A new bill in the state of Louisiana will make it mandatory for only commercial cars and trucks to wear vehicle inspection stickers. This bill will affect all areas except Ascension, Iberville, Livington, East Baton Rouge, and West Baton Rouge due to the current carbon emissions law.
For the past fifty years, nearly all vehicles in the state have been required to undergo testing for their safety features every two years, and receive a sticker at the end of the process. Each car owner is charged $10 USD for the testing, and vehicles without a recent sticker can be charged $500 and potential prison time.
It may seem like a good way to make the roads safer, but it’s hard to say how much the tests prevent driving mishaps and if the mandatory fee contributes to the quality of the tests. The traffic force is given a $40 million cut from the fees, but the overall budget of the sector $164 million to $120 million and will greatly affect the budget of the police force as a whole.
Ford’s 2015 title of world’s best-selling sports car for its Mustang model has returned for 2016, starting a streak that could last a while.
More than 150,000 Mustangs were purchased last year, and around 30% of them were purchased outside the US, the biggest contributors being Germany and China.
Ford built nearly 400,000 Mustangs in one plant alone, mainly for foreign buyers, and its growth is expected to go from almost one-fifth to almost one-third this year. The car manufacturer also plans to target six more countries with the newest version of its most popular sports car.
The new-and-improved 2018 Mustang will include a stylized anterior, a 30cm tri-display mode instrument cluster, a 2.3 liter EcoBoost, and an automatic ten-speed transmission that the driver can choose to use or to forgo. Looking for more? This Mustang also offers with its 5 liter V8 and MagnaRide dampers, both of which truly pack a punch.
The Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, and Transport has given the go-ahead to Samsung to begin trials with their autonomous car.
The company’s driverless Hyundai will be tested in South Korea, though this first test might also be Samsung’s last, as it has no future plans to manufacture vehicles. In fact, this test is being completed for the sole purpose of improving software in self-driving cars.
This particular Hyundai will be equipped with a variety of sensors alongside Samsung’s self-learning algorithms, and will then be tested in many different scenarios. The car should have no problem navigating on its own, though subtle movements will take time to perfect. Samsung is looking into ways to code the system to beat those difficulties.
When Consumer Reports ratings for Tesla’s Model X and Model S vehicles dropped upon removal of an automated emergency brake, the company responded by reimplementing the safety feature.
Although the system seems like something that should never be excluded from a high-tech car, it can only be engaged at a speed of 45 kph or less. This is good news for people that drive around city centres and residential areas, but is largely insignificant for highway drivers.
Tesla’s scores are expected to improve in the months to come, when Consumer Reports reevaluates the updated models. The electric vehicle enterprise hopes to introduce the braking system at higher speeds in the years to come, which could push them to the top of the list.
The popular Dakar Rally, hosted in South America, isn’t an easy race. It offers over 9000 kilometres of uneven roads, which show no mercy to participants, and dozens of petrol vehicles go head-to-head for the highest categorical ranking.
Considering how tough the event can be, everyone was shocked to hear that the Acciona EcoPowered race car completed the course while burning nothing but electricity.
Tests with the vehicle began in 2015. When the car couldn’t finish the race, it was tested again in 2016 to no avail. It seems 2017 was the lucky year, as the Acciona finally completed the rally, ranking higher than the quarter of gas-powered vehicles that tapped out early.
This year’s Acciona crew was prepared for the challenges ahead. Despite failing to place, the vehicle succeeded in becoming the first fully electric car to finish the Dakar Rally of the total 18,000.
What everyone thought was an eco-friendly source of energy has turned out to be one of the primary sources of carbon give-off. Artificial dams, used for electricity and agriculture, emit nearly one gigaton of greenhouse gases annually. This shocking news may seem sudden, but carbon studies have quite the history.
The science of greenhouse gas emissions gained popularity at the beginning of the 21st century. However, that research focused mainly on dams that supply electricity and only two different types of greenhouse emissions. Today’s researchers have expanded their horizons, collecting data on various gases and reservoir constructions. Findings conclude that 1.3% of worldwide greenhouse gas emissions stem from all types of reservoirs, primarily methane at a whopping 80% contribution to the global warming effect.
Hermes will be trying out autonomous robots on wheels to pick up deliveries in Southwark, having collaborated with Starship Technologies to build the tiny electronic couriers. The tech company’s robotic devices have already been implemented in other parts of London for Just Eat deliveries.
