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  1. Many new cars are fitted with various driver assist systems; backup cameras, blind spot monitoring, adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning, and lane-keep assist to name a few. But this has introduced the problem of drivers becoming too reliant on these systems, causing them not realize the limitations and taking their own "preventative measures". The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety published a report this month looking into drivers' experiences with the assistance technologies and seeing how they relate to their understanding of it. The group commissioned researchers from the University of Iowa to survey over 1,200 owners of 2016 and 2017 model year vehicles equipped with ADAS technologies. The study revealed that the majority of drivers have a favorable impression of ADAS tech, with at least "two in three owners of vehicles with each respective technology reported that they trusted it." Seven out ten respondents said they would want the respective ADAS tech on their current vehicle to be standard on their next one. But, the study revealed that many drivers overestimate the capability of ADAS systems. Here are some of the key findings, Over 80 percent of drivers surveyed don't fully understand the limitations or believed that blind-spot monitoring systems could detect a large number of fast-approaching vehicles, bicycles and pedestrians. 25 percent of drivers surveyed said they don't look for oncoming vehicles when they change lanes because their vehicle has blind-spot monitoring. Nearly 40 percent of drivers don't understand the limitations of forward collision warning and automatic emergency braking systems. A number believed that the former would bring the vehicle to a stop, when in actuality only warns a driver of a possible collision. One in six drivers didn't know if their vehicle came equipped with an emergency braking system. About 29 percent of drivers admitted "feeling comfortable engaging in other tasks while driving" when using the adaptive cruise control system. “When properly utilized, ADAS technologies have the potential to prevent 40 percent of all vehicle crashes and nearly 30 percent of traffic deaths. However, driver understanding and proper use is crucial in reaping the full safety benefits of these systems,” said Dr. David Yang, executive director of the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety in a statement. “Findings from this new research show that there is still a lot of work to be done in educating drivers about proper use of ADAS technologies and their limitations.” AAA says automakers, dealers, and rental agencies need to provide better education to drivers about ADAS tech and their limitations. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required), AAA Drivers Rely Too Heavily on New Vehicle Safety Technologies In Spite of Limitations Misunderstanding and misuse of driver assistance technology could lead to a crash WASHINGTON, D.C. (Sept. 26, 2018) – More and more, drivers are recognizing the value in having vehicles with advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) like blind spot monitoring systems, forward collision warning and lane keeping assist. However, while many of these technologies are rapidly being offered as standard, many drivers are unaware of the safety limitations of ADAS in their vehicles, according to new research from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. For example, researchers found that nearly 80 percent of drivers with blind spot monitoring systems were unaware of limitations or incorrectly believed the system could accurately detect vehicles passing at very high speeds or bicycles and pedestrians. In reality, the technology can only detect when a vehicle is traveling in a driver’s blind spot and many systems do not reliably detect pedestrians or cyclists. Lack of understanding or confusion about the proper function of ADAS technologies can lead to misuse and overreliance on the systems, which could result in a deadly crash. “When properly utilized, ADAS technologies have the potential to prevent 40 percent of all vehicle crashes and nearly 30 percent of traffic deaths. However, driver understanding and proper use is crucial in reaping the full safety benefits of these systems,” said Dr. David Yang, executive director of the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. “Findings from this new research show that there is still a lot of work to be done in educating drivers about proper use of ADAS technologies and their limitations.” In 2016, more than 37,400 people were killed in traffic crashes- a five percent increase from 2015. “With ADAS technologies offering proven safety benefits when properly used, it is important that automakers and others play a greater role in educating motorists about the technology available in the vehicles they purchase,” said Jake Nelson, AAA director of traffic safety advocacy and research. “AAA also urges drivers to take charge of learning their vehicle technology’s functions and limitations in order to improve safety on the road.” The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety commissioned researchers from the University of Iowa to survey drivers who recently purchased a 2016 or 2017 model-year vehicle with ADAS technologies. Researchers evaluated drivers’ opinions, awareness and understanding of these technologies and found that most did not know or understand the limitations of the systems: Blind spot monitoring: 80 percent of drivers did not know the technology’s limitations or incorrectly believed that the systems could monitor the roadway behind the vehicle or reliably detect bicycles, pedestrians and vehicles passing at high speeds. Forward collision warning and automatic emergency braking: nearly 40 percent of drivers did not know the system’s limitations, or confused the two technologies- incorrectly reporting that forward collision warning could apply the brakes in the case of an emergency when the technology is only designed to deliver a warning signal. Moreover, roughly one in six vehicle owners in the survey reported that they did not know whether or not their vehicle was equipped with automatic emergency braking. False expectations for ADAS systems can easily lead to misuse of the technology or an increase in driver distraction. In the survey: About 25 percent of drivers using blind spot monitoring or rear cross traffic alert systems report feeling comfortable relying solely on the systems and not performing visual checks or looking over their shoulder for oncoming traffic or pedestrians. About 25 percent of vehicle owners using forward collision warning or lane departure warning systems report feeling comfortable engaging in other tasks while driving. “New vehicle safety technology is designed to make driving safer, but it does not replace the important role each of us plays behind the wheel,” Yang continued. “The prospect of self-driving cars is exciting, but we aren’t there yet. Automakers have an ethical and important responsibility to accurately market, and to carefully educate consumers about the technologies we purchase in the vehicles we drive off the lot.” As part of its ongoing traffic safety mission, new AAA Foundation research also evaluated the potential these popular advanced driver assistance technologies have in helping to reduce or prevent crashes. The findings show that if installed on all vehicles, ADAS technologies can potentially prevent more than 2.7 million crashes, 1.1 million injuries and nearly 9,500 deaths each year: ADAS Systems Crashes Injuries Deaths Forward Collision Warning/ Automatic Emergency Braking 1,994,000 884,000 4,738 Lane Departure Warning / Lane Keeping Assist 519,000 187,000 4,654 Blind Spot Warning 318,000 89,000 274 Total Potentially Preventable by all systems 2,748,000 1,128,000 9,496 Despite the findings that show confusion about some ADAS technologies, at least 70 percent of vehicle owners report that they would recommend the technology to other drivers. The greatest proportion of drivers reported trusting blind spot monitoring systems (84 percent), followed by rear-cross traffic alert (82 percent), lane departure warning (77 percent), lane keeping assist (73 percent), forward collision warning (69 percent) and automatic emergency braking (66 percent). These findings should prompt additional focus on the importance of educating new and used car buyers about how safety technologies work. “The training drivers need to properly use the safety technologies in their vehicles is not currently offered,” added Nelson. “If educating consumers about vehicle technology was as much a priority for the automakers and dealers as making the sale, we would all reap the benefits.” Only about half of the drivers who report purchasing their vehicle from a car dealership recalled being offered a training on the ADAS technology. However, for those who were, nearly 90 percent took advantage of the opportunity and completed the training. For now, drivers are their best safety advocate to ensure that they understand their technology’s features, functions and limitations before leaving the lot. In order to reduce misuse or overreliance on the systems, AAA encourages drivers to: Read up: Read your owner’s manual to learn what systems are installed in your vehicle. See it in action: Insist on an in-vehicle demonstration and test drive to better understand how the systems will engage on the roadway. Ask questions: Ask plenty of questions about the alerts, functions, capabilities and limitations of the vehicle’s safety technologies before leaving the dealership. For example, ask if there are scenarios when a technology will not function properly on the road. View full article
  2. Many new cars are fitted with various driver assist systems; backup cameras, blind spot monitoring, adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning, and lane-keep assist to name a few. But this has introduced the problem of drivers becoming too reliant on these systems, causing them not realize the limitations and taking their own "preventative measures". The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety published a report this month looking into drivers' experiences with the assistance technologies and seeing how they relate to their understanding of it. The group commissioned researchers from the University of Iowa to survey over 1,200 owners of 2016 and 2017 model year vehicles equipped with ADAS technologies. The study revealed that the majority of drivers have a favorable impression of ADAS tech, with at least "two in three owners of vehicles with each respective technology reported that they trusted it." Seven out ten respondents said they would want the respective ADAS tech on their current vehicle to be standard on their next one. But, the study revealed that many drivers overestimate the capability of ADAS systems. Here are some of the key findings, Over 80 percent of drivers surveyed don't fully understand the limitations or believed that blind-spot monitoring systems could detect a large number of fast-approaching vehicles, bicycles and pedestrians. 25 percent of drivers surveyed said they don't look for oncoming vehicles when they change lanes because their vehicle has blind-spot monitoring. Nearly 40 percent of drivers don't understand the limitations of forward collision warning and automatic emergency braking systems. A number believed that the former would bring the vehicle to a stop, when in actuality only warns a driver of a possible collision. One in six drivers didn't know if their vehicle came equipped with an emergency braking system. About 29 percent of drivers admitted "feeling comfortable engaging in other tasks while driving" when using the adaptive cruise control system. “When properly utilized, ADAS technologies have the potential to prevent 40 percent of all vehicle crashes and nearly 30 percent of traffic deaths. However, driver understanding and proper use is crucial in reaping the full safety benefits of these systems,” said Dr. David Yang, executive director of the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety in a statement. “Findings from this new research show that there is still a lot of work to be done in educating drivers about proper use of ADAS technologies and their limitations.” AAA says automakers, dealers, and rental agencies need to provide better education to drivers about ADAS tech and their limitations. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required), AAA Drivers Rely Too Heavily on New Vehicle Safety Technologies In Spite of Limitations Misunderstanding and misuse of driver assistance technology could lead to a crash WASHINGTON, D.C. (Sept. 26, 2018) – More and more, drivers are recognizing the value in having vehicles with advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) like blind spot monitoring systems, forward collision warning and lane keeping assist. However, while many of these technologies are rapidly being offered as standard, many drivers are unaware of the safety limitations of ADAS in their vehicles, according to new research from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. For example, researchers found that nearly 80 percent of drivers with blind spot monitoring systems were unaware of limitations or incorrectly believed the system could accurately detect vehicles passing at very high speeds or bicycles and pedestrians. In reality, the technology can only detect when a vehicle is traveling in a driver’s blind spot and many systems do not reliably detect pedestrians or cyclists. Lack of understanding or confusion about the proper function of ADAS technologies can lead to misuse and overreliance on the systems, which could result in a deadly crash. “When properly utilized, ADAS technologies have the potential to prevent 40 percent of all vehicle crashes and nearly 30 percent of traffic deaths. However, driver understanding and proper use is crucial in reaping the full safety benefits of these systems,” said Dr. David Yang, executive director of the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. “Findings from this new research show that there is still a lot of work to be done in educating drivers about proper use of ADAS technologies and their limitations.” In 2016, more than 37,400 people were killed in traffic crashes- a five percent increase from 2015. “With ADAS technologies offering proven safety benefits when properly used, it is important that automakers and others play a greater role in educating motorists about the technology available in the vehicles they purchase,” said Jake Nelson, AAA director of traffic safety advocacy and research. “AAA also urges drivers to take charge of learning their vehicle technology’s functions and limitations in order to improve safety on the road.” The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety commissioned researchers from the University of Iowa to survey drivers who recently purchased a 2016 or 2017 model-year vehicle with ADAS technologies. Researchers evaluated drivers’ opinions, awareness and understanding of these technologies and found that most did not know or understand the limitations of the systems: Blind spot monitoring: 80 percent of drivers did not know the technology’s limitations or incorrectly believed that the systems could monitor the roadway behind the vehicle or reliably detect bicycles, pedestrians and vehicles passing at high speeds. Forward collision warning and automatic emergency braking: nearly 40 percent of drivers did not know the system’s limitations, or confused the two technologies- incorrectly reporting that forward collision warning could apply the brakes in the case of an emergency when the technology is only designed to deliver a warning signal. Moreover, roughly one in six vehicle owners in the survey reported that they did not know whether or not their vehicle was equipped with automatic emergency braking. False expectations for ADAS systems can easily lead to misuse of the technology or an increase in driver distraction. In the survey: About 25 percent of drivers using blind spot monitoring or rear cross traffic alert systems report feeling comfortable relying solely on the systems and not performing visual checks or looking over their shoulder for oncoming traffic or pedestrians. About 25 percent of vehicle owners using forward collision warning or lane departure warning systems report feeling comfortable engaging in other tasks while driving. “New vehicle safety technology is designed to make driving safer, but it does not replace the important role each of us plays behind the wheel,” Yang continued. “The prospect of self-driving cars is exciting, but we aren’t there yet. Automakers have an ethical and important responsibility to accurately market, and to carefully educate consumers about the technologies we purchase in the vehicles we drive off the lot.” As part of its ongoing traffic safety mission, new AAA Foundation research also evaluated the potential these popular advanced driver assistance technologies have in helping to reduce or prevent crashes. The findings show that if installed on all vehicles, ADAS technologies can potentially prevent more than 2.7 million crashes, 1.1 million injuries and nearly 9,500 deaths each year: ADAS Systems Crashes Injuries Deaths Forward Collision Warning/ Automatic Emergency Braking 1,994,000 884,000 4,738 Lane Departure Warning / Lane Keeping Assist 519,000 187,000 4,654 Blind Spot Warning 318,000 89,000 274 Total Potentially Preventable by all systems 2,748,000 1,128,000 9,496 Despite the findings that show confusion about some ADAS technologies, at least 70 percent of vehicle owners report that they would recommend the technology to other drivers. The greatest proportion of drivers reported trusting blind spot monitoring systems (84 percent), followed by rear-cross traffic alert (82 percent), lane departure warning (77 percent), lane keeping assist (73 percent), forward collision warning (69 percent) and automatic emergency braking (66 percent). These findings should prompt additional focus on the importance of educating new and used car buyers about how safety technologies work. “The training drivers need to properly use the safety technologies in their vehicles is not currently offered,” added Nelson. “If educating consumers about vehicle technology was as much a priority for the automakers and dealers as making the sale, we would all reap the benefits.” Only about half of the drivers who report purchasing their vehicle from a car dealership recalled being offered a training on the ADAS technology. However, for those who were, nearly 90 percent took advantage of the opportunity and completed the training. For now, drivers are their best safety advocate to ensure that they understand their technology’s features, functions and limitations before leaving the lot. In order to reduce misuse or overreliance on the systems, AAA encourages drivers to: Read up: Read your owner’s manual to learn what systems are installed in your vehicle. See it in action: Insist on an in-vehicle demonstration and test drive to better understand how the systems will engage on the roadway. Ask questions: Ask plenty of questions about the alerts, functions, capabilities and limitations of the vehicle’s safety technologies before leaving the dealership. For example, ask if there are scenarios when a technology will not function properly on the road.
