In conjunction with the University of Colorado's Mechanical Engineering Department, bicycle parts manufacturer CeramicSpeed has launched an ambitious initiative: To produce a bicycle with no chain nor derailleur. At this year's Eurobike show they unveiled Driven, a 13-speed "prototype" ("concept bike" would be more accurate, as the thing doesn't
Have you ever frantically designed a project over the weekend only for it to be shot down the following Monday? Well, Elon Musk and his team of SpaceX engineers feel you. In light of the flooded cave incident in Thailand, Musk put his team to work on Saturday designing a
The Middlecott Sketchbattle Experiment is back, and this time the Fight Club of Design is taking over San Francisco's Automated Vehicles Symposium to bring you a night of hardcore live automotive sketching. Currently held four times a year during the Detroit Auto Show, the Los Angeles Auto Show the Las
Yesterday some of our American readers watched people do extremely dumb, dangerous things with fireworks. July 4th is a busy time for ambulance drivers, ER doctors, and YouTube camerapeople. Miraculously no one was hurt during this particular stunt, where the guys from Hoonigan—"a motorsport-lifestyle brand with a penchant for automotive debauchery"—took what looks to be a '90s-era BMW 3-class, painted it up in the Stars 'n Stripes, and turned the car into a rolling fireworks show:
Is there a better way to see a country than by bicycle? A Belgian expat and cycling enthusiast named Carl, now relocated to Germany, just wrapped up an 80-day trip through all 16 of Germany's states. He filmed his journey and compressed those 80 days down into 80 seconds:
Volkswagen's designers and engineers look like they had an absolute field day with their new California Camper van. They've loaded this relatively diminutive vehicle with built-in furniture, pop-out standalone furniture, two beds, a kitchen, an outdoor shower and more. It's not even the features themselves that most impress me, it's
For more than 20 years Lexus has been delivering their version of luxury autos and building a loyal following. Needles to say they've been very successful over this time frame, producing more than 2 million ES sedans since 1991. The 2019 edition will be the 7th generation of the platform,
Carnegie Mellon University's National Robotics Engineering Center has, quite literally, reinvented the wheel. They've developed a shape-shifting, tracked wheel that works as a conventional tire--until a button is pressed, and it reconfigures itself on-the-fly into a tracked triangle: The RWT (Reconfigurable Wheel-Track) is one of five fancy tricks rolled out
Apartment-dwelling cyclists: How and where do you store your bike? I'm a Citibike user so have never had to deal with storage. If I did, I think I'd go with an overhead bike hoist; as narrow as bicycles are, they seem to take up a disproportionate amount of floor
Europe has so many neat things that aren't offered in the 'States: Beer at McDonald's, constitutional monarchies, Volkswagen's Trailer Assist system. On the recommendation of reader Jeremy Mears, I looked up the latter to see what it's all about. Backing up a trailer is like parallel parking set at difficulty
Volkswagen offers two types of AWD stickshift station wagons: The Golf SportWagen S with 4Motion, and the Golf Alltrack (in three trim levels). Both are identical except the Alltrack has a marginally higher ride height. I narrowed it down to the Alltrack for a practical reason: The Sportwagen S offers
In contrast to the Mini Clubman, the interior of Subaru's Forester looks sober and utilitarian. Nothing here screams for your attention, which is what I prefer. However, the exterior loses me right away. The designers have repeated the sin of everyone producing a crossover these days, which is to introduce
An architect choosing a house to buy, a fashion designer shopping for a shirt, an industrial designer buying a car: We are extra picky within these categories because we've spent time studying them, and we know how the sausage is made. It's important to me, when selecting a car,
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
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