Last autonews about transportation-alternatives and auto makers (Hyundai, GM, Dodge, Chevy, Mercedes-BenzB, Cadillac, BMW, Toyota), photos/videos of supercars and from auto shows
AutomotoNews Frontline



Transportation Alternatives auto news

Pages:  1   2   3    ..  

No steering wheels, pedals or horns in cars by 2035, survey says

07/17/2014   [Original: Autoblog]
Category: Emerging Technologies, Transportation Alternatives, Legislation and Policy

Google self-driving car

At what point does a car cease to be a car and start becoming a people-mover? One survey hints that we're less than two decades away from that eventuality. Whether auto enthusiasts think that's a good thing is another matter altogether.

The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, or IEEE, polled about 200 people within academia, research and government agencies about the concept of self-driving vehicles and future automotive design, and got a sense of what people thought would become superfluous during the upcoming decades. Taken into consideration was rapid advancements in things like sensor technology, software, driver-assistance programs and GPS.

And with those advancements, the respondents said items like rear-view mirrors, horns and emergency brakes would be gone by 2030. And five years later, steering wheels, brakes and accelerator pedals would no longer be necessary, either. And by that time, at least three-quarters of US states will have laws on the books allowing for driverless vehicles. Nothing was mentioned about floor mats, of course.

The subject of autonomous driving continues to pick up relevance. In late May, Google unveiled its first self-driving car, which is sans steering wheel, brake pedal, gas pedal or gear shift and has a top speed of 25 miles per hour. Punch in an address and off it goes, theoretically. Stay tuned. And in the meantime, check out IEEE's press release below.

Continue reading No steering wheels, pedals or horns in cars by 2035, survey says

Read more..


Kandi EV vending machine is carsharing for $3.25 an hour in China

12/27/2013   [Original: Autoblog]
Category: Emerging Technologies, EV/Plug-in, Transportation Alternatives, China

kandi ev carsharing vending machine

kandi ev carsharing vending machineChina's cities are blanketed by toxic haze with air pollution that can shut down places like Beijing. Of course, there are many citizens who want to move from a scooter to a car, but that could create more pollution. In steps carsharing, and an idea from Kandi Technologies Group that its small electric vehicles could be part of the solution in the city of Hangzhou, an hour-long train ride from Shanghai.

Kandi produces a small, Smart-car like EV that can go 75 miles on a charge and reach a top speed of 50 miles per hour. Seems like boilerplate EV territory, right? Except that they're being stored in vending machine-like parking garages and can be rented for $3.25 per hour. See for yourself in the video below by filmmaker Aaron Rockett.

The EVs are stored in vending machine-like parking garages and can be rented for $3.25 per hour.

Through its joint venture with Geely Automotive, Kandi plans to build 750 (!) of these garages in Hangzhou over the next four years. This will be supported by the government and Kandi's 50-50 joint venture with Geely Automotive. Kandi wins, too, since it could supply up to 100,000 EVs to serve carsharers. If things work well in Hangzhou, this business model could spread to other Chinese cities and regions such as Shanghai, Shandong and Hainan.

Geely and Kandi started their joint venture early in 2013 with an initial investment of one billion yuan (about $160 million US). The idea has been to research, develop, produce and market EVs together, and the car-vending machine project could play an important role in where the companies go from here.

Continue reading Kandi EV vending machine is carsharing for $3.25 an hour in China

Read more..

WA state representative argues bikes pollute more than cars, backpedals

03/08/2013   [Original: Autoblog]
Category: Green Culture, Transportation Alternatives, Legislation and Policy, On Two Wheels

WA state representative Ed Orcutt - headshotIsn't bicycling supposed to reduce carbon emissions and free up traffic jam congestion? Well, it's actually making matters worse, argues a state representative from Washington. "You would be giving off more CO2 if you are riding a bike than driving in a car," claims Ed Orcutt (R - Kalama, WA).

The state rep reportedly explained the situation in a letter to a constituent. Said constituent had questioned the wisdom of a new Washington bike tax that the legislature is considering as part of a large transportation package. According to Orcutt, a cyclist "has an increased heart rate and respiration. That means that the act of riding a bike results in greater emissions of carbon dioxide from the rider."

