vehicle blogs

New 2018 Vehicles to Dazzle Your Holidays!

New 2018 Vehicles to Dazzle Your Holidays!

Whether you're a driver that prefers a sedan, coupe, convertible, SUV, truck, pickup, van, minivan, crossover, wagon or hatchback, charting all of the redesigned changes can lead you to pick out the best new vehicle option to suit your preferences. Some models are all-new while others are redesigns.

2017 Auto Design Summed Up In One Word - Technology

It feels like a recent memory that Auto Technology meant having a CD player instead of a tape deck.  Previous to that, we had a portable CD player that plugged into the cigarette lighter with a cassette tape popped into the car’s tape deck.  One bump and that ever so fun music jam was over.  Just twenty years later, 2017 is proving that auto technology is far from ceasing to surprise us in improving our driving experience.

So let’s start with the ever present device of the times, the smartphone. Automakers have found new ways to make the smartphone experience safer while driving by integrating the technology into our vehicles and for good reason. Smartphone use while driving is attributed to 26% of all car accidents. According to ATT, texting alone causes 1.3 million crashes a year, and this doesn’t include gaming, app use, checking in on social media, video chat, and web searches.

The Providence of Newfoundland, Canada began banning cell phone use while driving in 2003. Today, all ten provinces have strict driving with cell phone laws. Touching your phone while driving in Ontario will result in a $490 - $1000 fine.

Here in the United States as recent as September of this year, California extended its cell phone/driving laws to include banning all uses of a cell phone. To our health, and, longevity 2017 autos bring even more hands-free options for that cell phone than ever before.

Photo Credit: Chrysler Pacifica -  http://www.nwitimes.com

Photo Credit: Chrysler Pacifica - http://www.nwitimes.com

Addressing this issue, and one up-ing smartphone/vehicle technology, we now have… Onboard Infotainment.  Which is, basically, everything you love about your smartphone in that center spot of the car where only your stereo used to reside. A simple, touch screen access to Bluetooth, social media, GPS navigation and more. The Bluetooth technology even allows connecting to your favorite online commercial-free music such as Jango or Pandora. 

This technology is too new at this juncture to analyze if it’s less a distraction overall than actually touching a phone while driving, although as of today it is a legally allowable way to continue communicating with the outside world as you drive by it.

A few other new technologies coming to a dealer near you include:

  • Predictive Forward Collision Warning system
  • Improved Smartphone Infotainment Integration
  • Smartphone Vehicle Management
  • Self-Parking Systems

Ford, Lincoln, Toyota, Lexus and BMW all have new Self Parking technology. Thus far, my system of landing a parallel parking spot has been to keep driving until a more convenient parking spot appears.  The 2017 Ford Super Duty Pickup Truck has at least SEVEN cameras to make anyone look like an expert parker. 

Also look to see more vehicles with Predictive Forward Collision Warning systems and smart braking technology. Those capabilities are sure to help avoid accidents, an August 2016 report from AAA, states it is best to still keep you as the driver in control of the brakes.

For more mind-blowing details on what to expect in 2017, check out the following links:

Whereas it may still be a few years before the standard vehicle drives itself like that awesome car from Night Rider, we are every year closer to living like the Jetsons than we ever thought possible.

By Guest Blogger: Audrey Elder - See more of Audrey's blogs at Past to Present Research 

 

 

Technology & Transportation – How it will change our lives?

Technology is changing our lives in nearly every facet including the way we drive and for many who work in the transportation industry major changes and eliminations will eventually take place in industry positions.  Employees of various industries are concerned that their jobs could be replaced by driverless technology.  These concerns according to the technology industry are premature and Huffington Post who has followed the driverless cars story explains that the technology is inevitable and will replace jobs but it will be more like a marathon than a sprint in arriving.  Employees in the transportation industry have plenty of time to come up with a plan. 

With Tesla announcing its release of the autopilot function on their Electric Cars this summer we are speeding faster toward driverless cars on a personal level than most could have imagined.   Google announced that it will also be launching their driverless cars this summer in California.  Of course, “safety drivers” on board will be available to assist and the cars will be slowly moving along at 25mph. 

Photo:  Official Google Blog 

According to Google from a post on their blog:  “…and during this next phase of our project we’ll have safety drivers aboard with a removable steering wheel, accelerator pedal, and brake pedal that allow them to take over driving if needed. We’re looking forward to learning how the community perceives and interacts with the vehicles, and to uncovering challenges that are unique to a fully self-driving vehicle—e.g., where it should stop if it can’t stop at its exact destination due to construction or congestion.”

In the meantime, as we await the driverless cars, hands free experience, to allow us the freedom to text, email, take conference calls and chat with our buddy on FB (hopefully without any legal limits) we have the Auto Industry offering new online capabilities in our vehicles with a touch of a finger at an app ready console. 

