Transportation

The Role of Hyperloop in Transportation Innovation

2019-11-13T11:39:15-08:00 July 1st, 2019|Aerospace Engineering, Civil Engineering, Ergonomics, Issue III, Lifestyle, Physics, Transportation, Volume XIX|

Written by: Patrick Hennessey With every improvement to transportation, the world feels a little smaller, and people become more connected.  Some of the world’s greatest inventions have been in the field of transportation, but we haven’t had a major innovation in over a century- a new system is long overdue. This article will explore the [...]

The Algorithm behind Plane Ticket Prices and How to Get the Best Deal

2019-11-13T11:38:21-08:00 July 1st, 2019|Industrial Engineering, Issue III, Transportation, Volume XIX|

Written by: Kiera Shepard Kiera is a senior studying biomedical engineering with an emphasis in mechanical engineering, pursuing a Masters in applied biostatistics and epidemiology. As a frequent flyer between LA and her hometown of San Francisco, she is intrigued by the algorithms behind airline fares. Abstract Have you ever wondered why plane ticket prices [...]

To Float or Not to Float?

2018-11-05T12:10:38-08:00 October 26th, 2018|Building & Architecture, Civil Engineering, Environmental Engineering, Issue II, Mechanical Engineering, Transportation, Volume XVIII, Water|

Abstract Norway is a Northern European country made up of thousands of fjords— expanses of water often surrounded by steep cliffs. For more than a century, the country has been using a combination of road, rail, and ferry crossings to span the trail from southern to northern Norway, a trip that takes over 20 hours [...]

Car Turns Signals: Why They Blink, Make Sounds, and Look a Certain Way.

2017-11-29T17:25:24-08:00 December 10th, 2014|Civil Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Issue II, Transportation, Volume XVI|

Although car turn signals seem like a trivial part of the car, they are a very important communication tool that drivers depend on. Each design decision of the turn signals from the frequency of the blinking, the sound of the ticking, the color of the lights, and their location on the car are carefully engineered [...]

To Boldly Go Where No Man Has Gone Before: Faster-than-Light Travel in the 21st Century

2018-01-19T06:31:35-08:00 June 24th, 2014|Aerospace Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Issue I, Physics, Space, Transportation, Volume XVI|

Albert Einstein’s famous theory of relativity specified that the Universe had a speed limit for all masses. As a result, faster-than-light travel has always been seen as nothing more than science fiction. However, faster-than-light travel may not be so farfetched anymore. Engineers today are working to create the first usable ‘warp drive’, which would allow [...]

Wearable Contact-Lens Display: The Next Generation of Wearable Technology

2017-10-26T18:55:24-07:00 July 29th, 2013|Communication, Computer Science, Electrical Engineering, Entertainment, Food & Drink, Health & Medicine, Industrial Engineering, Issue I, Lifestyle, Sports & Recreation, Transportation, Volume XVII|

Engineers are on the brink of major breakthroughs in creating contact lenses that offer wearers all of the functionality of a computer or smartphone. Earlier iterations of this technology have been confined to clunky glasses and goggles. However, new composite materials that combine graphene and silver nanowires are making it possible to create a display [...]

Crack is Whack: Self-Healing Concrete

2017-11-03T17:38:09-07:00 May 1st, 2013|Building & Architecture, Civil Engineering, Issue III, Transportation, Volume XV|

Concrete cracks for many reasons: thermal expansion or contraction, applied loads, and even earthquakes can fracture the concrete in roads, structures, and more. In particular, cracks in load-bearing elements, like concrete columns and beams, have the potential to create serious instability problems. To avoid expensive repairs—or even reconstruction—of compromised structures, engineers have worked to design [...]

Automotive Active Safety Systems

2017-11-03T17:33:24-07:00 May 1st, 2013|Computer Science, Electrical Engineering, Ergonomics, Issue III, Mechanical Engineering, Transportation, Volume XV|

Automotive active safety systems have saved many thousands of lives since their introduction. From simple headlights to automated emergency braking, active safety systems use advances in engineering to make driving safer. By making a vehicle more visible to other drivers, better informing a driver of road hazards, and even taking total control of an automobile [...]

Mommy, I Want a Jetpack

2017-11-10T18:40:01-08:00 August 7th, 2012|Aerospace Engineering, Lifestyle, Mechanical Engineering, Physics, Transportation|

Since the 1920s, science fiction has glamorized the jetpack as futuristic technology. After almost one hundred years and only moderate levels of success, people today are left wondering if the jetpack will ever become a reality. By exploring its origins and analyzing recurring design flaws, one can understand the jetpack’s slow development. The success of [...]

Can Electric Vehicles Charge Wirelessly?

2017-11-03T14:23:49-07:00 July 28th, 2012|Civil Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Energy & Sustainability, Issue I, Physics, Power, Transportation, Volume XV|

Conventionally, electric vehicles are charged by plugging in the battery compartment to an outlet using a heavy duty wire. Recent work and study into inductive power transfer methods have shown that it is possible to power electric cars wirelessly. The work highlights the success achieved in charging car batteries by retrofitting them with inductive power [...]

