Car Tech

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Travis Kalanick's "brother from another mother", Anthony Levandowski, has officially stepped down from leading Uber's self-driving car division. Levandowski is a key player in a lawsuit filed by his former employer, Google, that claims he stole tech that Uber is incorporating into its cars. This isn't a minor legal proceeding. It could prove to be fatal for the ride-sharing startup.

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Today, people know Uber as a bloated, embattled, and probably evil transportation company. But seven years ago, it was a brand-new startup still beta-testing its iPhone app and beginning to market its service. If the company's old YouTube channel is any indication, however, it's a damn miracle that Uber lasted more than a year.

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If there are two things every stroller lacks, it's a $4000 price tag and the ability to make a child look like an unfortunate castoff from Downton Abbey. Luckily for all of us, however, a company called D.Throne has created an obscenely over-the-top electric car for kids that you can justify as an essential baby accessory, if you're the kind of person who expels money from every orifice.

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Because this is something that just happens every couple years, like locust infestations, we're currently in the midst of a new round of flying-car hype. Uber is even having some big flying car event in Texas this week. Historically, every bit of flying-car hype proves to be bullshit. But it may not have to be; I think I have an idea about how flying cars could make sense, even it's not exactly how Uber is imagining it.

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Google's self-driving car project, the wonderfully named Waymo, took time out from a high-profile autonomous tech lawsuit against Uber to announce on Tuesday that it's launching a public testing program for hundreds of families in Arizona. Along with that, it's expanding its fleet of self-driving Chrysler Pacific Hybrid minivans from 100 to 600, which would make it the largest collection of robot cars around today. (Sorry, General Motors.)

Shared from Lifehacker

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User interface design is hard, but we've been getting better at it over the years to the point where even a thermostat is easy to use. Automakers, however, seem to have their heads in the sand, taking their design inspiration for their infotainment consoles from old Winamp skins instead of any type of modern interface.

Shared from Thegarage

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Wekfest is a car show that started a decade ago in San Francisco and quickly spread to places like Japan, Chicago and Hawaii. When tuner Noel Panganiban got an invite to the latter, he knew he had to do it. But what car to build and bring? He weighed his options and decided on his Chrysler Conquest, the twin sister of our beloved Mitsubishi Starion, but had only had a little over two months to do the build.

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Up to the point that I actually did a track day, I really, really wanted to do a track day. I'd played enough Forza to want to do it in real life. And in my eagerness, I completely overlooked the fundamental steps that one should take to prepare for an actual track day. Here is precisely how I fucked up my first one, and how you can avoid doing the same.

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Controversial Uber CEO Travis Kalanick received a career retrospective profile in the New York Times today that covers his awkward early years and his propensity to invite conflict. Among the new information that it reveals, there's an enlightening story about the time Tim Cook had to summon Kalanick after discovering that Uber was still tracking iPhones after its app had been deleted.