The image of George Jetson and family zipping about town is at once nostalgic and frustrating. Like George, most of us push buttons for a living. But so far, few of us commute in a flying car . As with many of the technologies we "don't" have ( where's my jetpack? ), flying cars do exist. The roadable aircraft of today are basically small planes that can be driven legally down a road, usually because of a retractable-wing system. Advertisement - Continue Reading Below But, in a 2010 interview, physicist and science-fiction writer Gregory Benford summed up the problem with these designs: "It turns out that if you optimize the performance of a car and of an airplane, they are very far away in terms of mechanical features. So you can make a flying car. But they are not very good planes, and they are not very good cars." Indeed, PM has rounded up the various contenders out there, many of which had creators who marketed them as the flying car we've all been waiting for. … [Read more...] about Why Don’t We Have Flying Cars Already?
Volkswagen hover car
Ever since Marty McFly took to the air in the 1989 classic Back to the Future II, humanity has been eagerly awaiting the arrival of a real, fully-functional hoverboard. Since then, tinkerers and scientists the world over have launched countless attempts at building such a device, and now, after more than 25 years of trying, technology has finally caught up with our far-fetched dreams. Thanks to a startup by the name of Hendo Hover, the hoverboard is finally a real thing that exists in the world that you and I inhabit.How is such a thing possible? Well, according to the company’s Kickstater page, the magic behind the Hendo Hoverboard lies in its four disc-shaped hover engines. These are essentially giant downward-facing electromagnets that work together to create a powerful magnetic field which literally pushes against itself, thereby generating the lift which levitates the board above the ground.The only catch is that, unlike Marty McFly’s board, … [Read more...] about Marty McFly’s hoverboard is finally real, and it’s on Kickstarter right now
Volkswagen debuted a host of new tech at CES 2017 aimed at personalizing cars for their users and anticipating a future of shared, connected vehicles.One of those features is the User-ID, which allows owners to import their personal settings for things like dashboard displays and ambient lighting. It also allows passengers to bring their own media into the car from an external device. At CES, Volkswagen is demonstrating these capabilities with an app that lets users reconfigure different displays at its booth.The Used-ID also works in combination with an updated version of the Digital Key VW first showed at CES 2015. The Digital Key previously allowed owners to lock and unlock the doors of their own cars with a smartphone, but now it also imports those previously mentioned User-ID preferences. Owners can also give family or friends access to the car for specific periods of time, or allow unlocking of the trunk so delivery services can drop off packages.Another familiar tech … [Read more...] about Volkswagen demos new displays, personalization features at CES 2017
Why aren’t young people driving or getting their driver’s licenses, and by extension, buying cars? Teens and young adults started holding out on getting their golden ticket to motorized freedom in about 1984, according to an article in The Atlantic, and there are several reasons why that trend started and is increasing today.When my niece turned 16 in 2008, family members braced for the inevitable: successful completion of her driver’s test and her first solo forays out onto the open road, where teens hook up, make out and to the greater worry and sleep deprivation of their parents, get hurt or killed.But 16 went by with no license, then 17, and then 18. Was she ill? Scared? Confused about life’s priorities? No, it turns out she was perfectly normal and part of the growing trend among young adults who have decided for a variety of reasons that driving a car, buying a car, or even getting a license, is not a high priority.While a teen in 1984 could sling … [Read more...] about 5 reasons young people are not buying cars or getting their drivers license
The automobile is ready for a revolution, and so are its drivers. In this week’s edition of DT Debate, our own Amir Illiaifar and Nick Mokey go head-to-head over the fuel that’s going to power this revolution. Will the EV pull through, or do we need to start looking elsewhere? This week we ask: Nick Unless “the future of cars” only involves puttering around for 80 miles at a time then desperately searching for a cord so you can wait 20 hours to drive home, then no. Electric cars seem to be growing in popularity, but they remain insanely impractical. The truth is, there are already much better alternative fuels you can use right now.First, the case against electrics: They have limited range of no more than a couple hundred miles, and only a few can even make it that far. They’re so slow to recharge that you have no hope of ever going far from home in one – even if you could string together enough charging stations for a trip. … [Read more...] about DT Debates: Is electricity really the best alternative fuel option for the future of cars?
