How Car Manufacturers Are Creating Vehicles That Understand Human Emotions

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The technology and innovation in the vehicle manufacturing industry is changing as each day passes by. The invention of the autonomous car has left the automotive industry in a shaky state as manufacturers try to catch up. Automotive manufacturers and their components suppliers are working tirelessly to catch up with these recent innovations that define the cars of the future. This technology features cars that are driverless, semi-autonomous or human-operated.

The introduction of these vehicles brings a shift in the interaction between humans and machines. The automotive industry has taken into account that humans prefer having conversational and relational interactions with devices; this has been proven with the popularity of chatbots. Virtual assistants such as Alexa and Siri are also very common apps being utilized by consumers today.

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It’s Time to Say Goodbye: Death of the Manual Transmission

Depending on how old you are, the death of the manual transmission likely means something different to you. For older generations, drivers grew up on the manual transmission, learning how to properly shift gears while their parents taught them to drive.

For younger generations, this may not be on your radar at all. You may have had a friend or two who drove stick shift during college, and they were considered a rare and cool breed of driver.

According to car experts and trends, less and less cars will have the option of a manual transmission until they are extinct altogether. In fact, many believe that by the end of this decade, manual transmissions will be completely dead.

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A Closer Look at the 2017 Chevy Bolt EV Electric Car

The 2017 Chevy Bolt EV is a car that is wonderfully and perfectly shaped. With a price range that begins at $29,995, it represents an amazing opportunity for the common consumer. This is a car with the potential of going 238 miles on a 60 kWh battery. Another spectacular detail of this car is the 266 lb.-ft. of torque and 200 horsepower produced by its electric motor.

For a car the size of the 2017 Chevy Bolt EV, you have to agree that’s quite an amount of torque. Although, it is noteworthy to mention that at 3,580 pounds, the Chevy Bolt EV significantly outweighs your regular hatchback, with the car’s battery alone almost weighing 1,000 pounds. Chevrolet has done a remarkable job balancing the car by ensuring the weight is evenly distributed to the four sides of the vehicle, which in turn makes the car well-balanced on the road.

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How Going Over the Speed Limit Costs Arizonans

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Just like every other state, the state of Arizona has its own jurisdictional traffic violations statutes and its own legislation with regards to fines and penalties. The offense of speeding may appear to be a minor violation, but in Arizona, it is a common but very severe criminal violation.

When it comes to Arizona speeding laws, drivers should take them very seriously. Many speeding violations, especially those categorized as criminal speeding, have punishements ranging from a $500 fine to 20 days in jail. So while getting pulled over for going over the speed limit may seem minor at the time, it could cost drivers a significant amount of time and money.

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Is Car Ownership Actually Decreasing In The U.S.?

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The first half of the twentieth century witnessed the domination of Americans in the automobile industry, with three big auto companies (Ford, General Motors, and Chrysler) emerging by the 1920s. History has shown us that automobiles had their greatest economic and social impact in the U.S. in 1980, when about 87.2 percent of American residents owned one or more vehicles, 51.5 percent owned more than one, and 95 percent of domestic car sales were for a replacement.

Recent studies and trends, however, indicate that Americans won’t be needing or purchasing as many automobiles in the future. But why is that?

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Uber’s Brief Suspension Ends After Tempe Crash

Back in December 2016, Governor Doug Ducey announced that Uber would move its self-driving vehicle program to Arizona. Fast-forward four months, and the program has already been briefly suspended.

Take a look at the major milestones during Uber’s time in Arizona to better understand the progress Uber has made, and what their unknown future may hold.

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More and More Manufacturers Require Pre and Post Scans after Accidents

It is no secret that technology in our automobiles is advancing at a rapid rate. Our vehicles give us the ability to have a 360-degree view around our car, assist with parallel parking, and warn us of possible collisions. With developments such as these, it is only logical that the ability to repair these vehicles would also become more advanced. This need for more complex repairs has unfortunately left some to battle insurance companies over what to cover. Luckily, there has been good news that should leave drivers feeling more comfortable over their repairs.

More and more manufacturers are now requiring pre and post scans of their vehicles after repairs. While post scans were more common following an accident, the addition of pre-scans will help ensure that every vehicle that receives repairs is completely safe to drive. For example, Honda now requires a pre scan with any collision accident, as well as post-scan for any collision, electrical parts disconnection, body parts replacement, or impact in close proximity to sensors or cameras. Honda is not alone in this, as FCA, Nissan, GM, Toyota, and Mercedes all require or at least strongly recommend both pre and post scans.

