2015’s Top Ten Tech Cars

This year’s cars are super fuel efficient. But with today’s gas prices, will anyone care?

2 min read
2015’s Top Ten Tech Cars
Photo: BMW

For the auto industry, predictions have been as reliable as a moth-eaten Yugo: Global oil prices are at a five-year low, sales of pickup trucks and SUVs are booming, and purchases of gas-electric hybrids have fallen. Yet automakers still face a monumental challenge to boost fleetwide fuel economy: In the United States, they must reach 4.3 liters per 100 kilometers (54.5 miles per gallon) by 2025, from approximately 7.6 L/100 km today. In the European Union, meanwhile, automakers face other headwinds, flowing from a requirement to cut carbon emissions and fuel consumption, even as sales remain mired in a vicious slump.

This year’s Top 10 Tech Cars reflects on the effects of those competing demands. Consider the Tesla Model S: Only three years ago this electric sedan dazzled pundits, who predicted that Tesla would revolutionize automobiles. But any such revolution depended on a lower-price follow-up—the Model X crossover—which has been delayed again. And while long-range electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids remain very much in play, the world is still waiting for one of them to go beyond a mere plaything of the wealthy to become the Model T of its age.

Keep reading... Show less

Stay ahead of the latest trends in technology. Become an IEEE member.

This article is for IEEE members only. Join the world’s largest professional organization devoted to engineering and applied sciences and get access to all of Spectrum’s articles, podcasts, and special reports. Learn more →

Membership includes:

  • Get unlimited access to IEEE Spectrum content
  • Follow your favorite topics to create a personalized feed of IEEE Spectrum content
  • Save Spectrum articles to read later
  • Network with other technology professionals
  • Establish a professional profile
  • Create a group to share and collaborate on projects
  • Discover IEEE events and activities
  • Join and participate in discussions

DARPA Wants a Better, Badder Caspian Sea Monster

Liberty Lifter X-plane will leverage ground effect

4 min read
A rendering of a grey seaplane with twin fuselages and backwards-facing propellers
DARPA

Arguably, the primary job of any military organization is moving enormous amounts of stuff from one place to another as quickly and efficiently as possible. Some of that stuff is weaponry, but the vast majority are things that support that weaponry—fuel, spare parts, personnel, and so on. At the moment, the U.S. military has two options when it comes to transporting large amounts of payload. Option one is boats (a sealift), which are efficient, but also slow and require ports. Option two is planes (an airlift), which are faster by a couple of orders of magnitude, but also expensive and require runways.

To solve this, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) wants to combine traditional sealift and airlift with the Liberty Lifter program, which aims to “design, build, and flight test an affordable, innovative, and disruptive seaplane” that “enables efficient theater-range transport of large payloads at speeds far exceeding existing sea lift platforms.”

Keep Reading ↓ Show less
{"imageShortcodeIds":["29824201"]}

IEEE Spectrum Wins Six Neal Awards

The publication was recognized for its editorial excellence, website, and art direction

1 min read
A group of smiling people holding two award placards in front of a backdrop for the Jess H. Neal Awards

The IEEE editorial and art team show off two of their five awards.

Bruce Byers/SIIA

IEEE Spectrum garnered top honors at this year’s annual Jesse H. Neal Awards ceremony, held on 26 April. Known as the “Pulitzer Prizes” of business-to-business journalism, the Neal Awards recognize editorial excellence. The awards are given by the SIIA (Software and Information Industry Association).

For the fifth year in a row, IEEE Spectrum was awarded the Best Media Brand. The award is given for overall editorial excellence.

Keep Reading ↓ Show less

Bridge the Gaps in Your ADAS Test Strategy

Full-scene emulation in the lab is key to developing robust radar sensors and algorithms needed to realize ADAS capabilities

1 min read
Keysight
Keysight

Achieving the next level in vehicle autonomy demands robust algorithms trained to interpret radar reflections from automotive radar sensors. Overcome the gaps between software simulation and roadway testing to train the ADAS / AV algorithms with real-world conditions. Sharpen your ADAS' radar vision with full-scene emulation that allows you to lab test complex real-world scenario, while emulating up to 512 objects at distances as close as 1.5 meters.

Get this free whitepaper now!