Safety is the number one priority of auto manufacturers. This is for dozens of reasons: to protect their customers, to lower auto insurance costs for people who buy their products, bragging rights, and so on. But the most powerful safety tool in recent memory has been V2V communication.
V2V, or vehicle to vehicle communication, essentially forms a safety network for cars. Vehicles send their locations, directions, and speeds to each other across a "node" network with a range of about a thousand feet. These aren't "Internet connected" cars: instead, it's a simpler system designed to send and receive basic wireless signals and quickly process them, so if any car comes in range, it becomes part of the network.
The idea is to give the driver more tools and alerts to stop accidents. And with this technology, soon, accidents like these may be a thing of the past.
T-boning, for those lucky enough to not experience it, is when a car is hit directly in the side by another vehicle going full speed. This is one of the most dangerous collisions possible: the energy can distort the frame, shatter the windows, and even flip the car.
It usually occurs when a driver doesn't look where he's going, or has to try and cross a blind area. But this system would automatically alert the driver to a potential hazard he can't see, or even trigger the brakes to prevent entering the intersection.
#4) Head-On Collisions
Most head-on collisions happen on narrow roads, when one car wanders into another's lane, especially on isolated roads late at night. No system can reduce these entirely, but the V2V system can make drivers aware of a vehicle wandering into their lane much, much earlier, giving them more time to swerve, brake, or otherwise react. Instead of rounding a turn and seeing a car rushing up, you'd know ahead of time if someone was in your lane.
#3) Wrong Lane Accidents
Too often, drivers ignore One-Way or Wrong Way signs, and suddenly find themselves headed down a busy street in the wrong direction. With V2V warning systems, though, this will be prevented as drivers up and down the road will know instantly that something is wrong, allowing them to slow down and even brake...so the driver who missed the sign can back up or turn around, instead of colliding with other drivers.
#2) Passing Accidents
The new system is also designed to make passing on two lane roads much easier to do and with less risk. For example, it would let you know automatically that you would be unable to pass because a car was within a thousand feet...even if it was around a curve and you'd be unable to see it.
Of course, you shouldn't be passing on a curve in the first place, but these systems are designed to wake up even the driver with the least common sense.
#1) Left Turn Fenderbenders
One of the most annoying accidents comes from a basic problem: making a left turn. Especially in areas where people park badly, it can be difficult to see traffic and properly time your turn. Fortunately, this system lets you know when a left turn is safe and when it's unsafe...meaning you save a lot of time, and have fewer wrecks.
In short, it's a powerful, effective system. Look for it in a few years: the government will be testing it in Ann Arbor later this summer.
Tags: Car Accidents, Bizarre Car Accidents, SafeAuto, Safe Auto, Cheap Insurance
Here's a pop quiz for you: What do the Volvo V50 and S40, Nissan Altima Hybrid, Mitsubishi Endeavor, Mazda Tribute, Lotus Elise, Honda Element, Ford Ranger, Dodge Dakota, Chevrolet HHR, Buick Lucerne, and Cadillac DTS and STS have in common?
They're all vehicle models which didn't make it into 2012. After their 2011 model years, they were discontinued. Axed. Nixed. Given the kibosh. Voted off the island. Jettisoned to the land of the Edsel.
Want to know which unlucky cars and trucks will be joining them in the near future?
Here are 10 car models that are being discontinued by their automakers after the 2012 model year -- along with the reasons why.
1. Mazda CX-7
Sometimes it just sucks to be the middle child. But since Mazda's larger CX-9 and smaller CX-5 are doing well, no one seemed to want the midrange CX-7. So much for the Goldilocks effect.
2. Mitsubishi Galant
The stylish sedan had some good things going for it. But because Mitsubishi is moving toward smaller, more fuel-efficient product offerings, there was no room for the Galant in its plans.
3. Mitsubishi Eclipse
Like the Galant, the sleek, sporty Eclipse doesn't fit the mold of what Mitsubishi wants to produce in the coming years. Plus, sales in recent years have lagged for the Eclipse in the "budget sports car" category.
4. Kia Sedona
It may be hard to believe, but the minivan market is pretty crowded right now -- and Kia's entry really couldn't compete with its counterparts. However, Kia does plan to release another minivan in 2014.
5. Dodge Caliper
Is it a sport utility vehicle? Is it a crossover? Is it a wagon? One thing's certain about this schizophrenic Dodge: it's gone. Taking over its slot will be the new Dart sedan.