The inspiration behind the project came from Hamburg, Germany, where wheeled robots took packages straight to customers within the city’s building complexes. While this method seems convenient, it could cause problems in highly populated cities, as crowded sidewalks already exist, and adding small robots into the equation could be a recipe for disaster.
For now, Hermes is only sending small groups of their new robots within a three kilometre radius of the its main locations. The robots measure 55cm in height, 70cm in length, and 18kg in weight. Each one can reach a speed of 6.4km/h while carrying up to 10kg within their walls.
Apple joins the ranks of multiple tech companies after developing a driverless car and getting the okay to try it out in California. Uncertainty lingered for months as to whether Apple would go through with such a large project, but now it’s official.
On the list of self-driving vehicle testers are automakers like Ford and Honda, though they’re joined by larger companies like Tesla and Uber who have created their own versions of the independent automobile. Unlike others, Apple was near silent about its participation in the developing trend, and it was a pleasant surprise to hear it would be following through.
Having been the thirtieth company to receive a permit, Apple will be testing three 2015 Lexus RX540h models in conjunction with six drivers. These cars may be among the twelve million self-driving automobiles expected to be used by the public in eight years’ time. It’s up to Apple whether it will hold onto its permit for later use, or strap down and get testing immediately.
Tires are often the first line of defense for drivers and their passengers when the rubber meets the road. With an increase in new drivers hitting the highways every year, regular tire maintenance is a simple way to ensure safety. In 2016 more than 40,000 driving fatalities occurred in the United States reaching a peak for the first time after a decade.
Thankfully basic tire care is an easy way to get back in the driver’s seat when it comes to road safety. Checking the condition of your tires goes a long way toward preventing injuries, fatalities and unexpected repair or insurance costs and claims due to accidents from wear or tire blowout. One of the major causes of accidents is loss of control due to these two factors, which inhibit friction required to gain traction and orientation, such as in a hydroplaning scenario.
Get excited! GM is bringing its Super Cruise advanced automatic feature to enhance your highway driving after summer ends, debuting first in new version of the Cadillac CT6. Super Cruise has been worked on for a couple of years now and this semi-autonomous drive mode is ready for the road. Its release date had been delayed from 2016 to 2017 to allow engineers more time to make the system as safe as possible.
Super Cruises has a lot in common with Tesla’s Autopilot, which takes over during highway driving settings by maintaining lane position and change speed to match surrounding traffic. The new feature is only available on highways that meet specific criteria such as being a “divided limited access highway” with a defined off and on ramp according to the Verge. This system also makes sure you don’t fall asleep at the wheel while the feature is engaged with infrared cameras built into the steering wheel. The system will then play audio alerts and use a mounted light notification system.
Infants could soon be enjoying the lulling sensations of a car ride from the comfort of their home. Ford has created a crib - called the Max Motor Dreams - that imitates all the sensory input a baby receives on a peaceful drive, including street lights, engine noises, and small road bumps, to encourage sleep.
Each crib is equipped with speakers that play engine-like background noise, as well as LED lights that simulate the soft glow of nighttime lamp posts. The crib periodically vibrates to capture the feeling of an authentic car ride.
India’s automobile buyers are in for a treat with Toyota’s new small car, claimed to be the country’s best in three categories: safety, fuel efficiency, and affordability. These features put Toyota on par with both Hyundai and Suzuki while the company simultaneously launches its new brand Daihatsu, a sufficient alternative for price-conscious customers.
This is excellent news for Toyota after the disappointing reception of its Etios series launch. The well-known Japanese company had hoped to make its mark in the automobile industry’s budget category with Etios, but its attempt went largely unnoticed. However, through Daihatsu, Toyota could truly make its mark within the car industry’s segment A/B.
The MD of Toyota Kirloskar, Akito Tachibana, stressed the importance of local market and affordability. He also stated that they would conduct research pertaining to customer expectations for each and every market in order to create the concept of the vehicle before the development process is started.
In terms of pulling power, most consumer trucks being rolled off the assembly line today aren’t cranking out more torque and power than those diesel heavyweights we see in the streets.
Under the name Chevrolet, a major diesel brand that is used to fuel this action is of course coming from a Duramax and it’s getting a little upgrade to make it even more powerful for 2017. The 6.6L V8 is a total retool and upgrade compared to the last few versions and is said that it will offers drivers way more torque and power than ever before.
