8 of the world’s most dangerous roads

  • From South America to Asia, there are busy roads that are truly terrifying.
  • They include steep cliffs, rough terrain, and extreme weather conditions.
  • We explore eight that should be taken by only the most fearless drivers.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Following is a transcript of the video.

Narrator: Whether they’re carved into the side of steep cliffs, prone to natural disasters, or disappear in an instant, some roads can be downright terrifying. From North America to Asia, you can find highways meant for the most fearless drivers. These are eight of the world’s most dangerous roads.

India’s Zoji La is a pass in the Himalayas that ventures 11,575 feet above sea level, completely unpaved as it reaches the summit. The road has no barriers separating drivers from going over the edge of its steep vertical cliffs. Zoji La also experiences extreme weather conditions. This includes heavy snow that can be 50 to 80 feet deep. Over 60 landslides have been reported on the road. In 2018, India approved the Zoji La tunnel project. It involves the construction of an 8.5-mile tunnel under the pass, which will reduce the time to cross the Zoji La from more than three hours to just 15 minutes.

Norway is one of the safest countries to drive in, with only 20 fatal car accidents per 1 million people. However, it’s also home to one of the most dangerous passageways, the Atlantic Ocean Road. The area is prone to major sea storms, meaning the bridges along the road become hazardous for drivers. During inclement weather, massive waves regularly sweep over the pavement, accompanied by powerful gusts of wind. Careless driving can be a recipe for disaster. Fortunately, there are few serious accidents on record because of precautions taken by local drivers and authorities when storms hit. Still, footage shows just how many close calls drivers have encountered and why this is a road trip best saved for a sunny day.

Stretching 414 miles through the most barren parts of Alaska is the James Dalton Highway. Ending just a few miles short of the Arctic Ocean, it’s one of the only roads for getting supplies to some of the northernmost parts of Alaska. The Dalton is no ordinary highway, though. As drivers travel north, they become more and more isolated from civilization. For a full 240-mile stretch, you won’t find gas stations, rest stops, or even cellphone coverage. Travelers must be prepared with emergency supplies and survival gear. A simple breakdown could leave you stranded for days. The extreme Arctic weather creates limited visibility, icy roads, and enormous potholes. In some parts, the temperature can drop to as little as minus 80 degrees at night. This doesn’t help when the road itself is 75% mud and gravel. This highway is best saved for only those whose job requires using it.

The 800-mile Karakoram Highway is a mountainous road that connects Pakistan to China. But the world’s highest paved international highway is also one of the most dangerous. The uppermost section in Pakistan climbs 15,397 feet above sea level but lacks any guardrails and is only wide enough for one car to fit through. Besides the hairpin turns that overlook steep mountain cliffs, it’s the weather that may be Karakoram’s most dangerous factor. The highway is regularly hit with heavy snowfall and monsoons that lead to flooding, landslides, and rockfall. Fatal accidents are not uncommon. Fortunately, as part of the $46 billion China Pakistan Economic Corridor project, reconstruction of the highway’s Pakistani portion is underway.

Known worldwide as “Death Road,” Bolivia’s 43-mile Yungas Road connects the country’s capital city, La Paz, to the town of Coroico. Carved into the side of the Cordillera Oriental mountains, it features few guardrails to keep motorists and cyclists from going straight over the edge. Most of the road is a single lane and made up of dirt and gravel. Its most dangerous features include heavy rain and fog, unpredictable landslides, and cliffs that drop 2,000 feet. Until 2006, Yungas Road was the only option for traveling from Coroico to La Paz. That trip is estimated to have claimed 200 to 300 lives a year. Still, many locals and daredevil tourists make the journey along Death Road regularly.

The Passage du Gois isn’t just dangerous, it’s a natural phenomenon. The 3-mile road connects mainland France to the island of Noirmoutier. Due to high tides, it disappears under the ocean twice a day, completely covered by waves. With that length, if you’re caught in the floods, you might not reach dry land before you’re chest-deep in water. These hazards are why France has signs that let people know when the road is passable. Elevated rescue towers are even put in place, and tourists are advised not to use the road unless absolutely necessary.

Winding through the Andes Mountains is Chile’s Caracoles Pass, which translates to “Snail’s Pass.” It gains its name from the dizzying 29 hairpin turns that climb to an elevation of 10,500 feet above sea level, right at the Chilean-Argentinian border. To make matters worse, there are no guardrails. However, the road is covered with snow for most part of the year, forcing drivers to err on the side of caution. The traffic is intense, forming long convoys, hence the name.

