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Weekend Beyond Cars Roundup December 16, 2023

Here we present our weekly Jalopnik series that recaps the latest in beyond cars. We’ve showcased our most read offerings as well as some you may have missed.

Military Humvees Could Be ‘Futureproofed’ With This Bolt-In Hybrid Retrofit From Banks

Image for article titled Weekend Beyond Cars Roundup December 16, 2023

Screenshot: Banks Power

You probably know Banks Power from their high-power diesel projects, like the GMC Sierra Sidewinder Type R track truck, or the diesel S10 that runs 7s in the quarter mile. Those kinds of enthusiast builds helped cement Banks as one of the premier diesel tuners in the world, which in turn helped them win a government defense contract in 2022. The U.S. Army’s Rapid Capabilities and Critical Technologies Office asked Banks to develop a new drivetrain for the old HMMWV to bring it into the future. – Bradley Brownell Read More

Tesla’s Second-Generation Robot Can Do So Many Useful Things Like Rotate Eggs And Replace The Company’s Factory Workers

Image for article titled Weekend Beyond Cars Roundup December 16, 2023

Screenshot: Tesla

Tesla’s second-gen Optimus robot is the biggest news in tech since Mark Zuckerberg grew legs in the Metaverse. Elon Musk claims this robot will eventually account for the “majority of Tesla’s long-term value.” Considering where Tesla was with the robot at its AI day last year, Optimus has made big steps forward, as the new model is faster, lighter, more agile, and uses delicate sensors in its fingers to pick up fragile things like eggs without cracking them. – Bradley Brownell Read More

Private Flights Could Become As Cheap As Commercial Airlines

Beech 200 Super King Air, from private company, getting ready to land at Barcelona airport, in Barcelona on 10th february 2022.

Photo: Urbanandsport/NurPhoto (Getty Images)

KinectAir is the latest venture to tout itself as the Uber of private aviation. In the public imagination, rideshare startups have dramatically transformed the taxi industry by providing a cheap and convenient service through smartphone apps. However, chartered flights can either be convenient or relatively cheap, but not both. – Ryan Erik King Read More

Man Takes Flight Into The U.S. Without Ticket Or Passport

SAS Scandinavian Airlines Boeing 737-800 aircraft as seen during taxiing, rotation, take off and fly phase while departing from Amsterdam Schiphol AMS EHAM.

Photo: Nicolas Economou/NurPhoto (Getty Images)

Federal law enforcement has accused a Russian-Israeli dual national of stowing away on a November flight to Los Angeles from Copenhagen, Denmark. However, the mid-40s man wasn’t hiding in some secluded portion of the aircraft. He found a way to board the Scandinavian Airlines flight and take a seat without a ticket or passport. He claimed to the FBI that he didn’t know how he did it. – Ryan Erik King Read More

More Than 200 People Stranded In Remote Canadian Military Barracks Due To Plane’s Mechanical Issues

An Airbus A330-941 is being delivered to Delta Air Lines, flying from Toulouse Blagnac Airport to Atlanta, in Toulouse, France, on December 8, 2023.

Photo: JoanValls/Urbanandsport/NurPhoto (Getty Images)

Delta Air Lines Flight 135 was scheduled to fly from Amsterdam Airport Schiphol to Detroit, Michigan last weekend, but mechanical issues stranded passengers at a remote Canadian Forces Barracks for over 21 hours while the airline attempted to send relief planes and crews to evacuate the passengers before a record-setting blizzard would have kept them there even longer. – Ryan Erik King Read More

Passenger Tries To Carry Anti-Aircraft Ammunition Onto Flight, Which You Can’t Do

The anti-aircraft ammunition found by the TSA.

Photo: TSA

I don’t know how many times we’re going to have to tell you folks this, but please do not try to bring anti-aircraft ammunition through airport security. Apparently, a traveler in Hawaii didn’t get the message, because he tried to do just that, and he got in a lot of trouble. – Andy Kalmowitz Read More

Bentley Has More Employees Than Any Other Automaker, If You Count Its 1 Million Bees

Bentley's honey jars

Photo: Bentley

On paper, the Volkswagen Group is the largest overall automaker in the world in terms of employment, with nearly 700,000 employees across its brands all around the world. That dwarfs runners-up like BYD (~570,000), Toyota (~380,000) and Stellantis (~270,000). In contrast, British luxury brand Bentley, a Volkswagen subsidiary, only employs around 4,000 humans. But if you include all of the bees that Bentley employs, it easily takes the top spot. – Daniel Golson Read More

Loose Bull In New Jersey Train Station Surprises Witnesses, Delays Commutes

Image for article titled Weekend Beyond Cars Roundup December 16, 2023

Photo: NJ Transit

Folks planning to ride from Newark Penn Station into New York City got a surprise this morning when a loose bull showed up on the tracks. His presence caused 45-minute delays as police attempted to corral the large bovine without anyone getting hurt, NBC New York reports. – Collin Woodard Read More

NASA Spent $5 Million On Probe Into Drug Use At SpaceX, But Won’t Release The Details

Elon Musk in a black t-shirt smirking after taking a long drag on a large marijuana joint.

NASA spent three months looking into drug use at SpaceX, but the federal space agency is keeping quiet on what it found.

After Elon Musk very publicly smoked a joint on Joe Rogan’s podcast back in 2018 (Musk claims he didn’t inhale and in fact doesn’t even know how), NASA found itself in a bit of a pickle; you see, federal contractors aren’t allowed to be hopped up on the Devil’s Lettuce. Business Insider used the Freedom of Information Act to try and discover what NASA knew, but it didn’t work out: – Erin Marquis Read More


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