Industry favorite Elon Musk is at it again. Well-known for grandiose promises and salacious soundbites, Musk detractors relish in the scientist’s “failures” especially as they relate to said promises. One promise (a declaration more than a promise really) was Musk’s famous 2016 tweet indicating Tesla would demonstrate a self-driven trip across the U.S. the following year, 2017. Later in January of 2017, Musk followed this up by promising Tesla would achieve “full self-driving capability” in 6 more months – June/July of 2017. We are now 3 years down the line, and detractors love to throw that back in Musk’s face.

Elon is great at deflecting however, and instead of recognizing that he might have overshot with those initial tweets, Musk is now moving on to something even more eye-catching. Smart Summon is a new Tesla feature that will enable Tesla drivers to summon their car (only if the car is within their line of sight). [...]

While many cities have toyed with the notion. Splashed the message on snazzy marketing campaigns. Went on CNN, BBC, you name it, to push out grandiose plans. Few have ever accomplished the feat. And the feat we’re speaking of is banning the car.

Many point to Venice as the only car-free city on the planet. This might be true however it was certainly not a strategic objective of the Italian government. The fact Venice is small and built on a series of islands leaves it in a unique position. And while cars could very well be introduced, allowing residents and tourists the luxury to wander about and not have to worry about traffic is the plus Venice authorities are seeking, especially as it relates to being able to attract tourists to the city.

Revolutionized Mobility

While it is undeniable that the car has revolutionized mobility and made all our lives not only easier, but [...]

One of those moves is offering potential customers a new way of experiencing a vehicle. This could be through off-site test-drives or mobile stores in areas with high traffic. Other ideas are allowing dealers to enter into market subscription services that are not related to their normal stores. Or a third one, and one that is gaining traction, is working closely with lenders to give customers personalized vehicle finance solutions. An example of this are pay-as-you-drive programs where one essentially rents their car but in a more individualized manner. With autonomous driving gaining traction this is essentially where the industry is heading. Cars will always be of use, but their practical side will be interchangeable.  

Mainstream Suggestions

Outside these more mainstream suggestions, Maurer also threw out some interesting options moving forward. Ride-hailing services as we all know are booming, and companies like Uber and Lyft will continue to need servicing on their vehicles. Established dealer [...]

Ready for a bombshell? You bet, who doesn’t enjoy bombshell news, dropped from above with collateral damage. But nice collateral damage, the type that doesn’t harm or kill.

Ok, that doesn’t exist, but this type of bombshell news did turn a handful of heads. McKinsey & Company is a well-respected international consulting firm. They work across a range of sectors, and one such sector is the Automotive & Assembly, Operations and Private Equity practice (a very long title for the larger auto related business). One of their crack staff, Ms. Inga Maurer, is the face behind the bombshell we’re going to drop, but don’t blame her if you don’t agree with the message. She’s simply doing her job, and odds are, there is some merit to what she’s saying.

Maurer rattled more than a few cages when she boldly stated auto dealerships are not making any money selling new cars anymore. Read that [...]

If there is one thing autonomous driving proponents and firms are struggling with, it’s testing said technology. Doing it in real time, with real humans can be challenging for several reasons. First, if something happens and humans perish, that’s not great. And to be honest, there is no second point. Human lives are at stake with the technology unfortunately, and that is where the argument begins and ends.

Many researchers understand this and contrary to popular belief are not running about trying to push the technology through just to get it pushed through. They are engaged in a ton of tinkering, and one example of that tinkering is a gentleman by the name of Houssam Abbas. An assistant professor of electrical engineering at Oregon State University, Abbas has been sending modified Traxxas RC rally cars (modeled off a Ford Fiesta) to research facilities across the States. The universities receiving these are esteemed institutions such as [...]

We continue with the madness …

Ford Fiesta

Fiesta, fiesta! Get that party hat out, the fiesta is underway, and depending on your location, 9 to 23 percent can be saved right out the gate. Now, with all fairness, the Fiesta is on its way out, but dealers from for example are still holding on to over 4,500 new models. Ford is ponying up $2,500 to $3,000 in attractive discounts, and some older inventory is also giving customers an additional $500 off.

Kia Sorento

Another Kia is at it – the Sorento. Sounds like an Olive Garden pasta plate, right? Sort of, but the Sorento is nobody’s cheap pasta plate. No offense to the Olive Garden here, but let’s face it, if you take your girlfriend on a surprise Friday night outing, best to pick somewhere a bit more upscale. The Garden is good eats, but not for a special occasion.

Back to the [...]

October has shaped up to be a rather complex month for the greater auto world. A unionized workforce on strike has General Motors on edge, leaving major brands such as GMC, Cadillac, Chevrolet and Buick in a bit of a pickle. Conventional thought was this might leave these companies short on cars to sell, but supply is reported to be down only 6 percent overall. And even more surprising, incentives have also remained alive and kicking. This last point is important, as not only are GM incentives in play but several other models are also communicating similar incentives.

October as a month normally ranks high in new-car incentives, and what follows are some steals that you can pull the trigger on before Halloween:

Chevrolet Malibu

The Malibu averaged roughly 126 days on the dealer lot during September, and this is far beyond the 81-day average for new models in 2019. Chevy is currently offering $3,250 [...]

The aspect of car buying that is least enjoyable (but can turn out most enjoyable) is settling on the trim of the car. That new 5 Series from BMW is sleek, but if you can manage to top it off with premium trim you might as well be in a completely different car. This holds true for almost any ride no matter the brand. Base trims are base for a reason – they’re basic. The least enjoyable part of all this is having to settle on a base trim because your wallet simply cannot stretch any farther. But what if we told you that higher trims on new cars are not always worth it? You’d call me an idiot. That’s up to you, but before settling on my idiocy, keep reading.

Edmunds is an automotive website that knows their stuff. The automotive research giant’s crack staff dug into the trim topic and interesting results [...]

Back to cars, and by the 1990s seat belts were widely accepted. The importance of buckling up was everywhere and come 1998 the federal government mandated all cars had to have airbags as standard equipment. The seat belt was one thing, but now the airbag had made its way on to the scene. This was the first “non-seat belt” related safety feature and in a way opened the door to other non-seat belt related additions.

The principle non-seat belt related addition today is technology. In 2016, 20 large automakers informed the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration that they would be implementing emergency (automatic) braking as a standard feature in their respective vehicles by 2022. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety estimates this would help in preventing 28,000 crashes and roughly 12,000 injuries over the next 6 years. Yet, despite all of this according to the Governors Highway Safety Association, the U.S. is still struggling with [...]

One might think that improved safety systems would … wait for it … improve safety. In many cases, this is true. As skeptical as some would like to be, innovation in the safety arena has come a long, long way. In fact, your very scribe can remember a day when he would jump into his grandfather’s car and sit next to him. When we say sit next to him, it was literally next to him because there was no separation in the front or back seats. It was one cushion, like a couch, and of course, no seat belts. Sitting next to grandpappy, cruising down the highway with the windows rolled up and him smoking. Good times!

The lap belt has been around for some time, but mandatory use of it was not passed until 1984. Prior to this during the 1950s, doctors and university researchers became interested in resolving safety issues via crash testing. [...]

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