January 15, 2013

SPEAKING OF IMPROVING EFFICIENCY BY REDUCING COGNITION...:

Drivers With Hands Full Get a Backup: The Car (JOHN MARKOFF and SOMINI SENGUPTA, 1/13/13, NY Times)

Someday soon, few drivers will have to worry about car crashes and collisions, whether on congested roads or on empty highways, technology companies and car manufacturers are betting. But even now, drivers are benefiting from a suite of safety systems, and many more are in development to transform driving from a manual task to something more akin to that of a conductor overseeing an orchestra.

An array of optical and radar sensors now monitor the surroundings of a growing number of cars traveling the nation's highways, and in some cases even track the driver's physical state. Pedestrian detection systems, like the one that Dr. Levinson, a research scientist at Stanford's Center for Automotive Research, has helped design, are already available in luxury cars and are being built into some midrange models.

The systems offer auditory, visual and mechanical warnings if a collision is imminent -- and increasingly, if needed, take evasive actions automatically. By the middle of this decade, under certain conditions, they will take over the task of driving completely at both high and low speeds.
Posted by at January 15, 2013 9:22 PM
  
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