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April 10, 2016

Inhabitat’s Week in Green: Toyota’s wooden roadster and more!

by John_A

Auto tech is advancing by leaps and bounds, but Toyota’s latest car is a blast from the past. Meet the Setsuna – a gorgeous roadster that’s hand-carved from 86 wooden panels. In other transportation news, Dutch politicians are hatching plans to ban all polluting cars by the year 2025. If the thought of sharing the road with self-driving big rigs makes you uneasy, this may put your fears to rest: six trucks with driverless technology just completed a 1,300-mile journey across Europe. We also took a firsthand look at VanMoof’s new Electrified S smart bike, and a startup launched the world’s first cargo scooter, which can easily tote up to 50 pounds.

Wave energy has yet to catch up to solar and wind, but a new design could change that: CorPower’s small floating buoy can produce enough electricity to power 200 homes. Meanwhile, London unveiled the UK’s first solar bus shelter, and a new study shows that the US could produce 40% of its electricity from rooftop photovoltaics. Researchers developed a new “reverse photosynthesis” process that could revolutionize biofuels, and design studio Salt & Water unveiled plans for a floating farm that can produce clean energy and organic food.

Excited for the upcoming Rogue One Star Wars movie? Then check out Eyal Rosenthal’s minimalist lamps, which are inspired by droids lightsabers and stormtrooper helmets. In other design news, Sony just debuted a multitasking light bulb that doubles as a wireless speaker and San Franciscans were surprised to find gigantic glowing bunnies pop up throughout the city. IKEA is taking interior design to a whole new level with an app that lets you try out furniture in virtual reality. And MIT is establishing a new manufacturing hub to spearhead innovations in textile technology.

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