Futuristic floating bubble car wins London design competition

September 21, 2017 by  
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Renault and Central Saint Martins – UAL have teamed up to develop the car of the future. Part of a design competition, students of the school’s MA Industrial Design program have been challenged to think about the future of autonomous, modular cars, along with the infrastructure and services that might support them. The winning design, The Float, envisions futuristic bubble cars that use magnetic levitation technology to get around. The competition started with 15 students with three semi-finalists left standing – Stephanie Chang Liu for her ‘Flo’ design, with three different sized vehicles, Tuna Yenici for his emotive vehicle named ‘Vue’ and Yuchen Cai for her vision of vehicles moving around using Maglev technology, called ‘The Float’. Yuchen Cai was announced as the winner at the opening of Designjunction 2017. The Float connects people in a new way, demonstrating how autonomy will help drivers become more open and social with the outside world. With the appearance of a bubble that moves without conventional wheels, it uses magnetic levitation technology that gives it the ability to move in any direction without the need to turn around. Related: Audi unveils two new swanky self-driving concepts in Frankfurt The exterior is covered in transparent glass, while passengers sit in silver seats. The large swathes of glass will provide a new way for people to connect through tessellation. Users can also use a smartphone app to rent a Float, just like how a user would request an Uber or Lyft ride. The concepts have been unveiled in London at Designjunction 2017, which runs from September 21-24. Renault is a partner in the competition, since it is eager to develop the technologies of the future with an emphasis on electric power, autonomous driving and connected technologies. Renault’s ultimate goal is to have autonomous electric vehicles on the road by the early 2020s. + Renault Images @Renault

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Futuristic floating bubble car wins London design competition

Audi unveils two new swanky self-driving concepts in Frankfurt

September 15, 2017 by  
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Audi is working hard on future self-driving cars that will forever change your daily commute. This week at the Frankfurt Motor Show, the automaker unveiled two new concept cars that feature Level 4 and Level 5 autonomous driving technology. Hit the jump for a closer look. The first concept, the Aicon, is a futuristic looking four-door electric vehicle with a 500-mile driving range. The Aicon is a large concept vehicle at almost 18-feet-long. Audi says its design is a preview of what cars will look like in the future; with pushed-out wheels and without the need for an engine, the overall layout maximizes the space between the wheels for more interior volume. Related: Audi’s new solar-roofed car expected by the end of 2017 One cool feature is that the Aicon’s exterior surfaces can display information to warn pedestrians or cyclists of dangerous situations. Plus, horizontal stripes of light move from the bottom up when the car accelerates and in the opposite direction when braking. Their speed increases or decreases in sync with that of the car. The interior features two individual front seats that can move back and forth up to 19 inches and even swivel up to 15 degrees. There’s room for two additional passengers that sit on an integrated rear bench seat. Audi’s Aicon is powered by four electric motors that generate a total 349 horsepower. It can also travel up to 500 miles on a single charge and be recharged up to 80 percent in a short 30 minutes. The second concept, the Audi Elaine, looks familiar since it debuted as the E-Tron Sportback concept a few months ago. On the outside, not much has changed from the original concept, but Audi is using the Elaine concept to showcase its Level 4 autonomous driving technology with a new highway pilot autonomous system. The highway pilot system can control the vehicle between 37 to 80 mph. Audi hasn’t announced any production plans for the Audi Aicon concept, but the production version of the Elaine/ E-Tron Sportback will arrive in 2019. + Audi Images @Audi

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Audi unveils two new swanky self-driving concepts in Frankfurt

Beautiful cow barn in Basel is made of tree branches topped with a grassy roof

September 15, 2017 by  
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Swiss architects Forschungs + Architekturbüro AG have made some lucky cows very happy with a stunning new barn outside of Basel. The architects used natural materials from the surrounding area to create the light-filled structure. The walls are made from tree trunks and long sticks, while the roof is covered with a thick carpet of green grass. The 2,000-square-meter cow barn is built on a sloped hillside that made construction a bit challenging. The architects decided to make the shape of the barn mimic the surrounding topography, embedding it into the landscape. Related: Architects transform an old hay barn into a stunning minimalist home The tree trunks and large sticks that make up the structure’s walls are embedded in a rectangular concrete base. This design strategy has many benefits – the materials could be sourced locally, and the walls let natural light into structure, creating a healthy environment for the beauteous bovines. An elongated green roof further fuses the design into the lush, grassy landscape. Two large vertical milk silos jut out from the structure, giving a bold nod to the building’s industrial purpose. + Forschungs + Architekturbüro AG Via Archdaily Photography by Christian Baur and Serge Hasenböhler

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Beautiful cow barn in Basel is made of tree branches topped with a grassy roof

