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Progressive Offers Discounts to Drivers Who Install 'Snapshot' Monitoring Device

Progressive wants to save its customers some money using a unique, and slightly creepy, program called "Snapshot." Only available to New York City drivers during the initial phase, the program allows drivers to save up to 30-percent on their premiums. To find out if they're eligible, drivers will have to plug a device into the diagnostics port on their car, and leave it there for 30 days while it...

'Anti Sleep Pilot' Warns Drowsy Drivers When to Pull Over

It won't be able to help the U.S. drivers who are taking long trips this holiday season, but a new in-car device available in Denmark prevents drivers from dozing off by testing their awareness and monitoring their vehicle's movements. The Anti Sleep Pilot sits on the dash, and monitors the car's speed and direction, while intermittently asking the driver to tap its surface in order to combat fat...

Eyetracker Warns Sleepy Drivers Before They Crash

We not only want our cars to get us to our destinations, but to get us there safely, too. According to DVICE, German researchers have developed an in-car, eye-tracking system that monitors facial features, and delivers an audible warning whenever the driver appears sleepy. Dubbed Eyetracker, the system uses two cameras to monitor the pupils' positions, and then watches for changes in a person's l...

Test Drive Mitsubishi's Outlander Sport From Your Computer

Everyone wants a new SUV. But who wants to waste all that time and energy actually test driving one -- especially if it means having to spend time away from your computer? Well, if you happen to be interested in buying one of Mitsubishi's new Outlander Sport SUVs, you may never have to. Beginning November 1st, customers interested in taking the new Outlander for a spin will be able to do so fr...

50 Years of Japanese Concept Cars Make Detroit Look Outdated

Japan has been at the forefront of automotive design for quite some time. As if that point needed to be reinforced, Pink Tentacle has collected photos of Japanese concept cars dating back to 1957 that make even modern models out of Detroit look retro. Sure, some are completely impractical, but, if GM had ever made a car like the EX-III above, it probably wouldn't have needed bailing out. ...

Tactile Navigation Lets You Feel GPS Directions

When using a GPS, you generally have two choices for getting your directions: looking at the screen, and listening to audio cues. The problem is that taking your eyes off the road, even momentarily, can be dangerous, and the polite British woman (or Darth Vader, depending on your level of geekiness) is not always audible over your blaring stereo and the din of traffic. A new system being develope...

Self-Aware Traffic Light System Could Cut Delays

Traffic lights habitually serve as the bane of commuters. Getting stopped at a red with no sign of approaching traffic, missing a synchronized green because of unforeseen obstacles and falling short of a fleeting turn arrow all contribute to those ever-expanding back and neck stress knots. Two European researchers, Stefan Lämmer and Dirk Helbing, believe they may have a solution to those ...

OnStar Bringing Facebook, Text Message Updates to Cars

Looking to compete with Ford's Sync's messaging technology, GM's OnStar may soon add text messaging and Facebook updates to its on-board communication system. According to The Detroit Free Press, a source claims that OnStar subscribers will be able to transmit text messages and Facebook updates via the on-board communications system by the end of the month. Before you safety advocates go berserk,...

Researchers Hack Cars via Wireless Tire Pressure Sensors

Back in May, we told you about a study that proved it's fairly easy to remotely hack into a car's onboard computer. Now, according to Technology Review, researchers at the University of South Carolina and Rutgers University have figured out how to hack into the tire-pressure-monitoring systems (TPMS) featured on many vehicles. The researchers used easy-to-find equipment that cost about $1,500 ...

Volkswagen to Launch Hybrid Beetle at 2011 Detroit Auto Show

Next year, Volkswagen's most recognizable, dome-shaped classic will be getting a redesign. According to Autoblog Green, VW plans to debut a Beetle with a hybrid powertrain and a new exterior design at the 2011 Detroit Auto Show. The car's specs should be similar to the New Compact Coupe (NCC) that VW revealed last year. That vehicle carried a 1.4-liter TSI inline-four cylinder engine, a 20-kilo...

CyberMotion Simulator Helps Scientists Steer a Course Toward Robo Racing

With a massive, controllable robotic arm, many unprecedented and momentous tasks become achievable. Such an appendage could perform difficult rescue missions, extraordinary construction tasks and urgent emergency responses. But, its greatest perk might be the reactive, mid-air environment it can contribute to incredibly awesome gaming sessions. Germany's Max Planck Institute for Biological C...

First Public Quick-Charge Station Isn't All That Public

Portland General Electric (PGE) and NEC unveiled what they've billed as "North America's first public-use, quick-charge station for electric vehicles" yesterday. Governor Ted Kulongoski helped to juice up a yet-to-be-released Nissan LEAF at the station, which will charge lithium-ion-battery-based vehicles to 80-percent of their capacity in 20 to 30 minutes. "The station was awarded public-use cer...

Naruse Pedal Distinguishes the Gas From the Brake, Prevents Confusion

A few months ago, Toyota was forced to recall millions of vehicles following accusations that some of their cars accelerated without warning. While the company acknowledged that many of the incidents could be attributed to faulty pedal placement, it also suggested that some drivers may have simply confused the gas pedal with the brake. Toyota may be able to tinker with its pedal arrangement, bu...

Nearly 90-Percent of Teens Drive While Distracted

In May of 2009, we learned that, despite fully knowing the dangers of doing so, most teens were still driving while texting. A new survey from AAA and Seventeen Magazine shows that, even though awareness has improved, still more teens are engaging in distracting behavior while driving. The study asked 1,999 teens (apparently unable to get just one more kid), ages 16 to 19, about the sorts of thin...

China Plans Giant, Road-Straddling 'Buses' to Defeat Traffic

China thinks it may have a solution to its growing car and congestion problem: giant buses that straddle the road. Although calling these monstrosities "buses" seem misguided (as they run on tracks, and independently of other street traffic), it's obvious that they could greatly increase the speed and quality of your average Beijing commute. The shuttles arch over the road, allowing other vehicle...