For Terrafugia, the long road to making its “roadable aircraft” a commercial reality hasn’t been exactly straight, but the company keeps on rolling forward. Its Transition aircraft just received a few special exemptions from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration that further clear the way for first deliveries of the vehicle, which are now slated for late next year.
It's not often that you flip through a copy of Popular Science without seeing something about cars, be it a feature on eco-friendly automobiles, a compendium on futuristic concept designs, or an article on crackpot DIY vehicles. If you look carefully through older copies of the magazine, you'll spot charmingly-illustrated advertisements tucked between the aforementioned stories -- and in most cases, they serve as a surprising testament to that decade's culture, as well as to the beauty of (most) vintage automobiles.
By Josh DeanPosted 06.30.2011 at 3:08 pm 0 Comments
The idea of a robot assuming control of your car takes some getting used to. But the race to build increasingly autonomous automotive safety systems is well under way, as the cost of cameras and sensors drops and engineers get better at programming those tools to work together.
As I was soaked with rain, I started to rethink my design
By Pierce HooverPosted 06.30.2011 at 2:38 pm 0 Comments
When you drive cross-country, especially at the relatively slow speed of 15 mph, sooner or later you'll have to deal with some rain. For the first thousand miles of our journey, which carried us through Virginia and Kentucky, we managed to dodge or wait out most of the violent thunderstorms that swept the middle section of the country in June. Our luck ran out in southern Illinois, where we were subjected to 30-plus hours of persistent precipitation ranging from drizzle to deluge.
The military and defense contractors can learn a lot from the wisdom of the masses, and American fighting forces could be better equipped and better protected if higher-ups would embrace the DIY ethos of ingenuity and agility. At least that’s how Jay Rogers, founder of an automotive firm that just built a military concept vehicle from crowdsourced plans, sees things.
Drivers of Volkswagens could soon forget about fender benders or lane drifting on the Autobahn — their cars will take care of those little problems.
The German automaker debuted a new "Temporary Autopilot" (TAP) program that can control the car semi-automatically at speeds up to 80 mph. It combines existing driver-assist functions found in many cars nowadays, like adaptive cruise control and side monitoring for safer lane-changing, with a radar system, laser scanner and ultrasonic sensors.
By Pierce HooverPosted 06.24.2011 at 1:37 pm 1 Comment
As we passed westward from the steep mountains of Kentucky's eastern section into the rolling hills of its bluegrass country, we finally stopped having to share the back roads with massive coal haulers. Instead, we found ourselves travelling alongside tractors, farm trucks and the occasional buggy. Western Kentucky is home to a population of Amish farmers, known for their throwback, simplistic lifestyle, which is most visibly evidenced (on the road, at least) by their shunning of automobiles in favor of horse-drawn carriages.
About a month ago, we reported that Nevada (with a healthy dose of lobbying by Google) was considering legislation that would effectively legalize self-driving cars in that state. Today, Assembly Bill No. 511 passed, granting the Department of Transportation the authorization to draft a set of regulations and rules governing autonomous cars. Pop goes the champagne in Mountain View.
We knew the Tesla Roadster was fast, but not this fast: after just three years on the market, the Roadster is no more. In about two months, Tesla will cease taking orders for the all-electric Roadster in the U.S., marking the end of an era during which the company helped prove to an often-skeptical public that electric vehicles could perform alongside conventional gasoline performance cars (for a six-figure price).