2018 Nissan Leaf debuts with 150 mile driving range for just 30k

September 6, 2017 by  
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After teasing us for weeks, Nissan has finally unveiled the second-generation 2018 Nissan Leaf. The new Leaf is completely new inside and out, with single-pedal driving, automation, more power, and most importantly, its driving range has been increased to a more usable 150 miles. It’s hard to believe that it’s already been seven years since the first Nissan Leaf arrived in 2010. Now seven years later the Leaf is facing much stiffer competition than it originally did. As a result, the new Leaf has been amped up to tackle the Chevy Bolt and the Tesla Model 3. Related: BMW releases a sportier i3 electric car For starters, Nissan fixed the main concern electric car buyers had with the last generation: its driving range. With a max 107 mile driving range, the current generation Leaf has been overshadowed by the Bolt, Model 3 and even slightly squeezed out by the BMW i3 and 2017 VW e-Golf. With the 2018 Nissan Leaf being able to now travel 150 miles on a single charge, that means the Leaf is now closer to the top of the segment, only to be out done by Tesla and the Chevy Bolt . Under the hood, there’s also a new electric powertrain that now generates 147 horsepower and 236 lb-ft. of torque. If you want a more powerful Nissan Leaf with a longer driving range, Nissan has confirmed that another more expensive version of the Leaf is coming for 2019. Besides the new electric powertrain, the 2018 Leaf also features new driving technologies. The ProPILOT Assist driver assistance technology allows for semi-autonomous driving on single-lane highways. The 2018 Leaf also comes with Nissan’s new e-Pedal technology, that perfects one-pedal driving. It lets drivers start, accelerate, decelerate and stop by using only the accelerator. Inside the 2018 Leaf’s seats are covered in seats with vibrant blue stitching and a new 7-inch touchscreen sits in the center console. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto have also been added. The 2018 Nissan Leaf is scheduled to arrive in the U.S. and Europe in early 2018. Pricing for the 2018 Leaf in the U.S. will start at $29,990. Images @Nissan + Nissan

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2018 Nissan Leaf debuts with 150 mile driving range for just 30k

MINI re-envisions the Cooper hatchback as an EV

August 30, 2017 by  
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MINI is adding an exciting new car to its lineup sometime during 2019 – and it’s totally electric . The MINI Electric Concept offers a futuristic interpretation of the MINI Cooper hatchback with a slew of special details, including unique wheels, a new hexagonal grille and restyled lighting. The MINI Electric Concept will have its official debut at the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show next month, where the company will test the public’s reception to a new electrified MINI. It’s been nearly 10 years since MINI released the MINI E electric car in 2018, which was the first fully electric car from the BMW Group. Related: Volkswagen confirms when the Microbus is coming back as an EV MINI’s next electric car will reach beyond the potential of the MINI E. For starters, its electric motor won’t have the same cooling needs as a traditional gas-powered car, so the grille and air intakes have been closed off to improve airflow. And the headlights have a new LED design. As you move to the back, the MINI Electric Concept’s taillights each form one half of the Union Jack as an LED dot matrix. “The MINI Electric Concept is a quintessential MINI – compact, agile, simply the ideal companion for everyday driving. At the same time, it conveys a whole new take on the concept of sportiness,” explains Adrian van Hooydonk, Senior Vice President BMW Group Design. + MINI Images @MINI

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Hyundai’s first long-range EV arrives next year

August 23, 2017 by  
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Hyundai has been pretty quiet on its electric car plans, with the exception of its recently introduced Ioniq models. But now the automaker has confirmed it will introduce new extended-range electric cars within the next few years. The first will be a 242-mile-range SUV, followed by a sedan with a 310-mile-range. It had already been rumored that the new Hyundai Kona SUV would get a fully electric version, but now Hyundai has confirmed it. The small Kona SUV will get an electric version sometime next year, with a driving range of around 242 miles. That means it will have the longest driving range of any electrified SUV, with the exception of the Tesla Model X . Of course, that title could change, since Audi is also close to introducing its new 300-mile-range SUV. After the new Kona SUV is introduced, Hyundai’s luxury brand Genesis will release its own electric car by 2021. The new luxury electric car will have a driving range around 310 miles, making it a direct rival to the Tesla Model S . Hyundai hasn’t got any plans for a long-range Kia EV, but both the Hyundai and Kia brands are slated to get a range of new electrified models. The company plans to releae 31 eco-friendly models by 2020. With the new focus on electric cars, Hyundai isn’t giving up on fuel cell vehicles . They recently unveiled the next fuel cell SUV as a thinly disguised concept that will be powered by a fourth-generation hydrogen fuel cell system that is not only more powerful, but has a longer driving range than the current Tucson Fuel Cell SUV. + Hyundai Via VentureBeat Images @Hyundai

