Archive for the ‘Safety’ Category

First Drive: 2019 Subaru Ascent…Proving Bigger is Better

The Japanese automaker learns its lesson with all-new three-row SUV.

by on May.23, 2018

The Subaru Ascent's X Mode is able to handle a wide variety of conditions, including wet sand.

An hour-some outside of Portland, as you head for the rugged Oregon coast, you’ll pass through the quaint old town of McMinnville. It’s known, it seems, for three things: walnuts, the annual Alien Festival – which celebrates a local farmer’s alleged encounter with a UFO – and the Evergreen Air and Space Museum. Dwarfing an indoor football stadium, the star of the collection is the legendary Spruce Goose, among the biggest aircraft ever built.

With eight radial engines mounted across its 321-foot wingspan, the 220 foot-long “Flying Lumberyard” was designed as a troop transport able to squeeze in nearly 800 soldiers on a trans-Atlantic flight. There are times when having plenty of passenger space, it seems comes in handy – something we had in mind before heading to McMinnville for a couple days to drive the all-new Subaru Ascent.

Reviews You Cann Trust!

While dwarfed by what was officially known as the H-4 flying boat, the 2019 Ascent is the Japanese automaker’s biggest offering yet, capable of seating up to eight passengers in a good bit more comfort than soldiers would have experienced had the Spruce Goose ever gone into service. Equally important, it has the styling and features that were sorely lacking when Subaru launched its first three-row model, the ungainly B4 Tribeca back in 2005.

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Musk Strikes Back After Tough Reviews of Model 3

CEO suggested problems were related to software issue.

by on May.22, 2018

Tesla's Elon Musk took to to defend and explain some of the issues Consumer Reports came across in reviewing the Model 3.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk took to – as he often does – to defend his company and the Model 3 and explain problems that Consumer Reports told its readers about were easily fixed.

The magazine, which stopped short of giving the Model 3 an endorsement, pointed out that the new sedan performed poorly in braking tests. In fact, it said it tested two vehicles and each of them performed worse in the 60-to-0 mph test than a new Ford F-150 truck.

EV News!

This happened even after the car it owned received a software update to improve the vehicle’s braking system. (more…)

Tesla Model S Was in Autopilot at Time of Crash

Driver repeatedly took hands off the wheel.

by on May.17, 2018

The NTSB is investigating a third crash involving a Tesla vehicle using Autopilot at the time of the collision.

A Tesla Model S sedan that crashed into the back of a fire truck in Utah last week was operating in semi-autonomous Autopilot mode, the battery-electric automaker has confirmed, though the company has also tried to shift blame to the 28-year-old driver by noting that she repeatedly took her hands off the wheel and admitted being distracted immediately before the crash occurred.

The incident is the latest in a series of accidents involving Tesla vehicles in the U.S. and abroad and could raise new concerns about the safety of the automaker’s products – especially those using Autopilot which Tesla CEO Elon Musk has hailed as a potentially life-saving feature.

Safety News!

The latest crash occurred when a Model S slammed into a parked fire truck at around 60 mph. The female driver suffered a broken foot. She subsequently told authorities that she was driving in Autopilot mode. Tesla engineers on Wednesday accessed the vehicle’s black box and confirmed that statement, though they also revealed that the driver had taken her hands off the wheel for as much as 80 seconds immediately prior to the crash. (more…)

Denso Readies Driver Monitor for Big Trucks

Supplier adapts tech for commercial vehicles.

by on May.16, 2018

Denise's adapted its driver monitor sensor for use in large commercial vehicles.

Denso Corp. is looking to keep drivers of large commercial vehicles alert and awake behind the wheel, or least let them know when they should pull over, with its newly released a driver status monitor that can be used by vehicles already on the road.

The driver status monitor is can be placed in existing vehicles on the road and can therefore accelerate the introduction of safety devices to large commercial vehicles.

Tech News!

If drowsy or distracted driving is detected, the monitor voices an alert. It is now sold by Denso Sales and Denso service stations across Japan and will be released outside the country later this year. (more…)

Click It or Ticket is Back: This Means You Teen Driver

Gen Z drives least likely to buckle up overtime behind wheel.

by on May.11, 2018

Teenage drivers are the least likely group of drivers to use seat belts, according to a new survey.

In a digital world, it is the most “analog” of devices that will save your life: a seat belt. It’s common sense to get in and buckle up; however, the digital generation, Gen Z, are the least likely of driving age groups to strap themselves in when driving.

According to a recent national survey of drivers by Erie Insurance, just 77% of Gen Z drivers — the age group most likely to get in and die from a car accident — buckle up. As drivers get older, they are more likely to use seat belts: 81% of millennials use them, 87% of Gen Xers and 94% of Baby Boomers make sure to buckle up every time they get in a car.

