Ready to ride in a driverless car? Waymo vans going public in Arizona

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Waymo is expanding the number of its driverless cars in Arizona.

Arizona Republic

PHOENIX – Waymo will allow the general public to download an app and catch a ride in a fully autonomous van – with nobody behind the wheel – in the weeks ahead.

It will be the first time average Janes and Joes can order a ride in the conspicuous Pacifica minivans that buzz around public roads in Chandler, Arizona, and othe Phoenix-area  cities the way they might use a service like Lyft or Uber.

The launch of this new phase of Waymo’s car service, which began with a smaller step Thursday, marks a significant milestone in the company’s march toward offering a fully autonomous ride service.

Waymo, like Google, is a division of California-based Alphabet Inc. The company brought autonomous vehicles to Chandler in 2016 and has incrementally expanded both the area where the cars operate

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The German Car Industry Musters for a New Tech Battle

Having spent years—and tens of billions of dollars—preparing for a shift in production toward electric vehicles, German car makers are expressing a new angst: that digitally “connected cars” could prove even more disruptive to their traditional strengths. This second leg of their race against Tesla could become a fresh excuse to squander investors’ capital.

Daimler set two priorities for technological leadership in a new strategy for its

Mercedes-Benz


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brand this week: electric drive and car software. For the latter, the company is working on an entire operating system, MB.OS, that from 2024 will run not just Mercedes’s proprietary infotainment system and its mobile broadband connection but also crucial elements of the driving experience, including self-driving features and battery management.

The company will partner with technology specialists for specific applications, notably

Nvidia

for automated driving. Yet the closer the software gets to the customer experience, the more Daimler wants

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Seattle’s Elephant Car Wash to shutter, sign to be saved

SEATTLE (AP) – Denny Triangle’s iconic pink elephant soon will have a new home.

The Elephant Car Wash on Battery Street near Denny Way will close permanently, the company announced in a news release Thursday, after rumors swirled surrounding a demolition permit for the site filed Wednesday.

The pink elephant sign – designed by Seattle’s “Queen of Neon,” Beatrice Haverfield – will be donated to the Museum of History and Industry in South Lake Union, which boasts an already-impressive collection of neon signage from other defunct and departed Seattle businesses, including the original Rainier Brewery ‘R,’ the 26-foot-tall Washington Natural Gas blue flame and many more.

In the post-World War II era when neon began adorning Seattle businesses, it “represented sophistication, a little bit of glamor,” MOHAI director Leonard Garfield told The Seattle Times. “Particularly after the war, Seattle was beginning to fill the role of a city on the

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How gas car phaseout boosts beyond-gasoline movement

Last month, Gov. Gavin Newsom ordered California’s Air Resources Board to issue regulations requiring all new cars to be emission-free by 2035. The order creates powerful opportunities to accelerate the transition beyond polluting gasoline. It communicates to automakers, the oil industry, and drivers that the gas-car era has an end date, and that further investment in it will not be profitable. It signals to utilities, landlords, and the private sector that investments in electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure will be rewarded with high utilization by many millions of EVs.

The directive builds momentum for other states to sunset sales of new gas cars. In Washington state, a bill was introduced this year requiring 100% of new cars to be electric by 2030, and a growing coalition of environmental, health, business, labor, and community organizations is supporting its passage in 2021. Hawaii and Massachusetts are considering similar bills, and each additional

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Motor Mouth: Is it time to shift to a car with an automatic?

Q: With just over 39,000 miles on my Honda, the clutch went out. Replacing it is going to cost us $1,700. It is not part of the extra insurance coverage we bought from the dealer at the time of purchase because it is not considered part of the drivetrain. I have driven manual transmission cars most of my adult life, including three earlier Hondas. I have never had a clutch go out until now. Is it possible that Honda “cheaped out” on the clutch mechanism because it is a seldom sought option, or is it just that we are unlucky? I am at the point where I think we should trade the car in and settle for an automatic transmission.

A: Mechanical stuff may fail and often does. But I don’t buy the argument that the transmission is not part of the drivetrain. The drivetrain consists of everything from the

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What you need to know before getting your first car insurance policy

Personal Finance Insider writes about products, strategies, and tips to help you make smart decisions with your money. We may receive a small commission from our partners, but our reporting and recommendations are always independent and objective.

