Future Tech: Powering our cities via solar sidewalks & hackers steal cars with a laptop.
An incredible coaster with no rails & no wheels
Traditional roller coasters use a combination of potential and kinetic energy to sling riders over a track system to keep the momentum going. The technology has evolved, with metal wheels replacing wood, then losing their place to polyurethane, always for a faster, smoother ride.
But what if there was no friction at all? What if there were no rails or wheels? What if electro magnets propelled the cars? This is the idea behind the Sfrear Mountain Coaster.
The concept would mark an entirely new rider experience, combining a cushy ride, incredible speed, free falls, underground tunnels, water diving, and heart-racing turns and loops.
Are solar road panels the future of energy?
No, that's not an elaborate new Lite-Brite kit– that's the possible future of energy. After years of work (and some last-minute delays), Solar Roadways has installed its first public energy tiles in Sandpoint, Idaho as part of a test.
On top of producing a light show, the panels will generate power for the fountain and restrooms in a public square. They have heating elements, too, so they should keep running even in the heart of winter. And if you're not sure how well they'll work in practice, you can check on them yourself — Sandpoint has a live webcam pointed at the tiles.
Forget hot-wiring. Hackers use a laptop to steal 30 vehicles
It seems the news regarding vehicle hacking continues to get worse, especially when it comes to products from Fiat Chrysler Automobiles. Last year, a Jeep Cherokee in St. Louis, Missouri, was wirelessly hacked from Pittsburgh. Nissan had to shut down its Leaf app because of vulnerabilities. Now, a pair of hackers in Houston, Texas, stole more than 30 Jeeps over a six-month period. The two were arrested by police last Friday while attempting to steal another vehicle.
ABC 13 in Houston reports that police had been following Michael Arcee and Jesse Zelay for several months but were unable to catch them in the act until now. The two were using a laptop to connect to and start a vehicle. It's unclear if the connection was through OBD II or USB or, but FCA says that these thefts were not related to the UConnect remote hacks from last year.
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