  3. There has been a lot of talk about driverless cars with companies (both automotive and tech) promising a safe and grandiose future and a number of high-profile crashes that have resulted in fatalities. This got us wondering how the general public feels about them. Recently, two studies came asking this and their results are very interesting. First up is CarGurus which asked 1,873 vehicle owners in the U.S. between the ages of 18 to 65 about self-driving vehicles. 79 percent of participants said they were not excited about owning a self-driving car. 84 percent said they were unlikely to own a self-driving car in the next five years. This number drops to 59 percent when the window is extended to ten years. Here's where it gets interesting: In terms of geographical areas, owners on the West Coast are the most excited at 26 percent. The least, those in Central U.S. at 18 percent. When it comes to brands, BMW owners lead the pack when asked if they would consider a self-driving vehicle from their brand - 55 percent. Least likely? That would be Chrysler owners at 23 percent Safety is the key reasons that owners are excited and concerned about self-driving cars - 64 and 81 percent respectively. When asked what company is most trusted to develop self-driving cars, 27 percent of participants said none. Second and a bit of surprise was Tesla at 24 percent. (We're wondering if this survey was done before the fatal crash of a Tesla Model X on Autopilot in late March) The second study comes to us from AAA which asked people how trustful are you of self-driving cars. 73 percent said they would be too afraid to ride in an autonomous car, up from 63 percent in late 2017. Additionally, 63 percent of those asked said they would feel less safe either walking or on a bike if there is a self-driving vehicle. We have to assume that the fatal crash involving an Uber autonomous vehicle made this number rise. AAA's study also found a big surprise. Millenials, a group that is quick to accept new technologies, are not as trusting as they once were. In late 2007, 49 percent said they were afraid to ride in an autonomous vehicle. Now, that number rose to 64 percent. “Despite their potential to make our roads safer in the long run, consumers have high expectations for safety. Our results show that any incident involving an autonomous vehicle is likely to shake consumer trust, which is a critical component to the widespread acceptance of autonomous vehicles,” said Greg Brannon, AAA’s director of Automotive Engineering and Industry Relations. Source: Roadshow, AAA AAA: American Trust in Autonomous Vehicles Slips ORLANDO, Fla. (May 22, 2018) – Following high-profile incidents involving autonomous vehicle technologies, a new report from AAA’s multi-year tracking study indicates that consumer trust in these vehicles has quickly eroded. Today, three-quarters (73 percent) of American drivers report they would be too afraid to ride in a fully self-driving vehicle, up significantly from 63 percent in late 2017. Additionally, two-thirds (63 percent) of U.S. adults report they would actually feel less safe sharing the road with a self-driving vehicle while walking or riding a bicycle. “Despite their potential to make our roads safer in the long run, consumers have high expectations for safety,” said Greg Brannon, AAA’s director of Automotive Engineering and Industry Relations. “Our results show that any incident involving an autonomous vehicle is likely to shake consumer trust, which is a critical component to the widespread acceptance of autonomous vehicles.” Surprisingly, AAA’s latest survey found that Millennials – the group that has been the quickest to embrace automated vehicle technologies — were the most impacted by these incidents. The percentage of Millennial drivers too afraid to ride in a fully self-driving vehicle has jumped from 49 percent to 64 percent since late 2017, representing the largest increase of any generation surveyed. “While autonomous vehicles are being tested, there’s always a chance that they will fail or encounter a situation that challenges even the most advanced system,” said Megan Foster, AAA’s director of Federal Affairs. “To ease fears, there must be safeguards in place to protect vehicle occupants and the motorists, bicyclists, and pedestrians with whom they share the road.” AAA supports thorough testing of automated vehicle technologies as they continue to evolve, including testing under progressively complicated driving scenarios and under varying conditions, but not at the expense of safety. Additionally, to help prevent the accidental misuse of the systems, AAA advocates for a common sense, common nomenclature and classification system, and similar performance characteristics of future autonomous vehicle technologies. “There are sometimes dozens of different marketing names for today’s safety systems,” continued Brannon. “Learning how to operate a vehicle equipped with semi-autonomous technology is challenging enough without having to decipher the equipment list and corresponding level of autonomy.” To help educate consumers on the effectiveness of emerging vehicle technologies, AAA is committed to the ongoing, unbiased testing of automated vehicle technologies. Previous testing of automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, self-parking technology and lane keeping systems has shown both great promise and great variation. Future AAA testing will look at how well systems work together to achieve higher levels of automation.
  4. There has been a lot of talk about driverless cars with companies (both automotive and tech) promising a safe and grandiose future and a number of high-profile crashes that have resulted in fatalities. This got us wondering how the general public feels about them. Recently, two studies came asking this and their results are very interesting. First up is CarGurus which asked 1,873 vehicle owners in the U.S. between the ages of 18 to 65 about self-driving vehicles. 79 percent of participants said they were not excited about owning a self-driving car. 84 percent said they were unlikely to own a self-driving car in the next five years. This number drops to 59 percent when the window is extended to ten years. Here's where it gets interesting: In terms of geographical areas, owners on the West Coast are the most excited at 26 percent. The least, those in Central U.S. at 18 percent. When it comes to brands, BMW owners lead the pack when asked if they would consider a self-driving vehicle from their brand - 55 percent. Least likely? That would be Chrysler owners at 23 percent Safety is the key reasons that owners are excited and concerned about self-driving cars - 64 and 81 percent respectively. When asked what company is most trusted to develop self-driving cars, 27 percent of participants said none. Second and a bit of surprise was Tesla at 24 percent. (We're wondering if this survey was done before the fatal crash of a Tesla Model X on Autopilot in late March) The second study comes to us from AAA which asked people how trustful are you of self-driving cars. 73 percent said they would be too afraid to ride in an autonomous car, up from 63 percent in late 2017. Additionally, 63 percent of those asked said they would feel less safe either walking or on a bike if there is a self-driving vehicle. We have to assume that the fatal crash involving an Uber autonomous vehicle made this number rise. AAA's study also found a big surprise. Millenials, a group that is quick to accept new technologies, are not as trusting as they once were. In late 2007, 49 percent said they were afraid to ride in an autonomous vehicle. Now, that number rose to 64 percent. “Despite their potential to make our roads safer in the long run, consumers have high expectations for safety. Our results show that any incident involving an autonomous vehicle is likely to shake consumer trust, which is a critical component to the widespread acceptance of autonomous vehicles,” said Greg Brannon, AAA’s director of Automotive Engineering and Industry Relations. Source: Roadshow, AAA AAA: American Trust in Autonomous Vehicles Slips ORLANDO, Fla. (May 22, 2018) – Following high-profile incidents involving autonomous vehicle technologies, a new report from AAA’s multi-year tracking study indicates that consumer trust in these vehicles has quickly eroded. Today, three-quarters (73 percent) of American drivers report they would be too afraid to ride in a fully self-driving vehicle, up significantly from 63 percent in late 2017. Additionally, two-thirds (63 percent) of U.S. adults report they would actually feel less safe sharing the road with a self-driving vehicle while walking or riding a bicycle. “Despite their potential to make our roads safer in the long run, consumers have high expectations for safety,” said Greg Brannon, AAA’s director of Automotive Engineering and Industry Relations. “Our results show that any incident involving an autonomous vehicle is likely to shake consumer trust, which is a critical component to the widespread acceptance of autonomous vehicles.” Surprisingly, AAA’s latest survey found that Millennials – the group that has been the quickest to embrace automated vehicle technologies — were the most impacted by these incidents. The percentage of Millennial drivers too afraid to ride in a fully self-driving vehicle has jumped from 49 percent to 64 percent since late 2017, representing the largest increase of any generation surveyed. “While autonomous vehicles are being tested, there’s always a chance that they will fail or encounter a situation that challenges even the most advanced system,” said Megan Foster, AAA’s director of Federal Affairs. “To ease fears, there must be safeguards in place to protect vehicle occupants and the motorists, bicyclists, and pedestrians with whom they share the road.” AAA supports thorough testing of automated vehicle technologies as they continue to evolve, including testing under progressively complicated driving scenarios and under varying conditions, but not at the expense of safety. Additionally, to help prevent the accidental misuse of the systems, AAA advocates for a common sense, common nomenclature and classification system, and similar performance characteristics of future autonomous vehicle technologies. “There are sometimes dozens of different marketing names for today’s safety systems,” continued Brannon. “Learning how to operate a vehicle equipped with semi-autonomous technology is challenging enough without having to decipher the equipment list and corresponding level of autonomy.” To help educate consumers on the effectiveness of emerging vehicle technologies, AAA is committed to the ongoing, unbiased testing of automated vehicle technologies. Previous testing of automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, self-parking technology and lane keeping systems has shown both great promise and great variation. Future AAA testing will look at how well systems work together to achieve higher levels of automation. View full article
  5. In 2009, the U.S. saw its lowest number of pedestrian deaths. But since then, that number has increased by 46 percent as pedestrian crashes have become more frequent and deadlier. Why is that? The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety released a study today investigating the possible reasons. One key indicator is the number of crashes involving SUVs. According to IIHS data, between 2009 and 2016, fatal single-vehicle crashes involving SUVs rose 81 percent - the largest increase of any vehicle segment. Aside from the growing popularity of SUVs and crossovers, the tall body height and larger footprint mean in a pedestrian crash, the vehicle is hitting a person's chest or head. SUVs weren't the only metric to see an increase. IIHS reports that urban environments, arterial roads, nighttime, and non-intersection crashes have seen large increases. Can anything be done to help reduce pedestrian fatalities? According to the IIHS, there is a lot that can be done. Softening the front ends of SUVs Improving pedestrian detection systems and headlights (The latter would be helped if NHTSA can get its act together on updating their headlight regulations) Lower the speed limits Adding more "pedestrian hybrid beacons" - Kind of a sudo-stop light where a pedestrian activates it before crossing. Begins flashing yellow, before transitioning to solid yellow, and then solid double red. "Understanding where, when and how these additional pedestrian crashes are happening can point the way to solutions. This analysis tells us that improvements in road design, vehicle design and lighting and speed limit enforcement all have a role to play in addressing the issue," said IIHS President David Harkey. Source: Insurance Institute for Highway Safety
