It’s not only cars that are getting a sustainable makeover — manufacturers are also developing new tires. From self-healing rubber to airless frames, consumers are in for a smooth ride. What we can expect next is a smart adaptable tire that can easily adjust to road conditions.
Specifically, this is all about two technologies called ContiSense and ContiAdapt. In simple terms you are looking at a tire that (1) could monitor and report on its health and (2) adjust its characteristics to road conditions.
Monitors measure tread depth and temperature, and its electrically-conductive rubber adjusts accordingly. It’s also completely wireless (can we get some wifi on there?).
“Depending on the tire pressure and rim width, different tread zones are activated and the concept tire adopts the required ‘footprint’ in each case.”
Like the Michelin projects, it’s going to be some time before the tires roll in. But with all this new technology, I can’t imagine slowing down would be too much of a bad idea.
As a trend, home gardening is explosive. TerraFarms are a space-efficient choice that use no pesticides and 97% less water. The Ogarden system is completely hassle-free and can grow up to 100 herbs and vegetables a month. However, home gardening isn’t practical everywhere — especially in colder countries. Engineers at the German Aerospace Center are now helping snowed-in communities garden, with an Antarctic farm that can grow veggies below zero.
Called the Eden-ISS, the farm exists inside a climate-controlled shipping container. The greenhouse relies on a technique called vertical farming, in which food grows on trays or hanging modules under LEDs instead of natural sunlight.
The farm is only 135 square feet and can grow vegetables in huge amounts. Amazing, considering the only means of transportation for produce deliveries is by ship or plane. Researchers plan to grow some 30 to 50 different plant species. In short, the new technology is beating the odds.
Over the past 100 years, Arctic temperatures have increased at nearly twice the global average, making it possible to grow crops in once-desolate places like Yellowknife in Canada and Greenland.
On a more impressive note, temperatures in the area can plunge as low as -100 degrees Fahrenheit. I didn’t even know it was humanly possible to exist under such conditions. Lesson learned: never underestimate the power of innovation.
Climate change is a force to be reckoned with. With the help of technology such as the carbon calculator, we can much more easily reduce our damaging footprints. However, for some communities, the change is too gradual, and acting quickly is a much preferred option. This is why Los Angeles is painting its streets white — to combat urban warming.
15 streets were covered with this asphalt-based paint-like substance to cool down the streets by about 11-13 degrees Fahrenheit and therefore cools down the buildings around them.
In sunny California, road surface temperatures can boast a whopping 130 – 140 degrees. Being able to fry an egg on the road is no longer just a myth. In fact, it’s the perfect temperature — but not for bare feet.
It might not seem like a lot, but… if 35% of LA’s streets were covered with a reflective surface like this, it would translate into a 1-degree drop in temperature throughout the city.
1 degree may seem insignificant, but it’s enough to save $100 million in energy spending. It’s a small but practical fix. Not to mention the roads are looking and feeling a lot cooler.