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Archive for the ‘Advocates’ Category

Volvo Using Cameras to Prevent Distracted, Drunk Driving

Move comes after plans to keep top speed to 112 mph.

by Michael Strong on Mar.21, 2019

Volvo plans to use in-car cameras and other sensors to help prevent drunk and distracted driving crashes.

Volvo Cars is looking to finish what it loosely describes as a safety “triangle” by using in-car cameras and other sensors to prevent crashes and fatalies due to drunk or distracted drivers by 2021.

Last month, the company introduced the first “side” of the triangle by limiting the top speed of its non-Polestar vehicles to 112 mph. Now by ensuring whomever is behind the wheel is capable of making appropriate decisions, Volvo believes it is significantly closer to its goal of zero traffic deaths.

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“When it comes to safety, our aim is to avoid accidents altogether rather than limit the impact when an accident is imminent and unavoidable,” said Henrik Green, senior vice president, Research & Development at Volvo Cars. “In this case, cameras will monitor for behavior that may lead to serious injury or death.” (more…)

Suppliers, Dealers Express Concerns About Stability of Industry

New studies show trade uncertainty of trade policies worry groups.

by Joseph Szczesny on Mar.20, 2019

Auto dealers and suppliers are concerned about the state of the industry despite winter sales coming in as expected.

Even though sales of new vehicles have met expectations for much of the winter, a sense of unease is creeping through the auto industry, according to new surveys of suppliers and dealers.

The OESA Automotive Supplier Barometer from the Original Equipment Suppliers Association, which is a numeric measure of suppliers’ outlook on the automotive industry, continues to reflect a negative sentiment, the group reported this week.

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“There is no question that it’s going to be an interesting year. As dealers look ahead, they have a less-than-positive view of growth in the future,” said Cox Automotive Chief Economist Jonathan Smoke. (more…)

Safety Advocates Push for Adoption of Drunk Driving Deterrents

Groups pushing for installation of devices in new vehicles.

by Michael Strong on Mar.15, 2019

Former NHTSA Chief Joan Claybrook is leading the charge for ignition interlock devices to prevent drunk driving.

Safety advocates and other groups are looking to add some momentum to new ignition interlock technology that would prevent drunk drivers from getting behind the wheel and driving, saving thousands of lives annually.

Joan Claybrook, a former administrator of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), urged Congress to pass a law forcing automakers to include passive ignition-interlock systems in all new motor vehicles within as little as three years.

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“I don’t know what’s the matter with the industry on this issue,” Claybrook said during testimony Thursday before the House consumer protection and commerce subcommittee. (more…)

Pedestrian Deaths Climb to 28-Year High

Experts search for solutions, both high and low-tech.

by Paul A. Eisenstein on Mar.01, 2019

The BMW X1 failed the IIHS pedestrian test, sending the dummy airborne during the exercise. Others suggest SUVs play a large role in rising pedestrian deaths.

Pedestrian deaths continued to rise at an alarming rate last year, reaching a 28-year high, according to new government data.

While a variety of factors appear to be responsible, including the use of smartphones by both drivers and pedestrians, the Governor’s Highway Safety Association also is pointing the finger at the explosive growth of SUVs which, like other light trucks, have tall, blunt noses that make it less likely someone will roll off of a vehicle when struck.

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Though formal federal data has yet to be released, the GHSA used statistical data analysis to estimate that 6,227 men, women and children were killed while walking on or alongside U.S. roads last year. If the official numbers back that up it would mark a 4% increase from 2017, and the largest number of pedestrian fatalities since 2018. (more…)

Mazda Marks Miata’s 30th With Party, Special Edition

Carrot-colored 30th Anniversary Edition will start at $35,915.

by Paul A. Eisenstein on Feb.08, 2019

Mazda Motors North America President Masahiro Moro introduces the 30th anniversary limited-edition Mazda MX-5 Miata in Chicago.

February in Chicago isn’t normally what you’d call convertible season, but on a cold and blustery morning almost 30 years ago to the day, Mazda took ragtop fans and, indeed, the rest of the auto industry, by surprise with the debut of the original Miata roadster.

While never a major seller, the pint-sized two-seater also known as the MX-5 captured the hearts – and checkbooks – of those who wanted something that put the emphasis on pure driving fun, inspiring a wave of imitations from Mazda’s Japanese, German and U.S. rivals.

