Cars

Despite Road-Closing Landslides, You Can Still Take a Big Sur Road Trip This Year — Here’s How

This gorgeous stretch of coastline is harder to get to these days, but it's not impossible

Traffic on Interstate 405, Los Angeles, California, 2012.

Three Ways the Interstate System Changed America

The idea of a national highway system stretches back to the 1930s but wasn't put into place until the midcentury

Dr. John Cushman with the flow battery

Pour to Recharge Your Electric Vehicle

Purdue University scientists have created a liquid-based battery that could one day be recharged at a gas station pump in just minutes

With the idle set at 54 percent of full throttle, drivers could unleash the car by merely stepping off the brake.

When a Jet-Powered Car Raced in the Indianapolis 500

The racecar tore up the track and dazzled fans at the legendary competition—and then vanished

One autonomous car in this group was able to reduce stop-and-go traffic flow.

Just a Few Self-Driving Cars Could Fix Phantom Traffic Jams

A new study suggests they can help get rid of stop-and-go traffic on highways.

The unassuming face of one of twentieth-century America's most dangerous men, even to himself

One Man Invented Two of the Deadliest Substances of the 20th Century

Thomas Midgley Jr.'s inventions have had an outsize impact—not all of it good—on humankind

Nanocars Will Race Across (a Very, Very Tiny Bit of) France

Ladies and gentlemen, start your molecules

A woman marks a bombardier enclosure for a B-24 Liberator bomber at the Ford Willow Run plant.

How Detroit Went from Motor City to the Arsenal of Democracy

Detroit already had car manufacturing capability: that turned into war production capability in the early 1940s

The 1973 Cadillac Eldorado convertible was driven on stage for the big superstar tribute concert for Chuck Berry in the 1987 film Hail! Hail!

The Wild Rock and Roller Chuck Berry Dies

In 2012, Berry donated his red Eldorado Cadillac to the Smithsonian

Researchers at Ohio State University have developed a technology for incorporating food waste into rubber.

From Trash To Treads: Turning Tomato Peels and Eggshells Into Tires

Scientists at Ohio State University are replacing the petroleum-based filler in tires with food waste

Dream Big: Engineering Our World began playing nationally on February 17th, and it will be shown internationally starting March 25th.

The New IMAX Film "Dream Big" Roots for the Underdogs in the Engineering World

Director Greg MacGillivray's latest documentary premieres at the National Air and Space Museum

The taxi of the future doesn't drive—it flies.

Dubai Will Get Self-Flying Taxis This Year

Bypass traffic with the taxi of the future

How Moonshine Bootlegging Gave Rise to NASCAR

Rotgut and firewater are the founding fathers of our nation’s racing pastime

From left: Roger White, curator; John Gray, director, Rose Miller, Leonard W. Miller, Jane Rogers, curator and Leonard T. Miller

How One Black Family Drove an Auto Racing Association to the Winner’s Circle

A new collection at the National Museum of American History reveals the untold story

Fred Marriott in his modified Stanley Steamer, the Rocket, shortly before he broke the land-speed record.

Why Did People Think Steam-Powered Cars Were a Good Idea?

In the early days, steam cars were as common as gas ones. Why aren’t we driving them today?

Inventor Sir Clive Sinclair demonstrates his battery-assisted pedal powered tricycle at Alexandra Palace, London.

This Three-Wheeled, Battery-Powered Plastic Car-Bike Was a Giant Flop in 1985

But today, some have asked if Sir Clive Sinclair was just ahead of his time

Dorothy Levitt, one of the first female racecar drivers, wrote some not-so-timeless advice for other drivers way back in 1909.

Advice for Drivers From Dorothy Levitt, the Pre-War Racing Record Breaker You’ve Never Heard Of

Levitt’s story is proof that women were in auto racing almost from the start, and she has some ideas for other drivers

Why Were Electric Cars Once Advertised as 'Ladies' Cars'?

Your questions answered by our experts

Ride-hailing services aren't just for millennials anymore.

Lyft and Uber Want To Give Old Folks a Ride

Older adults miss doctor's appointments and risk social isolation because they lack transportation. Ride-hailing services are taking notice.

A postcard of the Motel Inn, circa 1940s.

The World’s First Motel Was a Luxury Establishment, Not a Dive

The first motel was supposed to turn into a chain, but it was quickly overtaken by cheaper competitors.

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