Honda’s tiny urban EV could be available to order next year

March 12, 2018 by  
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Honda recently announced that the Urban EV Concept they unveiled last year at the Frankfurt Motor Show could be ready to order by 2019. The Verge described this little vehicle with a retro feel as a “Japanese plush toy made real.” The Urban EV “previews Honda’s first mass-produced battery electric vehicle sold in Europe,” according to the company. At a 2018 Geneva Motor Show press conference, Honda Motor Europe senior vice president Philip Ross confirmed the company anticipates opening order banks for the car early next year, with a production version coming to Europe later in 2019. Related: Uniti officially unveils its electric city car — and it will sell for under $18K The Honda Urban EV’s retro vibe is accompanied by utterly modern features like a wrap-around panoramic screen. Four people can go for a spin in the car, sitting on two bench seats. The design is intended to call to mind the “ambiance of a lounge,” according to Honda. The dashboard display offers vehicle information, with the screens on the doors acting as side mirrors via digital camera displays. The Verge said there aren’t many switches or buttons in the car, although they pointed out such minimalism isn’t rare in concept car design. Another futuristic feature is the Honda Automated Network Assistant, which “learns from the driver by detecting emotions behind their judgments” to offer recommendations. Honda has not yet divulged the range of the Urban EV. When they debuted the vehicle in 2017, they mentioned their Electric Vision strategy launched at the 2017 Geneva Motor Show; development of “a dedicated electric vehicle platform, featuring fully-electric powertrain technology” is part of that vision. The automaker said, “Key parts of that powertrain development will include a high-density, lightweight battery pack, integrated heat management and the evolution of energy transfer functions — both to and from the vehicle.” + Honda Urban EV Concept Order Books + Honda 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show Via The Verge Images via Honda

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Trips to Mars coming as soon as next year, says Elon Musk

March 12, 2018 by  
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Elon Musk has predicted that his company SpaceX will be capable of facilitating a successful mission to Mars, from launch to landing and back again, as soon as 2019. “I think we’ll be able to do short flights, up and down flights, some time in the first half of next year,” said Musk at the South by South West (SXSW) festival in Austin , Texas. While Musk’s deadline may seem a bit optimistic, his urgency seems to be guided by pessimism regarding Earth’s future. “There’s likely to be another dark ages… particularly if there’s a third world war,” said Musk, who has made the case that Mars must be colonized to inoculate humanity from destroying itself completely on Earth. “Sometimes my timelines are a little… y’know,” said Musk at SXSW, recognizing that a 2019 departure for a mission to Mars may not be doable. That doesn’t mean that SpaceX won’t try. In the meantime, Musk shared his ideas on how a Mars colony would be organized. “I think most likely the form of government on Mars would be a direct democracy, where people vote directly on issues,” he said. “Everyone votes on every issue and that’s how it goes.” Related: Scientist warns Elon Musk’s Starman could be a bio-threat to Mars Musk also spoke about his concerns regarding artificial intelligence . “AI is far more dangerous than nukes ,” he said. “This is a situation where you have a very serious danger to the public. There needs to be a public body that has insight and oversight so that everyone is delivering AI safely. This is extremely important. Nobody would suggest that we allow anyone to just build nuclear warheads if they want, that would be insane. My point was AI is far more dangerous than nukes. So why do we have no regulatory oversight? It’s insane.” While Musk is concerned with World War III or an AI apocalypse, he is equally energized by the commercial opportunities presented by a Mars colony. Pizza places will be in need on Mars, he said, as will Mars bars. Via MSN Images via Depositphotos (1)

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Trips to Mars coming as soon as next year, says Elon Musk

Carsten Hller’s giant spiraling slides explore emotional links between people and plants

March 12, 2018 by  
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German artist Carsten Höller recently announced plans to build two giant spiraling slides in Florence, Italy – and the installation will research the emotional link between people and plants. The Florence Experiment invites visitors to zip through two 65-foot-high slides with a plant in hand. At the bottom, scientists will be on hand to test the plants to see if they register the emotions of the person holding them. Höller, who has a PhD in plant pathology, has often used his signature art medium to make serious commentary on our society. For his latest experiment, the artist will be working with Professor Stefano Mancuso to demonstrate how human emotions can affect plants in an effort to encourage more empathy for the vegetation around us. Related: Mesmerizing light installation is powered by visitors’ collective heartbeat The slides will be installed in the beautiful Palazzo Strozzi in Florence, Italy, as part of a larger exhibition. Visitors to the Renaissance palace can board a slide from the second-floor terrace, where they will be handed a plant. After the fun twisty ride, the plants will be taken to the basement were a laboratory has been set up to test if any of the plants have been affected by the emotions of the humans as they slide down. According to the artists, the objective is not only to investigate the effect on the plants, but also to encourage people to be more empathetic to the botanical world around them. In addition to the slides, a second plant research installation will set up two cinemas in the lab: one showing comedy films while the other shows horror films. The experiment, organized by Höller and Mancuso, will record the audience’s reaction to the two films. These “volatile chemical compounds” will then be piped through tubes to the exterior of the palace in an effort to affect the climbing wisteria plants on the building’s facade. The researchers will study the vines’ growth over the course of the installation to see how it responds to the fear or delight of the audience. A live “plant graph” of the wisteria’s growth, based on these emotions, will be visible from the street. “Palazzo Strozzi will become a site of real contemporary experimentation and reflection, turning an architectural Renaissance masterpiece into a workshop of dialogue between art and science,” said curator, Galansino. Via Dezeen Renderings by Michele Giuseppe Onali

