The six official levels of autonomous vehicles explained

Self-driving cars can mean a number of different things, so the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration adopted a zero-to-5 scale of the types of automation created by SAE International, with level zero being non-autonomous. Generally: Read the rest

You can buy Sammy Davis Jr.'s Rolls Royce that Frank Sinatra gifted him

Next week, Bonhams is auctioning Sammy Davis Jr.'s 1977 Rolls Royce Camargue. The sticker price was $148,000, approximately $600,000 in today's dollars. It's expected to sell for US$38,000-$46,000. From Bonhams:

Not too surprisingly, these cars appealed to the Stars of their day, and according to folklore, this was one of a brace of Camargues bought new by passionate car guys and Rat Pack celebs, Sammy Davis Jr. and Frank Sinatra, the latter receiving car JRF 30905. Both were ordered through Bill Harrah's Modern Classic Motors dealership in Reno, Nevada in January 1977, it is said that they were gifts to each other...

It is understood that Davis kept the car for several years, after which it migrated to the East Coast, where it has been suggested it was owned by a Mafia boss in the New York area and it is said that this accounts for its revision to a full Mason's black livery with blacked out windows that it still wears.

(via Uncrate)

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The Mad Max cars look just as fantastic before the dirt

Photographer John Platt took these astonishing shots of the picture cars from Mad Max: Fury Road. Even out of their dusty element, they look absolutely menacing. Read the rest

Bad Android security makes it easy to break into and steal millions of "smart" cars

Securelist's report on the security vulnerabilities in Android-based "connected cars" describes how custom Android apps could be used to find out where the car is, follow it around, unlock its doors, start its engine, and drive it away. Read the rest

Is this the ultimate "I'm not racist, but..."

My friend Michelle Fox spotted this vehicle in New Mexico. The "non-racist" really makes it! Read the rest

Watch a massive spool of cable roll down the highway

A spool of cable fell off a truck on Route 40 in Uniontown, Pennsylvania, turning the highway into a hyperrealistic video game.

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Compilation of Florida drivers discovering red lights are not optional

Believe it or not, Florida is only the 14th worst state for accidents, according to The Daily Beast's breakdown of per-capita stats. But its unique combination of aggression, stupidity and good weather (worst-state North Dakota has a pretty good excuse) puts it in a league of its own. Read the rest

Tesla autopilot warns of accident about to happen to the cars in front

In this footage from Europe, the autopilot on a Tesla warns driver Frank van Hoesel of an accident about to happen. He doesn't even realize why his car is braking suddenly until he sees the crash occur—forty yards away. Read the rest

Savor Tom Blachford's full-moon shots of vintage Palm Springs

Australian photographer Tom Blachford found a way to make vintage cars and midcentury modern Palm Springs homes look classic yet strikingly modern: shoot them on long exposures under a full moon. The resulting series, Midnight Modern, is worth checking out. Read the rest

Accurate map of world's most famous racetracks and motorsport courses

If you've ever played a car racing video game, some of these shapes may be familiar, but Matt Dunlop built on the work of several others to create this fascinating map of the world's famous motorsport courses.

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Car horns used to communicate "filthy language"

In 1945, police initiated a campaign to stop people from beeping their car horns in Morse Code to "signal out 'vile and filthy language,'" according to the Ottawa Journal on January 18.

Amazing that back then enough people recognized the encoded vulgarities to convince the police to take action, and the media to cover it. (Weird Universe)

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Autonomous driving simulators may help reduce driverless anxiety

Visteon makes high-definition dashboard displays for instrument clusters, navigation panels, and entertainment systems. They also know the future is autonomous driving, and to help anxious customers get a sense of the technological possibilities, they are developing driving simulators that demonstrate manual vs. autonomous driving conditions. Read the rest

Watch this time-lapse Lego build of life-size 1964 Ford Mustang

To be specific, it's a model of a first year Mustang coupe, known as a 1964 1/2 model. From LEGOLAND Florida Resort where it's on permanent display:

Made out of 194,900 LEGO and DUPLO® bricks, the giant model (named #BrickPony) took approximately 1,200 hours to assemble by a team of veteran Master Builders at LEGO Systems, Inc., in Enfield, Conn.

#BrickPony measures more than 15 feet long, nearly 6 feet wide and more than 4 feet tall. It weighs 1,712 pounds, of which 960 pounds are LEGO bricks and 752 pounds is its aluminum chassis.

A few surprises were added under its hood, including a virtual horn and the sounds of a real Mustang engine — a first for a life-size LEGO vehicle — plus working headlights and taillights.

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Crash test: Nissan sold in Mexico vs. Nissan sold in USA

Safety standards matter. The cheapest Nissan sold in Mexico, the Tsuru, and the cheapest Nissan sold in the USA, the Versa, were driven into one another at 40 miles per hour. You don't want to be in either car, but you definitely don't want to be in the Tsuru.

A car-to-car test between a 2015 Nissan Tsuru, the least expensive sedan sold by Nissan in Mexico, and a 2016 Nissan Versa, the least expensive sedan sold by Nissan in the United States. With a 50% overlap and each vehicle travelling at 40 mph (64 km/h) the test highlights the significant differences in safety standards between these two baseline models sold by the same manufacturer in different markets.

Wired reports that the Tsuru (basically a 1990s Sentra) is being put to pasture soon, and that Mexico is toughening its car safety laws. Read the rest

Police bumper that deploys a net to snag escapee's tires during car chase

The Grappler is a device that unfurls from a police car's front bumper during a car chase to snag the perp's tires and lock up their wheels. Of course, the fleeing suspect's car may be outfitted with its own James Bond-esque auto tech like a smoke screen or caltrop release mechanism.

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Ultra-rich people in NYC demand apartments with (gasp) driveways

The hot new amenity that NYC developers are building into their plans for luxury apartment buildings is a porte-cochère, aka a fancy driveway. In fact, in Manhattan an opulent private drive may actually add more value to a new property than using that same real estate for additional living space. Then again, why choose! From Bloomberg:

The trend towards motor courts has accelerated notably in the last two years, according to Kent Security’s Alon Alexander, who has seen a major uptick in inquiries from luxury developers on how best to incorporate the feature in an architectural brief. They’re driven, of course, by twin concerns: privacy and security.

There’s also a less concrete allure to motor courts: in a city where developers want to wring maximum value from every square foot, there’s an extravagance in leaving such a large space empty. It tacitly telegraphs a developer’s largesse and indulgence, at least according to Alon Alexander’s twin brother, Oren. He is a sales executive for 565 Broome. “A regular developer might squeeze a retail site, or extra amenities like a larger lobby, from that space but a driveway is the definition of luxury,” Oren says by cellphone, “It’s space where you don’t typically get it.” Jasmine Mir, CMO of Corcoran Sunshine, puts its more simply. “Buying a penthouse at the top of a building is one thing, but the sense of extravagance and luxury associated with having space at street level in a congested place like New York? It gives an amazing sense of wow!

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Maserati Hearse

People are dying for a ride in Ellena Funeral Car's Maserati Hearse:

Multifunctional steering wheel - Dual-zone automatic climate control - Windshield wiper with rain sensor - Body in fiberglass - Hydraulic Alzabara - Interior lighting LED - Stainless steel cladding and imitation leather boating - Cross removable stainless steel - Hooks door wreaths - Audio engineer - Metallic paint choice

Optional accessories: - Opening the tailgate automatic - Platform Automatic - Parking sensors - Tinted windows

Maserati Hearse (via Uncrate)

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