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Archive for the ‘Advocates’ Category

UAW Chides Trump Administration about Emissions Plans

CARB refutes claims of unwillingness to negotiate.

by on Jun.21, 2019

UAW Legislative Director Josh Nassar expressed the union's concerns about the Trump administration's emissions plans during a House subcommittee hearing.

A Congressional subcommittee heard testimony this week that the Trump administration proposed changes to the existing emissions and fuel economy requirements would reduce employment in the auto industry and open the car business to junk science.

Josh Nassar, the United Auto Workers legislative director, said the UAW “shares the concerns expressed by auto manufacturers” that the administration’s proposal could lead to protracted litigation and uncertainty that will limit industry growth.

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“We fear the (administration’s proposal) would stifle innovations and discourage investment in the industry while insufficiently combating climate change. We are very concerned that the final rule will be a setback for U.S. workers, the economy and environment,” said Nassar, adding the union was urging the California Air Resources Board, manufacturers and other stakeholders to develop balanced regulations. (more…)

New Study Shows Motorists Confused By High-Tech Features Like Autopilot, ProPilot and Super Cruise

Drivers may wind up misusing these systems, even fall asleep behind the wheel.

by on Jun.20, 2019

Cadillac's Super Cruise provides "hands-free driver assistance." It will expand the availability of Super Cruise across the entire line-up by 2020.

What is in a name, asked William Shakespeare, and while the Bard was talking about a rose, his modern-day counterpart might be asking the same thing about the names being applied to the latest high-tech systems designed to share some of the driving duties with human motorists.

More and more of today’s vehicles features advanced driver assistance systems, like forward collision warning and automatic emergency braking. The most sophisticated ADAS technology – such as Tesla’s Autopilot and Cadillac’s Super Cruise – even can assume some limited driving duties. But there’s where the problem sets in, according to a new study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. The findings suggest those names often imply that these systems can do more than they’re designed for, leading to potentially dangerous situations.

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“Current levels of automation could potentially improve safety,” IIHS President David Harkey said. “However, unless drivers have a certain amount of knowledge and comprehension, these new features also have the potential to create new risks.” (more…)

VW Workers Voting on UAW Representation in Chattanooga Plant

Union hoping third time is the charm.

by on Jun.14, 2019

The UAW's third election in five years at VW's Chattanooga plant is going on now.

It’s going to come down to the wire.

For the third time in the last half decade, hourly workers are Volkswagen’s plant in Chattanooga, Tennessee, are voting to decide if they want the United Auto Workers union to represent them. It was a contentious vote the first time around and only slightly less so this time.

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The UAW hasn’t fared well in its organizing efforts in the South, losing by significant margins in recent attempts in Mississippi and Alabama. A variety of factors played into those defeats: a strong anti-union group of workers named Southern Momentum, Republican politicians claiming doom and gloom and the UAW itself as stories of union leaders stealing money to do home repairs, pay off mortgages and other things for themselves have splashed across newspapers and television screens. (more…)

Uber, Lyft Drivers Have Poor Recall Repair Record

Taxis and other for-hire vehicles just as bad.

by on May.22, 2019

A new study shows that Lyft and Uber vehicle owners have terrible records when its to getting recall repairs completed.

Less than a week ago, the world discovered that Uber, Lyft and other ride-hailing service vehicles are the dirtiest ways to get someone to drive you somewhere. Now it may also be that they are the least safe, according to a new study.

Consumer Reports claims that one out of six Uber and Lyft drivers in the New York City and Seattle areas are driving vehicles with outstanding recalls. However, unlike the search for a more sanitary ride, taxis may not be a better option.

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The magazine says that nearly a quarter of all for-hire vehicles in the Big Apple also need to have their vehicles brought in to address a recall of some sort. Recalls can range from something as simple as a faulty light or sensor to – as we’ve seen recently – more dangerous problems such faulty airbags, engine fires and seat-belt problems. (more…)

With Over 11M Vehicles Expected to Use V2X tech, FCC Delays Decision on Needed Radio Spectrum

Some manufacturers look at alternatives, like 5G.

by on May.16, 2019

IHS Markit predicts the growth of V2X in the United States.

More than 11 million vehicles globally are expected to be equipped with connected-car technology, often known as V2X, by 2024, according to a new study by IHS Markit.

The technology is meant to allow vehicles to talk to one another, as well as an infrastructural network to share information like weather and traffic conditions and even when a stoplight is about to change. It can also alert a driver when another vehicle runs a red light, potentially saving lives.

