safety

Rules requiring ‘quiet cars’ to have audio alerts delayed (again)

Rules requiring ‘quiet cars’ to have audio alerts delayed (again)

In January 2013, the U.S Department of Transportation (DOT) proposed a minimum sound requirement for electric and hybrid vehicles, a move to protect pedestrians who may fail to notice a silent car driving past. “This proposal,” the agency had said, “will help keep everyone using our nation’s street and roadways safe.” The plan to implement such sounds has been ongoing since despite auto maker objections, but it recently hit a snag that has stalled the finalization until early next year.

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DJI’s GEO to add live no-fly zones to drones

DJI’s GEO to add live no-fly zones to drones

Your DJI drone might automatically decide you're in a no-fly zone with a new update, intended to curtail incursions into unfriendly airspace. GEO, or Geospatial Environment Online, will see the DJI Phantom 3 and Inspire 1 drone apps updated with real-time flight restriction data, effectively preventing only authorized users from getting too close to prisons, power stations, and other facilities.

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Self-driving cars may need to be bad drivers to succeed

Self-driving cars may need to be bad drivers to succeed

A self-driving car getting pulled over by traffic police sounds like the subject of an xkcd comic, but Google's autonomous run-in with the law shows the robots have a lot to learn. Getting stopped for driving too slowly amid other traffic might only be the tip of the iceberg, in fact, and it's entirely possible that autonomous vehicles will need to learn to be worse on the road in order to fit in.

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Drone crashes into Seattle’s giant ferris wheel

Drone crashes into Seattle’s giant ferris wheel

If you’ve visited Seattle, you’re likely familiar with the giant ferris wheel situated on its waterfront. The wheel is beautiful to look at, and is a prime tourist attraction, giving visitors a sky-high look at one of the finer sides of the city. Fortunately, none of those tourists (or others) were injured when a drone crashed into the ferris wheel yesterday evening, the latest in a growing number of incidents involving drones used in improper places.

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Tesla to limit Autopilot activation to stop crazy stunts

Tesla to limit Autopilot activation to stop crazy stunts

Autopilot features are being implemented not just for the sake of hi-tech fanciness but for safety reasons. In theory, taking humans and their error-prone judgment out of the equation would lead to safer roads and less accidents. As if proving how poor humans are at applying common sense, some videos have surfaced on the Internet using the Tesla Model S' new Autopilot features in ways it wasn't intended to handle just yet. As a consequence, CEO Elon Musk announced that they will be putting some restrictions to the feature soon.

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Testing Honda’s tech for its 2020 self-driving car

Testing Honda’s tech for its 2020 self-driving car

The ultimate goal, Honda says, is a car you have the choice to drive, or to be driven in. That's the end game in the Japanese firm's ambitious autonomous vehicle plan, which by 2020 includes a milestone of a car "that can drive you to your chosen destination" according to the engineers working on the project. Several things have to come together for that to happen, mind, and I tried some of them out during my visit to Honda's R&D center in Japan this week.

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Give your bike a real headlight & turn signals with these LEDs

Give your bike a real headlight & turn signals with these LEDs

Products that attach LED lights to bicycle wheels for improved visibility are nothing new, but the latest version from Revolights drastically improves on previous designs, not only with turn signals and better battery usage, but integration with a mobile app. Revolights has just launched an Indiegogo campaign for their newest set, called Eclipse and Eclipse+, which still work by creating two arcs of light as the LEDs pass through specific positions during wheel rotations.

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Takata airbag recall: regulators in talks about taking over

Takata airbag recall: regulators in talks about taking over

In what would end up being an unprecedented move in the U.S., government regulators are in talks about intervening in the Takata airbag scandal, doing so to ensure that all repairs are made efficiently and quickly. Reasons cited revolve around the sheer size of the recall, with a dozen major auto makers being involved and millions of cars. According to a recent report, the NHTSA is leaning in favor of taking over.

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AAA study finds hands-free smartphone features still distract drivers

AAA study finds hands-free smartphone features still distract drivers

Google, Apple, and Microsoft have worked hard to implement hands-free features when it comes to safely using their smartphones while behind the wheel, allowing drivers to keep their eyes on the road. While these settings are certainly better than physically holding and interacting with a phone while driving, it turns out they're not quite as safe as we all thought. A new study from the University of Utah and AAA (American Automobile Association) has found that voice commands can still be very distracting.

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BrainShield football helmet decal helps prevent brain injury

BrainShield football helmet decal helps prevent brain injury

Football, popular as it is, has caused many, many injuries over its existence, not the least of which are very serious life-altering damage to players’ brains. Great strides have been taken to reduce or prevent these head trauma incidents, and the latest among them is BrainShield, a helmet decal that is designed to prevent brain injuries from happening altogether. The decal works by diverting the force of the impact.

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FAA to airlines: ban lithium batteries in checked bags

FAA to airlines: ban lithium batteries in checked bags

When it comes to recharging gadgets, sometimes your only option is spare pre-charged batteries. That’s all fine and well, only now the FAA doesn’t want you checking them into your checked baggage, citing concerns about security and safety. According to a new report, the FAA has advised airlines to ban lithium bags from checked luggage, something that will force passengers to put them in carry-ons instead.

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