When Volkswagen launched its "People’s Car" project, soliciting ideas for futuristic visions and concepts that could be made into reality, more than 119,000 ideas were posted, including the Hover Car, the Music Car, and the Smart Key. All were highlighted at the 2012 Beijing Auto Show.
The Music Car concept involves an LED-covered Volkswagen Beetle that changes color to match the music selections of the driver, while the zero-emission, two-seated Hover Car levitates above the road and propels itself forward using electromagnetic road networks.
The Smart Key concept caters to the uber-attached, providing them with a 9mm HD touchscreen on the ignition key that monitors the status of the car throughout the day and keeps tabs on it via satellite transmission.
Wow, this is a pretty incredible concept car. It's actually so far out there, it makes me wonder how real the actual concept is and how much special effects come into play. I just can't get my head around the science of enabling a vehicle to do that. Interaction with underground minerals just doesn't seem like enough of an explaination.
Beth, I think that the car interacts with a cable in the ground that creates the magnetic field needed. This is just like the maglev train. It is a nice idea, but the cost of putting all that power in the ground is prohibitive.
Considering that we were all supposed to have flying cars by 1990, I like the new ideas that bring us closer to just beaming us places! It is time that the design process changes. We are working on better mileage and fancy electronics, but all cars look alike in their class, not like the 50s and 60s where there were defining features.
I would like to see defining features such as the hover car, gyro controlled one or two wheeler, or the ultimate- the flying car. After all, this is the 21st century for heaven's sake!
I love the idea of the hover car. I always figured it would come eventually. But what would that mean in managing traffic in the air? There is also the gimmick aspect. Remember those amphibian cars? Cool idea, not particularly practical.
That makes much more sense, but even with that, it's still somewhat surreal. I hear what you're saying about the cost of laying all that cable infrastructure down. It seems that infrastructure cost goes hand in hand, though, with any of these new alternative technologies. Infrastructure costs for laying some sort of power cable for this concept car, battery charging station infrastructure for pure EV technology, and whatever is required for the autonomous vehicles that Chuck is writing about. Somehow for all this innovation to take place, there has to be monies to fund wholesale infrastructure development--all at a time, when we can't find monies to fund existing infrastructure like bridges and highway systems.
This is great! Thanks for reporting on this. I also remember all those predictions in the 1960s about having flying cars by 2000. Now we just have to figure out traffic control. I hope it's more intelligent than the mess shown in, for example, The Fifth Element.
I'm afraid you'll have to count me as one of the non-believers, GlennA. The video refers to it reacting with "minerals" in the ground, which I don't understand. Maglev trains use the concept of the linear stator, and I suppose there could be a linear stator buried beneath the street along the course that it travels. But that, too, seems unlikely to me. Linear stators, like those used on the maglev trains in Germany, cost a ton of money to install. And even if they did use a linear stator, the air gap is still way too big. And what forces are they using to balance it (laterally)? This is really far-fetched, and there's just not enough information here for me to buy it. Count me as a non-believer.
If you see a hitchhiker along the road in Canada this summer, it may not be human. That’s because a robot is thumbing its way across our neighbor to the north as part of a collaborative research project by several Canadian universities.
Stanford University researchers have found a way to realize what’s been called the “Holy Grail” of battery-design research -- designing a pure lithium anode for lithium-based batteries. The design has great potential to provide unprecedented efficiency and performance in lithium-based batteries that could substantially drive down the cost of electric vehicles and solve the charging problems associated with smartphones.
Robots in films during the 2000s hit the big time; no longer are they the sidekicks of nerdy character actors. Robots we see on the big screen in recent years include Nicole Kidman, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Eddie Murphy. Top star of the era, Will Smith, takes a spin as a robot investigator in I, Robot. Robots (or androids or cyborgs) are fully mainstream in the 2000s.
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