Terramax Prepares for Driverless Takeoff

The Oshkosh TerraMax unmanned truck hasn't quite rocked the DARPA Grand Challenge in the past, so the company has a lot to prove this year in Victorville, California, where the grand spectacle of mecha robots takes place later this month (we'll be there). That means the company has a lot to prove, considering it wants… » 10/03/07 1:00pm 10/03/07 1:00pm

Mercedes' BlindSpot Assist, in Depth

Who hasn't been there. You're talking on the phone, eating a falafel, texting with your homies, thinking about your next pinochle play, smoking a cigar, imagining Nigella Lawson naked in a dumpster full of clotted cream, taking a bath, plotting world domination and trying to drive at the same time. Next thing you… » 9/27/07 2:30pm 9/27/07 2:30pm

Volvo Introduces Radar-Guided Collision Warning, Auto Brake

Volvo's bringing its safety consciousness into the cabin, with a new set of gadgetry that brakes automatically if a collision is imminent. At the first sign of trouble, the system sounds the alarm and pre-charges the brakes. Then, if the driver is too busy sleeping or eating chicken fingers to respond, it grabs the… » 8/31/07 2:30pm 8/31/07 2:30pm

Nissan Concept Car Shows Anti Drunk-Driving Tech

Let's say you're drunk and no one's around to grab your keys and accept your wildly thrown punches, verbal abuse and ultimate crying jag. Nissan has a solution. It's a series of technologies the company says will identify a driver's state of sobriety. All together, they can detect the odor of alcohol, ascertain a… » 8/03/07 10:30am 8/03/07 10:30am

Radar Replacement? Tech Company Develops Laser-Based Safety System

It was a big step when companies like Acura and Mercedes Benz introduced radar-guided safety systems in their cars. Visions of Jetsons-age snoozing in the driver's seat sent early adopters to the dealerships in droves. Now, Automotive News reports, a German company says it's created a system that's more effective and… » 6/25/07 11:20am 6/25/07 11:20am

State Your Position: Nissan Tests Cell-Phone Intelligent Transport…

Picture this. You're driving along, listening to the latest from Fall Out Boy (heaven forbid), when a pedestrian (coincidentally, also listening to Fall Out Boy) wanders off the curb and into your path. That's it for them, right? No. Your car saw him coming. Well, not so much him as a blip in its data bank, as… » 4/19/07 8:52am 4/19/07 8:52am

Watch Out for the Tree! Mazda CX-9 to Get Rearview-Mounted LCD Display

Score another one for techno-ergonomics. Mazda says its CX-9 crossover will get a high-res 2.4" LCD display housed inside an automatic-dimming rearview mirror. The display will feed images from a back-up camera, giving a driver simultaneous, multiangle views of the shopping-cart morass he's about to back into. The… » 4/09/07 11:54am 4/09/07 11:54am

Focus Group Fever: What's Next for the Infiniti FX?

According to one self-stated attendee of an Infiniti focus group, posting on GM Inside News, Nissan's luxe brand has been busy on its upgrade path for the FX crossover. Although the current design's freshness date isn't quite up (at the moment), the company apparently has a more powerful, svelte and athletic FX in… » 3/30/07 8:00am 3/30/07 8:00am

The Darn Thing's Got Carwings: Nissan's e-Hand Guides Fuel Efficiency…

Right-pedal junkies in Japan, take heed. Nissan's offering a new electronic eco-nanny that monitors driving behavior, with an eye toward promoting fuel efficiency. Think of it as an onboard Acceleration Anonymous sponsor, who gently points out where bad habits cost you dearly (and ignores the other 11 steps). Its… » 1/23/07 9:46am 1/23/07 9:46am

Volvo: Now With More Safe; Swedes Announce City Safety System

As a young Jalopnik, all we knew about Volvo was that the name was similar to our third-grade naughty word of the week and that Dad used to laugh at his best friend every time the latter's 240 wagon overheated on the way home from Vegas. "You live in a desert," the old man would rant. "Why on earth would you buy a… » 12/07/06 1:16am 12/07/06 1:16am

DaimlerChrysler Tests WLAN Car-to-Car Communication System

Car-to-car communication has nothing to do with gesturing after a close call on the highway. Futurists foresee a time when cars will use systems of GPS and WiFi tech to let them communicate with each other, relaying information about road conditions and traffic anomalies to prevent smash-ups. DaimlerChrysler is… » 12/06/06 11:15am 12/06/06 11:15am

Lookee Here: Next 911 Getting Night Vision?

