Apps are the next big thing in car tech; New York wants to crack down on how truckers use GPS; why run-flat tires suck so damned much; the search for the perfect iPod Touch rig in your car; and a ride in the BMW 650i Convertible.Subscribe with iTunes (audio) Subscribe with iTunes (video) Subscribe with RSS (audio) Subscribe with RSS (video) Episode 140 Show notes
I'm sure you've heard of a rubber tree plant, but have you also heard about the new rubber tree tire?
Researchers at Oregon State University (OSU) have developed a tire made from plant materials combined with rubber that offers several benefits over conventionally manufactured tires.
The rubber composite contains microcrystalline cellulose as an additive, a material that can be made from a wide variety of plant materials, instead of the usual carbon black or silica typically used.
Manufacturing tires from a renewable plant source could be less expensive to produce than tires using carbon black, which is made from oil, … Read more
The University of Wisconsin-Madison and a Wausau, Wis., company have come up with a 37-inch, bullet and bomb-proof Humvee tire based on a polymeric web so cool looking there's no need for hub caps.
Resilient Technologies and Wisconsin-Madison's Polymer Engineering Center are creating a "non-pneumatic tire" (no air required) that will support the weight of add-on armor, survive an IED attack, and still make a 50 mph getaway. It's basically a round honeycomb wrapped with a thick, black tread.
The handling characteristics of the average car are primarily determined by the tires and the few square inches that are their contact patch. Up until now, tires have been decidedly low tech, at least to the untrained eye. Pirelli is aiming to change this, while giving us more information about what happens where the rubber meets the road, with its upcoming Cyber Tyre technology.
Essentially, the Cyber Tyre is an intelligent tire with an RFID microchip embedded that communicates with the car's electronic systems, such as ABS and traction control, relaying information about the state of the tire. This … Read more
Those who are familiar with Japan's Strapya will undoubtedly remember any number of its bizarre products, which usually come in the form of some misguided cell phone accessory. But there's actually a more serious side to the company, believe it or not, one that involves environmentally friendly products.
Inventor Spot speculates that these cases may reflect a new green awareness among younger … Read more
Naples, Fla.-based rubber recycler Lehigh Technologies has finished a series E round of funding, squeezing out another $34.5 million and adding Index Ventures and Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers to its list of investors.
The company started producing rubber powder out of recycled tires a year ago. Lehigh's process involves freezing old tires with liquid nitrogen, then putting the frozen tires through a mill in high velocity, turning the rubber into a fine powder. That powder can be used in paints, shoes, plastics, carpets, and tires.
Through this process, Lehigh says it can make rubber powder for … Read more
Microinverters track solar panels via the Web http://news.cnet.com/8301-11128_3-9964732-54.html
The solar powered golf cart at Hammacher Schlemmer http://www.hammacher.com/publish/11164.asp
Floating solar farm juices up winery http://crave.cnet.com/8301-1_105-9954667-1.html
Profolio solar bag, take solar with you anywhere you need it! http://www.rewarestore.com/product/profolio.html
Artificial … Read more
Here's a perfect Father's Day gift if your dad's a fan of unicycles and other single-wheeled vehicles: a remote-controlled tire.
That's right, just the tire--no vehicle whatsoever. The creation of TOSY, a Vietnam-based toy and robot maker, the "R-Tyre" is billed as the "the first radio controlled tire in the world," according to Dvice. And as dubious as we are of "world's first" claims, we're inclined to believe this one.
Endless questions come to mind about this gadget--not the least of which is "Why?"--but there'… Read more
Where safety features are concerned, usually bicycles adopt ideas from cars. But SweetskinZ wants to do it the other way around.
The company got some ink last year with reflective bike tires that looked more like art projects than safety measures. Now it's applying this patented "SkinZ" technology to car tires, especially for ATVs in no-man's land.
Not only will these wheels increase visibility, but they'll definitely make a fashion statement as well. After all, how many tires have you seen on the road that look like snakeskin? Outside California, anyway.
Following unusual workstations has become something of a hobby for Crave (we don't get out much), but usually they involve conditions that are designed for maximum comfort. So one can appreciate our alarm upon viewing the "Walkstation" for its obvious threat to our stated pursuit of laziness, even while working.
This tortuous apparatus is essentially a standing-height desk attached to a treadmill, combining work with exercise for the ultimate in multi-tasking. Made by office furniture company Steelcase, the Walkstation is scheduled to make its formal debut next month for a reported price of $6,500. (That would … Read more