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Tag Archives: Safety

Volvo Sets Out to Build Crash-Free Cars by 2020

Volvo Crash Free Car

Tens of thousands of people die each year due to car accidents. Often times, people are to blame, but that’s not stopping Volvo from wanting to develop crash-free cars by the year 2020. Volvo isn’t the only carmaker that’s hard at work building safety systems that will provide the driver with additional tools to avoid vehicular accidents.

These systems include: pedestrian detection in the dark, animal detection, road edge and barrier detection, vehicle-to-vehicle communication, self parking, and adaptive cruise control with steer assist.

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This Is A Portable Seatbelt For Buses

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We’ve all thought it: “isn’t it funny that we put our seatbelts on when driving our cars, but don’t even think twice about getting on a huge bus that doesn’t even have them?” Granted, accidents involving buses are rather rare, but they do happen and it’s rarely pretty. So that’s why Blake McCauley and Charles Bedell have created the SafeHarness portable seat belt. It features two loops, one that goes around the seat back and cinches in place, and the other that attaches around your waist. It’s been tested and meets Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards. And although you could theoretically buy your own, the idea is for current bus companies to buy them in bulk and retrofit them to their fleet. It would be much easier and cheaper to do than a regular seatbelt, but obviously it’s an uphill battle to get any company to do anything it doesn’t have to do, and from which it stands to profit very little. So if you do want your own, you can get it for a $60 pledge on Indiegogo, assuming of course that the campaign reaches its funding goals… which seems unlikely with $1,000 raised from a $50,000 goal and only 11 days to go.

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[ Project Page ] VIA [ Gizmag ]

Is A Ridiculous Paper Pulp Bike Helmet Better Than Nothing At All?

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Keeping the contents of your head on the inside is a priority shared by many cyclists, thus the popularity of the bike helmet. But there’s a situation where helmets are rarely used: bike rental/sharing (like Montreal’s Bixi, NYC’s City Bikes or London’s “Boris Bikes”). Since most people don’t walk around with a helmet, they’re unlikely to have one when they decide to hop on a bike, so they ride without. The Paper Pulp Helmet concept looks to offer an alternative. Made from paper pulp derived from recycled newspapers, the helmet is vaccuum formed and can conceivably be sold for around $1.50, which is cheap enough to be paid for alongside a bike rental. The grooves that you see serve multiple purposes, like allowing for straps to be used, as well as providing aeration to prevent a wearer’s overheating. An organic additive is included in its preparation which makes the helmet waterproof for six hours. And when you’re done, simply toss it in a recycling bin and move on with your day.

Will a paper helmet keep you safe? It allegedly meets “stringent European safety standards”, though even if it doesn’t, some protection is arguably better than none.

And yes, this is only a concept at the moment, with no word on when or if it’ll ever see light of day.

[ Project Page ] VIA [ Gizmag ]

iPhone Carbon Monoxide Detector Case: This Case Could Save Your Life

iPhone Carbon Monoxide Detector Case

Carbon monoxide kills. You won’t know you’re being exposed to it though, because the gas is odorless, tasteless, and colorless, unless you have a detector that will alert you to its presence. It could happen at home, at your office, and even in your car, but most people don’t have detectors installed in all of these places.

Taking this into consideration and the fact that most people don’t go anywhere without their smartphones, David Tyers designed the iPhone Case with a built-in carbon monoxide detector.

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Accelerometer Equipped LED Braking Lights Work Even With Engine Brake

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Without brake lights, motor vehicles would be pretty dangerous; simply watching that hunk of metal in front of you getting bigger isn’t going to cut it, ever. But standard lights are also not 100% perfect. For instance when you slow down through either engine brake or downshifting, nothing lights up. And there’s rarely a way to tell whether you’ve just tapped the brakes or are mashing them with all your might. The VoloLights solve both those issues by including a 3-axis accelerometer. Sadly for motorcycles only, these LED lights will blink any time you’re slowing down, whether it’s through pressing the brake lever, through downshifting or even engine braking. What’s more, they’ll blink more rapidly in proportion to how fast you’re scrubbing speed. The system is embedded into a license plate holder that also has plate illumination so you can remain street legal. At $79 as a Kickstarter pledge, it’s a pretty affordable way to add yet another layer of safety to your ride.

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[ Project Page ]

Concept LED Light Could Light Up Cyclists’ Path Like A Fighter Plane

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Riding your bike at night can be a little tricky, especially without headlights. Regular headlights are great, but the Lumigrid is a conceptual LED light that would kick things up a notch.

It can be difficult for night cyclists to get a good sense of the condition of the terrain ahead, even with a typical bicycle lamp. In many cases, a bicycle lamp will cast shadows on both concave and convex areas of the ground. This can hinder the rider’s judgment of the road surface ahead, and increase the potential for danger.

Lumigrids can project a grid onto the ground. On a flat road surface, the grid will consist of standard squares. On a rough road surface, the grids will deform accordingly. By observing the motion and deformation of the grids, the rider can intuitively understand the landforms ahead. In addition, the luminous grids can make it easier for nearby pedestrians and vehicles to notice the bicycle, reducing the likelihood of collision.

Unfortunately, it is just a concept at the moment, even if it did win Sichaun University a Red Dot Design award in 2012. There doesn’t seem to be any concrete plans for bringing it to market, but given the current state of technology, how hard could it be?

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NDūR Survival Straw Lets You Drink Filthy Water In Case Of Emergency. Or For Fun

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If you’re going to venture out into the wilderness, it’s always a good idea to have backup plans in case your infallible sense of direction ends up failing miserably. What do you do if you’re stuck out there for a few days with nothing but muddy water all around to keep you hydrated? The NDūR Survival Straw is an inexpensive product that can go a long way to keep you alive. Featuring a fairly sophisticated water filtration technology from Seychelle, the straw claims to “eliminate up to 99.9 percent of micro-organisms, up to 99.99 percent of all chemicals and heavy metals, and up to 99.9999 percent of viruses and bacteria.” All you have to do is dip the straw in the stream, and drink away. It’s able to treat up to 25 gallons (95 l) of water before needing replacement. Best of all, it’s only $30. That’s a perfect pricepoint for anyone to consider making this a permanent member of their outdoors survival kits.

[ Product Page ] VIA [ Gizmag ]

Boarder Kontrol Is A Braking System For Snowboards

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Snowboarding isn’t hard, but it also isn’t the most intuitive sport to pick up. That’s why a company called Streetboardz has developed the Boarder Kontrol system you see above. It’s a braking system that gives novice snowboarders the one thing they always wish they had: instant manual braking. It’s not meant to stay there forever, but like the training wheels on a bicycle, the Boarder Kontrol can give a beginner that extra bit of confidence needed to get started carving snow.

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Concept: Saddle Lock Bike Needs No More Securing

The sad thing about concepts is that they often remain just concepts. We suspect the above Saddle Lock Bike by designers Lee Sang Hwa, Kim Jin Ho and Yeo Min Gu will receive the same fate. On the one had, this is sad, because we think it’s a cool concept: you can lock your rear wheel by simply pivoting the saddle downwards and pressing a button. Then, you’d enter the combination to unlock. It’s smart! On the other hand, there’s somewhat of a glaring problem: what’s to stop anyone from just grabbing the entire bike and taking off to some safe spot for a more leisurely lock-cutting session? It’s not like this is a much-heavier motorcycle, where you can get away with simply immobilizing a wheel… We figure that there might be times when the Saddle Lock Bike will be safe enough, but we can’t think of any.

Still, bottoms up for nice ideas, even if they’re somewhat impractical. Hit the jump for a few more pictures and links.

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