John Newman

High Flying Solar-Powered UAVs Could Replace Some Satellites

The end of a military designation for UAVs could begin to open up all new areas of development for the unmanned craft. Mobile devices could receive real-time updates from UAVs monitoring everything from traffic to weather, and Google Maps could gain a whole new perspective.

Titan Aerospace has a different plan for UAVs. The company has recently unveiled designs for solar-powered vehicles that skim across the skies at 65,000 feet. Named the Solara 50 and 60, these new UAVs could stay aloft for years at a time and take over some of the jobs typically performed by satellites. Continue reading

“Practical” Jetpacks are on the Way

Who wouldn’t want their own jetpack? Not only could one help you clean your gutters, you could soar above the crowds, and zoom past rush hour traffic. Along with the flying car, the jetpack is one piece of science fiction technology that has yet to make it into the real world in any meaningful way.

New Zealand’s Martin Aircraft Company is on schedule to bring what they call a “practical” jetpack to market by 2015. The company intends for the flying system to appeal to emergency services, search and rescue, and defense, along with other organizations that could find a use for a single man flyer. Continue reading

Tesla Model S Sets Vehicle Safety Record

The three-point seat belt was a big step forward in vehicle safety in an era where such issues weren’t generally the highest priority for manufacturers. In a move that would stun and baffle modern corporate interests, Volvo did the world a favor by opening the patent to other manufacturers to improve safety. Eventually public consciousness caught up with automotive safety standards, and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) was formed.

Throughout years of testing, a select few cars have garnered five-star safety ratings, including, probably not coincidentally, some automobiles built by Volvo. New manufacturer Tesla Motors, co-founded by Elon Musk, whom you may have heard of in connection with SpaceX and the Hyperloop, has received the highest ever safety rating from the NHTSA for its Tesla Model S. Continue reading

NVIDIA Opens New Tech Center

We may not yet have the flying cars we’ve hoped for, but automobiles have progressed in other directions, even with all four wheels still firmly on the ground. Touch screens, GPS and voice control are among a few features new cars are sporting. Connectivity is the next big step, bringing enhanced user control and situational awareness.

NVIDIA is ready to push forward in the automotive industry. The company has opened a new center in Ann Arbor, MI dedicated to advancing automotive tech. In the remnants of the rust belt, silicon is slowly taking the place of steel and automotive manufacturing. Continue reading

San Francisco to Los Angeles in 30 Minutes on the Hyperloop

The US isn’t really known for the quality of its public mass transit. While we have trains, planes and buses aplenty, the system is nothing like that offered in Europe. Some parts of the country are better than others, but overall, Americans love their cars more than they love the idea of efficient mass transit.

Billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk, founder of SpaceX and Tesla Motors, believes the US can do better. His vision for the mass transit of the future is called the Hyperloop; a solar-powered, earthquake-safe system that relies on high speed pods zipping through an enclosed tube to move travelers to their destination. Continue reading


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