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Recreational Vehicles

Older RVs aren't that hard to come by, and when you look past the rotting polyboard, aluminum and melmac 'home' really all you're left with is a motor. Usually a big motor, one that's attached to a gigantic sturdy frame and heavy-duty axles. No surprise then that it's crossed the minds of mechanics and/or the slightly insane to do something crazy with a crappy old motorhome. [more inside]
posted by saguaro on Apr 11, 2014 - 20 comments

Operators will avoid flying during the Temple burn.

New Policy on Drones. Black Rock City Drones that is.
And a very cheery and relaxation-inducing 5-minute video shot with such an UAV (Unmanned aerial Vehicle). Floating around the Burning Man playa. [more inside]
posted by fantodstic on Aug 20, 2013 - 59 comments

Autonomous cars and the law

Can autonomous vehicles navigate the law? This year has been full of big news about the progress of self-driving cars. They are currently street legal in three states and Google says that on a given day, they have a dozen autonomous cars on the road. This August, they passed 300,000 driver-hours. In Spain this summer, Volvo drove a convoy of three cars through 200 kilometers of desert highway with just one driver and a police escort. Cadillac's newest models park themselves. The writing, one might think, is on the wall. But objects in the media may be farther off than they appear.
posted by modernnomad on Dec 14, 2012 - 83 comments

road trip to the American past

motor life blog is Charlie Beesly's fun collection of (mostly) found photos celebrating cars and their owners. Don't miss the winsome training wheels post and the early Kodacolor collection. We've seen some of Charlie's other themed found photos here previously.
posted by madamjujujive on Jul 8, 2012 - 5 comments

Yay! Free Candy!

Suspicious Vans
posted by BitterOldPunk on Jul 19, 2011 - 90 comments

Starship Schematics Database

Starship Schematics Database: dedicated to the sole purpose of archiving every single starship design ever conceived in the Star Trek, Battlestar Galactica, Babylon 5, and Space Battleship Yamato (A.K.A. Star Blazers in the USA) Universes, both official and unofficial, interesting and mediocre.
posted by Joe Beese on Feb 12, 2011 - 35 comments

Simply Incredible

Stephen Biesty is an award-winning British illustrator famous for his bestselling "Incredible" series of engineering art books: Incredible Cross-Sections, Incredible Explosions, Incredible Body, and many more. A master draftsman, Biesty does not use computers or even rulers in composing his intricate and imaginative drawings, relying on nothing more than pen and ink, watercolor, and a steady hand. Over the years, he's adapted his work to many other mediums, including pop-up books, educational games (video), interactive history sites, and animation. You can view much of his work in the zoomable galleries on his professional page, or click inside for a full listing of direct links to high-resolution, desktop-quality copies from his and other sites, including several with written commentary from collaborator Richard Platt [site, .mp3 chat]. [more inside]
posted by Rhaomi on Feb 4, 2011 - 24 comments

Unusual Off-road Locomotion

Unusual Off-road Locomotion documents vehicles that are often "too eccentric, too expensive compared to the improvements or too far ahead of their time."
posted by brundlefly on Dec 27, 2010 - 6 comments

Tanks in Afghanistan

The U.S. military is sending a contingent of heavily armored battle tanks to Afghanistan for the first time in the nine-year war... Although the officer acknowledged that the use of tanks this many years into the war could be seen as a sign of desperation by some Afghans and Americans, he said they will provide the Marines with an important new tool in missions to flush out pockets of insurgent fighters. [more inside]
posted by Joe Beese on Nov 19, 2010 - 92 comments

I'm not familiar with that address. Would you please repeat the destination?

In 2007, City officials convened a group of stakeholders, including representatives of taxi drivers, owner and passengers, to create a set of goals for the next New York City taxi cab, a project called the Taxi of Tomorrow.
posted by Joe Beese on Nov 16, 2010 - 40 comments

The Fast Bike With The Funny Name (tm)

Healthy competition can advance technology, and motorsports is a good example of this. The Isle of Man TT has been a motorcycle proving ground since 1907, with a bike earning its mettle by doing ton-up on the 38 mile course. Enter Michael Czysz and his MotoCzysz E1pc. After disastrous failure at the Isle of Man TT the previous year, his company redesigned their electric sport bike from the ground up. The results could have wider implications for electric vehicles as a whole. Previously. [more inside]
posted by The Power Nap on Jun 10, 2010 - 29 comments

