safety

Hollywood battles bikers over shot-stealing cycle lane

Hollywood battles bikers over shot-stealing cycle lane

Hollywood heavyweights are at war with a bike lane, though the movie industry isn't anti-cyclist, only at the color the path has been painted. The lane - which runs a 12-block length of Historic Core, California - was painted lurid green less than two years ago, The Hollywood Reporter writes, in the process allegedly ruining the area's potential as a convenient New York City stand-in for film crews. They want the paint changed to match the Big Apple, something cycling lobbyists say will end up being dangerous.

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Mercedes Car-to-X due this year to make cars talk between themselves

Mercedes Car-to-X due this year to make cars talk between themselves

Mercedes aims to have its cars talking with each other and warning drivers of potential hazards ahead by the end of the year, with the company the first to deliver Car-to-X wireless to its range. Described as giving drivers the ability to "see around corners", Car-to-X allows vehicles to send out localized warnings and notifications about crashes, broken-down vehicles, police cars, animals in the road, and other potential perils, flashing up an alert on any other suitably-equipped car nearby.

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Tesla Model S recall after rear seat crash risk spotted

Tesla Model S recall after rear seat crash risk spotted

Tesla has announced a partial recall of the Model S electric car, after the discovery of a shortcoming in how the rear seats are fixed to the EV's body. The issue - which Tesla is at pains to point out has not actually resulted in any reported problems or injuries - could leave the left-hand rear seat back less than adequately retained should the Model S driver have a crash, and needs to be reinforced.

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Chrysler recalls 2.7 million Jeep Grand Cherokees and Libertys after initial refusal

Chrysler recalls 2.7 million Jeep Grand Cherokees and Libertys after initial refusal

On June 4, Chrysler caught public attention by refusing to recall 2.7 million Jeep Grand Cherokees and Jeep Libertys after the NHTSA requested the auto maker issue a recall over potential fires in rear-end collisions. Chrysler refused, stating that the NHTSA's conclusions were "based on an incomplete analysis" of the information. The manufacturer was given until today to make a decision, and rather than face possible court time and bad PR, it had elected to recall the Jeeps.

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Ford bringing back buttons after touchscreen distraction fears

Ford bringing back buttons after touchscreen distraction fears

Ford plans to restore buttons and knobs to its high-tech dashboards, after drivers complained that touchscreen-centric infotainment systems made common tasks like adjusting volume demand too much attention. The car company still maintains that its SYNC and MyFord Touch systems, which see increasingly large LCD displays take center-stage in the dashboard, are popular among drivers, with 79-percent of new 2013 cars sold featuring the systems. However, as of the 2014 F-150, the finger-friendly - but potentially distracting - panels will be rejoined by more traditional controls.

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Cars must block or badger texting drivers says NHTSA safety researcher

Cars must block or badger texting drivers says NHTSA safety researcher

Motorists refusing to give up texting while driving could force more draconian in-car technology that could block all but basic voice functionality, US vehicle safety regulators have warned, after concerns that in-car distractions aren't being taken seriously. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) laid out its goals for cutting the amount of time drivers aren't watching the road earlier this year, but the agency's associate administrator for vehicle safety research has raised concerns that drivers simply won't comply with guidelines - one proposal for which suggests all phones should be paired with an in-car "nanny" system that would selectively allow certain functionality - and must be forced into safer behaviors instead.

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Self-driving cars might demand new license tests for drivers

Self-driving cars might demand new license tests for drivers

Owners of self-driving cars may have to undergo extra testing in order to "upgrade" their license to handle the next-gen vehicles, the NHTSA has suggested. Tentative enthusiasm for self-driving cars by the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration comes with the possibility of more stringent drivers license testing, with the new challenges of safely interacting with autopilot systems deemed sufficiently novel that the existing test would be insufficient.

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Mobileye wants self-driving cars by 2016 at a fraction of Google’s costs

Mobileye wants self-driving cars by 2016 at a fraction of Google’s costs

Self-driving cars could be on the roads by 2016, specialist Mobileye Vision claims, though don't expect the full autonomy of a Google driverless car unless you have a very deep wallet. The company is readying a camera-based system which relies on a few hundred dollars of components, rather than the tens of thousands of dollars Google pays for each of the lidar sensing arrays atop its own test vehicles, though as The NYTimes discovered it doesn't add up to quite the same relaxing, hands-off ride.

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