My Weekend with the new All-Electric Nissan Leaf

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Me standing next to the all-electric Nissan Leaf in La Jolla, CA

Futurist Thomas Frey:  I looked over at my clock and saw that it was 3:19 am, a time when most people would normally just roll over and fall back to sleep, but I was wide awake. And from past experience, I wouldn’t get tired again for 2-3 hours, so this was one of those crazy middle-of-the-night periods of free time where I could get something done, and my body didn’t really know I was awake. (Pics)

 

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Over Half of Energy in the U.S. is Wasted

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This flow chart shows the amount of energy (in quads) that is produced by different energy sources and consumed by different sectors.

This flow chart of the estimated US energy use in 2009, assembled by the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL), paints a pretty sobering picture of our energy situation. To begin with, it shows that more than half (58%) of the total energy produced in the US is wasted due to inefficiencies, such as waste heat from power plants, vehicles, and light bulbs. In other words, the US has an energy efficiency of 42%. And, despite the numerous reports of progress in solar, wind, and geothermal energy, those three energy sources combined provide just 1.2% of our total energy production. The vast majority of our energy still comes from petroleum (37%), natural gas (25%), and coal (21%).

 

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EOL – Levitating Mass Transit

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EOL maglev train concept

Move over Metro. Introducing the EOL maglev train concept. Magnetic levitation replaces mechanical components to launch this aerodynamic choo-choo to speeds exceeding 480 kilometers per hour; all while you relax or work from the comfort of your personal business class cabin in absolute silence.  (Pics)

 

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Number of People Who Carpool Has Dropped By More Than 50%

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The drop in carpooling has occurred in cities across the country.

Remember the 1970s? Watergate, disco, oil embargoes and, of course, car-pooling. Many big companies organized group rides for their employees, and roughly one in four Americans who drove to work shared a ride with others.

 

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‘Suits That Transport’ – Wearable Transportation of the Future

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Suits that Transport

Students of automotive design and fashion at the European Institute of Design in Barcelona have joined forces to explore the futures of urban mobility, in collaboration with Iniciativa BMW. “Suits That Transport”—translated a little cagily from the Spanish “El traje que te transporta”— is the name given to an exhibition of the students final outcomes currently on public display on the Rambla Catalunya in central Barcelona. (pics)

 

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PiCycle – An Electric Bike That Streams Critical Data to Your Smartphone

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PiCycle

The PiCycle is a clean, modern, hybrid/electric bike designed by Marcus Hays, the founder of PiMobility. It’s fast, quiet, dependable and can give you enough torque to keep up with motor vehicles in the city. It’s also equipped with PiFi, an embedded wireless technology that streams critical data to the PiCycle owner’s smart phone or iPod Touch via a native application. PiMobility can monitor battery health, battery charging frequency, battery cycle life, motor and controller experience and more. This also means that PiMobility can provide theft recovery services and more importantly, if something does go wrong with the PiCycle, take preventative measures such as shipping the replacement parts long before anyone has to trudge down to their local repair facility seeking services.

 

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Yahoo Installs Multiplayer Gaming at San Francisco Bus Stops

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Riders waiting for Muni buses at select stops in downtown will be passing the time playing video games, as well as the opportunity to win a concert by OK Go.

Yahoo recently installed huge poster-size touchscreens at 20 San Francisco bus stops, allowing commuters to play online games against people at other bus stops. Nothing brings out my allegiance to my neighborhood like some crazyass futuristic sports trivia.

 

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Superstreet Traffic Design Promises Faster Travel Times by Eliminating Left Turns

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‘Superstreet’ traffic designs result in faster travel times and significantly fewer accidents.

No left turn. That is the simple concept behind the Superstreet traffic design which promises significantly faster travel times, plus a drastic reduction in auto-collisions and injuries. These superstreets are ground level streets – not raised freeways or highways – that allow for greater volume of thru-traffic by re-routing traffic from side streets that would normally be trying to get across the main road. While the idea has been around in urban transport modeling textbooks for over 20 years, researchers from the North Carolina State University have been the first to test the concept in the real world and the results are promising.

 

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WAM-V: A Flexible and Adapatable Spider Ship

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WAM-V

The odd but very “G” new thinking behind this odd styled water craft called the WAM-V or Wave Adaptive Modular Vessels. This spider looking vessel has many “G” features, some of the coolest ones we think are that the entire thing packs into a shipping container, uses very little fuel, runs shallow, and can be configured for many different uses. This isn’t your one function vessel, it can reconfigured in a very short time to take on a new mission. To use re-thinking tech to be smart is what “G” is all about. (pics)

 

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Discover the Hidden Patterns of Tomorrow with Futurist Thomas Frey
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By delving into the futuring techniques of Futurist Thomas Frey, you’ll embark on an enlightening journey.

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