Cars

DoJ building national car database with real-time tracking

DoJ building national car database with real-time tracking

A national database of vehicles is quietly being created by the Department of Justice to help track drivers in the United States. The program has been tipped by both government documents and US officials, and is said to be done in secret with the DEA running the matter. The database is being put to use for numerous reasons, according to the sources, though it was originally created for seizing cars and other possessions in relation to the trafficking of drugs.

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Germany to give self-driving cars a highway test track

Germany to give self-driving cars a highway test track

While many governments are wary of the progress of autonomous, self-driving cars, Germany is taking quite an opposite stance. As a country that is readily associated with the automobile industry, it can't but be interested in the development of the cars of the future. That is why the German government will be setting up the A9 Autobahn highway in Bavaria as a specialized track to be used for testing such self-driving automobiles in the hopes that the country will become a world leader in this market segment as well.

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2014 Kia Forte cars recalled over cooling fan resistor

2014 Kia Forte cars recalled over cooling fan resistor

Kia has joined the list of auto makers initiating recalls in the new year, and this one is over a familiar risk: fire. In this case, the issue revolves around a cooling fan resistor that could end up overheating and, subsequently, melting. When or if that happens, the car will be at risk of a fire. The information comes from documents surfaced by the NHTSA, and it concerns only the 2014 Kia Forte, of which almost 87,000 units are being recalled.

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General Motors halts select SUV sales; tire recall inbound

General Motors halts select SUV sales; tire recall inbound

General Motors has halted the sales of several thousand SUVs due to an inbound tire recall from Goodyear. The auto maker sent a notice to dealers telling them to stop selling nearly 6300 of its Enclave, Traverse, and Acadia models, all of them of the 2015 model year. For its part, Goodyear is going to recall about 48,500 tires due to the risk of developing small cracks in the tread, and once that happens GM will then proceed with its own official recall.

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Ford might just move the driver, not go driverless

Ford might just move the driver, not go driverless

Ford's new Palo Alto research center may have driverless cars on the menu, but technology shifting the human driver from the car to across the country might be closer to primetime if engineers have their way. Virtual valets and remotely-piloted car sharing schemes could take advantage of increasingly electrified cars and faster LTE networks, Ford's Mike Tinskey explained to me, with a controller potentially thousands of miles away taking the wheel when a local driver isn't available or practical. Right now, that means going on a joyride in an Atlanta parking lot, when you're actually sat at a Logitech gaming wheel in California.

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Porsche 911 GTS Club Coupe debuts to celebrate PCA

Porsche 911 GTS Club Coupe debuts to celebrate PCA

Porsche has unveiled a very cool looking version of the venerable 911 that is designed specifically to celebrate Porsche Club of America or PCA as it's known. PCA is the largest Porsche club organization in the world and has been around for 60 years now. To celebrate that birthday, Porsche has rolled out the 911 Carrera GTS Club Coupe in an exclusive color only available to PCA members.

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2015 Jeep Renegade: a youthful and rugged small SUV

2015 Jeep Renegade: a youthful and rugged small SUV

Jeep has introduced its new 2015 Renegade, a small SUV that promises to be fuel efficient while offering all the ruggedness and features Jeep fans have come to know and love. Jeep has targeted the younger drivers out there with a new look that is, while distinctly Jeep, a bit playful and youthful. Those who like to go off-road have nothing to worry about, however, with the Trailhawk variety aiming to please all manner of outdoor driving. The Trailhawk is joined by the Limited, Renegade Latitude, and Renegade Sport, all bringing their own features.

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NHTSA to factor automatic braking into star rating system

NHTSA to factor automatic braking into star rating system

Earlier today, the Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx revealed that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration will start factoring automatic braking into its star rating system, giving points for having a technology that is believed to be a boon to driver safety. In addition, the regulator will also begin to list vehicles on its website that offer these types of safety technologies, making it easier for consumers to select cars with these additional safety features. These measures will help encourage the further development of such technologies.

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Ford’s new Silicon Valley lab isn’t all pie-in-the-sky

Ford’s new Silicon Valley lab isn’t all pie-in-the-sky

Self-driving cars are undoubtedly the most attention-grabbing project at Ford's new tech outpost in Palo Alto, but it's not all the team is working on, and other schemes are far closer to helping modern drivers. The Research and Innovation Center is also exploring how digital dashboards can be smarter, how smart home gadgets like Nest can play nicely with your car, and even how a little Project Ara style modularity could make Fords more future-proof. Read on for three of the more down-to-earth - and potentially closer to production cars at your nearest Ford dealer - projects underway.

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Ford R&D Palo Alto puts driverless cars in pole position

Ford R&D Palo Alto puts driverless cars in pole position

Ford CEO Mark Fields may have been critical of the auto industry’s attempts to over-hype driverless cars, but that doesn’t mean the company isn’t working on its own model at its new Research and Innovation Center in Palo Alto, California. The car firm has snagged a former Apple engineer, Dragos Maciuca, to lead its innovation efforts, heading projects like autonomous and remotely-piloted vehicles, integrating the dashboard with the smart home - including hooking up with the Google-owned Nest thermostat - and leveraging GPU acceleration for things like swifter speech recognition.

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