We're still working on those crazy Popular Science ideas from the 1950s--flying cars, anti-gravity belts, jet packs, but at least the Hyperloop is new. We may be stuck with automobiles for a while.
If Sakti3's thin-film solid state batteries live up to their promise, then electric vehicles are about to change very dramatically, very quickly.
So what do insurance scofflaws lie about? Pretty much everything, from their driving record to the people (including teenagers) who will actually drive the car. Officially, cars left out on the street are officially tucked away in a locked garage.
The number of fatalities fell by nearly nine percent in the first half of 2013, but that's still nearly 2,000 deaths. A combination of smart urban design and safety-conscious cars could bring that number to zero.
Elon Musk is betting big (up to $5 billion) on a gigantic battery plant. It definitely makes sense in the short term, but will lithium-ion eventually be replaced with hugely efficient solid-state technology? Whatever Tesla builds should be ready for a retrofit.
Women and minorities sometimes pay higher interest rates for car loans, and the federal consumer agency wants auto loan companies to change their ways. But it was only a recommendation (auto dealers are powerful) and the biggest lender just said, "No, thanks."
It's called vehicle-to-vehicle communications, or V2V. And NHTSA says requiring it on all new cars can reduce accidents 70 to 80 percent.
Steel is still the number one material for making cars, but by scoring the Ford F-150 aluminum is gaining sharply. Automakers expect the aluminum share to nearly double by 2025 as fuel economy becomes critical, and that's got the steel industry fighting back with lightweight products of its own.
Cars today have data ports and event data recorders (black boxes), and they can and are being hacked in a variety of creative ways. Bad guys are rolling back odometers, stealing cars with electronic keys, erasing crash data and more. And wait, it all gets worse when every car has 4G access.