Using an iPad that stood in for a car's infotainment screen, DocuSign head of product Ron Hirson showed how a combination of digital taps and finger signatures is all it takes to select a lease payment plan (based on annual mileage), choose an insurance carrier (three companies' options were offered) and authorize the car to pay tolls and other in-car expenses.
Engineers with Visa Innovation Labs and DocuSign Labs came up with a system that effectively turns the automobile into an extension of its owner's wallet. By combining DocuSign’s Digital Transaction Management platform and eSignature solution with Visa’s secure payment tech, the car’s identity is then registered on the Bitcoin Blockchain, the secure ledger database used by the alternative currency platform to record transactions over broadly-distributed computer networks.
The Postal Service expects to deliver a total of approximately 15.5 billion cards, letters, flats, and packages during the 2015 holiday season. In addition, they are projecting approximately 600 million packages will be delivered between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Eve, which is an increase of 10.5 percent over last year’s volume.
The service is making the holidays efficient and fun. You can sign up for notifications within a few minutes of the delivery scan of packages. You can order a batch of Priority mail boxes delivered for free. You can take the kids to a kiosk at a local post office and buy holiday stamps. Actually even more fun for the kids - download the augmented reality app, point it at the eagle logo on any of the blue mailboxes and enjoy the animations (which change twice a week).
Founded in 2013, the URB-E is the world's most compact electric vehicle. It is a Pasadena-based startup that focuses on providing innovative, clean energy transportation for urban commuters. The URB-E electric bike has a 20-mile range on a single charge, a top speed of 15 mph, and is easily collapsible and portable.
The dealership in Quincy, Mass., employs high school students as young as 14 to teach customers how to use the increasingly complex technology in their vehicles. Members of the Technology Team work with customers at delivery or during service visits -- giving tutorials, answering questions and pairing phones with Bluetooth.
Quirk Ford started the Technology Team four years ago. The program has been so successful that Quirk Auto Dealers, owned by Mike Quirk's brother Dan, has expanded it to most of its 14 other locations in Massachusetts and New Hampshire.
About 70 students have been hired since it began, with most staying a year or two before going on to college. Demand for the jobs has far exceeded the number of available positions, Mike Quirk said.
“The list also has lesser-known manufacturers that are gearing up to offer the USPS some innovative ways to moving its mail carriers and the packages they deliver. Ohio-based AMP Holding Inc. builds delivery vehicles that come with optional drones capable of ferrying packages short distances. Several electric vehicle makers also are on the list, including Northern California’s Zap Jonway Inc. and Missouri-based Emerald Automotive LLC.”
Below is an example of a delivery truck with integrated drone that is being evaluated.
“Invented by Charles Goodyear, chemical cross-linking of rubbers by sulfur vulcanization is the only method by which modern automobile tires are manufactured,” write Amit Das and his colleagues in the journal ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces. “The formation of these cross-linked network structures leads to highly elastic properties, which substantially reduces the viscous properties of these materials.”
Instead, they added a compound with carbon and nitrogen into rubber normally used for tires. Inside the new rubber, reversible ionic bonding lets the cut or torn material reconnect crosslinks when two pieces are brought back together. Over time, the number of reformed crosslinks grows and the rubber’s durability increases at room temperature. After eight days, the healed rubber could endure a force of 754 pounds per square inch, around 20 times the pressure a normal tire holds.
Mr. Schwartz’s summary of road-building techniques and dissection of city grids explain historical developments that we live with today. Spiderweb grids with radiating spokes, for instance, replace inefficient right angles with nifty diagonals, but their routes become more indirect the further travelers are from the center, adding to traveling time. His account of President Eisenhower’s creation of the interstate highway system is riveting, as is his informed discussion of the rise and fall of streetcars.
“Nebia atomizes water into millions of tiny droplets with 10 times more surface area than your regular shower. With Nebia, more water comes into contact with your body, leaving your skin clean and hydrated all while using less water than a typical household showerhead. In fact, Nebia uses 70% less water than a typical household showerhead. For the average U.S. home, Nebia pays for itself in less than two years.”
This was the year when the movie “Back to the Future Part II” imagined widespread use of hoverboards.
New York, at least, is getting a bit closer as an increasing number of riders hop on new, albeit wheeled, personal transportation gadgets.
They stand on self-balancing scooters, which are often called hoverboards and resemble small Segways without handlebars. The gizmos come with their own safety risks and at least one other drawback:
“You’re going to get fat!” one passerby told Jeremy Epstein, 27 years old, while he rode his in Manhattan.
If two wheels are one too many, riders such as Keith Fridia, who turns 45 on Tuesday, opt for electric unicycles to buzz around. “One wheel—like the Jetsons,” said Mr. Fridia, a barber who lives in Brooklyn. “I do feel like I’m in the future.”