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Will Car Insurance Premiums Rise In Arizona for 2017?

Insurance companies are feeling the pressure of increased miles driven, rising property damage frequency and rising severity in the types of collisions. The number of miles driven in 2015 set new records and accident frequency is at a 10-year high. These pressures are cutting into insurers profits and ultimately we the public will end up paying the price.

Auto claims frequency has returned pre-recession levels, and severity has reached record highs which is forcing many insurers to raise premiums, and here is why:

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exploded sunroof with sahde

Exploding sunroof Class Action Lawsuit May Benefit Arizona Drivers

When we first wrote about the possibility of exploding sunroofs back in August of 2015, we were really on to something. On September 12, 2016,  consumer protection law firm, Simmons Hanly Conroy, filed a class action complaint in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California against Ford Motor Company, alleging that large glass panoramic sunroofs on some Ford vehicles have spontaneously shattered.

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Flooded cars causing insurance claims in Arizona

How severe weather in 2016 is affecting your Arizona car insurance claim

The last couple of years has been marked by some very significant and damaging weather events. In the early part of 2016, we saw heavy record-breaking snowfalls in the east, oddly warm or cold seasons such as the spring and fall, and out here in the southwest, heavy volumes of freak hail storms. These storms have made a big dent in the net income of nearly every insurance company and you can bet that we may start to see some premium increases as a result.

2016 has also been a year marked by more vehicles on the road overall, and more miles are driven per vehicle which has also contributed to much of the increase in auto accident and auto body claim frequency. Some point to an economic recovery as the driver of that change. Last week we wrote about how people are buying big trucks and SUV’s again.

To date, the nation has experienced and an uptick of 3.1 percent in miles driven from May 2015 through May 2016 Some states are seeing larger increases than others, while only two states, North Dakota and Montana, saw declines.

Although not widely publicized, the impacts of record-breaking weather events in driving up auto claim counts can impact your pocket book.

Weather raises risks

First quarter 2016 financial results of U.S. property and casualty insurance companies report that the price tag for these severe weather losses forced a 26.6 percent drop in U.S. Insurance company revenue. For residents here in the Southwest, we experienced record hail in Montana, Texas, and Arizona all of which contributed to the highest first-quarter catastrophe losses in the U.S. since 1994.

Hail and Flooding damages

In April, May and June 2016, five percent of the losses in the US came as a result of flooding or hail. In 2015 the total losses for the same were only 1.2 percent.

16.5 percent of all claims increases for hail and water happened in March and April.

While most states saw the largest losses in March and April, a few states like Montana broke records when losses went from 1 percent of all losses from hail/water losses in Jan- March 2016, to 35 percent for April May and June.

Total Loss Insurance claims from weather

Across the US, 17 percent of vehicles filing claims were flagged total loss or non-repairable by mid-year across all losses. For the more common comprehensive losses, only 13 percent were flagged a total loss, while collision and liability losses saw nearly 18 percent flagged as a total loss. Each loss category group has seen about a one percentage point increase in total loss frequency so far this year versus mid-year 2015.

Significant Swings

Total loss volume in certain states also saw significant swings. For example, devastating storms in late June led to flash-flooding in West Virginia, causing damage to up to 5,500 homes, 125 businesses, and swaths of the infrastructure. Total loss valuation counts were up 62 percent for the first six months of 2016 from the same period in 2015. When comprehensive losses are excluded, however, those same counts were up only 7.8 percent.

At this point, halfway through the year, our weather has played a major role in driving up auto body repair claim counts and totaling out cars. This El Niño weather pattern has had a significant impact on weather patterns across the country. As we head into the late summer and early fall, the developing La Niña will strengthen and continue to be the main source of North American weather, and also continue strong weather events that will likely continue to spin off record-breaking weather events and will continue to damage more cars and total out more cars.

A warm fall is headed our way according to the Weather Network who predicts the warm weather pattern for the summer will persist into fall, driving up tropical storm activity in the Atlantic Basin. Seven hurricanes or tropical storms over the last 10 years have caused at least one billion dollars of damage in the U.S. Five of the seven came during the La Nina years of 2008 and 2011 according to CNN. Conversely, a strong La Nina (like we had last year) typically follows a strong El Niño, so not much relief may be in sight anytime soon. When the insurance companies suffer financial losses with the magnitude that we have witnessed in the first half of the year, you can bet that our insurance premiums are going to rise.

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