The Transport Accident Commission (Victoria, Australia) released research showing that people were twice as likely to be killed if they were in a vehicle older than 10 years. This is in part due to the fact that safety features such as autonomous emergency braking (AEB), electronic stability control (ESC), side curtain airbags, parking and lane sensors and backup cameras are not as common on older cars. Because older vehicles are less likely to have some of these safety technologies, they pose a higher risk of being involved in a crash and provide less protection for drivers and passengers – and can be the difference between a fright and a fatality. The public safety announcement urges used car buyers to prioritize safety when purchasing a vehicle.
According to an IHS survey, the typical car on US roads in 2016 was 11.6 years old. Yet Americans are buying cars at an annualized rate of more than 17 million vehicles, marking a high not seen since before the Great Recession. In 2016, both used and new cars made up the registration pool of 264 million light vehicles in the U.S. Most used-car buyers use the Internet to research car pricing. The top three reasons car buyers use the Internet to shop include research pricing, to find cars for sale and to compare vehicles.
A video published by police yesterday raises some serious questions about Uber’s driverless-car technology.
This video, released by the Tempe, Arizona, Police Department, shows what happened moments before one of Uber’s autonomous cars killed a pedestrian. The driver was recorded by a camera inside the car, looking down for several seconds. She looks up at the last moment to see someone walking into the car’s path.
Was #DistractedDriving to blame? Experts have long warned that partial autonomy lulls people into a false sense of security, causing them to become dangerously disengaged. Situational awareness (SA) in driving is compromised with distractions. SA means a driver is aware of his or her surroundings and comprehends the variables in situations that are constantly changing. It can take many seconds for a person to regain situational awareness if something goes wrong – not enough time to prevent a disaster from happening, such as the case of the Uber fatal pedestrian crash.
LIDAR—Light Detection and Ranging – is the technology utilized by autonomous vehicles to measure distance to a target by illuminating the target with pulsed laser light and measuring the reflected pulses with a sensor. Differences in laser return times and wavelengths can then be used to make digital 3-D representations of a target. Investigators at the National Transportation Safety Board are tasked with investigating the sensors aboard the Uber self-driving car that failed to spot the pedestrian, who was wheeling her bike across the road.
The scary thought about this incident is that companies rushing to commercialize vehicle automation are already testing experimental systems on public roads – at least 52 companies have permits to test out self-driving cars California alone. Uber has been testing autonomous vehicles in Pittsburgh, San Francisco, Toronto and the greater Phoenix area for months. Waymo has testing locations in Atlanta, Detroit and Austin. Arizona is also the home for multipe testing sites, including Chandler, Gilbert, Guadalupe, Phoenix, Mesa and Tempe. California testing sites include Carmel, Daly City, Half Moon Bay, Los Altos, Menlo Park, Merced, Morgan Hill, Mountain View, Palo Alto, Santa Cruz, San Francisco, San Luis Obispo, Sunnyvale, Tiburon and Truckee. Lyft has a driverless pilot program in Boston and offered driverless rides around the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. Cruise Automation driverless cars are on the road in California, Arizona, and Michigan. In 2015, Daimler’sSelf Driving Truck became the world’s first licensed autonomous freightliner in Nevada.
Is self-driving vehicle technology moving too quickly for the public’s good? Post your comments.
While the cultivation, trafficking, sale, or possession of cannabis products is a crime in Illinois under the state’s Controlled Substances Act, Illinois marijuana laws are rather lax. Possession of less than 2.5 grams of cannabis is a class C misdemeanor, punishable by a fine. Illinois also allows the use of medical marijuana for eligible patients as part of a pilot program slated to run through 2018; marijuana possession, use, cultivation, and sale remain federal crimes.
Marijuana laws are subject to rapid change at present. Although the trend has been toward decriminalization and even full legalization in several states, there are some states looking at significant change in legislative attitudes, such as the case in Illinois.
There is a ballot measure in Cook County — the nation’s second-most-populous county, which has more residents than 27 U.S. states — that sends a strong message to state lawmakers about ending cannabis prohibition. Approved by voters with a greater than two-to-one margin, the ballot question reads:
“Shall the State of Illinois legalize the cultivation, manufacture, distribution, testing, and sale of marijuana and marijuana products for recreational use by adults 21 and older subject to state regulation, taxation and local ordinance?”
