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Michael Knight in the television series "Knight Rider" had one. Pixar made a movie about them. Now the U.S. government is testing a fleet of so-called "talking" cars that may help American drivers avoid crashes and traffic jams.

Over the next year, U.S. officials and the University of Michigan will fit nearly 3,000 cars, trucks and buses with wireless devices that track other vehicles' speed and location, alert drivers to congestion or change a traffic light to green.

Granted, these cars will not be as chatty as actor David Hasselhoff's talking car

No one with a kid in the house these days gets away with being anything less than environmentally aware. Mark Bishar, vice president of marketing at Big George's Home Appliance Mart, Ann Arbor, Mich., has two kids at home and is already feeling eco-pressure.

U.S. Listing for the consumer Electronics and Major Appliance trade In this section, Dealerscope profiles the top 10 retail demographic market areas, reporting on 1999 retail entrances and exits, regional economic highlights and outlooks for 2000. 1. New York City Entrances & Exits: When Circuit City opened its first store in New York City in 1998, it proved to other national chains that the big rent of the big city is quickly compensated by the big spenders in the big city. Consequently, the Big Apple in the last year saw even more megastore openings. Office Depot opened its first Manhattan store—a 21,000-sq.-ft .store

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