safety

Ford gives pedestrian-spotting bumpers access to the brakes

Ford gives pedestrian-spotting bumpers access to the brakes

Ford is rolling out a new set of smart driving aids that the car company claims could potentially eliminate frontal collisions involving pedestrians, using a combination of radar and lasers to spot people walking out into the road unexpectedly. Contrary to what Ford's graphic might suggest, the system doesn't involve the new 2015 Mondeo (aka the Ford Fusion) firing laser beams from its grille and cutting pedestrians into sufficiently small pieces so that they fit under the car rather than colliding with its hood. Instead, the invisible beams can call in favors from the braking system.

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Homemade flying car crashes in Florida, catches fire

Homemade flying car crashes in Florida, catches fire

Some people take their DIY projects very seriously, as was apparently the case with a duo in Florida who crashed in their Maverick flying car. The Maverick is a homemade machine (it isn't clear whether the passengers bought it or made it), and surprisingly enough, it managed to get in the air with both inside. The downside to the story is where it ended badly: the car made it just high enough to crash spectacularly, injuring the two passengers and causing the vehicle to catch on fire.

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Facebook Safety Check lets friends know you’re OK

Facebook Safety Check lets friends know you’re OK

Whenever disaster, whether natural or man-caused, strikes, people, especially the young, usually take to social media for updates on themselves or on others. Realizing that there really is no stopping this growing trend, Facebook has decided, for better or for worse, to turn that into a tool that will hopefully not just assuage your worried family and friends but could also be used for rescue. Safety Check is that tool and, like anything on Facebook, all it needs is your thumbs up, or in this case, your "I'm Safe" button.

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Veloloop brings traffic light triggering to bicycles

Veloloop brings traffic light triggering to bicycles

Cycling to get around is becoming more common due to environment concerns and other reasons, and though there are many benefits to this mode of transportation, with it comes some hassles as well. Roads are designed around the needs of vehicles, and so things like sensors at stop lights require cyclists to find work-around methods to make their trip as smooth as possible. Many cyclist have tried using magnets to trigger traffic light sensors, but cyclist Nat Collins of California has presented a better solution.

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New battery tech warns when an explosion is possible

New battery tech warns when an explosion is possible

Though they're rare, we've all heard the horror stories: people innocently using their smartphones and tablets, only to have them catch fire and/or explode, sometimes causing severe injuries to the users. The reasons this happens are numerous, but in the case of lithium-ion batteries, they can usually be narrowed down to a specific cause: internal short-circuiting. Thanks to a team of researchers from Stanford, that issue could be partially solved via a new technology that alerts when something has gone awry.

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Flight attendants take FAA to court to reinstate ban on electronics use

Flight attendants take FAA to court to reinstate ban on electronics use

Remember how pleased frequent travelers were late last year when the Federal Aviation Administration finally started allowing airline passengers to use their personal electronic devices during takeoff and landing? Well, it turns out there's one group of people who aren't very happy with the change, and are now trying to get the ban on smartphones and tablets put back in place. Flight attendants have taken the FAA to the U.S. Court of Appeals with their main concern being the issue of safety.

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Volvo’s counting on these sensors to end fatal accidents by 2020

Volvo’s counting on these sensors to end fatal accidents by 2020

Volvo is aiming no fatal accidents for those in one of the safety-obsessed Swedish firm's cars by 2020, cooking up a complex 360-degree sensor and vision system that could also open the door to autonomous vehicles. The culmination of Volvo's four year Non-Hit Car and Truck project, the technology combines data from a wide range of sensors - including cameras, GPS, and others - into a single perspective of the car's environment, rather than treating each system as discrete as per most current vehicles, and even teaching vehicles how to plan an escape route.

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Car tech and Siri slammed for driver distraction

Car tech and Siri slammed for driver distraction

Capable but complex infotainment systems built into modern car dashboards are dangerously distracting, a driver safety study has concluded, while voice controlled systems like Apple's Siri have been equally criticized. Hands-free tech intended to maintain a driver's grip on the wheel can, ironically, cause greater cognitive distraction than actually picking up a phone, a study by the AAA and the University of Utah revealed, testing a number of basic tasks like making calls or changing radio station across cars from Toyota, Mercedes, and other marques.

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