Automotive Newsline

Study Shows Lower Crash Risk for Older Drivers
A recent study completed by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) show that the overall crash outlook for older drivers has markedly improved during the past two decades. Researchers surmised that the improvements were likely due in large part to a combination of safer vehicles and the better health of older adults today than prior generations. Another reason is that average annual vehicle miles traveled per driver rose 60 percent for drivers 75-79 and 51 percent for drivers age 80 and older from 1995 to 2008. This suggests that the percentage of low-mileage drivers may have declined during the period. Low-mileage drivers tend to have higher crash rates per vehicle mile traveled possibly because they tend to drive a larger proportion of miles on local roads with more conflict points or because they have physical or cognitive impairments that have led them to self-limit their driving.

Tesla Advances Total Unit Build Plan
Tesla Motor’s Elon Musk has announced plans to ramp up capital expenditures to support an aggressive plan to increase production capacity. The electric automaker has moved up its production schedule to produce some 500,000 units annually by 2018, two years sooner than the original plan. This is primarily in response to what the automaker calls an “overwhelming demand” for its affordable all-new Model 3. The total unit build plan is the combined output for the current Model S sedan, Model X SUV and the smaller all-new Model 3 sedan. In a related announcement, Tesla expects to also pledge additional capital to open its all-new battery Gigafactory plant in Nevada earlier than expected to meet the ramped up production schedule. To support the rapidly growing fleet of Tesla vehicles, the automaker plans to open more than 70 additional retail and service locations this year for a total of nearly 300.

Takata Air Bag Recall Increases
The beleaguered airbag manufacturer has had its recent string of recalls expanded in the United States by 35-40 million units. Referred to by one government transportation official as the “most complex consumer-safety recall in US history”, the recall is estimated to now involve some 26 different automotive nameplates covering approximately 16.8 million vehicles. As a result, a number of automakers have announced in recent months that they have dropped Takata as their airbag supplier.
Regulators have determined a three-pronged root cause for the rupture of Takata airbags: the age of the inflators, prolonged exposure to moisture and fluctuating high ambient temperatures. Concerned consumers who want to determine if their vehicle is subject to one of the numerous Takata airbag can go to and type in the VIN (vehicle identification number) of the vehicle in question to determine if it’s on the list.

New Peer-to-Peer Delivery Service
They call it Uber for stuff. A new app called Roadie is a peer-to-peer service that aims to tap into the more than one billion square feet of excess capacity in passenger vehicles already on the road. The “On-the-Way” delivery app matches drivers with people who need to move a shipment from across town to across the country. Currently in its first year, the company has over 260,000 app downloads and 20,000 drivers.

Finding Lost Stuff in Your Car
Do you have trouble finding things in your car? Jaguar Land Rover has integrated the Tile tracking app into its InControl Apps system designed to make forgotten items and missing bags a thing of the past. Using trackers that can be attached to important items, you can locate lost items inside the vehicle using smartphone technology. Customers are able to sound an alarm on the tile tag to find them. The Tile smartphone app is compatible with both Android and Apple platforms. The Tile app for the automaker’s InControl Apps is now available for download.

Ken Chester, Jr. is President & CEO of Motor News Media Corporation – an automotive news service founded in 1989 as The AutoBuyer Plus Corporation. Featured on numerous television and radio programs, viewers, listeners and readers alike relate to Ken's friendly manner and wealth of information about the many vehicles currently for sale in today's complex automotive marketplace.

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