The Million Dollar Highway stretches 25 miles on Colorado’s Route 550. But despite being a highway, it takes 42 minutes to drive. That’s because it has a speed limit of 25 miles per hour. The road is carved into the side of the San Juan Mountains and reaches an elevation of 11,018 feet. However, it has no guardrails between the pavement and the sheer cliffs. As it climbs higher, the road only narrows and the turns get tighter. The highway is plagued by extreme weather as well. Storms and heavy snowfall make the road constantly at risk for rockslides and avalanches during the winter months. Records show that from 2005 to 2015 there were 412 accidents and eight fatalities, most involving single-vehicle crashes.

From unguarded cliffs to natural disasters, these terrifying roads all have their own dangers. These hazards and risks are why it truly takes guts to traverse them.

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Why the Nürburgring is considered the world’s most dangerous racetrack

  • In the small town of Nürburg, Germany, sits the legendary race course known as “The Green Hell.”
  • The Nürburgring is an iconic racetrack, with its terrifying twists, blind corners, and drops.
  • June 3, 2021, marks the beginning of the famed 24-hour Nürburgring endurance race.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Following is a transcript of the video.

Narrator: The Nürburgring. If you’ve spent any time reading about cars, you’ve probably heard the term. What is it? It’s a merciless 13-mile track with terrifying twists, turns, and dips, and arguably the most dangerous race course in the world. But it’s become a sort of holy destination for drivers, professional and amateur, who make the pilgrimage to the small town of Nurburg, Germany.

Since its construction in 1927, the ‘Ring’ has tragically claimed the lives of just under 70 motorsport heroes. Legendary Formula 1 driver Jackie Stewart famously crowned the track ‘The Green Hell’, a nickname it holds to this day. But just what makes the Nürburgring so brutal?

The Nürburgring is actually composed of two different courses, but it’s the site’s Northern Loop or ‘Nordschleife’ that most associate with the track. As the world’s longest racetrack, the Nordschleife remains the ultimate test of skill amongst professional drivers competing in extreme races like the 24 Hours of Nurburgring endurance race.

A closer look at the track reveals three things that make it such a challenge even for the most skilled drivers: the steep elevation changes, blind corners, and the lack of runoff areas.

Let’s start with the elevation changes. For an idea of just how severe the Nürburgring’s are, the total difference in altitude from the track’s highest point to its lowest is a jaw-dropping 985 feet. And it doesn’t occur gradually either. The shifts in elevation are abrupt and spontaneous, providing plenty of challenges for those who don’t know the track thoroughly, and even those who do.

One of the best examples of this happens fairly early in the track, at a section known as ‘Fox Hole’. This section features five sweeping corners that can be taken at full speed! But it’s at the last corner when the track goes into a steep downhill descent then immediately elevates that you feel more G-Forces than you’ve ever felt.

To better understand what driving through it is like,we caught up with someone who circles the Ring over 1,000 times every year. Misha Charoudin is a racecar driver, course instructor, and YouTuber who knows every inch of the track like the back of his hand. He’s even managed to guide a driver around it while completely blindfolded!

Misha Charoudin: You have Fox Hole. It’s a very, very downhill descent followed by instant climb and what a lot of people do is they think like, “Oh, let me see what the top speed of my car is because I’m going downhill now.” And then they brake at the lowest point. The issue here is the weight transfer. When you brake at the complete bottom you have the weight transfer ready because the car will change direction from going downhill to uphill, and when you apply the brakes on that, you will most likely end up in the barrier.

Narrator: But it’s near the Ring’s end that drivers face one of the most daunting sections of racetrack in the world when it comes to elevation change. Located 10.5 miles into the track is a section called Pflanzgarten. Known for its number of career ending accidents, there is zero room for error on this series of jumps and turns where drivers will find it nearly impossible not to go airborne.

Misha: So, you actually literally your car jump three times over I would say a period of one minute. Your car will be airborne one time straight before the braking zone, one time you will go a bit sideways maybe even in the air as well, and one time you will be going over 120 mph over a slight bump while changing direction. So when you have a mistake there it will usually end up in a very, very – let’s say track closure. People will have to close the track how bad of an accident it’s going to be.

