Welcome to Must Read, where we single out the best stories from around the automotive universe and beyond. Today we've got reports from The New York Times, MIT TechnologyReview, NASCARNOMICS, and Petrolicious.

Disruptions: How Driverless Cars Could Reshape CitiesThe New York Times

A big discussion over "how driverless cars" will change everything is just starting. Here's the NYT take on it.

Harvard University researchers note that as much as one-third of the land in some cities is devoted to parking spots. Some city planners expect that the cost of homes will fall as more space will become available in cities. If parking on city streets is reduced and other vehicles on roadways become smaller, homes and offices will take up that space. Today’s big-box stores and shopping malls require immense areas for parking, but without those needs, they could move further into cities.

Rebelbook: A Mix of Technologies Let Dedicated Citizens Change EgyptTechnologyReview

Don't fear the future just yet, there's a lot of old technology that can still change the world.

It started not with a Facebook group or Twitter hashtag but a paper form. The day before what may have been the largest protest in history (and undoubtedly the biggest in Egypt) Mahmoud Badr, spokesman for Tamarod – ‘Rebel’ in Arabic – announced that they had collected 22,134,465 documented signatures on petition sheets calling for President Morsi’s removal and new presidential elections. Although impossible to verify, the numbers Tamarod mobilized on the streets – one military source estimated 14 million Egyptians protested on June 30th – told their own story.



On the topic of old technology that still works...

As Petrolisti, we all wear an invisible, yet easily recognizable badge identifying ourselves as such. Self-bestowed, and earned through actions like choosing impractical, dangerous, cantankerous modes of personal transportation over more conventional, airbagged and crumplezoned ones, spending our dispensable income and time keeping up with a constant stream of maintenance needs, mitigating rust, expensively and painstakingly eeking out modest performance gains only to be passed by a bone stock 2010 Corolla driven by a disengaged phlebotomist, ruining clothes through impromptu roadside repairs, constantly smelling like a combination electrical fire/oil spill, suffering for our collective superb taste and elevated sense of fun and adventure—none of it matters, according to Jeremy Clarkson, if you’ve never made said sacrifices at the altar of Alfa.


On Night Racing…NASCARnomics

And some things even work better old.

Night racing doesn’t look too good from a television perspective. All other race characteristics (track type, television station, etc.) held equal, running an evening event erodes the audience by roughly 12%, according to the reported coefficient value [ -0.118 * 100 ]. For example, a race that draws a 4.0 during the day earns just a 3.5 at night [ (-0.118 * 4.0 ) + 4.0 ]. Obviously, exceptions such as the Daytona summer race exist (and what about that idea of running weeknight races?); but in general, the proliferation of night racing has a significantly negative effect on the interest-level of NASCAR.


Photo Credit: Getty Images, Petrolicious