It was 2011. I’d just lost my job working in the lower 48 while on a TN visa. Uncle Sam has some strict rules when it comes to trying to find another job when you’ve lost your sponsored “NAFTA” ride, so I needed to get out of Texas in a hurry and back to my homeland with all my possessions.
There was just one big problem: I had too many vehicles, and needed to decide which part of my motorized fleet to cull before the journey.
It’s a stereotype more threadbare than a pair of old chaps, but just like 72-ounce steaks, Stetson hats, and the God-given right to poke bullet holes in road signs, it’s no exaggeration: Texas likes its trucks.
Pickups account for roughly a quarter of the state’s new-vehicle sales, counting for a remarkable 20 percent of the nation’s truck market. Plying the state’s ever-expanding highway network, gearheads like us can’t help but notice rows upon rows of pickup trucks, parked as they are on both stagnant Dallas freeways and dealer lots.
It’s no wonder then that pickup truck manufacturers market these trucks specifically to Texans.
You probably don’t know much about Vigilant Systems, but the company likely knows more about you than you know about them. That because Vigilant Systems is in the business of knowing. The company has so far collected about 2.8 billion license plate photos with its network of cameras, and every month it adds another 70-80 million photos, including a timestamp of the photo and geographic location of the plate, to Vigilant Solutions’ permanent storage. They sell that data to police departments and, depending on the jurisdiction, even some private sector institutions, such as insurance companies investigating fraud.
Vigilant Solutions’ deals with government agencies have raised concerns about civil liberties, freedom of movement, privacy and mass surveillance. As Conor Friedersdorf at The Atlantic describes Vigilant Solutions, “your diminished privacy is their product.” (Read More…)
For the “Back To The Future” fan keen on winning the parking lot at the next confab, DeLorean announced this week that it’ll make “new” cars again in Texas.
Thanks to a change in the small volume manufacturing law, DeLorean Motor Company said it could build around 300 new cars from parts it purchased when the original DeLorean went under.
The Texas outfit said they’ll bin the puny Renault-Volvo V-6 that made 130 horsepower in favor of a crate engine sourced from somewhere that’ll make 300 to 400 horsepower. Electronics, brakes and other drivetrain goodies will be similarly updated on the car, according to Jalopnik. (Read More…)
Just weeks following the conclusion of a rain-soaked United States Grand Prix at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas, certain details are coming to light that threaten the continuation of the event — and quite possibly operation of the facility as a whole.
One of the many pieces that keeps the event in Austin is the state’s Major Events Trust Fund, which has provided $25 million a year to race promoters since COTA began hosting Formula 1 in 2012.
It was believed the annual $25 million payment was assured for at least 10 years, for a total commitment of $250 million, to be paid by the State of Texas. However, a change in government and an audit of how the fund calculates major events payments has meant race organizers received just $19.5 million for 2015, or $5.5 million less than what was expected.
The Texas Auto Writers Association said Tuesday that the new, diesel-powered Nissan Titan XD was the 2015 Texas Truck of the Year and the Ford F-Series won Truck Line of Texas, alongside 22 other awards in a bi-annual affair held on non-consecutive Sundays until an eventual winner is crowned after a round-robin, double-elimination playoff.
The award for the Titan XD is the first for the truck, which will go on sale in December. Texas auto writers awarded the Ram 2500 with best heavy-duty pickup, Ram 1500 Rebel as the best full-size pickup and the new Toyota Tacoma as the best mid-size pickup. (Read More…)
A 10-month-old baby is dead after being left alone Thursday inside a hot car in Austin, Texas, KTLA reported. Police haven’t charged the male driver, who was found at the scene, with a crime. It’s unclear how the driver and the baby may have been related.
According to police, employees at a Waffle House spotted the baby around 2:45 p.m. in the car. After calling police, the employees pulled the baby out of the car, which was unlocked, and attempted CPR. Local reports say the temperature was around 98 degrees.
Coroners said the baby died of hyperthermia, or elevated body temperature. (Read More…)
A self-driving Lexus 450h prototype was recently dispatched to Austin, Texas for testing on that city’s streets. The cars are used to map roadways and signs for future autonomous vehicles to use. Google said the car has begun to drive itself after testing in Texas it will be sending another Lexus to Austin soon.
The search-engine giant likely selected the Texas capital because a free-range Lexus fit in very well with that city’s culture.
“We also want to learn how different communities perceive and interact with self-driving vehicles, and that can vary in different parts of the country,” an official with Google told The Detroit News.
One item that came up often on TTAC’s request for feedback on Code Brown’s review concerned its range. And while range anxiety is real for some, the P85D sports a 200+ mile range (253 according to Tesla’s website) which met my needs in a large metropolitan area.
But when I hit the road for The 24 Hours of LeMons, range anxiety was real.