Technologies that focused on safety and keeping drivers' eyes on the road dominated the displays at the high-tech Convergence 2004 conference in Detroit last week. Here are three technologies worth watching.
CONVERGENCE 2004: Keep your eyes on the road
Optrex America Inc. of Plymouth, Mich., showed its floating LCD display that appears on the instrument panel of the Honda Elyson, which is sold only in Japan. The display, which appears to float, is at the center of the instrument cluster. The instrument panel is made by Nippon Seiki. The display shows information such as fuel consumption and range as well as distance traveled.
SMaL Camera Technologies of Cambridge, Mass., has created a camera that's the size of two miniature cassette tapes. The camera can be used in backup systems or with safety systems such as blind spot detection and lane departure warning. The Tier 2 supplier says the camera will be installed in 2007 and 2008 model year production vehicles, although it would not say which.
Intelligent Pedestrian Protection is Siemens VDO Automotive Inc.'s answer to European regulations that aim to reduce injuries in auto-pedestrian crashes. A fiber-optic sensor (see blue strip on photo) that is integrated with the vehicle bumper signals the hood to rise automatically in a collision. This reduces injuries to pedestrians or bicyclists when they crash on the hood or smash into a windshield.
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