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Turns out, the good folks at Audi aren't nihilists. The German automaker has joined up with Columbia University researchers to make predictions about city life in 2050, when 7 billion people will be urban dwellers. The result is five potential future scenarios, and none of them involve world destruction. Or even replicants.


Urban life is getting trickier all the time. In almost ever city, usable space gets more and more limited even as the amount of cars and traffic congestion grows. Ever the poster child for urban personal transportation, Daimler's Smart brand is one again thinking up a solution, this time working with Danish urban interior design specialist BoConcept to combine "form" and "functionality." Plus, furniture.


The Visio.M urban electric vehicle, launched last year by BMW and Mercedes-Benz parent Daimler, is on the road. Well, test site roads anyway, where a prototype of the lightweight EV is being evaluated near Munich.


The phrase "it's a bird, it's a plane" may be straight out of Norman Rockwell days, but it certainly applies to the Toyota vision of futuristic urban, gas-free transportation.


As a European auto giant with a strong presence in the North American market, there are some products that the Volkswagen group doesn't offer on this side of the pond. Like the entire Skoda and Seat brands, for example. With the exception of the Scirocco, there aren't many that we really feel like we're missing over here. That, and perhaps the Skoda Yeti.


Is there a funding department for research of the obvious? If so, we want to know how to apply for money to conduct research that finds that electric vehicles can work well in a city. This is the result of a study recently concluded by global consulting firm McKinsey & Co. and published in ClimateWire [sub. req.]. How well might EVs do in urban areas? McKinsey thinks that up to 15 percent of new car sales in big cities could be EVs by 2015. This is well beyond broader electric vehicle accept


GMC Urban Utility Concept – Click above for high-res image gallery


digg_url = 'http://digg.com/offbeat_news/Building_from_Minority_Report_is_being_made'; The science fiction movie the Minority Report imagines cars driving up vertical highways and parking on the side of high rise apartment buildings. Driveways just in front of your doorway are not uncommon in the suburbs but on a city high rise such a thing has never been done ... until now.


This, although not strictly related to automobiles, strikes me as something that our readership might be interested in. According to current trends, researchers have theorized that May 23rd, 2007 - that's right, just a few days ago, was the date when the world went from mostly rural to mostly urban. Now, when they pick exact dates like this, the statement is not meant to be taken entirely literally, but you get the idea. That means that over 50 percent of the world's population lives in an urban


The dust has hardly settled on the second DARPA Grand Challege and the Pentagon’s Defense Advance Research Project Agency has already announced a new challenge that pits competitors and their autonomous vehicles against an urban environment. The new Urban Challenge will occur on November 3, 2007, but not before many rounds of qualifying. The course will be 60-miles long and entrants must safely complete it in less than six hours while obeying traffic laws, avoiding obstacles, merging with

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