Transport Tech 

Swiss Post testing delivery-by-drone

Swiss Post and Swiss World Cargo (the air freight division of Swiss International Air Lines) have joined the likes of Amazon, GeoPost and Alibaba by taking concrete steps toward using drones for deliveries. This week, the corporations announced that they have teamed up with California-based Matternet to trial several of its Matternet ONE cargo quadcopters. Testing of the autonomous GPS-guided drones will be carried out throughout this month, although any widespread use of the aircraft isn’t expected to take place for about five years – issues such as battery life and legislation still need to be worked…

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Transport Tech 

Ford rolls autonomous and smart tech into new city/road/mountain e-bike

Earlier this year, Ford previewed its Mode:Me and Mode:Pro electric bike concepts. The bikes were envisioned as key components of a multimodal transportation ecosystem that would also incorporate cars and public transit. Recently, it added the Mode:Flex e-bike prototype, which uses the latest wireless and connectivity technologies to integrate further into a coordinated transportation system. The Mode:Me folding commuter bike and Mode:Pro delivery bike concepts were born out of an internal e-bike design competition. Ford revealed them at Mobile World Congress back in March and has continued its research in the area…

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Transport Tech 

An Electric Corvette Could Destroy a World Record—Again

Over the next three days, a heavily modified Corvette will run blistering laps up and down a stretch of concrete originally built for Space Shuttle landings. Driver Johnny Bohmer will be at the wheel, on Nasa’s landing strip at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida. He’ll be trying to set the world record for the fastest, road legal, all-electric car. Built by Maryland based Genovation, the car he’s driving already holds the world record; this electrified Corvette hit 186.8mph in February of 2016. But its developers want more.…

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Transport Tech 

Improved Batteries for Electric Cars Could Recharge in Seconds

Researchers may have found a way to drastically increase the performance of the lithium ion batteries that power everything from electric cars to laptops. By reconfiguring the battery to allow lithium ions to rush in and out about 100 times faster than before, researchers say they’ve created a prototype that provides fast bursts of power and also, crucially, recharges in seconds. A prototype of a battery made with the new technique could be charged in less than 20 seconds compared to the six minutes it took to charge cells made in the standard…

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Transport Tech 

Aston Martin’s $3M Hypercar Takes F1 Performance to the Road

Formula 1 cars sit at the extremes of engineering. They reach 60 mph in less than three seconds and, given the right track, approach 230 mph flat-out. Their engines sing at 18,000 RPM, more than twice the speed of most road car engines. Drivers experience at least four times the force of gravity in turns, an experience that would leave you struggling to hold your head up after a few laps. Driving an F1 car at speed demands exceptional reflexes and conditioning, which explains why even rookies are among the…

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Transport Tech 

One Small Step for Flying Cars

A drone’s flying test may help pave the way for flying cars. In early December, U.S. regulators gave their approval for unmanned hover tests of a miniature flying car model made by the company Terrafugia. Such testing would provide feedback for eventually building a full-size version of a flying car capable of hovering for vertical takeoff and landing. Contrary to some more breathless news headlines, this does not mean the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has cleared a hover-capable flying car for flight tests in U.S. airspace. Instead, Terrafugia only received…

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Transport Tech 

So Digital Billboard Ads Change With the Speed of Traffic Now

You hate creeping through traffic. But advertisers love it, because you’re a captured audience with plenty of time to consume sophisticated messages. If you’re zipping along, they have just a moment to pitch you burgers, or tires, or cloud services. In the days of yore—like, last year—that meant Mad Men had to choose between big visuals targeting leadfoots and text-heavy spots for the rush hour warrior. Digital billboards supplied with data from Internet services company Inrix lets them deliver both. For five weeks this summer, eight digital billboards along highways…

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Transport Tech 

IPhone-controlled car to demo at Geneva Motor Show

It can send e-mails, play video, access the Web and snap pictures, but control a car? Swiss automobile design house Rinspeed will unveil a concept electric car controlled by an iPhone at next week’s Geneva Motor Show. The iChange ditches car keys in favor of an iPhone, which clips into a holder on the dashboard to the right or left of the steering wheel. Once connected a green “start” button appears on the iPhone’s display and one push brings the iChange automobile to life. When you’re driving the car the iPhone can…

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Transport Tech 

You Could Roll on Land or the Seafloor in This Fanciful Concept Car

Most modern vehicles are much too specific: Cars stick to roads, boats are trapped on the water, submarines wander the ocean floor. So I came up with the Libelule: a spherical vehicle with two large wheels that allow it to travel almost anywhere. Feel like roaming the beach? Let it roll. Want to hit the water? The wheels scoop water like a paddle boat, propelling it faster than today’s amphibious crafts. When you feel like a dive, select your desired depth on the (thankfully waterproof) touch screen, let the water…

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Transport Tech 

Review: 2017 Aston Martin DB11

Aston Martin does two things exceptionally well: soaring success and crushing failure. While stunners like the DBR-1 finished first and second at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1959, the company also seems to have declared bankruptcy nearly as many times as it has won races. These things happen when you’ve been in the business of building cars for 103 years. One thing you can always count on from Aston Martin, though, is style. Its cars have been, for the most part, gorgeous. But since the DB9 ushered in…

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