safety

NHTSA to factor automatic braking into star rating system

NHTSA to factor automatic braking into star rating system

Earlier today, the Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx revealed that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration will start factoring automatic braking into its star rating system, giving points for having a technology that is believed to be a boon to driver safety. In addition, the regulator will also begin to list vehicles on its website that offer these types of safety technologies, making it easier for consumers to select cars with these additional safety features. These measures will help encourage the further development of such technologies.

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Ford R&D Palo Alto puts driverless cars in pole position

Ford R&D Palo Alto puts driverless cars in pole position

Ford CEO Mark Fields may have been critical of the auto industry’s attempts to over-hype driverless cars, but that doesn’t mean the company isn’t working on its own model at its new Research and Innovation Center in Palo Alto, California. The car firm has snagged a former Apple engineer, Dragos Maciuca, to lead its innovation efforts, heading projects like autonomous and remotely-piloted vehicles, integrating the dashboard with the smart home - including hooking up with the Google-owned Nest thermostat - and leveraging GPU acceleration for things like swifter speech recognition.

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Jaguar Land Rover “Bike Sense” aims to save cyclists’ lives

Jaguar Land Rover “Bike Sense” aims to save cyclists’ lives

In the UK alone, a recorded staggering 19,000 cyclists are killed or injured each year, making what is in theory a healthy lifestyle also a dangerous one. That is why Jaguar Land Rover is investing in research and automotive technology that aims to make roads a safer place for cyclists, not by simply relegating them to a part of the road but by helping inform drivers of oncoming bikers. They're calling it Bike Sense and it gives drivers a sort of sixth sense, thanks to advancements in driver assistance technologies.

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NHTSA investigating Ford recall for possible expansion

NHTSA investigating Ford recall for possible expansion

Adding to the list of vehicles it is investigating, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has announced that it is probing a previous Ford recall to see whether it should be expanded to cover quite a few additional vehicles. Ford has previously recalled 3,000 trucks in October of 2013 over troubles with the exhaust gas temperature sensor, and the NHTSA is looking into whether that recall needs to be boosted to include 200,000 vehicles. The affected model years are 2011 and 2012.

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Jeep Cherokees under investigation following fires

Jeep Cherokees under investigation following fires

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is investigating 2015 Jeep Cherokee SUVs following complaints about fires in the engine compartment. About 50,415 Cherokees are being probed as part of the preliminary investigation, which will look into a possible defect that has caused multiple newer Cherokees to go up in flames for no readily discernible reason. The NHTSA is said to also have some field report data from an Early Warning Reporting program on the matter which will be factored in.

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Talking virtual traffic lights could trim commute by 40%

Talking virtual traffic lights could trim commute by 40%

Traffic lights that are projected onto your windshield and change color according to the actual road conditions rather than a preset pattern could cut commute times by 40-percent, new research has claimed. The technology, dubbed Virtual Traffic Lights and already spun out into a startup by a team at Carnegie Mellon University, would rely on cars that can intercommunicate with each other and the road infrastructure, whispering their location and thus allowing real-time decisions about which lights should be green and which should be red. If implemented, it could not only save time behind the wheel, but cut stress and emissions it's suggested.

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Toyota, Oculus bringing VR driving simulator for teens

Toyota, Oculus bringing VR driving simulator for teens

Toyota and Oculus are teaming up to make driving safer — for teens. The joint venture bring a Toyota-branded driving simulator for Toyota’s TeenDrive365 program to the VR headset, which puts those learning to drive behind the wheel of a real car (stationary, of course), but uses VR to immerse them in a driving environment. In being behind the wheel of a real car with virtual distractions and difficult situations, the hope is that teens will be more comfortable behind the wheel when they do venture onto the real road.

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LG’s display operations halted following factory tragedy

LG’s display operations halted following factory tragedy

This past Monday, an LG display factory near Paju, South Korea experience a gas leak that resulted in the death of two workers and caused a few more to fall ill. The cause was tied to a nitrogen leak that seemed to occur while contractor workers were performing maintenance and repair activities. At the time, LG expressed sorrow over the incident and vowed to work with authorities in determining what caused the leak. As of now, operations have been ordered to a halt.

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AMBER alerts are coming to your Facebook timeline

AMBER alerts are coming to your Facebook timeline

You spend a lot of time staring at your phone or tablet — and that’s alright. We do, too. Sometimes, the more important details of life can get past you, though. To better serve the public interest, Facebook is announcing a partnership with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children to bring AMBER alerts to your timeline. In bringing alerts to your news feed, Facebook promises not to overwhelm you. Rather than feed you blanket alerts, you’ll get ones specific to your area, and where a targeted search is being executed.

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Verizon Vehicle promises aftermarket OnStar in 2015

Verizon Vehicle promises aftermarket OnStar in 2015

Connected cars may be gradually increasing on dealership forecourts, but Verizon is aiming to get the millions of 4G-free models online this year too. Verizon Vehicle is in effect OnStar as an upgrade, and not limited to GM vehicles: a dongle that plugs into the car's diagnostics port, a companion smartphone app, and the promise of remote fault identification, roadside assistance, and emergency rescue.

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