  6. In 2009, the U.S. saw its lowest number of pedestrian deaths. But since then, that number has increased by 46 percent as pedestrian crashes have become more frequent and deadlier. Why is that? The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety released a study today investigating the possible reasons. One key indicator is the number of crashes involving SUVs. According to IIHS data, between 2009 and 2016, fatal single-vehicle crashes involving SUVs rose 81 percent - the largest increase of any vehicle segment. Aside from the growing popularity of SUVs and crossovers, the tall body height and larger footprint mean in a pedestrian crash, the vehicle is hitting a person's chest or head. SUVs weren't the only metric to see an increase. IIHS reports that urban environments, arterial roads, nighttime, and non-intersection crashes have seen large increases. Can anything be done to help reduce pedestrian fatalities? According to the IIHS, there is a lot that can be done. Softening the front ends of SUVs Improving pedestrian detection systems and headlights (The latter would be helped if NHTSA can get its act together on updating their headlight regulations) Lower the speed limits Adding more "pedestrian hybrid beacons" - Kind of a sudo-stop light where a pedestrian activates it before crossing. Begins flashing yellow, before transitioning to solid yellow, and then solid double red. "Understanding where, when and how these additional pedestrian crashes are happening can point the way to solutions. This analysis tells us that improvements in road design, vehicle design and lighting and speed limit enforcement all have a role to play in addressing the issue," said IIHS President David Harkey. Source: Insurance Institute for Highway Safety View full article
  7. More and more automakers are launching subscription services as another option to get into new or used cars. But a new report shows the subscription services are still flying under the radar for most consumers. Autolist recently conducted a survey with 1,428 car shoppers in the second half of April. This is what they found out. 70 percent of shoppers had no idea that such a thing existed Out of the 30 percent of shoppers who knew about subscription services, only half could actually name one 33 percent would consider a subscription service for their next vehicle. The number climbs to 45 percent when asked if they would consider it in the future The big draw to subscription services? 37 percent of shoppers said the ability to switch between different types of vehicles. This was followed by no long-term commitment (32 percent). The results aren't really that surprising. Only one subscription service, Care by Volvo is available nationwide. All of the other services are in limited to one or a few cities. Book by Cadillac is only available in New York, but there are plans to expand it to Dallas and LA in the coming year. Not helping is most of the services being offered come from luxury automakers which means high prices. Source: Autolist
  8. More and more automakers are launching subscription services as another option to get into new or used cars. But a new report shows the subscription services are still flying under the radar for most consumers. Autolist recently conducted a survey with 1,428 car shoppers in the second half of April. This is what they found out. 70 percent of shoppers had no idea that such a thing existed Out of the 30 percent of shoppers who knew about subscription services, only half could actually name one 33 percent would consider a subscription service for their next vehicle. The number climbs to 45 percent when asked if they would consider it in the future The big draw to subscription services? 37 percent of shoppers said the ability to switch between different types of vehicles. This was followed by no long-term commitment (32 percent). The results aren't really that surprising. Only one subscription service, Care by Volvo is available nationwide. All of the other services are in limited to one or a few cities. Book by Cadillac is only available in New York, but there are plans to expand it to Dallas and LA in the coming year. Not helping is most of the services being offered come from luxury automakers which means high prices. Source: Autolist View full article
  9. The New York Times dropped a bombshell of a report last week saying that German automakers funded an experiment that had 10 monkeys in airtight chambers, inhaling diesel fumes from a Volkswagen Beetle TDI. The experiment took place back at an Albuquerque, New Mexico laboratory in an effort to prove newer diesel vehicles were cleaner than older models. But researchers were unaware that the Beetle used in the experiment was equipped with a defeat device that allowed it produce fewer emissions in the lab than on the road. This experiment was brought to light via a lawsuit against Volkswagen in the U.S. The European Research Group on Environment and Health in the Transport Sector (E.U.G.T) commissioned the experiment. Funding for the group was provided by Volkswagen, BMW, and Daimler. The group did not do any research itself, instead commissioning scientists to conduct studies that could be used to defend the fuel. Last year, the group was shut down amid controversy over its work. The three automakers told the Times "the research group did legitimate scientific work." "All of the research work commissioned with the E.U.G.T. was accompanied and reviewed by a research advisory committee consisting of scientists from renowned universities and research institutes,” Diamler said in a statement. Both BMW and Diamler told the publication "they were unaware that the Volkswagen used in the Albuquerque monkey tests had been set up to produce false data." Volkswagen said at the time of original story that researchers involved in the study did not publish a complete report. Since then, Volkswagen has issued an apology. “We apologize for the misconduct and the lack of judgment of individuals. We’re convinced the scientific methods chosen then were wrong. It would have been better to do without such a study in the first place,” the German automaker said in a statement obtained by Bloomberg. But there is another twist to this story. German newspaper Stuttgarter Zeitung reported yesterday about a study done by the University of Aachen in Germany that had 25 people breath in diesel exhaust as part of a clinic. The study was funded by the E.U.G.T. and was referenced in annual reports from the group. The University said that it "had followed typical procedures, such as approval by an independent ethics commission as well as written consent from each participant." It is unclear whether or not participants were told what the experiment would entail. Nevertheless, it is another black eye for German automakers and diesel. Source: New York Times, Bloomberg, (2), Stuttgarter Zeitung, Automotive News (Subscription Required)
  10. The New York Times dropped a bombshell of a report last week saying that German automakers funded an experiment that had 10 monkeys in airtight chambers, inhaling diesel fumes from a Volkswagen Beetle TDI. The experiment took place back at an Albuquerque, New Mexico laboratory in an effort to prove newer diesel vehicles were cleaner than older models. But researchers were unaware that the Beetle used in the experiment was equipped with a defeat device that allowed it produce fewer emissions in the lab than on the road. This experiment was brought to light via a lawsuit against Volkswagen in the U.S. The European Research Group on Environment and Health in the Transport Sector (E.U.G.T) commissioned the experiment. Funding for the group was provided by Volkswagen, BMW, and Daimler. The group did not do any research itself, instead commissioning scientists to conduct studies that could be used to defend the fuel. Last year, the group was shut down amid controversy over its work. The three automakers told the Times "the research group did legitimate scientific work." "All of the research work commissioned with the E.U.G.T. was accompanied and reviewed by a research advisory committee consisting of scientists from renowned universities and research institutes,” Diamler said in a statement. Both BMW and Diamler told the publication "they were unaware that the Volkswagen used in the Albuquerque monkey tests had been set up to produce false data." Volkswagen said at the time of original story that researchers involved in the study did not publish a complete report. Since then, Volkswagen has issued an apology. “We apologize for the misconduct and the lack of judgment of individuals. We’re convinced the scientific methods chosen then were wrong. It would have been better to do without such a study in the first place,” the German automaker said in a statement obtained by Bloomberg. But there is another twist to this story. German newspaper Stuttgarter Zeitung reported yesterday about a study done by the University of Aachen in Germany that had 25 people breath in diesel exhaust as part of a clinic. The study was funded by the E.U.G.T. and was referenced in annual reports from the group. The University said that it "had followed typical procedures, such as approval by an independent ethics commission as well as written consent from each participant." It is unclear whether or not participants were told what the experiment would entail. Nevertheless, it is another black eye for German automakers and diesel. Source: New York Times, Bloomberg, (2), Stuttgarter Zeitung, Automotive News (Subscription Required) View full article
  11. Infotainment systems are one the banes of the automotive world. From confusing interfaces and controls, to issues with crashing and features not working. Add distracting drivers to this list. The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety worked together with researchers at the University of Utah to measure the time it took to complete the task, and the visual and mental demand on the driver. 120 drivers were asked to perform various tasks such as operating the stereo and putting in information for navigation system using all input methods - touchscreen, physical controls, and voice commands. They would do this in 30 different vehicles on a two-mile stretch of road going 25 mph. The results are sadly not surprising. On average, it took drivers 24 seconds on average to finish many common tasks. Inputting an address in the navigation system could take more than 40 seconds. At 25 mph, that time is more than enough to travel the length of four football fields. “Some in-vehicle technology can create unsafe situations for drivers on the road by increasing the time they spend with their eyes and attention off the road and hands off the wheel. When an in-vehicle technology is not properly designed, simple tasks for drivers can become complicated and require more effort from drivers to complete,” said Dr. David Yang, executive director of the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. AAA rated the 30 vehicles based on how much demand is put on a driver. None of 30 vehicles scored what AAA considers to be low demand. 11 vehicles scored high while 12 vehicles were rated at very high. “Our objective assessment indicates that many of these features are just too distracting to be enabled while the vehicle is in motion. Greater consideration should be given to what [infotainment] features and functions should be available to the driver when the vehicle is in motion rather than to what [infotainment] features and functions could be available to motorists,” the study stated. Source: AAA Press Release is on Page 2 New Vehicle Infotainment Systems Create Increased Distractions Behind the Wheel AAA Foundation study reveals in-vehicle technology takes one step forward, two steps back WASHINGTON, D.C. (Oct. 5, 2017) – New vehicle infotainment systems take drivers’ eyes and attention off the road and hands off the wheel for potentially dangerous periods of time, according to new research from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. Drivers using in-vehicle technologies like voice-based and touch screen features were visually and mentally distracted for more than 40 seconds when completing tasks like programming navigation or sending a text message. Removing eyes from the road for just two seconds doubles the risk for a crash, according to previous research. With one in three U.S. adults using infotainment systems while driving, AAA cautions that using these technologies while behind the wheel can have dangerous consequences. AAA has conducted this new research to help automakers and system designers improve the functionality of new infotainment systems and the demand they place on drivers. “Some in-vehicle technology can create unsafe situations for drivers on the road by increasing the time they spend with their eyes and attention off the road and hands off the wheel,” said Dr. David Yang, executive director of the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. “When an in-vehicle technology is not properly designed, simple tasks for drivers can become complicated and require more effort from drivers to complete.” The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety commissioned researchers from the University of Utah to examine the visual (eyes off road) and cognitive (mental) demand as well as the time it took drivers to complete a task using the infotainment systems in 30 new 2017 vehicles. Study participants were required to use voice command, touch screen and other interactive technologies to make a call, send a text