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MM: Self-Driving Commuting Concept; More Resilient Concrete From Old Tires

In this Manufacturing Minute episode, a self-driving commuting concept and making more resilient concrete from used tires.

A Self-Driving Commuter Haven 

With self-driving vehicles headed our way, some companies have started to ponder what cars will be if humans don’t need to drive them? Well National Electric Vehicle Sweden, which purchased Saab’s assets back in 2012, is unveiling its autonomous commuting concept, the InMotion. 

With commuters no longer needed to physically drive, our daily drive time will be more about relaxing with a good book or staring listlessly out the window. The InMotion concept was designed as a car-sharing vehicle that picks you up curbside and has a flexible interior layout that adapts to riders by switching between private, meeting and social settings. 

Private mode pivots you quietly away to get lost in your thoughts or take a power nap, while social mode facilitates conversations between riders and meeting mode points everyone to a transparent display for presentations and video calls. Through an app, riders can adjust everything from lighting, seating and climate zones which InMotion wirelessly charges devices. 


Can you see concepts like InMotion taking hold in our future? If not, what do you see as the future of human transportation? Tell us what you think by leaving your comments below. 

Old Tires, New Concrete

An estimated 300 million tires are disposed of each year. That’s a lot, so it’s no wonder researchers are constantly looking for new ways to put the scrap tires to use.

Researchers at the University of British Columbia have discovered a way to create a more resilient concrete that utilizes recycled tires.

To make the stronger material, polymer fibers obtained from the old tires are added to an existing concrete mix. The fibers are able to bridge small cracks as they form preventing them from getting bigger and extending the lifespan of the concrete.

Tests showed the new mixture was over 90 percent more resistant to cracks than conventional concrete. Researchers say the new concrete could be used in structures such as buildings, roads and bridges. 

The new concrete was used to resurface steps at a building on the UBC campus. Embedded sensors will let researchers track its performance and see how it holds up to real-world strain.


Do you think this new material will improve concrete infrastructure while decreasing landfill waste as researchers claim? Let us know what you think in the comments below.

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