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  • 12.24.14

The 9 Most Moving Transportation Stories Of 2014

We’re leaving the combustion engine far behind.

This year in transportation was all about bikes: electric motorcycles, bike lanes, bikes that fit in backpacks, and electric bikes that look like they belong to superheroes (you can read our round-up of the year’s best bikes here).

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Of course, there were also plenty of out-there transportation schemes, like these solar roads–which have been kicking around for years–that could theoretically power the country. These pedal-powered pod cars are actually getting a test run at Google’s main campus, and this ultra-cheap three-wheeled vehicle should be on city streets in 2015.

All of that sound a little too staid? Consider taking a trip into space–if you can handle the psychological effects.

1: These Solar Roads Could Power The Entire Country


The founders of the Solar Roadways project want to cover every highway in thick, LED-lit glass.

2: The Cities That Spend The Most On Bike Lanes Later Reap The Most Reward

Investing in a network of fully separated bike lanes could save cities huge sums in the long-term. But too little investment in wimpy infrastructure could actually decrease enthusiasm for cycling.

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3: The Bike Fits In A Backpack, So It’s Super Easy To Bring On Trips (Some Assembly Required)

This design envisions a bicycle that can be simply assembled or taken apart in 10 minutes. Hope you’re good with a socket wrench.

4: The New Electric Harley Has A Roar Even A Hell’s Angel Could Love

Electric engines are usually silent. There’s no way that would fly for the Harley Davidson crowd, so designers created an entirely new engine sound. Listen to it here.


5: People Flock To Put Deposits Down For A Three-Wheeled, $6,800 Vehicle

The Elio, an incredibly strange and incredibly fuel-efficient vehicle, has 25,000 reservations so far. It’s supposed to hit the road in 2015.

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6: These Pedal-Powered Pod Cars Travel Above City Streets, So You Can Avoid Traffic

They’ve already been installed in an amusement park. Next up: Google’s main campus.


7: This Map Shows How To Get Anywhere You Want In America Without Taking A Plane

Here’s how you could hack together a national transportation network. Hope you brought a good book.


8: The Break-Off Effect

The Virgin Galactic crash made the mechanical risks of space tourism clearer, but the psychological effects of space travel largely remain unknown.

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9: This Crazy Electric Bicycle Looks Like Something A Superhero Would Ride

This concept bike–meant to “act as a critique of many widely accepted conventions within the cyclist culture”–looks nothing like any bike you’ve ever seen before.

Read more of our best stories of the year, in these categories: Most-read, photos, infographics, lists, videos, maps, buildings, robots, transportation, bikes, food, collaborative consumption, cities, energy, environment, health, education, crowdfunding, innovative workplaces, and privacy.

About the author

Ariel Schwartz is a Senior Editor at Co.Exist. She has contributed to SF Weekly, Popular Science, Inhabitat, Greenbiz, NBC Bay Area, GOOD Magazine and more.

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