Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said the government would remove hurdles to developing autonomous vehicles and set further guidelines for them within six months. [...]
The government’s new support includes a request in President Obama’s proposed budget for the next fiscal year for $4 billion, to be spent over 10 years, to finance research projects and infrastructure improvements tied to driverless cars. — nytimes.com
This is the first time the federal government has actively engaged in the regulation and implementation of driverless vehicles. State governments had previously been putting forth their own standards – see this handy wiki from Gabriel Weiner and Bryant Walker Smith at Stanford University...
Researchers at MIT have shown that by surrounding the filament with a special crystal structure in the glass they can bounce back the energy which is usually lost in heat, while still allowing the light through...
Usually traditional light bulbs are only about five per cent efficient, with 95 per cent of the energy being lost to the atmosphere. In comparison LED or florescent bulbs manage around 14% efficiency. But the scientists believe that the new bulb could reach efficiency levels of 40% — the Telegraph
"Robots hate litter," reads a health and safety sign. "Please don't give them any more reasons to overthrow mankind." It's also fair to say that naming your robots makes the whole process of constructing cars vaguely ridiculous. "Wolverine and Iceman lift the cars to tramline two," our tour guide informs us with the zeal of a true believer, adding, as he did after virtually every sentence, that this is 'kind of amazing'. — wired.co.uk
Related stories in the Archinect news:Multitasking Musk: the busy life of Elon MuskA look inside Tesla's growing Gigafactory: "It will blow your mind."Dawn of the self-driving car: testing out Tesla's autopilot function
According to a team of researchers at MIT, both scenarios may be possible before long, thanks to a new material that can store solar energy during the day and release it later as heat, whenever it’s needed. This transparent polymer film could be applied to many different surfaces, such as window glass or clothing.
[...] the new finding could provide a highly efficient method for storing the sun’s energy through a chemical reaction and releasing it later as heat. — news.mit.edu
Related stories in the Archinect news:MIT's new "Kinetic Blocks" enhances ability to build using Microsoft KinectMIT presents 3D printer that can print 10 materials simultaneously without breaking the bankZoom In, Zoom Out: Hashim Sarkis, Dean of MIT's School of Architecture + Planning, on...
The idea behind the Chinese-built 184 is that users will simply get in, power it up, select their destination using a 12-inch touchscreen tablet display, then press the 'take-off' button. The drone's automated flight systems will take over from there, managing tasks such as communication with air traffic control and other aircraft, obstacle avoidance, and of course navigation... — gizmag
Self-driving cars, self-driving bikes, the Hyperloop slowly becoming a reality, what's next for urban mobility? Self-driving passenger drones, of course. Smart-drone enterprise Ehang unveiled a single-seat, battery-powered Autonomous Aerial Vehicle (AAV) called the Ehang 184 at the Consumer...
Thanks to the work of Lin Wan and pals at Northwestern University...these guys have worked out how to make Martian concrete using materials that are widely available on Mars. And, crucially, this concrete can be formed without using water, which will be a precious resource on the red planet. — Technology Review
For more of Archinect's coverage of extra-terrestrial architectural news, check out:• NASA launches competition for structures built in situ using Martian resources• The Mars Ice House envisions the day Earthlings can live with ease atop the Martian surface• ESA proposes a village on the moon
Located in the middle of the Eurasian landmass 3,000km east of Moscow, with a climate that ranges from 30C mosquito-ridden summers to -40C snow-drenched winters, this isn’t the most obvious place for a tech startup hub...
The Academpark is not some random outpost in the middle of nowhere, but the latest part of a plan to revive Akademgorodok, the Soviet science town that was established here in 1957, and long since left to languish. — the Guardian
The dream of a Brooklyn-Queens light rail is quickly moving into the realm of reality. A non-profit advocacy group called Friends of the Brooklyn Queens Connector has officially formed to address the need for a more robust transportation system that could connect underserved, and now booming, areas of Brooklyn and Queens. They’ve just released a detailed proposal revealing the route and the potential design the modern streetcars could take on. — 6sqft.com
"I'm very interested in using voice and face recognition to set lights and temperature as well depending on who is in what rooms, etc," he writes. [...]
The really interesting part of Zuckerberg's AI plan is when it moves past standard smart home controls and into his work. Describing the "simple AI" that he intends to build, Zuckerberg writes, "On the work side, it'll help me visualize data in VR to help me build better services and lead my organizations more effectively." — theverge.com
You can read Mark Zuckerberg's entire Facebook post on his AI home-plan here. Referring to already commercially available "smart home" technologies (such as temperature, entertainment, or security controls), Zuckerberg plans to build on existing products to make them more responsive with less...
Researchers at Cranfield University in the UK have created a prototype of a toilet that works without being connected to water or sewage systems, and that can generate electricity and clean water as it composts waste. [...]
The Nano Membrane Toilet, which has been developed with funding from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, would be a kind of ‘super-toilet’, helping to improve sanitation for people without access to utilities – at present some 2.5 billion people around the world. — globalconstructionreview.com
This is how the Nano Membrane Toilet works: "The toilet flush uses a unique rotating mechanism to transport the mixture into the toilet without demanding water whilst simultaneously blocking odour and the user’s view of the waste. Solids separation (faeces) is principally accomplished through...
The companies that made and installed the exterior panels on The Address Downtown Dubai hotel say that most of the towers built in the city prior to 2012 used non-fire-rated exterior cladding.
The disclosure comes as investigators probe the causes of the spectacular blaze [...] on New Year’s Eve.
An investigation by The National into the origins and specification of the exterior panels used on the building raises serious questions over the fire safety of hundreds of buildings. — thenational.ae
Related stories in the Archinect news:Flying firefighters: the jetpack is quickly becoming a realityThe troubles of evacuating one of the world's tallest residential buildings during a fireFire fears for Gulf's high-rise blocks
“Intermittently, over the past thirty years it’s been the internet is going to kill libraries, Google is going to kill the libraries, eBooks are going to kill the libraries, and it never has actually happened.” — Business Insider Australia
"The Edge, Queensland’s experimental library of the future, is tucked away next to the State Library of Queensland in a concrete bunker-like building that stretches along the Brisbane river.The building itself has had a varied history — six years ago it was the Gallery of Modern Art, before...
The 2,000-year-old arch is all that remains of the Temple of Bel, part of the Syrian Unesco World Heritage site, captured by militants in May.
It will be recreated from photographs, using a 3D printer.
The institute behind the project hopes the arch will draw attention to the importance of cultural heritage. — BBC
For more in innovative 3D printing news, do check out Archinect's coverage: • ESA proposes a village on the moon• Amsterdam could get a new 3D-printed bridge built by robots• Vote on which 3D concrete puzzles of cities & places to model next
That headline paraphrases the research question of Danah Boyd, who, as a computer science student in 2000, wrote her bachelor thesis on whether VR systems were being designed in such a way to defer to, biologically, the male gaze. The research is in no way definitive, but probes an essential...
The optics of the camera obscura have faithfully served photographers for ages. The recipe has been simple: a lens, aperture, dark box and something to record the light.
But the camera as we know it is changing. A revolution in digital imaging research could surpass the camera obscura in almost every technical way... It’s called computational photography, and it stems from the idea that if you can capture visual data instead of a true image, then the picture can be reconstructed with software. — NY Times
Related:Architecture in the age of photoshopWim Wenders discusses the role of architecture and landscape in his filmsBetween Two and Three Dimensions: Panelists Discuss the Relationship Between Architecture and Photographic Representation at the LA Photo Fair 2014
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