Cycling company creates brilliantly designed, high-end, foldable bicycle.
Foldable bikes have been around for a while and are gaining popularity in space constrained countries like England and Japan. What is Tern doing differently to disrupt this category?
Well, I think we’re not really here to disrupt the category and I think we’re not even really aiming at the folding bike category. The space that we’re looking at is people using bicycles for transportation.
In the US, a lot of the market has been recreational. It’s either mountain bikes or road bikes or bikes for kids to ride on weekends, and a lot less “Day in, day out, I’m riding to work.” So I think what we’re really focusing on is how do you make a bike that’s going to be suitable for riding day in, day out to get your errands done, to go to the supermarket — these things…
Joshua Hon, Pro Folder
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Cycling company creates brilliantly designed, high-end, foldable bicycle.

Foldable bikes have been around for a while and are gaining popularity in space constrained countries like England and Japan. What is Tern doing differently to disrupt this category?

Well, I think we’re not really here to disrupt the category and I think we’re not even really aiming at the folding bike category. The space that we’re looking at is people using bicycles for transportation.

In the US, a lot of the market has been recreational. It’s either mountain bikes or road bikes or bikes for kids to ride on weekends, and a lot less “Day in, day out, I’m riding to work.” So I think what we’re really focusing on is how do you make a bike that’s going to be suitable for riding day in, day out to get your errands done, to go to the supermarket — these things…

Joshua Hon, Pro Folder

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MIT researchers harness energy from microbes, predict the future of fuel.
What would you like people to take out of your research, and this interview?
More awareness that there are alternative methods that we can employ to achieve a common goal. Everyone wants to drive their cars. There are many ways we can become independent in terms of fuel and save money at the same time. One of the main things I want to get across is that this is all happening as a result of academic research. People need to realize the importance of academic scientific research and the amazing things that can come out of it. Understanding this goes a long way to the next innovators. The academics of today are the innovators of tomorrow.
Jignan Lu & Chris Brigham, Fueled-Up Scientists
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MIT researchers harness energy from microbes, predict the future of fuel.

What would you like people to take out of your research, and this interview?

More awareness that there are alternative methods that we can employ to achieve a common goal. Everyone wants to drive their cars. There are many ways we can become independent in terms of fuel and save money at the same time. One of the main things I want to get across is that this is all happening as a result of academic research. People need to realize the importance of academic scientific research and the amazing things that can come out of it. Understanding this goes a long way to the next innovators. The academics of today are the innovators of tomorrow.

Jignan Lu & Chris Brigham, Fueled-Up Scientists

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Stanford researcher creates driverless racecar, aims for safer roads.
You have both a PhD in mechanical engineering and a passion for racing, so it seems like you’ve ended up in the right place. How did you come to do what you’re doing now? 
In my undergraduate engineering classes at UPenn, I was fascinated by dynamics and control — the idea that you could describe how something moves mathematically and then calculate how to make it move differently. Wanting to learn more, I got a teaching fellowship to stay for my Masters and discovered in the process that I loved teaching even more than dynamics. I applied to PhD programs and got a call one evening from Prof. Karl Hedrick at Berkeley, who said he was looking for a “kick the tires sort of guy” for a project on automated highways. Head to California and get a PhD working with cars? Perfect.
Chris Gerdes, Autonomous Leader
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Stanford researcher creates driverless racecar, aims for safer roads.

You have both a PhD in mechanical engineering and a passion for racing, so it seems like you’ve ended up in the right place. How did you come to do what you’re doing now? 

In my undergraduate engineering classes at UPenn, I was fascinated by dynamics and control — the idea that you could describe how something moves mathematically and then calculate how to make it move differently. Wanting to learn more, I got a teaching fellowship to stay for my Masters and discovered in the process that I loved teaching even more than dynamics. I applied to PhD programs and got a call one evening from Prof. Karl Hedrick at Berkeley, who said he was looking for a “kick the tires sort of guy” for a project on automated highways. Head to California and get a PhD working with cars? Perfect.

Chris Gerdes, Autonomous Leader

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Woman takes matters into her own hands when she can’t find wheelchair-accessible auto options, starts business.
Now I have to ask: did you have any interest in the auto industry prior to doing this?
Not at all! [laughs] I had done many things before getting involved with Community Cars: I even wrote a memoir called “I Like to Run Too” when I was twenty, which took me six years to get published and talks about my disability. With the Kenguru, I just saw an opportunity to solve a problem that had been limiting me — and millions of other people — in my professional and social life…
Stacy Zoern, Entrepreneur With Drive
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Woman takes matters into her own hands when she can’t find wheelchair-accessible auto options, starts business.

Now I have to ask: did you have any interest in the auto industry prior to doing this?

Not at all! [laughs] I had done many things before getting involved with Community Cars: I even wrote a memoir called “I Like to Run Too” when I was twenty, which took me six years to get published and talks about my disability. With the Kenguru, I just saw an opportunity to solve a problem that had been limiting me — and millions of other people — in my professional and social life…

Stacy Zoern, Entrepreneur With Drive

Read the Interview »

Japanese researcher makes (electric) waves in the electric car industry.
Is there something about your work that really makes you excited? Perhaps contributing to the progression of technology, or the promise of positive environmental impact?
Yes, there is. More than 200,000,000 tons of CO2 are currently expelled a year from vehicles only in Japan, for instance. We have a dream to replace all the gasoline engines with EVs, and save our planet from an irreparable crisis.
Takashi Ohira, Electric Champion
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Japanese researcher makes (electric) waves in the electric car industry.

