Meanwhile in China, Ford & Alibaba Will Have a Vending Machine to Dispensing Cars

Ford Motor China news, China auto aftermarket service, Alibaba super test drive center

As someone who’s recently experienced the (streamlined and painless) process of purchasing a new car via a vending machine — what up, Carvana? –, it looks like Ford will be getting into the car dispensing game too. Well, at least in China; pronounced “chyyyyyn-nahh”. In fact, the American automaker is partnering with Alibaba to build a vending machine for cars that you can try before you buy with the sales agent constantly selling (or badgering; you be the judge) you about the car. The Super Test-Drive Center in Guangzhou was actually announced at the end of 2017, and the vending machine — which has a capacity of 42 cars — will disperse out vehicles for prospective buyers. Well, potential buyers can test the cars after they’ve paid the required fees using Alibaba’s Tmall app and supplying a good-old selfie for identification purposes. Continue reading “Meanwhile in China, Ford & Alibaba Will Have a Vending Machine to Dispensing Cars”

BMW buys parking app Parkmobile to in tackling urban traffic woes

Between the rise of hybrid, electric and self-driving autonomous vehicles (among other automobile advancements), automakers around the world are seeing the next great frontier in the driving experience, which includes FINDING A DARN, AVAILABLE PARKING SPOT! It appears that the German car-maker BMW was thinking the same thing, as they have gone from being a minority stakeholder in Parkmobile — described as the largest mobile parking services provider in North America with a footprint over 1 million+ parking spaces — back in 2004 to going all-in by outright buying the app completely. It looks like BMW isn’t just content on profiting from car sales; they was to solve issues with, again, FINDING A DARN, AVAILABLE PARKING SPOT!

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India Debuts its First Solar-Powered Train…

Anil Kumar Chhatri/Indian Railways

The Indian Railway (IR) system, the largest rail network in Asia and typically filled with diesel-powered trains, has just introduced its first solar-powered train, named the Diesel Electric Multiple Unit (DEMU). The DEMU, which has solar panels placed on the roof of the unit, will operate in the city of New Delhi. It will be pulled by one of IR’s diesel-powered locomotives, with the solar panels powering only the passenger comfort systems (including lights, info displays, fans, etc.). According to IR, one train with six solar-panel equipped cars will save 21,000 liters (or 5,547 gallons) of diesel fuel every year, all while saving approximately Rs12 lakh (almost $20,000) in operating costs.

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Tesla readying its ‘Gigafactory’ by tripling its land in Nevada


Tesla’s battery-focused “Gigafactory” hasn’t even completed construction yet, and they’re already expanding its plant’s territory. The company announced that it has nearly TRIPLED its Nevada land purchases and added 1,893 acres to the 1,000 acres it received just last year. Continue reading “Tesla readying its ‘Gigafactory’ by tripling its land in Nevada”

Shotguns & Elevators – WIRed #130

It’s time for Episode 130 of WIRed, where Montez McCrary discusses a Canadian winter shelter competition, speedy elevators that can move sideways, DATING the diverse history of Nintendo, and the breath of fresh air called Shotgun Saturday Night! Welcome to WIRed, bringing you the nerdy-geekery on architecture, technology, gaming, and pro wrestling. Continue reading “Shotguns & Elevators – WIRed #130”

Cable-free Elevators Can Move You in ANY Direction

ThyssenKrupp's magnetic elevator

In every tall building, elevators are absolutely a vital feature, but even they have their limits.  For example, they can only move so quickly, plus they typically are unable to move sideways to fetch patrons from the far side of a building. However, it looks as if those issues will be resolved by German firm ThyssenKrupp, as their new Multi elevators aim to replace cables for magnetic linear motor technology (also used in maglev trains) to move elevators vertically AND horizontally so they can service very wide or unusually shaped buildings. Continue reading “Cable-free Elevators Can Move You in ANY Direction”

Deutsche Bahn Rail Network to Fight Vandalism with Drones

Oh the drone; from national defense overseas, to personal photography and to aerial artwork, they are finding new applications for use every day. The usage of drones has caught the attention of  Germany’s national rail network, and they wish to utilize them as a way to defend their trains from the evil known as vandalism.  When you think about it, after YOUR trains have been defaced approximately 14,000 times in 2012 ALONE (as Deutsche Bahn’s trains were) and you had to spend $9.8 million for clean-up, you’d start thinking about using flying robots to bust those vandals, too.   Continue reading “Deutsche Bahn Rail Network to Fight Vandalism with Drones”

Monolithic Alien Spacecraft Masquerading as Bus Station

I was interested in how an architectural office resembled a theoretical alien spacecraft a few months ago, granted that my perception of what an alien spaceship looks like is based on a variety of science-fiction movies.  One thing I can say is that  the instant I set my eyes on this bus station in Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Spain (congrats on the UEFA Championship, by the way), I’m almost sure that at least FIVE martian ships may resemble this design in some way or form. Designed by Spanish architect Eustáquio Martínez, the Intercambiador Padre Anchieta— also known as Interchange Station Padre Anchieta—was completed just this February and is obviously a huge contrast from the typical utilitarian design of bus stations. To counter the visual mass of the imposing roof structure, angular holes were punched through to allow plenty of sunlight through, and the green-colored buses serve as great complements to the structure’s bright color palette. What’s even greater is that this building comes off as a work of art, and that will hopefully discourage any potential vandalism.   Continue reading “Monolithic Alien Spacecraft Masquerading as Bus Station”

Google’s Driverless Cars Officially Licensed in Nevada; Dreams of New Designated Driver services…

The Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles shows a Google self-driven car in Las Vegas.

And so it begins…

This past Monday, the state of Nevada’s Department of Motor Vehicles issued Google its first license for the hands-free car; you know, the one that drives itself.  This was a result of the 2011 legislation in the state that established regulations to allow test-driving of autonomous vehicles.  The vehicles utilize intelligent driving software, proximity sensors and GPS data to determine how to traverse from one point to another one.  Soon, these vehicles will be tested around Nevada, but with a catch: two people must be in the vehicle — one in the driver’s seat and the other in the passenger seat.

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