Archive for the ‘Traffic Fatalities’ Category

New IIHS Tests Show Wide Disparity in Automakers’ Pedestrian Crash Avoidance Tech

BMW system sent dummies “airborne.”

by on Feb.21, 2019

The BMW X1 failed the IIHS pedestrian test, sending the dummy airborne during the exercise.

Pedestrian fatalities have been on a rapid rise in recent years, something some experts blame on the shift to blunt-nosed utility vehicles. Whatever the reason, automakers are under pressure to find ways to reduce the problem.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has launched a study to evaluate and compare the performance of new pedestrian crash avoidance technology and the first pass found wide disparity between the 11 small SUVs put to the test. The majority of the vehicles earned top ratings, but two performed poorly, the BMW X1 sending a crash dummy “airborne” when it failed to come to a stop.

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“We want to encourage manufacturers to include pedestrian detection capabilities as they equip more of their vehicles with automatic emergency braking systems,” said David Aylor, the IIHS manager of Active Safety Testing. “We also want to arm consumers with information about these systems so they can make smart choices when shopping for a new vehicle.” (more…)

Government Shutdown Delayed Rules Authorizing Potentially Life-Saving Headlight Technologies

Updated safety rules may not be complete until late 2020.

by on Jan.30, 2019

This schematic shows how Adaptive Driving Beams, or ADB, can selectively reshape their lighting to prevent glare for other motorists.

Your car is still operating back in the 1960s – at least when it comes to its headlights, anyway.

Sure, it might use new bi-xenon or even LED bulbs, rather than ancient incandescent technology, but the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has yet to revise lighting standards that have gone virtually unchanged for a half century, delaying implementation of breakthrough systems that are saving lives in much of the rest of the world.

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“We have millions of cars around the world” using the latest lighting technology, said Steffen Pietzonka, a senior marketing executive with Hella, one of the world’s largest suppliers of automotive lighting, “but not in the U.S., because American (lighting) regulations date back to the 1960s.”

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Ford Hints at 2020 Explorer With Debut of All-New Police Interceptor Utility

Police version of new Explorer will be hybrid powered.

by on Jan.04, 2019

The hybrid version of the new 2020 Ford Police Interceptor gives officers instant torque when they need it.

If you see flashing lights in your rearview mirror in the coming months they just might be mounted on the 2020 Ford Police Interceptor Utility based on the all-new version of the big Explorer SUV Ford that will officially introduce at the North American International Auto Show later this month.

While there are some notable differences between the cop model and the one civilians will be able to buy, the Interceptor offers some big clues as to what’s to come with the 2020 Ford Explorer, starting with an all-new platform and the hybrid driveline that will also be offered on the retail model.

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The Interceptor, however, will be offered only with the hybrid drivetrain, Ford officials told bingdb.info during a sneak peek event ahead of the Explorer’s official Detroit debut. It’s something that “makes perfect sense for the law enforcement application where they’re idling 60% of the time,” explained Greg Ebel, the Interceptor’s marketing manager. (more…)

Senate Ignores Important Automotive Legislation

EV tax credit, autonomous vehicle testing bills on hold until 2019.

by on Dec.20, 2018

Michigan Senator Gary Peters is concerned by the delay of legislation that would set guidelines for testing autonomous vehicles.

The news out of Washington just got worse for automakers as two pieces of legislation they’d hoped would be passed by the end of the year won’t even be considered, putting off them off until 2019.

The two measures – one to accelerate the adoption of self-driving car technology and a second to extend the $7,500 tax credit for electric vehicles – were not attached to last funding bill for 2018, thus will not get approved in 2018.

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Sens. John Thune (R-South Dakota) and Gary Peters (D-Michigan) were pushing legislation that would allow exemptions to automakers for testing autonomous vehicles on public roads. The goal was to homogenize the rules for all states, making it easier to get the testing complete in more states. (more…)

Uber Aiming to Relaunch Autonomous Testing on Public Roads

After fatal crash, ride-sharing service plans to redouble steps to ensure safety.

by on Nov.05, 2018

In the wake of a fatal collision with a pedestrian in Arizona, Uber suspended all of its autonomous vehicle testing. Now it wants to resume in Pittsburgh.

Uber plans to relaunch the autonomous vehicle testing program it suspended following a fatal crash in Arizona last March, but it has advised regulators in Pennsylvania that it will take additional steps to ensure the safety of its vehicles.

The San Francisco-based ride-sharing service has been betting heavily on fully driverless technology, hoping it will lower costs to the point where many Americans won’t even feel the need to own a private vehicle anymore. But that effort was put on hold after a modified Volvo struck and killed Elaine Herzberg as she crossed a road in a Phoenix suburb.

