2018’s Top 10 Tech Cars

A great disconnect looms between the EV future and the gas-guzzling present

1 min read
Car iIllustration by Tavis Coburn
Illustration: Tavis Coburn

This Year’s
Winning Autos

In this year’s Top 10 Tech Cars, as in the global auto industry at large, the Great Disconnect becomes more obvious. On the one hand, virtually every carmaker offers models that deploy technology in unabashed pursuit of energy efficiency and reduced environmental impact. In our group of honorees this year, the Tesla Model 3 and the charming Kia Niro hybrid fit in this category. Yet for all the talk of a Tesla-driven tipping point in electric transportation, EVs still make up a 0.5 percent drop in the global ocean of new cars. So in the real world—well, at least in the United States, where Washington is actually looking to weaken fuel economy standards and where a record two-thirds of buyers are choosing an SUV, pickup, or other light truck—today’s automotive innovation is arguably more about utility, horsepower, and performance.

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Video Friday: DARPA Subterranean Challenge Final

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DARPA

This week we have a special DARPA SubT edition of Video Friday, both because the SubT Final is happening this week and is amazing, and also because (if I'm being honest) the SubT Final is happening this week and is amazing and I've spent all week covering it mostly in a cave with zero access to Internet. Win-win, right? So today, videos to watch are DARPA's recaps of the preliminary competition days, plus (depending on when you're tuning in) a livestream of the prize round highlights, the awards ceremony, and the SubT Summit with roundtable discussions featuring both the Virtual and Systems track teams.

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Making 3D-Printed Objects Feel

3D-printing technique lets objects sense forces applied onto them for new interactive applications

2 min read

Researchers from MIT have developed a method to integrate sensing capabilities into 3D printable structures comprised of repetitive cells, which enables designers to rapidly prototype interactive input devices.

MIT

Some varieties of 3D-printed objects can now “feel," using a new technique that builds sensors directly into their materials. This research could lead to novel interactive devices such as intelligent furniture, a new study finds.

The new technique 3D-prints objects made from metamaterials—substances made of grids of repeating cells. When force is applied to a flexible metamaterial, some of their cells may stretch or compress. Electrodes incorporated within these structures can detect the magnitude and direction of these changes in shape, as well as rotation and acceleration.

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NYU Researchers Pave the Way for Future Shared Mobility

The C2SMART Center at NYU is tackling the most pressing issues in urban transportation

5 min read

NYU researchers led by civil and urban engineering professor Joseph Chow are working in the area of micromobility, a category of transit that includes electric bicycles and scooters, which has grown in popularity in cities around the world.

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This article is sponsored by NYU Tandon School of Engineering.

The collection of technologies and markets that comprise so-called "shared mobility" now constitutes a $60 billion market, according to some estimates. This enormous growth has at least in part been driven by the aim of reducing vehicle carbon emissions to address climate change concerns.

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