GMC and Buick are kicking off their 2016 models with many of the comforts of home and office.  Here are some of the latest inclusion of high tech in the auto industry one can celebrate in the coming year:

 “Apple CarPlay takes the iPhone features customers want to access while driving and puts them on the vehicle’s display in a smart, simple manner. This allows drivers to make calls, send and receive messages and listen to music right from the touchscreen or by voice via Siri. Apple CarPlay-supported apps include Phone, Messages, Maps, Music and compatible third-party apps. A full list of those apps can be found at Apple.com/ios/carplay. Apple CarPlay is compatible with iOS 7.1 or higher.

Android Auto is built around Google Maps, Google Now and the ability to talk to Google, as well as a growing audio and messaging app ecosystem that includes WhatsApp, Skype, Google Play Music, Spotify and podcast players. A full list of supported apps is available at g.co/androidauto. Android Auto requires a phone running an Android Lollipop 5.0 operating system or higher.” See Buick.com and GMC.com for more details.

Prepare yourself for the ultimate driving experience with the anticipation of driverless cars without limitation in using the technology that makes the world go round!

Rusty Grave Yard Cars… Get Yours Now!

From once fast and furious race cars, to vintage European models, to over 700 abandoned Dodges, all the way to the end of the earth car collectors can find some of the most sought after discontinued cars and their parts. Autos.Yahoo.com and other countless sites offer many resources for vintage car collectors to find the parts and cars that they need for their projects.   

We have eons of beautiful country littered with abandoned, rusty, damaged vehicles, once vibrantly useful, even loved and if only a car could talk?   We would hear of countless joyous travels with few happy endings in a cluttered sea of debris.  At Richards’ Collision Center we encourage people to collect these forgotten cars and their parts for restoration projects, each car once a jewel in the crown of the owner.   

For collectible car hunters salvage yards can hold a valuable diamond in the rough.  The popular show on the History Channel, Counting Cars, is a team based in Las Vegas who successfully bring life back to abandoned vintage autos among other interesting restoration projects.  Auto restoration is a rewarding hobby or business that truly cleans up our fields and restores the beauty in vintage cars. 

Where can you go to find that unique vintage car or find that one part that is no longer made?  Search online at various salvage yard sites to see if the car or part is available and can be mailed or travel to the destination salvage yard to personally rummage through the clutter.   

For instance, I have a friend from Raytown, MO who is currently searching to find an outdated Volvo part.  He may travel to Chicago from a lead that he found online.  No guarantee but they may have the part in an abandoned Volvo that he needs. That particular salvage yard does not search the yard or mail the parts.   

Social media is an excellent place to look as well:  be sure to check out the Collector Cars Facebook Page  in Taylor, Missouri, to find vintage cars/parts that date back as early as 1918.  Another fine example is an article I found online at Zeb’s Salvage Yard in Wisconsin.  This salvage yard is one of the few left in the Wisconsin area holding valuable vintage cars making it a collector’s paradise:  “2,000 cars, at least 1,500 of them range from the ’20s to the ’70s. There are over 100 cars from the ’30s alone in the collection.”   

Lastly, define your online searches for your specific target car or part including geographic location using quotes.  For example, I input:  “vintage Dodge car parts in missouri” and I found an excellent page of parts specifically in the Missouri area to reduce my online search and driving time.  If you don’t find what you need close to home simply broaden your geographic search and you will certainly find a grave yard car or part to revive!  Get yours now!

 

Powerful Sexy 2015 Pickup Trucks!

Looking for a powerful, sleek, sexy, built to last, pickup truck of your dreams? This week we are taking a journey to discover more about several of the new awesome American trucks due to hit the roads in 2015!  

First, we will explore the Dodge Ram 1500 starting price of a little over 25k with a surprising 28 HWY MPG+. Buyers also have the option for a Ecodiesel alternative to create greater fuel efficiency.  The 2015 model is packed in the back with more leg room for passengers and hauling materials, etc. to the job.  Safety features include side-impact door beams and an advanced Air Bag system.   In addition, a 5 year, 100,000 Powertrain Limited Warranty is a nice bonus.       

Another favorite is the Ford F150, the industry best seller, fabulously redesigned with more aluminum and other lighter weight materials, reducing the weight by 700 lbs  making this Ford the most fuel efficient large pickup on the road.  Newer safety features include Lane Departure and Blind-spot warning systems.  Fords' Dream Big Final Days offer to the new buyer could save a bundle of cash on this awesome truck.  

Our last but not least smaller, midsized trucks, favorite is the Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon!   Beautiful trucks available in extended cab and four-door crew cabin versions.  The trucks include forward collision and lane departure warning systems to avoid potential crashes.  Learn more through the video reviews from MotorWeek about these awesome trucks! In the mighty pickup search don't forget to check out the Chevy 2015 Silverado

Out of all the sites that we have researched our favorite is the Kelley Blue Book reviews that show in detail the best features through their HD videos.

All of us at Richards' Collision Center wish you Happy Truck Shopping and a Happy New Year!