Thirty-six standard diesel-consuming Mercedes-Benz E-Class cars completed a 9,000-mile drive from Paris to Beijing while averaging more than 30 miles per gallon (mpg) of fuel. Some drivers were able to squeeze mpg up to an average of 35 during the trip that took the cars through sometimes-harsh conditions, including rain and snow. On some 500-mile legs of the journey, drivers surpassed 40 mpg. Each car was loaded with three passengers and numerous pieces of luggage to mimic a family vacation.
The goal of the expedition, titled “The Greatest Diesel Marathon of All Time,” was to demonstrate that luxury driving under difficult conditions can still be ecologically friendly. “The 33 E 320 CDI and three E 320 Bluetec vehicles impressively showed the potential of our high-tech diesels,” says Dieter Zetsche, chairman of DaimlerChrysler, which owns the Mercedes Car Group. “They proved that driving enjoyment, great fuel economy and environmental compatibility are not mutually exclusive.”
There is currently much discussion around the term "platform," which may be preceded by the adjectives "mobile," "wearable," "medical," "healthcare," etc. However, regardless of the platform being discussed, they usually have one key aspect in common: They tend to be wireless. So, why is this one aspect so fairly universal? The answer is convenience.
Everyone has a MEMS story. For most of us it’s probably the airbag that saved our lives or the life of a loved one. Perhaps it’s the tire pressure sensor that alerted us about deflation before we were stranded alone on a dark muddy road.
Bioimimicry is not merely a helpful design tool -- it also encourages designers to think not only about how to solve design problems by imitating nature, but how to make the products, materials, and systems they design more ecologically sound and nature-friendly.
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