We have been crashing cars as long as we have been building them. And we’ve made a lot more progress with the building than we have with the crashing. State car insurance minimums are in the news right now because Arizona is considering a bill to increase the required insurance minimums in their state. This is important because when the amount of damage in an accident exceeds what’s covered under the insurance policy the driver is often liable and it can result in catastrophic financial damage and often bankruptcy. [keep reading]
Updated February 5, 2015
In the first half of 2014, General Motors recalled more cars than it sold in the last five years according to this article. Between the lawsuits, hearings at Capital Hill, internal investigations, delivering new parts to dealers, getting drivers to bring in their recalled cars – this is the general state of General Motors.
The automaker, already fined a maximum of $35 million, is looking at an even larger settlement expected to be in the billions. Just last month in May of 2014, Toyota agreed to pay $1.2 billion for misleading consumers and the government on their own recalls. [keep reading]
There are many ride sharing services that provide an alternative to traditional taxi cabs, but none larger than Uber. With backing from big names like Google Ventures, Goldman Sachs and Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, Uber has expanded globally and asserted its dominance in cities across the United States. They’re now worth an estimated $40 billion and still growing. But monumental growth does not come without growing pains.
The same aggressive business and marketing strategies that made Uber a success have also got them into trouble several times this year. From shady business tactics, to neglecting passenger safety, to privacy issues, Uber has gotten almost as much bad publicity in 2014 as General Motors, the undisputed recall champ.
That’s why we’ve put together this infographic that shows the company’s public relations missteps throughout 2014. [keep reading]
Nobody likes paying tolls, but they are a necessary evil. The money from tolls is used to fund the construction of new roadways, as well as maintenance. Unless you live in one of the 22 states that don’t collect tolls, or a state where you can get by without owning a car, you have no other choice but to pony up and pay the toll. We did some research and found the most expensive tolls in the nation. Here’s what we came up with.
Most toll roads cost under ten cents per mile, but the price of tolls on a long road trip can add up quickly. At the end of your journey, you could easily spend $50 in tolls…or more if you live in a state with high gas taxes. There are some toll roads you should watch out for and they can add up to as much as $1.25 per mile. The cost is even greater for bridges and tunnels. Hopefully you don’t have to pay any of these tolls on your commute. [keep reading]
The driverless car will improve traffic, make roadways safer, reduce fatalities, increase productivity and, one more thing, save people A LOT of money. Chances are, you’ll first see those savings reflected in your Uber bill. Experts predict that you’ll be able to buy a driverless car in the next five years, and Uber plans to be one of the first to sign the paperwork.
If you live anywhere but under a rock, you know that the Uber has repeatedly alienated journalists, customers and its drivers this year. This month, the tech giant vowed to “become a smarter and more humble company,” but the company is still getting shelled by the media and drivers are protesting around the world. Luckily for them, the company might not need the drivers for much longer, and they might have a solution for customers who are sick of high fares and surge pricing. According to Uber CEO, Travis Kalanick, “the reason Uber could be expensive is because you’re not just paying for the car — you’re paying for the other dude in the car.”
In places with heavy traffic, like San Francisco and New York City, the introduction of an autonomous and electric Uber cars could reduce fares by over 75 percent! That ride from Brooklyn to the Lower East Side will go from $20 to $5 and you won’t even have to worry about tipping. A fare from Chinatown to the Financial District could cost less than a gumball.
So how did we figure that driverless Uber could be so cheap? First we looked at the costs associated with operating an Uber vehicle. The big ticket items include insurance, driver salary and fuel. If Uber were to unleash a fleet of electric and driverless cars on big cities, the major expenses of fuel and driver salary would be wiped clean and the only major costs would be vehicle maintenance and insurance.
We already showed you when you will be able to buy a driverless car using predictions from research companies and futurists. Since that article was published in July, automakers have been announcing when they anticipate to release their driverless vehicles. This was mostly done to ride the viral wave caused by Google’s sensational driverless car video. So, which company is going to be first to deliver an autonomous model to showrooms?
We’ve grouped companies into four categories:
- Expected to launch a driverless car by 2020
- Expected to launch a driverless car after 2020
- Developing a driverless car, but no official launch date
- No expected launch of a driverless car
Companies in the first category have announced they will have a driverless car by 2020. To be considered “driverless,” the car must drive itself with no assistance from a person. As it stands, nearly all automakers have some sort of driverless technology in their vehicles, like adaptive cruise control and lane-keep assist. These features aid a driver, it doesn’t make a car totally autonomous.
Our infographic also didn’t account for the fact that it is probably illegal to operate a driverless car in your state. Even Elon Musk has said the technology for driverless cars will be here by 2020, but legislation around driverless cars probably won’t be passed until 2022 or 2023. So if you can’t drive, hopefully you live in one of these states or have decent mass transit. [keep reading]
Oil prices are falling sharply and lower oil prices leads to lower gas prices. Before you buy that SUV you always wanted, you might want to find out how much you can really save. We already told you about states with the highest gas tax, but now we figured out what states are benefiting the most from the recent drop in gas prices. To find this out, we looked at a few metrics like miles driven per year and gas prices based on the 2014 high and low as of October 2014.
We gathered gas prices from GasBuddy.com, a terrific resource for looking at gas prices by state or city. They also have a cool app that helps you find the cheapest gas near you. The average mileage driven by state came from a study conducted by US Public Interest Research Groups. [keep reading]
Driving a car is an extremely dangerous activity that most people do everyday. It doesn’t faze us that we share the roads with drowsy, distracted and drunk drivers, each wielding their very own 2-ton death-machines, loaded with gallons of liquid explosives. Unfortunately, there are other threats on the horizon. As more automotive systems become controlled by computers, your car is increasingly more vulnerable to hacker attacks.
The infographic above shows the systems that can be hacked on any new car and many used cars on the market. The more robust and interconnected the computer system is, the more that can be done to your car.
Of course, not every hacker is a psychopath with homicidal intentions. It is unlikely, but not impossible, that a hacker would go through the extreme effort to harm the average Toyota Prius owner. A hack-attack could even be harmless, albeit very annoying. Below we break down every hack by degree of severity. [keep reading]
You turn on the television and breaking news is on every channel. It has finally happened. The zombie apocalypse. You gaze out your window and see hoards of stumbling, bloody, post-human creatures thirsty for human flesh. A government official advises the remaining population to flee to the safety of a heavily guarded military base 100 miles away. You grab what you can and jump into your electric car, only to realize it has a range of 81 miles and can’t make the trip.
It seems outlandish, but this is exactly the type of scenario that inhibits people from purchasing electric vehicles. In actuality, the average miles driven per day in the United States is well under 50 miles, yet range anxiety permeates society. Of course, that is not the only impeding factor in the sales of EVs. Even with the sizable tax credits, the technology comes at a premium. [keep reading]
Have you ever wondered what the name of your car means or maybe how manufacturers come up with names? After all, we say names like Camry, Miata and Passat without pausing to think if those names have a meaning. Turns out almost every car name has some significance that can be grouped into 12 categories.