Jaguar Land Rover's new safety tech to prevent bike crashes
JLR have announced they are designing new technology that will help to end the lethal problem of car drivers not seeing bicycles and motorbikes until it is too late.
'Bike Sense' will apparently be able to distinguish between bicycles and motorbikes, employing coloured lights, sounds, and even physical tapping to alert drivers to potential hazards. LED lights built into the cabin will glow from the relevant direction, and a horn or bicycle bell will play through the nearest speaker. The technology should even spot hazards obscured by other vehicles.
“Bike Sense takes us beyond the current technologies of hazard indicators and icons in wing mirrors, to optimising the location of light, sound and touch to enhance this intuition,” said JLR's Director of Research and Tech, Wolfgang Epple, “This creates warnings that allow a faster cognitive reaction as they engage the brain's instinctive responses. By engaging the instincts, Bike Sense has the potential to bridge the gap between the safety and hazard detection systems in the car and the driver. This could reduce the risk of accidents with all road users by increasing the speed of response and ensuring the correct action is taken to prevent an accident happening.”
Read more about JLR's hopes for Bike Sense.
Porsche's new billboards transform for their customers
A new billboard at Melbourne's Tullamarine airport, advertising Porsche's 911 Turbo, is capable of recognising a Porsche on the road, and then changing its message. The German manufacturer decided it wasn't enough just to sell cars to potential customers - existing owners should be congratulated as well.
Any vehicle identified as a Porsche triggers the change in the billboard, from hawking the 911 Turbo to cheesily approving of the driver's purchase. How does it approve, you ask? With the phrase “It's so easy to pick you out in a crowd”, which, to be honest, doesn't sound that much like a compliment.
The transformation process works by way of a set of cameras 300 metres down the road from the billboard. And just in case you think we're joking, you can see the Porsche billboard in action here.
Survey shows one in ten drivers are too poor to fix cars
According to a survey taken in the UK, more than one in ten cars on the road today are unsafe – because their owners simply cannot afford the cost of fixing them.
The survey, performed by a company specialising in loans for automobile issues, suggested that millions of vehicles on the road had cracked windscreens, faulty brakes, worn tyres. A large minority of motorists said their current car was missing seatbelts, wing mirrors or working brake lights.
17 percent of those surveyed admitted to avoiding long journeys because of potential breakdown, and almost 15 percent stated they didn't feel safe in their car at all.
Obviously, the most common reason for not repairing faults was a lack of money. Other popular reasons were not having time to go to the garage and not trusting mechanics.
“When something starts to go wrong with your car, it can be daunting if you don’t really have the money to fix it,” said loan company CEO, James Wilkinson, “but it’s worrying to see so many are putting off fixing or replacing their car and driving around in something which might not be safe enough to be on the road. Cutting corners on your car safety is not advisable.”