Showing posts with label vehicles. Show all posts
Showing posts with label vehicles. Show all posts

Volvo Protects Cars From Kangaroos

Though the protected bars on the front of rural vehicles is called a bull bar, it was originally designed to stop damage from hitting a kangaroo. These animals are as common as muck in Australia. Indeed, they are a native pest if ever there was one. Countless kangaroos invade farms all the time eating grass meant for food animals and drinking water pumped out of the ground.
Kangaroo hit in front of car vehicle 4wd truck stuck lodged
It is unusual for a driver to hit a wandering cow. Because they are valuable they are generally safely penned in. On the other hand, kangaroos wander freely. If they can't jump over a fence they will run through it. Several years ago I saw the remains of a kangaroo paw hanging from a fence wire. Obviously, the animal had survived and bounded on his way.

Volvo Australia is studying kangaroo behavior on the roadside. They intend to fit a radar sensor to cars that will scan the road ahead. When a kangaroo is detected directly ahead within contact range the brakes will be automatically applied to a vehicle.
Car write off by impact with kangaroo
If Volvo is successful it will dramatically reduce insurance costs. Over 20,000 kangaroos are hit annually in Australia. It is like hitting a brick wall. Some vehicles are written off; there is so much damage.
Technology by Ty Buchanan
            Australian Blog   Adventure Australia
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volvo australia kangaroos bull cows road highway danger damage articles news information data search technology anthropology evolution science genetics biology politics history health
 #kangaroos #bullbar #bull #cows #road #highway #danger #damage #insurance #cost  

South Australian Legislation to Allow Driverless Cars on Australian Road is Illegal

South Australia is going to test driverless cars for use on roads in that state. This is premature. We have the hacking problems of "normal" vehicles to deal with, let along allowing potentially dangerous ones loose in Australia. There is also the important question of who is responsible if there is a collision involving a driverless car.
Driverless car vehicle odd shaped
This is way too soon. The South Australian experiment will be the first in the southern hemisphere. Legislation is to be passed in state parliament on Thursday. It will allow testing on road with cars being driven by people. It is obvious that if there is an accident the insurance company of a normal vehicle will not pay out. It is common knowledge that insurance companies keep taking annual premiums when they know a legal problem exists which takes liability away from them - note the payouts refused in recent floods.

Wanting to be the first state to adopt new technology is stupid when such cars will be driving illegally with no insurance. If they can be used even in tests, everyone should be able to drive with no insurance.

There will be a High Court challenge to laws exempting testers from having to abide by design rules and the insurance obligations. Some road specifications are federal laws that states do not have jurisdiction to override.
Technology by Ty Buchanan 
            Australian Blog   Adventure Australia
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driverless cars insurance liability state government federal road specifications laws legislation

Compulsory Reversing Radar Technology is Needed in Australia

There is nothing worse than parking in a shopping center car park, doing your shopping, then coming out to find another driver has reversed out and scraped your rear "bumper" A compulsory radar reversing system should be introduced for all vehicles.
radar-based reverse braking technology truck vicroads
VicRoads is doing something about this. Their maintenance fleet has been fitted with radar-based reverse braking technology. The main target is not vehicle damage: it is injuries to employees who are hit when trucks are reversing. No less than 18 workers were struck from 2003 to 2012. The system detects anything directly in the reversing path of a vehicle.

All new motor vehicles are now fitted with such technology in Europe, the US and Japan. Where is Australia with regard to this? It can prevent injuries, save lives and last but not least stop unwanted damage.  Insurance companies could even offer lower premiums as a result.

VicRoads will share its trial data with others involved in the transport industry. If this sector adopts the technology, the general public will want it fitted to their vehicles as well.  A high quality national detection system is needed, not the cut price basic ones that people are fitting now.
Technology by Ty Buchanan
            Australian Blog   Adventure Australia
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technology vicroads radar based reverse braking transport public general vehicles cars trucks

Australian Headset Slows a Car During Driver Inattention

Every car manufacturer in the world is working on a self-drive vehicle, but is this the way of the future? How is it possible to have self-driven and human-driven cars on the same road at the same time in the "change-over" period? Auto-drive vehicles tend to be small, though there is no real need for this. It seems designers are trying to force us to accept tiny cars that get around on their own. Most elderly people use their cars to do the weekly shopping. with no boot/trunk this is impossible.

Accidents are caused by drivers not cars. It is human error, particularly not paying attention that is to blame. If human concentration can be improved there will be no need for auto-driven vehicles.

Researchers in Australia are working on a "headset" that monitors brain activity during driving. As brain activity changes when a driver is distracted the cars automatic braking system comes into action.

At the moment the headset is quite large - it has 14 sensors. This is only the beginning of the program though. Several different types of distraction were used: switching radio stations, using mobile phones, drinking water and reading maps.

Gaze rate, blink rate, blink duration and dwelling on a fixed point were also measured by the headset. A great deal of data is collected. This is not difficult to analyse with modern computers. Reducing accidents by making a car slow down then speed up again is paramount to lessen the 46 per cent of fatal accidents caused by inattention.
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Technology by Ty Buchanan
     Australian Blog                         

Old Cars Are Healthier

It makes one wonder how much money is wasted on research into seemingly trivial and irrelevant issues. Nonetheless, some of this research does result in useful findings. Why would there be tests on old cars to find out whether they are healthier than new vehicles? Well, research has been done and older cars are healthier largely because they let more air in through seals that do not fit anymore.

Most drivers and passengers jump into the modern vehicle and turn the air conditioning on, thus locking themselves into a sealed capsule. This may be comfortable but it can cause illness. To make the air conditioner function better it is common to choose the recycle setting, so we breath stale air. This is more damaging than taking in pollutants from outside.

When you go for a drive in future you should be careful about who you are travelling with. If a passenger has the flu, everyone else will probably get it. Set the air conditioner to the ventilation setting or leave a window slightly open.
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