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— Urban Transport

Testing Honda's "mind-controlled" UNI-CUB β

“It has a top speed of 6 km/h, it balances itself, and you couldn’t crash it if you tried. How can you possibly see that as one of the biggest thrills of your life?” That was the response from an automotive journalist colleague at the Tokyo Motor Show after I eulogized riding Honda’s UNI-CUB β personal mobility device. After a lifetime of journalism covering every form of technology, cars, motorcycles and "boys toys,” from driving and riding exotica worth a decade's wages, this was one the greatest thrills I had experienced – being one of the first to ride a landmark personal transportation device as important as Henry Ford’s Model T. Read More
— Robotics

Toyota begins testing Winglet on public roads

Toyota is taking to the public sidewalks of Japan with the Winglet, its two-wheeled personal mobility robot that looks like a miniature Segway. The trial, designed to test the Winglet's safety and practicality in the real world, takes place in Tsukuba city's Mobility Robot Experimental Zone, an area designated for just this type of thing. The move points to a possible commercialization of the robot in the future, which has been demonstrated only as a concept thus far. Read More
— Automotive Feature

Dual-mode transport - the trend accelerates

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
— Automotive

Low-flying projectile: Saab's PhoeniX concept car

Well, it may not be able to fly, but it is nonetheless a car with wings ... or in this case, winglets. Unveiled at the 2011 Geneva Motor Show, the Saab PhoeniX concept car pays homage to the automaker's roots in aviation with roof-mounted winglets designed to channel airflow from the sides of the car and across its rear deck, thereby reducing lift forces without increasing drag. Other notable features include butterfly opening doors, stalk-mounted rearward cameras, an electrically-driven rear axle and Saab's new upgradable Android-based IQon entertainment and communications system. Read More
— Motorcycles Feature

Video: Intermot Motorcycle Show - a 210bhp four, two six cylinders and an astonishing V8 Ducati

The Intermot motorcycle and bicycle fair rolled around in Cologne earlier this month with a lot of focus clearly beginning to shine on the area of electric bikes, scooters, bicycles and even smaller devices. Gizmag looks at the 10 kg Yikebike, the world's fastest electric scooter, Kawasaki's 210 bhp ZX10R, BMW's six cylinder masterpiece, Horex's V6 and one of the most astounding engines we've yet seen - the Ducati 868cc V8 of German engineer Dieter Hartmann-Wirthwein. The layout of his engine (pictured) enables a compact four cylinder engine to be built on a single cylinder crankcase. Read More
— Aircraft

Minix wing tip device promises 6% gain in fuel efficiency for airliners

Fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions are huge priorities in the aviation industry – passenger airliners chew through amazing quantities of fuel. Take the Boeing 747, which guzzles somewhere around a gallon of jet fuel per second – it's clear that a percentile improvement in fuel consumption can make a huge difference to costs at the end of a long-haul flight. That's why the Minix wing tip deserves close scrutiny. It replaces the tilted winglets at the tip of an aircraft wing, can be retrofitted to any airplane, and smooths out the wing-tip vortex, reducing the aircraft's wing drag. Minix claims the design is five times more effective than a regular winglet and can save as much as 6% on an aircraft's energy costs. For a commercial Boeing 747, that equates to a saving of around 600,000 gallons of fuel per year, per aircraft. Food for thought. Read More