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On another cold and blustery day in the Windy City, Mazda pulled the wraps off a special, commemorative edition of the fourth-generation Miata Thursday. And to mark the occasion, it brought to its Chicago Auto Show news conference not only some of the roadster’s most loyal fans, but some of the folks who helped create the little car. (more…)

EVs Expected to Cost Same as Gas-Powered Cars by 2022

Deloitte research shows parity starts in UK in 2021.

by Michael Strong on Jan.23, 2019

The Chevy Bolt will be joined by two dozen other GM battery-electric vehicles by 2023. GM is all in with its EV strategy.

Automakers are set to overcome one of the biggest obstacles – cost – to selling electric vehicles in large numbers by 2022, according to a new study by research firm Deloitte.

The firm believes that EVs will achieve cost parity with gasoline- and diesel-powered vehicles globally by 2022 – first happening in the UK by 2021 – allowing for an influx of 21 million EVs to be sold within a decade.

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Part of that is the growth in charging networks around the world, which has been funded, in part, by the automakers themselves. Tesla led the charge in this arena setting up supercharging stations in the U.S. and around the world where their vehicles are sold. (more…)

Infiniti, Ford, Lexus Walk Off with NAIAS Design Awards

Automotive design celebrated at annual event.

by Joseph Szczesny on Jan.18, 2019

Infiniti's QX Inspiration EV concept was the big winner in this year's Eyes on Design competition taking home three awards.

Throughout the course of its 30-year run, the North American International Auto Show in Detroit’s Cobo Center became known as a “designers’ show” because of the large number of concept cars that emerged during the annual press preview.

For 2019, the tradition carried on with the annual “Eyes on Design” Award singling out three vehicles, one from Infiniti, one from Lexus and one from Ford for honors.

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One of the big winners this year was Infiniti, which walked off with honors in three separate categories. (more…)

Union, Activists Plan GM Protests Outside Charity Preview

Rally to call to light unfairness of plant shutdowns.

by Joseph Szczesny on Jan.17, 2019

The UAW plans to hold a candlelight vigil outside of the NAIAS charity preview to protest GM's planned plant closures.

The Union Auto Workers and union activists are planning demonstration ahead of North American International Auto Show charity preview to protest General Motors’ plans to close five plants.

The UAW is organizing a candlelight vigil at the Labor Monument on Jefferson a short distance from Cobo Center, starting at 4:30 p.m. “Recent announcements from GM concerning plants in the U.S. will have a devastating effect on members of the UAW family,” the union said in announcing the vigil.

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The union, along with Unifor, the union representing autoworkers in Canada, has been waging a letter-writing campaign to protest GM’s plans to close five assembly and manufacturing plants in the U.S. (more…)

Marchionne Tops List of Automotive Hall of Fame New Inductees

This year's foursome very impactful on industry.

by Joseph Szczesny on Jan.16, 2019

Sergio Marchionne, former CEO of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, was inducted into the Automotive Hall of Fame less than a year after his death.

The Automotive Hall of Fame will induct four new members into its ranks next including Richard E. “Dick” Dauch, co-founder of American Axle Manufacturing; Janet Gutherie, the first woman to qualify for the Indianapolis 500; Sergio Marchionne, former CEO of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and Patrick Ryan, creator of the first auto dealership finance and insurance department.

Marchionne, who died last summer, rescued first Fiat and then Chrysler from the automotive scrap heap and then managed to merge the two troubled companies to form one of the largest and most profitable automotive manufacturers in the world, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles.

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“Marchionne was also regarded as one of the boldest business leaders of his generation thanks to his business acumen as well as his outspoken and often frank approach to dealing with difficult and complicated problems,” the Hall of Fame citation noted. (more…)

IIHS Unveils Top Safety Pick Plus Models for 2019

More of the top two awards handed out for 2019.

by Michael Strong on Dec.19, 2018

IIHS President David Harkey announced this year's winners of the organization's Top Safety Pick+ awards.

New vehicles continue to get safer and safer – a point many makers advertise – and this year’s Insurance Institute for Highway Safety awarded its highest rating – one of those advertised – to 30 new vehicles for 2019, falling short of last year’s total of 34.

The biggest reason for the improvement for some brands wasn’t necessarily new crash avoidance technology, but instead improvement of a long-used feature: headlights.

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“The 30 first-tier “plus” award winners earn the highest rating for passenger-side protection in a small overlap front crash and have good-rated available headlights,” the organization noted in a release. (more…)