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Tesla Model S reaches record 670 miles on a single charge

August 8, 2017 by  
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The Tesla Model S has set a new record in Italy! The Tesla Owners Italia club recently traveled 669.83 miles in a Model S 100D on a single charge with a team of five drivers. The team was careful to use as little energy as possible to beat a previous record set in Belgium last June. The team drove across southern Italy at an average speed of 25 mph without the air conditioning on. Tesla CEO Elon Musk recently estimated that the Model S would be able to drive at least 621 miles with low rolling-resistance tires. The team not only used the more efficient tires, but also used “hypermilling” techniques to squeeze out as much driving range as they could. Related: Tesla to TRIPLE number of Superchargers by end of 2018 “To complete the 1,078km record distance, we used 98.4 kW/h of electricity, which is equivalent to eight liters of gas,” said Luca Del Bo, president of the club. Upon announcing the news, Elon Musk congratulated the club for their new record. Rosario Pingaro, one of the five drivers, added: “The driving was made simply by the semi-autonomous driving system, which helped us to keep a constant speed in the middle of the lane.” + Tesla Owners Italia Via The Guardian Images @Tesla Owners Italia

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Meet the 9-year-old mobilizing ‘an army of 4th graders’ to protect national monuments from Trump

August 8, 2017 by  
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Has Donald Trump even been to a National Monument? Who knows, but 9-year-old Robbie Bond has, and he aims to protect them from the president and Interior chief Ryan Zinke. In April, Trump issued two executive orders calling for a review of 27 National Monuments protected under the Antiquities Act of 1906, including the world’s largest marine protected area on Earth, Papah?naumoku?kea, in Hawaii – Robbie’s home state. He claimed that former presidents had abused their power in establishing these monuments and that states should take over control. This news scared the young activist, so, with help from his parents Michelle and Robin, he set up a non-profit organization called Kids Speak for Parks to “mobilize “an army of 4th graders” to speak out for public lands. “You can’t protect something you don’t understand,” Robbie told HuffPost. This is why he has set up a plan to tour all 27 monuments, posting videos and photos of his trip on social media along the way. By educating the public about the treasures under review, he hopes people will be more inclined to act to save them. “I want to make sure that our national monuments are available for my kids and for future generations,” he said. Related: Judge greenlights kids’ climate change lawsuit against US government According to the paper, he and his parents have even set up an initiative that would get inner city kids out into the wilderness. The plan, he told HuffPost, is to advocate for and educate others about US national monuments and parks before they vanish. Robbie last posted a video from Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument , following a visit to Bears Ears in Utah, one of the most controversial monuments under review. There he met with Alejandro Yazzie from the Ute Mountain Tribe that has longstanding connections to this land, which protects 100,000 Native American archaeological and cultural sites considered sacred by many tribes. Last month Zinke recommended a plan to shrink the monument’s boundaries, designated by former President Barack Obama. However, HuffPost reports, he will not recommend changes to Idaho’s Craters of the Moon, Washington’s Hanford Reach, or Colorado’s Canyons of the Ancients national monuments. Posting from Bears Ears, Robbie wrote: “One thing is clear when kids speak people listen!” We hope he’s right. + Kids Speak for Parks Via Huffington Post Images via Kids Speak for Parks

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Honda unveils new 2017 Clarity Electric car

August 2, 2017 by  
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Over the past few weeks electric car news has been overtaken by updates about the Tesla Model 3, but another new EV also recently went on sale – the 2017 Honda Clarity Electric. While the Clarity Electric won’t be a direct rival to the Model 3, it does represent the newest Honda EV following the Fit EV, which is no longer available. The 2017 Clarity Electric is the second model in the new Clarity lineup, which includes the Clarity Fuel Cell and upcoming Clarity Plug-in hybrid. The main reason why the Clarity Electric isn’t a direct rival to models, like the Model 3 or even the Chevy Bolt, is because of its driving range. Both the Model 3 and Bolt can travel over 200 miles on a single charge, while the Clarity Electric only has 89 miles of driving range. Related: Honda steps up with new green car strategy Although the Clarity Electric’s driving range is at the lower end of the segment, it does offer room for five passengers with its spacious interior. It’s a bigger car than the Chevy Bolt , so if you want something that will be a replacement for the conventional midsize sedan, the Clarity Electric is ideal. The Clarity Electric can be fully recharged in about three hours and up to 80 percent in thirty minutes with a DC fast charger. The Clarity Electric also won’t hurt your bank account, since Honda has announced that the Clarity Electric can be leased for only $269 a month for 36 months, if you live in California or Oregon. The lease terms also allow you to drive up to 20,000 miles a year. Sadly the only downside is that, just like the Fit EV, Honda will only let you lease the Clarity Electric. Images @Honda + Honda

