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Posts from the ‘Car Safety Technology’ Category


Fatal Crash Leads To NHTSA Standards For Keyless Ignition

In 2009 a group of four people died in a Lexus ES 350 after a crash. Some experts believe that the fatalities would have been prevented if the keyless ignition had not required a three second touch to turn off the vehicle. That crash has led the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to recommend standardization of all keyless ignition systems to shut off after a half-second button push.

The proposed standards point to drivers being unable to shutoff vehicles while they are panicked. The accident mentioned earlier prompted a recall by Toyota, but the NHTSA found that each automaker differed on the amount of time a button had to be pushed for ignition to take place or be cutoff.

Will people think to reach for the ignition button while crashing or shortly there after? Some have suggested that keys would be an answer to the issue, but wouldn’t connecting airbags and other safety equipment to the ignition be a better solution. Why can’t the engine be shut down in the event of a detected crash?


Scooters: A New Option For Designated Driver

A Tucson businessman was looking for a way to get people who may have had a few too many drinks home, without congesting traffic any more than necessary. He turned to fold-up electric scooters.

Entourage Transportation Group uses the De Blasi R70 to provide a unique take home service in the Tuscon area. Traditionally, if you drink too much and call a cab, you get a ride home, but have to get back to your car the next day. Entourage’s drivers arrive on an R70, fold it up, put it in your trunk, and drive you home in your own car. It is a pretty sweet way to avoid a drunk driving charge and have your car available the morning after.

Rene Acosta, owner of Entourage Transportation Group, said ”I met with the sheriff’s department and police department. They say 90 percent of people who get DUIs get them because they don’t want to leave their car.” So, enter a first-of-its-kind business venture that is both easier on the environment and makes the roadways safer for everyone else.

[Thanks to Tucson Auto Loans for this tip]


Mercedes-Benz Safety Technology Earns an Influential New Proponent

The article talks about the experience of Google senior vice president Vic Gundotra with Mercedes-Benz. Gundotra is so thankful for the “Magical Software” technology installed in his S-Class, he is apparently going to appear in a commercial for them…for free!

He explains an incident in which he was saved by the software which automatically stops the car when there is traffic right in front of the car, even if the driver’s concentration is distracted.

Read the full article here:
Video: Google exec praises “magical software” working in his Mercedes-Benz

mercedes benz s class

Image by _setev


VW: No Seatbelt = No Entertainment System

Volkswagon is linking seat belt use to their entertainment systems. To encourage kids to buckle up, the seatbelt is linked into entertainment system which will not work when unbuckled.

Read the full article here:
Video: VW’s “Fun Theory” applied to seatbelt use

vw tiguan

Image by BrisChri


NHTSA Begins V2V Testing

Vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) communication is one of the hottest tech hypes right now. Proponents say that it will save lives by having connected vehicles programmed to avoid each other. The NHTSA believes that V2V technology could eliminate up to 76 percent of accidents if used widely. Opponents say that more testing needs to be done before a major rollout is done. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has decided to begin a year long study of the effectiveness of the new technology.

The NHTSA’s  real world trials of vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) technology will begin August 2012. Known as The Safety Pilot, the program will gather data from 3,000 cars in Ann Arbor, Michigan in order to determine what aspects of the information sent between vehicles is most helpful. The program’s main goal is to develop a system that works in between all vehicles: cars, trucks, motorcycles, and tractor-trailers.

According to Peter Appel, administrator of Research and Innovative Technology at the NHTSA, ”The pilot… will allow us to learn how drivers use electronic alerts to avoid crashes in a real-world environment.” The trial will also determine what hardware is most cost-effective and what percentage of vehicles would need to be equipped with V2V tech for it to become effective in reducing accidents. Even if the technology is approved, it could take a while for it to become widespread. After it is widespread in new cars, how can it be adapted to older cars that may not even have an onboard computer? Only time will tell.


IIHS Goes Mobile

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has launcheed a mobile site that helps consumers to compare vehicle safety ratings via their smartphones.  It can help them decide which vehicles are the top safety performers.

Read the full article here:
Crash Test Ratings on the Go; IIHS Launches Mobile Site

crash dummy

Image by Daniel R Thompson


In-Car Alcohol Detection Technology in Development

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and leading automakers will use the currently unused safety fund of $12 million for making research on stopping alcohol related fatalities. They will develop a technology for vehicles that will instantaneously detect if a driver is drunk above the legal limit and prevent the vehicle from starting. This technology should be less expensive and accurate. Many companies came forward to participate in the program.

Read the full article here:
Broad Coalition of Safety, Insurance, Auto and Alcohol Groups Call for …

police car

Image by ? Lee J Haywood


NHTSA: Driver-Interaction Systems Unsafe?

Recently, California has legally banned use of mobile phones while driving, regardless of driving experience, as most vehicle accidents happen due to driver distractions. NHTSA in an industry-related conference have requested automobile manufacturers to limit installation of unwanted entertainment systems in vehicles, to avoid potential accidents. On the other hand, industry experts predict demand for data connectivity and safety related products to grow by U$2billion. According U.S. DOT, there are three types of distractions like visual, physical, and cognitive. Studies done by University of Utah states that driver’s reaction time would be slow, equivalent to a driver under DWI/DUI.

Read the full article here:
NHTSA Cautions Automakers About Installing Driver Distractions …

car gps

Image by 2Tales


Volvo CitySafe System Lauded by IIHS

High tech security features can add a lot of security behind the wheel and reduce the number of low speed crashes in an urban environment. The IIHS considers the XC60 crossover outfitted with Volvo’s CitySafe, to be far less likely to meet with a low speed crash than competing vehicles. Citysafe system aims to mitigate crashes at speeds between 2 and 19 mph. It the obstacle is between 9 and 19, it may not be able to avoid it completely but can reduce the damage considerably.

Read the full article here:
Despite Rough Start IIHS Praises Volvo CitySafe System For Crash …

2011 volvo xc60

Image by amcgore


New Toyota “Pre-Crash” Technology Explained

Toyota will install new accessories in their cars to avoid accidents. Cas that stop or slow down before hitting an object or a person is not new, but in the new system, a camera and super sensitive radar called “millimeter wave” are fitted in front of the vehicle. These calculates how much braking and steering must be applied before hitting an object. Toyota is confident that safety will be enhanced with these additional accessories.

Read the full article here:
Toyota’s new pre-crash technology directs steering

toyota logo

Image by conhunter