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Robots And Software And Cars, Oh My

Tesla is considered by Forbes to be the world's most innovative company.

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With talk of Mary Barra as one of four potential successors to Dan Akerson as CEO of General Motors, it seems like ripe time to take a step back and acknowledge the most powerful women in the auto industry. Fortune made that easy for us by compiling a top-10 list, and sitting at the top is no other than Mary Barra.

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Every party has a pooper, and in this case it appears to be Forbes columnist Alex Epstein. Amid near-universal praise for the Tesla Model S electric vehicle, Epstein attempts to pop that balloon by calling the Model S a "great coal car," pointing out that about two-thirds of the world's electricity production comes from coal, natural gas and oil – and only a miniscule percentage is from renewable resources like solar and wind.

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Did Forbes just publish an article defending a plug-in vehicle? Sure did, when one of the publication's columnists offered a counterpoint to that famous piece in The New York Times that criticized the Tesla Model S for less-than-advertised driving range.

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According to Forbes, Google's development of a self-driving car could create trillions in economic impact. But, interestingly, not all will benefit.

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High-school students with licenses who are looking for driving gigs, rejoice! There could be more valet-parking jobs opening up – and ones that aren't just at expensive restaurants and private parties. Here's what Forbes contributor Jeff McMahon is suggesting, though we're not sure if he's being totally earnest.

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Do you love your car? Like, really love your car? How about your iPhone? According to Forbes, a group called New Media Metrics has a way to quantify just how much you adore your devices, and how that emotional connection determines your purchasing behavior.

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A Forbes piece is blasting the Chevrolet Volt as a failure again, calling General Motors out for what the magazine says is a manipulation of sales numbers for the extended-range electric vehicle.

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The future's cloudy, but you should still buy the stock. That's the message Forbes is sending about Tesla Motors.

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The city where your car is most likely to be stolen is in California. In fact, the top three cities are in California, and of the top 10, six are in that state. So says a report by Forbes that compares the number of stolen cars per 100,000 population.

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Forbes has measured the largest 100 companies in the world, and 10 automakers have made the list. This list is unique in that it measures the size of a company using a combination of sales, assets, profits and market value.

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Bob Lutz has learned something: you can't teach right-wing pundits the truth.

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Over the years, we've heard of the supposed vast riches of the United Auto Worker. When accounting for health care and legacy costs, the typical UAW floor-sweeper earns over $70 per hour. The hard truth, however, is that even the tenured line worker receives less than half that amount in their paycheck before taxes, and about 20 percent of the UAW workforce makes only $14 per hour.

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It's no secret that the writers at Forbes are not fans of plug-in vehicles. What do they suggest we use instead? Burn ethanol, at least if you live in the Midwest.

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2011 Chevrolet Volt – Click above for high-res image gallery

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2010 Audi Q5 - click above for high-res gallery

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Electric vehicles are striving to have a beneficial impact on the world's economy and are stirring interest from specialized and general media outlets. Forbes, for example, has just published an article on how China is going to become or, we should say, needs to become the mecca of the Electric Car.

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Hey, always thinking that only Japanese and Europeans have a lot of fuel-efficient vehicle choices? American automakers also have fuel-efficient models in their lineup, usually based on "global" models designed for other markets, like GM does with its Opel/Vauxhall European subsidiary or its Daewoo operations in South Korea. In fact, in a new list compiled by Forbes, GM models took nine of the ten fuel miser models, with only a Ford Focus stealing a spot away from the General.

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