Monthly Archives: February 2012

Consumer Reports supports cars of the future

Opinions of technology’s place in our world vary. Some people believe that although we have the ability to utilize technology to assist us in our lives, that less is more. Others welcome technology in anyway which makes our world easier and or a safer place to live.
I personally believe that the answer lies somewhere in between these two extremes. I believe that many of these advancements are good adaptions, but some of them are a needless expense and with a little more education on proper care maintenance, these adaptions could be avoided. Here is an example of one piece of technology which could help us greatly. One thing that concerns me is that there is no mention of any cost to the consumer for this type of technology. I would be interested to learn more. What do you think about this? I’d love to hear!!
The Shape of the Future

Consumer Reports supports cars of the future

By Peter Valdes-Dapena @PeterDrivesFebruary 21, 2012: 9:22 AM ET

Electronic vehicle-to-vehicle communication technology could eliminate or reduce most crashes, Consumer Reports says.Electronic vehicle-to-vehicle communication technology could eliminate or reduce most crashes, Consumer Reports says.

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) — Consumer Reports magazine announced its support Tuesday for so-called vehicle-to-vehicle technology, which will allow autos to communicate with each other electronically — and potentially save thousands of lives.

Vehicle-to-vehicle communication, or V2V for short, allows cars and trucks to communicate with other vehicles in a given area. Each vehicle broadcasts its own speed and direction, making it easier to avoid potential collisions.

A vehicle could even send out an alert as its wheels begin to skid, alerting vehicles behind it to a slippery surface ahead.

V2V is often discussed as a potential component of future “driverless cars,” but it can also be helpful in human-driven cars, providing an adjunct to a driver’s own eyes and ears. In some situations, the data could be used to automatically take action, such as braking, if a driver fails to heed a warning.

The technology has been under development by major automakers for years. The Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is expected to rule next year on moving forward with research into the technology.

V2V technology could help drivers avoid or minimize about 80% of crashes involving sober drivers, according to NHTSA.

The systems can also be used to communicate, not just with other cars, but with things such as street signals and signs, allowing cars to react automatically to red lights or school zones.

The devices used for this technology can be small, about the size of a cigarette pack. Older cars could be easily retrofitted with V2V devices, said Nady Boules, director of electronics and controls for General Motors (GM, Fortune 500).

In the future, the technology could even be incorporated into cell phones, said Boules. That would allow pedestrians to carry devices that could warn car and trucks as they step into the street.

While a V2V system’s effectiveness would increase with the number of equipped vehicles, it could be helpful even with relatively few equipped vehicles, Consumer Reports said.

Addressing privacy concerns will be important, however, the magazine said.

“Adequate oversight of how the information is used is essential to ensure the privacy of drivers and to prevent abuse,” said Rik Paul, automotive editor of Consumer Reports. To top of page

First Published: February 21, 2012: 6:00 AM ET



Ever since I saw Johnny 5 in Short Circut as kid, robotics has been a pet interest of mine. Just the idea that it was possible to create something that was responsive to it’s environment was so interesting. 

Like most kids, I didn’t quite understand the difference between fantasy and reality- I thought that maybe someday I could have a Johnny 5 of my own. And I have to admit, being an only child, the idea of having a constant playmate sounded pretty cool.

As I grew up, cars also became an interest of mine. I suppose that is a little odd for young girls, but considering I grew up around cars, technicians, and was pretty curious… it makes sense that I would want to make sense of all the jargon that surrounded me.

 So you can imagine my excitement when I saw Tom Vanderbuilt’s article in Wired Magazine dealing with automated vehicles that drive themselves! Although they don’t talk or have a cute face like Johnny, they are still really cool technology and I couldn’t wait to share it with you!

Even if self driving vehicles seem scary versus exciting, I still recommend that you take time to check out this article. Afterall, it’s good to know the latest advancements and what might be coming around the corner for us mainstreamers.

Happy Reading!


Let the Robot Drive:

The Autonomous Car of the Future Is Here