Uber just announced plans to launch its first fleet of autonomous taxis this month, and self-driving buses are now hitting the streets of Helsinki. Airbus is shooting even higher with plans to build an autonomous flying taxi by the year 2017. Meanwhile, Nissan debuted a solid-oxide fuel-cell vehicle, which runs on ethanol and water instead of hydrogen. And Bosch rolled out a world’s most compact folding electric bike, which packs down small enough to fit easily in a car trunk.
Concrete is one of the most prevalent materials in our built environment, but it’s hasn’t seen much innovation. That’s why it’s so exciting that a team of Singapore researchers developed a new flexible concrete that’s lighter and tougher than existing mixtures. In other design news, a developer in Germany is building the world’s largest passive housing complex with a total of 162 units. Stanford researchers created a tiny black rectangle that uses sunlight to purify water in minutes instead of hours. In a stunning example of biomimicry this week, scientists studied squids to invent a high-tech fabric that repair itself and neutralizes toxins. Read full story….