While we wait for our self-driving cars of the future to autonomously deliver us from gridlock forever, Honda is working to help human drivers reduce traffic in realtime by analyzing the driving patterns of individual vehicles and determine if each one is likely to cause a traffic jam. By analyzing the acceleration and deceleration of individual cars, the technology prods the driver to take steps in realtime that will avoid traffic congestion among trailing vehicles.
Lawmakers in Nevada made a pretty forward-thinking move a couple weeks ago when they passed a measure ordering new regulations for driverless cars. Many vehicles already participate in once-human-driven activities like parking and skid control, and it’s not long until they’ll be able to navigate, make decisions and drive totally by themselves.
When self-communicating connected cars start appearing on roadways, what will it be like for the humans? Will we tolerate our cars talking behind our backs, deciding when to swerve or apply the brakes? The U.S. Department of Transportation is hosting some test drive clinics to help people prepare. Test drives on racetracks!
In a huge city, lighting the streets is a necessary but pricey precaution. Pedestrians and motorists are no doubt safer when streetlamps, not just car headlights, illuminate roadways and sidewalks — but streetlamps are expensive and inefficient to run. A prototype system that turns the lights on and off depending on traffic could save money while preserving safety.
Cars are already capable of driving and parking themselves while avoiding obstacles, but to do so, they need to see their surroundings. How do you know whether you’re maintaining a safe distance from vehicles around you when it’s dark outside, or when headlights can’t penetrate the fog? A new class of small, sensitive optical sensors could help.
Someday your car will give you recommendations on where to eat, suggest more efficient routes between home and work, and even monitor your health. But for now it's just keeping tabs on your driving habits, recording your behavior in case it needs to be reconstructed after an accident.
Federal officials are poised to announce next month that all cars must contain a black box, similar to that installed on airplanes, to give authorities a glimpse of your activities in the event of a car wreck. The devices could help pin down what happened in the moments before a crash, helping authorities determine who is at fault for what, and eliminating uncertainty from human witnesses.
DETROIT — Within the next couple years, your car will notice if you have low blood sugar and tell you to have a snack; check local pollen counts and roll up your windows to prevent an allergy attack; and at lunch time, give you directions to the nearest healthy-eating establishment, pausing your iPod to broadcast the restaurant’s menu.
Using a suite of new apps Ford announced Wednesday, personalized medicine could soon be as simple as revving your engines. Now we just need someone to record some lines as KITT.
It's driver's license day. Time to borrow the keys and head to the mall -- and, of course, to test out that 130-mph top speed on dad's Ford Taurus SHO. Not so fast, whippersnapper. Ford's MyKey system is in effect. The new top speed is 80. And put on that seatbelt.
For nervous parents, MyKey may be the next best thing to hiring an armed nanny to ride along with their kids. Mom or dad can program junior's own key fob to limit the car's functions, with an eye toward keeping brand-new drivers from getting in over their heads.
Nissan has made another stride toward that strange but often-promised future: cars that drive themselves. A new system set for release in Japan links information from a car's real-time GPS navigation with existing radar-guided safety tech to help drivers make smooth turns on curvy roads. The Navigation-Cooperative Intelligent Pedal uses GPS mapping data to detect an oncoming bend, then strategically decelerates or applies the brakes. Here's how it works: When the nav system indicates a curve is looming, the accelerator pedal physically moves upward. Then the system activates the brakes.