message, tune the radio or program navigation, all while driving down the road. Programming navigation was the most distracting task, taking an average of 40 seconds for drivers to complete. When driving at 25 mph, a driver can travel the length of four football fields during the time it could take to enter a destination in navigation—all while distracted from the important task of driving. Programming navigation while driving was available in 12 of the 30 vehicle systems tested. None of the 30 vehicle infotainment systems produced low demand, while 23 systems generated high or very high levels of demand on drivers: 12 systems generated very high demand 11 systems generated high demand 7 systems generated moderate demand Overall Demand by Vehicle Low Moderate High Very High N/A Chevrolet Equinox LT Ford F250 XLT Hyundai Santa Fe Sport Lincoln MKC Premiere Toyota Camry SE Toyota Corolla SE Toyota Sienna XLE Cadillac XT5 Luxury Chevrolet Traverse LT Dodge Ram 1500 Ford Fusion Titanium Hyundai Sonata Base Infiniti Q50 Premium Jeep Compass Sport Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited Kia Sorento LX Nissan Maxima SV Toyota Rav 4 XLE Audi Q7 QPP Chrysler 300 C Dodge Durango GT Ford Mustang GT GMC Yukon SLT Honda Civic Touring Honda Ridgeline RTL-E Mazda3 Touring Nissan Armada SV Subaru Crosstrek Premium Tesla Model S Volvo XC60 T5 Inscription “Drivers want technology that is safe and easy to use, but many of the features added to infotainment systems today have resulted in overly complex and sometimes frustrating user experiences for drivers,” said Marshall Doney, AAA’s president and CEO. Frustration resulting from unsatisfactory use of these systems increases cognitive demand and increases the potential for distracted driving. “AAA has met with interested auto manufacturers and suppliers to discuss our findings. We welcome the opportunity to meet with other interested parties to discuss the report’s recommendations and ways to mitigate driver distraction,” added Doney. According to a new AAA public opinion survey, nearly 70 percent of U.S. adults say that they want the new technology in their vehicle, but only 24 percent feel that the technology already works perfectly. “Some of the latest systems on the market now include functions unrelated to the core task of driving like sending text messages, checking social media or surfing the web — tasks we have no business doing behind the wheel,” continued Doney. “Automakers should aim to reduce distractions by designing systems that are no more visually or mentally demanding than listening to the radio or an audiobook. And drivers should avoid the temptation to engage with these technologies, especially for non-driving tasks.” Researchers developed an advanced rating scale to measure the visual (eyes off road) and cognitive (mental) demands and the time it took to complete a task experienced by drivers using each vehicle’s infotainment system. The scale ranged from low to very high levels of demand. A low level of demand equates to listening to the radio or an audiobook, while very high demand is equivalent to trying to balance a checkbook while driving. AAA believes a safe in-vehicle technology system should not exceed a low level of demand. Researchers found that most infotainment systems tested could easily be made safer by simply following clearly stated federal recommendations such as locking out text messaging, social media and programming navigation while the car is in motion. In 2012, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) released a set of voluntary safety guidelines advising automakers to block access to tasks when vehicles are not parked. “These are solvable problems. By following NHTSA’s voluntary guidelines to lock out certain features that generate high demand while driving, automakers can significantly reduce distraction,” said Jake Nelson, AAA’s director of Traffic Safety Advocacy & Research. “AAA cautions drivers that just because a technology is available while driving does not mean it is safe or easy to use when behind the wheel. Drivers should only use these technologies for legitimate emergencies or urgent, driving related purposes.” A total of 120 drivers ages 21-36 participated in the study of 30 new 2017 model-year vehicles. The latest report is the fifth phase of distraction research from AAA’s Center for Driving Safety and Technology. The Center was created in 2013 with the goal of studying the safety implications for how drivers interact with new vehicle technologies when behind the wheel. Visit AAA.com/distraction to learn more. View full article
  12. Infotainment systems are one the banes of the automotive world. From confusing interfaces and controls, to issues with crashing and features not working. Add distracting drivers to this list. The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety worked together with researchers at the University of Utah to measure the time it took to complete the task, and the visual and mental demand on the driver. 120 drivers were asked to perform various tasks such as operating the stereo and putting in information for navigation system using all input methods - touchscreen, physical controls, and voice commands. They would do this in 30 different vehicles on a two-mile stretch of road going 25 mph. The results are sadly not surprising. On average, it took drivers 24 seconds on average to finish many common tasks. Inputting an address in the navigation system could take more than 40 seconds. At 25 mph, that time is more than enough to travel the length of four football fields. “Some in-vehicle technology can create unsafe situations for drivers on the road by increasing the time they spend with their eyes and attention off the road and hands off the wheel. When an in-vehicle technology is not properly designed, simple tasks for drivers can become complicated and require more effort from drivers to complete,” said Dr. David Yang, executive director of the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. AAA rated the 30 vehicles based on how much demand is put on a driver. None of 30 vehicles scored what AAA considers to be low demand. 11 vehicles scored high while 12 vehicles were rated at very high. “Our objective assessment indicates that many of these features are just too distracting to be enabled while the vehicle is in motion. Greater consideration should be given to what [infotainment] features and functions should be available to the driver when the vehicle is in motion rather than to what [infotainment] features and functions could be available to motorists,” the study stated. Source: AAA Press Release is on Page 2 New Vehicle Infotainment Systems Create Increased Distractions Behind the Wheel AAA Foundation study reveals in-vehicle technology takes one step forward, two steps back WASHINGTON, D.C. (Oct. 5, 2017) – New vehicle infotainment systems take drivers’ eyes and attention off the road and hands off the wheel for potentially dangerous periods of time, according to new research from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. Drivers using in-vehicle technologies like voice-based and touch screen features were visually and mentally distracted for more than 40 seconds when completing tasks like programming navigation or sending a text message. Removing eyes from the road for just two seconds doubles the risk for a crash, according to previous research. With one in three U.S. adults using infotainment systems while driving, AAA cautions that using these technologies while behind the wheel can have dangerous consequences. AAA has conducted this new research to help automakers and system designers improve the functionality of new infotainment systems and the demand they place on drivers. “Some in-vehicle technology can create unsafe situations for drivers on the road by increasing the time they spend with their eyes and attention off the road and hands off the wheel,” said Dr. David Yang, executive director of the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. “When an in-vehicle technology is not properly designed, simple tasks for drivers can become complicated and require more effort from drivers to complete.” The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety commissioned researchers from the University of Utah to examine the visual (eyes off road) and cognitive (mental) demand as well as the time it took drivers to complete a task using the infotainment systems in 30 new 2017 vehicles. Study participants were required to use voice command, touch screen and other interactive technologies to make a call, send a text message, tune the radio or program navigation, all while driving down the road. Programming navigation was the most distracting task, taking an average of 40 seconds for drivers to complete. When driving at 25 mph, a driver can travel the length of four football fields during the time it could take to enter a destination in navigation—all while distracted from the important task of driving. Programming navigation while driving was available in 12 of the 30 vehicle systems tested. None of the 30 vehicle infotainment systems produced low demand, while 23 systems generated high or very high levels of demand on drivers: 12 systems generated very high demand 11 systems generated high demand 7 systems generated moderate demand Overall Demand by Vehicle Low Moderate High Very High N/A Chevrolet Equinox LT Ford F250 XLT Hyundai Santa Fe Sport Lincoln MKC Premiere Toyota Camry SE Toyota Corolla SE Toyota Sienna XLE Cadillac XT5 Luxury Chevrolet Traverse LT Dodge Ram 1500 Ford Fusion Titanium Hyundai Sonata Base Infiniti Q50 Premium Jeep Compass Sport Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited Kia Sorento LX Nissan Maxima SV Toyota Rav 4 XLE Audi Q7 QPP Chrysler 300 C Dodge Durango GT Ford Mustang GT GMC Yukon SLT Honda Civic Touring Honda Ridgeline RTL-E Mazda3 Touring Nissan Armada SV Subaru Crosstrek Premium Tesla Model S Volvo XC60 T5 Inscription “Drivers want technology that is safe and easy to use, but many of the features added to infotainment systems today have resulted in overly complex and sometimes frustrating user experiences for drivers,” said Marshall Doney, AAA’s president and CEO. Frustration resulting from unsatisfactory use of these systems increases cognitive demand and increases the potential for distracted driving. “AAA has met with interested auto manufacturers and suppliers to discuss our findings. We welcome the opportunity to meet with other interested parties to discuss the report’s recommendations and ways to mitigate driver distraction,” added Doney. According to a new AAA public opinion survey, nearly 70 percent of U.S. adults say that they want the new technology in their vehicle, but only 24 percent feel that the technology already works perfectly. “Some of the latest systems on the market now include functions unrelated to the core task of driving like sending text messages, checking social media or surfing the web — tasks we have no business doing behind the wheel,” continued Doney. “Automakers should aim to reduce distractions by designing systems that are no more visually or mentally demanding than listening to the radio or an audiobook. And drivers should avoid the temptation to engage with these technologies, especially for non-driving tasks.” Researchers developed an advanced rating scale to measure the visual (eyes off road) and cognitive (mental) demands and the time it took to complete a task experienced by drivers using each vehicle’s infotainment system. The scale ranged from low to very high levels of demand. A low level of demand equates to listening to the radio or an audiobook, while very high demand is equivalent to trying to balance a checkbook while driving. AAA believes a safe in-vehicle technology system should not exceed a low level of demand. Researchers found that most infotainment systems tested could easily be made safer by simply following clearly stated federal recommendations such as locking out text messaging, social media and programming navigation while the car is in motion. In 2012, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) released a set of voluntary safety guidelines advising automakers to block access to tasks when vehicles are not parked. “These are solvable problems. By following NHTSA’s voluntary guidelines to lock out certain features that generate high demand while driving, automakers can significantly reduce distraction,” said Jake Nelson, AAA’s director of Traffic Safety Advocacy & Research. “AAA cautions drivers that just because a technology is available while driving does not mean it is safe or easy to use when behind the wheel. Drivers should only use these technologies for legitimate emergencies or urgent, driving related purposes.” A total of 120 drivers ages 21-36 participated in the study of 30 new 2017 model-year vehicles. The latest report is the fifth phase of distraction research from AAA’s Center for Driving Safety and Technology. The Center was created in 2013 with the goal of studying the safety implications for how drivers interact with new vehicle technologies when behind the wheel. Visit AAA.com/distraction to learn more.