If you’re considering buying your first car, your first car insurance policy should be the next thing on your mind. 

Car insurance might seem complicated — there are hundreds of companies that offer policies in each state and many moving parts to the price you’ll pay each month. But, it’s actually quite straightforward once you narrow down what you need in an insurance policy, determine your monthly budget, and start shopping. 

There are four things you should do in the process of shopping for car insurance to make sure that you’re getting the best possible deal.

Decide on a level of coverage you’re comfortable with or need

Not all car insurance policies are

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OPP respond to ‘car takeover’ after modified cars descend on Wasaga Beach

WASAGA BEACH, Ont. — Provincial police remained on the scene Sunday in an Ontario beach town where hundreds of motorists allegedly gathered this weekend.



a close up of a person wearing a costume


© Provided by The Canadian Press


OPP Sgt. Jason Folz said the “car takeover” of Wasaga Beach, Ont., began Friday and continued early Sunday.

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He said there was no official head count, but he estimated “certainly hundreds or thousands of people” attended.

“Many, many, many,” Folz said by phone Sunday. “Too many for the town of Wasaga Beach.”

Police temporarily closed most routes into the town of about 20,000 residents Saturday night to prevent more people from arriving from outside the community.

Folz said the event is believed to be related to a larger car rally in the United States. Due to the pandemic-related border closure, the Canadian group decided to have a meet-up in Wasaga Beach, he said.

Folz said some vehicles were

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Solberg in WRC return on Italy powerstage with Pirelli test car

One-time World Rally champion Petter Solberg believes his chance to compete on the powerstage of next month’s Rally Italy is the perfect litmus test for Pirelli’s new gravel tyres.



a car covered in snow: Solberg to contest WRC Italy powerstage with Pirelli


© LAT Images
Solberg to contest WRC Italy powerstage with Pirelli

The Norwegian, who beat Sebastien Loeb to the 2003 WRC title, will get back behind the wheel of a WRC-spec Citroen C3 on the closing 4.28-mile Sassari test using Pirelli’s freshly-developed Scorpion KX rubber.

The 45-year-old, also a two-time World RX champion, will be navigated by three-time WRC event winner Andreas Mikkelsen after he was recruited by Pirelli to lead its research and development programme ahead of its WRC return next season.

Pirelli will take over from Michelin as the official tyre supplier to the WRC in a deal that starts next year and runs until the end of 2024.

It previously held the position from 2008 to 2010 before

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Check Out Hyundai’s Wild New Mid-Engine Sports Car



a car driving on a road: The automaker says the RM20e prototype shows the next-Generation N performance


© Hyundai
The automaker says the RM20e prototype shows the next-Generation N performance

Hyundai dropped its RM20e Racing Midship Sports Car at the Beijing International Automotive Exhibition 2020. RM refers to the N prototype’s “Racing Midship” rear-drive, midship powertrain configuration the company says is designed to yield ideal handling, balance and agility.



a car parked on the side of a road: The Electric Hyundai RM20e in profile.


© Hyundai
The Electric Hyundai RM20e in profile.

The car looks Velosteresque but Hyundai calls the RM platform a “rolling lab” for testing high performance tech and the RM20e’s electric powertrain — a mid-mounted 800-volt motor linked to a 60-kWh lithium-ion battery pack — cranks out 810 hp and 708 lb.-ft, good enough for an expected sub three second 0-62 mph time.

Gallery: 7 Electric SUVs and Crossovers Worth Waiting For (Autoweek)

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Best car rental companies in 2020

Whether you’ve flown somewhere — before various coronavirus measures decimated travel — had your car in the shop or just needed to take a trip out of the city, chances are you’ve had to rent a car at some point. If you have, you know that the rental car company you choose makes a difference.

People judge their rental car experiences based on a variety of factors. As Michael Taylor, senior director of Travel & Hospitality Intelligence at J.D. Power and Associates, explains, “At J.D. Power we quantify consumer priorities in almost every study we do… In 2019, the most important factor is the cost and fees of the rental (accounting for 28% of overall satisfaction with the rental experience), this is followed by the rental car itself at 25% and the pick-up process at 23%. The reservation process, the return process, and branded shuttle bus experiences comprise the remaining

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