If you’re an EV enthusiast who’s looking to buy an electric car, now is a great time to get your tailpipe off of the electric fence and see what all the buzz is about. Not only are there an abundance of electric vehicles out now, but more are on the way. While we’ve already highlighted some of the best electrics and plug-in hybrids out now and coming soon, we figured we’d draw attention to some of the future electric cars we’re most excited about that haven’t quite rolled out yet, but are scheduled for production within the next couple of years.Infiniti LEGiven that Nissan has already enjoyed success with the Nissan Leaf, it makes sense to delve into the luxury market, which is exactly what the Japanese automaker intends to do with the Infiniti LE. Based off the same platform as the Nissan Leaf, the Infiniti LE is making the leap from concept to reality and will lead the luxury nameplate’s charge into burgeoning EV … [Read more...] about Future electric car roundup: Our most anticipated EVs of 2012 and beyond
Will the car of the future look anything like the car of today? According to Volkswagen, it could look like a floating doughnut. The VW Hover Car is one of three concepts to come out of the People’s Car Project the German company company launched in China last year. It was recently presented to the public at the 2012 Beijing Motor Show.The Hover Car floats about a foot off the ground and seats two. Right now, the hovering bubble car is powered by CGI, but, theoretically, thrusters on the back would provide forward motion. Because of the lack of friction, the Hover Car could be very energy-efficient. It could also turn on a dime, because it is dime-shaped.In reality, the Hover Car would need electromagnetic strips embedded in the road to function. Electromagnetism would repel the vehicle from the ground, presumably the same way a mag-lev train operates. The Hover Car can also drive itself, since it will already be following a pre-determined path.VW did not explain how the Hover … [Read more...] about Volkswagen Hover Car: Is this the future of transportation?
Not everyone can afford a Lexus. In fact, for most car buyers, the payments on an entry-level car like the Ford Fiesta or the upcoming Chevy Sonic are much more palatable. Yet, those small cars do not provide enough cargo space. The next step up – vehicles like the new Ford Focus and the Chevy Cruze – are more realistic for anyone who has kids, need to drive long distances in a daily commute, or just want a few extra amenities beyond the climate controls and a stock radio. Interestingly, these affordable cars go way beyond the basics – some even include self-parking features, turn-by-turn navigation, and several other hidden surprises. But which one is really the ultimate winner of the bunch?We stacked category leaders including the Ford Focus, Chevrolet Cruze, Hyundai Elantra and Honda Civic side by side to see what each brings to the table in this competitive and value-packed market.2012 Ford Focus, $18,200We wrote about the 2012 Ford Focus in an early sneak peak … [Read more...] about Best compact cars for 2011: A side-by-side comparison
As electric vehicles get larger batteries and longer ranges, costs will slowly start coming down. Volkswagen thinks its first long-range EV will be able to absolutely trounce the Tesla Model 3 on price.When Volkswagen's ID concept makes its way to dealerships, it could cost up to $8,000 less than the Tesla Model 3, VW's Chief of Corporate Strategy Thomas Sedran said in an interview with German site Automobil Produktion. If the Tesla Model 3's starting price hovers around $35,000, that means a comparable Volkswagen EV could be as inexpensive as $27,000 -- and that's before any sort of incentives are applied.VW has not shied away from talking smack about Tesla's aspirations. Back in May, brand chief Herbert Diess claimed that Volkswagen could beat Tesla as its own game. While the Model 3 will be the first inexpensive Tesla, Volkswagen's been building inexpensive cars for years, and it has experience building vehicles at enormous volume. Sedran's belief hangs on one factor that's … [Read more...] about Volkswagen ID EV hopes to undercut Tesla Model 3 by up to $8,000
Forget wearable computers and self-driving cars. The search giant will continue its dominance by sticking with its advertising roots – taking $40 billion out of the hides of some very familiar companies Get the Free Tracker App to find a Luvabella in Stock This story appears in the Feb. 10, 2014 issue of Forbes.IT’S MID-SEPTEMBER, and Volkswagen of America has a problem: It won’t have any new models coming out until the spring. Keeping VW front and center in consumers’ minds has drawn a group of marketing folks from the automaker and two of its ad agencies to Google’s BrandLab at its YouTube headquarters south of San Francisco. Dedicated to “evangelizing the art and science of brand-building,” the richly appointed meeting space is basically a man cave for ad creatives, complete with overstuffed couches, booze and the mother of all big screens, an assemblage of 32 flat-panel displays massed into 300 square feet of video overload.In one … [Read more...] about Google Is Already The King Of Online Advertising, But That Is Not Enough