Narrator: But it isn’t simply jumps and drops that cause so many accidents on the Nürburgring. On a 13-mile track made up of around 170 different tight corners, about 90% of them are blind. The Ring’s infamous turn they call Kallenhard, about 5 miles into the track, is the perfect example of just how blind these corners can be.

Misha: It’s difficult because it’s very blind and it gets very tight. It has a very very very late apex, and people just dont expect that. Because they think, “Well, the turn should be over now.” No, it gets tighter, tighter, tighter, and it’s very blind. And you see a lot of accidents happen there. So you have to stay very slow, very much on the outside, slow feet fast hands, and get it right. And this is something that people really mess up. So this is I would say in terms the blind corners, Kallenhard is definitely one of the most challenging ones.

Narrator: It’s also the lack of sufficient runoff areas that separates the Nürburgring from the rest of the world’s professional racetracks. While most courses feature plenty of zones for out of control vehicles to safely depart from the track, less than a handful of corners at the Nürburgring have what could even be considered runoff areas. For the majority of the course, drivers will find that there is less than a meter separating the track from the barriers. This means that even the slightest mistakes can result in cars smashing into the walls.

But as intimidating a track like the Green Hell can be, Misha has a few simple words of advice for those everyday drivers looking to tackle the Ring for their very first time.

Misha: I always say you can not impress here anyone after 93 years of history, but you can make everybody laugh. So make sure to be the person that does not make us laugh after ending up on YouTube for some bad crash video.

EDITOR’S NOTE: This video was originally published in September 2019.

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The game console inside the new Tesla Model X and S is powered by the chipmaker behind the PlayStation 5 and Xbox

Tesla Model S interior
Tesla Model S interior.

  • AMD’s CEO said the company made the computer chips that power Tesla’s new in-car gaming system.
  • Elon Musk has said the system will have processing power that’s similar to the Playstation 5.
  • The new gaming system is expected to debut later this month when Tesla releases its Model S Plaid.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

AMD – the company known for making the computer chips that power the Playstation 5, as well as Xbox Series X and S – announced on Tuesday that it worked with Tesla on its infotainment system.

The system will have gaming-console-quality graphics with processing power just below Sony’s PS5, AMD CEO Lisa Su said during the company’s annual Computex keynote.

“We look forward to giving gamers a great platform for AAA gaming,” Su said.

She also said that higher-powered processors would only kick in when the infotainment system was running the AAA games that require more power, which would allow the systems to save battery power when playing games that require less processing power.

In January, Tesla announced its upgraded Model X and S cars would come with a new high-powered gaming system that would rival top gaming consoles like Playstation and Xbox. The company’s website said the system would have up to 10 teraflops of power, just 0.3 teraflops shy of the PS5’s processing power. Su confirmed that the chips which incorporate CPU and GPU into a single chip would have up to 10 teraflops of processing power.

The games can be played on two Tesla screens in the new Model S Plaid, which is expected to be released later this month. There is a 17-inch screen at the front of the vehicle, as well as a smaller rear screen for passengers.

On Saturday, Tesla CEO Elon Musk said the new car would start deliveries on June 10. The car’s release was delayed by several months due to the global shortage of computer chips that power the gaming console, as well as the vehicle’s navigation system, Autopilot, and bluetooth, to name a few.

Last month, Musk told investors at the company’s quarterly meeting that pandemic supply-chain issues had caused “insane difficulties” for Tesla. Tesla is even reportedly toying with the idea of buying chips for its cars in advance.

Last month, AMD said it anticipates at least another six months of video game chip shortages.

It won’t be the first Tesla to feature video games. Musk has been bolstering the gaming opportunities in his electric cars for years, but it will be the first car to essentially become a sophisticated video gaming console on wheels.

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Car sellers are suddenly earning a profit on vehicles with broken engines and frames, as tight auto supply sends prices soaring to record levels

Used car sale dealership
Car dealership.

  • A lack of supply of new vehicles pushed used car prices to record highs in May.
  • The CEO of an online marketplace told Forbes he’s paying a premium price for damaged cars.
  • “We’re making money on these because auction pricing is so intense and high,” he said.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

It’s no secret that the used car market is absolutely bonkers lately, but demand has gotten so strong and supply so tight that one dealer says he’s now buying cars he previously would never have considered.

