Car Tech

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In case you haven't heard, self-driving (or 'autonomous', for a very specific value of the word) cars are the Next Big Thing. Every car-maker is working on one, and if they're not, they're looking at companies like Uber and Mobileye and Bosch who are. Ford has its own autonomy plans well underway, and the latest version of its self-driving Fusion Hybrid packs in a bunch more high-tech sensors to understand the world around it in real time.

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Over the weekend, a California-based South Korean celebrity named Ji Chang Son filed a lawsuit against Tesla, which alleged his Model X spontaneously accelerated as he was parking it into his garage, ramming through his living room, and injuring him as well as his son, who was in the car with him.

In a email to Gizmodo, a Tesla spokesperson claimed that before Son filed the suit — which seeks class action status — he "threatened to use his celebrity status in Korea to hurt Tesla" unless the company "agreed to make a financial payment and acknowledge that the vehicle accelerated on its own."

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For most of Cape York, the remote peninsula north of Cairns that runs parallel to the Great Barrier Reef, the nearest major city isn't even in Australia, it's in Papua New Guinea. You know, where head-hunting was a thing up until a couple of decades ago. We just drove through it on the most challenging off-road trail down under.

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With modern cars becoming more connected, with smarter features, hacking is a real danger. It's rare, but it's already happening. We're not in the "stop your engine" world yet, but it's easy to break into a car with keyless entry and steal everything inside without the owner ever knowing the car was unlocked.

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A two-year study from the US National Bureau of Economic Research recently found that Uber and Lyft riders with "black-sounding" names waited longer to have trip requests approved than riders with "White-sounding" names. Now, Lyft has announced a new measure it's taking to curb racism: A hidden score measuring driver discrimination.

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Faraday Future is the mysterious Chinese-backed Silicon Valley auto startup that made its break a year ago disappointing the world at the last Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas. Things don't look particularly good on that front at the moment.

Its most prestigious hire and top-listed executive, Marco Mattiacci of Ferrari fame, has reportedly left the company — just days away from a make-or-break production car debut at CES 2017.

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When NASA scientists think they have built something that breaks the laws of physics, do you take them at their word?

Science has long buzzed about an "impossible" rocket thruster, one that looks like an air blaster you'd buy at Disney Land and somehow generates thrust without propellant to push it forward. The so-called electromagnetic or EM drive makes headlines annually, but this year is different: An American team working on the drive released a peer-reviewed paper demonstrating that their prototype works, and a Chinese team claims that they have tested their own functional model.

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Driving around Manhattan can hardly be considered driving because there's so much damn traffic and construction and crazy taxis and people on the street. Most of the time you're "driving," you're actually just stopped or digging your car out of a pothole, or are constantly avoiding accidents or dodging human bodies. You're certainly not hitting 240 freaking green lights in a row. That would be impossible.

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In the long history of motoring, the unspoken goal of the starting process is to make it as easy and invisible as possible. Cumbersome cranks gave way to a combination of keys and starter buttons, then to just a twist of a key, and now many new cars just use a simple button. One time, though, on one car, there was a totally different goal: to make starting the car a challenge. To make it require effort. To make it a game.