For the last 50 years auto safety advocates have concentrated most of their efforts on making auto accidents more survivable for vehicle occupants. Because of this, we have such safety advancements as airbags, auto body “crush zones,” and the greatest safety advancement of the era, the simple seat belt. While no one can doubt the efficacy of these advancements, there is another area of research and development that promises equally startling advancements to the cause of safety, and it revolves around vehicle systems that help keep accidents from occurring in the first place. Auto engineers call it “active safety,” while referring to things like airbags as “passive safety systems.” Read more . . .
Here’s an innovation–television that keeps you awake. While most of us are known to fall asleep in front of the TV set, Distribution Technologies (DistTech), a contract and common carrier, is testing a driver fatigue monitor with its fleet drivers based at the company’s terminal in Neville Island, Pennsylvania. The company has installed the Driver Fatigue Monitor (DFM) marketed by Pittsburgh-based Attention Technology Inc. in eight vehicles. Read more . . .
Sirius Satellite Radio has forged a dealto provide comprehensive traffic data to vehicles over its nationwide satellite radio network. The company has partnered with NAVTEQ, a provider of mapping and traffic data reporting services, to offer its subscribers reliable traffic information in their vehicles. The new service will provide consumers with regularly updated traffic information, such as collisions, scheduled road closings, traffic flow data, or other traffic-related incidents to help them select the best available route. Traffic information will be integrated into new in-car navigation systems combining route guidance and mapping with traffic. Initially, the service will cover 30 markets and is expected to expand to over 50 markets. Read more . . .
The year 2004 featured some significant milestones with regard to automotive safety, and the majority of these came from Japanese automakers, according to a new study from ABI Research.
“Japanese automakers have been aggressively rolling out a new generation of vehicle safety systems, while North American and European OEMs have been playing catch-up,” claimed Frank Viquez, ABI Research’s director of automotive research. “What is important to note here is that the introduction of these systems are just stepping stones towards a larger plan to integrate all these ancillary systems into one fully interactive and sophisticated safety system.” Read more . . .
Falling asleep at the wheel is no laughing matter. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), approximately 100,000 collisions are caused every year on U.S. highways by drivers who fall asleep. Of that number, 1,500 of the accidents result in fatalities and 71,000 cause physical injuries. Clearly driver fatigue is a major safety problem so Volvo Car Corporation has launched an extensive initiative to deal with the problem. The result of that effort is the new Volvo Driver Alert system, a decisive step in active safety. Read more . . .