Safety Technology

New online game tests human reaction time versus Tesla's Autobrake system

A new game tests human reaction time versus the Autobrake system in a Tesla.

Photo courtesy of Select Car Leasing

Can a human react faster than Tesla's Autobrake system? A new game by Select Car Leasing challenges players to see if they can react to obstacles in the road that require braking quicker than Tesla's Autobrake technology.

According to Select Car Leasing, Tesla has never released the exact reaction time of its automatic emergency braking (AEB) system. To find out what time to use, the company selected 10 viral clips of the AEB system in action, slowed them down, and analyzed the reaction time frame by Fram. The average reaction time was 0.3 seconds, a time that's faster than a sky diver fall 40 meters.

Human perception time varies greatly depending on a number of factors like age, eyesight, conditions, and speed.

Tesla isn't the only company to have installed automatic emergency braking in its vehicles. The technology, which has been proven to save live and prevent accidents, is quickly becoming a standard offering across a number of makes and models by companies including Nissan and Toyota.

To test to see how your reaction time compares to Tesla's Autobrake reaction time, play the (safe for work) game here.

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Hardtop and softop versions the MINI John Cooper Works have been updated for 2022.

Photo courtesy of MINI

MINI recently announced refreshed model information about more traditional Cooper models. Enthusiasts have been patiently waiting for the plans for the performance-focused John Cooper Works models to be made public. Now those retails are known.

The 2022 MINI John Cooper Works Hardtop and Convertible will feature newly fashioned round LED headlights, a larger hexagonal grille, large side air intakes, modified front scuttles, and a diffuser on the rear apron.

MINI's twin-turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine sits under the hood of both models and generates 228 horsepower and a maximum torque of 235 pound-feet of torque. The engine moves the MINI Hardtop from zero to 60 mph in 6.1 seconds when equipped with its standard six-speed manual transmission. To cut that number to 5.9 seconds, opt for the eight-speed Steptronic Sport transmission. The cabrio has a 6.3 zero to 60 mph time and has its engine paired exclusively with the automatic transmission.

2022 MINI Cooper John Cooper Works

Photo courtesy of MINI

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The rag top of the MINI JCW Convertible opens in 18 seconds via the touch of a button at speeds up to 18.6 mph. Buyers can get the MINI Yours soft top that features a woven-in Union Jack graphic.

Two 85-millimetre stainless steel tailpipes serve as the car's available exhaust option.

MINI's engineers have fine-tuned the car's sporty suspension and given the car a sports brake system co-developed with Brembo and 17-inch JCW light alloy wheels. Eighteen-inchers are available, including a new JCWW Circuit Spoke two-tone designed wheel.

The team has also worked on the available Adaptive Suspension, adding new frequency-selective damper technology that operates with an additional valve acting on the traction side. Additionally, the maximum damping force of the Adaptive Suspension is up to 10 percent higher than before.

MINI buyers will get their cars equipped with the company's redesigned 8.8-inch infotainment touch screen display with a black panel design. Two different color schemes are available for the displays on the central instrument display - Lounge and Sport. In Lounge mode, the display surfaces appear in relaxing shades of blue and turquoise. Switching to Sport mode causes the screen backgrounds to glow in red and anthracite. If desired, the color worlds of the displays can be linked to the standard MINI Driving Modes.

The JCW sport seats have integrated headrests and the model gets an anthracite-colored roof lining, a stainless steel pedal gallery and a model-specific gearshift or gear selector lever.. There's a Nappa leather steering wheel with fresh multifunction buttons, grey contrast stitching, and a John Cooper Works logo on the center spoke.

MINI will sell the models with new comfort, connectivity, and driver assistance equipment packages. The roster of new options includes a heated steering wheel, lane departure warning in the Driving Assistant and the Stop & Go function for Active Cruise Control.

Pricing for the 2022 MINI John Cooper Works Hardtop starts at $32,900 and maxes out at $33,900. The Convertible has a starting MSRP of $38,900 and stretches to $44,900 in its top-tier trim level. Every model has an additional $850 destination and delivery fee.

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Driving in the country has its own unique challenges.

Photo by Sergiy Trofimov Photography/Getty Images

Tis the season for getting stuck driving behind a tractor. Country roads have their plusses and minuses - the scenery, the lack of traffic, the ability to push the speed limit. But, they also come with their own set of safety hazards. New guidance from GEM Motoring Assist gives drivers safety tips for navigating back roads. Plus, we threw in a few top tips of our own.

"Driving in the countryside is usually a great pleasure, with good views, quiet roads and a variety of interesting terrain," said GEM chief executive Neil Worth. "But country roads are used by many different people and vehicles, so it's vital to look for the clues – some obvious, others less so – as to what might be round the next bend."

Rule #1: Expect the unexpected

According to Neil Worth, country road hazards may be unique. "What's round the corner on a rural road with restricted visibility? It could be another car or a motorcycle coming towards you too fast, a group of cyclists on a ride out, sheep or cattle crossing the road, a horse and rider, a wild animal, a slow-moving farm tractor…

"Until you have perfect sight of what's ahead, you need to be ready to anticipate what could be there. By adjusting your speed and position accordingly, you're doing your bit to keep yourself and the other road users safe."

Rule #2: Mud can be a sign of what's to come

If you see mud on the road, expect to see slow-moving farm vehicles. Sometimes you'll get lucky and see them in the lane. Other times, tractors enter the roadway from a pasture or field unexpectedly and can be obstructed from view by crops or animals.

Rule #3: Watch for fresh cut grass.

If you smell or see fresh-cut grass, there's a good chance that there's a mower nearby. Whether it's the local department of transportation doing their work in the median on a highway or the side of a thoroughfare, or a resident cutting their lawn, it's important to remember that they may veer into the roadway to get their job done.

Rule #4: Don't stop but smell the manure.

Usual the smell of manure has you reaching for the air circulation options on your dashboard, and rightly so. Smelling manure is a sign that livestock is nearby. Plops in the roadway may mean that there is a horse ahead, either being ridden, pulling a buggy, or on the loose.

Rule #5: Watch out for garbage cans.

If you live in the suburbs, you know how a strong wind can make garbage bins go flying around your neighborhood. Make the wind stronger, give it a clear path, and you're now seeing one of the finer points of country living. When you see garbage bins on the curb on a windy day, pay heed, they may come your way.

Also, having bins on the curb means that it either is trash day or that trash day is tomorrow. Either way, pay attention for stopped and slow-moving garbage trucks along your route.

Rule #6: Make room if you can.

Country roads can be especially narrow, with just barely enough for two vehicles to pass each other. When a vehicle approaches in the opposite direction, it is appropriate to slow on my narrow paths to determine if you'll both fit. Don't be afraid to be the one to pull off to the side to let another vehicle pass, as long as you can do so safely.

If you encounter a horse rider on the road, drive very slowly and give the horse a wide berth. It's important to not frighten the hose, only passing when you're able to safely do so.

Rule #7: Beware the bumpy road.

Not all country roads are paved. Bumpy dirt roads don't just kick the dust up, they can easily hide potholes, drops, and sharp rocks.

Rule #8: Keep your head up for cyclists.

Country roads don't traditionally offer sidewalks or bike paths. Cyclists don't always travel in packs and when moving at speed, can be hard to see against sunshine. Like with horses, give cyclists a wide birth and slow your speed when passing. The wind movement from a passing vehicle can be enough to knock a cyclist off their bike.

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