Stuff you don't expect to see speeding around the Nürburgring

The Jag at 1:29 and Volkswagen Bug at 3:26 are my favorites. Read the rest

Wedged Wonders: pointy concept cars of the seventies

Wedged Wonders is a gallery-tribute to futuristic Italian concept cars from '68-'79. Read the rest

Purposely stalling 20% of cars in Manhattan could trigger total gridlock

If a hacker targeting connected cars in Manhattan could randomly stall 20% of them during rush hour, total gridlock would ensue. “This isn't just bad traffic where you are an hour late. It becomes impossible to get from point A to point B,” says Georgia Institute of Technology researcher Peter Yunker who ran a study on the "cyberphysical risks of hacked internet-connected vehicles." From IEEE Spectrum:

Not all cars on the road would need to be self-driving and Internet-connected for such paralysis to occur. For example, if 40 percent of all cars on the road in Manhattan were online and autonomous, hacking half of those would suffice.

...Cities without large grids—-Atlanta, Boston, and Los Angeles, to name a few—were more vulnerable to gridlock from such attacks.

Yunker and his colleagues cautioned that they considered only static situations where roads were either blocked or not blocked. Future research with more dynamic models would likely show that blocked roads would spill traffic over into other roads. Given such effects, it might be possible to trigger gridlock by stalling much less than 20 percent of all cars, Yunker says.

image: Shutterstock/View Apart Read the rest

U.S. warned Tesla to stop giving "misleading statements" about the Model 3's safety

In an October 7, 2018 blog post, Tesla claimed that the Model 3 achieves the lowest probability of injury of any vehicle ever tested by NHTSA. Alas, no.

NHTSA Chief Counsel Jonathan Morrison sent Tesla CEO Elon Musk a cease-and-desist letter in October last year to say it had become aware of “misleading statements” made by the company about the vehicle’s safety rating.

The agency’s main contention was with Tesla’s claim in a blog post that month that NHTSA tests showed the Model 3 has “the lowest probability of injury of all cars the safety agency has ever tested.”

Tldr, the agency insists that its crash ratings in the warehouse, the stars, aren't injury probabilities on the road. Here's the cease-and-decist sent to Tesla, exposed with a FOIA request.

It includes a response from Al Prescott, Tesla's deputy chief counsel, telling the NHTSA it doesn't understand its own safety tests and claiming that it is "taking sides" among auto manufacturers.

Read the rest

Police: No, a corpse doesn't count toward the HOV lane passenger minimum

On Monday, Nevada Highway Patrol Trooper Travis Smaka pulled over a minivan in the high-occupancy vehicle (HOV) lane because nobody else was visible inside except for the driver. Turns out, the driver works for a funeral home and was transporting a body. From the Reno Gazette Journal:

"He immediately tells me he's got the remains of a person in the vehicle behind him, so I kind of glanced in the back and confirmed that,” Smaka said of what he saw in the cargo area – a bodybag strapped to a gurney. “It kind of threw me off a little bit, and then he just made the funny remark, something along the lines of, 'So he won't count?'.."

Nevada's HOV rules do not clarify whether an occupant must be breathing and leans on federal law, which is not much clearer....

An official with the Federal Highway Administration said it is up to individual states to define what an occupant is – and referred the USA Today Network to the Nevada Department of Transportation for additional information.

“When you talk about high occupancy vehicle lanes, you’re talking about seats – so a person would need to occupy a seat to qualify,” said Nevada Highway Patrol Trooper Jason Buratczuk. “This person was obviously a decedent and in the cargo area of the car, so they would not qualify for the HOV lane.”

The officer let the driver off with a warning.

image: SounderBruce/CC BY-SA 4.0 Read the rest

Telsa's In-Car Gaming System Looks Kinda Meh

If you've been holding off on buying a Telsa Model 3 until you found out whether the car's arcade functionality was worth the electric ride's asking price, wait no more.

