Car Tech

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Take the religious following of air-cooled Porsche 911s, then reduce that to the community of folks who are evangelists for the four-cylinder 912, and you've got a group of seriously passionate people. Like most passionate people that I've met, they want to bring you into the fold and show you why whatever it is they love deserves attention.

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Image Cache: The Goodwood Revival, counterpart to the Goodwood Festival of Speed, is all about vintage cars, as its name describes. Held over the course of three days at the Goodwood Circuit instead of on Charles Gordon-Lennox, the 11th Duke of Richmond's driveway, the Revival brings the iconic race cars of the 1920s through the 1960s together and back to life. They aren't just sitting there all pretty, either. They are going toe-to-toe on the racetrack. It's like being yanked back in time.

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Video: Honda's first ever Australian brand commercial, which quietly launched a couple of weeks ago, is wonderful. It shows off the company's suite of technology — from cars to robots to racing boats to the HondaJet — and it does it in a way that makes me want them all.

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The morning commute across Manhattan on Thursday was a typical-as-of-late snarl of bottlenecks and delays, with debris of unknown origins causing an oppressive backup of the city's subway system. It was the latest in a string of examples of the deteriorating, century-old system, another sign of the significant level of investment that's needed to bring the subway up to 21st century standards and efficiency.

Though it was an otherwise unsurprising morning, I'm mentioning it because, several hundred miles away, as New Yorkers endured another annoying trek around town through a system of the past, a theoretical, futuristic solution to public transit woes in the U.S. — the Hyperloop — took another small-step toward coming to fruition. But, alluring as it is, the vacuum transit system remains a long-shot — even with 10 possible routes now on the table.

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100,000 Volkswagen, Audi and Skoda cars in Australia are affected by the company's 'cheat software', the dual-mode switch that detected emissions testing conditions and changed vehicles' performance to create lower emissions. Two open class action lawsuits are underway, and a Federal Court judge has ordered the manufacturer to explain on the stand exactly why the software was installed.

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On Tuesday, US Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao revealed the updated version of the guidelines for the testing and deployment of autonomous vehicles. The DOT secretary defended the guidelines, which opt for voluntary guidance rather than enforceable rules. Chao said that a third version is in progress and slated to be introduced in 2018.

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China has announced plans to end sales of all fossil fuel-powered cars. Bloomberg reports that Xin Guobin, vice-minister of the Industry and Information Technology Ministry, is finalising a timetable for ending production and sales of petrol-powered cars while stepping up incentives for hybrid and electric cars, though no exact deadline has been announced. China has long pushed for electric cars (called "New Energy Vehicles" in the country), introducing tax breaks for new buyers and planning 100,000 new charging stations in 2017 alone.

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I once sat around a table with senior brass from Audi and was laughed at for asking if the brand would ever introduce a drift mode like many of its rivals. Well now rumours and teases indicate Audi will instead offer an R8 that's always in drift mode with a rear-wheel drive model. Who's laughing now?

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"More than 100 Australians are killed in car crashes every month and the same number are seriously injured every day, so the significance of this problem cannot be over-stated," says Australian Automobile Association Chief Executive Michael Bradley.

It is not only the cost in life that has been revealed by the AAA's latest report - road crashes cost the Australian economy almost $30 billion annually, and the AAA is urging for a raft of federal policy interventions it says are urgently needed to reduce deaths and injury.