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The all-new Lexus NX crossover

Lexus has revealed the production version of its NX crossover at this week's Beijing Auto Show. The small CUV has lost much of the crazy-eyed flair that it had in LF-NX concept form, but it does pack the marque's first gas turbo engine under its hood. Lexus will also offer a hybrid version when it launches the NX later this year.  Read More

The team behind the Arion1 hope to reach 90 mph and claim the bike world speed record

Last September, at the World Human Powered Speed Challenge at Battle Mountain in Nevada, a Dutch team made up of students from TU Delft and VU Amsterdam set the current world speed record of 83.13 mph (133.78 km/h) for an unpaced cyclist on flat ground in the VeloX3. The University of Liverpool Velocipede Team (ULVT) has now announced its intentions to take the title with the Arion1 Velocipede, a bicycle resembling an oversized medicine capsule that has been left out in the sun too long.  Read More

The Arcturus Jump system is designed to give UAVs VTOL capability without the weight penal...

Fixed-wing Unmanned Aerial Vehicles have a lot of advantages over manned aircraft, but much of that is lost when they get too big to be launched by hand and start needing runways and catapults to get aloft. Vertical Takeoff and Landing systems seem like an obvious alternative, but the extra weight of these systems can limit the advantages they offer. Arcturus UAV in Northern California unveiled its solution this week with its Jump VTOL system. Using self-contained electric lift motors, this add-on system is designed to provide tactical UAVs with VTOL capabilities without the usual penalties of payload and range.  Read More

Variability in steering wheel movement has proven to be a tip-off that drivers are getting...

Driver drowsiness is a major cause of accidents, so it's not surprising that a variety of technologies have been developed for its detection. Most of these systems require the use of prominent hardware such as eye-tracking cameras, reactive testing devices, or even Google Glass. A team from Washington State University Spokane, however, has developed a system that detects drowsy drivers through inexpensive electronics that monitor movement of the steering wheel.  Read More

Dr. Steve Lee, with some of his easy-bake lenses

Microscope lenses are typically made either by grinding and polishing glass discs, or pouring polymers into molds – both techniques can be quite involved, which is reflected in the price of the finished product. Now, however, a scientist from Australian National University has devised a new lens-making process, in which drops of silicone are simply baked in an oven. The resulting lenses can be used for a variety of applications, yet are worth less than one cent each.  Read More

Scott and Julie Brusaw relax on the new parking lot

About 8 years ago, an electrical engineer and his counselor wife started throwing around an idea to replace asphalt on highways and byways throughout the US with electricity-producing solar panels that were tough enough to be driven upon. The idea blossomed into a project, where the panels featured built-in LEDs that could "paint the road" with markings and warnings, and could be heated to prevent snow and ice build up. The US Federal Highway Administration paid for the couple to produce a working prototype, which they did, and then again to expand the concept into an operational parking lot setup. As the latter contract comes to an end, the Solar Roadways project has released photos of the (almost) completed installation at its Idaho electronics lab. Now the team is dipping into crowd-funding waters with a campaign to raise funds for the move into commercial production.  Read More

The fairings are made to fit most standard road bikes

If you were designing a vehicle to be as aerodynamic as possible, it would definitely be counterproductive if parts of that vehicle actually moved into the oncoming wind. According to Los Angeles-based engineer Garth Magee, however, that's just what the forward-turning top sections of bicycle wheels do. His solution? Upper Wheel Fairings, which shield the spokes from the breeze. He claims that cyclists using his fairings can go up to 20 percent faster without any extra effort.  Read More

A new Chrome extension called Project Naptha allows users to copy and delete text from ima...

It's generally just accepted that text embedded in images on the Web is inaccessible. Because images are rendered as a single layer, that's just the way it is ... or was, because a new extension for Google Chrome called Project Naptha now allows users to highlight and copy text from within images.  Read More

Thomas Heatherwick has designed a 'sunken oasis' public park for Abu Dhabi (image: Heather...

UK designer and architect Thomas Heatherwick has been commissioned to design a new public park in Abu Dhabi. The Al Fayah park will cover 125,000 sq m and has been described by Heatherwick as, "part architecture, part landscape, part cultural destination." Its design is a response to the desert landscape.  Read More

The front-end is defined by a large kidney grille, laser headlamps and aerodynamic treatme...

Presented at this week's Beijing Auto Show, the all-new BMW Vision Future Luxury focuses in on the future of luxury motoring. Functional elements and new technologies melt away into an elegant, fluid design that seamlessly blends looks and performance.  Read More

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