Uncovering the Secrets of the Mariana Trench

2017-11-10T14:55:38-08:00 May 2nd, 2012|Issue II, Mechanical Engineering, Physics, Space, Transportation, Volume XIV, Water|

In March 2012, James Cameron became the third person in history to dive to the bottom of the Mariana Trench, the lowest point on earth. The conditions in the bottom of the ocean are very harsh due to intense hydrostatic pressures and a lack of light. Nevertheless, deep sea diving allows us to study the [...]

Rail Guns: From Sci-Fi to Reality

2017-11-10T18:42:13-08:00 April 23rd, 2012|Aerospace Engineering, Chemical Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Energy & Sustainability, Issue III, Physics, Security & Defense, Transportation, Volume XIV|

A rail gun uses magnetic and electric forces to accelerate a projectile. Parallel rails extend along the length of the firing chamber of the rail gun powered by capacitors. With the power generated by the magnetic fields contained in rail guns, objects can be launched at incredible speeds. The result is a destructive force. The [...]

Maglevs: The Future of Flying Trains

2017-11-10T14:33:57-08:00 December 6th, 2011|Electrical Engineering, Energy & Sustainability, Issue II, Transportation, Volume XIV|

Maglev trains have the potential to revolutionize how we travel. The trains levitate using magnets, zipping through the air at speeds above 350 mph. These high speeds would allow for maglev trains to be a realistic alternative to flying, and they use very little energy and emit no pollutants during transportation. They require little maintenance, [...]

Flying Cars and the Future of Civil Transportation

2017-11-11T17:15:49-08:00 July 13th, 2011|Aerospace Engineering, Issue I, Mechanical Engineering, Transportation, Volume XIII|

Though many have tried and failed, those attempting to combine ground and sky with street-legal aircraft are presented with a new window of opportunity through which they can feasibly offer their innovations to the masses. Joint exploratory research conducted by NASA and the FAA has created the groundwork for an overhaul of our nation’s airspace [...]

Thought-Controlled Wheelchair

2017-11-11T17:32:13-08:00 June 4th, 2011|Biomedical Engineering, Computer Science, Issue II, Transportation, Volume XIII|

Brain-computer interfaces have offered the opportunity for highly disabled patients with motor disabilities to live more normal lives. The recent innovations in thought-controlled wheelchairs using EEG technology will allow patients to not only communicate with their surroundings but to also navigate around them. The development of this technology could potentially make a huge impact on [...]

Drag Reduction: The Pursuit of Better Fuel Economy

2017-11-03T17:50:23-07:00 April 4th, 2011|Aerospace Engineering, Energy & Sustainability, Issue I, Mechanical Engineering, Power, Transportation, Volume XIV|

Aerodynamics was first used to increase vehicle performance in race cars during the 1970s. Race car engineers realized that air flowing around the vehicle could be used to increase downforce and reduce aerodynamic drag on the car. As fuel economy became a strong factor in road vehicle design, engineers soon realized that the methods of [...]

Diesel Engines: Is Old Technology Actually Green Technology?

2017-11-12T23:05:14-08:00 November 10th, 2010|Chemical Engineering, Energy & Sustainability, Issue III, Transportation, Volume XI|

Unbeknownst to many, the familiar diesel engine has potential for the implementation of clean diesel technology for use in the same way that hybrids are used today. From development and historical use of the diesel engine to the engineering principles by which the engine functions, diesel technology has evolved to meet the needs of a [...]

A Railway Under the Ocean: The Channel Tunnel Linking Britain and France

2017-11-12T23:00:23-08:00 July 1st, 2010|Building & Architecture, Civil Engineering, Issue III, Transportation, Volume XI|

The Channel Tunnel took almost two centuries to come to fruition, but on May 6, 1994, the six-year construction project became the first solid landline between Britain and continental Europe. Since then the tunnel has become a relative quick, yet somewhat expensive, form of transportation for both civilian and corporate purposes. Though it has proved [...]

An Engineer’s Perspective: London’s Preparation for the 2012 Olympic Games

2017-11-11T17:00:55-08:00 May 2nd, 2010|Building & Architecture, Civil Engineering, Issue III, Security & Defense, Transportation|

The Olympic Games are the world’s largest international athletic competition. Every two years, viewers from around the globe tune in to the Olympics to cheer on their nations’ most celebrated athletes. The heroic athletic performances of the Olympics will always be remembered, but what is often forgotten is the incredible preparation effort completed by each [...]

Traffic-Actuated Signals

2017-11-11T17:06:10-08:00 April 30th, 2010|Electrical Engineering, Issue III, Transportation|

Urban sprawl and a lack of public transportation infrastructure have led to ever increasing traffic congestion, as people commute to most of their daily activities. Traffic-actuated signals have been created to alleviate this problem by efficiently managing traffic flow. The system is capable of detecting live traffic data and assigning the appropriate light cycle (for [...]

