New Autonomous Cars to Protect Occupants… At All Costs

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Whom should an autonomous car protect: the driver or a pedestrian?

Accidents are an unfortunate consequence of driving, and, so far, even autonomous software can’t prevent them. The ethics of accident avoidance is becoming one of the drawbacks of self-driving cars. When a human is driving, he or she can quickly process information and make a decision that, hopefully, results in the least amount of harm. Most of us would take any means of avoidance necessary to avoid hitting another person.

Self-driving cars, on the other hand, may be programmed to protect the driver at all costs…even if it means a pedestrian’s life.

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Total Recall: 5 of the Most Expansive Automotive Recalls of 2016

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The end of Daylight Savings Time is a great time of year to take stock of some of the often-overlooked essentials around the house. Families everywhere will, of course, turn their clocks back, but this adjustment can also be a great way to remember to check the batteries in your smoke and carbon-monoxide detectors, and according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), it’s also a great time to check to see if your vehicle has any outstanding recalls. 2015 saw a record number of automotive recalls issued, and it’s hard to see 2016 slowing that trend down.

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Are Self-Driving Cars Really Safer?

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Safety is the number one reason advocates for self-driving cars give for promoting the technology as the wave of the future.

It’s difficult to argue with that point because human drivers account for an accident every minute of every day in the U.S. alone. Over 37,000 Americans died last year as a result of car crashes, so we have to admit that human drivers make a lot of mistakes.

When computers do the work and make the driving decisions, human error is eliminated and driving will become a nearly accident-free endeavor.

That’s the thought, anyway, but is a future without car accidents realistic?

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The Best Family Cars of 2016

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Imagine driving across the country with a carload of children. Now imagine doing that twice, every year. CarGurus surveyed families to determine which cars best meet their needs, and among other findings, 1 in 3 parents reported driving his or her kids at least four hours per week. Cumulatively, that equals two round trips between Boston and San Diego per year. We’ve all lusted after a Mazda MX-5 Miata or Dodge Challenger at least once in our lives, but if kids are in the picture, the shortcomings of a sports car become readily apparent. Continue reading >>>

Two New Tires Bring Fun Driving Year Round

Michelin Pilot Sport A/S 3+

The Autumn Equinox is September 22, but when the kids go back to school, summer is unofficially over. Sure, there are plenty of warm days left, but the nights have started getting cooler, and it’s only a matter of time before the leaves change and the chill of fall and winter will take hold. Now’s the time to start thinking about tires.

Automakers routinely tout all-wheel drive as the best way to deal with challenging conditions, but regardless of which wheels get power, the tires are the only parts of a car that actually touch the road. A good set of winter tires can turn a rear-wheel-drive sports car into a competent winter commuter car, while a set of ultra-high-performance summer tires can render an AWD-equipped car useless in the snow.

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Don’t Forget the Little Things: Some Easily Overlooked Safety Tech

Henry Bliss Plaque

Take a walk down New York City’s Central Park West, and right at the intersection of West 74th Street, you’ll see an interesting little plaque. It’s as unassuming a corner on New York’s Upper West Side as can be, but the sign nevertheless marks the intersection as an historic site. On September 13, 1899—117 years ago today—while stepping off a street car across from Central Park, a real-estate dealer named Henry H. Bliss was struck by an electric taxicab. The car knocked Bliss down and crushed him. He was pronounced dead the following morning. Bliss’s death marked the first automotive fatality in the western hemisphere. Continue reading >>>

Should Big Rigs Be Forced to Drive Slower?

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Have you ever been driving at, or slightly above, the speed limit on a highway, only to be overtaken by a speeding big rig?

It’s scary to see a massive grille approaching in your rear-view before it changes lanes and passes. The whine of the diesel engine and whoosh of the long trailer makes for a few seconds of white-knuckle driving.

Trucks have a slower speed limit than the rest of traffic on most highways around the country, but drivers rarely adhere to that posted limit.

The U.S. government is considering new legislation that would electronically limit the top speed of all new semi trucks, making it impossible for truck drivers to exceed the speed of normal traffic.

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Should New GM Pay for Old GM’s Mistakes?

GM-ignition-recall

General Motors knew about a fault in some ignition switches as far back as 2001, but didn’t issue a recall until early 2014.

The fault, which can cause a vehicle to turn off while being driven, has been linked to at least 124 deaths and has already cost the company $2 billion in settlements.

That’s just the beginning, though, as another $10 billion in lawsuits looms on the horizon. GM doesn’t want to pay up and is using its 2009 bankruptcy as a shield against taking responsibility for the fatalities.

An appeals court ruling last month said the U.S. automaker can’t do that, but GM disagrees.

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New, More Aggressive Legislation Targets Distracted Driving

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Drinking and driving has been rightly outlawed for decades. Not only is doing so a distraction, it severely alters a driver’s ability to see and respond to hazards in a timely manner.

Texting and driving is equally as dangerous. Writing a single text can take a driver’s eyes off the road for a minimum of five seconds and have deadly consequences.

Distracted driving is a huge problem in this country and costs people their lives every day. Of course, alcohol and texting aren’t the only causes of car crashes. Other crash-causing distractions include putting on makeup, eating burritos, and drinking coffee.

One state believes it can reduce car crashes by making it illegal to do any of those things behind the wheel.

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Tesla, Autopilot, and the Future of Self-Driving Cars

Tesla AutoPilot

From the first press release outlining Tesla’s Autopilot technology, potential customers have wondered how the system works, what its limitations are, and whether it will be welcomed or shunned. Since Joshua Brown’s fatal crash while using Autopilot in a Tesla Model S, these questions have grown larger and more pointed. Without a doubt, popular opinion has shifted toward negativity. But should it?

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