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Domino's is bringing back The Noid to promote autonomous pizza delivery in Houston

The Noid chases a Nuro 2 around Houston in a new commercial.

Photo courtesy of Domino's

The largest pizza company in the world, which got its start thanks to a Volkswagen, is welcoming back its biggest nemesis: the Noid. The antihero has been a part of Domino's advertising campaigns, comically working to prevent pizza delivery since 1986.

The Noid has been silent for a while, but now is part of a new marketing campaign featuring Nuro's R2 robot, the autonomous vehicle that is conducting driverless pizza deliveries in Houston, Texas. The delivery system recently went live and is part of a larger autonomous vehicle trial operation. You can find out which self-driving vehicles are being tested in your neck of the woods by clicking here.

"The Noid is Domino's oldest and most famous villain, and the pizza delivery testing we're doing with Nuro's autonomous vehicle is exactly the kind of technology innovation that could provoke the Noid to return," said Kate Trumbull, Domino's vice president of advertising. "However, after 35 years of practice in avoiding the Noid, we're pretty confident we know how to defeat it."

In addition to television commercials, the Noid will return to \screens in the new installment of the Crash Bandicoot gaming series, "Crash Bandicoot: On the Run!". For a limited time, the Noid will be featured as one of the game's mini bosses, pitting players against the Noid as Crash progresses through the story. Players will have the opportunity to access exclusive Domino's pizza-themed player skins.

"We're excited to launch our first in-game collaboration for 'Crash Bandicoot: On the Run!' with Domino's," said Richard Hocking, head of marketing at King, the game's developer. "With the Noid making its big return this year and the Crash Bandicoot franchise celebrating its 25th anniversary, it was the perfect opportunity to have players take on the Domino's antihero alongside other nostalgic Crash bosses in this brand-new mobile adventure."

The Noid can also be found on GIPHY by searching "The Noid" in GIF and sticker search engines on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, and TikTok.

There's a charitable element to the campaign as well. For a limited time, "Hanging in There" and "Avoice the Noid" t-shirts and tumblers are available on Amazon. All profits from the merchandise will go to the Domino's Partners Foundation, an independent internal nonprofit organization that provides financial assistance to Domino's franchise and corporate team members in need.

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What was your best car-related experience this year?

Chris Teague

This year has been a lot of things, but it hasn't been boring. Even if we focus only on the car world, there's plenty to talk about, from microchip-related new vehicle shortages to the wave of new electric vehicles hitting the market. That leaves us with a question for all of you: What was the best or most memorable car moment for you in 2021? I'll get the conversation started.

Porsche Cayenne GTSMy SoCal Cayenne śaw snow for the first time in its nearly 200k-mile life last week.Chris Teague

I'd spent a good portion of 2021 wanting a new-old car to drive when I wasn't testing a new vehicle. That's harder than you'd think for someone who thinks, talks, and writes about cars all day, because there are so many interesting, risky, and downright funky options out there in every price range. The added headache for me was that I'd chosen to shop for a "fun" car in one of the most volatile car markets ever seen. Even the extremely high-mileage "untouchable" European cars I wanted to buy were commanding ridiculous prices.

After a solid few months of waffling between various rattletrap Mercedes-AMG, BMW M, and Audi S/RS cars, I landed on an option that had escaped me before: The Porsche Cayenne. First-generation Cayennes are a real bargain now, but the 955/957 (Porsche's internal code for the SUVs) can experience major problems that occur with or without regular maintenance and care. I was determined to buy one, and wasn't overly concerned about mileage, as long as I could count the number of owners on one hand. There was a beautiful 2009 Cayenne GTS with 90,000 miles but nine owners, a gorgeous 2004 Cayenne Turbo with a concerning engine tick, and many more just like them. Finally, I decided to risky-click a 196,000-mile Cayenne GTS in Southern California. It had one owner and one dealer-owner for a month or two prior to sale, its condition looked decent in photos, and I was able to negotiate a reasonable enough price that shipping it from San Diego to Maine wasn't a huge problem.

Porsche Cayenne GTSThe pics look great, but hands-on tells another story.Chris Teague

I had two traveling Euro mechanics check the car out, and both confirmed that it was well-worn but mechanically sound, so I jumped. Ten days later, on a snowy, icy, dark Maine afternoon, the Cayenne arrived. Cosmetically, there were a few things the dealer and mechanics failed to mention, but overall, it looked good. The SUV passed Maine safety and emissions testing without problem, got a new set of Michelins, and I was on my way.

Porsche Cayenne GTSI'm in danger, but thankfully this should be a reasonable fix.Chris Teague

A few days of driving revealed what I was really in for. A check engine light revealed a camshaft position sensor error and the Cayenne displayed a nasty vibration at idle. A new sensor and motor mounts, and I'm on my way. I'll update you as more things break or miraculously work, but I want to hear your memories from 2021.

Email me at chris@automotivemap.com, and I will compile the best and most interesting stories for a story on New Year's Day. May you all have a wonderful 2022.

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The 2022 Acura TLX has the technology enabled.

Photo courtesy of Acura

Toyota and Lexus announced that the WarnerMedia RIDE app would be coming to their models earlier this year. Now, Honda and Acura will be offering the same.

On certain Wi-Fi enabled Honda and Acura vehicles, AT&T unlimited in-car Wi-Fi users will have access to the WarnerMedia RIDE app. The app allows users to connect multiple devices in their vehicles to browse, stream and share premium content from the WarnerMedia library while on the road.

Honda and Acura vehicle owners have been able to use their on-board modem as a hot spot for connecting up to seven devices since 2017. Models compatible for the new tech include the Acura RDX (2019-present), Acura TLX (2021), and Acura MDX (2022) across all trim levels. Honda vehicles with the tech include Accord (2018-present, Touring), Odyssey (2018-present; Touring, Elite), Insight (2019-present, Touring)., Passport (2019-present; Touring, Elite)., and Pilot (2019-present; Touring, Elite, Black Edition).

The WarnerMedia RIDE App allows passengers to access 1,000+ hours of live and on-demand entertainment. The app includes hit TV shows and movies from top brands such as Cartoon Network, CNN, HBO Max, TBS, TNT and TruTV, spanning animation, entertainment, news, sports and more.

WarnerMedia RIDE appThe WarnerMedia RIDE app allows users to choose their own avatar.Photo courtesy of Acura

Users can set up profiles and personalize their user exerpience with an avatar from the WarnerMedia library. Profiles also ensure age-appropriate content with options for adults to restrict access to their profiles with an access code.

"Wireless connectivity and connected car services continue to be key features for customers and our long-standing relationship with AT&T continues to be one way we deliver exciting new content to Honda and Acura owners," said Art St. Cyr, vice president of North American Auto Strategy for American Honda. "Honda will continue working to enhance the in-car experience, including the capabilities of the AT&T network and access to top content with WarnerMedia RIDE."

"We're always looking for new and innovative ways to elevate the connected car experience for our customers. With WarnerMedia RIDE, we are delivering a connected experience that's perfect for journeys," said Joe Mosele, vice president, Mobility & Internet of Things, AT&T. "Our collaboration is keeping Honda and Acura owners connected wherever they travel with hours of news and entertainment for the whole family."

WarnerMedia RIDE is available now in the App Store and on Google Play for all U.S. unlimited data plan subscribers. WarnerMedia RIDE is included at no additional cost for existing and new unlimited subscribers.

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