  13. Automakers have been trying different technologies and ideas in an effort to boost fuel economy and reduce emissions. On paper, the new technologies do make a difference. But in the real world, it is a completely different matter. Emissions Analytics, an independent U.K.-based company has been investigating what technologies actually make a difference in reducing emissions and fuel consumption. For the past four years, the company has tested over 500 vehicles in the U.S. since 2013 in real-world driving situations. Globally, it has tested over 1,000 vehicles. Next month, the company will be releasing a study showing which of those technologies help and hurt. "You can only decide if you have the right information. The EPA sticker is — I would say — good up to a point, but we can give a lot more information," said Nick Molden, Emissions Analytics' founder and CEO. Their data shows that over four years of testing in the U.S., there is "no actual improvement in overall fuel economy and no decrease in CO2 emissions," despite new technologies and complex powertrains. EA's data also revealed that downsized turbo engines show huge discrepancies between the EPA's findings and the real world. In the lab, the engines aren't put under stress and can produce high fuel economy figures. But it is a different story out in the real world when the turbos are engaged to keep up with traffic and becomes less efficient than a non-turbocharged engine. "Downsizing is a good thing up to a point. You go past a certain inflection point and actually you can find that the real-world mpg will actually get worse if you go too small," said Molden. "As soon as you start going below 2 liters, that's where we start seeing the gaps open up between EPA sticker and real world." The study did deliver some good news for hybrids. EA found traditional hybrid vehicle provided high fuel economy figures and reduced emissions. Other technologies such as multispeed transmissions, adding lightness, and picking the right tires provide a meaningful impact. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)
  14. Automakers have been trying different technologies and ideas in an effort to boost fuel economy and reduce emissions. On paper, the new technologies do make a difference. But in the real world, it is a completely different matter. Emissions Analytics, an independent U.K.-based company has been investigating what technologies actually make a difference in reducing emissions and fuel consumption. For the past four years, the company has tested over 500 vehicles in the U.S. since 2013 in real-world driving situations. Globally, it has tested over 1,000 vehicles. Next month, the company will be releasing a study showing which of those technologies help and hurt. "You can only decide if you have the right information. The EPA sticker is — I would say — good up to a point, but we can give a lot more information," said Nick Molden, Emissions Analytics' founder and CEO. Their data shows that over four years of testing in the U.S., there is "no actual improvement in overall fuel economy and no decrease in CO2 emissions," despite new technologies and complex powertrains. EA's data also revealed that downsized turbo engines show huge discrepancies between the EPA's findings and the real world. In the lab, the engines aren't put under stress and can produce high fuel economy figures. But it is a different story out in the real world when the turbos are engaged to keep up with traffic and becomes less efficient than a non-turbocharged engine. "Downsizing is a good thing up to a point. You go past a certain inflection point and actually you can find that the real-world mpg will actually get worse if you go too small," said Molden. "As soon as you start going below 2 liters, that's where we start seeing the gaps open up between EPA sticker and real world." The study did deliver some good news for hybrids. EA found traditional hybrid vehicle provided high fuel economy figures and reduced emissions. Other technologies such as multispeed transmissions, adding lightness, and picking the right tires provide a meaningful impact. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required) View full article
  15. J.D. Power has announced the results of their inaugural Tech Experience Index (TXI) Study. The study focused on the experience of owners with a vehicle's technology features such as infotainment and safety during the first 90 days. The good news is the average satisfaction score was 730 out of a possible 1,000 points. But owners aren't impressed with their vehicle's navigation system. It earned the lowest average score of 687 in the study. More than half of the owners surveyed said they never even used the system, using the navigation function on their phones. Nearly a third who said they used the navigation system only used it for two weeks before resorting to their phones, citing issues with entering a new destination. Voice commands was also a pain point for many owners as the system didn't understand the commands and have to be repeated multiple times. “For any technology in a vehicle, it’s critical that the owners want it, are aware they have it and know how to use it. It is alarming how many technologies consumers have in their vehicle but aren’t using because they don’t know they have them or don’t know how to use them. Both of these knowledge gaps have long-term implications for future demand,” said Kristin Kolodge, executive director of driver interaction & HMI research at J.D. Power. On the flipside, owners really like collision avoidance technologies. Such features as a backup camera, blind spot warning, and lane keep assist earned the highest average score in the study of 754. Also, 96 percent of owners who have these safety features in their current vehicle want to have them in their next vehicle. Source: J.D. Power Press Release is on Page 2 Safety Technologies Have Highest Satisfaction; Navigation Lags DETROIT: 10 Oct. 2016 — BMW and Hyundai each have two models that rank highest in overall customer experience with vehicle technology in their respective segment, according to the J.D. Power 2016 U.S. Tech Experience Index (TXI) Study,SM released today. The inaugural study measures a vehicle owner’s experiences, usage and interaction with driver-centric vehicle technology at 90 days of ownership. The major technology categories analyzed in the study include collision protection; comfort and convenience; driving assistance; entertainment and connectivity; navigation; and smartphone mirroring. BMW models that rank highest in their segment1 are the 2 Series (small premium segment) and 4 Series (compact premium segment), while the Hyundai models that rank highest are the Genesis (midsize premium segment) and Tucson (small segment). Model-level rankings and awards include 2016 model-year vehicles that were all new or redesigned within the past three years. Other models that rank highest in their segment are the Chevrolet Camaro (midsize segment); Kia Forte (compact segment); and Nissan Maxima (large segment). Safety Technologies Reign Among the vast array of technologies available in new vehicles, those that assist with collision avoidance have the highest usage and the highest overall satisfaction. Additionally, they are the technologies owners most want in their next vehicle, according to the study. Collision avoidance technologies—such as blind spot warning and detection, lane-keeping/centering and back-up camera/warning systems—are collectively part of the collision protection category, which has the highest overall satisfaction among the five groups of technologies included in the study index scores, with a score of 754 on a 1,000-point scale. In contrast, owners are least satisfied with their navigation systems (687). “For any technology in a vehicle, it’s critical that the owners want it, are aware they have it and know how to use it,” said Kristin Kolodge, executive director of driver interaction & HMI research at J.D. Power. “It is alarming how many technologies consumers have in their vehicle but aren’t using because they don’t know they have them or don’t know how to use them. Both of these knowledge gaps have long-term implications for future demand.” Back-up camera/warning and blind spot warning and detection are the most often used technologies, with at least three-fourths of owners saying they use the technology every time they drive. Additionally, they are the most in-demand technologies, with 96% of current owners of the technologies saying they want each of the features in their next car. Other industries beyond automotive are keeping a close eye on in-vehicle technologies. For example, the insurance industry is closely tracking the use of safety-related technologies that, while potentially increasing claims costs when a vehicle is damaged, also help prevent or mitigate collisions and protect occupants when there is an accident. Auto insurers have been slow to add discounts for newer safe driver technologies, but that is beginning to change. Liberty Mutual Insurance offers a vehicle safety discount for teens driving a vehicle equipped with safety features, such as a lane departure warning system; adaptive cruise control; and collision preparation systems.2 “As auto insurers begin to offer discounts for vehicle safety features, this may help raise consumer awareness that they actually have these technologies and the knowledge to use them properly,” said Jessica McGregor, director of the insurance practice at J.D. Power. The Role of the Dealer Even if owners are aware they have an in-vehicle technology doesn’t mean they will use it. Among owners who say they never use a specific technology, 39% indicate they bring another device into their vehicle to replace certain technologies that are already present. Of those who bring in another device, navigation is the feature most often replaced. Furthermore, 57% of owners who bring in another device say they never used the in-vehicle equipment before bringing this outside device into the car to replace the vehicle’s features. Of the 43% who have used it, 56% stop using it within the first month. “The dealer plays a critical role in whether or not a technology is used,” said Kolodge. “When the dealer takes the time to explain the technology or provide a demonstration, it not only makes the owner aware they have the technology, but also helps them understand how to use it, which means they are more likely to use it, continue to use it and, because they see the value, want it in their next vehicle.” Among owners who learn how to operate the technologies from their dealer, overall satisfaction is 25-54 points higher, compared with those who learn how to operate the technologies from another source or from prior experience. Technologies that owners say are difficult to use (DTU) put a strain on satisfaction. Across all technologies, there is an average 98-point drop in satisfaction when owners have DTU issues. DTU problems not only deteriorate satisfaction, but they also affect the vehicle’s quality. Even though it may operate as intended, when a technology is difficult for an owner to use or understand, it is likely to be considered a quality issue. For example, navigation system difficult to use/poor location is the sixth most common problem in the J.D. Power 2016 U.S. Initial Quality StudySM (IQS). Owners who learn how to use their navigation system from the dealer report 2.0 problems per 100 vehicles (PP100) fewer navigation DTU problems than those who do not get a dealer explanation. “By taking the time to show the technology to the new owner, the dealer can mitigate DTU issues, improving both satisfaction and quality,” said Kolodge. “The navigation system is just one area. If the dealer explains all or many of the technologies to the new owner, it can have a dramatic positive effect on the ownership experience.” Gap between Premium and Non-Premium Is Narrow Overall owner satisfaction with new-vehicle technology averages 730. Satisfaction among premium vehicle owners is slightly higher at 734, compared with 730 among non-premium owners. Overall satisfaction varies greatly by segment. Satisfaction is highest in the large segment (755), followed by the small premium segment (735); compact premium segment (732); midsize premium segment (731); compact segment (727); midsize segment (725); and the small segment (706). “It’s not just how much technology you have in the vehicle, but how well it’s delivered,” said Kolodge. “The technology’s usability and how well it is integrated into the vehicle are critical—that has to be done right.” The 2016 U.S. Tech Experience Index (TXI) Study is based on a survey of 17,864 vehicle owners and lessees. Awards are based solely on responses from the 13,269 consumers who purchased or leased a new 2016 model-year vehicle in the previous 90 days that has been considered an all-new or redesigned vehicle within in the past three years. The study was fielded from February through August 2016.
  16. J.D. Power has announced the results of their inaugural Tech Experience Index (TXI) Study. The study focused on the experience of owners with a vehicle's technology features such as infotainment and safety during the first 90 days. The good news is the average satisfaction score was 730 out of a possible 1,000 points. But owners aren't impressed with their vehicle's navigation system. It earned the lowest average score of 687 in the study. More than half of the owners surveyed said they never even used the system, using the navigation function on their phones. Nearly a third who said they used the navigation system only used it for two weeks before resorting to their phones, citing issues with entering a new destination. Voice commands was also a pain point for many owners as the system didn't understand the commands and have to be repeated multiple times. “For any technology in a vehicle, it’s critical that the owners want it, are aware they have it and know how to use it. It is alarming how many technologies consumers have in their vehicle but aren’t using because they don’t know they have them or don’t know how to use them. Both of these knowledge gaps have long-term implications for future demand,” said Kristin Kolodge, executive director of driver interaction & HMI research at J.D. Power. On the flipside, owners really like collision avoidance technologies. Such features as a backup camera, blind spot warning, and lane keep assist earned the highest average score in the study of 754. Also, 96 percent of owners who have these safety features in their current vehicle want to have them in their next vehicle. Source: J.D. Power Press Release is on Page 2 Safety Technologies Have Highest Satisfaction; Navigation Lags DETROIT: 10 Oct. 2016 — BMW and Hyundai each have two models that rank highest in overall customer experience with vehicle technology in their respective segment, according to the J.D. Power 2016 U.S. Tech Experience Index (TXI) Study,SM released today. The inaugural study measures a vehicle owner’s experiences, usage and interaction with driver-centric vehicle technology at 90 days of ownership. The major technology categories analyzed in the study include collision protection; comfort and convenience; driving assistance; entertainment and connectivity; navigation; and smartphone mirroring. BMW models that rank highest in their segment1 are the 2 Series (small premium segment) and 4 Series (compact premium segment), while the Hyundai models that rank highest are the Genesis (midsize premium segment) and Tucson (small segment). Model-level rankings and awards include 2016 model-year vehicles that were all new or redesigned within the past three years. Other models that rank highest in their segment are the Chevrolet Camaro (midsize segment); Kia Forte (compact segment); and Nissan Maxima (large segment). Safety Technologies Reign Among the vast array of technologies available in new vehicles, those that assist with collision avoidance have the highest usage and the highest overall satisfaction. Additionally, they are the technologies owners most want in their next vehicle, according to the study. Collision avoidance technologies—such as blind spot warning and detection, lane-keeping/centering and back-up camera/warning systems—are collectively part of the collision protection category, which has the highest overall satisfaction among the five groups of technologies included in the study index scores, with a score of 754 on a 1,000-point scale. In contrast, owners are least satisfied with their navigation systems (687). “For any technology in a vehicle, it’s critical that the owners want it, are aware they have it and know how to use it,” said Kristin Kolodge, executive director of driver interaction & HMI research at J.D. Power. “It is alarming how many technologies consumers have in their vehicle but aren’t using because they don’t know they have them or don’t know how to use them. Both of these knowledge gaps have long-term implications for future demand.” Back-up camera/warning and blind spot warning and detection are the most often used technologies, with at least three-fourths of owners saying they use the technology every time they drive. Additionally, they are the most in-demand technologies, with 96% of current owners of the technologies saying they want each of the features in their next car. Other industries beyond automotive are keeping a close eye on in-vehicle technologies. For example, the insurance industry is closely tracking the use of safety-related technologies that, while potentially increasing claims costs when a vehicle is damaged, also help prevent or mitigate collisions and protect occupants when there is an accident. Auto insurers have been slow to add discounts for newer safe driver technologies, but that is beginning to change. Liberty Mutual Insurance offers a vehicle safety discount for teens driving a vehicle equipped with safety features, such as a lane departure warning system; adaptive