Braitenberg vehicles: How to build a brain

Valentino Braitenberg's 1984 book, Vehicles: Experiments in Synthetic Psychology was a seminal work for its discussion of how one might design a system (biological or otherwise) in order to generate behavior like that seen in beings with brains. He embarks on a series of thought experiments in which he creates thirteen "vehicles" through simple components that (arguably) display intelligent behavior, evolving in a Darwinian fashion to demonstrate what appears to be high-level cognition. [more inside]
posted by emilyd22222 on Jan 17, 2010 - 16 comments

Two-story camping car

"We were classmates in high school... And we spoke the plan to go to Yakushima Island. However, the talk swells greatly...We decided to make a camper for a round-the-japan trip. We thought that various equipment was necessary to long trip. However, the bed space has disappeared when various equipment is packed. Then, the idea adjusted to two stories appeared." More on the truck and the trip. (via Dinosaurs and Robots)
posted by madamjujujive on Dec 21, 2008 - 21 comments

Geared Steam

On a traditional steam locomotive the pistons drive the wheels directly via cranks. An unusual looking series of variants, the geared locomotives, took a different approach - using gears and driveshafts, giving them an advantage in traction at the cost of speed, making them ideal for steap grades and tight curves of logging railroads. The most common was the Shay Locomotive (video), with it's vertical pistons. Other variant included the Climax (video, seen at the Mount Rainier Scenic Railroad) and the Heisler, which had it's pistons in a V-formation (video). Many examples of the geared locomotive can be found at the Northwest Railway Museum.
posted by Artw on Nov 8, 2008 - 19 comments

All our battery are belong to you

"A Smart Garage energy paradigm could simultaneously reduce the environmental impact of both the transport sector and the electricity sector. Driving a vehicle that uses electricity creates fewer greenhouse-gas emissions than driving a vehicle that uses gasoline, even if the electricity is made from fossil fuels (such as coal)."
posted by flabdablet on Aug 29, 2008 - 8 comments

Lee press-on car

The Tata Nano (pic) is a car that costs less new than the amount I've spent on gas during single car trips, recently announced to the auto market in India. The Chery QQ ^, successful , widely exported, and recognized as the Hostage Taker's Vehicle of Choice by China Car Times, is the runner-up for the world's cheapest car but is still approximately twice as expensive. Yes indeed, the price of gas is not going to come back down. So much for my coast-to-coast road trips. [more inside]
posted by XMLicious on Feb 3, 2008 - 42 comments

Bicycles

"Every time I see an adult on a bicycle, I no longer despair for the future of mankind" - H.G. Wells
posted by phrontist on Oct 31, 2007 - 22 comments

Zap-X - Lotus Designed All-Electric Sports Car

Zap! is releasing their next electric car and it looks g-r-e-a-t As an electric car enthusiast and a big fan of the Tesla Roadster, I was excited to see more companies entering the sort of mainstream electric car market, even though we don't know when these will come out or what their MSRP will be like, though I'm sure it'll be pretty comparable to the Tesla's beefy $90k tag.
posted by lesseffective on May 2, 2007 - 30 comments

Also check out the Tango T600

The Encyclopedia of Strange Vehicles. This is really just an excuse to link to the Fab 1, a car I wish I could drive even once.
posted by The Castle on Jul 7, 2006 - 31 comments

Energy-efficient urban commuting options

With gas prices rising, SUV sales (16-20 mpg city) have been declining. What are some alternatives for urban commuters? Prius (56 mpg) and other hybrid vehicles. SmartCar (50 mpg city; available in Canada, but not the US) and other microcars. Electric motor scooters and bicycles. Electric cars like the General Motors EV1 seem to be stalled, although people are working on a battery-powered SmartCar. What about hydrogen vehicles? In the medium term, MIT's Laboratory for Energy and the Environment doesn't think they'll outperform hybrids (full report). A comparison of fuel-cell and battery electric vehicles gets into some of the details of how they work.
posted by russilwvong on Oct 11, 2005 - 83 comments

Think...about the bad things

Perhaps you'll recall DARPA's Grand Challenge where autonomous vehicles competed in a off-road race for $1,000,000 but most barely made it off the starting blocks? Yeah, well, they are doing it again this year for $2 million this time. Just one thing: Don't bet on Princeton. [last two links .MOV]
posted by Ogre Lawless on Oct 8, 2005 - 18 comments

Gotta go!

