Inhabitat’s Week in Green: Self-driving Uber cars, and more!
The self-driving cars are coming: This week Uber unveiled its first autonomous vehicle, while Google patented a sticky “fly paper” car hood that could protect pedestrians caught in self-driving car crashes. Los Angeles celebrated the completion of its first new metro line in 60 years, while France transformed its trains with beautiful impressionist art. And Taga launched an affordable cycle with built-in cargo space that could be the ultimate family bike.
It was big week for solar power as well. For starters, scientists developed a breakthrough photovoltaic cell that set a new world record for efficiency. Portugal made headlines by running on 100-percent renewable energy for more than four days. The Mistbox is a new device that uses solar energy to cut down on summer cooling costs. And scientists discovered a new form of spiralized light that flies in the face of everything quantum physics says about photons.
As the world’s population expands, food reserves are being stretched thin. Fortunately, researchers have developed a breed of corn that can double crop yields, and a new vertical farm can produce 16 acres of veggies on eighth-acre of land. Water is another pressing issue, and this week a team of scientists developed a paper-thin water filter that can remove bacteria as well as viruses at an affordable price. In other design and health news, researchers developed a new stem cell therapy that could cure blindness, and a UK man received a futuristic bionic arm with a USB port and built-in flashlight.