cruise control; and collision preparation systems.2 “As auto insurers begin to offer discounts for vehicle safety features, this may help raise consumer awareness that they actually have these technologies and the knowledge to use them properly,” said Jessica McGregor, director of the insurance practice at J.D. Power. The Role of the Dealer Even if owners are aware they have an in-vehicle technology doesn’t mean they will use it. Among owners who say they never use a specific technology, 39% indicate they bring another device into their vehicle to replace certain technologies that are already present. Of those who bring in another device, navigation is the feature most often replaced. Furthermore, 57% of owners who bring in another device say they never used the in-vehicle equipment before bringing this outside device into the car to replace the vehicle’s features. Of the 43% who have used it, 56% stop using it within the first month. “The dealer plays a critical role in whether or not a technology is used,” said Kolodge. “When the dealer takes the time to explain the technology or provide a demonstration, it not only makes the owner aware they have the technology, but also helps them understand how to use it, which means they are more likely to use it, continue to use it and, because they see the value, want it in their next vehicle.” Among owners who learn how to operate the technologies from their dealer, overall satisfaction is 25-54 points higher, compared with those who learn how to operate the technologies from another source or from prior experience. Technologies that owners say are difficult to use (DTU) put a strain on satisfaction. Across all technologies, there is an average 98-point drop in satisfaction when owners have DTU issues. DTU problems not only deteriorate satisfaction, but they also affect the vehicle’s quality. Even though it may operate as intended, when a technology is difficult for an owner to use or understand, it is likely to be considered a quality issue. For example, navigation system difficult to use/poor location is the sixth most common problem in the J.D. Power 2016 U.S. Initial Quality StudySM (IQS). Owners who learn how to use their navigation system from the dealer report 2.0 problems per 100 vehicles (PP100) fewer navigation DTU problems than those who do not get a dealer explanation. “By taking the time to show the technology to the new owner, the dealer can mitigate DTU issues, improving both satisfaction and quality,” said Kolodge. “The navigation system is just one area. If the dealer explains all or many of the technologies to the new owner, it can have a dramatic positive effect on the ownership experience.” Gap between Premium and Non-Premium Is Narrow Overall owner satisfaction with new-vehicle technology averages 730. Satisfaction among premium vehicle owners is slightly higher at 734, compared with 730 among non-premium owners. Overall satisfaction varies greatly by segment. Satisfaction is highest in the large segment (755), followed by the small premium segment (735); compact premium segment (732); midsize premium segment (731); compact segment (727); midsize segment (725); and the small segment (706). “It’s not just how much technology you have in the vehicle, but how well it’s delivered,” said Kolodge. “The technology’s usability and how well it is integrated into the vehicle are critical—that has to be done right.” The 2016 U.S. Tech Experience Index (TXI) Study is based on a survey of 17,864 vehicle owners and lessees. Awards are based solely on responses from the 13,269 consumers who purchased or leased a new 2016 model-year vehicle in the previous 90 days that has been considered an all-new or redesigned vehicle within in the past three years. The study was fielded from February through August 2016. View full article
  17. 'Autonomous Emergency Braking' (AEB) and the various names this system goes under have the same goal; to bring the vehicle to a stop if the driver doesn't fails to engage the brakes. But a new study done by AAA reveals not all systems are equal and a very worrying trend concerning a consumer's belief in the system. There are two types of emergency braking systems, ones that are designed to bring the vehicle to stop to avoid a crash and ones that reduce speed to limit the severity of a crash. Unsurprisingly, AAA's tests showed that systems designed to avoid a crash did a better job than systems designed to limit the crash damage. At speeds under 30 mph, systems designed to avoid crashes were successful about 60 percent of the time. Systems designed to limit damage had a success rate of 33 percent. Increase speed to 45 mph and the systems designed to avoid a crash had a success rate of 74 percent. The systems designed to limit damage were successful 9 percent of the time. AAA also surveyed Americans familiar with the technology and it revealed something very troubling. Nearly two-thirds of those surveyed believe autonomous emergency braking systems will totally avoid a crash without driver intervention. “AAA found that two-thirds of Americans familiar with the technology believe that automatic emergency braking systems are designed to avoid crashes without driver intervention. The reality is that today’s systems vary greatly in performance, and many are not designed to stop a moving car,” said John Nielsen, AAA’s managing director of Automotive Engineering and Repair in a statement. This is important as 22 different automakers have agreed to make this technology standard on all of their models by 2022. Currently, 10 percent of new vehicles have this system as standard while more than 50 percent of new vehicles have it as an option. AAA recommends that if you're looking at a vehicle with an AEB system to make sure what system you'll have. It will make a difference when it comes to avoiding a crash. Source: AAA Press Release is on Page 2 Hit The Brakes: Not All Self-Braking Cars Designed to Stop AAA Tests Reveal Automatic Emergency Braking Systems Vary Significantly ORLANDO, Fla (August 24, 2016) – New test results from AAA reveal that automatic emergency braking systems — the safety technology that will soon be standard equipment on 99 percent of vehicles — vary widely in design and performance. All the systems tested by AAA are designed to apply the brakes when a driver fails to engage, however, those that are designed to prevent crashes reduced vehicle speeds by nearly twice that of those designed to lessen crash severity. While any reduction in speed offers a significant safety benefit to drivers, AAA warns that automatic braking systems are not all designed to prevent collisions and urges consumers to fully understand system limitations before getting behind the wheel. “AAA found that two-thirds of Americans familiar with the technology believe that automatic emergency braking systems are designed to avoid crashes without driver intervention,” said John Nielsen, AAA’s managing director of Automotive Engineering and Repair. “The reality is that today’s systems vary greatly in performance, and many are not designed to stop a moving car.” In partnership with the Automobile Club of Southern California’s Automotive Research Center, AAA evaluated five 2016 model-year vehicles equipped with automatic emergency braking systems for performance within system limitations and in real-world driving scenarios that were designed to push the technology’s limits. Systems were tested and compared based on the capabilities and limitations stated in the owner’s manuals and grouped into two categories — those designed to slow or stop the vehicle enough to prevent crashes, and those designed to slow the vehicle to lessen crash severity. After more than 70 trials, tests reveal: In terms of overall speed reduction, the systems designed to prevent crashes reduced vehicle speeds by twice that of systems that are designed to only lessen crash severity (79 percent speed reduction vs. 40 percent speed reduction). With speed differentials of under 30 mph, systems designed to prevent crashes successfully avoided collisions in 60 percent of test scenarios. Surprisingly, the systems designed to only lessen crash severity were able to completely avoid crashes in nearly one-third (33 percent) of test scenarios. When pushed beyond stated system limitations and proposed federal requirements, the variation among systems became more pronounced. When traveling at 45 mph and approaching a static vehicle, the systems designed to prevent crashes reduced speeds by 74 percent overall and avoided crashes in 40 percent of scenarios. In contrast, systems designed to lessen crash severity were only able to reduce vehicle speed by 9 percent overall. “Automatic emergency braking systems have the potential to drastically reduce the risk of injury from a crash,” said Megan McKernan, manager of the Automobile Club of Southern California’s Automotive Research Center. “When traveling at 30 mph, a speed reduction of just 10 mph can reduce the energy of crash impact by more than 50 percent.” In addition to the independent testing, AAA surveyed U.S. drivers to understand consumer purchase habits and trust of automatic emergency braking systems. Results reveal: Nine percent of U.S. drivers currently have automatic emergency braking on their vehicle. Nearly 40 percent of U.S. drivers want automatic emergency braking on their next vehicle. Men are more likely to want an automatic emergency braking system in their next vehicle (42 percent) than female drivers (35 percent). Two out of five U.S. drivers trust automatic emergency braking to work. Drivers who currently own a vehicle equipped with automatic emergency braking system are more likely to trust it to work (71 percent) compared to drivers that have not experienced the technology (41 percent). “When shopping for a new vehicle, AAA recommends considering one equipped with an automatic emergency braking system,” continued Nielsen. “However, with the proliferation of vehicle technology, it’s more important than ever for drivers to fully understand their vehicle’s capabilities and limitations before driving off the dealer lot.” For its potential to reduce crash severity, 22 automakers representing 99 percent of vehicle sales have committed to making automatic emergency braking systems standard on all new vehicles by 2022. The U.S. Department of Transportation said this voluntary agreement will make the safety feature available on new cars up to three years sooner than could be achieved through the formal regulatory process. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, rear-end collisions, which automatic emergency braking systems are designed to mitigate, result in nearly 2,000 fatalities and more than 500,000 injuries annually. Currently, 10 percent of new vehicles have automatic emergency braking as standard equipment, and more than half of new vehicles offer the feature as an option. View full article
  18. 'Autonomous Emergency Braking' (AEB) and the various names this system goes under have the same goal; to bring the vehicle to a stop if the driver doesn't fails to engage the brakes. But a new study done by AAA reveals not all systems are equal and a very worrying trend concerning a consumer's belief in the system. There are two types of emergency braking systems, ones that are designed to bring the vehicle to stop to avoid a crash and ones that reduce speed to limit the severity of a crash. Unsurprisingly, AAA's tests showed that systems designed to avoid a crash did a better job than systems designed to limit the crash damage. At speeds under 30 mph, systems designed to avoid crashes were successful about 60 percent of the time. Systems designed to limit damage had a success rate of 33 percent. Increase speed to 45 mph and the systems designed to avoid a crash had a success rate of 74 percent. The systems designed to limit damage were successful 9 percent of the time. AAA also surveyed Americans familiar with the technology and it revealed something very troubling. Nearly two-thirds of those surveyed believe autonomous emergency braking systems will totally avoid a crash without driver intervention. “AAA found that two-thirds of Americans familiar with the technology believe that automatic emergency braking systems are designed to avoid crashes without driver intervention. The reality is that today’s systems vary greatly in performance, and many are not designed to stop a moving car,” said John Nielsen, AAA’s managing director of Automotive Engineering and Repair in a statement. This is important as 22 different automakers have agreed to make this technology standard on all of their models by 2022. Currently, 10 percent of new vehicles have this system as standard while more than 50 percent of new vehicles have it as an option. AAA recommends that if you're looking at a vehicle with an AEB system to make sure what system you'll have. It will make a difference when it comes to avoiding a crash. Source: AAA Press Release is on Page 2 Hit The Brakes: Not All Self-Braking Cars Designed to Stop AAA Tests Reveal Automatic Emergency Braking Systems Vary Significantly ORLANDO, Fla (August 24, 2016) – New test results from AAA reveal that automatic emergency braking systems — the safety technology that will soon be standard equipment on 99 percent of vehicles — vary widely in design and performance. All the systems tested by AAA are designed to apply the brakes when a driver fails to engage, however, those that are designed to prevent crashes reduced vehicle speeds by nearly twice that of those designed to lessen crash severity. While any reduction in speed offers a significant safety benefit to drivers, AAA warns that automatic braking systems are not all designed to prevent collisions and urges consumers to fully understand system limitations before getting behind the wheel. “AAA found that two-thirds of Americans familiar with the technology believe that automatic emergency braking systems are designed to avoid crashes without driver intervention,” said John Nielsen, AAA’s managing director of Automotive Engineering and Repair. “The reality is that today’s systems vary greatly in performance, and many are not designed to stop a moving car.” In partnership with the Automobile Club of Southern California’s Automotive Research Center, AAA evaluated five 2016 model-year vehicles equipped with automatic emergency braking systems for performance within system limitations and in real-world driving scenarios that were designed to push the technology’s limits. Systems were tested and compared based on the capabilities and limitations stated in the owner’s manuals and grouped into two categories — those designed to slow or stop the vehicle enough to prevent crashes, and those designed to slow the vehicle to lessen crash severity. After more than 70 trials, tests reveal: In terms of overall speed reduction, the systems designed to prevent crashes reduced vehicle speeds by twice that of systems that are designed to only lessen crash severity (79 percent speed reduction vs. 40 percent speed reduction). With speed differentials of under 30 mph, systems designed to prevent crashes successfully avoided collisions in 60 percent of test scenarios. Surprisingly, the systems designed to only lessen crash severity were able to completely avoid crashes in nearly one-third (33 percent) of test scenarios. When pushed beyond stated system limitations and proposed federal requirements, the variation among systems became more pronounced. When traveling at 45 mph and approaching a static vehicle, the systems designed to prevent crashes reduced speeds by 74 percent overall and avoided crashes in 40 percent of scenarios. In contrast, systems designed to lessen crash severity were only able to reduce vehicle speed by 9 percent overall. “Automatic emergency braking systems have the potential to drastically reduce the risk of injury from a crash,” said Megan McKernan, manager of the Automobile Club of Southern California’s Automotive Research Center. “When traveling at 30 mph, a speed reduction of just 10 mph can reduce the energy of crash impact by more than 50 percent.” In addition to the independent testing, AAA surveyed U.S. drivers to understand consumer purchase habits and trust of automatic emergency braking systems. Results reveal: Nine percent of U.S. drivers currently have automatic emergency braking on their vehicle. Nearly 40 percent of U.S. drivers want automatic emergency braking on their next vehicle. Men are more likely to want an automatic emergency braking system in their next vehicle (42 percent) than female drivers (35 percent). Two out of five U.S. drivers trust automatic emergency braking to work. Drivers who currently own a vehicle equipped with automatic emergency braking system are more likely to trust it to work (71 percent) compared to drivers that have not experienced the technology (41 percent). “When shopping for a new vehicle, AAA recommends considering one equipped with an automatic emergency braking system,” continued Nielsen. “However, with the proliferation of vehicle technology, it’s more important than ever for drivers to fully understand their vehicle’s capabilities and limitations before driving off the dealer lot.” For its potential to reduce crash severity, 22 automakers representing 99 percent of vehicle sales have committed to making automatic emergency braking systems standard on all new vehicles by 2022. The U.S. Department of Transportation said this voluntary agreement will make the safety feature available on new cars up to three years sooner than could be achieved through the formal regulatory process. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, rear-end collisions, which automatic emergency braking systems are designed to mitigate, result in nearly 2,000 fatalities and more than 500,000 injuries annually. Currently, 10 percent of new vehicles have automatic emergency braking as standard equipment, and more than half of new vehicles offer the feature as an option.
