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Posts Tagged ‘University of Michigan study’

Low Gas Prices Causing Average MPG to Fall

Less efficient truck, SUV sales on the rise.

by on Jan.15, 2016

As sales of full-size trucks, like the F-150, continue to tick upwards, fuel efficiency averages for new vehicles slides downward.

The price of gasoline is now sitting at its lowest point in the better part of a decade even as new crises ripple through the key oil producing regions of the Middle East

Gas prices continue to drop to multi-year lows, with average price of $1.93 per gallon representing the cheapest average price at the pump since March 23, 2009, according to surveys by AAA.

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They have fallen for 55 of the past 66 days for a total savings of 26 cents per gallon and should remain relatively low because there is more than enough oil and gasoline around the world to meet demand.  (more…)

Autonomous Driving May Help Save Fuel

U-M teaming with two labs to conduct study.

by on Nov.19, 2015

By 2017, the Cadillac CTS will be equipped with V2V technology. Might that technology not only improve safety, but also save fuel?

Adding autonomous driving and vehicle-to-vehicle communication capability is expected to make driving safer and shorten commuting times.

But now the University of Michigan and the Argonne National Laboratories outside of Chicago and Idaho National Laboratory are teaming up to see if the V2V technology also can help motorists save fuel.

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The university and two U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) national laboratories plan to collaborate on a study to determine if connected and automated vehicles could help people drive more efficiently. (more…)

US Gasoline Usage Lowest Since 1984

Better fuel economy, less driving helps cut gas prices.

by on Mar.26, 2015

More fuel efficient vehicles, like Ford's C-Max line-up, have helped reduce the amount of gasoline used by Americans in the last three decades.

A new study from the University of Michigan examines one of the important factors that have undermined the price of oil and gasoline: Americans are using less gas.

The price of gasoline and crude oil has plunged since last summer and the role of new discoveries in North American shale formations has been highlighted.

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Over the past two years, oil production in the U.S. has reached levels last seen in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Average fuel consumption by American drivers is at its lowest level in at least 30 years, according to a University of Michigan researcher. (more…)

UAW Readying Contract Demands in Detroit

Two-tier wages, raise likely to top discussion list.

by on Mar.24, 2015

UAW President Dennis Williams wants a pay increase for hourly workers in the next union contract.

The United Auto Workers union is meeting this week in Detroit with its local leaders to set its agenda for future bargaining with General Motors, Ford and Fiat Chrysler.

Among the many issues they are expected to broach during talks with automakers this year include the elimination of the two-tier wage system as well as a raise for employees. The two-tier wage system has been an effective tool to help some makers reduce their labor costs.

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However, its caused resentment among many workers and even top executives at the car companies have expressed reservations about retaining the set up. (more…)

New Vehicles Getting Less than 20 MPG on Decline

One in four new vehicles average less than 20 mpg in 2014.

by on Feb.27, 2015

Small cars, like the Chevy Sonic, have helped to push the average fuel economy of vehicles to new heights.

As automakers and the federal government head toward a potential clash over the 54.5 mpg corporate average fuel economy mandate for 2025, a recent study shows that automakers are making substantive gains in fuel economy: about one in four new vehicles get less than 20 mpg.

That’s a significant uptick in just six years, according to the University of Michigan, which show that in 2008, half of new-car buyers in the U.S. bought vehicles that were rated at less than 20 mpg.

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The shift is a reflection of several factors that helped push the industry into building and American consumers into buying more fuel-efficient vehicles. The rising price of gasoline, which jumped in wake of a series of hurricanes in fall of 2005, beginning with Hurricane Katrina that swept through the Gulf of Mexico and disrupted the production of gasoline and diesel fuel, set helped renew interest in fuel economy. (more…)

Self-Driving Ride Sharing Fleets May Cut Car Ownership by Half

Autonomous cars make second car unnecessary.

by on Feb.09, 2015

Google's driverless car could ultimately cause a decline in car ownership in the U.S.

The growing levels of comfort of driverless cars and the rise of ride-sharing programs could combine to cut private car ownership nearly in half, according to a recent study from the University of Michigan.

If Google’s fleet of self-driving vehicles became part of a growing number of Uber and Lyft drivers, or even supplanted them, the need for a second car is blunted, the researchers said, especially if a “return-to- home” mode is involved allowing the ride share vehicle to act as a form of shared family or household vehicle.

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According to Michael Sivak and Brandon Schoettle at the University of Michigan’s Transportation Research Institute, the most recent U.S. National Household Travel Survey (NHTS) data shows a general lack of trip overlap between drivers within a majority of households, opening up the possibility for a significant reduction in average vehicle ownership per household based on vehicle sharing. (more…)

U-M Study Shows Fewer People Dying on U.S. Roads

Despite driving more, better vehicles providing more safety.

by on Jul.14, 2014

A new study from the University of Michigan shows traffic fatalities are declining, even after a one-year reversal of the trend.

The efforts of automakers to make cars and trucks safer during the last decade appear to be hitting the mark as U.S. fatalities have declined nearly 23% in recent years, according to a newly released survey. The drop comes despite the fact that people are driving more than ever.

Regardless of how the results are measured, traffic deaths have declined overall in the U.S., although some states have seen better results than others. The University of Michigan’s Transportation Research Institute (UMTRI) released a study showing that between 2005 and 2012, the number of fatalities fell 22.7%. The numbers for 2013 aren’t compiled yet.

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The leading drops, in terms of simple numbers, came from Washington D.C. (68.8%), Nevada (39.6), Mississippi (37.5), New Hampshire (34.9%) and Missouri (34.3%). The top 11 states posted drops greater than 30%, according to the UMTRI study. (more…)

New Vehicle Fuel Economy Reaches All-Time High

Improved mileage on all vehicles pushes numbers to new record.

by on Sep.13, 2013

Fuel economy is at an all-time high partially due to the fact that full-size trucks and SUVs are getting better gas mileage than ever.

With retail sales of new vehicles by traditional fuel economy leaders, such as Toyota and Honda, on the upswing, the fuel-economy of new vehicles sold in the U.S. reached an all-time high in August, a new report from the University of Michigan Transportation Institute (UMTRI) indicates.

Average fuel economy (window-sticker values) of cars, light trucks, vans and sport utility vehicles purchased in August was 24.9 mpg – up 0.1 mpg from July, according to UMTRI researchers Michael Sivak and Brandon Schoettle.

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Overall, gas mileage is up 4.8 mpg since October 2007 when UMTRI began keeping track of fuel-economy numbers. (more…)