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As millions of cars are under recall for potentially lethal air bags, designers are trying to reduce the need for the device – using sensors, radar, cameras and lasers to prevent collisions in the first place.With driver error blamed for over 90 percent of road accidents, the thinking is it would be better to have them do less of the driving. Nearly 31,000 people died in car accidents in 2012 in the United States alone.Velodyne's sensors on Google's autonomous car, for example, use up to 64 laser beams spinning 20 times per second to create a 360-degree, 3D view of up to several hundred meters around the car.Mercedes' "Stop-and-Go Pilot" feature matches the speed of the car in front in slow traffic and adjusts steering to stay in lane using two ultrasonic detectors, five cameras and six radar sensors. The next stage, experts say, is a road network which talks to cars, and where cars talk to other cars. Some drivers complain the technology is intrusive, or is inconsistent.
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