Photokina 2014 highlights

David Szondy

The Rolls-Royce Ghost V-Specification is available as a limited edition

The Rolls-Royce Ghost has a reputation as a luxury car that's a bit coy. When it first appeared, it was a few vague sketches and a code name of RR4. Even as the lid was lifted off in 2009, things like specifications or even what it looked like were hard to come by. Fast forward to 2014, and last week, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars announced the launch of its Ghost V-Specification; a limited series of Ghost and Ghost Extended Wheelbase that takes the more, relatively speaking, affordable Rolls-Royce and stirs in a bit more power and styling.  Read More

The Porsche 911 Targa is available as the Targa 4 and Targa 4s (Photo: Gizmag.com)

Porsche brought a dash of retro styling to this week's North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit with the world premiere of the new 911 Targa. Echoing back to the first Porsche 911 Targa with its roll bar in place of the B-pillars, wrap-around rear window, and movable roof section, the new edition combines the the classic 60's look with state-of-the-art roof technology.  Read More

The AT Black Knight Transformer

When someone mentions flying cars it conjures up images of a sporty little number that takes to the air like something out of the Jetsons. But what about one that’s a cross between a 4x4, an octocopter, and a Blackhawk helicopter? That’s what Advanced Tactics of El Segundo, California is seeing with its ambitions to produce a roadable VTOL aircraft capable of unmanned autonomous operations as a more flexible way to recover casualties, move supplies, and support special forces.  Read More

The Nissan Taxi for London goes on sale in December

Nissan's vision for London’s famous black taxi cabs got a makeover this week as the company unveiled its latest Taxi for London design. Based on Nissan’s NV200 platform and redesigned by Nissan's European design center in Paddington, the updated black cabs not only sport a fresh look, they promise cleaner transport for the city, with the old diesel engines giving way to 1.6-liter petrol and all-electric drivetrains.  Read More

2013 YP139 showing up as a red dot traveling across the sky (Image: NASA)

NASA's Near-Earth Object Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (NEOWISE) may have only come back online last September after a 31-month hibernation, but it’s already producing results. According to the space agency, the unmanned spacecraft discovered a never-before-seen asteroid on December 29 – the first discovery of its new mission to seek out potentially hazardous near-Earth objects (NEOs).  Read More

The Spark-Renault SRT_01E, in its first public demonstration in Las Vegas

Las Vegas got a reminder on Monday that technology is more than smartphones and tablets, as the Strip echoed to the whine of the Spark-Renault SRT_01E single-seater, all-electric race car making its public driving debut. Timed to coincide with the Consumer Electronics Show (CES), the first-of-its-kind Formula E electric racer was put through its paces by Brazilian Formula 1 driver Lucas di Grassi before heading on to Mandalay Bay in the city center.  Read More

The Pentagon looks at the next 25 years of military robots

Last month, the US Pentagon pulled out its crystal ball and released a report that presents a blueprint of what it sees as the future of military robots over the next quarter of a century. It projects likely developments in new unmanned technologies against a background of shrinking budgets and shifting strategic policies, and how the dramatic development and expansion of military unmanned systems requires large-scale consolidation and development to exploit the technology’s full potential.  Read More

The Sport Quattro Laserlight concept has laser headlamps

Following on from the Sport Quattro Concept that debuted at the Frankfurt Motor Show last September, Audi has continued the evolution of the classic Sport Quattro of the early 80s. The new Sport Quattro Laserlight concept, which will be unveiled at this week's CES, borrows from the R18 e-tron Quattro LMP1 race car unveiled last month and sticks lasers where the headlamps used to be.  Read More

The C-Max Solar Energi Concept uses solar panels on its top for charging

A plug-in hybrid car sounds like an excellent way of squaring the circle between the green cred of an electric car and the range and reliability of one that runs on petrol, but what if you live somewhere that’s a bit off the grid? Ford’s answer is its C-Max Solar Energi Concept, which makes its debut at CES next week. The car uses a combination of high-efficiency solar panels and a separate frame roofed with a Fresnel lens to concentrate sunlight on the panels to give it a proper charge without using the engine or plugging into the electrical mains.  Read More

The pool of applicants for the Mars One mission has been reduced to 1,058

And then there were 1,058. Mars One, the nonprofit organization that wants to send colonists on a one-way lifetime trip to Mars, announced on Monday that it has narrowed its applicant pool down from 200,000 people to just over a thousand. The applicants were notified by email and Mars One says that the next selection phase in 2014 will reduce the pool still further in the search for the first settlers to go to the Red Planet in 2025.  Read More

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