Category Archives: Transportation

New Design Books: ‘The Motorcycle – Design, Art, Desire’ (Phaidon / Dec 2020)

An essential and compelling exploration of the design, history, and culture of the motorcycle – an icon of the machine age

Motorcycles are ubiquitous in the world’s streets and cities, evolving over decades in engineering and design to meet individual transportation needs. With the coming demise of the internal combustion engine and the rise of electric powered vehicles, motorcycle design is being revolutionized by new technologies, the demands of climate change, and global social transformation. The Motorcycle: Desire, Art, Design traces the exciting evolution of this automotive icon – and the culture of desire, freedom, and rebellion that surrounds it.

Motorcycle showcases 100 superb examples of motorcycle design from the late 19th century to the present day and beyond to the technological innovations of the future.

Beautifully illustrated with newly commissioned photography and archival ephemera, this visually arresting survey will prove compulsive reading to design lovers and motorcycle fans alike.

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Electric Vehicles: ‘Nikola & The Investment Race For The Next Tesla’ (WSJ Video)

Investors and big auto makers are pouring money into electric-vehicle startups in a search for the next Tesla, with the hopes of cashing in. One company is drawing more scrutiny than most. WSJ explains.

Illustration: Jacob Reynolds/WSJ

Top New Camper Vans: ‘Alphavan’ – Mercedes High-End Sprinter With “Unequaled Roominess”

The Alphavan is built on Mercedes’ largest Sprinter, the 736-cm (290-in)-long extra-long-wheelbase variant with super-high (299-cm+) roof. For comparison, that van is nearly 1.5 m (5 ft) longer than the Sprinter 144 that underpins notable campers like the Winnebago Revel and Westfalia James Cook. 

ALPHA Living Space

  • Spacious living room conveys home feeling
  • Choose from two different styles
    • Soft line: modern structured wooden finish combined with warm grey surfaces
    • Pure line: soft earthy white finish combined with warm grey surfaces
  • Seating covers can be exclusively individualized based on your request​
  • Feel yourself like home with a fantastic ceiling height of 2.10m (made possible by the extra height of the base vehicle)

ALPHA Kitchen

  • High quality design kitchen​
  • Single cast countertop – smooth rounded edges​​
  • Spacious drawers, feather-light movement and premium Soft-Close technology​​
  • Brushed stainless steel push locks enriching the design surfaces
  • Three generous compartments in the entry area allow for easy access of frequently used items​​
  • Two stowing compartments with integrated LED background lighting provide high end atmosphere while realizing superb practicability​​
  • A comfortably large 90 liters Dometic refrigerator in a central location welcomes you​​
  • The countertop blends beautifully into a flush mount two-burner Thetford induction cooker​
  • High-end sink armatures underline the elegance of the interior

ALPHA Bathroom

  • Spacious and bright bathroom with outside window, style “white-pure”​​
  • 100% water proof​​
    • Single cast bathroom construction
    • Polyurethane sealed edges
    • Side window with 100% waterproof frame fittings​
  • Thetford toilet with SOG ventilation system​​
  • Additional ceiling ventilation​​
  • Space saving pull-out sink
  • Extractable shower head​​
  • Water-protected storage bin in the upper area for showering items​​
  • Flush mount integrated bathroom door​​
  • Premium door handle with innovative magnet lock​​
  • Additional useful built-in closet between bathroom and sleeping area​​
  • Clothes rail in upper part​​
  • Shoe compartment in lower part

ALPHA Relax Area

  • Sleeping space of 200x160cm​​
  • High-end mattress​​
  • Sophisticated ventilation concept:
    • side-windows left and right for fresh air
    • ceiling window allowing circulation and unforgettable star gazing during clear nights​​
  • Windows with fly screens and separate shades

ALPHA FlexPort

  • Alpha FlexPort 220x170x128 cm (LxWxH)
  • Integrated chair holders in the rear doors​​​​​
  • Lashing system in the floor and side walls for safely securing stored equipment​​
  • Optional design storage bags for the side walls​​
  • Convenient hooks on rear doors and front wall of FlexPort​​
  • Seating and stowing capabilities on and inside the design round-edged floor cabinets left and right​​
  • Single cast closing flaps of the cabinets with integrated Soft-Close technology and warm grey design

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Technology Video: Is A 3D-Printed Car In The Future?

