Safety advocates pushing for new technology that would alert drivers if they leave a child in their vehicle after leaving it say the new devices could lower the cost of sensor technology in current and coming vehicles.
KidsAndCars.org rolled out examples of new technology that could be installed in vehicles right now that can determine if a baby or small child has been left in a vehicle and trigger a series of alarms and warnings to prevent that child from dying or being injured due to exposure in an overheated vehicle.
The group also promoted the Hot Cars Act that was passed by the U.S. House of Representatives as part of the recent Moving Forward Act (H.R. 2). It now needs Senate approval and a presidential signature before it mandates technology that issues audio and visual warnings inside and outside the vehicle.
“We simply cannot let another summer pass without making the life-saving and desperately needed technology a part of the solution to save the lives of innocent babies. Every day that we delay in advancing these cost-effective detection technologies means children are at risk of needlessly dying.” said Janette Fennell, president of KidsAndCars.org during the webinar.
The organization has teamed with other safety-oriented groups to advocate for a variety of tech-oriented issues in the auto industry, such as pushing for further testing of autonomous vehicles before they drive
on public issues.
The hot car issue is at the fore of many efforts because an average of 39 children die annually after being trapped inside a hot vehicle. However, the last two years have seen new records of 54 and 55 deaths. The organization believes automakers need to do more to prevent these fatalities.
More importantly, they want a technology that works well, unlike many of the systems that are currently in place. The groups want it though of like other safety components in a vehicle: they should work — period.
“The voluntary agreement notes that a system must ‘consider the potential presence’ of an occupant and provide an alert when there is ‘the potential presence’ of an occupant,” said Shaun Kildare, Senior Director of Research at Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety.
“This allows for technology which does not detect, but rather essentially guesses whether there may be a child left in a vehicle.” He continued, “You wouldn’t want your brakes to potentially work when you press them.”
The groups did point out that Hyundai’s Ultrasonic sensor-based technology would meet the requirements set forth in the Hot Cars Act. Hyundai, and its sister auto brand Kia, began offering it last year after introducing it in 2017. Other automakers have systems in place as well, including General Motors which has offered its Rear Seat Reminder on all of its four-door sedans, trucks and SUVs starting with the 2019 model year as well.
The group is working with four automotive technology companies to advance the cause of getting new sensor-based systems in future vehicles that can better determine if there’s a baby or simply an inanimate object in the car.
Each of the four, Aptiva, IEE Sensing, Caaresys and Vayyar Imaging, all offered videos promoting their technology, outlining how it can help automakers meet the mandate of the Hot Cars Act as well as make things easier as they move toward autonomous vehicles, especially on the cost front.
Ian Podkamien, Vayyar’s director of business development, said its iteration of the tech is a “very, very affordable element” of the system, adding it would actually save U.S. automakers money. The consensus of the calls experts was that it could be cost neutral once mandated because of the economies of scale.
The problem isn’t just a problem in the U.S., according to the organization, noting its been tracking the problem in 56 countries around the world and it’s on the rise in most of those as well.
See 2021 Cadillac Escalade Get Driven With Blocked Windshield
The 2021 Cadillac Escalade test units are out and about, and first drives have already been orchestrated. A handful of journalists and YouTubers have started pouring out content about the full-size luxury SUV. That includes us with our Escalade First Drive Review.
The Fast Lane, however, took a different route and made videos that are out of the ordinary. We’ve seen the channel do some off-roading with the Escalade, something owners won’t probably do when they get their hands on one.
This time, The Fast Lane Truck does a review with the Escalade’s bevy of tech toys. And as crazy as you would expect from the channel, the folks there tried to drive the SUV with a blocked windshield and front windows. How? By using the Escalade’s VR function displayed on the instrument panel. The resulting video was bonkers, which you can watch on top of this page.
Speaking of, the driver was able to go around the course without issues, twice even, and you can see in the video that he even reached speeds of up to 60 miles per hour (97 kilometers per hour) before coming to a halt.
Before you raise your pitchforks, let us all be reminded that TFL Trucks did the test on a close course, so the test looked safe. Although as expected, both the driver and his passenger felt queasy after the virtual drive. But overall, at least now we know that you can still drive the new Escalade even if your windshield got broken – so as long as the front camera’s intact.
