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.
Charles, I agree with you. The video may be legitimate, but it seems a little too good to be true. It is amazing how Chendu in China has the unique minerals that allow the car to float. If you float out of town, would your car grind to a halt.
Charles, I'm with you. I find it hard to believe this car can be levitated based on underground minerals. What type of minerals would have the right permeability to allow this car to float in the air as well as propel itself? Just based on fact that underground minerals would need to be availabe for proper car operation makes the concept not practical. I give VW an A+ for good imagination. I'm just not feeling it.
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.
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.
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.
During a teardown of the iPad Air and Microsoft Surface Pro 3 at the Medical Design & Manufacturing Show in Schaumburg, Ill., an engineer showed this "inflammatory" video about the dangers of maliciously mishandling lithium-ion batteries.
Science fiction author Isaac Asimov may have the best rules for effective brainstorming and creativity. His never-before-published essay, "On Creativity," recently made it to the Web pages of MIT Technology Review.
Much has been made over the potentially dangerous flammability of lithium-ion batteries after major companies like Boeing, Sony, and Tesla have grappled with well-publicized battery fires. Researchers at Stanford University may have come up with a solution to this problem with a smart sensor for lithium-ion batteries that provides a warning if the battery is about to overheat or catch fire.
In this new Design News feature, "How it Works," we’re starting off by examining the inner workings of the electronic cigarette. While e-cigarettes seemed like a gimmick just two or three years ago, they’re catching fire -- so to speak. Sales topped $1 billion last year and are set to hit $10 billion by 2017. Cigarette companies are fighting back by buying up e-cigarette manufacturers.
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