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Carsten Hller’s giant spiraling slides explore emotional links between people and plants

Autonomous concept car features an urban garden on wheels

December 9, 2016 by  
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From a Swiss think tank widely known for its outrageous car concepts comes the automotive dream to end all others: an autonomous vehicle featuring a mobile office and a living garden . The Rinspeed Oasis is set to be unveiled at the upcoming CES event held in Las Vegas in early January 2017. The fully autonomous concept vehicle takes a wildly different approach to commuting, with a built-in personal assistant, a lock-box for packages, and a host of other smart features that change the way we think about transportation. Rinspeed has promoted the “mobile office” notion in previous concept designs, and the Swiss think tank even transformed a Tesla Model S into a self-driving office on wheels. With the debut of the Oasis concept next month, Rinspeed is upping the stakes quite a bit in terms of innovation and thinking outside the literal box of a car frame. That’s the whole point of the Oasis concept, according to the company’s press release, which acknowledges some critics might be scratching their heads at the notion of growing plants inside a car. Related: Rinspeed turns Tesla Model S into an autonomous mobile office “Urban gardening on wheels as a new trend? A little bit out there? Maybe. But as always, the creation of Swiss mobility innovator Frank M. Rinderknecht is an oasis for inspiration in the otherwise rather expansive automotive wasteland,” the company said. The Oasis also features an onboard “personal assistant” that puts artificial intelligence to work for the car owner by linking personal data (via digital calendar and social media accounts, for instance) with the vehicle’s navigation system and traffic information. As a result, the vehicle can not only let you know whether you’ll make it to your destination on time, but can also give you a heads up if you’re about to miss an appointment. Let’s be clear about one thing: there are no plans for mass production currently in place. At CES, Rinspeed will do what they do for another year in row, which is reveal outlandish concepts to push the envelope of automotive design and hope that carmakers will follow. Via New Atlas Images via Rinspeed

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Autonomous concept car features an urban garden on wheels

15 most spectacular solar-powered concept cars of 2010

December 31, 2010 by  
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While electric car manufacturers kept rolling out electric vehicles throughout the year, there was no dearth of analysts who believed that the electric car revolution would need the grids to deliver more electricity, which won’t always come from renewable sources of energy. Trying to solve the problems associated with electric cars, the year 2010 saw some auto designers come up with concept vehicles that would be able to power themselves using solar-generated electricity.

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15 most spectacular solar-powered concept cars of 2010

Honda Air lightweight concept car is propelled by compressed air

October 22, 2010 by  
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Eco Factor: Zero-emission vehicle powered by compressed air. Honda has designed an all new Air Concept car, which the company showcased at the 2010 LA Auto Show’s Design Challenge competition. Designed to weigh less than 1000lbs, the vehicle can carry up to four people.

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Honda Air lightweight concept car is propelled by compressed air

O2 Concept Car – Hybrid concept car aims to be low on emissions

October 12, 2010 by  
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Eco Factor: Concept car designed to get powered by solar energy and atmospheric CO2. With none denying the fact that cars of the future will have to repair some of the pollution that the cars of the past produced, Argentine industrial designer Leonardo Achilli proposes a concept car that allows one to foresee how automobiles will run after 15 years or so. His concept car, dubbed as O2, will rely on solar energy and carbon dioxide in the air to offer a green commute.

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O2 Concept Car – Hybrid concept car aims to be low on emissions

Jaguar Unveils the C-X75 Hybrid Supercar

October 4, 2010 by  
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Jaguar recently unveiled a luxurious hybrid super-vehicle at the Paris Auto Show 2010 that is powered by four 195-horsepower electric motors (one at each wheel) coupled with two 80,000-rpm gasoline turbines situated under the vehicle’s rear lid.

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Jaguar Unveils the C-X75 Hybrid Supercar

US Could Save 350 Million Barrels of Oil by Not Wasting Food

October 4, 2010 by  
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It seems as you grow older there are more and more reasons why you should have listened to your parents when you were a kid. Well, here’s a new one to add to the list of dinner table orders – stop wasting your food

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US Could Save 350 Million Barrels of Oil by Not Wasting Food

iMove concept car carries Apple’s identity in a sustainable package

September 24, 2010 by  
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Eco Factor: Zero-emission concept car powered by electric motors. After creating some of the best computers, phones, tablets and music players, designers are now thinking the about the future of Apple

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iMove concept car carries Apple’s identity in a sustainable package

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