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But some proponents fear the rollout of V2X technology could be delayed, at the least, because of an ongoing debate over the precise method that these systems will use to communicate. The radio spectrum that had been set aside is being coveted by groups like Comcast and CBS which would like to use it for alternative purposes, such as expanded Internet and WiFi services. (more…)

Auto Insurers Hammering Distracted Driving Violators

Violation pushes premium up nearly 10,000% since 2011.

by on May.01, 2019

Distracted driving behavior is being punished harshly by insurance companies as the penalty has increased nearly 10,000% since 2011.

Despite the efforts of automakers to make using a cell phone less intrusive and less distracting for drivers, tickets issued for distracted driving are on the rise and so is the price increase for your insurance premium: Nearly 10,000% since 2011.

Drivers cited for distracted driving eight years ago could expected to see their premiums rise just $2 a year. Now, despite the influx of systems like Sync, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, et al, prices will jump $290 or 19%, according to the 2019 State of Automotive Insurance by The Zebra.

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In comparison, the average penalty increase for all other violations including speeding, running a red light, or a hit-and-run was just 34% (or $494) from 2011 to 2018, and averaged 3% from one year to the next. (more…)

Drivers Warming to Arrival of Autonomous Vehicles

Good news for automakers investing billions into new technology.

by on Apr.30, 2019

Waymo's autonomous ride service, Waymo One, is already in service.

Automakers are investing billions of dollars into the research and development of autonomous vehicles with some already offering limited amounts of self-driving capability. However, is this what automobile owners really want?

There is new evidence they’re quickly warming to the idea of a self-driving vehicle.

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According to a survey of 1,146 automobile owners published by online car marketplace CarGurus, they’re both more enthusiastic and less worried about driverless cars than a year ago, and close to a third think they’ll own a self-driving car within the next decade. (more…)

Subaru NYIAS Display Shows Commitment to National Parks

Automaker donated $2.1 million to parks in 2018.

by on Apr.22, 2019

Subaru is the National Park Foundation's largest corporate partner and its NYIAS display reflects that commitment.

Subaru of America Inc. has become the National Park Foundation’s single largest corporate partner.

“Through our partnership with the National Park Foundation, we have provided nearly $20 million in support since 2013, funding programs and projects in more than 100 national parks that help protect these treasured places and increase public awareness and engagement across the National Park System,” said Thomas J. Doll, CEO and president, Subaru of America Inc.

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The automaker donated $2.1 million in 2018 through its Share the Love buying program where it donated $250 from the sale of every vehicle to the foundation. Through the 11 years of program it has raised $145.7 million. (more…)

UAW Secures Third Vote at VW’s Chattanooga Plant

Local 42 filed petition with National Labor Relations Board.

by on Apr.11, 2019

The UAW has secured its third election in five years at VW's Chattanooga plant to unionize the plant.

It what seems to be almost a yearly occurrence, workers as Volkswagen AG’s plant in in Chattanooga, Tennessee, have filed a petition for a union vote at the plant.

A call for a vote has happened three times in five years at the facility and the UAW does represent some skilled trades at the plant. UAW Local 42 President Steven Cochran told the Chattanooga Times Free Press the election petition was filed Tuesday with the National Labor Relations Board due to “pressure from the workers.”

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The petition revealed at least 30% of 1,709 employees that make up the proposed election unit have turned in cards for representation. It asks for an election on April 29 and 30. Volkswagen plant officials say they “remain neutral on this topic,” and that the petition is being reviewed. (more…)

Volvo Using Cameras to Prevent Distracted, Drunk Driving

Move comes after plans to keep top speed to 112 mph.

by on Mar.21, 2019

Volvo plans to use in-car cameras and other sensors to help prevent drunk and distracted driving crashes.

Volvo Cars is looking to finish what it loosely describes as a safety “triangle” by using in-car cameras and other sensors to prevent crashes and fatalies due to drunk or distracted drivers by 2021.

Last month, the company introduced the first “side” of the triangle by limiting the top speed of its non-Polestar vehicles to 112 mph. Now by ensuring whomever is behind the wheel is capable of making appropriate decisions, Volvo believes it is significantly closer to its goal of zero traffic deaths.

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“When it comes to safety, our aim is to avoid accidents altogether rather than limit the impact when an accident is imminent and unavoidable,” said Henrik Green, senior vice president, Research & Development at Volvo Cars. “In this case, cameras will monitor for behavior that may lead to serious injury or death.” (more…)