Car Tech

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Cars: what are they? Are they just rooms we control with our hands and our feet and our hearts, or are they something... more? Furthermore, America: is it just an ideal we will never truly live up to, or an actual place, sandwiched between Canada and Mexico? No one can say. But if there's anything that will have answers, it is Car vs. America, the first-ever TV show from Jalopnik.

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I know what you're thinking. What is this dummy trying to accomplish here? Of course, I know about stop signs. But maybe -- maybe! -- you didn't know this: stop signs weren't always red. We've talked about other red things before, and there's a reason we ended up with red octagons telling you to STOP. I swear it's interesting. Here's why stop signs are red.

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High-speed transportation company Hyperloop One, which landed $US85 million in additional funding last month, revealed today that it has gained a new board member in business magnate Richard Branson, whose Virgin group was secretly responsible for an unnamed portion of that funding. The company will rebrand as Virgin Hyperloop One.

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If you have an Erector Set laying around somewhere, congratulations! You're properly equipped to make an accurate scale model of a new military vehicle concept, the Partisan One. The Partisan One is a rugged, wildly basic 4x4 that's built from a simple frame of right angles and bolt-on parts. It's supposed to be bomb-proof, and comes with a warranty that lasts a century. I kind of love the way it looks, too.

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Women's participation in motorsports is growing for sure, but it definitely doesn't represent the ratio between men and women in the general population -- yet. This has not escaped the notice of professional off-roader and bona fide badass Emily Miller, whose women-only Rebelle Rally has become one of the most gruelling races you can find anywhere.

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The last Holden car is expected to roll out of General Motors' assembly plant in Elizabeth, South Australia, on October 20, during a ceremony for employees. But an image that surfaced ahead of that appears to show the car in the process of being built. The car will be the last commercial car ever built in Australia.

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It's going to be a while before you, a dutiful, early-and-often voting, patriotic member of the American public, get your hands on a Tesla Model 3. Even if you pre-ordered one, the brand new entry-level electric sedan is stuck in "production hell" as Tesla tries to ramp up to meet the aggressive sales targets set by CEO Elon Musk. If you're going to buy one now there's a good chance it's because someone got cute -- or greedy.

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One of the biggest problems with self-driving cars, according to Bloomberg, is that they drive too perfectly. They do insane things like make full stops at stop signs and drive the speed limit. Crazy things. I'm here to make a prediction: This will make human drivers very mad. And, soon, because we deserve it, the air will be filled with the sound of drivers honking at computers. It's going to be great!

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Video: Nissan does some crazy, cool stuff sometimes. Most of it is related to the GT-R, a barnstorming all-wheel-drive supercar that can sprint from zero to 100km/h in well under three seconds.

Its latest stunt is the perfect cross-over between real life and video games, though -- the company hooked up a GT-R with servomotors and robotics to control steering, acceleration, braking and gearshifts, and then made all that run through a PlayStation 4 controller.

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Self-driving test vehicles are already on the roads in several US states, including California, Arizona and Massachusetts, but the futuristic world of robot cars on every street hasn't materialised quite yet. People are still freaked out by the idea of getting in a car that doesn't have anyone behind the wheel -- and so companies in the autonomous vehicle business are launching their own charm offensives to convince consumers (and members of Congress) that their cars will make the world a safer place.