The scenesters over at German Car Scene saw something curious in a spy shot depicting the next, facelifted Porsche 911, so they got out their speculation-ray-specs and went to work. Slightly concealed beneath the car's headlight lenses appear two dark objects that may be thermal-imaging sensors, indicating the car… » 12/04/06 10:25am 12/04/06 10:25am

Parking! CNBC's Phil LeBeau Lets Lexus LS 460 Park Itself

Phil LeBeau decided this past week he'd take his life out of his own hands, and leave the parking to Lexus. The CNBC correspondent showed off the latest in "parking assistance technology" on the LS 460 and although not death-defying, it wasn't exactly what you'd call amazing. It looks like the technology backs your… » 9/25/06 8:45am 9/25/06 8:45am

Car, Park Thyself: Volvo Shows off Prototype Self-Parking Feature

Lest we think Toyota's self-parking option — offered on the Prius in the UK — was the last word in mechatronics systems, YouTube comes through with a history lesson. Working with Volvo, students in Sweden proved back in 2004 that with a few sensors, a video monitor and a tangle of electrical junk in the trunk, a… » 5/31/06 8:05am 5/31/06 8:05am

Shape-Shifting Metals Could Lead to Safer Cars

Imagine that, like a toontown taxi, a regular road car could suck in its gut just before a crash to better absorb the force of a side impact. Now picture a bunch of German guys in white short sleeved shirts and pocket protectors trying to make it happen. That, according to New Scientist, is a pretty good picture of… » 5/11/06 5:16pm 5/11/06 5:16pm

Do You Want to Play a Game?: BMW's Thermal Imaging System in Action

Automotive portal AutoMotoPortal brings us this clip from BMW that shows its thermal-imaging "night vision" at work. Watch as the driver of a 7-Series avoids a man and a woman engaged in some midnight fitness activities on a desolate street. No, not that kind. That's a whole 'nuther kind of German video. » 5/10/06 12:34pm 5/10/06 12:34pm

Self-Parking Prius Coming to the US

Technogeeks, boot your engines. The US-model Toyota Prius hybrid will soon be offered with the same optional self-parking system that's been thwarting evil plots of license test monitors all over the UK. Across the pond it's a $700 option, though 70 percent of Prius buyers opt for it. When set, the system controls… » 4/05/06 9:33am 4/05/06 9:33am

Wi-Fi! For Safety!

Dr. Raja Sengupta of Cal has come up with a novel imminent-collision-awareness idea. First, we kill all the lawyers. Then we equip each car with GPS and a Wi-Fi transmitter. Then, cars talk to each other and decide where they are in relation to each other. It's an interesting idea, and GM's throwing some money at it,… » 3/23/06 9:56pm 3/23/06 9:56pm

Cut the Crap, Hal: Nissan Enters the Radar Range

Nissan's throwing its electronic hat into the radar-guided ring, with a new driver-assistance function that uses radar to keep cars' distance. By way of a sensor fitted in a car's front bumper, Nissan's Distance Control Assist System calculates the distance from a car directly in front, and determines the cars'… » 3/15/06 12:24pm 3/15/06 12:24pm

The Mirror Has Eyes: The Modoofree Car Kit, With Parking Sensors

Drivers of many large, luxury SUVs are already familiar with the beckonings of parking sensors. Get too close to a parked car, and the bastard chatters away like a sparrow caught in a basement meth lab. Now, a new, aftermarket solution offers that kind of backseat driving action on any car. It's the Modoofree PLUS » 3/10/06 10:41am 3/10/06 10:41am