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]
With automakers finally regaining pre-recession vitality, 2015 is shaping up to be an exciting year in the industry. As tech and auto amalgamate, automakers are forming partnerships with technology companies and vice versa.
Recently the Mojo marketing team sat down with Paul Nadjarian, our founder and CEO, to discuss what’s in store for our industry this year. We put together a list of the thirteen trends that Paul believes will dictate the automotive storylines of 2015. [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]
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]
In a Mojo Motors poll, 4 out of 5 people said they would not buy an autonomous car if it were on the market today. Even early adopters might be wary of buying a driverless car. It’s tough looking past the unusual design language and that big do-hicky on the roof that looks like a rotor-less helicopter motor.
To be fair, Google’s prototype would be blind without that chunky Lidar detector on the roof. In its current form, Lidar (Light Detection And Ranging) may be unsightly, but the technology is critical to autonomous cars. It provides a detailed 3D map of the vehicle’s surroundings in real time. This data is run through algorithms that allow the vehicle to identify and react to minute signals such as when a biker signals a lefthand turn. [keep reading]
The smartest college students in Boston know that on the way back from a ski trip, you’ve got to stop at the liquor store to pick up supplies before you cross the border back into Massachusetts. That’s because New Hampshire has no alcohol tax, whereas Massachusetts takes $4.05 per gallon in taxes from the sale of the standard volume spirits with 40% alcohol.
It turns out that the same discrepancies exist for fuel taxes. In addition to the federal tax of 18.4 cents per gallon (CPG) for gasoline, each state issues unique taxes and fees which are compounded with federal rate.
These additional costs vary significantly across state lines. On the low end, Alaska collects 12.4 CPG for gasoline on top of the federal tax. On the high end, New York collects 50.5 CPG.
In this study, we’ve taken the federal tax out of the equation in order to analyze patterns and differences in state fuel taxes. Like so many “cost of living” heat maps, the discrepancy between the coasts and the interior of the US is striking. The four most expensive states to live in, according to CNBC, are New York, California, Connecticut and Hawaii. These are also the four states with the highest taxes on gasoline. Fun fact: the fifth most expensive state to live in, Alaska, has the cheapest gasoline taxes. Drill baby, drill! [keep reading]
The newest edition to the racing world has debuted with a bang. On Saturday, drivers took to the course in the inaugural FIA Formula E Round 1 in Beijing, fighting for a place in the history books as the first driver ever to win a Formula E race.
In lap 25 of 25, it came down to Nick Heidfeld of Germany who drives for Leonardo DiCaprio’s race team and Nicolas Prost of France. Heidefeld made his move, accelerating to the outside. The two cars collided, resulting in a spectacular crash that ended with Heidfeld upside down, uninjured but shaken. Brazillian driver, Lucas Degrassi, ended up taking the win for Audi Sport.
At 150mph, Formula E cars only reach speeds two thirds as fast as their Formula One brethren, yet the new electric vehicles offer their own excitement. Apart from the technological feats required to master the nascent technology of electric racers, this crash demonstrated the dynamic acceleration capabilities of these vehicles.
Formula E might be the only motorsport that is quiet enough to allow music to be played throughout the race, but clearly it is no joke. It is also clear that some Formula E drivers are not yet acclimated to the capabilities of their new vehicles. Heidfeld’s last minute decision to attempt an overtake took Prost by surprise and he has publicly apologized to his friend via Twitter, “I understand that I am responsible. I just did not see him, feel very bad.”
The winner of the inaugural race, Lucas Degrassi, is likely the driver who is most comfortable being powered by a battery. He was the FIA’s first official test driver during the development of the Formula E Series. If this first race has shown us anything, it is that we can expect even more excitement as drivers gain more experience and EV technology continues to evolve.
Given the waning popularity of open wheel racing in the US, it is no surprise that there isn’t much buzz around Formula E. Tesla has succeeded in proving to Americans that EVs can be sexy, but the company is not even allowed to sell directly to consumers in most states, and we’re all still waiting for that “affordable” Tesla Model 3 that Elon promised us.
We’ve got a long way to go before Formula E takes over our weekends, but maybe that will change once Tesla enters a car in the race, or once we’ve had it it with the National Football League. If you’re interested, the next installment of the ten-race inaugural season will broadcast from Malaysia on November 22.
Written by Sam Jackson
The war between cyclists and cars rages on as the “Green Revolution” continues putting more and more bikes on the road. Big cities are used to absent-minded cyclists and delivery boys nearly taking out cross walkers and scratching the sides of cars. Bike sharing compounds the problem, giving novice pedal pushers easy access to a 3-speed so they can run red lights and ride in the opposite direction on one-way streets.
Cyclists don’t deserve all the blame. What about jaywalking pedestrians and drivers that don’t check their blind spot before turning? No one is innocent. The truth is, there is space on the road for everyone, but if no one wants to follow the rules of the road, paths are bound to cross. [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]