Skip to Content

Research to Watch

October 20, 2009

Project: Next-generation internal-combustion engine
Principal institutions: General Motors/University of Michigan Collaborative Research Laboratories
gmcrl-esr.engin.umich.edu

New technology combining elements of spark ignition and diesel engines promises to be 15 percent more fuel-efficient than conventional gas engines.

Project: Active traffic Management
Principal institutions: U.S. Department of Transportation
www.intellidriveusa.org/research/michigan-testbed.php

Wireless communication between vehicles and roadway infrastructure could reduce congestion by providing real-time information to drivers and traffic managers.

Project: Carbon-nanotube ultracapacitors
Principal institutions: MIT
lees.mit.edu/lees/ultracapacitors.htm

Advanced ultracapacitors for hybrid and electric cars would charge and discharge much faster than batteries.

Project: National Bus Rapid Transit Institute
Principal institutions: University of South Florida
www.nbrti.org

Is working to combine buses with intelligent transportation technologies to create systems that can substitute for light rail or subways in cities.

Project: Aviation biofuels
Principal institutions: Boeing
www.newairplane.com/environment/sustainablebiofuels

Different biofuels are being tested for use in commercial jets.

Project: The Civitas Initiative
Principal institutions: European Commission
www.civitas.eu

Is developing integrated technological and policy-based approaches to energy-efficient transportation in cities.

Project: Lithium-air batteries
Principal institutions: IBM
www.almaden.ibm.com

Technology that could store 10 times as much energy as conventional lithium batteries.

Project: Next-generation train
Principal institutions: German Aerospace Center
www.dlr.de

This new system would use half as much energy as other high-speed trains and be 25 percent faster.

Project: Energy Biosciences Institute
Principal institutions: University of California, Berkeley; Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory; University of Illinois; BP
www.energybiosciencesinstitute.org

Plans to develop biofuels using synthetic biology.

Project: X-37B
Principal institutions: U.S. Air Force, Boeing

The first demonstration of an unmanned military space plane will take place in January 2010. In theory, a space plane could take passengers from London to Sydney in four to five hours.

Keep Reading

Most Popular

A Roomba recorded a woman on the toilet. How did screenshots end up on Facebook?

Robot vacuum companies say your images are safe, but a sprawling global supply chain for data from our devices creates risk.

A startup says it’s begun releasing particles into the atmosphere, in an effort to tweak the climate

Make Sunsets is already attempting to earn revenue for geoengineering, a move likely to provoke widespread criticism.

10 Breakthrough Technologies 2023

Every year, we pick the 10 technologies that matter the most right now. We look for advances that will have a big impact on our lives and break down why they matter.

These exclusive satellite images show that Saudi Arabia’s sci-fi megacity is well underway

Weirdly, any recent work on The Line doesn’t show up on Google Maps. But we got the images anyway.

Stay connected

Illustration by Rose Wong

Get the latest updates from
MIT Technology Review

Discover special offers, top stories, upcoming events, and more.

Thank you for submitting your email!

Explore more newsletters

It looks like something went wrong.

We’re having trouble saving your preferences. Try refreshing this page and updating them one more time. If you continue to get this message, reach out to us at customer-service@technologyreview.com with a list of newsletters you’d like to receive.