6. Lexus HS
The luxury automaker was trying to make inroads into the alternative-fuel market with its first dedicated hybrid vehicle. But buyers seemed to eschew the HS in favor of the hybrid version of Lexus' CT200. To compensate for the absence of the HS, Lexus will introduce the ES 300h in the summer of 2013.
7. Mercedes Benz R-Class
Despite the smart marketing decision to use the term "R-Class" instead of "fancy high-priced minivan," this model will not be found in American showrooms next year. But Mercedes will continue to produce the R-Class; they'll just be shipped overseas, where they are still popular in other countries.
8. Hyundai Veracruz
Hyundai has done a good job of selling its smaller sport utility vehicles, but that market success could not be matched with the three-row seating Veracruz. We'll see if the automaker's plans to produce a Santa Fe with a third row will attract any buyers.
9. GMC Canyon Crew Cab 10. Chevrolet Colorado Crew Cab
The twin extended cab pickups offered by General Motors appeared to be a viable choice for truck lovers who wanted an available V8 engine without breaking the bank. Alas, the outdated interior, lackluster platform and transmission, and large turning radius were too much to prevent both models from being doomed to becoming bygone pickups of yesteryear. SafeAuto Insurance is a state minimum auto insurance company
Tags: Outdated Cars, Cheap Auto Insurance, SafeAuto, Safe Auto, SafeAuto Insurance
James Bond is one of the most iconic and recognized images in the last half-century. Film buffs love how he can thwart the plans of a super villain just as easily as he can seduce members of the fairer sex. Despite the fact that his actual face has changed several times, Bond exhibits the perfect blend of suavity, power, and mystery that has mesmerized millions of moviegoers the world over. And that unique spirit is embodied in the quintessential James Bond car: the Aston Martin DB5, which was first seen in Bond's third film, Goldfinger, in 1964. Bond's tricked-out spy vehicle also made appearances in Thunderball, GoldenEye, Tomorrow Never Dies, and Casino Royale; and will also be showcased in the 2012 James Bond movie Skyfall.
As Aston Martin enters its second century of existence, the British luxury carmaker is poised to wow the automotive world yet again. Aston Martin officials have unveiled the company's new flagship driving machine which will replace the DB5. Its prototype was first displayed earlier in 2012 in Italy at the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este.
Presenting: the new Aston Martin 310 Vanquish.
Wipe the drool off your chin, dude.
This monstrously stylish automobile is equipped with the same base 5.9-litre V12 engine that was found under the hood of the DB5. But Aston Martin engineers claim that the Vanquish engine was substantially revised to produce 457 pound-feet of torque and 565 horsepower, which marks increases of 8.8% and 10.8% respectively over its predecessor. Furthermore, the 310 Vanquish can accelerate from 0 to 60 in a head-snapping 4.1 seconds -- and can reportedly clock an astonishing top speed of 183 miles per hour.
The sensuous body of the new Vanquish is completely constructed of carbon fiber to make it more lightweight without sacrificing durability, and this material is also found on the vehicle's Generation 4 VH platform. Its transmission consists of a six-speed Touchtronic automatic system with carbon fiber paddle shifters, and its mechanics are positioned at the back of the car in order to provide a more favorable weight distribution.
Interestingly, the Vanquish does have a small rear seat which can ostensibly fit two people, although legroom and comfort for back seat passengers is one of the few things that Aston Martin is not known for.
Alas, the hood-mounted traffic-thinning automatic weapon is not included on the production model.
Officials with the automaker say that the base list price for the 310 Vanquish will be just under $280,000 U.S. (not counting auto insurance). Though the figure may be colossal for some, it's important to note that it is substantially smaller than the half-million dollar price tag for the Aston Martin limited edition V12 Zagato. And it's practically a bargain when compared against the One-77, which is more than seven times more expensive (although this $2 million dollar vehicle is already sold out).
The Aston Martin 310 Vanquish won't begin delivery to customers until sometime in early 2013, which is also the 100th anniversary of the company's founding. But this new sports car has already established a presence in the oeuvre of James Bond -- and it's likely only a matter of time before we'll see our favorite top billing, ladykilling, martini-swilling international spy behind the wheel of a Vanquish on the silver screen.
Image credit: hollywood.com, concorsodeleganzavilladeste.com, forum.xcitefun.net.
Tags: James Bond Car, James Bond Vehicle, Cool Cars, Movie Cars, SafeAuto, Safe Auto Insurance, Cheap Insurance, Auto Insurance
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