With connectivity and smarter planning, intelligent cars promise to cut congestion, make roads safer and generally improve the whole experience of getting behind the wheel. But nobody said it was all altruistic.
Evasive speed demons may have a harder time avoiding a GPS-enabled speed camera which can capture license plate numbers under any weather condition, 24 hours a day. The new speed cameras in the UK use GPS satellites to help measure cars' average driving speeds over long distances, The Telegraph reports.
Distracted drivers may soon get some warnings from their windshield displays about road hazards such as children playing in the street or vehicles in the driver's blind spot. General Motors has teamed up with university researchers to bring the concept to market around 2016, the New York Times reports.
Toyota engineers wanted better night vision systems that can help drivers navigate dark roads safely. Now they have developed camera software which takes inspiration from nocturnal dung beetles, bees and moths that can see across a remarkable range of color, brightness and shadow, New Scientist reports.
Give the National Weather Service some credit for some clever crowdsourcing experiments. It has just launched a Twitter-based program to monitor tweets about severe weather, and hopes to eventually transform cars into mobile weather stations, Discovery News reports.
Soon the Dark Knight and other wealthy folk may not represent the only people tearing around with a holographic heads-up display (HUD) for their rides. A new prototype unveiled today is small enough to fit inside a rear-view or wing mirror and display car speed or distance between vehicles in real time.
Bringing the "wanted poster in the post office" concept into the 21st century, the FBI has begun using facial recognition software to identify fugitives on North Carolina highways. The software measures the biometric features of thousands of motorists' DMV photos, matching them against mugshots. When the face matches that of a known criminal, the authorities jump into action.
Traffic delays are the bane of any commuter—even those who use a GPS, which warns you about traffic jams on your route to work. The reason: getting real-time data is difficult as the traffic information is routed from the scene to a massive database that only feeds GPS units on regular intervals.
Multiple studies confirm red-light cameras do more harm than help. So why are they still so prevalent?
By Matt Ransford
Posted 03.18.2008 at 3:12 pm 4 Comments
Add another study to the growing body of evidence that red-light cameras cause more accidents than they prevent. University of South Florida researchers found drivers are more likely to attempt to stop abruptly at camera intersections than otherwise, which results in a significant increase in injuries from rear end collisions. Red-light cameras are designed to snap a photo of a cars license plate if the driver moves through the intersection under a red light. The theory should hold that if drivers know theyre being watched, theyll be less likely to run the lights.
Five amazing, clean technologies that will set us free, in this month's energy-focused issue. Also: how to build a better bomb detector, the robotic toys that are raising your children, a human catapult, the world's smallest arcade, and much more.