Safety News!

This isn’t just posturing, but based on hard evidence. In 2016, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the use of seat belts in passenger vehicles saved an estimated 14,668 lives of occupants ages 5 and older. Many Americans understand the lifesaving value of the seat belt – the national use rate is at 90.1% – but nearly 27.5 million people still don’t buckle up. (more…)

Pedestrian Deaths Skyrocketing – Pot, SUVs and Smartphones Catching Blame

Tech distractions and possible tech solutions.

by on May.09, 2018

Despite recent efforts to improve safety, pedestrian deaths have risen for the past few years.

Highway deaths have been on the rise in recent years, reversing a long period of improved roadway safety. And one reason for the deadly turnaround has been the skyrocketing increase in pedestrian fatalities.

Since 2009, the number of pedestrians killed in motor vehicle crashes has jumped by nearly 50%, and a number of factors are being blamed, including the use of mobile devices by both motorists and pedestrians. But a new study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety puts a chunk of the blame on the increasing number of SUVs on the road.

Safety First!

Both the number SUVs and their design appear to be factors, according to David Harkey, the president of the insurance industry trade groups, who noted that, “SUVs have higher front ends, and often the design for the vehicle is much more vertical than passenger cars.” That can make for a more blunt impact and less likelihood that a pedestrian being struck by an SUV might be able to roll off the vehicle and reduce injuries.

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War and Peace: The Two Stories of a Driver’s Daily Commute

Study shows commuters want a calm trek, but don't aways get it.

by on May.07, 2018

Drivers across the country view time spent commuting to and from work as "me time."

It seems that increasingly daily commuters climb into their cars, trucks or utility vehicles with one of two mindsets: War or peace.

A new survey by Cars.com shows that the average commuter is on the road 22 minutes and the vast majority, 79%, are looking to make their drive time more relaxed and focused on them.

Pushing the Envelope!

“With the vast majority of commuters traveling by car, it’s important to have a vehicle that’s not only safe and reliable but comfortable too,” said Jenni Newman, editor-in-chief of Cars.com.  (more…)

Study Shows Motorists Want Calmer, More Comfortable Commute

Better seats, audio systems and safety tech top list.

by on May.04, 2018

A study from Volvo Cars and Harris show that drivers want a calmer daily commute.

Commuting is stressful, and Americans are looking for relief and a lot of them are finding it in their cars. A new study from Volvo Cars and Harris indicates 75% of Americans are seeking more ways to find calm amid increasing stress levels.

Moreover, the respondents to the Volvo/Harris survey are also looking in surprising places to find it. In fact, more Americans find serenity on their daily drive, approximately 20% more than while doing yoga, which 14% respondents said helped them minimize the stress.

Volvo commission the study because it was seeking to better understand how commuting and traffic drive stress levels amongst Americans, and what factors might help drivers decompress and find their own personal sanctuary on the road.  (more…)

Israeli Company Devises Way to Protect Cars from Cyber Attack

Company supplementing efforts by automakers.

by on May.03, 2018

NNG and its Arilou cyber security division have developed an effective system to prevent cyber attacks on cars.

In an age where Facebook profits from pirated information and ransomware is the new form burglary where the thieves don’t even need to climb fences, stand on a roof or pry open a window, cyber security is a major topic of discussion.

After years of minimizing the threat, carmakers have been forced to adjust their thinking and take the threat much more seriously. But effective solutions are still under development and a network of suppliers with solutions is only beginning to emerge.

News Now!

However, NNG, an Israeli company based in Hungary known in the automotive business for its work in navigation systems, has come up with what it believes is an effective solution, according to David Wiernik, founder and president of NNG. The system has already gotten perfect marks in independent tests conducted the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute. (more…)

Lexus Betting Big on All-New ES

Gen-7 sedan expected to remain key model in luxury line-up.

by on Apr.25, 2018

The seventh-generation 2019 Lexus ES.

For those who haven’t been watching, the 2019 Lexus line-up won’t have much in common with the model mix of just five years ago. Where sedans once dominated the brand’s product portfolio, crossovers like the new UX and NX, as well as the long-popular RX, have overwhelmed traditional Lexus sedans such as the LS and GS.

So, it might come as a surprise to see the big deal Lexus is making over the launch of the all-new 2019 ES sedan, going so far as to stage simultaneous previews in both Los Angeles and the Beijing Motor Show.

Global News!

“We’re acutely aware there’s a robust SUV market in the U.S., and Lexus is playing a part in that,” said Cooper Ericksen, the brand’s U.S. marketing chief, said during the L.A. ES unveiling. “We understand the importance of SUVs, but we also understand the importance of great sedans.”

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