Politicians are climbing aboard the cannabis-support bandwagon, supporting both the legalization and taxation of recreational marijuana, which is estimated to generate as much as $700 million a year for the state. Illinois Attorney General Republican nominee Erika Harold suggested officials should begin the process of methodically analyzing and negotiating appropriate safeguards and regulatory frameworks for the legal recreational use of marijuana – the state has already decriminalized medical cannabis. Few are asking voters to consider the ramifications of driving under the influence of marijuana (DUID), especially since the THC in cannabis – the main mind-altering ingredient found in marijuana and the chemical responsible for most of marijuana’s psychological effects – does not have the ability to raise your blood alcohol measurement. This is because THC does not remain in the blood but rather finds its home in the body’s fatty tissues like the brain. While in sufficient quantity, using cannabis products can increase your level of impairment, there is currently no scientific bases to create legal limits for marijuana impairment in the same manner blood alcohol concentration determines drunk driving. as used by law enforcement for BAC/BAL.
According to Herb, the website for cannabis news, THC is present in the blood for about 4 to 12 hours post-consumption. If you’re a heavy user, THC might hang out in your bloodstream for up to a few days. Effects, doses, metabolism, body weight, mind state, environment, blood sugar levels, age, and certain other factors all affect these numbers, and each individual/every situation is unique. Thus, it is a driver’s responsibility to know when to engage in smoking, eating or inhaling cannabis products so that it doesn’t impair their ability to drive safely.
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There is a reason that, by law, a train always has the right of way. You are about 40 times more likely to die in a crash with a train than with another motor vehicle. People have been injured or killed because they thought they could beat the train. You can’t always count on the railroad crossing signals to be working, so look both directions to make sure a train is not approaching……You are about 40 times more likely to die in a crash with a train than with another motor vehicle. People have been injured or killed because they thought they could beat the train. You can’t always count on the railroad crossing signals to be working, so look both directions to make sure a train is not approaching……According to the Federal Railroad Administration, there were there were 2,105 collisions, 274 Fatalities and 807 injuries at railroad crossings in 2017, with 274 people killed. According to federal data, a person or vehicle is hit by a train in the United States approximately every three hours. Due to their sheer size trains appear to be slow, but they are deceptively fast. Technological advances have made railroad crossings them quiet and thus more difficult to detect. As a result, many drivers, thinking they have time, try to drive around the lowered gates or race across the tracks to try and beat the train. Nearly half of all car-train crashes occur at crossings where warning devices were active.
The Department of Transportation kicked off a new railroad crossing safety campaign on Friday with astriking new video. The ad, a collaborative effort between the Federal Railroad Administration and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, shows a freight train traveling through the outskirts of a city before crashing into the side of an SUV. The engineer appears to apply the brakes, but it cannot slow down quickly enough. The train travels some distance as the vehicle is violently dragged along the tracks.
The ad’s title is “Stop. Trains Can’t.”
It takes a freight train traveling at 55 mph a mile to come to a complete stop even with the emergency brake applied.
“Education is key here – sometimes a driver is distracted, or in an unfamiliar area. Other times, the state highway department has not done enough to warn drivers they are approaching a crossing,” said FRA Administrator Sarah E. Feinberg. “We must do everything we can to give drivers the information they need to keep themselves and their families safe – and this ad helps us do just that.”
The Department of Transportation is spending $7 million to run the ad, which targets males between the ages of 18 and 49 in the areas where railroad crossing accidents are particularly problematic.
The ads will run in California, Illinois, Texas, Louisiana, Indiana, Ohio, Florida, Georgia, Missouri, New York, North Carolina, South Carolina, Kentucky, Alabama, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Mississippi, New Jersey, Arkansas and Arizona.
Self-driving cars are beginning to show up on public roads, in public policy and on the horizon of drivers’ consciousness, and have made substantial progress in creating a new economic sector in countries throughout the world.Technology is transforming the transportation industry, including automobiles, and the pace of innovation is accelerating; It will affect us all. A recent report from KPMG International explores the readiness of countries around the world “on the cusp of a transport revolution”.
The top global leaders in the race to bring self-driving cars – the so-called autonomous driving vehicles – to city streets and highways were determined by measuring public policy initiatives, technology and innovation fostered; infrastructure built, and consumer acceptance cultivated. The number one country? The Netherlands. Rounding out the top five are Singapore, USA, Sweden and the United Kingdom, with Germany, Canada, the United Arab Emirates, New Zealand, and South Korea comprising the rest of the top 10.
Making up the list’s lower half are Japan, Austria, France, Australia, Spain, China, Brazil, Russia, Mexico, and India.
Complete rankings, detailed breakdowns of each country’s strong suits and shortcomings, and more information on how the research was compiled and conducted can be found in the report, Autonomous Vehicles Readiness Index – Assessing Openness and Preparedness for Autonomous Vehicles Worldwide, https://assets.kpmg.com/content/dam/kpmg/xx/pdf/2018/01/avri.pdf