Drivers rejoice. The price of crude oil has fallen 20 percent since June, driving down gas prices. The drop is a result of increased U.S. supply without a decrease from other countries. The U.S. produces nearly twice the petroleum it did six years ago.
Automakers are exploring noise-canceling technology to replace heavy sound-deadening materials. The system would pipe targeted frequencies through a vehicle's speakers to mute sounds, like the roar of tires against the road.
Most of the world's natural rubber comes from one type of plant found almost exclusively in Southeast Asia. Bridgestone and Cooper Tires are investigating a new source native to North America: a shrub called guayule. It could diversify the global supply of rubber.
French auto-parts maker Valeo is building an app-supported system that allows vehicles to park autonomously in public garages. Ultrasonic sound-wave sensors, cameras, and lasers attached to the car help it park within just a few inches of objects.