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Transport

As car ownership grows, congestion grows and parking in city centers becomes more expensiv...

Auto China is probably the most influential automobile show in the world at present. China now produces and consumes more cars than any other nation, so its needs will heavily influence personal transport globally in coming decades. Some early trends are emerging as to what we'll see, and as congestion in China increases and parking centrally becomes prohibitively expensive, a car will increasingly only get you part of the way to your destination. Geely and BMW both showed cars with inclusive last-mile transport at Auto China, but the number of last mile Transportation Appliance options under development by auto manufacturers is growing rapidly.  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

An ETT (Evacuated Tube Transport) line in which car-sized passenger/cargo capsules would t...

Although there are similarities to the Startram concept we looked at recently, this take on maglev-like transport is all on terra firma and, if it ever eventuates, would take passengers from New York to Beijing in just two hours. Advocates of Evacuated Tube Transport (ETT) claim it is silent, cheaper than planes, trains or cars and faster than jets.  Read More

The Yikebike is a miniature, electric penny farthing made of carbon fiber capable of 25km/...

The Yikebike is a miniature, electric penny farthing made of carbon fiber capable of 25 km/h (15 mph) with a range of 10 km (6.2 miles), or 20 km (12.4 miles) if you carry a spare battery.  Read More

The Startram orbital launch system would transport passengers and cargo into space in a ma...

Getting into space is one of the harder tasks to be taken on by humanity. The present cost of inserting a kilogram (2.2 lb) of cargo by rocket into Low Earth Orbit (LEO) is about US$10,000. A manned launch to LEO costs about $100,000 per kilogram of passenger. But who says we have to reach orbit by means of rocket propulsion alone? Instead, imagine sitting back in a comfortable magnetic levitation (maglev) train and taking a train ride into orbit.  Read More

A specially-designed truck is carrying the massive 340-ton rock to Los Angeles at 8mph

If nothing else, large-scale works artist Michael Heizer gets major points for persistence (and thinking big). After over 40 years of searching for the right rock, the Berkeley, California, native's dream of creating a massive installation at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) is finally beginning to materialize. His monolith of choice, a monstrous 340-ton (308.44 mt), 21.6 ft (6.6 m) high behemoth, is slowly making its way to the museum where it'll eventually perch above a 456 ft (139 m) trench as the centerpiece in his upcoming work Levitated Mass.  Read More

If 24% of drivers aged 17-24 were driving around drunk, there would be a massive public ou...

New research released today by the Institute of Advanced Motorists in the UK doesn't tell us much we didn't know before, but it does put it in context. The smartphone is headed for ubiquitous usage, and the wonderful real-time communications and information services it offers are making the roads considerably LESS safe due to the distraction. Due no doubt to its higher levels of engagement, social networking while driving is considerably less safe than texting, drinking to the legal limit and smoking marijuana. And yes, talking on a mobile phone with or without a hands-free is definitely not good for your health, or the health of other road users.  Read More

The featherweight foam-reinforced Tegris composite monocoque gives the emcycle the kerb we...

The potential for electric-assisted, human-powered vehicles to play a substantial role in the transport systems of the future is immense, and there has never been a better example of this potential than the Emcycle concept. The Emcycle is a tilting, three-wheeled pedelec (electric pedal assist), with a foam-reinforced, Tegris composite monocoque body, full suspension and a kerb weight of just 36 kg (80 lb). The Emcycle is initially planned as a 500 W electric assist but could easily be built in 1000 W (1 kW) and greater versions. Importantly, the Emcycle offers many of the amenities of a car (instrumentation, wipers, entertainment etc), plus weather and crash protection, and a huge lockable carrying capacity. In terms of weight, the Emcycle can safely carry 320 pounds (144 kg), including the weight of the rider, making it ideal for the citybike rental and inner urban delivery markets. A target price of US$4000 to US$5000 is envisaged.  Read More

The MotoLOAD winches a MotoCYCLE into an airplane using a cordless drill

Light planes are a great way to get from A to B, but with the majority of small airports not boasting ground transportation services, getting from B to C can pose more of a problem. That's where the MotoLOAD system from Illinois-based MotoPOD comes in. Designed to slot into a small aircraft, the system makes unloading and unloading of some additional two-wheeled transport a simple job for just one person and their trusty cordless drill.  Read More

The Nichio Maru achieves a fuel reduction of up to nearly 1,400 tons annually, which trans...

With large cargo freighters being a major source of CO2 emissions worldwide it's been encouraging to see various efforts to make such vessels more efficient. In recent years we've seen the development of the world's biggest container ship to cut CO2 emissions per container moved, air bubbles used to cut the friction between a ship's hull and the ocean, and even plans to return to the use of sails to cut fuel use. Now Nissan has launched an energy efficient coastal car carrier called the Nichio Maru that employs solar panels, LED lighting, a low friction hull coating hull and an electronically controlled diesel engine to cut fuel consumption.  Read More

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