In this TechKnow episode, Phil Torres visits the Toyota Technical Center in California to take a spin in Toyota's brand new hydrogen fuel cell vehicles (HFCV) and to learn about the future of these alternative fuel vehicle cars.

The fuel you pump into these cars is hydrogen gas. Energy is created in the fuel cell through a reaction with hydrogen in the tanks with oxygen from the air - with the end result being electricity and water. In fact, water is its only emission.

California's tough emission standards precipitated the development of the hydrogen car and Toyota is the first company to roll out a consumer version. They have been working on the technology for over 20 years and their model has been tested in different extreme conditions.

Other major manufacturers, General Motors, Honda, Hyundai, and Mercedes, are gearing up for their own models. 

Correspondent Shini Somara visits Ann Arbor, Michigan, to explore vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) communication for safer driving. V2V technology is a Wi-Fi type system that will allow every vehicle on the road to "talk" to each other at short-range, calculating danger and issuing warnings. 

The US federal government is in the final stages of mandating this technology in all new cars. 

In an usual collaboration for a highly competitive industry, nine major carmakers are working together to cement this V2V technology. 

Somara also looks at the latest developments in crash test dummies and how researchers are using 3-D imaging to make those dummies smarter and to better understand the different impacts of crashes on various body types.

And TechKnow contributor Kosta Grammatis, an engineer, who has designed all kinds of things from satellites in space to a bionic eye, takes a ride in a driverless car. He examines the technology that has gone into creating cars that switch between drivers - the human driver and the vehicle. 

Source: Al Jazeera