Oliver Lucas from England developed an electric car horn in 1910. Today it is rapidly used in traffic to communicate with other drivers, warn if danger and just to say “hello” or “hurry up”. But the loudness of the car horn can also make you mad, is it so hard to make a friendly sounding car horn? Well, it’s a bit harder than that, because like many other areas in life, people can’t really agree upon what a perfect horn sounds like. If you have a big car, the image of the car can suffer if the horn sounds too friendly, the horn can also be too soft and then the customers will react and say that it sounds “wimpy”, just what happened to Hyundai’s 2011 Sonata. What happened was that Hyundai had to change the horn into something more “masculine sounding”. But the horn can also be too loud, it must do its job without being distracting to others. Some new and modern cars today have a “two-horn-system”, one is louder and for warning, and one is friendlier like a gentle warning or just to communicate with others.
On BBC´s program “60 second idea” IBM´s Jeff Jonas was given one minute to come up with an idea that he believed would change the world. Jonas came up with the idea of “Ration use of car horns”. He meant that car horns create too much noise pollution, people use the horn just to tell others that they are frustrated. Therefore he meant that every driver would only get a few honks a month for free, when the car has registered that you have used the horn more than that you have to pay for it. This way it will be less noise pollution and less irritated people on the roads.
The horns can also be used in a different way, artist Zefrey Throwell has recorded horns of cars all over Los Angeles and made it into a sonic movement for the third piece of his “Entropy Symphony”. Throwell himself has his own preferences to what a great horn sounds like: “The Honda Civic horn is really something quite shill and beautiful” he says.
A speedometer is one of those items you look at thousands of times, without ever really noticing. What matters is the speed, not the meter or its design. Christain Annyas shows the evolution of Chevrolet’s speedometer design from 1941 to 2011 and offers a great analysis of the typefaces and usability concerns.
Traffic can be a nightmare – especially in big cities. A visual arts student filmed a 3-way intersection in NYC to show why 74 per cent of accidents happen in intersections: pedestrians jaywalking, cyclists running red lights, and motorists plowing through crosswalks.
But there are other places in this world where traffic is even less organized and looks more dangerous but still works – for example in India. Every one who owns a vehicle, whether a two wheeler, 3 wheeler or four wheeler has just learnt to manover the vehicle on the road, not in respect to the rules but in respect to the movement of other vehicles around.
Some European countries have adopted this form of traffic regulation, to minimise fatal accidents within city limits. It’s called “Shared Space”.
Ukraine has the highest percentage of pedestrian collisions in Eastern Europe. How to slow down reckless drivers? Shell tries to shock them with “pedestrian ghosts”.
A radar reacts to a speeding car. Then the device inflates the “pedestrian ghost” balloon. At night the device was placed at a pedestrian crossing in an Ukranian city. During one night 7 cars slowed down.
“My Dad’s Car” is the story about two brothers who found the 1965 Chevy Impala SS their father Herb Younger owned 30 years ago. Herb Younger was forced to sell his beloved ’65 Impala to pay for his sons’ education. After 5 years searching for that car, they found a way to pay him back.
When Google Earth came up many people spent hours exploring the world from their desktops. Some of them still use it for virtual short trips. Is traveling virtually a real alternative to avoid traffic jams and delays? Probably. Just have a look at “Address is Approximate” – a nice stop motion short about the story of a desk toy escaping the office by exploring the world in Google Street View.
The concept of Pendulous is to provide a high degree of comfort to the people using public transportation in their day daily routine. The target group are people aged between 18 and 35 years. That future solution also helps to conserve the environment.The theoretical background of Pendulous is based on understanding the society. It addresses and therefore it meets their requirements and hidden needs. Pendulous was created to facilitate comfort and everyday tasks in life day.
What do you think about that future means of transportation? Will Pendulous become the next generation of public transport?
Guadalajara hosted the X International Congress Towards Carfree Cities at the start of September. The Congress’s overall theme was “Cities for the people by the people”. It’s no surprise because it was organized by the local groups Ciudad Para Todos and GDL en Bici, which have been very active opponents to urban highways and have painted citizen bike lanes among other activities.
But: Is it possible to live in a city without cars? Here is an example from Germany: Vauban (and an article about it in NY Times)
The Hungarian enterprise Antro is planning a future car which consists of parts and are sticked together to enlarge the car. You know the main principle from playing LEGO in the childhood. This method allows to transform a car with three seats into one with six. Is the family growing, you can let grow your car, too!
Which means of transport do you use usually?
You have to have an SUV in Iceland.
Why do you use it?
Because of long distances. If you want to visit the inner parts of country it’s necessary for passing the fords and driving on the gravel roads. Even in the summer the rivers you have to pass might be deep and dangerous. But it’s so much fun too.
Which is your favorite means of transport?
There is a charging station for electric vehicles in Reykjavik – as you can see on the picture. I’d prefer to drive an electric car if I could afford it.
It is much more fun to drive in “silent mode” – and of course for environmental protection reasons.
Which means of transport do you use usually? All sorts of public transport.
Why do you use it? I hate looking for parking lots – although I really like driving cars.
Which is your favorite means of transport?
Cars – I really love them, although I’m not addicted to a brand.
Because I’m independent. I can go wherever I want. I don’t have to think about bus scedules or connections… that’s great.
Therefore I decided to write a love letter to my first car – I will never forget my Golf Rabbit.
Which means of transport do you use usually? I usually drive by bike.
Why do you use it? Using the bike means complete flexibility – I can easily pass by all the cars waiting at the red light…I would not like to lose this quick fix. Besides, getting caught by the police for driving fast is so much more difficult ;)
Which is your favorite means of transport? I really like driving the car – going fast down the highway (let me add: GERMAN highways)…;)
Why? Driving by car serves a high degree of comfort and more independence than taking the bus or the train. It is relaxing to drive from A to B in my own “room” with my own chosen music and my own pace. But I do not like going by car in the city because the worsening traffic conditions make my own trip longer and more stressful.
Which means of transport do you use usually? I prefer to take the car.
Why do you use it? For me, a car is the most comfortable way to get around (and I often have to take my heavy laptop and book case…). I don’t like the public transport, because of the waiting times and the recurring technical breakdowns.
Which is your favorite means of transport? I love my car. For the moment I am driving a diesel vehicle, but since I am aware of the CO2 problems, I am saving some money for a hybrid or electro car. Well yes…I am familiar with the fact that it does not solve all the environmental problems, but I guess this will be a starting point into a new century.
Why? As I already explained it is the most comfortable way to get around. Plus I feel more flexible with a car – it gives me the feeling of autonomy.
Which means of transport do you use usually? I usually take the tram or buses.
Why do you use it? At the moment I am using replacement buses because there are lots of road works during summer time.
Which is your favorite means of transport? I really like taking the train for longer distance journeys.
Why? Because it’s much more comfortable than going by car – as long as the trains are on time. I usually read a lot or listen to my podcasts while traveling – things I wouldn’t be able to do while driving.