We have been told according to DieselArmy that this new powerhouse will deliver an SAE certified 445 horsepower, which comes alongside 910 pound-feet of torque. There is no doubt this will be an absolute monster to take care of whatever heavy duty job that happens to come your way. Or you could just rip up the highway instead.
President Trump announced his plan to make domestic American automotive manufacturing ‘Great Again’ by putting the breaks on fuel efficiency. Trump marveled at the proud history of domestic car manufacturing in a meeting with auto industry executives and union leaders earlier this year. He pledged to re-visit efforts to maintain fuel efficiency targets set in place by the former Obama administration by taking approximately another year to review the issue.
A midterm review will take place before new fuel efficiency standards are set in 2018.
He stated the details as part of a bigger picture for America to be “the car capital of the world again,” at the American Centre for Mobility. The announcement was made in Ypsilanti, Michigan on the outskirts of Detroit, which reigned for years as the former world’s pinnacle of automotive industry innovation and manufacturing.
Uber, as a $70 billion private company, has enjoyed an outstanding rise until recently. After having a very bad week, Uber has finally admitted, that "Greyball" was used to keep city regulators away, and promises to review its complete Greyball technology.
It has been previously reported, that allegedly, Uber officials remotely provided fake information on drivers to specific individuals. As an example, in 2014 a city regulator could not get an Uber as his app was Greyball-powered, making it possible for Uber to thwart city regulators.
Uber has added, that Greyball has played an extremely important role in the company's processes, as it has been used for feature testing, marketing promotions, fraud prevention and to protect partners from harm. Therefore, it should be emphasized, that Greyball was never separately developed as an averting system, but to be able to block ride requests from users violating the company's rules.
Although Lexus and Porsche proved to be the dominant auto brands for having the least number of problems after three years of ownership, technology headaches continued to cause problems with the overall dependability ratings.
A new survey from the J.D. Power firm has revealed some very fascinating facts about these auto brands as well as many others.
On average, 2014 model owners reported one hundred and fifty issues per one hundred cars over the course of the last twelve months. This is up four from last year’s survey findings. Approximately twenty-three percent of the issues involved problematic tech, which can include an audio system, communications, infotainments, or navigation. Smartphones or similar devices refusing to pair up with the Bluetooth or something else is another major problem. Batteries that wore out permanently or prematurely, also proved to be an issue.
Both Jeep and Dodge seem to be pretty committed to bringing their A-game to the competitive world of SUV power. The Challenger SRT Demon continues to tease the world at large, with everyone eagerly waiting for some more information from Dodge. Jeep seems to be committed to joining the fray, as it has now announced that a Hellcat-powered Grand Cherokee is coming to the New York Auto Show!
The 707bhp and 650lb ft of the Hellcat is well worth keeping in mind. At this point, we don’t know if anything is going to be detuned by the time it makes its way to Jeep. At the moment, we only know that Chrysler has taken out a trademark on “Trackhawk.”
When we think about things like nuts, bolts, and pipes, or even an old muffler, we tend to associate these them with trash. You’re likely picturing these items sitting atop the dusty shelves of garages and shops, simply taking up space.
One manager of a muffler shop however, looked at these items with a vision. He saw the potential of using them to create fascinating works of art. Jeremy Sipe has started building some truly amazing creations. The results thus far have been extraordinary, generating a certain measure of celebrity for Sipe.
A man and dog sculpture, located just outside of Interstate Mufflers in Waynesboro, is a good example of Sipe’s work thus far. Using a welder and some old junk parts, Sipe was able to create the piece and set it up just outside his shop. The response has been overwhelming so far, with locals and others praising the piece for its uniqueness. Sipe mentioned in an interview that more often than not, his inspiration comes from seeing objects that resemble creatures.
Although General Motors isn’t really known for buying classic cars, there is the story of Chief Engineer Zora Duntov wanting to test the concept of a mid-engine Corvette in 1959. It was also at this point in time that Duntov built the CERV. Remember that when we talk about the Chevrolet Engineering Research Vehicle, we are also talking about Zora’s notion of creating the definitive Corvette.
