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A total of 37,461 people were killed on U.S. roads last year, according to new data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. That number is the highest since 2007, when 41,259 fatalities were reported. Traffic deaths last year increased 5.6 percent compared to 2015. More pedestrians were killed than in any year since 1990, with the death toll reaching 5,987. Drunk driving fatalities rose 1.7 percent to 10,497, while speed-related deaths jumped 4 percent to 10,111. Last year also saw an increase in deaths among motorcyclists and bicyclists. Deaths related to distracted driving actually fell last year. NHTSA recorded 3,450 fatalities in this category, a decrease of 2.2 percent compared to 2015. Drowsy driving fatalities also decreased by 3.5 percent to 803 fatalities. Coinciding with the overall increase in traffic deaths last year is an increase in the number of vehicle miles driven. Drivers logged 2.2 percent more miles than in 2015, and there are now 1.18 fatalities for every 100 million vehicle miles traveled, says NHTSA. The data follows a large increase in traffic fatalities from 2014 to 2015. In 2015, deaths jumped 8.4 percent from the previous year, the largest increase in traffic fatalities since the 1960s. With the advent of autonomous cars and new safety technologies, the U.S. governmenthas said it'spossible toend traffic fatalities by the year 2046. Source: NHTSAThe post Traffic Deaths Increased 5.6 Percent in 2016 appeared first on Motor Trend.
First the Fast & Furious 9release date gets pushed back to 2020 - and now this. If you are waiting breathlessly to see the Tesla Semi truck in the flesh, the wait just got longer. And if you are waiting for your Model 3 to arrive, let's just say it may be a really l-o-n-g wait. Tesla CEO Elon Musk announced another setback from production hell. Tesla Semi unveil now Nov 16, he announced via Twitter on Friday. Basically, what Musk is facing is a traffic jam. Fixing the Model 3 is holding up the Semi. And his efforts to supply battery power to hurricane victims are also slowing things down. As he noted on Twitter: Diverting resources to fix Model 3 bottlenecks & increase battery production for Puerto Rico & other affected areas.
Tesla Semi unveil now Nov 16. Diverting resources to fix Model 3 bottlenecks & increase battery production for Puerto Rico & other affected areas. - Elon Musk (@elonmusk) October 6, 2017
Supplying battery power for Puerto Ricans after Hurricane Maria knocked out all of its power is commendable. And since Mercedes-Benz and Cummins already beat Tesla to the punch by showing off their new all-electric trucks, what's the rush really? The real news is the production bottlenecks that have limited the number of Model 3s that have been made - only 260 instead of the 1,500 that were promised. According to a recent report in The Wall Street Journal, part of the problem stems from the fact that major portions of the Model 3 were still being banged out by hand, away from the automated production line as recently as last month. And it gets even worse. In place of the robotsyou've got two associates lining up with a big, old spot welder hanging from the ceiling by a chain, and you've got one associate kind of like balancing it and trying to get the welder in position, and you've got another welder with his arm guiding it, the paper reported, adding: Sparks go flying. No wonder those employees want a union. But, still, things aren't all bad for Musk. SpaceX Mars plans are on target and the company's BFR (Big F Rockets) will be able to take us anywhere on Earth in less than 60 minutes-someday. And who'll need electric cars and trucks when we have interplanetary rockets? Until then, we'll just have to wait a little more. Source: Elon Musk via Twitter The post Tesla Semi Reveal Delayed Until November 16 appeared first on Motor Trend.
For better or worse, Land Rover reinvented the second-generation Range Rover Sport with softer exterior lines and a more approachable look compared to its predecessor. A facelifted version, arriving in the U.S. next year, doesn't stray far from this model but adds a few details that bring out the SUV's athleticism. Are the changes enough to keep themidsize SUVfresh, or has it lost its way over time? The design changes may not jump off the page, but look closely and you'll notice the2018 Range Rover Sportfeatures a slimmer grille with a unique honeycomb pattern. The headlights are also narrower, and new LED lighting signatures give the eyes a sharper look. Slimmer LED fog lights sit at the bottom of the front fascia to complement a redesigned front bumper. The new bumper makes the Sport appear lower to the ground and, according to Land Rover, also enhances airflow. Compared to old Range Rover Sports, the new model features more angular lower vents, making the model appear a little less soft than before.
You won't notice many updates by looking at the vehicle's side profile, but the new model features updated fender vents. The model gets new 21- and 22-inch wheel designs as well. In the rear, there are new taillight clusters, an updated bumper, and more aggressive spoiler. Unique rectangle-shaped exhaust tips finish the look.
Inside the cabin, Range Rover installed slimmer front seats and new interior ambient lighting with as many as 10 different color options. But the most prominent change is the new technology at the front of the cabin. Instead of just one display on the center console, the new model features two 10-inch touchscreens. The top screen is a traditional infotainment system while the lower one controls more basic features such as climate controls and seat settings.
For the new model year, buyers can opt for a package that adds black exterior accents or a package that adds both black accents and carbon fiber accents. Also, look for a new plug-in hybrid option coming later in 2018 for the 2019 model year. Do you think the 2018 Range Rover Sport is refreshing or revolting?
General Motors is exploring a fuel cell vehicle platform with autonomous capabilities, the automaker announced today. In the future, the platform could underpin everything from commercial trucks, light- and medium-duty trucks, and military vehicles. SURUS, short for Silent Utility Rover Universal Superstructure, features two electric drive units, a next-generation fuel cell system, and a lithium-ion battery. Its hydrogen storage system gives a compatible vehicle more than 400 miles of range. The platform uses truck chassis components andoffers four-wheel steering for improved maneuverability. GM says the platform can be adapted for land, sea, and air applications. Given that it supports autonomous driving, the vehicle could reduce the amount of manpower needed in dangerous situations.
Why might fuel cells make good military vehicles? GM says the quiet operation, lack of odor, instantaneous high torque, water generation, and low heat signature of the SURUS fuel cell system gives it an advantage over other types of vehicles. And this isn't the first time GM has worked on fuel cell technology for military applications. The Army is now running tests on the hydrogen-powered Chevrolet Colorado ZH2, and so far, so good. Acoustic tests show the vehicle can get 10 times closer to its target without being detected compared to current military vehicles. Using technology from the Colorado ZH2, GM has also provided a fuel cell system for an Unmanned Undersea Vehicle being tested by the Navy. When it comes to more conventional vehicles, GM is making a big push toward electrification. By 2023, GM will have introduced at least 20 new all-electric vehicles. Two of these will arrive within the next 18 months and will be based off knowledge GM gained from the Bolt. Earlier this year, GM announced a joint venture with Honda to make next-gen fuel cell systems for future vehicles. These advanced fuel cell systems should go into production starting around 2020. Source: GM