  19. Back in June, we learned that Skoda (a Czech brand under the Volkswagen group) was investigating possibly entering new markets. One of those new markets was North America, a place where 20 percent of global car sales take place. At the time our original report, Skoda hasn't set a timeframe for a decision. Also as we noted, Skoda would need to get more crossovers and SUVs ready if they want to try and make inroads in the U.S. Speaking of SUVs and the U.S., a recent article done by Autocar piqued our interest. Skoda CEO Bernhard Maier said if they were to launch the brand in the U.S. in the near future, they would have their upcoming seven-seat Kodiaq leading the charge. “If we do decide to compete in the US, we will have one chance to make a good first impression. We feel that if we were there now, the Kodiaq would be a home-run car,” said Maier. Maier did stress that the U.S. isn't on Skoda's immediate radar. At the moment, the brand is looking closely at Iran, Singapore, and South Korea as possible new markets. But Maier isn't saying the U.S. isn't on their radar at all. “America is the one that we don't currently compete in with the biggest potential.” Skoda appears to have taken a page out of PSA Peugeot Citroën's playbook. Autocar says the automaker has begun a feasibility study as to whether or not it makes sense to enter the U.S. Source: Autocar View full article
  20. Back in June, we learned that Skoda (a Czech brand under the Volkswagen group) was investigating possibly entering new markets. One of those new markets was North America, a place where 20 percent of global car sales take place. At the time our original report, Skoda hasn't set a timeframe for a decision. Also as we noted, Skoda would need to get more crossovers and SUVs ready if they want to try and make inroads in the U.S. Speaking of SUVs and the U.S., a recent article done by Autocar piqued our interest. Skoda CEO Bernhard Maier said if they were to launch the brand in the U.S. in the near future, they would have their upcoming seven-seat Kodiaq leading the charge. “If we do decide to compete in the US, we will have one chance to make a good first impression. We feel that if we were there now, the Kodiaq would be a home-run car,” said Maier. Maier did stress that the U.S. isn't on Skoda's immediate radar. At the moment, the brand is looking closely at Iran, Singapore, and South Korea as possible new markets. But Maier isn't saying the U.S. isn't on their radar at all. “America is the one that we don't currently compete in with the biggest potential.” Skoda appears to have taken a page out of PSA Peugeot Citroën's playbook. Autocar says the automaker has begun a feasibility study as to whether or not it makes sense to enter the U.S. Source: Autocar
  21. The good news is that consumers are visiting the gas station less. The bad news is that consumers are spending more at the pump. Wait, those two sentences contradict each other. Which one is true? According to the Energy Information Administration (EIA), both of these sentences are correct. Let us explain. As new fuel economy and emission regulations come into effect, automakers are trying to figure out ways to make that gallon of gas go farther. One method that a number of automakers are using is turbochargers. They allow automakers to use smaller displacement engines to improve fuel economy and retain the power of larger engines. The EIA says the market share of turbo engines has climbed from 3.3 percent in 2009 to 17.6 percent in 2014. But the problem is that many turbo engines require premium fuel to operate at their full potential, which costs more than regular and midgrade fuel. Yes, you can fill them with regular and not have the issue of knock - premature fuel detonation due to increased cylinder pressure. But you lose some of the power that the turbo is providing. The EIA says that only 12.5 percent of vehicles recommended premium fuel in 2010. This increased to 14.2 percent in 2013. With turbo engines projected to be in 83.3 percent of new vehicles by 2025, expect to pay more at the pump despite going there less. Source: Energy Information Administration
  22. The good news is that consumers are visiting the gas station less. The bad news is that consumers are spending more at the pump. Wait, those two sentences contradict each other. Which one is true? According to the Energy Information Administration (EIA), both of these sentences are correct. Let us explain. As new fuel economy and emission regulations come into effect, automakers are trying to figure out ways to make that gallon of gas go farther. One method that a number of automakers are using is turbochargers. They allow automakers to use smaller displacement engines to improve fuel economy and retain the power of larger engines. The EIA says the market share of turbo engines has climbed from 3.3 percent in 2009 to 17.6 percent in 2014. But the problem is that many turbo engines require premium fuel to operate at their full potential, which costs more than regular and midgrade fuel. Yes, you can fill them with regular and not have the issue of knock - premature fuel detonation due to increased cylinder pressure. But you lose some of the power that the turbo is providing. The EIA says that only 12.5 percent of vehicles recommended premium fuel in 2010. This increased to 14.2 percent in 2013. With turbo engines projected to be in 83.3 percent of new vehicles by 2025, expect to pay more at the pump despite going there less. Source: Energy Information Administration View full article
  23. With the rise of services of car and ride-sharing services such as Uber and Lyft, a number of people have said this would begin the downfall of buying and owning a new vehicle in the U.S. But a new study commissioned by Kelly Blue Book says that isn't happening for the majority of the country. The study revealed many Americans consider vehicle ownership to be more convenient, reliable, safer than car- and ride-sharing services. It also revealed that 76 percent of respondents that use these services are planning to buy or lease a vehicle within the next two years. "While there are numerous benefits to ride sharing and car sharing, our data reveals that owning a car still reigns supreme, with reliability, safety and convenience all being major factors," said Karl Brauer, senior analyst for Kelley Blue Book. Other findings of KBB's study include, 73 percent of respondents said they have heard of these ride-sharing services, but only 16 percent have used them. This is similar to car sharing services as 43 percent said they have heard of them, but only 7 percent have taken advantage.Most of the respondents using these services are young people living in urban environments. This makes sense as owning a vehicle in this environment is more of a pain. [*]Car and Ride sharing services are seen more as substitutes for taxis and rental cars. [*]Affordability was the top reason given respondents who don't own a car. Only 5 percent said using a ride-sharing service was the reason they don't own a car. 3 percent said gave the same reason for why they use car sharing services. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required), Kelly Blue Book Press Release is on Page 2 Kelley Blue Book Study Reveals Ride-Sharing, Car-Sharing Services Do Not Pose Threat To Car Buying KBB.com Finds Americans Not Ready to Give Up Freedom Associated with Vehicle Ownership IRVINE, Calif., March 10, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- The results are in, and according to Kelley Blue Book, ride- and car-sharing is not an imminent threat to new-car buying and vehicle ownership, despite the growing number of services being offered to consumers. This is just one of many interesting findings from the recent 2016 Kelley Blue Book Ride Sharing/Car Sharing Study, released today by KBB.com, the vehicle valuation and information source trusted and relied upon by both consumers and the automotive industry. Commissioned by Kelley Blue Book and conducted by Vital Findings to understand the motivations behind ride-sharing and car-sharing usage, as well as opinions and behaviors surrounding current and future transportation, the survey found that these sharing platforms primarily are used as substitutes for taxis and traditional rental car companies, and have very limited impact on current or future vehicle ownership. In fact, the expected transportation method of the majority of Americans that currently own or have access to a vehicle (74 percent) is to drive themselves in the next six months. When asked what statements about owning or leasing a vehicle respondents agree with, 80 percent completely or somewhat agreed that owning or leasing a vehicle provides a sense of freedom and independence, followed by 62 percent that completely or somewhat agreed that owning or leasing a vehicle gives you a sense of pride/success. Ride-sharing services, including Uber and Lyft, among others, use a Smartphone app for consumers to request and pay for a ride on demand from drivers who typically own the cars they drive. On the other hand, car-sharing companies, such as Getaround, ZipCar and Car2Go, among others, provide consumers with the opportunity to borrow vehicles and drive themselves, using a Smartphone app to schedule, unlock and pay for borrowed vehicles. "Ride- and car-sharing services are getting a lot of attention these days, and we wanted to better understand the current landscape of these app-fueled platforms and how they may impact both consumers and the auto industry moving forward," said Karl Brauer, senior analyst for Kelley Blue Book. "While there are numerous benefits to ride sharing and car sharing, our data reveals that owning a car still reigns supreme, with reliability, safety and convenience all being major factors." Looking down the road, the field is relatively level for potential ride-sharing providers to enter the market with more than one-third of respondents (37 percent) giving the most consideration to companies with a ride-sharing app, followed closely by rental car companies (32 percent) and taxi/limo companies (26 percent). In addition, 24 percent of those surveyed also would consider vehicle dealerships as a potential ride-sharing provider over vehicle manufacturers (16 percent) and individuals with a vehicle (15 percent). Respondents were least likely (14 percent) to consider tech companies as potential ride-sharing providers. Similar to ride-sharing, the opportunity for new car-sharing services to enter the market is fairly level, as traditional vehicle rental companies (36 percent), companies specifically created to provide vehicle sharing (33 percent), and notably, vehicle dealerships (31 percent) were among the most considered car-sharing providers among respondents. Sample of Additional Findings from 2016 Kelley Blue Book Ride Sharing/Car Sharing Study Awareness Doesn't Mean Use: Nearly three-quarters of respondents (73 percent) are aware of ride sharing, but only 16 percent have actually used these services, with Millennials and city dwellers leading usage. As for car sharing, 43 percent of respondents are aware, but only 7 percent use these services. Still Planning to Buy or Lease: Vehicle-sharing services are viewed as substitutes for taxis (41 percent) and rental cars (39 percent), with more than three-quarters (76 percent) of vehicle-sharing users reporting their intent to purchase or lease their own vehicle within the next two years. Ownership Has Its Benefits: According to respondents, vehicle ownership is more reliable (81 percent vs. 19 percent for ride sharing; 78 percent vs. 22 percent for car sharing), safer (80 percent vs. 20 percent for ride sharing; 80 percent vs. 20 percent for car sharing) and more convenient (74 percent vs. 26 percent for ride sharing; 75 percent vs. 25 percent for car sharing) than depending on sharing services. Budget Is Primary Ownership Factor: Among those surveyed who did not currently own or lease a vehicle, more than half of respondents (57 percent) name affordability, which also was the highest listed reason, as the main deterrent for not purchasing or leasing their own vehicles. Only 5 percent said utilizing ride sharing and 3 percent said utilizing car sharing as reasons for not owning a vehicle in the future. Safety First: More than two-thirds of respondents (69 percent) believe that ride-sharing services are a great way to combat drunk driving; however, only 33 percent of those surveyed deemed ride-sharing to be safe. In fact, 48 percent stated they wouldn't be comfortable riding alone with a ride-share driver. The national survey reveals the responses from more than 1,900 U.S. residents between the ages of 18-64 years old, weighted to Census figures by age, gender and ethnicity that have a variety of residential and ownership patterns.
