safety

Target joins Amazon in pulling hoverboards from shelves

Target joins Amazon in pulling hoverboards from shelves

Back to the Future promised us hoverboards by the year 2015. We did end up getting them, but in the most disappointing way. Specifically, the devices that people keep calling “hoverboards” don't actually hover at all. Oh, and they have a tendency to catch on fire. Recently Amazon stopped taking orders for the devices, citing safety concerns, and now another retailer is following suit.

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2017 Audi Q7 First-Drive

2017 Audi Q7 First-Drive

Audi isn't ready to let the public loose in its autonomous cars, but the robo-racers are donating safety tech en-masse to the 2017 Audi Q7. The new luxury SUV not only gains a sharp new suit and an interior borrowing heavily from the classy A8 sedan, but packs the sort of auto-braking, road-following, pedestrian-spotting gadgetry that not long ago was science-fiction.

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Amazon pulls out hoverboards while conducting safety check

Amazon pulls out hoverboards while conducting safety check

If you've been considering buying or bringing along a hoverboard, those two-wheeled boards that don't really hover, for the holidays, you might want to rethink your decision or buy them from somewhere other than Amazon. The retailer giant has apparently removed hoverboards from its listings, which may have dismayed fans and Christmas hopefuls and adding to the series of unfortunate, or not, setbacks that the transportation contraption has been facing for the past few weeks. It's not a permanent ban, however. Or at least until Amazon receives indubitablre proof of their safety.

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US airlines ban hoverboards over fire, safety concerns

US airlines ban hoverboards over fire, safety concerns

Whether you call them "hoverboards" or self-balancing scooters, nearly everyone in the world is now getting concerned about the risk of fire the devices pose. American Airlines, Delta, and United, the US's three largest airlines, have joined several others in stating that the scooters are banned from coming on flights. They join Alaska Airlines, Jet Blue, British Airways, Virgin America, and more who have done the same.

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UK authorities seize over 15,000 unsafe, knock-off hoverboards

UK authorities seize over 15,000 unsafe, knock-off hoverboards

The UK is currently in the midst of a boom in popularity of the self-balancing scooter-type of "hoverboards," and with the holidays here, that means cheaper variants appealing to shoppers. However, the nation's authorities are warning consumers to stay away from cheap, knock-offs, as an alarming number of the hoverboards are being seized because they don't meet safety standards. The National Trading Standards says that out of 17,000 hoverboards imported in recent weeks, 15,000 have failed inspections.

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Google self-driving cars aim to talk to pedestrians, patent reveals

Google self-driving cars aim to talk to pedestrians, patent reveals

There have already been a number of examples of Google's self-driving cars being overly cautious in the name of safety, such as confrontations with a cyclist at an intersection, or just driving so slowly that they get pulled over. However, there are times when a vehicle needs to be a bit aggressive in order for other drivers to accommodate and make room. A four-way stop could be one example. Fortunately, Google has received a patent that would allow the vehicles to communicate their intentions to others.

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Toyota to recall 1.6 million cars with Takata inflators

Toyota to recall 1.6 million cars with Takata inflators

Toyota will recall 1.6 million vehicles located in Japan to replace potentially faulty inflators from Takata Corp. These inflators had previously been recalled and determined to be safe; the reason for Toyota’s change of mind isn’t clear, but is perhaps a wise move given the potentially fatal results when the airbags are faulty. Toyota isn’t the first automaker to backtrack on a recall decision; earlier this month, Nissan also re-issued recalls in Japan over Takata inflators.

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Ford’s ‘Drugged Driving Suit’ encourages sober youth driving

Ford’s ‘Drugged Driving Suit’ encourages sober youth driving

Driving while intoxicated is reckless and, unfortunately, too common, especially among young drivers. Various organizations and auto makers have come up with ways to tackle the problem, the latest of which is Ford. The company recently unveiled its 'Drugged Driving Suit,' a suit of sorts that simulates what it is like to drive while under the influence of various illegal drugs, including marijuana, cocaine, and heroin.

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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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