It is commonly said that the most dangerous piece of equipment in an automobile is the nut that holds the wheel, but new technology aims to reduce accidents caused by human error and frailty. \nElectronic equipment likely to come increasingly into use in "intelligent" vehicles includes night-vision cameras, distance detectors and fatigue alarms. \n"What might have been viewed as science fiction in the 1980s has become reality," said Klaus Machata, organizer of a conference here on road safety and the prevention of traffic injuries, held under the auspices of the World Health Organization. \n"Increasingly sophisticated systems are already capable of having a direct influence on the way we drive," Machata added. "For example, detectors hidden in the fender could make a car slow down in the neighborhood of a school, without any action by the driver." \nIn the case of an accident, an electronic device could automatically issue a distress call and locate the vehicle by navigation satellite. \nMachata said electronics could actually take over the car completely if the motorist drives recklessly -- for example, Japanese engineers are working on a system that would deprive the driver of control if he or she changed lanes frequently and without warning. \n"Japanese car makers, particularly, are way ahead here," said Fernandes Ralston, an expert on road safety at the University of Sydney in Australia. "It seems to be a heavy trend in the industry." \nHe said that cars of the near future will include night-vision cameras to detect static or moving obstacles hundreds of meters ahead, detectors to maintain a safe distance between vehicles, and tiredness indicators that set off an alarm whenever eyelids start to droop. \nTests began in Austria last month on a system that combines a palm-sized computer, a mobile phone and navigation software to give drivers advance notice of conditions on the highway. Similar tests have been carried out in Sweden, where 5,000 cars have been equipped with a system that automatically reduces their speed as the approach hold-ups, accidents or road works. \n"Even though they will make cars more expensive, these devices have the potential to save lives on the road," Ralston said. \nAbout 1,2 million people die in traffic accidents every year, including 127,000 in Europe, according to figures published during the conference. \n"In the long run, these electronic devices will deeply change the way we drive," said Hans-Yngve Berg, of the Swedish road safety organization. "The question is who, the driver or the electronics, will have the last say in a perilous situation. And who will bear the blame if a system goes dead when it is most needed?"
DEVELOPING TALENT: The electronics contractor is looking to recruit people to work in core tech fields and emerging industries like electric cars and robotics Hon Hai Precision Industry Co (鴻海精密), the world’s largest contract electronics maker, has launched a recruitment drive, offering a monthly salary of no less than NT$45,000 (US$1,485) to university graduates. For those with a master’s degree, the starting pay would be NT$52,000 per month at the minimum, while doctorate degree holders would receive at least NT$60,000 a month, Hon Hai said a statement issued early this week. The latest recruitment drive is aimed at attracting talent in core technology fields — artificial intelligence, semiconductors and next-generation mobile communications — and emerging industries — electric vehicles, digital healthcare and robotics, the
MRT TRAVEL FALLS: In February, ridership on the Taipei MRT System fell 8.96 percent from an average of 2.01 million per day in January Scooter sales jumped 13 percent last month as more commuters turned to two-wheelers to avoid public transportation amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the latest statistics showed. Sales expanded to 74,493 units last month, compared with 65,913 units in February, statistics released on Wednesday by Kwang Yang Motor Co (光陽工業) and the Ministry of Transportation and Communications showed. In the first quarter, aggregate sales slid 0.51 percent year-over-year to 186,627 units, from 187,580 units, data showed. Kwang Yang, the nation’s biggest scooter manufacturer, continued to lead the market by selling 24,136 vehicles last month, growing 6.12 percent from 20,785 units in the previous month, while
Asustek Computer Inc (華碩), the nation’s leading PC vendor, yesterday launched its first dual-screen gaming laptop powered by Intel Corp’s latest central processing units (CPUs). The PC manufacturer’s announcement closely followed the US chipmaker’s unveiling of its 10th Generation Core H-series, the fastest commercial mobile processors with speeds of up to 5 gigahertz. Although Asustek’s Zephyrus Duo 15, the highlight of its Republic of Gamers line, is not the company’s first laptop with two screens, it is its first designed specifically for gaming. Nestled between the primary display panel and the keyboard, the secondary display, which Asustek calls the ScreenPad Plus, is angled
NO ILL EFFECT: Last month’s data mainly reflected deals made in February, when the spread of COVID-19 was still relatively mild in Taiwan, housing brokers said Housing transactions in the six special municipalities totaled 19,824 units last month, up 7.8 percent from a year earlier, brokers said, citing government data. Last month’s data mainly reflected deals made in February, when the pinch of the COVID-19 pandemic was not yet evident, they said. Taoyuan posted the largest improvement, with housing transactions soaring 36.6 percent year-on-year to 3,676 units, local government data showed. Taiwan Realty Co (台灣房屋) attributed the pickup to the completion of two presale residential projects in the municipality. Houses in Taoyuan have increasingly gained in popularity in the past few year years due to relatively affordable home prices and