Highlights from the 2014 LA Auto Show

Japan

The experimental Shinkansen maglev train topped 500 km/h (311 mph) with passengers onboard...

The Central Japan Railway Company has whisked passengers along a section of track at up to 500 km/h (311 mph) during testing of the Shinkansen maglev train. The BBC reports that one hundred wide-eyed train enthusiasts were onboard the train's first manned voyage, with trials to continue over eight days.  Read More

3D sound and 360 degree panoramic images help visitors get a real feel for a city

If you’ve ever wanted to experience the sights and sounds of cities like New York, San Francisco, Stockholm or Oslo without leaving home, take a look at the Sound City Project, an immersive audiovisual experience combining 3D sounds and panoramic views of popular and iconic world locations.  Read More

The S-House, by Yuusuke Karasawa Architects (Photo: Koichi Torimura)

Even in a city that boasts an above-average proportion of quirky homes, Tokyo's S-House, by Japanese architect Yuusuke Karasawa, stands out from the crowd. Not to be confused with that other S House by Vo Trong Nghia Architects we previously reported on, each of this particular home's facades is made from transparent glass.  Read More

The Ponam-31 is Toyota's latest boat

As the world's largest automaker, Toyota is quite well-known for land vehicles, including SUVs like the 4Runner and Land Cruiser. Lesser known is the corporation's marine arm, which sells several car-inspired boats in the Japanese market. The latest is the Ponam-31, a "sports utility cruiser" that puts a rather elegant cabin atop a hull that skips across the water by way of dual Land Cruiser engines.  Read More

The Pioneer rearview mirror telematics unit installs over the existing rearview mirror

Digital gadgetry for cars is progressing by leaps and bounds, which is great – except when they your car doesn't have them. Japan's Pioneer Corporation has developed one way to keep up with the high-tech motoring Joneses in the form of its rearview mirror telematics unit – a wireless information module that fits over a car's original rearview mirror.  Read More

The 2014 Nobel Prize in Physics has been awarded to the inventors of the blue LED, which i...

Thomas Edison may have invented the lightbulb, but he never received the Nobel Prize for it. Isamu Akasaki and Hiroshi Amano at the University of Nagoya, and Shuji Nakamura working at Nichia Chemicals in Tokushima, Japan have proven more successful, being awarded the 2014 Nobel Prize in Physics for their invention of the blue LED, which is the key to modern energy-efficient lighting.  Read More

The Wall of Nishihara, by Sabaoarch (Photo: Yuji Nishijima)

As our cities grow increasingly crowded and house prices rise, plots that would have once been considered unsuitable for building upon are becoming more attractive and profitable. With this in mind, Tokyo's 3 m (9.8 ft) wide Wall of Nishihara is located on a plot shoehorned between two roads.  Read More

The Murata Cheerleaders use infrared sensors and ultrasonics to keep position

The only thing better than state-of-the-art robotics is when it's combined with Force 9 cuteness. Japanese electronics company Murata Manufacturing has given us one example with the unveiling if its robotic Cheerleaders. The squad of ten ball-mounted robots uses advanced ultrasonics, infrared, and group control technology to perform synchronized dance routines with perfect stability.  Read More

Mazda's all new, much lighter 2016 MX-5 Miata that was unveiled in Monterey

The 2016 Mazda MX-5, aka the Miata, had its global unveiling in Monterey, California tonight after remaining one of the industry’s best kept secrets. This year marks the 25th anniversary for the car, which holds the title as the best selling roadster of all time – so no pressure on the design team.  Read More

The four project nineT custom designers with their creations - and BMW Head of Vehicle Des...

BMW's R nineT was conceived to be a sexy roadster in its own right, with easy entry points for owners to begin customizing their bikes right away. To demonstrate the nineT's potential, BMW Japan gave four bikes to four of Japan's best custom builders and today the resulting bikes were released. The outcomes will not disappoint; four beautiful customs that cry out to be ridden, and ridden hard.  Read More

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