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Category: Car Tech

Scottish Researchers Want to Give Cars a Whiskey for the Road

Raise a glass, and fill up your ride, too. Rightly so, the Scots (purveyors of some of the world's finest spirits) have found a way to power cars with leftover whiskey. According to the BBC News, researchers at Edinburgh Napier University used the delicious distilled drink's byproducts to create biobutanol, a fuel that's 30-percent more efficient than ethanol and can be put straight into a gas ta...

Priest Drives 'God Squad' Car Around Town, Best Buy Threatens to Sue

Father Luke Strand thinks it is a great idea to drive around Fond du Lac, Wisconsin in a VW Beetle with stickers that look exactly like those on Best Buy's Geek Squad cars, except for one thing: his stickers read "God Squad." Best Buy didn't find this to be cute, but instead a violation of its trademark -- one that, by precedent, it couldn't treat any differently from any other violation. There...

Swedish Driver, Eluding Radar, Faces Up to $962K Ticket for Driving 180 MPH

Before your author relocated to New York, he had incurred exactly one speeding ticket, for driving 80 mph in the express lane of a 65 mph highway. The California Highway Patrol officer involved -- who, your author feels it is important to point out, was no even-tempered Erik "Ponch" Estrada -- angrily, if not threateningly, berated him for the danger he posed to other drivers on the road. Without ...

Google Unveils Voice Actions and Chrome to Phone, Skips Video Calls

It was shockingly last minute, but Google decided to organize a little press conference today. On the menu were a pair of new features for Android that close a few of the remaining performance gaps between iOS and Google's mobile OS. Although there was no mention of video chat (as many speculated), and although we were denied a peak at the next generation of Android (dubbed Gingerbread), we did...

'Digi-Bike,' A Darling Contraption to Help Stop Brit Crime

The town of Dudley in West Midlands, England has just deployed a crime-fighting vehicle that's more cute than it is fearsome. According to the BBC, after a "slight increase" in the number of robberies since April, the Dudley Bobbies decided that a pedal-powered contraption in the shape of a giant, sideways apostrophe would help make civilians more protective of their valuables. The 'Digi-Bike,' as...

Researchers Hack Cars via Wireless Tire Pressure Sensors

Back in May, we told you about a study that proved it's fairly easy to remotely hack into a car's onboard computer. Now, according to Technology Review, researchers at the University of South Carolina and Rutgers University have figured out how to hack into the tire-pressure-monitoring systems (TPMS) featured on many vehicles. The researchers used easy-to-find equipment that cost about $1,500 ...

Volkswagen to Launch Hybrid Beetle at 2011 Detroit Auto Show

Next year, Volkswagen's most recognizable, dome-shaped classic will be getting a redesign. According to Autoblog Green, VW plans to debut a Beetle with a hybrid powertrain and a new exterior design at the 2011 Detroit Auto Show. The car's specs should be similar to the New Compact Coupe (NCC) that VW revealed last year. That vehicle carried a 1.4-liter TSI inline-four cylinder engine, a 20-kilo...

CyberMotion Simulator Helps Scientists Steer a Course Toward Robo Racing

With a massive, controllable robotic arm, many unprecedented and momentous tasks become achievable. Such an appendage could perform difficult rescue missions, extraordinary construction tasks and urgent emergency responses. But, its greatest perk might be the reactive, mid-air environment it can contribute to incredibly awesome gaming sessions. Germany's Max Planck Institute for Biological C...

Late for School? Hop on the Jet-Powered Bus

What global warming? Paul Stender, the creator of 'The School Time Jet-Powered School Bus,' pumps 150 gallons of fuel into his mad-cap vehicle to power a hair-raising, quarter-mile joyride, which you must definitely watch in the video after the break. The converted yellow bus -- rigged with a Phantom fighter plane jet -- seems to have no purpose other than to inspire awe (or anger, if you're o...

First Public Quick-Charge Station Isn't All That Public

Portland General Electric (PGE) and NEC unveiled what they've billed as "North America's first public-use, quick-charge station for electric vehicles" yesterday. Governor Ted Kulongoski helped to juice up a yet-to-be-released Nissan LEAF at the station, which will charge lithium-ion-battery-based vehicles to 80-percent of their capacity in 20 to 30 minutes. "The station was awarded public-use cer...

San Francisco Tests New Meters that Set Fee by Supply and Demand

Drivers in the gloriously progressive city of San Francisco may soon have a lot less trouble finding curb-side real estate, thanks to a high-tech parking system that the city has just begun testing. The San Francisco Metro Transit Authority's SFpark project is a two-year, federally funded endeavor, aimed at making city parking less stressful, and more efficient. As part of the project, the SFMTA...

'Racer' Game Puts Driver in P.O.V. of Real Life RC Car

To a certain extent, racing games take after one another in concept, so it would seem that true innovation would be difficult to find in a car game. But not for Designer Malte Jehmlich, whose game 'Racer' fuses an arcade booth, a remote-control car outfitted with an onboard camera, and a track constructed of old refrigerator boxes. All in all, it's an augmented reality version of a game you mig...

Naruse Pedal Distinguishes the Gas From the Brake, Prevents Confusion

A few months ago, Toyota was forced to recall millions of vehicles following accusations that some of their cars accelerated without warning. While the company acknowledged that many of the incidents could be attributed to faulty pedal placement, it also suggested that some drivers may have simply confused the gas pedal with the brake. Toyota may be able to tinker with its pedal arrangement, bu...

Nearly 90-Percent of Teens Drive While Distracted

In May of 2009, we learned that, despite fully knowing the dangers of doing so, most teens were still driving while texting. A new survey from AAA and Seventeen Magazine shows that, even though awareness has improved, still more teens are engaging in distracting behavior while driving. The study asked 1,999 teens (apparently unable to get just one more kid), ages 16 to 19, about the sorts of thin...

China Plans Giant, Road-Straddling 'Buses' to Defeat Traffic

China thinks it may have a solution to its growing car and congestion problem: giant buses that straddle the road. Although calling these monstrosities "buses" seem misguided (as they run on tracks, and independently of other street traffic), it's obvious that they could greatly increase the speed and quality of your average Beijing commute. The shuttles arch over the road, allowing other vehicle...