electrocuted. The woman was charging the iPhone 5 at the time of the alleged incident, Chinese site Xinhuanet reports, and according to comments by her sister was killed by an electric charge through the handset. Apple has said it is cooperating fully with authorities, though declined to comment on any specifics.

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