Self-Driving Cars: Look, Ma, No Hands May Be Around the Corner

09.15.2011

Audi hosts a forum for futurists who see a self-driving car in your future. The technology (including artificial intelligence software, radar, GPS, and embedded sensors) is there, but liability questions still loom large.

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Weird But True Facts About Fuel Economy

09.09.2011

You've heard it all before--inflate your tires, take off the roof rack, don't drive like a jerk--but here are the actual amounts fuel economy will suffer if you not only buy a gas guzzler but act like an idiot with it.

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Range Anxiety: 100-Mile EVs Make Some People Nervous

08.30.2011

Americans think they drive further in a day than they actually do, and that fuels fears that limited-range EVs will end up on the side of the road with their hoods up. They're not wrong to worry (I experienced range anxiety myself), but actual behind-the-wheel time will increase driver confidence.

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Making Hondas (and Organic Soybeans) in Ohio

08.24.2011

Honda sends 1.8 pounds of waste per car to landfills from its huge auto operations in Ohio. Its greening operations include river cleanups, zero-sludge paint operations and reusing just about everything.

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Michelle Bachmann's $2 a Gallon Gas: Don't Count on It

08.18.2011

No president can deliver cheap gas, and most analysts see higher prices ahead. Even if the Alaska reserve drilling and oil shale development that Bachmann supports went ahead full tilt, the results would be outside her term in office.

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Power to the People: How to Run Your House on Your Car

08.11.2011

Here’s a scenario: An electric storm knocks out power to your house just as the Super Bowl is starting. Do you knock on ...

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Four Cars They Should Build (for People Like Me)

08.04.2011

Am I nuts (it's debatable) or are there a number of important auto niches that nobody's exploring? Here are some concept cars I'd really like to see, some of which would actually sell if given half a chance.

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Flying Cars: They're Closer Than You Think

07.27.2011

The flying car has been around as long as the automobile--did Leonardo Da Vinci sketch one? Nobody's ever been able to make a business out of it, but Terrafugia is making great strides. And leaping tall buildings in a single bound.

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Electric Cars Need "Corridors," Just Like the Big Cats

07.22.2011

Networks of EV chargers 40 to 60 miles apart will turn electric cars into long-distance travelers. The west coast is going to get hooked up first, but the pace is accelerating all over the country.

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Fixing Electric Cars: Will the Bill Be Big?

07.15.2011

There isn't much data yet on how much it costs to repair crashed EVs, but Cars.com got hit with a big bill when its Volt was in a fender bender.

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Where the EV Revolution Should Start: With FedEx, UPS and Wal-Mart

07.08.2011

Big delivery companies have central garages that are perfect for charging EVs. They want to be green. But so far it's happened only in small volumes, largely because of price premiums that can total $30,000. FedEx has a novel solution: Smaller batteries, shorter ranges, and cheaper trucks.

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Cellulosic Ethanol: Corn's Cleaner (and Better) Cousin

06.30.2011

Corn ethanol never made any sense, either economically or environmentally. Congress is finally killing corn ethanol subsidies, but it shouldn't abandon ethanol entirely. Made from the fiber of plants and with a really good energy balance, cellulosic ethanol is the better alternative.

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The Little EV That Couldn't: High Prices Lead Think into Bankruptcy

06.24.2011

The Think electric car has been through four bankruptcies, but this one looks terminal. There's a lesson in this--start-up EVs priced higher than volume leaders like the Chevrolet Volt and the Nissan Leaf are going to have a tough time in the marketplace.

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The Cat Fight Over the Fuel Economy Rules: Would 62 mpg Bankrupt Detroit?

06.15.2011

Automakers and environmentalists are in a battle royal over not just a federal fuel economy standard (greens want 62 mpg, the industry will settle for 47) but over how it will affect future sales. Lions don't lie down with lambs, so don't expect a happy resolution with everybody singing "Kumbaya."

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IBM's Watson, a Jeopardy Champ, Could Deliver Natural Voice Recognition That Actually Works

06.10.2011

From a perch in the cloud, Watson-like supercomputers could offer solutions for clueless drivers, including finding that sushi restaurant whose name you forgot, or that song by the guy who sounds kind of like Bob Dylan.

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