In many circles, the prospect of autonomous and self-driving cars taking over American roads is greeted with enthusiasm. Among car enthusiasts, however, the idea of removing the driver from the driving often sounds like a soulless and grim transportation future.
Ford is getting serious about developing more sophisticated technology for its models, and to make things even better, the automaker is opening the new Research and Innovation Center Palo Alto in Silicon Valley. With a former Apple engineer as the center's technical head, the lab is focusing on five areas: connectivity, mobility, autonomous vehicles, customer experience and big data.
Even if you've never heard of Swiss automotive think tank Rinspeed, don't be surprised if you've seen some of their funky concepts before. Since 1979, they have put out more than twenty concept vehicles that challenge the status quo of transportation. Many of their ideas are wild. But they don't just theorize them as drawings on paper, they actually build them. A famous Walt Disney quote is proudly displayed on Rinspeed's website that says, "If you can dream it, you can do it." Rinspeed has stay
It would be impossible to reinvent the wheel, but reinventing how we get around on one is exactly what small New Zealand-based YikeBike Ltd hopes to do. If you ever see one of these little YikeBikes, you'll quickly notice that it is ridden in a unique fashion. YikeBike hopes to do what the Segway couldn't: take human mobility full-circle.
When you bring together two universities known for their expertise in future transportation technologies and combine them with company leaders and pioneers in the green vehicle industry, you end up with a lot of knowledgeable people packed into a single room at an event called the Cleantech Conference. An event of this magnitude, focusing almost entirely on electric vehicles, is a relatively rare occurrence that should not be missed. Sadly, we'll be missing it.