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Archive for the ‘Safety’ Category

Order Domino’s Pizza at Touch of a Button: In Your Car

Pizza company joins Starbucks and other with car-based apps.

by Michael Strong on Mar.25, 2019

Domino's is developing a in-car app that allows you to order a pie on the fly.

First it was building a car specially designed to autonomously deliver its pies, now Domino’s is looking to develop an in-car app that allows users to order a pizza while they’re on the go.

Working with developer Xevo Inc., the Ann Arbor, Michigan-based pizza maker is following in the footsteps of Starbucks and others to allow motorists to order on the fly. The company doesn’t have a specific tie-up with a brand yet, but if the picture is any indication, General Motors is the leading contender.

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Domino’s plans to launch its AnyWare pizza ordering platform, which will be part of Xevo Market, sometime this year. It will be preloaded in the vehicle’s infotainment system. (more…)

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…)

One of Nine Pickups Earns Top Rating in IIHS Crash Tests

Nearly half of the trucks rated marginal or poor.

by Paul A. Eisenstein on Mar.21, 2019

Ford's F-150 was one of the best performers in the latest IIHS pickup crash tests.

Pickup buyers concerned about safety might be surprised by the results of the latest IIHS crash results that found over half of the nine models scored poorly in at least one of the key tests,  four earning marginal or poor ratings overall.

Of the trucks the IIHS examined, only two earned good ratings, the Ford F-150 and Nissan Titan. And just one 2019 model, the Honda Ridgeline, earned the coveted IIHS Top Safety Pick award – but only when equipped with optional headlights and forward collision prevention technology.

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“As a group,” said David Zuby, the chief research officer for the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, “the pickup class still has a lot of work to do.”

(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…)

As Tesla Model Y Debuts, Musk Asks: Do You Think We’re “S3XY”?

New Model Y to be offered in four distinct versions – but economy buyers will have to wait.

by Paul A. Eisenstein on Mar.15, 2019

The Tesla Model Y is likely to look quite familiar to fans of the earlier Model 3 sedan.

The long-awaited Tesla Model Y made its formal debut on Thursday night, with CEO Elon Musk declaring it takes an already attractive line-up and makes it “S3XY.” The inside joke adds the new electric SUV to the automaker’s existing line-up of Models S, 3 and X.

But there’s a serious side to the launch. Tesla continues to struggle to right its balance sheet, plunging back into the red this quarter after earning money during the second half of 2018. The Model Y is expected to become Tesla’s best-seller, Musk declared, telling his audience “we’ll do more Model Ys than S, X and 3 combined.” And that includes not just the U.S. but also China, where Tesla is struggling to get a foothold in the world’s largest market for battery-electric vehicles.

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The Model Y will be one of the vehicles Tesla plans to produce once it opens up a new plant in Shanghai later this year. That will give it a way to hold costs down and also to sidestep any escalation in the U.S.-China trade war.

(Here’s our Model Y preview. Click Here to see how close we came.)

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Over 70% of Americans “Afraid” to Ride in a Fully Autonomous Car

"The good, the bad and the ugly."

by Paul A. Eisenstein on Mar.14, 2019

The fatal crash involving an Uber vehicle in Tempe, AZ has negatively shaped many peoples' view of autonomous vehicle technology, AAA found.

Almost exactly a year after an autonomous Uber prototype struck and killed a pedestrian in Tempe, Arizona, a new AAA study finds more than seven in ten Americans “afraid” of riding in a fully autonomous vehicle.

That’s despite the fact that 100s of self-driving prototypes are plying U.S. roads on a daily basis, a number that could soon climb into the tens of thousands if Congress moves to approve proposed legislation designed to help make the technology a part of everyday life. Already, the first self-driving vehicle ride-sharing program has gone into operation, launched last December by Google spin-off Waymo.

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“Automated vehicle technology is evolving on a very public stage and, as a result, it is affecting how consumers feel about it,” said Greg Brannon, AAA’s director of Automotive Engineering.

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Honda Recalling 1.1M Vehicles to Replace Airbags

Automaker just the latest to make big push to complete repairs.

by Michael Strong on Mar.12, 2019

American Honda is recalling 1.1 million vehicles due to faulty Takata airbags.

American Honda’s Takata nightmare continues with a voluntarily recall of about 1.1 million Acura and Honda vehicles in the United States to replace, for free, Takata desiccated replacement driver front airbag inflators that may rupture if an airbag deploys in a crash.

Takata’s faulty airbags triggered the largest automotive recall in history. The airbags deployed with such force that pieces of plastic and metal were propelled into the vehicle cabin killing nearly two dozen and injuring more than 125 people.

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Honda was one of Takata’s biggest customers. The vehicles involved in this recall were previously repaired using specific Takata desiccated replacement inflators (PSDI-5D) or entire replacement airbag modules containing these inflators, neither subject to recall at that time. Those replacement inflators are now deemed defective as well. (more…)

Nissan IMQ “Signals the Direction” of Future Electric CUVs

A “seamless” blending of exterior and interior design.

by Paul A. Eisenstein on Mar.05, 2019

Nissan designers opted for a sharper and more angular approach to the design of the IMQ.

Think of the new Nissan IMQ concept vehicle as a rolling crystal ball. Following on the debut of the IMs prototype at the Detroit Auto Show two months ago, the Japanese maker says its latest concept “signals the direction of (its) next generation of crossovers.”

Make that battery-electric CUVs, for the concept vehicle that debuted today at the Geneva Motor Show reveals the next-generation e-Power system, an all-electric powertrain that you might think of as the familiar Nissan Leaf on steroids.

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Actually, that is a bit misleading, as the Nissan IMQ carries with it a 1.5-liter gas engine that serves solely as a generator, providing energy when the battery is drained. That’s the same approach BMW has taken with its little i3 city car. The internal combustion engine never actually provides direct power to the wheels.

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Volvo to Limit Speed of All Future Models to 112 MPH

Move to address “dangers of speeding” comes as part of Vision 2020 safety plan.

by Paul A. Eisenstein on Mar.04, 2019

Volvo Chief Executive Hakan Samuelsson said to improve the safety of its vehicles, they will be limited to 112 mph starting in 2021.

As part of its plan to prevent all deaths in future products, Volvo said Monday that it will limit the top speed to a maximum 180 kmh, or 112 mph starting with all models produced in 2021.

The automaker has laid out a strategy, dubbed Vision 2020, that aims to prevent all deaths and serious injuries in its products. It has been rolling out an assortment of passive and active safety features to help reach that goal, but sees the new self-imposed speed limit as a critical element in reaching its target.

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“Because of our research, we know where the problem areas are when it comes to ending serious injuries and fatalities in our cars,” said Håkan Samuelsson, president and chief executive of Volvo Cars. “And while a speed limitation is not a cure-all, it’s worth doing if we can even save one life.” (more…)

Subaru Readying to Recall 2.3 Million Vehicles

Could be automaker's largest recall ever not including Takata.

by Michael Strong on Mar.01, 2019

Subaru halted production in Japan in January for two weeks due to a potentially faulty component, and is now facing recall of 2.3 million vehicles.

Just a little more than a month after Subaru Corp. shut down its plants in Japan due to quality issues, the automaker is expected to recall about 2.3 million vehicles globally due to a brake light problem.

Excluding the Takata recall, it would mark the maker’s largest recall ever. The company has been battling quality problems for the past few years as its sales have grown substantially. The two-week shutdown in January came as a result of a defective power-steering component.

The Last Word!

The part was used in Forester, Impreza and Crosstrek models. Many of those were shipped to the U.S. to be completed at the company’s plant in Indiana. (more…)