Method to Improve Rats’ Skill at Driving Cars [research study]

Driver education for rats—and how to improve it—is the subject of this new study: “Enriched Environment Exposure Accelerates Rodent Driving Skills,” L.E. Crawford, L.E. Knouse, M. Kent, D. Vavra, O. Harding, D. LeServe, N. Fox, X. Hu, P. Li, Clark Glory, and Kelly G. Lambert [pictured here], Behavioural Brain Research, epub 2019. The authors, at […]

Bugs crashed into cars might help cars not crash into bigger things

The bugs research that won Mark Hostetler an Ig Nobel Prize in 1997 is now, two decades later, finding new uses. A news report in Forbes magazine explains: Ford Launches Bugs At Sensors Because Keeping Them Clean Is Crucial For Self-Driving Cars To address this, Venky Krishnan,  Ford Autonomous Vehicle Systems Core Supervisor and his team consulted […]

The Ethical Knob: ethically-customisable automated vehicles and the law (new study)

Vehicles could be fitted with what they call an ‘Ethical Knob’, under a proposal by Giuseppe Contissa, Francesca Lagioia, and Giovanni Sartor of CIRSFID, at the University of Bologna,  Italy. The device might help clarify ethical/legal issues with Autonomous Vehicles (AVs). What for example, should a self-driving car do when it ‘realizes’ (in an impending […]

Estimated Insect Deaths Due to Collisions with Motor Vehicles

Building indirectly on Ig Nobel Prize-winning research, a 2015 study warns about the number of insects killed in collisions with cars, trucks, and other motor vehicles. The study is: “Road mortality potentially responsible for billions of pollinating insect deaths annually,” James H. Baxter-Gilbert, Julia L. Riley, Christopher J. H. Neufeld, Jacqueline D. Litzgus, and David […]

Shouting and Cursing while Driving (a new study)

Researchers Francisco Alonso, Cristina Esteban, Andrea Serge and Mª Luisa Ballestar at INTRAS (University Research Institute on Traffic and Road Safety), University of Valencia, Spain, have performed a new study on shouting and cursing whilst driving. “The aim of this study was to describe the factors and perceptions related to aggressive behavior of verbally insulting […]

Sensation Seeking, Sports Cars, and Hedge Funds (new study)

“The emerging [hedge fund] manager who goes out and buys a fancy sports car right off the bat is someone you probably want to avoid.” – informed an article in Business Insider (Singapore), February 2016. But was the statement measurably valid? To find out Stephen Brown, Yan Lu, Sugata Ray and Melvyn Teo set up […]

Car Horn Honking Studies (part 1)

Anyone who has driven a vehicle in various different countries might have observed that the national rate of ‘horn honking’ varies considerably – but why? A widely-cited study by Douglas T. Kenrick and Steven W. MacFarlane (published in 1986) investigated whether one simple variable – temperature – might be having an effect. The team organised […]

Jerk analysis – and its relevance to safe driving

Would one expect to see an increased amount of jerks amongst drivers involved in accidents, rather than drivers who have not been involved in accidents? Yes, explain Omar Bagdadi [pictured] (of VTI, Swedish National Road and Transport Research Institute, Borlänge, Sweden) and András Várhelyib (of Trafik och väg, Lunds Tekniska Högskola, Sweden), in a paper […]

Influence of personality and fatalistic belief on South African taxi driver behaviour

  Are you one of those who believes that, when it comes to South African taxi drivers, road accidents are pre-destined, and not as a result of individual’s driving behaviour? If so, your beliefs could be erroneous – according to the results of a newly published study undertaken by Dr. Bright Mahembe (University of the […]

Beijing traffic jams and the number 4

Excessively polluting and timewasting  heavy traffic congestion in central Beijing causes significant distress to drivers and residents alike. In a drive to identify root causes, researchers have put two and two together and come up with an improbable answer – the number ‘4‘. “In this work we estimate the effects of traffic congestion on subjective […]