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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Transport Tech 

The EPA’s Fuel Efficiency Testing May Not Work. Like, at All

In 2012 President Obama instituted new, aggressive fuel economy standards for automakers selling cars in the United States. The executive branch—represented here by the Environmental Protection Agency, basically—mandated that every car manufacturer would have to have a fleetwide average gas mileage of 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025. The Corporate Average Fuel Economy standards (CAFE to transit nerds) take the gas mileage of every car a company sells—from Yaris to Tundra, Verano to Enclave, Golf to whatever—and average it out. You want to build a gas-guzzling, smoke-pumping, V-18 for hauling…

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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 

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 

New Navy Tech Makes It Easy to Land on a Carrier. Yes, Easy

For Navy pilots who land jets on aircraft carriers, life is tough. First, there’s the bit about touching down at precisely the right time and position to have the tailhook catch the arresting wire and bring you to a stop before the runway—all 300 feet of it— runs out. And then there’s the fact flight decks don’t stay still. They heave and sway with the sea. In the seconds before touchdown, a pilot typically makes hundreds of small changes to his trajectory. The US Navy says new tech could make…

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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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Transport Tech 

BMW ConnectedDrive gets even more connected

BMW ConnectedDrive provides drivers with a variety of services and apps for in-vehicle entertainment, information and safety. As the name suggests, the system is rooted in connectivity and, working with Deutsche Telekom, BMW is bumping up those capabilities to include high-speed LTE, a Wi-Fi hotspot and the new eSIM. eSIM technology is being touted as a replacement for the traditional SIM card that’s at the heart of your smartphone. It’s used to establish a high-speed LTE connection inside the vehicle. This, in turn, powers a password-protected Wi-Fi hotspot that can provide internet…

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Transport Tech 

Japan’s Seven Stars cruise train offers luxury on the rails

The Japanese regional railway JR Kyushu has become the first company in Japan to build a luxury sleeper cruise train, spending close to 3 billion yen (US$29.9 million). The Seven Stars cruise train comes equipped with the latest motion control technology, 14 luxury guest rooms, two deluxe suites, three presidential suites, a lounge car, dining car and bar. “The idea for a cruise train came from our company president, Mr. Koji Karaike,” Simon Metcalfe from JR Kyushu tells Gizmag. “It was something that he had dreamed of doing since he…

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Transport Tech 

Electric rollerblades go off the beaten track

There are a good many ways to get from the train station to work in motor-assisted style, including folding bikes or scooters and one wheelers orskateboards, but last mile transport choices are not so plentiful if your journey includes zipping through dirt tracks and forest trails. Poland’s Jack Skopinski, the force behind the EV4 tilting electric quad we covered last year, has come up with a stand-up contender for the off-road-with-ease crown – some electric off-road rollers with rubber tracks. Skopinski says that his so-called “off-road rollerblades” were designed and built in response to customer demand for personal…

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