Mechanical/​Mechatronics

Transportation

Stay updated on the innovations in transportation technologies. Explore the articles and technical briefs on electrification and autonomous driving that have impacted transportation design and engineering.

Question of the Week : Transportation
Are cities ready for the arrival of electric autonomous vehicles?

In this week’s INSIDER, city official David Schirmer shared how Beverly Hills is preparing for the arrival of electric vehicles. Municipalities, he said, will require new kinds of smart traffic signals, charging stations, and changes to building codes. A Tech Briefs reader asked...

Articles : Green Design & Manufacturing
Innovators Recognized for "Creating the Future" 2017
Innovators Recognized for "Creating the Future" 2017

The Create the Future Design Contest has helped stimulate and reward engineering innovation over the past 16 years, drawing more than 14,000 product designs from engineers, students, and...

Innovators Recognized for "Creating the Future" 2017
NASA Spinoff : RF & Microwave Electronics
GPS Correction Technology Lets Tractors Drive Themselves
GPS Correction Technology Lets Tractors Drive Themselves

Spinoff is NASA’s annual publication featuring successfully commercialized NASA technology. This commercialization has contributed to the development of products and services in the...

GPS Correction Technology Lets Tractors Drive Themselves
Question of the Week : Transportation
Can augmented reality reduce "road rage?"

This week’s Question: A new "CarNote" app from the Eindhoven University of Technology in the Netherlands aims to use augmented reality to improve the driving experience and reduce "road rage." CarNote's driver-facing periscope lens and transparent display projects information from a smartphone,...

News : Transportation
Hydraulic Carts Streamline Structural Tests for Aircraft
Hydraulic Carts Streamline Structural Tests for Aircraft

NASA Technology

Facilities for mechanical loads testing of aircraft and spacecraft are often jungles of cables, wiring, and hoses.

Hydraulic Carts Streamline Structural Tests for Aircraft
Products : Motion Control
Auto Crash Sensor

Meggitt Sensing Systems (Irvine, CA) introduced the Endevco model 7264H optimally gas-damped accelerometer for automotive safety testing. The sensor is small in size and mass, and eliminates irrelevant frequency content generated by breaking glass and metal-to-metal impact. The MEMS accelerometer performs consistently over...

Products : Motion Control
Air Compressor

Gardner Denver Thomas (Sheboygan, WI) offers the 2380 series twin WOB-L® piston oil-less air compressor designed for pressure/vacuum and high flow. It provides 100 psi (6.9 bar) maximum pressure with open flow of 2.3 cfm (65 l/min). The air compressor is fan-cooled and has a one-piece monolithic head. Weighing 12 pounds, it is...

News : Imaging
Smartphone-Based System Could Speed Development of Driverless Cars

Two new systems for driverless cars can identify a user’s location and orientation in places where GPS does not function, and identify the various components of a road scene in real time on a regular camera or smartphone, performing the same job as sensors costing much more....

News : Robotics, Automation & Control
Nissan Tests NASA Technology in Driverless Car

For the past year, NASA’s Ames Research Center and Nissan have been collaborating on the development of autonomous driving technologies that could one day be used in future consumer vehicles, robotic rovers on Mars, and other space exploration missions. The partnership allows researchers to...

News : Transportation
Autonomous DeLorean Guides Development of Self-Driving Electric Cars

Stanford engineers built an autonomous DeLorean capable of stable, precise drifting at large angles in order to study how cars perform in extreme situations, which could ultimately guide the development of autonomous safety protocols. Named MARTY – Multiple Actuator Research...

News : Energy
Real-Time Data for Smart Electric Mobility

An electronic system was developed that acquires data in real time and exchanges it across borders of systems in a standardized manner. The system makes electric vehicles more reliable and economically efficient. The electronic system is a configurable control unit in the vehicle with a telematics...

Articles : Transportation
Flight Controller Software Protects Lightweight, Flexible Aircraft

NASA Technology

Since its founding in 1958, NASA has made profound contributions to aviation, including advancing our understanding of flight mechanics—the study of forces that affect aircraft in flight—and devising ways to improve aircraft performance.

News : Transportation
Nanogenerator Harvests Power from Rolling Tires

A group of University of Wisconsin-Madison engineers and a collaborator from China have developed a nanogenerator that harvests energy from a car's rolling tire friction. The technology ultimately could provide automobile manufacturers with a new way to reuse energy and provide greater vehicle...

News : Transportation
Driving Simulator Tests Artificial Lens for Cataract Patients

An advanced driving simulator will be used to test a patient’s driving ability after cataract surgery. The trial will help determine if a newly developed artificial lens will be approved for sale in the United States. The lens replaces the patient’s natural, cataract-ravaged lens...

Articles : Transportation
IonoSTAGE Ensures Accuracy of Pilots’ GPS

NASA Technology

To permit safe and reliable aircraft navigation over North America using the Global Positioning System (GPS), the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has developed the Wide Area Augmentation System (WAAS), which improves the accuracy, availability, continuity, and integrity...