“We’ve been seeing things clear at 103%, 110% to MMR (Manheim Market Report)- cars that we bring in we would never sell that are damaged, like frame damage or need massive engine rebuild,” said Toby Russell, co-CEO at online used vehicle marketplace Shift.com, in an interview with Forbes.

“Normally we would lose a little money on that, but we’re making money on these because auction pricing is so intense and high. It’s just a total dislocation in the market caused by a surge in demand and lack of supply coming from new cars,” he said.

Russell told Forbes that Shift now pays 25% more for vehicles than it did a the start of the year.

“That’s like crazy,” he said. “Usually used cars will depreciate 1% per week but the car sitting in your driveway is likely to be worth 25-30% more than it was in January.”

At the start of May, used-vehicle prices reached an all-time high, topping more than $22,500, according to a Cox Automotive analysis of vAuto Available Inventory data.

“Given the strong demand from consumers, and the tight supply situation, it seems likely that used-vehicle prices, already at all-time highs, will continue to rise,” said Charlie Chesbrough, Cox Automotive senior economist. “At some point, prices will become too high, and demand will recede. But we are not there yet.”

The supply of used vehicles on dealers’ lots is less than half of what it was this time last year (fewer people were buying cars then), and it’s also well below the same month in 2019.

As sales taper off from their frenetic pace earlier in the spring, Chesbrough says there’s a simple reason for the slowdown: “Folks can’t buy what isn’t there.”

Jonathan Banks, vice president of Valuations Services at J.D. Power, said used retail prices are up 15% this year with no signs of backing down.

“Used-vehicle prices have shown no signs of softening and are expected to remain exceptionally strong for the foreseeable future,” he said.

If you are looking to buy or sell a car and have a story to share, contact this reporter at dreuter@insider.com

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2016 Indy 500 winner Alexander Rossi breaks down why the race is so difficult

  • At speeds of over 220 mph, drivers tear around the Indianapolis Motor Speedway for 500 miles, or 200 laps.
  • But while driving an oval racetrack may seem fairly straightforward, surviving just one lap requires an expert behind the wheel.
  • We talked to the Indy 500 2016 winner Alex Rossi who took us turn by turn through the track.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Following is a transcript of the video.

Alexander Rossi: Hey what’s up guys I’m Alexander Rossi. IndyCar driver for Andretti Autosport. I drive the #27 NAPA AutoNation Honda and I won the 2016 Indianapolis 500.

So you roll off on what is kind of four pace and parade laps. The first one, you do a salute to the fans. So the first lap is very slow and you’re just waving to the fans. Then the second and third lap you go single file and that’s when you get the engine temperature, the tire temperature, the brake temperature all to the levels that you want. And the team’s kind of talking you through that. And then the final lap you form back into the grid formation, eleven rows of three.

You know what you’re trying to do is just maintain the speed off the car on your inside because he’s really the one setting the pace. And then from that point you’re just waiting until the row in front of you accelerates, and you try to go with them. You know, you want to get a jump on the cars around you, but ultimately it’s a 500 mile race. There’s so much that’s gonna happen in the next three hours that the last thing you want to do is throw it all away going into Turn 1.

As we’re going into Turn 1 this is the first time you’re actually seeing the grandstands full. Because of that, it looks a lot narrower than it has the previous few weeks that you’ve been practicing because the light’s not coming in, there’s different kinds of shadows and reflections that you see. It’s actually kind of intimidating the first time that you go through there. It takes your mind three or four laps to adjust to the visual sensation.

So going into Turn 1, there’s cars that are taking a bigger risk than other cars for sure. Going two wide, or three wide you can only do on starts and restarts. And the reason for that is you’re accelerating from such a slower speed out of Turn 4 that by the time you get to Turn 1 you’re only doing 180, 190 mph. While that’s still fast, it’s a lot faster when you’re going 240 mph. So your margin for being able to explore different lines only exists on starts and restarts, and from there you see it kind of fall into more single file racing.

As much as geometrically Turns, 1, 2, 3 and 4 are identical, they’re all very different. So you’re using the short chutes to kind of change the balance of the car based on how it was through Turn 1 that lap.

The typical kind of balance you have is you have a bit of understeer exit of 1 and into 2. Between the short chute of 1 and 2 you are usually stiffening your rear anti-roll bar, softening your front anti-roll bar, or putting left front weight. So you can change the cross weight of the car. You can move up to 150 pounds from the right front tire to the left front tire. This obviously changes the balance of the car quite a bit.