Oh, the fun things a man can build with $10,000! "Some folks like to take their time on the can. Not Paul Stender. When the 43-year-old former pit mechanic feels the need for speed, he straps himself into his jet-engine-equipped toilet and roars off, trailing flame."
posted by miss lynnster on Jan 1, 2005 - 9 comments

The Only Expedition Class, AWD

4Sale. 2002 Recreation Vehicle. 40,000 miles. $400,000.
posted by stbalbach on Dec 7, 2004 - 29 comments

amphibious vehicles

DUKWs have been around since WWII, and are basically boats with wheels. Schwimmwagens have also been around since then, but they're basically a waterproof car with a propeller, like the 1960's Amphicar. Both are kinda slow in the water. The only cool looking amphibious vehicles that could reach a decent speed in the water have been in James Bond movies. Not any more...
posted by badstone on Sep 18, 2003 - 10 comments

Do cars force us to give up the outdoors?

Do Cars force us to give up the outdoors? In jail, prisoners are stuck indoors and aren't allowed to go outside except for an hour at most. But are the car-driving residents of the average American suburb consigned to the same fate? "You go from the box garage in the house to the box car, driving down the street, not touching anything or being part of your environment" says Jessica Denevan. [More Inside]
posted by gregb1007 on Sep 16, 2003 - 70 comments

On a wing & a rail - global transportation

Transportation around the world is a huge database of photos focusing on two topics: transportation mode and geography. From bullet trains to dogsleds and camel caravans to tramways, - browse by location or by topic. Also related: One of the best transportation museums in the world is the Verkehrshaus der Schweiz in Lucern, Switzerland. (via booknotes)
posted by madamjujujive on Aug 10, 2003 - 3 comments

Microcars, bubble cars & the Bruce Weiner Microcar Museum

The Bruce Weiner Microcar Museum ia an automotive jewel of a site. Post WW II, a war ravaged Europe became mobilized in part due to the efficient and affordable design of micro or bubble cars. Today, fans still pay loving tribute to brands like the BMW Isetta and the Messerschmitt Tiger. Interested in learning more? Join a club or register to attend upcoming meets. (via gordon.coale) - more -
posted by madamjujujive on May 3, 2003 - 17 comments

Atomic batteries to power...turbines to speed...

Classic Bat-Vehicles...for the Gotham City crime-fighter on the go!
posted by LinusMines on Apr 29, 2003 - 9 comments

A century of hogs - LOC does Harley Davidson

Hog Heaven - the Library of Congress celebrates 100 years of the Harley-Davidson in an excellent online exhibit of photos, articles, ads and links. Also, visit HD's anniversary site to learn about upcoming events and celebrations. (via Portage)
posted by madamjujujive on Apr 19, 2003 - 20 comments

Vintage Vehicles - Teardrop Trailers

Teardrop trailers were all the rage from the '30s to the '50s, and in vogue today with vintage aficionados. Some are woodies, some are made for motorcycles and most have lots of personality crammed into truly small space. The build-it-yourself bug spread with this 1947 Mechanix Illustrated article (pdf file alert) complete with plans. Follow one man's contemporary build-from-scratch adventure detailed in a photos essay, or get plans to build your own.
posted by madamjujujive on Jan 8, 2003 - 9 comments

Truck-nutz?

Truck-nutz? Can it get any more crude, I mean 'red', than this? (here, another brand and lots of pics - click on mugshots). Who in their right mind would hang these under thier bumper?
posted by tomplus2 on Aug 11, 2002 - 33 comments

Oil makes the world go round.

Oil makes the world go round. The Senate yesterday defeated an effort to increase fuel efficiency standards for cars, sport utility vehicles and pickup trucks by 50 percent over 13 years, voting instead for a measure backed by the auto industry.
posted by semmi on Mar 14, 2002 - 39 comments

It's 2001. Where are the flying cars? We were promised flying cars! I want my flying car!

I guess we'll have to make do with personal autogyros for now.
posted by RylandDotNet on Jun 18, 2001 - 35 comments


The Unimog, a converted German military vehicle manufactured by Daimler-Chrysler will be sold as a luxury vehicle in the US later this year. (This ten-foot-tall, six-ton beast dwarfs the Hummer.) According to Unimog marketing manager Bruce Barnes, "even in Scottsdale, Arizona, moms will want to take it to the grocery store. It's a head-turning vehicle." It seems to me this thing pretty much condemns itself, but here's a tree-hugging press release to chew on.
posted by sudama on Feb 28, 2001 - 23 comments

Not even canines

Not even canines are safe from road rage. God I hate San Jose. Even if the guy's from Virginia, there's just something about this place that turns people into monsters, and not the good kind like mummies and werewolves.
posted by luke on Mar 1, 2000 - 2 comments

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