Investment in autonomous vehicle technology entered overdrive in 2016, and 2017 is gearing up for more of the same. In the last six months of 2016, the first public self-driving taxi service hit Singapore roads, courtesy of NuTonomy, while Uber followed suit a month later in Pittsburgh. The question of self-driving cars becoming a reality on roads around the world is no longer an “if,” it’s a big fat “when.”
It’s official: graphene has been made into a superconductor in its natural state – which means electrical current can flow through it with zero resistance. Last year, physicists managed to do this by doping graphene with calcium atoms, but this is the first time researchers have achieved superconductivity in the material without having to alter it. And the results so far show that the material achieves an incredibly rare type of superconductivity that’s even crazier and more powerful than scientists expected.
South Korea is seeking to develop a train-like public transport concept that is almost as fast as the speed of sound up 1,000 km / h, the Korea Railroad Research Institute (KRRI) said Tuesday. The state-run institute will join forces with other research groups and Hanyang University to build the near-supersonic “train”, which would be able to travel from Seoul to Busan in half an hour.
A company is planning to build the world’s first floating city in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. The government of French Polynesia has signed an agreement with a US firm and they hope construction work will begin in 2019. The Seasteading Institute has spent the past five years trying to work out how to build “permanent, innovative communities floating at sea”.
Three-dimensional printers have brought major advances to every corner of manufacturing: Scientists have used the process to engineer human tissue, print a rubber material to make drones less dangerous to people on the ground, and create a lightweight material that’s 10 times stronger than steel and just 1/20th its density.
Last March, we heard a crazy rumor that someone was starting a single-marque Tesla racing series alled Electric GT. Then, in November, we saw the first working prototype of the Model S P85+ race car. At the UK’s Autosport International Show on Friday, Electric GT officially unveiled the first racing-spec Tesla with a live demonstration of the new P100D version.
Last September, we wrote about the Hasso-Plattner-Institute in Germany and their R&D on metamaterials, hacking the internal structures of materials to create simple, non-powered machines. By experimenting with various microstructural designs, researchers were able to 3D print simple machines that can deform to create some form of actuation, allowing the 3D printing of switches, latches, door handles, and the like.
Wildlife photographer Will Burrard-Lucas had long wanted to add up-close-and-personal images of iconic African animals to his portfolio. But to get those intimate shot of lions and leopards, he would need to crawl up right next to their sharp-toothed faces. So Burrard-Lucas devised a far less deadly alternative.
Last October, Matt Herich was listening to the news while he drove door to door delivering pizzas. A story came on the radio about a technology that sends an electric current through your brain to possibly make you better at some things — moving, remembering, learning. He was fascinated.
To the 78 organs that make up the human body, a group of scientists says we should add one more: the mesentery. Located in our abdominal cavity, the mesentery is a belt of tissue that holds our intestines in place. While anatomists knew it was there, it was always thought to be composed of several different segments, as opposed to being one single structure. This knocked it out of contention for organ status, as our bodily organs must be continuous, as well as provide some vital function to our anatomy.
BMW unveiled a concept for the interior of driverless cars on Wednesday at a press conference in Las Vegas at CES. The concept, dubbed the BMWi Inside Future, showcases how BMW envisions its autonomous vehicles may look when they start to hit the market. The interior concept is centered on connectivity and includes a panoramic display that can be operated just like a touchscreen — except physical contact isn’t necessary.
Remember the guy we featured a few months ago who 3D printed a functional scale model of a Subaru EJ20 flat-four? Well, he’s got another creation, and this one’s even better. It’s a replica of the LS3 V8 found in the last-gen Chevrolet Camaro, and aside from a few fasteners and bearings, it’s entirely 3D printed.