The Fun of Funiculars

2017-11-12T21:34:48-08:00 July 7th, 2009|Issue IV, Lifestyle, Transportation, Volume X|

Humans have been using funiculars for close to 500 years to transport people and cargo up steep inclines, and in that time, the technology has not changed significantly. Initially developed to move through steep terrain, funiculars remain relevant because of their efficiency and simplicity of design. By using a counterweight pulley system, the funicular uses [...]

Automotive Telematics: A Technological Lifesaver

2017-11-03T10:33:12-07:00 October 9th, 2007|Communication, Issue I, Transportation, Volume IX|

Telematics, in its general sense, refers to the science of sending, receiving, and storing information via telecommunication devices. It is most notably known for its use in automotive vehicles through the application of global positioning systems. The variety of ways in which this technology may be used has only begun to make its presence known: [...]

Turbochargers

2017-11-11T04:06:03-08:00 October 3rd, 2005|Energy & Sustainability, Issue III, Mechanical Engineering, Transportation, Volume IX|

Turbocharging, a technology originally developed for use in aircraft, is a current trend among automobile enthusiasts. Applying a turbocharger to an internal combustion engine increases the power output of that engine, allowing for greater acceleration and higher maximum speeds. Turbochargers increase an automobile's power-to-weight ratio by harnessing the exhaust from the engine. They can also [...]

The Danger of Airport Runway Crashes

2017-11-11T04:03:38-08:00 October 3rd, 2005|Aerospace Engineering, Industrial Engineering, Issue III, Transportation, Volume IX|

Runway incursions present a serious danger to airplane passengers today. Any time two planes, or a plane and vehicle, either come close to a collision or actually do collide on the runway surface can be described as an incursion. There are numerous factors that lead to runway incursions, and all of these must be taken [...]

The Metro: The Engineering Behind Madrid’s Most Valuable Asset

2017-11-11T02:55:02-08:00 July 20th, 2005|Civil Engineering, Issue II, Lifestyle, Mechanical Engineering, Transportation, Volume VIII|

Almost every major metropolis around the globe has a mass transit system. When executed properly, these can be the most economically and physically efficient means of moving large populations through a city. Unfortunately, only a few of these systems in the United States have been designed or operated well enough to merit recognition; namely, Boston [...]

Futuristic Rail Systems vs. the Humble Bus: An Infrastructural and Environmental Dilemma

2019-01-10T11:13:12-08:00 May 1st, 2003|Civil Engineering, Issue II, Transportation, Volume V|

Photochemical smog, created by any gasoline-powered vehicle on the road, is a major concern in Los Angeles today. Buses, despite being implemented to reduce this pollution by lessening the number of cars on the streets and freeways, are smoke-spewing machines that pose a risk to environmental and public health. They are also inefficient; most Los [...]

Improving the Bicycle

2017-11-03T17:22:30-07:00 December 28th, 2002|Issue I, Lifestyle, Transportation, Volume V|

Bicycles have been around for many years and are constantly being researched and improved. Many disciplines of science and engineering are necessary in making the bicycle what it is today and will be in the future. Since the appearance of the first bicycle in the late 1700s, this machine has evolved from a simple wooden [...]

Intelligent Transportation Systems

2017-11-12T22:39:07-08:00 October 21st, 2001|Civil Engineering, Issue IV, Lifestyle, Transportation, Volume I|

Personal transportation is truly a marvel of the twentieth century. Advances in many fields of technology have made automobiles and channels of transportation available to almost anyone. However, the freeways in major cities, on which so many people depend on to get them to work or school every day, were not designed for the amount [...]

Shaky Ground: The Design of Suspension Bridges

2017-10-26T18:54:42-07:00 October 1st, 2001|Building & Architecture, Civil Engineering, Issue IV, Transportation, Volume II|

The introduction of fuel injection to the automobile has been a major factor in increasing the power available to engines in recent years. However, its introduction was initially slow due to the inherent complexities of the system. Computer integration revolutionized the design of this automotive subsystem and has become the onboard controller of the fuel [...]

Fuel Injection

2017-10-26T18:51:40-07:00 March 1st, 2001|Chemical Engineering, Issue IV, Transportation|

The introduction of fuel injection to the automobile has been a major factor in increasing the power available to engines in recent years. However, its introduction was initially slow due to the inherent complexities of the system. Computer integration revolutionized the design of this automotive subsystem and has become the onboard controller of the fuel [...]

Hybrid Electric Vehicles: A History of Technological Innovation

2017-10-26T18:27:42-07:00 October 1st, 2000|Energy & Sustainability, Environmental Engineering, Issue II, Lifestyle, Transportation, Volume II|

The release of the first hybrid electric vehicles in the United States marks the start of a revolution. Hybrid vehicles are electric cars that utilize small internal-combustion engines and an electric generator. The advantages of this concept are clear: increased fuel efficiency and reduced levels of pollution without the complications and maintenance requirements of a [...]