German drivers urinate in the Autobahn of bathrooms

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Drinking and driving has been a dangerous gamble taken by millions of motorists around the globe since the first cars hit the road. Police have gotten very good at spotting, arresting, and prosecuting offenders, but many still slip through the cracks, and thousands of innocent people die in accidents as a result. In Germany, this major problem is being combated with urine. No, bodily fluids aren't being used to test blood-alcohol content. Instead, video game makers are converting drunken streams into a bathroom steering wheel.

LCD screens located above urinal stalls display a video racing game that uses sensors inside the urinal to track the urinal stream, which steers the car. Quick reflexes are needed to "steer" the car through heavy traffic and objects (not the "mint" at the bottom), and when the gamer loses stream, the car crashes violently and the phone number of a cab company appears on screen. We can see a lot of people liking this game, as it passes time when you're at the stall. We just hope people don't start drinking more so they can get in more laps. At this time there is no word on whether a similar game is being made for women.

[Source: InsideLine]


[via] Autoblog

UK set to raise licensing age to 18

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The Times is reporting that British teens may have to endure another six-months of practice with instructors and the 'rents before they'll be able to go it alone on UK roads. The proposal would increase the minimum training period to 12 months from six, effectively requiring prospective drivers to wait until they're 18 before they can secure a license.

The move comes after recently released studies show that while crash rates have dropped overall, there has been an increase in novice driver crashes over the same period. The reason for the increase in time is to get new drivers more practice behind the wheel, including during winter months. A similar proposal was floated back in 2001, but was promptly nixed after a case was made that the majority of rural teens need a car to get to and from work.

The program will likely be made public this October, and will also include more stringent enforcement of underage drunk drink-driving laws.

[Source: The Times via TTAC]


[via] Autoblog

MIT helps Ford apply pressure

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Ford is looking for ways to pack their automobiles with innovative technology that achieves the seemingly impossible goal of using smaller, more efficient engines while still delivering the performance wallop customers are demanding. Not only is the Blue Oval seeking more involvement from their suppliers to push new technology and techniques forward, but the automaker's also looking outside the typical realm of automotive OEMs.

One promising new technology is a system developed by a Massachusetts Institute of Technology startup company. Putting a modern-day spin on the concept of water or alcohol injection to either boost octane or cool the cylinder charge (or both), the MIT developed fuel injection system uses direct injection to deliver a shot of ethanol when the engine is under heavy load. The intravenous drip allows turbocharger boost pressure to be cranked way up, adding a significant amount of power gain. Normally, with your wastegate actuators cranked all the way down, you'd discover new and exciting ways to ventilate the crankcase, but this system keeps detonation at bay, which keeps the pistons in the block.

[Source: Automotive News - Sub. Req.]

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[via] Autoblog

How'd they do that? Driving tricks from the Bourne Ultimatum

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Doesn't it always look so convincing? Star lead actor is frantically sawing at the wheel, and when it cuts back to the wide, damn if that wasn't a perfectly clipped apex, with a tinge of four wheel drift counteracted by just the right amount of opposite lock. Even Steve McQueen couldn't pull it off for Bullitt. The real story behind all those inspiring scenes of cars whipping hither and yon is that they're piloted by stunt drivers who have one of the best car guy jobs ever.

There's a nice little sequel to a sequel quietly making its way to theaters, perhaps you've heard of the Bourne Ultimatum? Besides offering a cinematic venue for Matt Damon to further cement his status as a cross between James Bond and John McClane, its serving as a nice little advertisement for Volkswagen's second generation Touareg. Several of the vehicles were given the General Lee treatment (i.e. a couple were kept nice, a whole bunch were thrashed and trashed) during the 140 days of production. Even the stunt drivers were impressed at how the Touaregs just hunkered down and took whatever abuse they were thrown. To get all those bitchin' shots requires maneuvers that'd make you screw up your face in horror. We're talking about things you wouldn't even do to a rented car.


Continue reading How'd they do that? Driving tricks from the Bourne Ultimatum


[via] Autoblog

Edo Competition lays hands on the Maserati MC12 Corsa

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Click image for photo gallery

If you liked Edo Competition's MC12 XX, then you're gonna love this. The German tuner is not afraid to enhance the most extreme (and rare) road cars available, and has gone and done its thing on one of the twelve Maserati MC12 Corsa supercars in existence (not counting the additional three prototypes the Italian automaker produced).

First off is a three-way adjustable front suspension. That's augmented with a set of ceramic composite brakes (massive 15.6-inch discs in front) that hide behind black forged alloys. The last thing Edo did was to install a new high-flow exhaust which apparently sounds like evil on a stick. God only knows what the work cost, but since the owner had the cabbage to take home an MC12 Corsa in the first place, chances are that the upgrade pricing wasn't a consideration. With 755 horsepower on tap, this orange-and-black speed merchant must look like Halloween on warp drive when it flies by.

[Source: Edo Competition]

Continue reading Edo Competition lays hands on the Maserati MC12 Corsa


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[via] Autoblog