Articles : Transportation
SAE 2015 World Congress Preview

The SAE World Congress, presented by SAE International, assembles the best talent in the automotive industry. Experts, management teams, engineers, and executives gather to collaborate and address current challenges, and seek new opportunities for discovery and exploration. The theme of the 2015 World Congress —...

News : Manufacturing & Prototyping
Rubber Production Techniques Could Improve Tires, Reduce Pollution

People have been making rubber products, from elastic bands to tires, for centuries, but a key step in this process has remained a mystery. Scientists from the Kyoto Institute of Technology in Japan have described this elusive part of rubber production that could have major...

News : Software
Video Game Technology Helps Navigate Self-Driving Cars

A new software system developed at the University of Michigan uses video game technology to help solve one of the most daunting hurdles facing self-driving and automated cars: the high cost of the laser scanners they use to determine their location. The technology enables the cars to...

News : Transportation
Two-Stroke Engine Features Low Consumption and Fewer Emissions
Two-Stroke Engine Features Low Consumption and Fewer Emissions

Researchers have developed a new two-stroke engine notable for its low consumption and low level of pollutant emissions. The engine is the result of Powerful, a European project...

Two-Stroke Engine Features Low Consumption and Fewer Emissions
Application Briefs : Transportation
Reverse Engineering Helps NASA Analyze Icing Conditions
ROMER Absolute Arm with integrated laser scanner
Hexagon Metrology
North Kingstown, RI
800-274-9433
www.hexagonmetrology.us

While air travel is considered the safest form of transportation, research continues to better understand ice buildup and its affects...

Articles : Sensors/Data Acquisition
Cabin Pressure Monitors Notify Pilots to Save Lives

NASA Technology

Typical cruising altitudes for business and commercial aircraft are up to 50,000 feet or more. At such altitudes, the oxygen concentrations in the air are much lower than on the ground. Occupants could not survive in this environment without pressure inside the aircraft...

News : Energy
2-in-1 Motor Increases Range of Electric Cars
2-in-1 Motor Increases Range of Electric Cars

Scientists from Nanyang Technological University (NTU) and German Aerospace Centre (DLR) have invented a 2-in-1 electric motor that increases the range of electric vehicles. The engine integrates...

2-in-1 Motor Increases Range of Electric Cars
News : Transportation
3D-Printed Power Inverter Enables Lighter Electric Vehicles

Using 3D printing and novel semiconductors, researchers at the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory have created a power inverter that could make electric vehicles lighter, more powerful, and more efficient.

At the core of this development is wide bandgap material...

News : Transportation
Fast-Charging Batteries Have 20-Year Lifespan

Scientists at Nanyang Technology University (NTU) have developed ultra-fast charging batteries that can be recharged up to 70 percent in only two minutes.

The new-generation batteries also have a long lifespan of over 20 years, more than 10 times compared to existing lithium-ion batteries.

In...

News : Transportation
'Cloaking' Device Uses Ordinary Lenses to Hide Objects

Inspired perhaps by Harry Potter’s invisibility cloak, scientists have recently developed several ways to hide objects from view. The latest effort, begun at the University of Rochester, not only overcomes some of the limitations of previous devices, but also uses inexpensive, readily...

News : Transportation
New Circuits Can Function at Temperatures Above 650°F

Engineering researchers at the University of Arkansas have designed integrated circuits that can survive at temperatures greater than 350 degrees Celsius — or roughly 660 degrees Fahrenheit. Their work, funded by the National Science Foundation, will improve the functioning of processors,...

News : Transportation
Inspired by Nature, Researchers Build a Tougher Metal

Drawing inspiration from the structure of bones and bamboo, researchers have gradually changed the internal structure of metals to make stronger, tougher materials. The new metals can be customized for a wide variety of applications — from body armor to automobile parts.

The research...

News : Transportation
Morphable Surfaces Reduce Air Resistance

A morphable surface developed by an MIT team can change surface texture — from smooth to dimpled, and back again — through changes in pressure. When the inside pressure is reduced, the flexible material shrinks, and the stiffer outer layer wrinkles. Increasing pressure returns the surface to a smooth...

News : Transportation
Pedestrian Detection System Captures Body Heat

Researchers at Universidad Carlos III de Madrid (UC3M) have designed a new pedestrian detection system for cars that works in low-visibility conditions using infrared cameras to capture body heat. The new driving-aid system uses images captured by far infrared with two thermal cameras to identify...

News : Test & Measurement
Testing Composite Structures for Stronger Bridges

The J. Lohr Structures Laboratory at South Dakota State University helps companies develop new materials and products — self-consolidating concrete columns and pre-stress concrete bridge girders — that bridge a physical gap. Over the past decade, researchers have conducted structural testing...