Among the many things that set hybrid and electric cars apart from conventional fuel sippers is their silence; aside from some eerie electronic whirring, many models glide stealthily down the street. Not for long, however. After years of delays, the U.S. Department of Transportation has finalized rules that require electric vehicles and hybrids to emit sounds to alert pedestrians of their approach.

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Improvements in traffic flow and fuel consumption are boosted when even a few autonomous vehicles are immersed in bulk traffic, according to research by a Rutgers University-Camden scholar, Benedetto Piccoli, and a team of researchers who recently presented their findings to policymakers in Washington, D.C.

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The budding trend toward battery-powered cars is unfolding as new mainstream models from General Motors, Nissan and others proliferate rapidly in the U.S. market, introducing an alternative mode of vehicle operation, which drivers accustomed to gas pedal and brake may find unfamiliar.

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American roads are deadly. In 2016, 37,461 people died in traffic accidents in the US, a 5.6 percent increase over 2015, according to the US Department of Transportation (DoT). This is down from 1970, when around 60,000 people died in traffic accidents in the US. The addition of safety features such as seat belts and air bags have reduced the number of deaths, and new technology from autonomous vehicles could help even more as driver error is eliminated.

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I have caught myself making this statement many times around the office lately. And that statement is this: There has been more news in the United States on electric vehicles and the charging infrastructure in the last three months than in the past three years. The homepage of almost every industry news site is full of articles pertaining to electric vehicles. The topics span from "what is the single best EV, or electric vehicle, out there" to "what infrastructure is required to support this revolution". As time progresses, it is obvious that this is not just a trend, but rather the future of mobility.

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