Built for the validation of the independent rear suspension of the 1963 Stingray, as well as to push the capabilities of a lightweight mid-engine vehicle, weight was a considerable priority with such a project. To that end, the 283 small block was casted of aluminum, alongside a bellhousing of magnesium. It was eventually replaced and the idea of building a racing variant of the Corvette was abandoned.
The Little Tyke car is pretty iconic. It continues to be a popular toy for kids around the word and many of us have fond memories of driving one as children. Two brothers from the United Kingdom used those fond memories to create their own adult version of the Little Tykes car. Not only is this vehicle completely street legal, but it can go up to seventy miles per hour as well!
John and Geof Bitmead are getting quite a lot of attention on social media at this point. The original plan was to sell the car for charity but now the brothers say that the car is being made available to the public at large for 32, 000. Whether or not this opens the door for more of these cars to be made is something that remains to be seen. For now, we can only tip our hats to these innovative brothers for their impressive achievement!
Recently, Porsche has been making lots of decisions that their fans don't necessarily agree with. From changing engines in the 911 from air-cooled to water-cooled and moving to turbos from natural aspiration in some newer models, Porsche has been known to make out-of-the-box decisions. This is all about to change however, since Porsche has recently announced that the new 911 GT3 is to be more to their fans’ liking. Rumor has it that this new model will have the option of a six-speed manual and come with a naturally aspirated motor. For true Porsche fans, this is cause for rejoicing.
The 991-generation of the new 911 GT3 is set to have some major changes. The engine will differ from what's available in the current 911 R and GT3 RS. It will have a 4.0 liter flat six engine. This engine is apparently being sourced from the 911 RSR race car that Porsche makes, as rumored back in November at the LA Auto Show.
There is no question that when Triumph takes over the Moto2 engine next year, the British bike company will be rising to a whole new level. The company will sign to start building the control engines for the Moto2 championships for 2018. This firm is going to be taking over from Honda and the CBR600RR engine, featuring a brand-new 750cc triple engine, which is being launched with the all-new Street Triple naked road bike.
The news comes in the wake of Moto2 continuing to suffer to maintain its reputation. The same can be said of the Supersport class in general. Honda didn’t even update the CBR600RR for Euro4 emission regs, which means you couldn’t find the engine in Europe.
Although Detroit continues to battle to restore itself to the former economic glory it once enjoyed, there is no question that the spirit of the auto industry is alive and well in this extraordinary city. The North American International Auto Show recently unveiled a wide assortment of vehicles that are well worth getting excited about. Simply put, whether you like cars, luxury SUVs, or hot pickups, the recent show had something to offer each and every car buff out there.
This is definitely the biggest auto show of the year. If you want to know what to expect from major auto companies, here are a few highlights from the most recent North American International Auto Show:
1. Microbus I.D. Buzz: Evoking memories of the 1960s VW microbus minivans. This multi-purpose vehicle will also have the ability to drive itself.
There is no question that Nissan wants to be one of the companies leading the research on self-driving cars. The company plans to have as many as ten models with such capabilities by the year 2020. However, while the tech behind these vehicles is astonishing, even to the layperson, the company also recognizes situations in which the technology might fail. Nissan presents the Seamless Autonomous Mobility system (also known as SAM) as a solution to this problem.
In the event that the vehicle detects a situation it knows is beyond its programming, it will come to a rest. From that point, it will then contact a remote command center for further instructions. In the same way that a referee makes a call based on available information, SAM will rely on mobility managers to assess the situation and then provide the vehicle with the instructions it requires. Using visuals and hard data, a safe path/course of action will be determined for the vehicle and then it will be given the ability to resume self-driving.
Imagine never dropping your bike in the parking lot ever again. Honda understands better than most companies that this is a consistent problem amongst motorcycle owners. When a rider is driving at high speeds, maintaining balance is fairly easy. However, when the bike is cruising through parking lots, traffic, or somewhere similar, balance must be maintained by the rider. This is where things can get tricky, and this is the annoyance that Honda wants to get rid of once and for all.
Through their new riding assist technology, Honda wants to do more than merely keep the rider upright. Their Uni-Cub mobility research has endeavoured to create a bike that can establish and maintain a self-balancing mode. At high speeds, this feature isn’t going to prove to be necessary. However, when you need to reduce the speed of the bike, that’s when the feature will kick in. When the bike shifts to balance mode from regular riding mode, your front forks will begin extending your front tire away from the rest of the bike lowering its center-of-gravity.