There was a lot of excitement in 2012, when the Hiriko car was unveiled at this event at European Union headquarters in Brussels. At the time, the then-president of the European Commission, Jose Manuel Barroso, hailed the car as a trans-Atlantic "exchange between the world of science and the world of business." Zhou Lei/Xinhua/Landov hide caption

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Vacationers lie on the beach, as well as their vehicle, as they sunbathe in Daytona during spring break. Only 17 miles of beach are currently open for car use and that number may soon be reduced. Joe Raedle/Getty Images hide caption

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A classic Lincoln Continental convertible is seen in Washington, D.C., in June. Sonari Glinton/NPR hide caption

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Hackers say they took control of a Tesla Model S through the car's computers. Tesla Motors says it is updating its systems with a patch to fix the vulnerability. Tesla Motors hide caption

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Chris Valasek (left) and Charlie Miller talk about hacking into vehicle computer systems during the Black Hat USA 2014 hacker conference in Las Vegas last August. Steve Marcus/Reuters/Landov hide caption

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NPR's Frank Langfitt has been offering free taxi rides around Shanghai to talk to ordinary Chinese. He drives a Camry around the city, but rented a van for a trip 500 miles outside the city earlier this year. He recently decided to buy a car, which can be a complicated process in China. Yang Zhuo for NPR hide caption

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Some auto insurance companies could be using a tactic called "price optimization" to charge loyal customers a higher premium. iStockphoto hide caption

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Auto dealers are extending loans to a growing number of people with weak credit. Joe Raedle/Getty Images hide caption

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