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It was initially unclear why the Volvo hit the 49-year-old Herzberg, as its system spotted her six seconds before impact. It was subsequently revealed during a police investigation that the backup driver charged with taking control in an emergency was actually streaming the TV show, “The Voice,” rather than watching the road. She failed to intervene when the car’s brakes weren’t automatically applied because of improper modifications made to the vehicle. (more…)

Traffic Fatalities Fall in 2017, Stemming Two-Year Rise

Decline despite Americans driving more than ever.

by on Oct.04, 2018

Traffic fatalities in the U.S. fell for the first time in two years, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

After two years of increased traffic deaths on U.S. roadways, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported fatalities fell 1.8% in 2017.

The previous increases came despite newer vehicles being the safest ever built so the causes of the spike – which came after nearly two decades of declines – were difficult to pinpoint for federal safety officials to nail down.

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In 2017, deaths related to pedestrians, drunk driving, speeding, bicyclists and motorcyclists all fell. The overall rate of fatalities fell to 1.16 deaths per 100 million miles traveled. This happened ever as Americans set another record for miles traveled behind the wheel, jumping 1.2% last year. (more…)

Better Headlights Could Save Pedestrians’ Lives

NTSB also wants improve brakes and highway infrastructure.

by on Sep.25, 2018

Using European-style laser headlights could reduce accidents and improve overall driver safety.

Federal safety regulators want to throw some light on a deadly subject.

The National Transportation Safety Board has outlined a three-pronged approach to dealing with the rapid rise in pedestrian fatalities, starting with improvements in vehicle headlights that would help motorists steer clear of a dangerous situation in the first place. At a Tuesday hearing, the NTSB also said manufacturers need to improve vehicle brakes, while improvements in local roadways could also keep pedestrians out of harm’s way.

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“We’ve got to end this tragic problem on our nation’s roadways,” NTSB chairman Robert Sumwalt said Tuesday during a Washington board meeting that looked into recommendations made by the agency’s staff. (more…)

Tesla Losing Top Executives as Uncertainty Sets In

Four top leaders have departed in last month.

by on Sep.21, 2018

Four of Tesla's top executives have departed the company during the last four to six weeks.

Tesla’s been hit by wave after wave of difficult news, situations and investigations, apparently causing some executives to rethink the viability of the company.

Liam O’Connor, Tesla’s vice president of global supply management, is the latest of a group of executives to depart the company. He joined Tesla in 2015 after a four-year run with Apple, Bloomberg reports an unnamed insider said O’Connor is leaving the company within the next several weeks.

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His departure marks at least the fourth executive to leave California-based EV maker within the last month. Justin McAnear, vice president of worldwide finance and operation; Gabrielle Toledano, human resources chief; and Dave Morton, chief accounting officer, have also put in their notices. In all, more than 40 executives have reportedly left Tesla in 2018 alone, the news service reports. (more…)

Toyota Investing $500 Mil in Uber, Will Aid in Autonomous Vehicle Efforts

Move could help ride-sharing service in anticipated IPO plan.

by on Aug.28, 2018

Dara Khosrowshahi, Uber’s CEO and Toyota EVP Shigeki Tomoyama shake over their new alliance.

Toyota confirmed  reports it will invest $500 million in Uber and partner with the nation’s largest ride-sharing service on the development of the autonomous and fully driverless vehicles Uber believes will slash its costs and make it a viable alternative to personal vehicle ownership.

The announcement comes barely a week after Uber wrapped up its search for a new chief financial officer, something that, along with the new Toyota alliance, could help move closer to a widely anticipated IPO. The Japanese maker’s investment puts a value of $72 million on Uber.

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“This agreement and investment marks an important milestone in our transformation to a mobility company,” said Shigeki Tomoyama, executive vice president, TMC, and president, Toyota Connected Company. “Combining efforts with Uber, one of the predominant global ride-sharing and automated driving R&D companies, could further advance future mobility.”

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Highway Fatalities Could Again Top 40,000 This Year

Efforts to reduce toll coming up short warns National Safety Council.

by on Aug.23, 2018

Two teens were killed in this fiery Tesla crash in Florida earlier this year.

The U.S. highway death toll remained stubbornly high during the first half of 2018 and as many as 40,000 are now expected to die on U.S. roads for the full year, the National Safety Council warned as the country headed into the Labor Day holiday, one of the deadliest times of the year on American roadways.

After decades of decline, highway fatalities began to rise again mid-decade, experts pointing to a variety of possible factors, ranging from distracted driving to the fact that, as the economy recovered, U.S. motorists were simply clocking more miles. Whatever the reason, efforts to improve highway safety have had little seeming effect.

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“When it comes to this leading cause of accidental death, we aren’t making progress – we’re treading water,” said Ken Kolosh, manager of statistics at the National Safety Council. “We cannot accept more than 18,700 deaths as the price of mobility. We hope these numbers remind drivers to slow down, buckle up, pay attention and drive defensively so we can get on the road to zero deaths.”

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