The Dubai police force has a knack for courting attention. Already well known for its Bugatti Veyron, Ferrari FF, Lamborghini Aventador and Nissan GT-R fleet cars, the city's police force just added the BMW i8 to its collection. The plug-in hybrid sports car features a turbocharged 1.5-litre three-cylinder engine and two electric motors, producing 357 horsepower and 420 pound-feet of torque – likely more than ample to net anyone breaking the city's laws. The hybrid system gives the i8 a range of 310 miles – which, of course, speaks to the eminently practical purchase decisions of Dubai's police force.
Boeing patents a futuristic force field
The US-based aeronautics and defence company recently filed a patent for a system that would use sensors to detect explosions near a military vehicle, and then counter the blast by sending out laser pulses in the explosion’s direction. Those pulses would then ionise the air and absorb the blast's impact, thereby creating a “force field” of protection for the vehicle. The system is just in the patent stages, however, so Boeing is not providing timeframes for deployment in combat missions. (Credit: Boeing)
Fly by thoughts, no joystick required
The US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) enlisted Jan Scheuermann, a 55-year-old woman with quadriplegia, to help fly the Pentagon's new F-35 Lightning fighter jet in one of its flight simulators. Scheuermann was uniquely qualified for the task, having had two electrodes implanted on her brain which could then be used to control electrical and mechanical systems. The concept is called neurosignalling, and she previously used it to manoeuver a pair of robotic arms using just her thoughts. This time she flew a handful of aircraft in the simulator, including the F-35, simply by thinking about where the planes should travel. (Credit: Lockheed Martin)
Ford beefs up F-150's sustainability cred
Truck manufacturers typically do not count sustainability among their marketing talking points, but the latest Ford F-150 pickup has become the first to use 100% recycled material in its seats. Ford already uses the recycled fibre, called Repreve, in five other vehicles sold around the world. The company says adding Repreve to the F-150 should divert 5m plastic bottles away from landfills in just one year. The US’s best-selling truck is no stranger to recycling, though. To reduce build costs, roughly $300 worth of aluminium scraps shaved off the frames of the F-150 is collected and reused by the aluminium supplier. (Credit: Ford Motor)
The headlamps that move with you
GM Europe’s Opel and Vauxhall divisions have created a new headlamp that tracks a driver's eye movements and adjusts the beam to shine exactly where the eyes are looking. A camera equipped with peripheral infrared sensors scans the driver's eyes 50 times per second and adjusts the location and intensity of the light depending on where the driver focuses attention. A sophisticated delay algorithm ensures the headlamps don't jostle around while the eye naturally flicks about. And yes, the low beams still shine directly where the car is travelling. (Credit: GM Europe)
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