Wordless Thursday – Cost of drunken driving

Being in Dubai one of the things that all of us here know is that no matter what, drunken driving will not be tolerated. Having zero tolerance there are still a lot of cases of drunken driving within Dubai itself.

World over it is strict but not as much as to have complete deterrence, and people are losing lives as well as money. Here is an infographic from Carinsurance.org which describes the cost of drunken driving. Hope you enjoy it in this week’s Wordless Thursday.

Speed bumps only for the ‘fast’ cars

Being in Dubai its not very common to come across Speed Bumps, but when you do it is quite pleasant, but something that kind of annoys me is the fact that even if you drive slow, you still need to go over the speed bump, that slows you down.l Yes, its annoying. However it is a requirement for the drivers who consider the roads in Dubai an extension of the Dubai Autodrome :) I have my faith in engineers and inventors who would come up with a solution to my annoyance, actually before I even say that I found a solution.

These guys in Mexico’s Decano Industries have a speed bump that could make the speed deterrents a lot less obnoxious. The concept is simple: if a car is going slow enough, the speed bump stays retracted and allows it to continue. Go too fast and you hit the speed bump, in the way we all know best.

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The future of Automobile is Autonomous

Faultless driving stunts are not normally associated with computers and autonomous vehicles, well these videos that were just forwarded to me completely changed my mind about these autonomous car concepts. Like the car in iRobot where Will Smith drives his Audi or rather the Audi drives Will Smith, the dream of engineers is to come up with autonomous cars that can safely drive their residents around. Imagine using the GPS to not get lost, clean energy technology like compressed air technologies for perpetual fuel (or … sort of) with no accidents and the best possible route for efficiency and saving on time.

In my recent post about cars being smarter that you, I highlighted how computers in cars are getting really sophisticated and also improving in their decision making skills. Computers will eventually out-drive, out-think and out-perform humans on every level and this clip of autonomous supervehicle Stanley shows that out-driving us all will be sooner rather than later.

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The complex Formula 1 steering wheel

Despite what you might assume after traveling on India and Dubai’s highways and byways, operating a vehicle isn’t terribly complicated. At most, there are three pedals, a steering wheel and a gear shift lever. Everything else is just periphery. While the onslaught of infotainment doodads and climate control wizardry have turned the cockpit of your favorite conveyance from an exercise in simplicity into a buffet of dials and buttons, we assure you it’s nothing like what Felipe Massa has to contend with.

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Pimp up your car with the new AR Windshield

I love technology, Augmented Reality is a favorite technology of the future and like a lot of people around the world I am insistent that it is going to be as big as technology can get. Companies are slowly realizing the potential of this platform as not just a great marketing and advertising tool, or a toy, but a definitive tool to help bridge the virtual and real world. Proof of the above statement is now car manufacturers are looking at making the technology available through Heads Up Displays on the windshield. Yes you read that right, AR is coming soon to a car near you. Well beofe we see what is available, lets see what it can look like ?

General Motors has been working with several universities to develop a working next-generation heads-up display that turns an ordinary windshield into an augmented reality information dashboard. Such a system can improve safety and advance knowledge behind the wheel, visually identifying important objects in physical space like road signs and the edges of the road you’re on in conditions of poor visibility. It can even bring GPS functions right into the dashboard by outlining the exact building you’re going to.

According to Technology Review, to turn the entire windshield into a display, GM used a special type of glass coated with red-emitting and blue-emitting phosphors–a clear synthetic material that glows when it is excited by ultraviolet light. The phosphor display is then activated by tiny, ultraviolet lasers bouncing off mirrors bundled near the windshield.  Three cameras mounted on the dashboard track the driver’s head and eyes to determine where she is looking.

The HUD windshield uses night vision, navigation and camera-based sensors to gather data relevant to your surroundings as you drive, and ultraviolet lasers project corresponding images onto the windshield surface. GM says to look for this system being incorporated into its vehicles in the near future.