Each week our friends at Inhabitat recap the week's most interesting green developments and clean tech news for us -- it's the Week in Green.
Does the idea of driverless cars make you queasy? Better get used to it: Researchers are predicting that more than 95 million autonomous cars could hit the road by 2035. But, speaking of cars we actually want to drive, Tesla Motors continued its banner year, as the Model S earned the highest safety score of any car ever tested. In other green transportation news, KAIST unveiled a new folding, electric micro car that can fit into just about any parking space. Copenhagen announced plans to launch the world's most high-tech bike-sharing program, which will include bikes with GPS-enabled Android tablets. A grad student at the Royal College of Art recently produced plans for a 3D-printed car concept that actually assembles itself. But the form of urban transportation that looks like the most fun to ride is the Scrooser, a foot-powered scooter with an electric motor that zips around town at speeds of up to 15 MPH. And Vanmoof is set to release a new electric bike in 2014 that is already being billed as the world's most intelligent commuter bike.
Germany has been at the vanguard of renewable energy production for several years, and now it has a new feather to put in its cap: last month, Germany broke its solar-generation record by producing over 5.1 terawatt hours of solar energy in July. (To put that in perspective, the US only generated a measly 0.764 TWh of solar energy in May.)
If you want to get your hands on some solar power, Inhabitat is giving away three solar-powered Voltaic backpacks (worth $250 each) that can keep all of your gadgets fully charged for back to school time. If you're interested in nabbing one, enter our giveaway here. On the topic of school, a group of high school students in Wilmington, Del., have earned the Guinness World Record for the world's tallest Lego tower. And in a story that should definitely be filed in the "dubious claims" folder, Coke launched a new "natural, healthy" soda called Coca-Cola Life.
In green design news, a team of California-based architects recently completed the world's first 3D-printed architectural structure. In preparation of the 2014 FIFA World Cup, Brazil just cut the ribbon on the Mineirão Stadium's new $16.1 million solar roof. Architecture firm NBBJ has revamped its plans for Amazon's new Seattle headquarters, which will look like a cluster of biosphere greenhouses. A 1958 geodesic dome in Oklahoma, inspired by Buckminster Fuller, has been purchased by an environmental engineering firm and it will be preserved as a historic site. And Inhabitat rounded up six of the world's craziest green homes that people actually live in, ranging from a grounded 727 jet to a converted water tower.
In green tech news, a new research paper details the properties of carbyne, a supermaterial that is stronger than graphene and diamond. Researchers at the University of Washington have developed a battery-free wireless system to power mobile devices. The latest in wearable technology is Reebok's "CheckLight," which is a small device worn around your head that alerts athletes to the severity of head injuries. And as much as we hate to admit it, summer is winding down, so if you're headed back to school, check out Inhabitat's back to school giveaway.