See the full crazy test on video and let us know what you think through the comments section below.
Fancy Acer Book RS By Porsche Design Comes With Carbon Fiber Cover
Porsche RS models are revered for their performance both on and off the race track, as they are admired for their flurry of carbon fiber materials. Porsche Design is back with another collaboration to showcase its styling prowess – this time it’s with Acer and its latest laptop.
Named the Porsche Design Acer Book RS, this fancy laptop signifies a new partnership between the two brands, something that fuses Porsche Design’s functional design philosophy and engineering mindset with Acer’s technological innovations and deep-rooted knowledge in the global computer segment.
The high-end notebook comes with a minimalist design, but a closer inspection reveals a 3k carbon fiber cover, striking a contrast against the diamond-cut CNC-machined chassis. With the use of this lightweight material normally used for race cars, the entire Acer Book RS only weighs 2.76 pounds (1.25 kilograms) while only measuring 0.63 inches (15.99 millimeters) thin.
Underneath the classy body, the Porsche Design Acer Book RS is equipped with the latest 11th Gen Intel Core i7 processors with Intel Iris Xe graphics and optional discrete NVIDIA GeForce®MX350 GPUs and 16 GB of RAM. The 14-inch FHD IPS3 touchscreen is covered with a layer of Antimicrobial4 Corning Gorilla Glass with an immersive 90% screen-to-body ratio.
The Porsche Design Acer Book RS will be available in North America with a starting price of $1,399.99. A premium package, which comes with equally great-looking accessories such as premium package i7 notebook, travel pack, and mouse, will be priced at $1,999.99. This chic Acer laptop will also be available in Europe and in China.
This isn’t the first time that Porsche designed a gadget. Back in 2018, a Porsche Design Huawei Mate RS came into fruition, which had a price tag that started at $1,800.
GMC Hummer EV’s WTF Mode Does A Weird Song And Dance Before Launching
First thing’s first. What the heck is Watts to Freedom? In short, it’s the GMC Hummer EV version of Tesla’s Ludicrous Plus launch mode, both in function and in its gimmicky nature. What does that mean? Ludicrous refers to Ludicrous speed from the classic 1987 Sci-Fi spoof Spaceballs. Meanwhile, the acronym for GMC’s Watts To Freedom is WTF, and we’re sure you know what else that stands for. But wait, there’s more
Engage WTF mode in the recently revealed GMC Hummer EV, and you won’t just launch to 60 mph in three seconds. For starters, the truck will hunker down a couple of inches before putting its GM-estimated 1,000 horsepower (735 kilowatts) to the ground. That’s a functional component of going fast, but less functional are the sounds that emanate from the Hummer EV’s speakers and animations that pop up on its digital screens.
GMC doesn’t offer a specific description of what this means, but the B-roll footage below takes us through the process starting at the 28-second mark. Once activated, a low-pitch humming sound reverberates through the speakers, and a snazzy animation on the main screen morphs to a third-person view of a Hummer EV poised on a space-themed runway. Meanwhile, the dash displays “Watts To Freedom” with stars and bars, along with a message that advises “repeated usage will cause accelerated wear on vehicle.” The driver can choose cancel or let’s go, which isn’t quite as catchy as I want my mommy or bring it on but hey, you get the point.
Selecting let’s go puts the system into motion. The truck lowers (which is also shown on the instrument display) and the driver is eventually prompted to press the brake and accelerator. This is the interactive part, as the driver must brake hard enough to get the all-important green checkmark to then floor it, all while the sound increases in both intensity and annoyance.
With the pedals mashed and the Hummer EV ready, release the brake and it’s off to the races. Presumably, drivers will be concentrating on the road while sprinting to 60 mph, so they won’t see the mini starfield flashing on the digital instrument board next to the speed readout. However, everyone will hear what sounds like the USS Enterprise going to warp speed through the speakers. At least it’s more pleasant than the low-resonance buzzing that starts it all off.
Is the GMC Hummer EV fast? Yes, it certainly is. However, experiencing all the pomp and circumstance that’s not at all similar to Tesla’s various quirky Easter eggs could easily be considered gimmicky in the best of circumstances. We’re at least curious to try it all in person as opposed to seeing a close-up on a video, but we suspect these aspects of WTF Mode might have more than a few people asking WTF GMC was thinking with all this.
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