Cush-Ride Suspension of Belief

Back when we lived Oakland work sometimes carried us over the Bay Bridge to Treasure Island to spray umber and ocher colored water about sets. Even though the island was only halfway across the bridge, getting there required paying the full bridge toll! While sitting in traffic the idea of a personal hovercraft was… » 6/12/07 2:00pm 6/12/07 2:00pm

Next Up, Skynet: Siemens Teaches Cars to Read!

Never let it be said that the Germans haven't done their part for literacy. Besides providing the world with the works of Goethe, Brecht and Werner von Braun, Deutschland also gave rise to industrial conglomerate Siemens, who've developed a system that reads speed limit signs and can adjust a vehicle's speed downward… » 3/06/07 7:30pm 3/06/07 7:30pm

The Flight of Pegasus: The AVE Mizar

Allegedly obsessed with flying cars, it seems like our latest obsession happens to be with turbocharged Pinto motors. So what if an ex-Northrop engineer grafted the wings and ass end of a Cessna Skymaster to a Ford Pinto and had the prototype painted by a hot van artist? Not 1973 enough for you yet? What if we told… » 2/22/07 12:30pm 2/22/07 12:30pm

Stanford Takes the Message to the Streets, DARPA-Style

One may recall Stanley, the robo-Touareg that won the 2nd DARPA Grand Challenge. Well, now the boffins in Paly are working a successor to the SUV, based on a Passat known as Junior. Junior's designed to navigate an urban environment, rather than a desert off-road course. DARPA plans to announce the location of the… » 2/19/07 12:45pm 2/19/07 12:45pm

Transport Revolution! The Great Hoverchair of San Pedro!

Despite what y'all think, we at Jalopnik to do not spend our days tearing around in Torino Talladegas playing the Angry Samoans at high volume, outrunning the Los Angeles Police Department and California Highway Patrol, mowing down sidewalk fruit stands and supping on the finest lobster bisque at sunset on the beach… » 1/25/07 8:45pm 1/25/07 8:45pm

PLATINUM und GOLD! Scientists Blind With Fuel-Cell Catalyst…

Given no time to make no apologies, mighty men of science have solved a problem in fuel-cell catalysts that made stop-and-go driving somewhat of a problem. While platinum is the most efficient medium for accelerating electrochemical reactions in a hydrogen power unit, it has the unfortunate tendency to dissolve… » 1/16/07 11:15pm 1/16/07 11:15pm

Robot Can't Bail: Asimo Doesn't Fall Down, Does a Little Dance, Makes a…

Our techtastic siblings over at Gizmodo posted this video of the new, improved and non-faceplanting version of Honda's Asimo robot trying out for a spot on the LA Galaxy squad, auditioning for an O-Town backup-dancer position and proving that he really can climb stairs. No word on whether jogging helps him keep his… » 1/12/07 8:30pm 1/12/07 8:30pm

Because Overgrown Boys Still Love Drawing Can-Am Cars: Future Chaparral

The Canadian-American Challenge Cup. Just thinking about those halcyon days of death-defying hypermotorsport makes our bowels begin to rumble and our head a bit light. When men were men and racing cars that did more than go in a straight line were propelled by big block Chevy mills. And while Jim Hall's… » 1/03/07 3:00pm 1/03/07 3:00pm

DaimlerChrysler Tests WLAN Car-to-Car Communication System

Car-to-car communication has nothing to do with gesturing after a close call on the highway. Futurists foresee a time when cars will use systems of GPS and WiFi tech to let them communicate with each other, relaying information about road conditions and traffic anomalies to prevent smash-ups. DaimlerChrysler is… » 12/06/06 11:15am 12/06/06 11:15am

NASA to Establish Moon Base, Moonage Planned by 2024

The National Aeronautics and Space administration announced plans today for a permanent base on the moon in the future. In order that the scientists and astronauts can haul building materials and gear about the surface NASA will employ moon rovers, most likely constructed of space-age polymers. At last our tax… » 12/05/06 6:59pm 12/05/06 6:59pm

