Hands free The honor of the first official test of an autonomous vehicle in New York state went to Audi, which drove its Audi A7 concept car along more than six miles hands free, during a test near the state capital. The car ride, which had two engineers along with New York's Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul as a third passenger, went off without a bump. The car highlighted a Level 3 of automation—the driver must be present, but the car can essentially drive itself, without hands on the steering wheels or feet on the accelerator or the brake.

New York opened the door to testing self-driving cars in the state back in May, allowing car makers to apply for permits to bring their autonomous vehicles to the Empire State. Audi is the first. Companies need a $5 million policy to apply—and a licensed driver behind the wheel. Applications are still available.

Five star The Tesla Model X earned a five-star rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration—the first SUV to ever get all safety stars. The group cites the electric SUV's low center of gravity—making it less likely for the car to roll-over in a crash, which can be an issue for cars as high-profile as SUVs.

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