Uncrashable cars…and one that definitely isn’t

Uncrashable Car graphic “Uncrashable” cars are the long-term promise of the largest road safety research project ever launched in Europe (Via Science Daily):

A truck exits suddenly from a side road, directly into your lane only dozens of metres ahead. Suddenly, your car issues a warning, starts applying the brakes and attempts to take evasive action. Realising impact is unavoidable; in-car safety systems pre-tension the safety belts and arm the airbag, timing its release to the second before impact.

The research project, called PReVENT, has 56 partners and a budget of more than €50 million, and it’s main focus is on relatively cheap and simple technologies like parking sensors and satellite navigation that can be adapted to enhance safety, but some of the more experimental systems being studied in some of its sub-projects, with catchy names like WILLWARN (which uses wireless communication with other vehicles to alert drivers about potentially dangerous situations), LATERALSAFE (which uses active sensing to eliminate the dangers of the blind spot) and COMPOSE, which can automatically brake if a pedestrian steps onto the road, or extend the bumper and raise the hood to keep occupants safer.

Some of these technologies could start to show up on cars within just a few years’ time. (Image: PReVENT.)

North American Eagle If, on the other hand, the idea of an uncrashable car somehow takes all the fun out of driving for you, you might want to follow up on this lead (Times Online via Gizmodo):

Are you fearless? Do you have razor-sharp reactions and the sponsor-friendly good looks of a young Robert Redford? Think you’ve got what it takes to drive a supersonic jet car at speeds of more than 800mph?

If so, you might be just the man (or woman) to take the wheel of the North American Eagle, a 42,500bhp jet car with everything it takes to smash the land speed record, says its maker, except one thing – a driver.

Last week the team behind a joint American-Canadian attempt to win the world record back from the British launched an open contest to find that person.

Read more about the team here, then send a 400-word e-mail listing your credentials and a photo of yourself to landspeedracing@gmail.com.

Tell ’em Futurismic sent you. (Image: landspeed.com.)

[tags]transportation, automobiles, safety[/tags]

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