Motor Coach Industries (MCI) of Schaumburg, IL, finished a 54-day cross-country eco-journey that covered 8,600 miles and visited 26 U.S. cities, six national parks and six Native American communities. The bus builder teamed with Vermont’s Lamoille Valley Transportation and took 13 scholars from the Udall Foundation on a promotional tour to show off “green” transportation.
The students rode in an MCI J4500 LX motor coach equipped with a 2007 clean-diesel Caterpillar engine fueled with a 20-percent biodiesel, 80 percent ultra-low sulfur diesel blend. The bus also featured tools that monitored its emissions levels. Those who traveled on the bus posted video blogs about the journey on its website: Udall.gov. The American Bus Assn. claims even using conventional fuels, fully occupied motor coaches use less energy per passenger mile than planes, trains or cars.
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.
Microchip recently released the 3D TouchPad, the first USB PC Peripheral device that couples 2D multi-touch input with 3D air gesture technology. The company seeks the help of developers to further enhance the capabilities of the technology.
To give engineers a better idea of the range of resins and polymers available as alternatives to other materials, this Technology Roundup presents several articles on engineering plastics that can do the job.
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