Transport Tech 

You Don’t Like Sharing Your Car. But Can Elon Musk Change Your Mind?

Last week, tech wonderboy Elon Musk released his much-awaited Master Plan, Part Deux, a wildly ambitious blueprint to change American mobility as we know it: autonomous buses that might appear on-demand, and new electric big-rigs, pick-ups and SUVs. Oh, and sharing. Lots of sharing. Anyone will be able to use the Tesla app to add their self-driving Tesla to the wider Tesla fleet, Musk says. It will allow cash-poor wannabe Tesla owners the chance to take one for a spin while its real owner is, say, disrupting the Silicon Valley…

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Transport Tech 

Too Bad You’ll Never Drive Nissan’s Razor-Like Electric Concept

Over the past few years, the world has gotten to know some pretty cool electric vehicles: ludicrously quick Teslas, solar-powered planes, sport bikes with Italian styling. To add to the pile, Nissan now introduces the BladeGlider, a Zeus juice-powered razor blade on four wheels. Released in Rio de Janeiro this week, the prototype version of a concept Nissan first showed in 2013 is a 268-horsepower sports car with a heart of green, powered by a 220kW lithium-ion battery. The BladeGlider comes with rear-hinged dihedral doors (because conventional openings have no…

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Transport Tech 

iBeacon technology powers a new Smart Public Transport project in Bucharest

Romanian tech firm Onyx Beacon is teaming up with the local authorities in Bucharest to install 500 iBeacon devices on buses across the metropolis. It’s hoped that the new Smart Public Transport (SPT) initiative will make the city safer and more accessible for the estimated 12,000 visually impaired citizens who live there. While many of us take the act of hopping on or off a bus for granted, for those with eyesight problems it can be both difficult and dangerous. Through the installation of the Enterprise Beacons – fitted to…

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Transport Tech 

India Marks Success in First Reusable Spacecraft Test

The Indian Space Research Organisation is entering the next generation of space travel. The ISRO on Monday successfully launched its pint-sized Reusable Launch Vehicle (RLV-TD) prototype from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota, according to an announcement from the space organization. The first test flight marks a milestone for ISRO, which started developing its concept for a reusable launch vehicle  nearly a decade ago. Miniature Rocket The RLV-TD is just 23 feet tall, and weighs about 1.75 tons. For comparison, SpaceX’s Falcon 9 launch vehicle stands 224 feet upright, and weighs over 600…

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Transport Tech 

Watch an Electric Corvette Obliterate Its Own Speed Record

Sometimes being the best isn’t enough. You have to keep pushing, and trying to beat yourself. It’s a mindset that works for Olympic athletes, gearing up for Rio, and also for a small Maryland company that modifies Corvettes. Genovation takes the iconic muscle cars, rips out the drivetrain, and replaces it with twin electric motors, and 44kWh of batteries down the old transmission tunnel, and where the fuel tanks used to be. The team was puttering about with its Genovation GXE in February, when it set the speed record for…

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Transport Tech 

Step Aside, Rockets – Ion Engines Are the Future of Space Travel

The NASA spacecraft Dawn has spent more than seven years traveling across the solar system to intercept the asteroid Vesta and the dwarf planet Ceres. Now in orbit around Ceres, the probe has returned the first images and data from these distant objects. But inside Dawn itself is another first – the spacecraft is the first exploratory space mission to use an electrically-powered ion engine rather than conventional rockets. Such ion engines will propel the next generation of spacecraft. Inside an Ion Engine Ion engines use electric power to create charged…

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Transport Tech 

Germany to require ‘black box’ in autonomous cars

The fatal crash of a Tesla Model S car on self driving mode has increased the pressure on auto makers and regulators to ensure that automated driving technology can be deployed safely and to find ways of determining accountability in the event of a crash. To that end the German government is set to pass new legislation requiring all cars equipped with self-driving features to include a black box, similar to those required on aircraft. Under the proposal from Transport Minister Alexander Dobrindt, all automakers will have to install a recording…

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Transport Tech 

The World’s First 1,000-mph Car Has Been Unveiled

The world land speed record is in serious jeopardy. That’s because the Bloodhound SSC was unveiled to the world in its final form Thursday in London, and this supersonic chariot won’t just break the land speed record, it’s expected to obliterate it. The Bloodhound represents the collaborative efforts of more than 200 global companies as well as eight years of designing and manufacturing. The team’s efforts have yielded a rocket on wheels that could reach a speed of 1,000 miles per hour — shattering the current world record of 763 mph. The…

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Transport Tech 

So, a Few Concerns About China’s Traffic-Slaying ‘Straddling Bus’

Well blow us down: Those scrappy engineers did it. They built that crazy straddling bus a Chinese company announced three months ago, and damned if it doesn’t work. This weird wonder—officially, it’s the “Transit Elevated Bus”—gets through traffic by driving over it. And according to the Chinese news agency Xinhua, it got through Tuesday’s test drive in Qinhuangdao without decapitating a single Geely Panda. Some specs: This thing is 68.9 feet long, 25.6 feet wide, and 15.7 feet tall. “There’s enough space on this for old ladies to have a…

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Transport Tech 

Elon Musk’s Hyperloop: A Pragmatic Vision of the Future

Los Angeles to San Francisco in 30 minutes? In August, billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk announced his vision for Hyperloop, a levitating train that would shoot through a low-pressure, above-ground tunnel at 760 mph. Musk is famous for futuristic transit, such as his electric car company Tesla Motors and commercial space travel business SpaceX. But he has no intention of building a functional Hyperloop. His aim was to generate buzz with the idea, in the hope that others would develop and build it. The technology itself is old news. In 1972,…

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