In this video, The Verge breaks down its experience with the Model 3's in-car gaming system. From what I can see, you can have damn near the same player experience with an iPad and some duct tape in the drivers seat of a 1998 Volkswagen Jetta. Read the rest

The world's first Tesla pickup truck

Master maker Simone Giertz and her friends transformed her Tesla Model 3 into an electric pickup truck. Their fake TV commercial is above; build video below. TRUCKLA: Available nowhere. Now.

Read the rest

Oscar Meyer Wienermobile replica owner regrets purchase, selling it on Craigslist

How's this for a sales pitch: "The Weinermobile as a daily driver was a novelty and enjoyable for about a week. Now I suffer." It's yours for $7,000.

Image: Craigslist Read the rest

Watch: How traffic light programming helps manage congestion

From Practical Engineering:

Traffic management in dense urban areas is an extremely complex problem with a host of conflicting goals and challenges. One of the most fundamental of those challenges happens at an intersection, where multiple streams of traffic - including vehicles, bikes and pedestrians - need to safely, and with any luck, efficiently, cross each others’ paths. However we accommodate it now or in future, traffic will continue to be one of the biggest challenges in our urban areas and traffic signals will continue to be one of its solutions.
Read the rest

Watch this quick-acting bus driver save a student from "almost-certain tragedy"

Hurrah for Norwich, New York schoolbus driver Samantha Call and her astonishing reflexes! From Norwich City School District/Facebook:

This is exactly why you should NEVER pass a school bus when the stop arm is out and the red lights are flashing!

..."Samantha did an outstanding job," NCSD Transportation Supervisor William Loomis said. "All of our drivers undergo continuous training so they're prepared to handle situations like this. We hope this video helps everyone to realize the dangers of passing a stopped school bus."

Read the rest

Spectacular 21-car pileup at Daytona 500

You'd be surprised how often we cover NASCAR: "Well, that ruined everything." Read the rest

Man clings to hood of car at 70 mph in road rage video

In this spectacular example of road rage, a Massachusetts senior clings to the hood of a vehicle as it accelerates to 70 MPH on the state turnpike.

The man, Richard Kamrowski, and the driver of the SUV, 37-year-old Mark Fitzgerald, were involved in a minor sideswipe on Saturday and had pulled over to exchange information, Fox News reported. When the men got into an argument, Fitzgerald began to drive away. That’s when Kamrowski jumped on the hood of Fitzgerald’s SUV.

Both driver and "passenger" were arrested and charged with being completely bonkers.

BONUS ROAD RAGE VIDEO: In Anaheim, Calif., this weekend, a gentleman leapt onto the hood of a woman's car and punched her windshield with such force it cracked. He got arrested too.

Read the rest

The Grand Tour Season 3 is here!

Amazon just sent me a text saying The Grand Tour Season 3 is now available. I'll be back in a few hours! Read the rest

America's most honest used car salesman explains AS-IS

Cash Cars in Kansas City will take very little cash for very crappy vehicles. They are sold AS-IS, and yet Desmound Logan here must still explain to customers that when you pay $3,000 for a Tahoe, you can take it on an extended test drive but you are not getting a warrantee.

"When you come to us, we are your last motherfuckin resort," says Logan.

In the following video, Logan presents a Cash Cars KC "You figure out what's wrong with it" special.

NSFW language throughout, y'all. Read the rest

Arizona: People are violently attacking driverless cars from Google/Alphabet's Waymo

People like this guy waving his gun at a driverless Waymo van in Arizona are attacking self-driving vehicles with rocks, knives, and *their own cars*, sending a message to tech companies like Waymo, which is owned by Alphabet (Google's parent company). That message is, please go experiment with artificial intelligence in somebody else’s neighborhood. Read the rest

All-wheel drive and four-wheel drive explained

Winter's here and, like clockwork, everyone's started driving like idiots.

If you recently bought a vehicle with part-time four wheel drive, four wheel drive, all wheel drive or anything else in between, this might be a good time to brush up on what your ride's good for and what you should avoid. Look no further than this video. Unless you really want to. If so, you'd do well to spend some time reading this story by Jalopnik. Read the rest

Watch four tires get changed in less than two seconds

During the 2018 Brazilian Grand Prix, Sebastian Vettel's crew manages a sub-2 second pitstop. (via Next Draft) Read the rest

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