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10 gorgeous vintage lamps that add rustic modern charm to any space

August 2, 2017 by  
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These days, everyone seems to be embracing the appeal of rustic modern decor . While modern design is sometimes perceived as being cold and sterile, a touch of rustic charm goes a long way towards infusing a space with warmth, charm, and personality. One of the easiest ways to nail the rustic modern aesthetic is with vintage industrial lights, which have withstood the test of time – and they look incredible when paired with other hallmarks of rustic modernism like natural stone, salvaged wood , and cozy textiles. We’ve rounded up 10 lamps that set the right tone for the perfect rustic modern space – check them out after the break! Cocoweb ‘s beautiful vintage-styled lights make the perfect addition to any rustic modern interior. From clean industrial barn lights and wall lanterns to colorful pendants and eye catching bulkhead lights , you’re sure to find one to suit your space – and thanks to LED technology, these lamps are much more efficient than their forebears. Read on for 10 of our favorite rustic modern lights – and if you’re struggling to find the right look, check out Cocoweb’s Interior Design Directory for a heaping dose of inspiration. Oldage LED Pendant Light Barn lights are the ultimate example of rustic modern design, with a vintage silhouette that has been around for ages. The Oldage LED Pendant Light updates a classic shape with the latest LED technology and finishes that are anything but bland. We love the copper color, which adds warmth and brightness to any room. Goodyear Indoor/Outdoor Barn Light Cocoweb’s Goodyear Barn Lights are a mainstay for any rustic modern space. Not only do they come in a wide range of colors – you can also choose the perfect size and stem style, which means that no matter how challenging your space is, there’s one that will be just right for you. And if they don’t already have exactly what you need, the Goodyear light is fully customizable . Blackspot LED Pendant Light Sometimes all you need is a little spot of light. The Blackspot LED Pendant provides focused task lighting and, when you choose a fun color like this dreamy jade, it can add a lively pop to neutral interiors. The braided cord can be adjusted to suit the height you need, and it comes in 8″, 10″, 12″ and 14″ shade sizes. Rockhampton Nautical Wall Sconce The Rockhampton Nautical Wall Sconce features an aged brass cage that evokes seaside days gone by. Meanwhile, the filament LED gives you all the benefits of energy-efficient light without detracting from the vintage look. Palmerston Nautical Wall Sconce The Palmerston Nautical Wall Sconce has the modern rustic look nailed down, with a caged design and simple utilitarian shape. You can choose black or brass depending on whether you want to go classic or bold, and the LED filament bulb uses a mere 6 watts of power, so you don’t have to feel guilty about letting it shine all night long. Canberra Bulkhead Wall Sconce Wall sconces add light where you need it, but done right, they can also be works of art. The Canberra Bulkhead Wall Sconce is handcrafted for a unique industrial look that will make any space shine. The exposed hardware and worn finish gives the sconce a vintage feel, while the LED bulb gives you plenty of light (without the extravagant power bill). Related: 10 ways to nail the rustic modern aesthetic with barn lights Carran Outdoor LED Wall Lantern There is nothing more charming than the warm glow of a lantern. What isn’t so charming is the fire hazard of oil-based lanterns. The Carran Outdoor LED Wall Lantern gives you all that vintage appeal with a modern LED bulb. The cage design and bulbous glass enclosure give the lantern the perfect Old-World charm. Limerick Outdoor LED Wall Lantern Sometimes you want your lighting to lean more rustic than modern. In that case, the Limerick Outdoor Lamp is the perfect fit. The spirals and vine-like ornamentation gives it a look straight out of a European village. But the LED technology is all modern. Unlike some LEDs, Cocoweb’s LED bulbs have that familiar yellow cast that we love from Edison bulbs – but at 6 watts, they are considerably more efficient. Oldage Customizable Industrial Floor Lamp Hunting for a flexible lamp that oozes rustic modern style and can be positioned anywhere you like? Look no further than the fully-customizable Oldage Industrial Floor Lamp . The adjustable shade is similar in style to the Oldage Gooseneck and Pendant fixtures, but in a floor lamp format that can be placed practically anywhere. The lamp can be adjusted at the joint to a range of different heights, and a built-in dimmer lets you pick the right amount of illumination. We particularly love the elegant arm that gives the lamp a minimalist vibe. Newcastle Flood Light The Newcastle Flood Light provides powerful illumination – and it feels like something straight out of an industrial workspace. The base is made of metal piping, and a caged shade and exposed hardware take your design to the next level. + Cocoweb

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