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Special Report

Your Next New Car: Cleaner, Greener and Smarter

Luxury, speed and performance are always in demand, but cars of the future will be defined more by their impact on the environment

  • August 11, 2010

What will it be like to own an electric car in 2011?

Very few people really know much today about the experience of owning an electric vehicle of course, given that EVs are not widely available. Nissan hopes to change this by the end of the year when its fully electric Leaf debuts.

July 12, 2010 — Larry Greenemeier

The Dirty Truth about Plug-in Hybrids, Made Interactive

This Web-only article is a special rich-media presentation of the feature, "The Dirty Truth about Plug-in Hybrids," which appears in the July 2010 issue of Scientific American. The presentation was created by Zemi Media. Find all our other interactive offerings here.

June 22, 2010

Silent but deadly? Electric cars may be too quiet for pedestrian safety

Enjoy (or fear) the silence while it lasts. Battery-driven vehicles are touted for their potential to cut down on harmful emissions spewed for decades by gasoline-powered cars, but electric and hybrid vehicles may be too quiet to be heard by pedestrians, posing a particular danger to people without sight.

October 14, 2009 — Larry Greenemeier

Carnegie Mellon robot racers plot successor to Boss

Carnegie Mellon University's Tartan Racing team plans to roll out a leaner and meaner successor to its driverless Boss SUV by the end of the year.

The team's first Boss won DARPA's 2007 Urban Challenge, which pitted autonomous autos against one another in a race through simulated city traffic.

June 25, 2009 — Larry Greenemeier

9 automotive X PRIZE competitors move on to the final round

The original field of 136 experimental vehicles vying for a $10 million prize in Progressive Insurance's Automotive X PRIZE competition has been whittled down to just nine finalists, competition organizers said Tuesday.

July 27, 2010 — Larry Greenemeier

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