Tesla is the hottest electric automaker around, but a mysterious new company calledFaraday Future is nipping at its heels — and poaching its employees. Rumor has it Faraday is working on a next-gen electric car, and it has assembled a crack team of automotive execs and designers from Tesla, GM, Ford, and Fiat. In other transportationnews, Tesla gave the Model S a major upgrade with a new “Ludicrous Mode” that goes from 0-60 in just 2.8 seconds. An all-electric Corvette will soon be hitting the streets — and it could reach a record-breaking top speed of over 200MPH. The Solar Impulse airplane has traveled halfway around the globe on sunlight alone, but it looks like it’ll have to wait until next year to complete its voyage — the plane’s batteries sustained heavy damage while crossing the Pacific Ocean en route to Hawaii. And if you’re still waiting for a working hoverboard, the RevoBot may be the next best thing. The futuristic body gravity board lets you glide along at 7MPH.
Urban environments change slowly over time — but that hasn’t stopped designers from developing innovative new technologies for the cities of tomorrow. The Dutch city of Rotterdam is considering rolling out roads made from recycled ocean plastic that snap together like Lego bricks. Meanwhile, New York City is installing high-tech trashcans that blanket the streets with WiFi. BMT Asia Pacific unveiled plans for a futuristic floating home with a submerged bedroom that lets you sleep under the sea. Could the buildings of the future be made of bubbles? It sounds improbable, but Pneuhaus has developed an inflatable building with a Bubble Wrap-style facade. And perhaps the craziest proposal of the week was this plan to install elevated airplane runways right through the middle of Stockholm. Can you imagine the noise?
In renewable energy news, the price of solar power keeps on dropping — last week it hit a new all-time low of just $0.0387 per kilowatt-hour. We also showcased this cleverSUNplace table, which uses a giant magnifier to beam sunlight onto a cast iron cooking surface — so you can BBQ with solar energy instead of gas or charcoal. Spinali Designrecently developed a “smart bikini” that could prevent a lot of sunburns at the beach this summer. The UV-detecting swimsuit monitors solar radiation and signals your smartphone when it’s time to apply more sunscreen. In other oceanic news, scientists discovered a new type of seaweed that tastes just like fried bacon, and researchers were surprised to discover two species of sharks living inside an active underwater volcano. Could a Sharkcano movie be coming up next?