Neil Young, Java Creator James Gosling Hatch Java-Enabled Hybrid Car

By Chris Preimesberger  |  Posted 2008-11-13 Print this article Print

Well-known rocker Neil Young and Sun Microsystems' James Gosling, the creator of Java, are working on a Java-enabled, hybrid-electric Lincoln convertible to compete for the Automotive X Prize, a competition for 100 MPG vehicles. The Linc Volt, Young's entry in the X Automotive Prize competition, is a 1959 Lincoln Continental Mk IV that has been repowered with a new series-hybrid system and runs on electricity produced by a generator powered by natural gas.

A couple of Canadian-born superstars in their own diverse fields, rocker Neil Young and the "Father of Java," Dr. James Gosling of Sun Microsystems, found some common ground Nov. 11 at Sun's Menlo Park, Calif., campus.

For about 14 months, Young, a longtime resident of nearby La Honda, has been working with a team from Wichita, Kan., to develop the Linc Volt, a hybrid electric/CNG (clean natural gas) car that uses a natural-gas piston engine to keep it charged up when it's on the road. According to the Linc Volt project's Web site:

The Automotive X Prize, a competition for 100 MPG vehicles, has been announced and the Goodwin Young "Linc Volt" team has had its "letter of intent" to participate accepted. A qualifying race will be held in 2009 and the final race from California to Washington D.C. will take place in 2010.

The Linc Volt is a classic 1959 Lincoln Continental Mk IV that has been repowered with a series-hybrid system and now runs on electricity produced by a natural-gas-powered generator.

Java is playing a major part in this project. Perrone Robotics has installed sensors that use Java technology to monitor performance elements of the Linc Volt as it travels down the road. This data is displayed on a touch-screen panel in the car. The controls let the driver keep tabs at all times on how good the electrical charge is, how much natural gas fuel remains and other real-time information. The GPS on board also keeps the driver informed about the location of the nearest source of natural gas.

Read more about the Linc Volt on Sun Microsystems' Web site.

Chris Preimesberger Chris Preimesberger was named Editor-in-Chief of Features & Analysis at eWEEK in November 2011. Previously he served eWEEK as Senior Writer, covering a range of IT sectors that include data center systems, cloud computing, storage, virtualization, green IT, e-discovery and IT governance. His blog, Storage Station, is considered a go-to information source. Chris won a national Folio Award for magazine writing in November 2011 for a cover story on and CEO-founder Marc Benioff, and he has served as a judge for the SIIA Codie Awards since 2005. In previous IT journalism, Chris was a founding editor of both IT Manager's Journal and and was managing editor of Software Development magazine. His diverse resume also includes: sportswriter for the Los Angeles Daily News, covering NCAA and NBA basketball, television critic for the Palo Alto Times Tribune, and Sports Information Director at Stanford University. He has served as a correspondent for The Associated Press, covering Stanford and NCAA tournament basketball, since 1983. He has covered a number of major events, including the 1984 Democratic National Convention, a Presidential press conference at the White House in 1993, the Emmy Awards (three times), two Rose Bowls, the Fiesta Bowl, several NCAA men's and women's basketball tournaments, a Formula One Grand Prix auto race, a heavyweight boxing championship bout (Ali vs. Spinks, 1978), and the 1985 Super Bowl. A 1975 graduate of Pepperdine University in Malibu, Calif., Chris has won more than a dozen regional and national awards for his work. He and his wife, Rebecca, have four children and reside in Redwood City, Calif.Follow on Twitter: editingwhiz

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