Photokina 2014 highlights

Transport

The 1910 Edison-Puton Monowheel has the frame, rider and a 150cc De Dion engine enclosed b...

The annual Cholmondeley Pageant of Power in the U.K. never fails to deliver something special and this year that exotic ingredient is a 1910 Edison-Puton Monowheel. Capable of being ogled by engineers for hundreds of hours at a time, the Monowheel was built in Paris in 1910, and bears testimony to human folly at its most ingenious.  Read More

Daimler's new GPS-based Predictive Power Control system automatically shifts trucks into l...

Although transport truck drivers routinely shift gears when going up or down hills, those hills can sometimes sneak up on them. Using Daimler’s GPS-enabled Predictive Power Control, however, the new Mercedes-Benz Actros tractor unit will now be able to see those hills coming. This will allow it to automatically change gears before the going gets tough, resulting in fuel savings of up to three percent over moderately difficult topography.  Read More

The MyWay Compact folded and unfolded

Our recent rundown of the coming "Transportation Appliance" marketplace has unearthed yet another another compact fold-up electric vehicle that appears set to become the smallest of the last-mile transport options. Well-known Israeli Industrial Designer Nimrod Sapir has devoted much of his life to figuring out better ways of "getting there." Nimrod designed the ingenious Tagabike we featured four years ago, but his Myway Compact EV is more compact than anything we've seen and might play a major role in transportation in the future.  Read More

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

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