  24. With the rise of services of car and ride-sharing services such as Uber and Lyft, a number of people have said this would begin the downfall of buying and owning a new vehicle in the U.S. But a new study commissioned by Kelly Blue Book says that isn't happening for the majority of the country. The study revealed many Americans consider vehicle ownership to be more convenient, reliable, safer than car- and ride-sharing services. It also revealed that 76 percent of respondents that use these services are planning to buy or lease a vehicle within the next two years. "While there are numerous benefits to ride sharing and car sharing, our data reveals that owning a car still reigns supreme, with reliability, safety and convenience all being major factors," said Karl Brauer, senior analyst for Kelley Blue Book. Other findings of KBB's study include, 73 percent of respondents said they have heard of these ride-sharing services, but only 16 percent have used them. This is similar to car sharing services as 43 percent said they have heard of them, but only 7 percent have taken advantage.Most of the respondents using these services are young people living in urban environments. This makes sense as owning a vehicle in this environment is more of a pain. [*]Car and Ride sharing services are seen more as substitutes for taxis and rental cars. [*]Affordability was the top reason given respondents who don't own a car. Only 5 percent said using a ride-sharing service was the reason they don't own a car. 3 percent said gave the same reason for why they use car sharing services. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required), Kelly Blue Book Press Release is on Page 2 Kelley Blue Book Study Reveals Ride-Sharing, Car-Sharing Services Do Not Pose Threat To Car Buying KBB.com Finds Americans Not Ready to Give Up Freedom Associated with Vehicle Ownership IRVINE, Calif., March 10, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- The results are in, and according to Kelley Blue Book, ride- and car-sharing is not an imminent threat to new-car buying and vehicle ownership, despite the growing number of services being offered to consumers. This is just one of many interesting findings from the recent 2016 Kelley Blue Book Ride Sharing/Car Sharing Study, released today by KBB.com, the vehicle valuation and information source trusted and relied upon by both consumers and the automotive industry. Commissioned by Kelley Blue Book and conducted by Vital Findings to understand the motivations behind ride-sharing and car-sharing usage, as well as opinions and behaviors surrounding current and future transportation, the survey found that these sharing platforms primarily are used as substitutes for taxis and traditional rental car companies, and have very limited impact on current or future vehicle ownership. In fact, the expected transportation method of the majority of Americans that currently own or have access to a vehicle (74 percent) is to drive themselves in the next six months. When asked what statements about owning or leasing a vehicle respondents agree with, 80 percent completely or somewhat agreed that owning or leasing a vehicle provides a sense of freedom and independence, followed by 62 percent that completely or somewhat agreed that owning or leasing a vehicle gives you a sense of pride/success. Ride-sharing services, including Uber and Lyft, among others, use a Smartphone app for consumers to request and pay for a ride on demand from drivers who typically own the cars they drive. On the other hand, car-sharing companies, such as Getaround, ZipCar and Car2Go, among others, provide consumers with the opportunity to borrow vehicles and drive themselves, using a Smartphone app to schedule, unlock and pay for borrowed vehicles. "Ride- and car-sharing services are getting a lot of attention these days, and we wanted to better understand the current landscape of these app-fueled platforms and how they may impact both consumers and the auto industry moving forward," said Karl Brauer, senior analyst for Kelley Blue Book. "While there are numerous benefits to ride sharing and car sharing, our data reveals that owning a car still reigns supreme, with reliability, safety and convenience all being major factors." Looking down the road, the field is relatively level for potential ride-sharing providers to enter the market with more than one-third of respondents (37 percent) giving the most consideration to companies with a ride-sharing app, followed closely by rental car companies (32 percent) and taxi/limo companies (26 percent). In addition, 24 percent of those surveyed also would consider vehicle dealerships as a potential ride-sharing provider over vehicle manufacturers (16 percent) and individuals with a vehicle (15 percent). Respondents were least likely (14 percent) to consider tech companies as potential ride-sharing providers. Similar to ride-sharing, the opportunity for new car-sharing services to enter the market is fairly level, as traditional vehicle rental companies (36 percent), companies specifically created to provide vehicle sharing (33 percent), and notably, vehicle dealerships (31 percent) were among the most considered car-sharing providers among respondents. Sample of Additional Findings from 2016 Kelley Blue Book Ride Sharing/Car Sharing Study Awareness Doesn't Mean Use: Nearly three-quarters of respondents (73 percent) are aware of ride sharing, but only 16 percent have actually used these services, with Millennials and city dwellers leading usage. As for car sharing, 43 percent of respondents are aware, but only 7 percent use these services. Still Planning to Buy or Lease: Vehicle-sharing services are viewed as substitutes for taxis (41 percent) and rental cars (39 percent), with more than three-quarters (76 percent) of vehicle-sharing users reporting their intent to purchase or lease their own vehicle within the next two years. Ownership Has Its Benefits: According to respondents, vehicle ownership is more reliable (81 percent vs. 19 percent for ride sharing; 78 percent vs. 22 percent for car sharing), safer (80 percent vs. 20 percent for ride sharing; 80 percent vs. 20 percent for car sharing) and more convenient (74 percent vs. 26 percent for ride sharing; 75 percent vs. 25 percent for car sharing) than depending on sharing services. Budget Is Primary Ownership Factor: Among those surveyed who did not currently own or lease a vehicle, more than half of respondents (57 percent) name affordability, which also was the highest listed reason, as the main deterrent for not purchasing or leasing their own vehicles. Only 5 percent said utilizing ride sharing and 3 percent said utilizing car sharing as reasons for not owning a vehicle in the future. Safety First: More than two-thirds of respondents (69 percent) believe that ride-sharing services are a great way to combat drunk driving; however, only 33 percent of those surveyed deemed ride-sharing to be safe. In fact, 48 percent stated they wouldn't be comfortable riding alone with a ride-share driver. The national survey reveals the responses from more than 1,900 U.S. residents between the ages of 18-64 years old, weighted to Census figures by age, gender and ethnicity that have a variety of residential and ownership patterns. View full article
  25. Automakers are leveraging new technologies such as automatic parking systems, concierge services, and mobile internet to bring people into showrooms. But a new study done by J.D. Power reveals that a number of owners aren't using it. J.D. Power published today the 2015 Driver Interactive Vehicle Experience Report, a new study which looks at 33 tech features in vehicles and ask owners if they have ever used them. According to the report, at least 20 percent of owners have never used 16 out of the 33 features (about 48.4 percent). The top five features that owners said they never use includes, In-Vehicle Concierge Services - 43% Mobile Routers - 38% Automatic Parking Systems - 35% Heads-Up Display - 33% Built-In Apps - 32% So why do owners not use these features? A key part comes down to dealers not explaining the features, which in turn causes an increase of an owner not using it. Also, the report says that if a feature isn't activated when a vehicle is delivered, it sometimes mean an owner doesn't know it exists. “The first 30 days are critical. That first-time experience with the technology is the make-it-or-break-it stage. Automakers need to get it right the first time, or owners will simply use their own mobile device instead of the in-vehicle technology,” said Kristin Kolodge, executive director of driver interaction & HMI research at J.D. Power. Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required), J.D. Power Press Release is on Page 2 Automakers Spending Billions on Technologies That Many Consumers Don’t Use Built-in Connectivity among Least Used Technologies, Creating Lost Value WESTLAKE VILLAGE, Calif.: 25 August 2015 — Automakers are investing billions of dollars to put technologies in their cars and light trucks that are not being used by many of the owners of those vehicles, according to the J.D. Power 2015 Driver Interactive Vehicle Experience (DrIVE) Report.SM The 2015 DrIVE Report measures driver experiences with in-vehicle technology features during the first 90 days of ownership. The report finds that at least 20 percent of new-vehicle owners have never used 16 of the 33 technology features measured. The five features owners most commonly report that they “never use” are in-vehicle concierge (43%); mobile routers (38%); automatic parking systems (35%); head-up display (33%); and built-in apps (32%). There are 14 technology features that 20 percent or more of owners do not want in their next vehicle, including Apple CarPlay and Google Android Auto, in-vehicle concierge services and in-vehicle voice texting. Among Gen Y[1], the number of features unwanted by at least 20 percent of owners increases to 23, specifically technologies related to entertainment and connectivity systems. “In many cases, owners simply prefer to use their smartphone or tablet because it meets their needs; they’re familiar with the device and it’s accurate,” said Kristin Kolodge, executive director of driver interaction & HMI research at J.D. Power. “In-vehicle connectivity technology that’s not used results in millions of dollars of lost value for both consumers and the manufacturers.” Among all owners, the most frequently cited reasons for not wanting a specific technology feature in their next vehicle are “did not find it useful” in their current vehicle and the technology “came as part of a package on my current vehicle and I did not want it.” In addition, owners who say their dealer did not explain the feature have a higher likelihood of never using the technology. Furthermore, features that are not activated when the vehicle is delivered often result in the owner not even knowing they have the technology in their new vehicle. Kolodge noted that the technologies owners most often want are those that enhance the driving experience and safety, which are only available as a built-in feature rather than via an external device. In-vehicle technologies that most owners do want include vehicle health diagnostics, blind-spot warning and detection, and adaptive cruise control. “The first 30 days are critical. That first-time experience with the technology is the make-it-or-break-it stage,” said Kolodge. “Automakers need to get it right the first time, or owners will simply use their own mobile device instead of the in-vehicle technology.” Because the first few weeks of ownership are so critical, dealerships play the most important role in helping owners get off to a good start with the technology in their vehicle, Kolodge noted. “While dealers are expected to play a key role in explaining the technology to consumers, the onus should be on automakers to design the technology to be intuitive for consumers,” said Kolodge. “Automakers also need to explain the technology to dealership staff and train them on how to demonstrate it to owners.” Safety and Repair Costs Use of in-vehicle technologies has implications beyond the auto industry. For example, the insurance industry is closely tracking automotive technology for safety and financial purposes. Insurers are concerned that difficult-to-use technology may distract drivers and cause an accident. Using smartphones instead of in-vehicle technology also creates safety issues. Additionally, in-vehicle technology can significantly increase claims costs for vehicles damaged in an accident. “While some technologies, such as lane-departure warning, are making vehicles safer, the insurance industry is very concerned about the driver-distraction hazards caused by some of the other technologies,” said Chip Lackey, senior director of the insurance practice at J.D. Power. “In addition, technology drives up the repair and replacement costs. A slight bumper scrape that would normally cost a few hundred dollars to repair can catapult a claim into thousands of dollars when a park assist camera or other sensors are damaged.” The 2015 Driver Interactive Vehicle Experience (DrIVE) Report is based on responses from more than 4,200 vehicle owners and lessees after 90 days of ownership. The report was fielded in April through June 2015.

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