For reasons covered in Part 1, I've decided to buy a brand-new stickshift all-wheel-drive station wagon. Both station wagons and manual transmissions have fallen heavily out of favor, with few manufacturers offering both. I figured the dearth of options would make the selection process easy--but was astonished at the poor
As I and others have argued before, when it comes to autonomous cars, "hand-off" is a terrible idea. I firmly believe that autonomous cars have to be all or nothing. "Assisted driving" might seem like a good idea in the short term, but I believe it will prove to
My impending move to the countryside demands car ownership, and I just signed the papers on a new vehicle. As a city-dweller unfamiliar with the car buying process, choosing a model seemed daunting--until I approached it the way I would any design problem. Here I'll recount the steps I took.
I'll shortly be moving out of New York City, and one of the things I'll miss the most is Citibike. I love being able to run quick errands while getting a little exercise; at the supermarket I buy only a few things at a time and go several times a
For innovative automotive manufacturers, VR offers the perfect mix of total immersion and unparalleled customizability that only real-time technology can deliver. The exciting new potential it unlocks is spurring major automotive brands to adopt a fresh approach to how they engage customers through designing immersive real-time experiences.
The most dashing thing I'd ever read about Raymond Loewy is that he used to commute, from his manse in Long Island to Manhattan, via speedboat. "…Often with a stiff cocktail in one hand," if memory serves. Tom Lutz isn't Raymond Loewy, but the Google engineer also commutes to Manhattan
Walking the dogs and this minivan caught my eye. It doesn't make sense. I've seen vehicles with lifted suspensions before, which is typically done to add clearance for rough terrain. But the ground effects on this minivan are mere inches off of the ground. Well, the graphics on the car
When I hear "3D-printed bike from Silicon Valley" I start to roll my eyes, but this company is actually onto something. Arevo is a start-up that has figured out how to simplify and re-size, rather inexpensively, the carbon fiber manufacturing process. Typically, carbon fiber is difficult and expensive to
I recently had the pleasure of logging nearly 800 miles behind the wheel of a brand-new Mazda Miata. This is Part 1 of my review, where I'll focus on the experience of driving the car. In Part 2 I'll get into the design and the UX. Note: Mazda didn't approach
Utrecht's central railway Station already has two bicycle parking facilities but, given high demand, they've just opened a third. As the Dutch are wont to do, they wrung usable space out of an unlikely site, in this case a skinny, long patch of land right next to the tracks. With
Good design takes people's natural behavior into account, rather than forcing unnatural solutions on them. In this example from Amsterdam, we see the importance of observing that behavior and working with it to solve a problem. The problem is that cycling in Amsterdam has increased by 40% over the last
You have to see this thing in action, it beggars belief: Sadly I could find no information on the bike and its inventor. Watching the video, I can't even discern how the heck he makes it go up and down. If any of you have any inkling, let's hear
During last week's Milan Design Week festivities, China, Munich and California-based electric vehicle start-up BYTON unveiled their electric concept SUV in Europe for the first time at a quiet, tucked away location in the Brera Design District. The concept was previously unveiled at CES and a few other locations, but for the European unveiling, BYTON created an installation around the vehicle and put together a miniature design studio on the lower level of their venue.
On Elizabeth Street I passed these two bicycles and one moped shackled to a bike rack. The silver bike has had its seat stolen. The rust on the chain suggests the owner subsequently declined to retrieve his or her bike. The bike lock drew my eye. Why would someone do
Jonathan Ward is talking about old-school custom car styling shops. "If you were a baller in the 1920s, '30s or '40s," he explains, "you didn't go buy a Cadillac. You bought a Cadillac, and you sent it to one of the boys, and they built a custom vehicle just for
Every designer's dream is to create the exact object they envision, unhindered by accountants, marketers and planned obsolescence. Industrial designers among you, think of every project you've worked on where the best engineering and materials were prohibitively expensive; the style needed to be compromised to appeal to a market you
This is an awful story that automotive designers should take note of. Last week, in the parking lot of his Ohio high school, 16-year-old student Kyle Plush went to his minivan to retrieve some tennis gear. He never returned. Around 9pm that night his father, looking for him, located
Steven M. Johnson's "Patent Depending" series of inventions range from social commentary to plain ol' bizarre, and they always give us a laugh. So we've contracted him to let us publish one every week.
The following is a sponsored post, courtesy of Covestro. It used to be that the lines between various key industry sectors, such as automotive, electrical/electronics, appliances and healthcare were relatively clear and distinct. No more. Current trends – as underscored by various pronouncements and product introductions at the
If it weren't for those pesky pedals and handlebars--you know, the means by which you actually drive and steer--a bicycle, narrow as it is, might be a relatively easy thing to store. This thought has occurred to industrial designer Trevor Heder, who then tackled the wider of the two problems,
If I could do all of my shopping on a Citibike I would, but the last bulky, heavy thing (an airbed and compressor)I tried carrying in the front basket was a near disaster. If only they offered cargo bike options. French company Yuba Bikes has just rolled out their first
Those of you who own cars are undoubtedly familiar with your own. But because I'm a ZipCar member, I'm used to getting into a different vehicle each time I need a set of wheels. At the mercy of what's available, I rarely get the same vehicle twice. I'm a very
After years of hard work, luxury automaker Lexus is finally revealing their smartest initiative yet: Genetic Select. "Exceeding customers' expectations is in the Lexus DNA," says Cooper Ericksen, Lexus VP of Marketing. "Now, we're taking it to the next level by tapping into our customers' DNA, too." By partnering with
This sounds like a Steven M. Johnson Bizarre Invention, but it's real--and actually appears useful, particularly if you live in a snowy clime. The Lanmodo is a powered device that you stick onto your roof after parking. Hitting a button on the remote causes the object to unfurl its canopy,
For several years now, the U.S. Postal Service has been running their Next Generation Delivery Vehicle initiative in a bid to replace their aging fleet. Six manufacturers were chosen to submit roughly 50 prototypes (total, not each) and the USPS is now quietly testing all of them, in actual use,
Competition isn't fun to watch when the team that spends the most money wins. You see this in everything from professional sports to motorsports. Frustrated with that outcome in NASCAR, racing legend Robby Gordon quit the sport in 2012, vowing to start a new form of racing based on skill,
This may be one of the coolest vehicles I've ever seen. The BiSki, which looks like a fat motorcycle, can transition to water and turn into a jet-ski, nearly seamlessly: Designed by Michigan-based Gibbs Sports Amphibians, the BiSki can do 80 m.p.h. on land and 37 m.p.h. in the drink.
(Warning: Some of you may consider this footage a bit graphic.) The Tempe Police Vehicular Crimes Unit is investigating the self-driving Uber that struck a woman who later died from her injuries. Many of us following the autonomous space were very curious as to how it happened, but could only
I know we're supposed to let go of the past and move into the future, but one thing I'll never be able to give up are manual transmissions. I learned to drive on a stick. I've owned three cars in my life and all were manuals. I no longer own
Now that an autonomous car has killed a pedestrian, interested parties are waiting to see what the legal ramifications will be. In the meantime, skittish lawmakers may start looking at safer alternatives to autonomous cars. One such system is by a company called Arrivo, and they're scheduled to complete construction
The 2018 Autorama is a car show held in Detroit and dedicated to hot rods. The next best thing to attending wouldn't be to see a video of it; it would be to see a video of it shot by an industrial designer, because they're going to focus on and
It's been twenty long years since any car-lover in America was able to buy a brand-new Toyota Supra, as the company stopped selling them here in 1998. And in 2002, amidst declining sales, the Supra production line in Japan was shut down. But the car has retained a cult following.
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