Away from the bright lights and cherry reds of the main Frankfurt Motor Show attractions, in a secondary hall filled with startup companies and electric bicycles, a smaller vehicle design caught our eye as quickly and fully as the all-new shape-shifting Mercedes-Benz Concept IAA. It's the INU folding scooter, and it looks a little like some type of wheeled insect. Step inside those wings and you'll find a sleek electric commuter with a smartphone-controlled folding system and other high-tech features.
According to Transport for London (TfL), the city's Underground carries 1.2 billion passengers a year over 402 km (250 mi) of track, with some stations handling 89 million passengers annually. That adds up to a fleet of trains covering 76.2 million km (47 million mi) and an energy bill that defines "enormous." In an effort to make the system greener and cheaper, the authority carried out a five-week trial of a regenerative braking system billed as a "world first" that could slice 5 percent off London Underground's energy bill and save up to £6 million (US$9 million) per year.
The trip from LA to Las Vegas may only take an hour by air, but the hassles associated with air travel have seen numerous proposals for a high-speed rail link between the two cities floated over the years. Lack of cash has usually proven the insurmountable hurdle, but after failing to secure a US$5.5 billion federal loan, XpressWest has found another way forward by teaming up with China Railway International USA in a joint venture that could see the link begin construction in late 2016.
Although mobility scooters may be a godsend to the elderly and other
people who have difficulty getting around, they certainly don't provide
much in the way of exercise. Electric Bike Technologies' folding Liberty
Trike is designed to change that. Riders can use it in plain ol'
throttle mode just like on a regular scooter, but they can also pedal if
We may still be waiting for the first true hoverboards, but one firm says its single-wheeler feels so like hovering that it's actually called the Hoverboard. The board is mounted atop a 10-in wheel, with users leaning forward to accelerate and backwards to decelerate or change direction.
Following its plan to bring London out of the shade with shadow-free skyscrapers, NBBJ has unveiled a new proposal to replace tube trains in the London Underground's Circle Line with travelators, or moving walkways. The firm says this would allow users to stroll relatively long distances more quickly than if traveling by train.
Elon Musk's audacious Hyperloop concept is beginning to gather steam. Hyperloop Transportation Technologies (HTT), one of the startups attempting to make the idea a reality, has today welcomed aboard a company specializing in vacuum technology that will help shape a prototype test track due to begin construction next year.
Some Gizmag readers may remember the Monolith. It’s an electric skateboard with in-wheel hub motors, that has a spritely top speed of 39 km/h (24 mph). Well, Slovenian startup NGV (Next Generation Vehicle) has built a similar board of its own. It’s called the Next Board, and its creators are aiming for a we’ll-believe-it-when-we-see-it top speed of 100 km/h (62 mph).
We've seen some highly-portable electric vehicles before, including diminutive scooters and skateboards.
Cocoa Motors' new WalkCar, however, makes those gizmos look huge. It's
used more or less like a Segway, but it's not much bigger than a laptop.
When it comes to taunting us with the prospect of a fully-functioning hoverboard, ambitious designers, startups and pranksters alike have really stepped up their game recently. But this effort from Lexus officially takes the cake. The automaker has released a short film of professional skateboarder Ross McGouran riding its magnetic levitation Hoverboard around a purpose-built skatepark, which, as you'd expect, makes for some pretty awesome viewing.