So in terms of the easiest places to crash, it’s usually Turns 2 or 4. And that is because the tires are at their peak temperature exiting Turns 1 and 3. So when you go into Turn 2 and 4 you have much less margin for error. Whereas when you go into 1 and 3 they have the entire straightaway to cool down and center themselves. The short chutes between 1 and 2 and 3 and 4 don’t allow them to cool down enough so you have to be super precise with what you do or the price is just exponential.

These cars are so aerodynamically dependent, and they’re made to be run by themselves. So that means when the wings and the floor of the car are developed, they’re made in a space where the air coming at it is clean, and the cars go through it as if it was brand new virgin air. Well when you’re behind cars that are going through that air, they’re actually dirtying up the air and it’s coming at the car in a much more disconnected fashion so it actually reduces the performance of your car.

Where this comes back to your advantage is in the straights. So because they’re basically having to punch a hole through clean air, that means that you don’t have to do that anymore, so that’s where the draft and slipstream comes into play.

So the main goal of the Indianapolis is, how do you find a car balance that you can stay close enough behind the car in front of you to not lose a draft, but then still fast enough in a straight line to pass them. Because you can obviously put down force on, raise the rear wing angle, really glue your car to the track and be able to corner really well and follow someone super close. But then when you’re in a straight and you try to slipstream past them you don’t have enough straight line speed. So it’s all about finding that balance of “this is the least amount of grip I can get by with, while still being able to pass cars.

So going into Turn 3 you can see the sparks coming from the car in front. One thing to keep in mind in a race like this is that because it’s so long, the tire pressures are pretty low at the start of the stint. So what you have is the car bottom, it actually touches the ground. It’s what we call bottoming. So when that happens there’s actually less of a tire on the ground which is fine, but you have to be prepared for it because the car can actually move a little bit, and it’s hitting the deck so it’s not as composed as it would be.

And then going into Turn 4, as you’re completing the lap, this is the first time you’re able to get a balance check of what the car’s doing. That first lap you’re really seeing “Did I make the right call? Is everything as I expected it to be?”

But as I mentioned, it’s such a long race that even if the first balance check that you do isn’t quite what you were hoping for or expecting, there’s enough pit stops throughout the race where you can tune on the car, adjust tire pressures and wing angles, that theoretically if you play your cards right, by the end of the race you can dial in your car to be what you need it to be to win.

So as you start Lap 2 it’s at this point that you kind of start to have an idea of what the car is doing, and you start to analyze people’s strengths and weaknesses. And start trying to analyze your areas of attack as the day goes on.

And quite honestly that changes. It changes every 5 to 10 laps. As your fuel load decreases your car balance changes. Temperatures are always fluctuating, and a 2 to 3 degrees change in track temperature can make a big difference on the balance of your car. And it’s the guy that’s able to stay on top of it the most and make the right calls and obviously have a good car underneath him that’s ultimately able to win the Indianapolis 500.

The 2016 Indy 500 was my first 500. It was my second race ever on an oval. Throughout the race we were having a lot of problems refueling the car. Every time I came into the pits we’d kind of fall back, I’d lose position because we were taking so long to put fuel in the car.

My strategist and team owner, Bryan Herta, came up with a strategy, a high risk, roll the dice, we’re gonna do one less pit stop than everyone else and try to save fuel. So we’re gonna eliminate stopping one final time and stretch our fuel to make it to the end. We always knew we were gonna run out of fuel on the final lap, it was just gonna be a matter of when, and were we gonna have enough of a lead to basically coast across the finish line.

So we had enough fuel to get us out of Turn 2 into Turn 3, and as we were in the short chute between 3 and 4 we ran out of gas. So I just pulled the clutch in and just waited and literally just free-wheeled from the middle of Turn 4 all the way to the finish line. We started the lap with a 24 second lead and won by 3.8 seconds. Certainly a very strange way to win that race.

EDITOR’S NOTE: This video was originally published in May 2020.

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Ford unveils a ‘Pro’ version of its F-150 Lightning electric pickup. It starts at $40,000, is aimed at commercial customers, and can tow up to 7,700 pounds: take a look.

