Highlights from the 2014 LA Auto Show

Technical University Munich

The Visio.M on the test track, earlier this year

Three years ago, we first heard about the Mute electric concept car. Created via a collaboration between 20 departments at the Technische Universitaet Muenchen (TUM), it was designed chiefly to be efficient, inexpensive and safe. A project funded by the German Federal Ministry for Education and Research followed, in which a consortium of over a dozen companies (including TUM, Daimler and BMW) set about designing a Mute-based city car known as the Visio.M. That two-seater car is now complete, and is being revealed to the public for the first time this week.  Read More

A new brain-controlled robotic exoskeleton will allow a paraplegic person to kick off the ...

On June 12th, the FIFA 2014 World Cup in Brazil will be kicked off by a paralyzed person using a highly innovative brain-controlled robotic exoskeleton. This feat is being carried out as a demonstration of the current state-of-the art in assisted mobility technology, as the researchers involved – part of the "Walk Again Project" – work toward refining their invention.  Read More

The technology has been tested in a flight simulator

Flying is most definitely a hands-on (and feet-on) job, but it may not always be that way. Turning science fiction into fact, researchers at the Institute for Flight System Dynamics of the Technische Universität München (TUM) and the TU Berlin are developing a way for pilots to control aircraft with their minds alone. According to the team, they have not only demonstrated that it’s possible, but that it can be done with a surprising degree of accuracy.  Read More

A schematic of the Ko-TAG system in use

As some readers may already know, Volvo recently developed a system that uses an in-vehicle radar system to alert drivers to the presence of pedestrians and cyclists on the road in front of them. Now, Germany's Technische Universitaet Muenchen has come up with a system of its own, that can even detect pedestrians that aren't within line of sight of the car.  Read More

The EVA taxi prototype on display at the Tokyo Motor Show

Given how many miles taxis put in per day, the concept of electric taxis is certainly appealing. That said, one problem is the amount of time that their batteries can take to recharge – most cabbies won't want to shorten their work day or do a split shift, in order to juice up their cars. With the EVA taxi, however, they wouldn't have to. The prototype vehicle can reportedly get enough of a charge in 15 minutes to travel 200 km (124 mi).  Read More

The Visio.M electric car used in the TUM project

Thanks to efforts of groups such as Google, Oxford University, BMW and Continental, we’re getting closer and closer to the advent of autonomous cars – vehicles that drive themselves, with the human “driver” pretty much just along as a passenger. Researchers at Germany’s Technische Universität München (TUM), however, are looking at taking things a step further. They’re developing remote-control cars that could travel along city streets with no one in them at all, their operator located somewhere far away.  Read More

The VOI is a prototype electric scooter, in which the passenger sits in an enclosed compar...

What do you do if you’re a businessman who needs to quickly get from one meeting to another, via the taxi-thwarting congested roads of a “megacity”? You could try a scooter, but what if it’s raining? That’s where the rickshaw-like VOI electric scooter prototype enters the picture. It protects the passenger in an enclosed front compartment, while the driver sits exposed to the elements in the back.  Read More

The NAVVIS interface on a user's smartphone

While we’ve pretty much got to the point where we take GPS-enabled navigation systems for granted, there’s one rather prominent place where they can’t access the necessary satellites – indoors. A number of projects have taken on the challenge of indoor navigation, incorporating things like accelerometers, “invisible” landmarks, rapidly flickering lights, and magnetic fields. The experimental new NAVVIS system, however, utilizes a database of photographs.  Read More

The Mute concept will serve as a starting point for Visio.M

Mercedes-Benz parent company Daimler and BMW are typically seen facing off against each other to win the hearts, minds and wallets of luxury car buyers. However, the challenges of developing a mass-produced electric car have inspired the two pillars of German luxury to put aside their rivalry and team up on a city car project.  Read More

The striking Innotruck vehicle is designed to be a testbed and demonstrator for experiment...

Last November, Mercedes showed off its futuristic Aero Trailer concept at a transport truck show in Belgium. While it certainly looked quite sleek and efficient, it certainly wasn’t as eye-popping as the full tractor/trailer combo that will be on display later this month in Germany. Known as Innotruck, the bizarre vehicle is part of Technische Universität München (Technical University Munich)’s Diesel Reloaded project, which “aims to demonstrate how paradigm shifts in automotive, energy, and information technologies can help to address major societal trends and needs.”  Read More

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