The Toyota Prius Definitely Needs The Optical Camouflage System Developed At Keio University.

Rear view of a Toyota Prius.Prius owners know what I’m talking about. When backing up in the Toyota Prius, turning around and looking above the rear seat through the angled rear windows gives you a viewing area that can only be compared to a supermax prison window; it’s like looking through a crack. The rear camera on the Prius is great and my kids love making faces in it but getting a good look at what you’re reversing into you is not its forté.

The optical camouflage system developed at Keio University is the solution and makes the backseat appear transparent while giving the driver a full-view of what’s behind their vehicle. I don’t care if it works out that the kids get a low-power video player – the optical camouflage system is a must have for the Prius. [DigInfo via Core77]


Bridgestone Angelino Petite Assita E-Bike Lets One Rugrat Ride In The Front And One Ride In The Rear.

Bridgestone Angelino Petite Assista E-bikeBridgestone’s latest Angelino Petite Assista ($1800) electric-assist bicycle has room for three passengers. Currently only available in Japan, the Angelino Petite Assista has a range of 20+ miles per charge and builds on Bridgestone’s e-bike line by adding a safety seat for a rear passenger.

The Angelino Petite Assista e-bike looks amazing but I’m not sure I would bite on it. Don’t get me wrong, I like the idea of having a helmeted little guy on the front of the bike to shield me from the wind and bugs. But kids can be squirrely and having them riding on the handlebars just doesn’t reek of safety to me.

Burley Encore 2012 Bike TrailerMaybe a better way to go is to get the e-bike you want and look into a Burley bike trailer. A Burley Encore® trailer will safely carry 2 kids and you’ll still have room for groceries. Plus, you can disconnect the Burley bike trailer any time you want to ride your e-bike solo. The e-bike / Burley combo is available now and with some shopping around, you may be able to buy them together at a price comparable to the Bridgestone Angelino Petite Assista. [Treehugger]


Ok, Maybe We Shouldn’t Blindly Accept All High Walk Scores As Good…

Live Here Walk To Walmart & is a useful tool and eco favorite that helps people figure out how walkable their next home, apartment or condo is before they sign the papers. Not sure the walk score for this location is one that wants to highlight. [tcd]


Solar-Powered Recumbent Trike-Bike?

Awesome! Spinner Guy – with this video, a trade show booth and some slick marketing brochures, my gut tells me you could get millions (CDN) from investors looking for the next big green product. [Boing Boing]


Wired’s Review Of The ZERO DS Electric Motorcycle: Looking Beyond The ‘Green’ And At The Functionality

ZERO DS Electric MotorcycleWes Siler’s review of the ZERO DS Electric Motorcycle was refreshing to read. So often, ‘green’ websites are sold on any electric vehicle (EV) on sight and then blown away by the manufacturer’s reported specs. But Mr. Siler went further and rode the ZERO DS for three weeks hoping that it could be his zero-emission commuting solution and it wasn’t. Here are his inconvenient truths about the ZERO DS Electric Motorcycle:

  • Truth #1: [Despite its spec’d 115 mile range]Sixty miles is about as much as you’ll want to rely on.
  • Truth #2: Even with a quick charger, full recharges take five hours.
  • Truth #3: Easily accessible outdoor outlets are much harder to find than you think.
  • Truth #4: Plugging in for 45 minutes here or an hour there at some random outlet (the quick charger is too big to conveniently take with you) does absolutely nothing.
  • Truth #4: Distances aren’t one way when you can only really charge at home. A 10-mile journey has to be thought of as 20 miles, or one-third the 9kWh Zero’s effective range. That’s right, something that’s 10 miles away is one-third of your maximum reliable travel distance. You can travel there three times a day max and, once you’re there, your next move has to be limited accordingly.

Check out the full article and review for more information.

Of course I’m no different – I want to see an electric vehicle succeed. But in the future, thanks to Mr. Siler’s review of the ZERO DS, I’ll be a little more reluctant to buy into the hype. [Wired: Autopia]


Reality Sucks Advertisement From General Motors

General Motor’s Reality Sucks ad showing the cyclist shielding his face in embarrassment for cycling instead of driving is pretty funny. What isn’t captured or explained in the ad is that the cyclist is wearing crotchless biking pants and the woman in the car is his mother. So don’t get upset cyclists, here’s your motivation to bike more and you can thank General Motors for that. Stop Pedaling and Start Driving Advertisement From General Motors
Stop Pedaling And Start Driving