Picture of Ford's F-150 Lightning Pro electric pickup truck
Ford’s F-150 Lightning Pro electric pickup truck

  • Ford on Monday revealed the F-150 Lightning Pro, the newest version of its electric pickup truck.
  • The Lightning Pro is aimed at commercial customers, unlike the F-150 Lightning, which is aimed at the general public.
  • The main difference is that the Pro comes with telematics software so managers can keep track of their vehicle fleet.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Ford on Monday unveiled the F-150 Lightning Pro, a version of its newly announced electric pickup truck. This version is aimed at businesses.

Ford revealed its first all-electric pickup truck, the F-150 Lightning, on Thursday. The Lightning starts at $39,974 and its extended-range battery has a driving range of up to 300 miles.

The Lightning Pro is a very similar vehicle, but tweaked to appeal to commercial customers rather than the retail market, according to Ford’s press release. The main difference is that the Pro comes with telematics software so managers can keep track of their fleets and reimburse employees who charge the electric vehicle at home.

Ford's F-150 Lightning Pro electric pickup truck - interior

Ford said commercial businesses could use the lockable space under the hood to store tools, while saving the rear-end cargo bed for other equipment.

Ford F-150 Lightning Pro electric pickup truck
You can store tools in the lockable space under the truck’s hood.

The most basic model of the Lightning Pro starts at $39,974, the same as the Lightning, with an estimated range of 230 miles. Models with 300 miles of range will start at $49,974, according to Ford.

Shipments of the Lightning Pro will kick off in 2022, Ford said.

The basic version of the truck will be able to generate 426 horsepower and tow up to 7,700 pounds. It also comes with a 32-amp charger which Ford said makes “the transition affordable for small and medium-size businesses.”

Ford's F-150 Lightning Pro electric pickup truck  towing machinery
The Lightning Pro can pull up to 10,000 pounds with the optional Max Trailer Tow Package.

In comparison, the extended range can pull up to 10,000 pounds with the optional Max Trailer Tow Package, generates up to 563 horsepower, and comes with both an 80-amp Ford Charge Station Pro and onboard dual chargers.

Read more: The chip shortage has left US car buyers scouring empty dealerships. That won’t change anytime soon.

“F-150 Lightning Pro represents so much more than an electric workhorse – it’s made for commercial customers inside and out, it gets better over time, and it’s totally plugged into always-on services that can help business productivity,” said Jim Farley, Ford’s president and CEO, in the press release.

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Ford revealed its first-ever all-electric pickup truck, the F-150 Lightning

  • Ford has revealed its first-ever all-electric pickup truck, the F-150 Lightning.
  • The truck debuted at Ford’s headquarters in Dearborn, Michigan.
  • The 573-horsepower EV can tow up to 10,000 pounds and has a maximum driving range of 300 miles.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Ford has debuted its first all-electric pickup truck, the F-150 Lightning. The Lightning has two electric motors that make 573 horsepower. Its extended range battery has a driving range of 300 miles, and can accelerate 0 to 60 mph in about 4.5 seconds.

With a fast charger, it can get up to 54 miles of range in 10 minutes, and charge from 15 to 80 percent in about 41 minutes. The charge station it comes with adds 30 miles of range per hour. The Ford Lightning can fully power the average home for at least 3 days.

The truck has a towing capacity of 10,000 pounds. And it has a maximum payload capacity of 2,000 pounds.

Ford’s Onboard Scales app tells you how many pounds you’re carrying. Ford’s new Blue Cruise system allows for hands-free highway driving. Pro Trailer Hitch Assist automatically controls hitching trailers. The interior has a 15.5-inch touchscreen infotainment system. The Lightning’s waterproof front trunk has 14 cubic feet of space.

The Lightning features four selectable drive modes. They include Normal, Sport, Off Road and Tow/Haul. The Lightning has been “torture tested” by Ford’s engineering team. This makes sure it can handle all surfaces and driving conditions.

The Ford F-150 Lightning goes on sale in spring 2022. The truck starts at $39,974. Interested buyers can reserve theirs with a $100 deposit.

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Tesla says it’s working with China to investigate a crash in which a policeman reportedly died

Tesla Shanghai
Elon Musk walks with former Shanghai Mayor Ying Yong in 2019

  • Tesla said it is cooperating with Chinese officials in an investigation into a fatal crash.
  • Video footage of the accident went viral in China on Tuesday, according to Bloomberg.
  • The accident comes after a protest at the Shanghai Auto Show drew attention to Tesla safety concerns.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Tesla said it is working with Chinese authorities to investigate a crash involving one of its cars in which a local policeman was killed, Bloomberg reported.

