Designer Ho-Tzu Cheng has an interesting — if a little high-tech — solution to eliminate the blind spots in cars. A lot of modern vehicles have a rear-facing camera so you can see what's behind you. Cheng wants to expand that to cover the sides, too, and put it right where you can plainly see it: the top of your windshield.
This is the Hövding ("chieftain" in Swedish). It looks silly, yes, but before you write it off as some silly concept, realize that this thing is a working prototype. There's even a video to prove it.
Falling asleep while at the helm of a few tons of metal and plastic going 60 miles-per-hour doesn't end well, but there's little the modern car can do about it. If it, say, stopped itself suddenly it could become a hazard to other drivers. The Eyetracker system knows it's not on the car, though — it's on you to drive safe.
Are you seriously concerned about earthquakes? Perhaps you live right directly on top of a major fault line. Perhaps you are insane and paranoid. But either way, you're gonna need some protection, protection like this earthquake shelter door.
When I used to work as a computer tech, I spent a lot of time pulling out and pushing in plugs. For the most part things went pretty smooth, but every now and then my fingers would touch the metal and I'd get an unpleasant shock.
Electric cars have a lot going for them, but pedestrians sometimes fear them for their lack of noise. If you're crossing the street, and an EV is coming at you, chances are you won't hear it coming. Automakers have responded by installing noisemakers (some incredibly cool), including Toyota, which just unveiled one for its popular Prius. One problem: it's optional.
We all love those silent hand/finger gestures Special Ops teams use in the movies when they're about to attack. Now a pair of high-tech gloves gives firefighters the same kind of cool hand-speak in the service of saving lives.
If you're a fan of activities that you need to wear a helmet for, you know there are two major problems that can arise from a crash: you break the helmet or you hurt your head. Both can be harder to tell than you'd think. This "Smart Helmet," at least, will know if you're injured.
If there's one thing we don't need more of on the road right now, it's distractions. Yet a group in San Francisco is looking into the possibility of slapping digital license plates on cars. Rather than simply display your plate number on a sweet, scrolling marquee, the plates would display ads. Ads for other drivers to read.
This is the Uni-Signal, or Universal Sign Light. It's here to address a major problem with our old traffic lights: if everyone is supposed to know what a traffic light is trying to tell them, then why isn't it designed so that everyone will be able to read it?