Highlights from Interbike 2014

Vehicles

Off-roading in style?

Does anyone really need to be chauffeured around in a stretched out off-road rambler? Probably not, but if society ever collapses into a loose collection of post-apocalyptic outposts strung together with rock and rubble, we expect that the truck-based Devolro limousine will be the vehicle of choice for new-era one-percenters.  Read More

The FireFly recumbent tricycle outfitted with an LED-lit dome

If there are two things cyclists have to worry about, they would be the weather and making sure cars can see them. That's why the designers at GeoSpace Studio set about building a vehicle to resolve both issues. The FireFly is a recumbent tricycle outfitted with an LED-lit dome that keeps the rider visible and protected from the elements.  Read More

Conquest Vehicles' first unarmored SUV

Conquest is a Toronto-based outfit that specializes in armored SUVs and that heritage carries over to its first non-armored model. While the Evade may look to the novice eye like an armored vehicle, the hard-edged, no-nonsense exterior is tempered by an interior that promises an upper-level lesson in luxury.  Read More

The DARPA competition aims to replace traditional development processes with crowdsourcing

The U.S. Defense Department think tank DARPA is offering up to US$30 million in prize money as part of a competition to introduce crowdsourcing to heavy weapons development and manufacturing. By adopting the”democratized” strategy of crowdsourcing for the development of the Fast, Adaptable Next-Generation armored vehicle (FANG), DARPA hopes to speed up the design and manufacturing of such weapons while reducing costs and introducing greater design flexibility.  Read More

An app currently in development should reduce multi-car motorway accidents, by allowing ca...

More and more, we’re hearing about vehicle navigation and communication/entertainment systems that are able to access the internet. As these systems begin to become standard in all new cars, the possibilities for using them to allow cars to communicate with one another will start to open up. Along those lines, Italy’s University of Bologna has developed an app that should allow vehicles on a motorway to instantly notify one another when an accident occurs. In computer simulations, it has been shown to reduce multi-car pile-ups by approximately 40 percent.  Read More

The DeerDeter detects oncoming vehicles, then scares deer away from the road

There’s a stretch of highway in Utah, where over 300 carcasses of car-struck deer were found in a single year. It’s not surprising, therefore, that the Utah Department of Transportation (UDOT) has chosen part of that area to try out the DeerDeter Wildlife Crossing Guard. As you might have guessed from its name, the roadside device is designed to keep deer from wandering out onto nighttime roads as cars are approaching. When it detects oncoming headlights, the DeerDeter’s strobe lights and audio alarm system are activated, causing deer and other animals in its vicinity to keep their distance.  Read More

The Zap Alias is one of just nine vehicles left in the Automotive X PRIZE

Well, it’s hard to believe the day is finally here, but the on-track testing phase of the Automotive X PRIZE Finals stage is finally over. Of 136 vehicles representing 111 teams that originally entered the competition, just 9 vehicles representing 7 teams remain. All that the cars need to do now is pass the Validation stage, then the winners will be announced in September. Here’s a quick look at what happened over the past few days, at the Michigan International Speedway.  Read More

Traffic on the streets of Beijing, the worst offender on the index

If there are three claims that people in almost every part of the world make about where they live, those claims are: our weather is notoriously unpredictable, we are being taxed into the Stone Age, and... the traffic here is worse than almost anywhere else. Well, as part of its research and development of traffic management systems, IBM decided to find out just which places do have the worst traffic - or at least, which places have the residents who are most negatively affected by it. The results: if you don’t like traffic, don’t live in a fast-growing metropolis.  Read More

California drivers could soon have another distraction to deal with in the form of digital...

California is a state crippled by debt. The situation is so desperate that it looks like California lawmakers are now considering a license plate led recovery. A bill proposed by Senator Curren D. Price Jr, D-Inglewood, gives the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) the authority to investigate the emerging Digital Electronic License Plate (DELP) technology that would enable rear license plates on vehicles to become message boards to display advertising or other images when the vehicle is stationary for periods longer than four seconds, such as at a stop light or in a traffic jam.  Read More

Artists rendering a String Transport system

Trains might be a reasonably cheap transport option - but rail infrastructure is very costly to build. Monorail, maglev systems and high speed rail are more expensive again - and prices really skyrocket when you have to build bridges, tunnels and winding mountain routes, or cover difficult terrain. Which is why Anatoly Unitsky's String Transport Systems look like they've got so much potential. The system uses solid steel/concrete rails, reinforced with extremely high tension steel wires, to provide an efficient and smooth rail system anywhere between 3 to 30 meters above the ground. It's earthquake, hurricane and terrorist-proof, and capable of supporting vehicle speeds over 500 kmh, too, making it a genuine high-speed rail alternative, for a fraction of the price of road or ground rail alternatives. Fascinating stuff!  Read More

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