The accident involved a Tesla and two traffic policemen in the eastern Chinese city of Taizhou, according to Bloomberg, and local authorities later said that one of the policemen was killed after sustaining injuries. On Tuesday, in a statement on Weibo, a popular Chinese social network, Tesla said that it had provided a report on the accident to Chinese officials and was working with the agency to investigate the cause of the crash.

Video footage of the accident, which was covered by Chinese media, was widely shared on social media Tuesday.

Chinese authorities are still investigating another Tesla crash in the southern Chinese city of Shaoguan. Earlier in the month, a Tesla driver died after rear-ending a truck. Authorities say the cause of the accident is still under investigation.

The accidents have garnered hundreds of posts from Chinese Tesla drivers expressing concern over the safety of the company’s electric cars, with some pointing to a brake malfunction.

Last month, a woman climbed onto a Tesla car at the Shanghai Auto Show, protesting a brake malfunction in her electric car. The incident went viral and the company faced an onslaught of criticism. Though, Tesla told Bloomberg it had tried to solve the issue.

Following the incident, China’s Central Political and Legal Affairs Commission issued a statement saying that the company must stop “pretending to be oblivious to hidden dangers of which it’s well aware,” and that it needs to “face up to the torment of its Chinese customers,” The Wall Street Journal reported.

It was not the first time a customer had complained of brake failure. In April, a Tesla Model 3 driver lost control of their vehicle and it caught fire. The incident was believed to be linked to a brake failure, of which there have been over ten accidents where Teslas in China have spontaneously gone “out of control” in the past year, according to Global Times.

Tesla has also faced safety concerns in the US – a market where it is the No. 1 selling electric carmaker by vehicle registrations. Last month, US senators came together to discuss regulating autonomous vehicles. Tesla was the focal point of the conversation due to concern over a series of Tesla accidents, including a fatal crash in Texas. Last week, a preliminary investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board into the incident said Tesla’s autopilot feature was not engaged during the fatal Texas crash.

Even prior to the Shanghai Auto Show incident, Tesla’s relationship with the Chinese government has encountered complications since the company started selling its car in China at the end of 2019. Five Chinese regulatory agencies are probing the quality of its Shanghai-produced Model 3 vehicles.

The country’s military also reportedly banned Tesla cars from its locations over privacy concerns related to the car’s cameras. Though, Tesla CEO Elon Musk said the onboard cameras are not enabled in China.

China represents an important market for Tesla car sales and the company’s recent run of bad publicity has stunted interest in its vehicles. Following the safety concerns in China, sales in the market dropped 27% between April and March, CNN reported.

Tesla did not respond to a request for comment.

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How NASCAR’s banked turns help cars go faster

  • Many NASCAR tracks use banked turns that are sloped to keep race cars tilted inwards. These banks are both safer and faster than flat roads.
  • The race cars, which can reach speeds faster than 200 mph at NASCAR’s fastest tracks, would fling outwards and off the track if not for the banked turns.
  • Watch the video above for a deeper dive into the physics of NASCAR’s banked turns.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Following is a transcript of the video.

Narrator: In 1959, something happened that revolutionized NASCAR’s stock-car racing: the introduction of Daytona International Speedway.

Daytona was unlike any race track before it because of these: banked turns. The turns had towering walls that sloped downwards to the center. Walls that NASCAR’s stock cars would drive onto. Daytona’s banks were a whopping 31 degrees, significantly steeper than the relatively flat 12-degree banks at Martinsville or Occoneechee Speedways.

In the first year of Daytona, stock-car drivers qualified at speeds of more than 140 mph. And today, at the same track, that speed is more like 200 mph – in large part because of the steep banks. Which raises the question: How do banked walls help cars go faster?

Detractors of NASCAR joke that, to finish a race, all you have to do is turn left. To NASCAR fans’ chagrin, it’s somewhat true. For the majority of NASCAR tracks, most of the lap is completed while turning, or cornering. What critics misunderstand is that it’s the turns where good drivers earn their keep. Oftentimes, viewers will see stock cars rocket past each other in the straightaways and think that the faster car had more horsepower. The speed that driver uses to pass, however, comes largely from the momentum they collect in the curve they just left.

