safety

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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US safety regulators want voluntary limits on touchscreens in cars

US safety regulators want voluntary limits on touchscreens in cars

Traffic safety regulators in the United States are calling for automakers to voluntarily limit the usability of touchscreens inside of vehicles. The safety regulators believe that putting limits on how long drivers can use touchscreens inside their cars can help reduce distracted driving. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration released its voluntary guidelines this week.

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Honda announces new City-Brake safety system

Honda announces new City-Brake safety system

One of the most common situations for drivers to have accidents is in low-speed traffic within a city. Drivers become distracted and before you know it rear end collisions happen. A number of automakers around the world have been introducing systems to improve safety and help prevent rear end collisions. Ford has offered this sort of system on some of its vehicles for a while that activates flashing lights, an audible alarm, and then hits the brakes if needed.

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GM recalls 33,700 cars over gearbox glitch danger

GM recalls 33,700 cars over gearbox glitch danger

A fault which could see Buick and Cadillac cars switch unexpectedly to Sport transmission mode has forced General Motors to recall almost 34,000 sedans and crossovers, the automaker has revealed. The software glitch, affecting the 2013 Buick LaCrosse and 2013 Cadillac SRX, will inconvenience drivers in the US, Canada, Mexico, China, and the Middle East, and require a swift reprogramming in order to fix it.

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Danger Dodge: Put 2013 Challenger in park warns Chrysler

Danger Dodge: Put 2013 Challenger in park warns Chrysler

Chrysler has warned owners of 2013 Dodge Challenger models running V6 engines to park up their cars and avoid driving them, after a potential fire hazard that has already caused multiple incidents forced a recall. Seven accidents are currently known about, where the wire harness in 2013 model year cars with the V6 power plant can overheat; however, Chrysler says it is unaware of any injuries as a result, and almost half of the affected Challengers haven't even been sold yet.

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Insurance Institute for Highway Safety releases report on big-rig rear crashes

Insurance Institute for Highway Safety releases report on big-rig rear crashes

Crashes with big rig trucks are one of the worst crashes a driver can be in, especially if they happen to be in a low car that can underride the semi. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has released a video showing that while the measures that have been taken to prevent compact cars from sliding under the truck in a rear-end crash are somewhat effective, more needs to be done to help keep drivers safe.

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