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Incat, an Australian shipyard, have built what they're calling the world's fastest ship called the Francisco, which is capable of travelling at up to 58 knots, or 67 miles per hour.
How did they achieve this speed? They used two modified jet engines, which power a pair of water jets and makes the Francisco a "high-speed dual-fuel vehicle and passenger ferry". Kim Clifford, Incat Managing Director, said in a statement: "This is certainly the fastest ship in the world. Of course there's a few speed boats that could surpass 58 knots, but nothing that could carry 1,000 passengers and 150 cars, and with an enormous duty-free shop on board."
There's a collaboration project between chipmaker Intel and the National Taiwan University, which could lead to smarter headlights for vehicles that could guide you out of a rainstorm, or communicate between vehicles.
The technology would be capable of knowing what other vehicles around you are up to, whether they're speeding or about to take a turn, or brake, by receiving data from their tail lights. When certain data is received - such as a vehicle ahead of you braking heavily - your car will automatically slow down or accelerate automatically, without you doing a thing.
There's always the option to manually override this, for those who like to stay in control. Engadget went hands-on with a concept event at a Research @ Intel event in San Francisco where a couple of scooters were used for an example. Read more at the source if you're interested in checking out the video, too.
Sitting on a flight without Internet access feels like torture, sure it's #firstworldproblems, but my entire life is digital. So to hear that JetBlue is pushing through with their Fly-Fi service, it gets me excited for the future of air travel.
Fly-Fi is set to launch sometime before Q3, but this week JetBlue are conducting some tests with one of their Airbus A320s, which will include maneuvering the plane with some pretty unique weight loads, such as the rear center of gravity positioning you can see demonstrated in the picture, above.
Once this testing is done with, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) certification should come through, before the testing moves into the performance section. If this all goes to plan, passengers of JetBlue on Fly-Fi can expect Internet hooked up through ViaSat-1 from 30,000 feet in the air.
Pandora reaches 2.5 million in-car activationss milestone, will come in one-third of all new vehicles sold this year
Pandora, everyone's favorite Internet radio service, has just cleared 2.5 million in vehicle activations. This milestone comes as Pandora announces it is integrated with 23 car manufacturers and eight third-party stereo brands. The company says that the service will be integrated into one-third of the cars sold this year.
The milestone, while small when compared to the total number of drivers in the US, Australia, and New Zealand, does indicate that more and more drivers are choosing to adopt music streaming services over traditional radio. Spotify and Rdio have been attempting to take some of that market share, but unlike those streaming services, Pandora offers an infinite random playlist which is much more like traditional radio.
Pandora began integrating into automobiles back in December 2010 when it adopted Ford's Sync AppLink technology with its Pandora for Android app. The service is now supported in over 100 different car models from a wide range of manufacturers including: BMW, Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, Ford, GMC, Honda, Hyundai, Lexus, Lincoln, Mazda, Mercedes-Benz, MINI, Nissan, Scion, Suzuki, and Toyota.
Nissan have just unveiled the ZEOD RC (Zero Emissions On-Demand Racing Car) prototype ahead of the LeMans race on Saturday. Nissan have been invited to enter the 186-mph electric race car in the next year's 24-hour LeMans race.
Nissan's ZEOD RC prototype is part technology demo and part publicity stunt for the automaker. The electric car features the same lithium-ion batteries as the Nissan Leaf electric car, with the Japanese company stating the fact that race-car technology finds its way onto street cars. They also said that they will be testing different types and combinations of electric motors and gasoline engines in their ZEOD RC before its wheels hit the LeMans track in 2014.
Andy Palmer, an executive vice president with the company said in a statement that Nissan's zero-emission, on-demand option allows a driver to "switch between electric and petrol-powered drive". He adds that it is the future direction for road cars, where he finished by saying "that will be tested in addition to pure electric power and other new technologies that we still have under development"
Tesla shows off new battery pack swapping technology for its Model S, faster than filling up with gas
Tesla Motors, one of Elon Musk's brainchildren, has just shown off its new battery pack swapping technology. At an event in Hawthorne, California, founder Elon Musk explained that the whole process will take around 90 seconds with the driver never exiting the vehicle for the entire process.
During the demonstration, Musk pitted a motorist at the "fastest gas station in California" against not one, but two Tesla Model S vehicles. The Model S battery packs were changed on stage while the petrol fill up took place on site at the gas station.
In the amount of time it took to fill the traditional gas car, both Model S sedans had their battery packs changed in succession with time to spare. The overall gas fill-up took roughly four minutes, while the battery pack swaps only took about 90 seconds each.
Tesla says that the pack swapping service will become available overtime at every Tesla "Supercharger Station" with each station costing roughly $500,000 to build. The first stations will be built on busy corridors such as California's Interstate 5 and will offer the pack swapping service for free if I understood the video correctly.
Gorilla Glass is everywhere right now, it's what protects some of the best mobile device displays, but it looks like the company could be moving into the automotive industry as soon as next year. Considering over 1.5 billion devices feature the display-protecting technology, it's a smart move.
Why would auto makers want Gorilla Glass technology in their cars? It would make them lighter, which would result in increased fuel economy and better performance - win, win, right? According to Corning's senior vice president, Jeffrey Evenson, who expects at least one high-end manufacturer to bake their Gorilla Glass technology into their cars to replace their windows by next year. Not only will it make the car lighter, but it would also act as a sound deadening material which will reduce road and wind noise.
Computex Taipei 2013 - Acer had something that was probably hands-down the most unique thing I saw at Computex, the Bicyclean. What is the Bicyclean? Well, it's a three-part process to combat the issues of the growing electronic waste problem.
The first step is that it pulverizes and grinds down circuit boards to the consistency of sand, second it extracts ferrous metals using a magnet, then it separates nonmetals from nonferrous metals with an eddy current rotor. It's an impressive concept, and I'd love to see Acer pushing this across the world. Unfortunately, I didn't hop on for a ride!
If you're driving around in an electric vehicle and are looking for a cheap way to charge it at home, Bosch has come to the rescue with their new Power Max range of EV chargers.
Bosch are now offering a level 2 home charging system for just $450, which includes 16 amp charging and a 12 foot cord. There are two other options in the range, increasing the amperage up to 30, with a choice of either 18 or 25 foot cables. These two options cost $593 and $749, respectively. They don't include any additional networking features, but they'll get your charging done, cheaply.
Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk has announced that he is in talks with Google to develop driverless technology for Tesla's electric vehicles.
Musk says that he feels that autonomous driving is the next logical step in the evolution of cars, but is hesitant because he believes Google's technology, which currently utilizes sensors over an optical system is, "too expensive," and may prevent Tesla's plans to implement Google's system from coming to fruition.
"We've had some technical discussions with Google about its Light Detection and Ranging, or Lidar, laser tracking system... I think Tesla will most likely develop its own autopilot system for the car, as I think it should be camera-based, not Lidar-based. However, it is also possible that we do something jointly with Google."