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The truck of the future could have an on-board digital co-driver that can even take over i...

Trucks of the future could be equipped with an on-board digital co-driver to help the human behind the wheel, or even take over if the driver loses control. The HAVEit project (short for Highly Automated Vehicles for Intelligent Transport) has 28 million euros (USD$40 million) at its disposal and is aiming to develop an intelligent driver assist system that responds to both traffic conditions and drivers' needs.  Read More

Nissan's Tiida-based EV-11 prototype has many features including a top speed of around 87m...

Nissan has showcased its electric vehicle (EV) platform on a Tiida-based hatchback model. The Nissan EV-11 prototype seats four-five adults, has a top speed of around 87mph (140kmh), a cruising range of 100 miles (160km) between charges and, being a full EV, produces zero local CO2 emissions. The in-house developed electric motor delivers 80kW (107hp) for “high response and powerful acceleration”. Nissan has also plans some clever IT for its EV platform, like remote ON/OFF charging via a cell phone or the Internet, useful mapping features including automatic updates on the nearest charging stations, a global data center providing 24/7 support and a scheme that could even see non-contact charging introduced in carparks.  Read More

Light Tape works beautifully to highlight a pool area

Think of a light bulb you can wrap around your finger or roll-out to create a display that would rival the Griswalds' efforts in Christmas Vacation. Light Tape is an extremely flexible lighting strip that has seemingly more applications than LED or neon lighting systems. Thinner than a credit card, and with a bend radius of 2mm, Light Tape can go just about anywhere – indoors and outdoors. It’s even wearable.  Read More

The new control interface now includes a bigger LCD screen and a familiar dial control

With the return of Summer comes the now familiar imposition of water restrictions and the unwelcome return of headaches for gardeners and nursery managers alike. Fortunately, pain relief for lovers of all things horticultural is available in the form of clever green tech known as smart irrigation, which plugs in to online weather information to optimize garden watering and minimize waste. Timing being everything in business (as well as comedy), smart sprinkler manufacturer Cyber-Rain has recently upgraded its range to add more independent zone control, better wireless communication, a simple and clear interface and an enhanced software solution.  Read More

The illumi-knob not only senses motion to provide a light at night, its ergonomic design a...

If you’ve ever stumbled around a room at night trying to find the door, the illumi-knob will strike you as simply brilliant. Designed to fit over most door handles, the device uses a passive infra-red sensor to detect any movement within 10 feet and then turn on two gentle LED light rings. It’s not bright enough to wake anyone, but more than enough to get you safely to - and through - the door.  Read More

Electric smart ready for small series production

Following a four-year U.K. trial of 100 electric smart fortwo electric drive cars which began late 2007, Daimler has decided to produce a limited run of the fully electric eco vehicle which will become available in 2010. The 30kW smart ed (electric drive) uses lithium-ion battery technology to power itself to an electronically limited top speed of 60 mph and is as simple to drive as a dodgem car. With no gear changes required, the diminutive smart can reach 30 mph in a respectable 6.5 seconds, making it ideal as a city car with short stints on the freeway.  Read More

To the left is the JENNY portable fuel cell.

Soldiers operating in remote locations face a considerable heavy equipment burden, a significant proportion of which can be attributed to the need for a portable power supply. Fuel cells are seen as a key solution to this problem and the JENNY system, which has just been commercially released for defense applications by German mobile power application company SFC Smart Fuel Cell, promises to reduce weight by around 80% compared with lithium-ion batteries.  Read More

NASA wind tunnel tests of the SMART Rotor

Can you imagine a world full of large, relatively quiet rotorcraft making short hops between cities such as New York and Washington, carrying as many as 100 passengers at a time in comfort and safety? This, amongst other technological improvements, would require helicopters with greatly improved rotor blade efficiency, allowing them to travel much quieter, smoother and further with the same amount of fuel. NASA is currently conducting research in their wind tunnels on the SMART rotor hub, which has rotor blades made with shape-changing materials that could one day make this scenario a reality.  Read More

Smart bridge system

From mundane traffic overpasses to marvelous feats of soaring engineering, bridges are something we tend to take for granted - until something goes wrong that is. A team from the University of Michigan is leading a five-year, $19 million project to engineer an intelligent infrastructure monitoring system designed to prevent tragedies like the collapse of the Interstate 35 West bridge over the Mississippi river in 2007 in which 13 people were killed and 145 were injured.  Read More

The Sentience hybrid test vehicle

The driverless car of the future is getting closer every day, as more and more technologies come along that take critical jobs away from the driver and put them in the hands of lightning-fast, all-seeing computers. One of the latest and most ambitious of these systems has just been successfully demonstrated in the UK; the Sentience system is a kind of hyper-intelligent cruise control system designed specifically to minimize fuel consumption and emissions. It calculates the best route for you based on traffic, topography, curves, speed limits and a host of other information, and then actually takes over the throttle and brakes for you for the entire journey. It keeps you strictly within speed limits, slows down for corners, speed bumps and roundabouts, and it even knows when the lights ahead are about to turn red, so you don't waste petrol accelerating towards a stop point. Fuel savings in testing have been between 5% and 24% - a very significant figure - and Sentience is expected to be available on production cars, for a minimal cost, as soon as 2012. Incredible stuff.  Read More

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