A Wistful Thought

Besides Starions and Starlets, conversations amongst ourselves (read: Davey G. and Uncle Bumbeck) often lead to the sheer ridiculous awesomeness of 1950s and '60s technology, before it was Health-and-Safetey'd out of existence. We're huge fans of NACA (which gave us the coolest air scoop of all time) and early NASA.… » 11/02/06 7:15pm 11/02/06 7:15pm

50 More Years: Volkswagen Beetle 2054

What's life going to be like in 50 years? We're figuring on a Sino-centric version of "Blade Runner," with Replicants built by the People's Republic of Toyota. For transportation, however, let's turn to Venezuelan designer Carlos Agell, who dreams of electric VW Beetles. Agell mocked up what a Volkswagen Beetle from… » 10/30/06 9:00am 10/30/06 9:00am

German MagLev Train Kills People

We've debated on posting on this, as it isn't strictly a car. In fact, it doesn't even roll. It's Germany's experimental-yet-open-to-the-public Transrapid magnetic-levitation train, and it was involved in a fatal accident on a test track in the northwestern part of Deutschland. Apparently a result of human error, the… » 9/22/06 10:15pm 9/22/06 10:15pm

Know Future: Yesterday's Car of Tomorrow

We love predictions from the past that have failed to come true. The League of Nations, the demise of Apple Computer, the Thousand-Year Reich, the success of the Edsel, etc. It makes us want to grab our nose, point with right arm fully extended and exclaim in our finest Nelson Muntz voice, "HA-HA!" 2000-lb cars with… » 9/13/06 5:00pm 9/13/06 5:00pm

'Plasma-Turbo' Is Certainly One of the Best Hyphenates Ever: Wacky,…

Remember back when everything used to be "atomic?" Then somehow "nuclear" became the preferred phrase? But it seems to us, something as important of the fission and/or fusion of the atom should be a simple, agreed-upon pronunciation, so figures as important as presidents don't look like assholes when talking about… » 8/15/06 11:30pm 8/15/06 11:30pm

Drink! Don't Think! Drive! Kill! Or, Via Technology, Maybe Not

In an effort to combat the spread of inebrious motoring, a variety of technologies were discussed at a symposium sponsored by Mothers Against Drunk Driving, which is now curiously headed by a man named Chuck. Since the Motherchucker joke is far too obvious, we'll move on to the bits and pieces. Drunkards can possibly… » 8/15/06 12:45am 8/15/06 12:45am

Robots Not Necessarily in Disguise: Real Transformers!

While Wert scoots through Metro Detroit in his Liberty with a bevy of girls in green Constructicons body paint singing "Autobots wage their battle to destroy the evil forces of the Decepticons!" and giggling like a maniac, some of here on the coasts aren't quite as thrilled, having become annoyed with the franchise… » 8/10/06 5:15pm 8/10/06 5:15pm

Twenty Eyes In My Car

Tyzx, a company seeded by Paul Allen and based in the luvverly environs of Menlo Park, California wants to load up your interior with all-seeing eyes that will map the position of the occupants, thus allowing airbags to deploy more effectively during a crash. Japanese safety-systems manufacturer Takata Group has… » 7/06/06 3:00pm 7/06/06 3:00pm

Huffing Hydrogen In TN: Fuel-Cell Cars the Norm by 2050?

We'll be 75 years old in 2050, assuming terrorists don't nuke the Port of Los Angeles, destroying our beautiful Post Office (we feel like Jake Gittes every time we walk in) and taking out the palm trees along Harbor Blvd. And while the Goodyear blimp may well still circle o'er the town of Pedro, stuffed to high… » 6/01/06 12:20am 6/01/06 12:20am

Anthem For a New Tomorrow: Robot Cars Will Save Us!

According to noted futurist, keyboard dude and flatbed-scanner inventor Ray Kurzweil, "We won't experience 100 years of progress in the 21st century - it will be more like 20,000 years of progress at today's rate. Within a few decades, machine intelligence will surpass human intelligence, leading to the Singularity:… » 5/25/06 7:30pm 5/25/06 7:30pm