Hydrogen-powered boat plots course for the future of ocean travel

Every year, the technologies used to power the Energy Observer in its six-year round-the-world journey are being improved.

The first day that Jérôme Delafosse stepped aboard the Energy Observer, an experimental catamaran run on hydrogen, he knew the plan of sailing around the world on clean energy was a realistic one, he says. Now, the explorer and documentary maker is one year into a six-year odyssey around the globe with his friend Victorien Erussard, an … Read more

We need a drone register to ensure privacy and safety – air traffic expert

There is a fine line between the benefits of using drones and possible misuse.

Requiring drones to identify and authorise themselves before they can fly, which could be achieved by fitting them with SIM cards, could help to protect people’s privacy by providing an effective way to register both users and machines, according to air traffic management expert Robin Garrity. He has been working on the U-space plan, which … Read more

Catching ultrafine emissions could help develop cleaner cars

Scientists are developing a device to trap and analyse ultrafine particles from car exhausts.

Modern engines – in particular those which inject fuel at high pressure – maximise efficiency and cut carbon dioxide emissions, but may also release harder-to-catch pollution associated with cancers and lung, heart and Alzheimer’s diseases. In response, European researchers are analysing exhaust particles down to one billionth of a metre, which may help in the development of … Read more

Crash test dummies based on older bodies could reduce road fatalities

Because safety needs change as drivers' bodies age, researchers have created a new type of crash test dummy based on people over the age of 65.

Europe’s population is ageing rapidly, yet the majority of car safety equipment is tested using dummies modelled on people under the age of 65. Now researchers are developing vehicles and equipment designed specifically for the physical attributes and abilities of older bodies. When looking at the bare statistics, Europe’s roads seem to be getting safer. Over … Read more

Radical closed-wing aircraft design could see greener skies take flight

An artist's view of the PrandtlPlane shows what future commercial aircrafts could look like.

Aviation is one of the most environmentally harmful forms of transportation, accounting for 3% of all EU greenhouse gas emissions. But new aircraft designs inspired by the work of an early 20th-century aviation engineer and natural substances such as honeycomb and grass could help to cut the environmental footprint of flying. With nearly 1 billion passengers … Read more

Shared data and shrinking aircraft seats to cut travel times in Europe

Seperating the traveller and luggage early on can significantly reduce waiting times during travel.

Aircraft seats that temporarily shrink and a joined-up transport system that allows people to easily plan a door-to-door journey could help shift people’s first choice of travel away from cars and towards public transport by reducing the time and effort involved. That’s the hope of scientists who are working to increase the level of multimodality … Read more