We've seen all kinds of innovative concepts lately from car manufacturers trying to prevent people from falling asleep at the wheel. From Infiniti's Lane Departure Warning system to BMW's vibrating steering wheel to Volvo's coffee-break notification system, these optional systems use all kinds of technology to keep drivers conscious, but they nearly always come as part of pricey technology package. Fortunately, it turns out there is a budget option for those wanting to stay awake at the wheel in the form of the Drive Alert Master. This $15 device hooks around a driver's ear in … Read more
When we got the JVC KD-NX5000 in for review earlier this year, we were so impressed with the single-DIN navigation/multimedia device that we slapped a CNET Editors' Choice on it. Now JVC Mobile is following the release of this year's "hero" product with a couple of other in-dash devices that make use of the same design. With its bright, 3.5-inch color LCD display, the KD-AVX33 boasts many of the same multimedia capabilities as its navigation-enabled cousin. While it doesn't have a built-in hard drive a la the KD-NX5000, the KD-AVX33 comes with a range … Read more
CHIBA, Japan--First you had personalized media. Soon, it will be personalized deodorizers.
The SpotScents device, devised by automaker Subaru, consists of two air cannons precisely aimed at a passenger about two feet away in a car. The cannons spritz the passenger with fragrances--there's "Cool Wind" and another one mysteriously called "Pleasure Time." Just the thing you need while driving.
The idea behind SpotScents is that not everyone wants to smell the same fragrance. Some people hate the smell of those little pine trees, after all, while other people hate the smell of dust in the … Read more
The average person has probably never heard of Miles electric cars. The fledgling Miles Automotive Group, originally based in Malibu and now located in a renovated building at the Santa Monica airport in Southern California, currently makes small, low-speed electric vehicles used primarily by universities, government and the military.
But as it gears up to launch its first freeway-speed consumer car, Miles is hoping to raise its profile by urging college students to create and upload their own videos about how electric cars can help clean up the environment. Miles will post the videos on YouTube and will award each … Read more
Two of the biggest energy-related stories of late have been the push toward alternative automotive fuels and a newfound enthusiasm for nuclear power. What better time, then, to dust down the blueprints for the Ford Nucleon, a nuclear-powered concept car that was developed in the late 1950s?
The Nucleon got its thrust from a small onboard nuclear reactor in the form of a radioactive core suspended between twin booms to the rear of the driver. The Nucleon' passenger compartment featured a one-piece, pillarless windshield and compound rear window, and was topped by a cantilever roof. Ford claimed that the car … Read more
With the launch of the IVA-W205, Alpine becomes the second aftermarket manufacturer to combine mobile- and in-dash navigation. Unlike the Eclipse AVN2210p, which uses a similar combination of in-dash dock connected to a portable TomTom GPS device, the IVA-W205 can be purchased--and used--independently of its portable Blackbird PMD-B200 component. With the Blackbird installed behind the faceplate, the IVA-W205 becomes a useful in-dash system; without the Blackbird portable, the IVA-W205 is a simple--but versatile--multimedia player in the vein of the Alpine IVA-200. Read the full review here.
We're all about blue-sky thinking here at Crave, and this is some of the bluest we've seen. From the drawing board of Dutch inventor John Bakker comes the personal air and land vehicle (PAL-V), a cross between a Carver One three-wheeler and an autogyro that can be driven and flown at speeds as high as 200 kmh (125 mph).
While on the road, the gasoline- or biodiesel-powered machine relies on the same Dynamic Vehicle Control (DVC) system that enables the Carver to tilt when cornering. For flight, it uses the DVC combined with a gyrocopter rotor blade, which … Read more
CHIBA, Japan--Nissan is going to come out with more hybrid cars and completely electric vehicles in a few years.
But it's less excited about ethanol and biodiesel.
Technically speaking, designing an ethanol or biodiesel car is fairly straightforward, said Minoru Shinohara, senior vice president and general manager of the Technology Development Division at Nissan, during a meeting at the Ceatec show here this week.
The problem is the cost of the fuel. Both biodiesel and ethanol cost more than regular gas, when changes in mileage and other factors are calculated.
"The most important thing is availability of fuel,&… Read more
Micron plans to announce a new image sensor for cars Wednesday that can keep an eye on you as well as on the road.
The company's charmingly named MT9V023 sensors are geared for a long list of ways that increasingly electronic cars will use cameras in an attempt to improve safety and convenience. The company is selling samples of the 752x480-pixel, 60-frame-per-second sensor at $25 apiece and expects them to be used in cars to ship in late 2008.
Some U.S. vehicles have cameras to improve rear-view vision when backing up--the Hummer H2 uses a Micron sensor for … Read more