Highlights from the 2014 LA Auto Show

Loz Blain

Jacob D Lanphere, a Ph.D. student at UC Riverside, holds a sample of graphene oxide

I've been waiting for some time now to write a headline along the lines of "scientists discover thing that graphene is not amazing at" ... and here it is. Everybody’s favorite nanomaterial may have a plethora of near-magical properties, but as it turns out, it could also be bad for the environment – and bad for you, too.  Read More

Sweden's Movitz ferry, the first 'supercharged' electric passenger ferry, debuts in August...

Sweden’s Green City Ferries is preparing to launch what it claims is the world’s first “supercharged” electric passenger ferry. Carrying 100 passengers between Solna Strand and Gamla Stan, the Movitz will need just 10 minutes to charge its batteries between 1-hour long service runs. That’s perfect for a ferry operation, because it means it’ll be charged by the time passengers have embarked and disembarked. With extremely low maintenance requirements and reduced running costs, the ferry will reportedly save some 50,000 litres of diesel and 130 tons of carbon emissions into the bargain.  Read More

Knee cartilage anatomy: the source of many problems for osteoarthritis sufferers (Image: G...

3D bioprinting experts at the University of Pittsburgh’s School of Medicine are examining techniques that print stem cells into robust scaffolding structures directly at the site of cartilage damage, in an effort to repair damaged cartilage and prevent osteoarthritis.  Read More

Google's self driving car waits for a cyclist who is making a hand signal

There are an extraordinary number of companies converging on the idea of self-driving cars from all sorts of different angles, but the undisputed leader of the pack is Google, whose self-driving vehicles have logged a total of nearly 700,000 development miles. In a video released today, Google shows some fantastic visualizations to demonstrate what the car is seeing in complex traffic situations. You can watch how the car handles roadworks, level crossings, complex intersections and a range of interactions with cyclists – including recognizing their hand signals.  Read More

Five of Gizmag's favorite high-tech hammers

People have been banging nails into things for nearly five and a half thousand years, if archaeologists are correct. And wood is such a versatile and abundant building material that we’re sure to be banging spiky bits of metal into it for thousands of years to come. But how similar is the hammer going to look at that stage? What is the state of the art in hammer technology? Are they still just flat-ended bits of metal on the end of sticks? Let’s take a look at five high-tech hammers that aim to push one of mankind’s (other) oldest professions forward.  Read More

Icon's Airframe Statistic - a motorcycle helmet with a message

The numbers you see on each section of this helmet represent the likelihood of that section taking an impact in a crash ... and they tell a very powerful story that's guaranteed to create arguments with other riders.  Read More

CATable by Ruan Hao, a man whose cat probably sits him down for bi-weekly performance revi...

Another one for our Top Ten Cat Gadgets? Ruan Hao’s CATable could only be the invention of a severely Stockholm Syndrome-impaired cat owner. Designed as a desperate ploy to convince your cat that there’s somewhere more interesting to be than on top of your laptop right now, there is only one possible reaction I can imagine from the world’s feline population: utter disdain.  Read More

Small home constructed from 3D-printed building blocks (Image: Winsun New Materials)

This small home may look plain, but it represents a significant achievement in rapid construction. A Chinese company has demonstrated the capabilities of its giant 3D printer by manufacturing 10 houses in less than 24 hours. Built from predominantly recycled materials, these homes cost less than US$5,000 and could be rolled out en masse to ease housing crises in developing countries.  Read More

The Aton-Impulse Viking 2992

This no-nonsense Russian seven-seater looks like a grenade-proof apocalyptic off-roader that happily handles river and lake crossings, but behind its muscular looks hides a surprisingly meek 1,770cc engine. Which makes this an excellent amphibious off-road tank if you’re looking for something ... fuel efficient?  Read More

The Benelli BN302 (Photo: Loz Blain)

Benelli has rolled out the welcome mat to new riders with the release of its BN302 twin cylinder, 300cc nakedbike. Affordable, good looking and unmistakably Italian, the BN302 is one of a host of new models set to debut in the coming 24 months (including a 1200cc TnT, a fully faired sportsbike and an 1800cc cruiser) as Benelli’s new owner Qianjiang seeks to re-establish the historic brand.  Read More

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