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The world’s first 3-D printed car took to the streets this weekend after being built in an amazingly short 44 hours. The vehicle, called Strati, was designed by Italian designer Michele Anoé, who won an international competition held by crowdsourcing carmaker Local Motors.  It was printed and rapidly assembled by a Local Motors team during a manufacturing technology show held last week in Chicago, then went on a drive on Saturday. 

Strati’s chassis and body were made in one piece out of a carbon fiber-impregnated plastic on a large-area 3-D printer. The machine put down layer after layer of the material at a rate of 40 pounds per hour.

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When Driver Error Becomes Programming Error

by Joel N. Shurkin, Inside Science

Ninety percent of automobile accidents now involve human error. If scientists succeed in producing computer-driven cars, responsibility may shift to programming errors. In that case, who sues whom? Who is liable?

Scientists working on computer-driven cars — so-called autonomous vehicles — are dealing with issues Henry Ford never worried about, and the technology is ahead of the law.

Google has several fully autonomous cars roaming the streets of California.

In some ways it already is happening by steps. Most new cars have anti-lock braking systems, self-adjusting cruise control, traction control, and computers that can slam on the brakes when it detects an imminent collision. The driver just enjoys the ride.

Meanwhile, experimental autonomous cars get better.

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