Tridika is a self-driving maglev vehicle that would double as a portable living room

September 1, 2016 by  
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Hold onto your seats, folks—especially if you’re sitting on your living room couch. This wild self-driving living room concept lends a whole new perspective to the idea of private transportation . Charles Bombardier, a mechanical engineer from Canada with an unbridled imagination, worked with vehicle designer Ashish Thulkar to develop Tridika, the pod-like living room that doubles as a mag-lev vehicle. After all, Bombardier wrote for Wired, “Why shouldn’t people use their vehicles for purposes other than transport?” Bombardier has a history of wild and crazy ideas, over 200 of which have been chronicled on the blog he’s kept since 2013. Tridika is the latest, inspired by Thyssenkrupp’s Willy Wonka-style elevator (and probably in part by science fiction films, too), and the concept is essentially a driverless vehicle that operates on a magnetic levitation (maglev) track which, when not carting its owner around town, would be parked next to a home or apartment and used as additional living space. Another option, Bombardier explains, would be to configure the pod as a portable office capable of seating up to six people—perfect for the perennial workaholic. Related: Could maglev hovering homes be the answer to rising sea levels?  Considering how much time the average car is parked, doing basically nothing but waiting for the next commute or shopping trip , Bombardier’s impetus for the Tridika seems like a common sense approach. He argues the concept may be a great way to maximize limited space in crowded urban environments, simultaneously solving parking issues while expanding the usable area of your home. Because maglev technology powers vehicles with electricity drawn from the tracks, it could also be a cleaner alternative to fossil fuel-based cars. But what about the technology? Is a self-driving living room even possible? Well, sure. Since the concept is based on existing maglev technology, it seems as though creating the box-shaped pods might not be such a challenge. Of course, then you’d have to find a developer who wants to outfit their buildings with maglev tracks and take on the challenge of selling driverless pod living rooms to residents. But, if the price is right and the benefits are clear, the trend could eventually catch on. Via Wired Images via Ashish Thulkar/Tridika

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Tridika is a self-driving maglev vehicle that would double as a portable living room

Singapore rolls out the world’s first fleet of self-driving taxis

August 25, 2016 by  
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The world’s first driverless taxis just launched today in Singapore, beating Uber to the road by a matter of weeks. According to Phys.org , the autonomous vehicle software startup nuTonomy will offer certain members of the public a free ride, which they can order using their smartphones. While Uber’s first self-driving cars are set to launch this month in Pittsburgh, nuTonomy is the first company to actually roll out its self-driving fleet in a move designed to reduce congestion on the city streets. For now, nuTonomy officials told Phys.org they are starting small with a fleet of six cars on the road. By the end of the year, that number should double, and by 2018, the company hopes to have a fully self-driving taxi fleet in Singapore. They hope their model will be adopted in cities around the world. “For now, the taxis only will run in a 2.5-square-mile business and residential district called “one-north,” and pick-ups and drop-offs will be limited to specified locations, according to Phys.org. “And riders must have an invitation from nuTonomy to use the service. The company says dozens have signed up for the launch, and it plans to expand that list to thousands of people within a few months.” The cars will not be completely driverless for now. Using modified Renault Zie and Mitsubishi 1-MiEV electric vehicles, nuTonomy will dispatch two people with each taxi – a driver who can take over the wheel if necessary, and a researcher who will monitor the car’s various computers from the back seat. “Each car is fitted with six sets of Lidar—a detection system that uses lasers to operate like radar—including one that constantly spins on the roof. There are also two cameras on the dashboard to scan for obstacles and detect changes in traffic lights,” writes Phys.org. Doug Parker, nuTonomy’s chief operating officer, said that eventually, driverless taxis could shrink the number of cars on Singapore’s roads from 900,000 to 300,000. “When you are able to take that many cars off the road, it creates a lot of possibilities. You can create smaller roads, you can create much smaller car parks,” Parker said. “I think it will change how people interact with the city going forward.” + nuTonomy Via Phys.org

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Singapore rolls out the world’s first fleet of self-driving taxis

London Unveils the Driverless Subway Trains of the Future

October 9, 2014 by  
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Read the rest of London Unveils the Driverless Subway Trains of the Future Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: driverless vehicles , London Underground , New Tube for London , Priestmangoode Driverless Trains , subway trains , transportation design , UK transport , Urban design

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London Unveils the Driverless Subway Trains of the Future

Uber Car Service to Buy 2,500 Driverless Cars from Google

August 27, 2013 by  
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International transportation and delivery service Uber announced that the company will be purchasing 2,500 driverless vehicles from Google. The companies agreed to share Uber’s local transportation data which will help widen and improve the efficiency of car-routing algorithms used by Google’s GX3200 self-driving cars . The $375 million purchase will mark Uber’s largest investment to date and also the first deal Google has made involving its new driverless vehicles. Read the rest of Uber Car Service to Buy 2,500 Driverless Cars from Google Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: automobile industry , automotive , detroit auto show , driverless cars , driverless vehicles , Google company , Google driverless car , Google driverless cars , Google self-driving cars , Googles GX3200 , green technology , green transportation , self driving cars , Sustainable automotive , Uber , Uber car service        

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Uber Car Service to Buy 2,500 Driverless Cars from Google

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