When 3D printing first appeared, it may have seemed like a fad–something to keep garage hobbyists busy. But over the past few years, it’s become a mainstream manufacturing process. Now, an independent automaker called Local Motors is applying the technology to cars, using 3D printing to make the chassis of its autonomous, electric vehicles at a small factory in Knoxville, Tennessee.

Ocean Technology: The “Mayflower Autonomous Ship” To Launch Sept 16

Powered by AI and the energy from the sun, the Mayflower Autonomous Ship will be able to spend long durations at sea collecting critical data about the ocean. Working in tandem with human oceanographers and other autonomous vessels, the new-generation Mayflower provides a flexible and cost-effective option for deepening understanding of critical issues such as global warming, ocean plastic pollution and marine mammal conservation. The Mayflower Autonomous Ship is led by marine research organisation Promare, supported by IBM and a global consortium of partners.

Future Of Mobility Video: Canyon “Capsule” Concept – “All-Weather Transport”

Designed to seamlessly jump from the street to the bike lane, this low-emission vehicle merges the best parts of cars and e-bikes into one to make it the ultimate daily commuter. It’s fast and stable enough to fly down the open road, yet light and agile enough to slide into the bike lane when things get backed up. The next step in mobility is here.

Capsule concept

How do you bring total weather protection to an e-bike? This is the question our designers and engineers had to answer with the Future Mobility Concept. The solution is a totally-sealable passenger compartment surrounded by an innovative, panoramic capsule that strikes the perfect blend of form and function.

When not sealed to protect against the elements, the capsule can be slid forward along two rails to open the cockpit up. This ‘open mode’ is great when the weather is hot or if the rider wants that fresh-breeze feeling that comes with driving a convertible. The capsule even has enough space behind the rider to seat a child, load luggage or pack up groceries for the ride home. The capsule can then be slid even further forward for easy entry and exit of the vehicle.

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Top Classic Cars: “1955 Aston Martin DB3S” (Video)

Gooding & Company proudly presents this beautiful 1955 Aston Martin DB3S. This car, chassis 102, is one of three Almond Green customer cars ordered for the the Australian racing team, the Kangaroo Stable.

As their lead car, 102 was campaigned throughout Europe, England, and New Zealand during 1955 and 1956, with the most notable result being a 2nd Overall finish at the 12 Hours of Hyères.

Today, this DB3S stands as a wonderful reminder of the glory days of international sports car racing – a halcyon period when eager amateurs could find themselves locked in battle with the works racing teams on the world’s great circuits.

Urban Design: “The Future Of Cities” (WSJ Video)

The coronavirus pandemic could have a lasting impact on city life. WSJ’s Jaden Urbi explores how the ways we work, shop and play are changing as urban designers refocus on health, tech and open spaces.

Illustration: Zoë Soriano

Best New Electric Bikes: “Ducati Urban-e Foldable E-Bike” – Top Italian Design

Urban-E, available in black or gray version, is built around the special aluminum frame, designed by the designers of the Ducati Style Center in collaboration with colleagues from the Industrial Design division of Italdesign, with an easy folding system that allows you to fold the e-bike in a few simple steps. 

The foldable frame is made of lightweight aluminum and the battery is fully integrated into the frame. It was born from a totally custom development project with Ducati Style Center and Italdesign as protagonists. The LED lights and the display are integrated into the frame becoming a real design element, one of a kind.

The handlebar has a fully integrated LCD display in the stem that allows you to check all the assistance functions, check the remaining battery charge and turn the LED lights on and off. Designers and planners have worked to create an e-bike with a clean and linear style. The 378 Wh battery is integrated into the frame and itself becomes an element of style, recalling the motorcycle tanks in the typical Ducati red color and arched shape.

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