Transportation

2017 Audi R8 First Drive – All supercar, no compromises

2017 Audi R8 First Drive – All supercar, no compromises

There’s driving, and then there’s driving a car that thinks it’s a racer. Thing is, the Audi R8 has the credentials to back that up, born from an unmistakably noble family of champions and given the same name as a Le Mans winning sports car. For the 2017 R8, Audi turned to the same engineering team that developed the Nurburgring 24 Hours-winning R8 LMS race car, including half a shared parts bucket. It’s something I found hard to forget when Audi invited SlashGear to Portugal, to be among the first to try the new R8 on the track.

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Toyota’s crazy tilting EV underlines what’s wrong with US cities

Toyota’s crazy tilting EV underlines what’s wrong with US cities

"You're not going to topple over," I overhear a patient Toyota rep explaining to a nervous i-ROAD test-driver, "just have fun." Two minutes later, that same anxious pilot is throwing the tilting trike around a fiercely twisting course of cones with gleeful abandon, the electric motor whirring eagerly while the front wheels hinge up and down like the claws of a praying mantis. A bright pink praying mantis, at that. Smiles-per-mile, then, the i-ROAD is ahead of the pack even given its minimal 30 mile range. Problem is, it's not individual drivers that Toyota has to convince.

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London to debut world’s first all-electric double-decker bus

London to debut world’s first all-electric double-decker bus

The UK's capital city, London, has just announced that their iconic double-decker buses will go all-electric starting in October of this year. Not only is this an effort to make the city's public transportation greener, but it will also be the world's first double-decker bus to be powered solely by electricity. London Mayor Boris Johnson made the announcement this week, with an emphasis on improving the city's air quality.

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2016 Audi TT/TTS and Q7 Virtual Cockpit First-Drive

2016 Audi TT/TTS and Q7 Virtual Cockpit First-Drive

I’m not going to lie, I feel pretty damn lucky to be one of a handful of American press with the privilege of experiencing Audi's Virtual Cockpit in the new TT/TTS and Q7. The opportunity to drive the TTS around Ascari racetrack was nothing short of exhilarating - especially with Virtual Cockpit getting me ready me for turns far in advance. Then, after experiencing Audi’s technology on the track, Audi invited me over to Verbier, Switzerland to test the all-new 2016 Q7, also equipped with Virtual Cockpit, in the way that most drivers will experience it.

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For Chevrolet, life-lessons from Apple, Disney and Tesla

For Chevrolet, life-lessons from Apple, Disney and Tesla

Chevrolet may want to be more than just “competitive” with its auto rivals, but when it comes to taking inspiration nothing is off the table, including Apple, Disney, and Tesla. Opening the company’s annual Powered By Innovation event - and under the aggressive “Find New Roads” tagline - Alan Batey, global Chevrolet brand chief and GM executive vice president and president of Chevrolet North America name-checked tech superbrand Apple as a guiding example for how a car company chasing further growth might push itself.

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You’ll soon be able to car-share your MINI

You’ll soon be able to car-share your MINI

MINI will bake car-sharing technology directly into future models, allowing owners to loan their cars out when they don't need them. The functionality will initially integrate MINI into the DriveNow network, which operates short-term car rental in select North American and European cities. An optional add-on, the tech will temporarily make the car available for rent by the minute, something MINI believes will make city-dwellers more likely to consider owning a car themselves.

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Ford’s latest eBike is foldable, warns riders of potholes

Ford’s latest eBike is foldable, warns riders of potholes

Here is a Ford ride of a different breed. Along with the announcement of its new Peer-2-Peer ride sharing program, the car company has debuted the third in its line of smartbike concepts, dubbed the MoDe:Flex. The electric-assisted bicycle features a battery and motor, and also comes with a mobile app that is designed to help riders plan their commutes by breaking it down into sections for car and bike. Much like its predecessors, the MoDe:Me and MoDe:Pro bikes, the Flex can be folded up to fit inside a car for easier transportation.

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HERE’s common sensor language could steer self-driving cars

HERE’s common sensor language could steer self-driving cars

Nokia HERE is hoping to get connected cars speaking a common language, relying on collaborative mapping to help self-driving cars figure out a route. The Car-to-Cloud interface specification has been released under a creative commons license, so that car manufacturers could adopt it without having to cough up fees in the process; each "message" sent by a car would consist of anonymized data, allowing road conditions and unexpected route issues to be shared without intruding on driver privacy.

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HERE thinks 3D ghost trains could reassure city folk

HERE thinks 3D ghost trains could reassure city folk

HERE may be busy fettling its smartphone software as well as courting potential buyers, but it still has time to cook up concepts for future transit apps. Nokia's mapping and navigation team already pipes public transportation for almost 1,000 cities into its current iPhone and Android apps, but is looking at new 3D visualization interfaces that could replace static maps and make it easier to understand where the next bus or train is.

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SpaceX building a Hyperloop test track for pod contest

SpaceX building a Hyperloop test track for pod contest

SpaceX is kicking off a competition for Hyperloop pods, challenging teams to come up with designs for the innovative transportation system. The high speed train-in-a-tube concept was first detailed by SpaceX founder Elon Musk back in 2013, though the serial entrepreneur has said he has enough on his plate with sending up reusable rockets and developing electric cars at Tesla to actually build the Hyperloop himself. Instead, he's building a test track for pod creators to test their ideas.

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