safety

Land Rover develops tech to warn you and the city about potholes

Land Rover develops tech to warn you and the city about potholes

Land Rover has just unveiled its new technology that aims to not only help drivers avoid hitting potholes in the road, but help get them fixed. Sensors on a vehicle detect when it drives over a pothole, recording it with GPS location data, and then sending it to local road authorities who will hopefully go out and fix them, as well as other vehicles. The system can also recognize broken manhole covers, and other cars receiving the messages can warn their drivers in advance.

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NTSB wants collision avoidance tech to be a standard feature

NTSB wants collision avoidance tech to be a standard feature

Just as buyers don't pay extra for seatbelts, they shouldn't have to pay extra for collision avoidance systems either. This was the line of reasoning presented by the National Transportation Safety Board as it reiterated its position that such features should become standard in any modern car instead of an optional buy-in left at the discretion of consumers. In the NTSB's ideal situation, the US government would mandate all car makers to install such assistive technology, potentially decreasing chances of vehicular accident but also potentially increasing prices.

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Google reports self-driving car accident #12

Google reports self-driving car accident #12

Google has revealed that one of its self-driving cars has been involved in a vehicular accident, though it was not the fault of the autonomous car -- rather, a person-driven vehicle rear ended one of Google's self driving cars while it was stopped at a red light. Concerns about the safety of driverless cars has been around for a long time — far longer than current self-driving car efforts —- and some view incidents like this with a knee-jerk reaction. Still, of the driverless car incidents that have been reported, very few are the fault of the car itself.

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Uber hit with another harassment case in New Delhi

Uber hit with another harassment case in New Delhi

Another sexual harassment case involving Uber has surfaced in New Delhi, where a driver for the ridesharing service has been arrested for allegedly kissing a rider’s hand, then attempting to kiss her on the mouth, at which point she ran away. The driver who has been accused, Vinod Kumar, reportedly has been driving with Uber since May 4, and was arrested following a preliminary probe into the claims. According to an unnamed police official, the driver “is in police custody and” is being questioned about the matter.

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Live anthrax was accidentally shipped to Canada, too

Live anthrax was accidentally shipped to Canada, too

A few days ago the Department of Defense announced that a government lab located in Dugway, Utah had accidentally sent live anthrax to nine labs located throughout the United States, as well as a joint military lab in South Korea. Those numbers have since grown. The Department of Defense and Centers for Disease Control have been investigating the matter, and there was (and still is) no known risk to the general population. Now it has been revealed that three labs located in Canada also received live anthrax shipments.

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Volvo accident a case of mistaken autonomous identity

Volvo accident a case of mistaken autonomous identity

A combination of mistaken safety tech assumptions and over-confidence led to a failed "auto-parking" demonstration on the Volvo XC60, a car which doesn't even have such features fitted. The video, widely circulated and shown after the cut, is billed as a demonstration of the vehicle's driver assistance features for a crowd of spectators, who mistakenly expected the car to come to a halt on its own. Unfortunately, it seems the driver's assumptions about the car's behavior differed from what was actually programmed.

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Takata to declare 33.8 million cars defective over faulty airbags

Takata to declare 33.8 million cars defective over faulty airbags

The Takata faulty airbag saga has been a long and tragic one, with the defective components resulting in at least half a dozen deaths, dozens of injuries, and numerous recalls. The end is nowhere in sight, however. Today the manufacturer is declaring approximately 33.8 million vehicles defective, and as a result the United States will likely see its largest ever recall — not just automotive recall, mind you, but largest consumer product recall that has ever taken place. And frankly, it's about time.

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Google reprimanded for YouTube Kids app showing inappropriate content

Google reprimanded for YouTube Kids app showing inappropriate content

Google's recent mobile app, YouTube Kids, a version of the popular video service that curates safe content for young children, has come under fire from two child and consumer advocacy groups claiming that the app is deceiving. The Center for Digital Democracy and the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood filed a complaint with the FTC, stating that "the app is rife with videos that would not meet anyone’s definition of 'family friendly.'" The complaint included evidence of video clips that had been found on YouTube Kids that were described as disturbing and/or harmful to young children.

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Acura recalls cars after auto-brakes get distracted

Acura recalls cars after auto-brakes get distracted

A glitch in its semi-autonomous driving system is forcing Acura to recall almost 20k cars, because over-zealous safety systems might unexpectedly slam on the brakes. The luxury arm of Honda is promising drivers of the 2014-2015 MDX sedan and RLX SUV a software update that will make the optional Collision Mitigation Braking System (CMBS) a little less zealous, after finding that it could be confused by certain types of road furniture.

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Nissan, Toyota recall 6 million cars over Takata air bags

Nissan, Toyota recall 6 million cars over Takata air bags

The Takata air bags issue is still happening, and as of today both Nissan and Toyota have initiated a massive recall with a combined total of 6.56 million cars globally. The recall is the latest to be initiated over the Takata air bags, which are prone to malfunction due to moisture seeping into the components. More than 10 car manufacturers have recalled about 25 million cars so far because of the problem which has, unfortunately, resulted in at least six deaths.

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Chrome extensions will only be available through web store

Chrome extensions will only be available through web store

As of early last year, and as first announced in late 2013, Chrome extensions had to be on the Chrome Web Store in order to be downloaded — for Windows users, that is. The move was an effort to improve security by preventing malicious extensions from being downloaded from some random web location and installed. Google says that it saw a lot of success with this, and so it will be extending its scope in the near future. In doing so, Chrome may be more secure for all.

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I still trust autonomous cars more than I trust you

I still trust autonomous cars more than I trust you

I told my grandmother about Mercedes-Benz’s self-driving F 015 concept the other week, and she was horrified. “However could you trust it to drive you safely?” she wanted to know, perhaps thinking of how her DVR regularly and unpredictably dumps her favorite recordings and extrapolating that to a crazed silvery space-pod crashing and taking her grandson with it. In fact, I told her, I trust autonomous vehicles far more than I do my fellow human drivers, and recent news of self-driving car crashes in California has done nothing to change that.

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