Next time you go for a drive, think about how much time and brainpower you waste trying not to run into objects and people. Now imagine how much more awesome your life would be if you had a car that was so soft and squishy that no matter how drunk* and/or reckless you are, it just doesn't matter.
GM's new front center airbag explodes out of the side of your seat like a chestburster out of Alien. But it's a friendly chestburster that's designed to keep you from cracking your noggin open like a hard boiled egg the next time someone t-bones your ride.
The vast majority of car accidents occur because a human driver failed to see and react to something like a traffic light or another car. Let's face it, we kind of suck like that. It's a good thing that computers are so much smarter than we are, and by setting up cars to talk to each other, accidents could (mostly) be a thing of the past.
Conclusively proving that technology is indeed cyclical, BMW has successfully integrated a small steam turbine into a prototype 5 series that converts waste engine heat into electricity, resulting in a solid 10% increase in miles per gallon.
Obviously, lasers are the future of every single technology ever, from computers to sea jellies. BMW is now attempting to put lasers into car headlights, creating what could be (but isn't yet) the world's first combination road lighting system and pedestrian deterrence weapon.
Cloud computing sounds great in theory, but in practice, it's sometimes hard to see how it's going to make our lives better. Ford's new Evos concept tries to stuff as much of that that nebulous cloud information into a car as possible, and it definitely makes the cloud-car marriage an attractive one, indeed.
Find a sweet parking spot? A new web app lets you monetize it by auctioning off the rights to take your place when you leave.
Fast cars have rear spoilers to help turn airflow into traction. Faster cars have spoilers that only appear when you need them, to minimize drag. The fastest cars have spoilers that are dynamically adjustable, giving you the ideal compromise between traction and drag. The Flake Project is a car with an entire skin made of independently adjustable microspoilers.
There's nothing quite like walking through the GM's Aerodynamic Laboratory, an enormous Batcave-sized test facility where you'd expect to find a next-gen Tumbler being put through its paces as it's prepared for real world roughing. Located in Warren, Michigan, the GM wind tunnel's been open since 1980 and operates 24 hours for five days a week. A drabby-looking building is all you'll see topside, but like all heavy-duty scientific facilities, the awesome stuff is deep underground. The General Motors Aerodynamic Laboratory may not be the largest wind tunnel in the world (that honor belongs to the U.S. Military's 80-by-120-foot Moffett Field built in 1940s), but it is the world's largest one dedicated to automobile testing — and it's quite the whopper.
Heart attacks can happen anywhere at any time — even while driving. That's why Toyota is working on a steering wheel with contact sensors that can automatically slow a car down if it senses any irregular heart activity.