With crash statistics having taken a turn for the worse in recent years, analysts have been pouring over the relevant data to determine why. Though the resulting statistics can tell a lot of different stories, including which U.S. cities tend to boast the best and worst drivers.
Whenever the issue of vehicular privacy comes up, the discussion almost immediately pivots to individuals either defending or condemning the status quo. But this often happens without either side of the argument having a firm understanding of how much information is actually being obtained inside today’s automobiles.
While we’ve covered the topic frequently, articles have typically focused on specific issues rather than overall scope. But things are different this time, with the Mozilla Foundation recently issuing a study trying to assess just how far-reaching the automotive industry’s quest for data has become.
Like everything else in the modern era, vehicles have become another polarizing issue. The populace is split between gasoline-loving Luddites, endlessly bemoaning the current regulatory landscape and smug EV adopters who proselytize battery-powered vehicles with all the zealotry of a religious fanatic.
There’s plenty of overlap between the two groups. However, they tend to diverge in terms of disposable income, political preferences, and even geography. J.D. Power looked into the latter issue, hoping to identify purchasing trends around the United States. It found that, while EV adoption rates were increasing nationwide, there are plenty of places in America that now appear to be shunning electrified automobiles.
With the rate of fatal automotive accidents having spiked dramatically in recent years, just about everyone has been theorizing why. While there still seems to be a level of willful ignorance surrounding how modern infotainment systems and driving aids create more opportunities to be distracted behind the wheel, most outlets tracking safety seem to have come to the realization that size disparities between vehicles play an important factor in crash survivability.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) recently published a list of the models with the highest death rate per million vehicles registered. Its takeaway seems to be that the uptick in fatalities could be attributed to smaller vehicles and powerful models that encourage aggressive driving.
A new study from the American Automobile Association (AAA) has suggested that raising vehicle speed limits offers negligible benefits to drivers while decreasing overall safety for all travelers.
“Our study analyzed before-and-after data on a dozen roadways that raised or lowered posted speed limits and found no one-size-fits-all answer regarding the impact of these changes,” said Dr. David Yang, president and executive director of the AAA Foundation. “However, it is critical to consider the safety implications when local transportation authorities contemplate making changes with posted speed limits.”
J.D. Power has released its Initial Quality Study for 2023 and the big takeaway seems to be that the automotive industry continues to fumble. While manufacturers are bending over backward to implement novel technologies and features, last year’s survey revealed that customers felt vehicular quality reached its lowest level in more than three decades.
It’s even worse this year.
Delinquencies on automotive loans have surpassed the recession-era highs witnessed in 2009, according to an assessment released by S&P Global Mobility on Monday. Fortunately the wealthy will be largely unaffected by this trend, as the issue is isolated primarily to subprime borrowers. For some strange reason, people with more money are having less trouble paying their bills on time.
Of all the American adages, “there ain't no such thing as a free lunch” has to be the most applicable and it often comes to mind whenever the automotive sector spins itself up over alternative energy vehicles. While it is comforting to assume that novel powertrains are going to create a world where nothing is wasted and no environmental harm is done, the laws of nature don’t really support the theory.
One of the most infuriating things about this job is watching the media scratch its head about why roadway fatalities keep going up when the answer is as plain as the touchscreens on their dashboards. Modern vehicle interfaces are much more cumbersome than their predecessors and yet we’ve seen years' worth of coverage offering all the insight or a shrug. While there are certainly other reasons crashes have spiked (e.g. drug and alcohol abuse), the alluring tablet located next to your steering wheel has been the elephant in the room nobody was talking about — not with the seriousness that is deserved.
But things could be changing.
The average monthly payment for a new car sold within the United States has reached a record $777, according to Kelley Blue Book’s parent Cox Automotive. That represents roughly one-sixth of the median household income and is about twice the price of what would have been considered average in 2019. How the hell has it managed to come to this?
Over the last couple of years, there have been a series of questionnaires hoping to determine how satisfied people are with the United States EV charging infrastructure. Most have been pretty bleak, suggesting that just about everyone driving an electric car prefers to charge at home. But these surveys have also highlighted a problem with the general unreliability of public charging stations.
Based on the latest data coming from J.D. Power, the issue appears to have worsened. The outlet’s Electric Vehicle Experience Public Charging Study alleges that over 20 percent of all charging attempts failed in 2022.
A Michigan-based think tank has claimed that it now costs less to drive an internal combustion vehicle 100 miles than to charge up a comparably all-electric vehicle using home charging. Though this claim comes with a few caveats, starting with acknowledging that this only applies to “midpriced” vehicles based on the national average for fuel and electricity rates.
The United States is in the midst of expanding its electric vehicle charging network to ensure there’s sufficient charging capacity for the planned deluge of EV sales. Companies are even getting government money earmarked within the so-called Inflation Reduction Act to ensure that the Biden administration’s lofty environmental goals are maintained. However, a recent report by S&P Global Mobility has suggested the U.S. is nowhere near on pace to meet projected EV demand.
Wholesale used-vehicle prices continued to climb during the last weeks of 2022, though the overall trend actually had secondhand valuations down by 15 percent for the entire year. That’s due largely to auction prices cooling off after the summer ended and the situation has many speculating that 2023 could be the first year we see massively inflated car prices begin to return to normal.
Driver assistance features have started to lose their luster now that they’re starting to become mainstream. Studies have shown that they’re often less reliable than one would expect and are being implemented in a manner that may not be appealing to motorists. In an effort to tackle this problem, Consumer Reports has released detailed guidelines to car manufacturers it believes will make people more willing to engage with advanced driver assist systems (ADAS).
Latest Car ReviewsRead more
Latest Product ReviewsRead more
- Kat Laneaux Wonder if they will be able to be hacked into (the license plates) and then you get pulled over for invalid license plates or better yet, someone steal your car and transpose numbers to show that they are the owners. Just a food for thought.
- Tassos Government cheese for millionaires, while idiot Joe biden adds trillions to the debt.What a country (IT ONCE WAS!)
- Tassos screw the fat cat incompetents. Let them rot. No deal.
- MaintenanceCosts I think if there's one thing we can be sure of given Toyota's recent decisions it's that the strongest version of the next Camry will be a hybrid. Sadly, the buttery V6 is toast.A Camry with the Highlander/Sienna PSD powertrain would be basically competitive in the sedan market, with the slow death of V6 and big-turbo options. But for whatever reason it seems like that powertrain is capacity challenged. Not sure why, as there's nothing exotic in it.A Camry with the Hybrid Max powertrain would be bonkers, easily the fastest thing in segment. It would likewise be easy to build; again, there's nothing exotic in the Hybrid Max powertrain. (And Hybrid Max products don't seem to be all that constrained, so far.)
- Analoggrotto The readers of TTAC deserve better than a bunch of Kia shills posing as journalists.