transportation

Sorry Tesla, Electric Cars Of The Future Will Be More Like Golf Carts

Contrary to what the news cycle pounds into our brains, the electric car conversation does not begin and end with Elon Musk. There’s a more affordable and more relevant urban mobility solution than Tesla. I’m talking about the humble golf cart, which is already well on its way to ruling the world.


America's Trains Suck Because Most Americans Don't Ride Them

Last week’s horrific Amtrak crash surfaced new concerns about the US’s neglect of its rail infrastructure, with blame falling on Congress for failing to allocate enough money to upgrade the system for safety. The truth is that trains would be the safest way to travel in this country — if more Americans embraced a future on rails.


The Simple Trick Subway Dispatchers Use To Get Service Back On Track

Sometimes it feels like all mass transit systems do is apologise for running behind schedule. New York City’s Metropolitan Transit Authority decided to create this video explainer for exactly why you were waiting so long for the L this morning. And they did it in with cute 8-bit graphics.


Self-Driving Cars Are Already Getting Into Accidents

Self-driving cars have been hailed as The Next Great Solution for Not Getting Killed, and autonomous vehicles could potentially drastically reduce accidents by minimising opportunities for human error. Someday. As of now, 8 per cent of the self-driving cars on the road in California have been in collisions.


The Rise Of Automated Cars Will Kill Thousands Of Jobs Beyond Driving

Perhaps the most important thing to understand about a future in which your car is fully autonomous is that it probably won’t be your car. Most people who have given serious thought to the optimal role of self-driving cars seem to agree that, at least in densely populated areas, they are likely to be a shared resource.


Can Technology Help Us Raise Independent, Free-Range Kids?

One of my most vivid childhood memories is of a county park behind our house which was so vast to my eight-year-old mind that it might as well have been the Arctic tundra. We were constructing some kind of vine-swing over a creek, which I believe we planned to test on bikes. There were no parents anywhere.


Smart Modular Roadways Could Ping Workers When They Need To Be Replaced

Autonomous vehicles get all the glory in our ideal transportation future, but they’re gonna need somewhere to drive. Our streets are seriously lagging, technology-wise. Enter smart roadways that can alert crews when they need to be repaired — and then can be swapped out as easily as Lego bricks.


Aeroplane Cabins Could Be 100X Quieter With These Rubber Mufflers

The dull throbbing hum that accompanies you on your jet-setting adventures might be quieted in the near future. Scientists from MIT and North Carolina State University collaborated on a thin rubber membrane that can be installed throughout the body of a plane like acoustical tiles, essentially sound-proofing the interior.


An 1899 Plan To Build A Bike Highway In Los Angeles (And Why It Failed)

Over a century ago, the California Cycleway promised an elevated, dedicated bike path from Los Angeles to the nearby city of Pasadena. In this excerpt from the new book LAtitudes: An Angeleno’s Atlas, author Dan Koeppel tracks its path through Southern California — and discovers why it was never finished.


How NYT Magazine Made A 45m Pedestrian For Its Walking Issue

It’s like Christmas morning for pedestrian advocates! This week’s New York Times Magazine is all about walking, from the very act of perambulation to all the ways that the city — any city really — is best appreciated on foot. And the cover is a street-scale work of art.