safety

GM agrees $900m ignition switch mea-culpa with Justice Dept

GM agrees $900m ignition switch mea-culpa with Justice Dept

General Motors will cough up $900m to placate the Justice Department over its flawed ignition switches, as well as settling civil actions over almost 1,400 deaths connected to the problem. The news brings to a close a saga spanning more than a decade, and which saw GM admit that some of its employees were aware of the issue - which could see affected cars suddenly lose power, not to mention control over steering and brakes - many years before official recalls were announced.

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Dainese motorcycle airbag jackets aim to protect riders in an accident

Dainese motorcycle airbag jackets aim to protect riders in an accident

If you have ever wondered how exactly a motorcycle racer can take a massive spill at triple digit speeds and then just get up and walk away, it's the safety gear that allows them to do that. Part of that safety gear for modern racers is an airbag system that inflates at just the right time to protect the rider from serious injury as they hit the ground and slide. A company called Dianese has a new line of airbag jackets coming to market for street riders.

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10 automakers vow to make automatic emergency braking standard

10 automakers vow to make automatic emergency braking standard

The NHTSA, U.S. Department of Transportation, and the Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) have announced that ten auto makers plan to offer automatic emergency braking as a standard feature. This is the latest step major car manufacturers are taking to bring more advanced safety technologies to a larger customer base, something that will eventually lead to such technologies being common on the road and, hopefully, a subsequent decrease in the number of crashes and deaths that happen.

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Google’s self-driving car gets confused by cyclist’s track stand

Google’s self-driving car gets confused by cyclist’s track stand

We've been hearing about Google's self-driving cars getting into fender-benders before, mostly at the fault of other vehicles with a human behind the wheel, but recently one of the autonomous vehicles got a bit confused by a cyclist at an intersection. Did the car not recognize the cyclist and almost collide with him? Nope. Turns out the rider was simply doing a track stand — where they keep the bike upright at a stop without taking their feel off the pedals — and the car couldn't tell if they were moving or not.

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Electric skateboards can be hacked, too

Electric skateboards can be hacked, too

News of cars being hacked have, as expected, instilled fear in the public, but don't think turning to an electric skateboard will eliminate the risk. A new exploit called, appropriately enough, "FacePlant", has been developed to show that electric skateboards can be just as vulnerable to hackers as some cars, and it isn't a concern to take lightly. While a skateboard isn't as big of a deal as a 2-ton vehicle cruising down the highway, it'll still be a problem if you're cruising down the road and your board, without warning, locks up.

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Yankee Stadium adds biometric security ‘Fast Access’ option

Yankee Stadium adds biometric security ‘Fast Access’ option

Security lines at big events take a long time to pass through, and so it isn’t surprising some are willing to put aside their privacy concerns for the sake of speeding things along. Yankee Stadium has announced plans to roll out new “Fast Access” entries that will, as the name suggests, get visitors into the stadium faster. The catch is that in order to do so, you’ll need to register with Clear beforehand and will need to provide your fingerprints while registering. This is the same service used in some airports and a couple other stadiums across the nation.

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HERE’s talking traffic could stop you getting rear-ended

HERE’s talking traffic could stop you getting rear-ended

Stomping on your brakes in panic at the sight of a sudden sea of brake lights ahead could be a thing of the past, if HERE has its way. The company, recently acquired by a consortium including Daimler, BMW, and Audi, has been working on real-time traffic pattern spotting, in the hope of identifying unexpected slow-downs or traffic jams so as to warn drivers to ease off the speed before it's too late.

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Don’t fret the car hack says Harman Kardon chief

Don’t fret the car hack says Harman Kardon chief

Fiat Chrysler infotainment supplier Harman Kardon has denied there is a widespread issue with its dashboard tech, despite a new investigation by safety regulators. 1.4 million of the company's touchscreen multimedia and navigation systems, branded Uconnect by Fiat Chrysler, have been at the center of a safety recall recently, following the discovery that hackers could remotely access them. That prompted a further NHTSA investigation, something Harman Kardon insists will come up empty.

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This is VW’s plan for semi-autonomous, smartphone-friendly driving

This is VW’s plan for semi-autonomous, smartphone-friendly driving

Volkswagen is embracing CarPlay and Android Auto, revamping its whole infotainment line-up while injecting some smart semi-autonomous tech to its 2016 cars. I spent some time with VW's new Driver Assist semi-autonomous features, along with the Discover Pro on the e-Golf SEL Premium, the top-spec MIB-II model in VW's new range. It's a noticeable improvement over the old infotainment platform, pairing a sizable 8-inch capacitive touchscreen with easily stabbed and grabbed shortcut buttons and knobs.

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Record $105m fine for Fiat Chrysler over recalls

Record $105m fine for Fiat Chrysler over recalls

Fiat-Chrysler will buy back as many as 500,000 trucks in a hugely costly settlement with the NHTSA that also includes a penalty that could reach $105m. News of the buy-back comes after the beleaguered manufacturer agreed to recall a whopping 1.5m cars, SUVs, and trucks late last week, with today's record fine coming after the firm failed to convince the US safety regulator that it handled a total of 23 recalls affecting in excess of 11m vehicles effectively over the past few years.

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Walmart’s new smart infant car seat combats heat stroke deaths

Walmart’s new smart infant car seat combats heat stroke deaths

Walmart has decided to tackle the very tragic problem of infant heat stroke deaths that result when a baby is forgotten in the car. Unfortunately, the summer months bring high heat in many states and that heat results in cars that get very, very hot in a short period of time. Routine changes, quiet naps and more have resulted in drivers forgetting they have a child in the back seat, and, tragically, this is often a fatal mistake. Walmart's newly developed car seat combats this using a mixture of sensors, wireless technology, and an audible alarm.

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Here’s what Honda’s new R&D hub in the Valley is working on

Here’s what Honda’s new R&D hub in the Valley is working on

You're nobody in automotive these days without a flashy R&D center in Silicon Valley, and Honda is stepping up its game as it cooks up new semi-autonomous driving, green engine, and smart car technologies. While it's not Honda's first footprint in the Valley - that happened back in 2000 - it's certainly the biggest play from the firm, with the new facility the company's largest research & development site outside of Japan. The fruits of the new center will eventually trickle down to production cars, but Honda gave us a sneak peek of what it's been working on.

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