Is there something about your work that really makes you excited? Perhaps contributing to the progression of technology, or the promise of positive environmental impact?

Yes, there is. More than 200,000,000 tons of CO2 are currently expelled a year from vehicles only in Japan, for instance. We have a dream to replace all the gasoline engines with EVs, and save our planet from an irreparable crisis.

Takashi Ohira, Electric Champion

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Founder of Getaround aims to positively impact one billion people, also loves the Beach Boys.
It seems like companies like Getaround (and now Getaway) or Airbnb are generating paradigm shifts in society. In addition to convenience, is there a vision and a philosophy that is associated with your company?
Absolutely. Getaround’s mission is to empower people everywhere to car share — ultimately reducing the number of cars on the planet.
We’re excited about the recent rise of the Sharing Economy — people are clearly starting to think differently about the things they own and how to effectively access the goods and services around them…
Jessica Scorpio, Car Sharing Specialist 
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Founder of Getaround aims to positively impact one billion people, also loves the Beach Boys.

It seems like companies like Getaround (and now Getaway) or Airbnb are generating paradigm shifts in society. In addition to convenience, is there a vision and a philosophy that is associated with your company?

Absolutely. Getaround’s mission is to empower people everywhere to car share — ultimately reducing the number of cars on the planet.

We’re excited about the recent rise of the Sharing Economy — people are clearly starting to think differently about the things they own and how to effectively access the goods and services around them

Jessica Scorpio, Car Sharing Specialist 

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Welcome to Daily BR!NK’s special Auto Innovation Week, in partnership with Nissan. 
All of you should check out Nissan Innovation Garage immediately. They’ll be giving a $50,000 grant to the person with the most innovative idea to make it a reality. (They’ll also throw in a new Altima to sweeten the deal.) All you have to do is send them your idea. 
In the meantime, Daily BR!NK will be bringing you five interviews with the most upcoming, influential innovators in today’s auto industry. Nissan supports innovators everywhere, and — as you know — so does Daily BR!NK. It’s a match made in heaven. Enjoy the week.
— The Editors 

Welcome to Daily BR!NK’s special Auto Innovation Week, in partnership with Nissan. 

All of you should check out Nissan Innovation Garage immediately. They’ll be giving a $50,000 grant to the person with the most innovative idea to make it a reality. (They’ll also throw in a new Altima to sweeten the deal.) All you have to do is send them your idea. 

In the meantime, Daily BR!NK will be bringing you five interviews with the most upcoming, influential innovators in today’s auto industry. Nissan supports innovators everywhere, and — as you know — so does Daily BR!NK. It’s a match made in heaven. Enjoy the week.

— The Editors 

Blog Exclusive: David Leal-Ayala, Master of Ink

Did you know there’s a device out there that will “un-print” printed paper? Spearheaded by researchers at Cambridge University, this device-of-the-future is currently in development, but its sheer existence has weighty implications for the future of recycling, carbon emissions, and the health of our planet.

Read our exclusive, blog-only interview with David Leal-Ayala below. 

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MIT researchers develop software to land unmanned aircraft using hand signals.
How did this project get started? Were you approached by the military, or was this just something you thought would be cool and the brass agreed?
Yale: The project is funded by the Office of Naval Research.
David: I have always been fascinated with creating ways for humans to interact with machines. I have built human-tracking and gesture-based human-machine interaction systems for over 10 years now. When Yale told me about this opportunity, I jumped on the chance to collaborate with him and Professor Davis.
Yale Song & David Demirdjian, The Unmanned Men
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MIT researchers develop software to land unmanned aircraft using hand signals.

How did this project get started? Were you approached by the military, or was this just something you thought would be cool and the brass agreed?

Yale: The project is funded by the Office of Naval Research.

David: I have always been fascinated with creating ways for humans to interact with machines. I have built human-tracking and gesture-based human-machine interaction systems for over 10 years now. When Yale told me about this opportunity, I jumped on the chance to collaborate with him and Professor Davis.

Yale Song & David Demirdjian, The Unmanned Men

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Afghani telecommunications company proves that for-profit businesses can improve the community.
It seems like Roshan picks up new projects as it goes… like you identify a problem and then start working on that. How do you identify problems? What steps do you take to figure out what to do?
Very early on when the strategy was set, we knew there were so many problems in Afghanistan that we couldn’t do everything. We said we’d look at problems that the community was facing and then evaluate which problems we could tackle with our expertise: business expertise and tech expertise (…)
Shainoor Khoja, Telecommunity Leader
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Afghani telecommunications company proves that for-profit businesses can improve the community.

It seems like Roshan picks up new projects as it goes… like you identify a problem and then start working on that. How do you identify problems? What steps do you take to figure out what to do?

Very early on when the strategy was set, we knew there were so many problems in Afghanistan that we couldn’t do everything. We said we’d look at problems that the community was facing and then evaluate which problems we could tackle with our expertise: business expertise and tech expertise (…)

Shainoor Khoja, Telecommunity Leader

Read the Interview »