The winningest NASCAR drivers, then, are the ones that understand the corners the best, change direction the fastest, pick the best lines, and apply power at the right times to navigate the corners better than their competitors. It’s the corners where the races are won. Going straight is easy. Newton’s law of inertia tells us that an object going straight will keep going straight until something makes it change direction.

So driving a stock car on a straightaway, even at 180 mph, would be fairly easy for you or I. It’s turning that presents some challenges. To turn, a force needs to push the car sideways. That force is centripetal force. Imagine a ball attached to a string. When I twirl the ball in a horizontal circle, the tension in the string provides the centripetal force needed to make the weight curve.

Our stock cars do not have strings attached to them. The centripetal force needed to move the car left is caused, instead, by friction at the tires. But at high speed, the force of traction at the tires alone is not enough to pull the car to the left.

Let me explain by example. Think about turning sharp circles in a flat parking lot. The faster you go, the more unsteady the car will be. With enough speed, the car will slide out. For cars traveling above 180 mph, friction at the tires alone is not enough to get the cars moving to the left. For example, taking the first turn at Bristol Motor Speedway at 130 mph requires an immense 16,000 pounds of force to move the car to the left. That’s where high banks come in handy. When an object presses onto a surface, the object feels an equal force in the opposite direction. So for a stock car on a flat track, the track will push up with a force equivalent to the weight of the car.

On a banked track, however, only part of the force from the track goes straight up. The angle of the track directs the rest of the force towards the center. And that’s exactly the direction the driver is trying to turn. The extra force from the banked track, combined with the friction from the tires, is enough to turn the car safely. So the steep, banked turns let drivers maintain greater speeds into and through the turns.

While the banked track isn’t the only thing helping the car corner – aerodynamic downforce too helps the car generate lateral force – it is one of the most important factors keeping stock cars cornering at speed. NASCAR’s banks are for cars going at race speeds. At lower speeds, the 33 degree bank at Talladega Superspeedway would be enough to slide a car down to the bottom of the track. In fact, if you or I wanted to take a lap around Talladega in a street car, we’d constantly be turning right to just stay up on the wall.

But you don’t need to be a stock-car driver to test a banked turn for yourself. Banked turns exist on our roads, too, on freeway on-ramps and interchanges. For heavy vehicles like trucks and buses, friction alone may not provide enough force to turn safely, especially if the driver doesn’t slow down enough. A slightly banked turn, with a gentle grade of 15 degrees or less, can help push the vehicle into the turn.

So, for NASCAR, banked turns simultaneously create lateral force that, in addition to friction force at the tires, create enough centripetal force in total to get stock cars moving to the left but also enable them to travel at higher speeds without sliding or flying off the track.

EDITORS NOTE: This video was originally published in August 2019.

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Fisker soars 17% after reaching deal with Foxconn for development of an electric vehicle

Fisker Ocean
Production on Fisker’s Ocean SUV is slated to start in 2022.

  • Fisker shares revved up 17% on Friday after the company and Foxconn finalized agreements to develop a “breakthrough” electric vehicle.
  • Production of the vehicle is expected to begin in 2023 in the US.
  • Fisker is aiming to begin production on its Ocean SUV in Europe in 2022.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Shares of Fisker sharply jumped Friday after the company finalized a deal to jointly develop and manufacture electric vehicles with Foxconn, the manufacturer of Apple iPhones.

Financial terms of the agreements were not disclosed. The companies will invest in a program named Project PEAR, or Personal Electric Automotive Revolution, that’s aimed at creating a “new breakthrough electric vehicle,” they said in a statement issued late Thursday. The vehicle will have a starting price of less than $30,000 before incentives and be sold under the Fisker brand.

Shares of Fisker popped up 17% to $11.65. The stock this year had turned lower for a loss of about 32%.

The vehicle will be sold in markets including North America, Europe, China, and India, and manufacturing is slated to begin in the US in 2023. Fisker is preparing to begin production on its first vehicle, the Ocean SUV, in Europe in the fourth quarter of 2022.

Fisker and Taiwan-based Foxconn, also known as Hon Hai Precision Industry Co, said they are considering “several” manufacturing locations and are studying other factory sites for future manufacturing. Each company will take proceeds upon the program’s successful delivery.

“At under $30,000 with stunning design and innovation, we are rethinking the car, both in terms of proportions, design, interior functionality and connected user experience,” said Henrik Fisker, Fisker’s CEO, in the joint statement.

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