For any bike riding activists already annoyed with Orcutt, he goes even further: Orcutt argues people who ride bikes do not pay for the roads when they ride. So, they're getting a free ride and polluting the atmosphere while doing it.

Orcutt would eventually back down from his bizarre "bike riding produces pollution" diatribe. In an email to Seattle Bike Blog, he wrote, "First of all, let me apologize for the carbon emissions line of an e-mail which has caused so much concern within the bicycle community. It was over the top and I admit is not one which should enter into the conversation regarding bicycles."

Read more..


Zipcar survey says younger drivers more dependent on phones than cars

03/01/2013   [Original: Autoblog]
Category: Green Culture, Transportation Alternatives, USA

zipcar mazda3

It's not exactly a surprise, but that hipster on the barstool over there will be more miffed if you take his iPhone or laptop than his car. That is, if he owns a car at all.

That's the gist of a survey released by carsharing leader Zipcar, which says young people between 18- and 34-years-old are more likely to be disrupted by the loss of their phone or computer than their car. Many of those surveyed indicated that they often use smartphone apps to reduce driving, either by finding public-transportation methods or communicating with friends virtually rather than in person. Details are in Zipcar's press release, below.

These results mirror those from a similar Zipcar study released 14 months ago, when 55 percent said they were "actively" trying to drive less. That was an increase from 2010, when the number was 45 percent. People between 18 and 34, aka "Millennials," are also about twice as likely to use transportation-related apps than those over 45. The new poll, conducted last December by KRC Research, surveyed about 1,000 people, many of which own pork-pie hats, we suspect.

Continue reading Zipcar survey says younger drivers more dependent on phones than cars

Read more..

Avis buying Zipcar for $500 million [UPDATE]

01/03/2013   [Original: Autoblog]
Category: Transportation Alternatives

ford zipcar

Zipcar has long been the granddaddy of carsharing programs, and has spent years forming partnerships with colleges, cutting a deal with Ford and working with the Feds to become a vendor in the government's Short Term Rental (STR) program. The company also first turned a profit in late 2011. A history like that was attractive enough to traditional car rental company Avis that Avis today announced it will buy Zipcar for $500 million. Avis is paying $12.25 per share. Zipcar's stock closed at $8.24 on the last day of trading in 2012.

Outwardly, Avis has been slacking in the carsharing business compared to competitors Hertz (with Hertz On Demand) and Enterprise. This deal nicely dovetails an already established network of carsharing vehicles with Avis' fleet, a combination that Tim Worstall, a contributor to Forbes, at least, thinks will be quite beneficial. His reasoning is that Zipcar will now be able to buy cars cheaper because of Avis' discounts, turning a loss (when the vehicles are sold) into a profit. In a statement, available below, Avis and Zipcar say "Avis Budget expects to generate $50 to $70 million in annual synergies as a result of the transaction."

Zipcar was founded in 2000 and today has more than 760,000 members. The company went public in April 2011 with shares at $18.

*UPDATE: Already, there are questions. Bernstein Liebhard LLP has just announced an investigation of the deal, wondering if Zipcar "breached its fiduciary duty to its shareholders in agreeing to sell Zipcar to Avis Budget Group, Inc." Specifically, "The investigation is focused on the potential unfairness of the price to Zipcar shareholders and the process by which the Zipcar Board of Directors considered and approved the transaction." Details below.

Continue reading Avis buying Zipcar for $500 million [UPDATE]

Read more..

Avis buying Zipcar for $500 million *UPDATE

01/02/2013   [Original: Autoblog]
Category: Transportation Alternatives

ford zipcar

Zipcar has long been the granddaddy of carsharing programs, and has spent years forming partnerships with colleges, cutting a deal with Ford and working with the Feds to become a vendor in the government's Short Term Rental (STR) program. The company also first turned a profit in late 2011. A history like that was attractive enough to traditional car rental company Avis that Avis today announced it will buy Zipcar for $500 million. Avis is paying $12.25 per share. Zipcar's stock closed at $8.24 on the last day of trading in 2012.

Outwardly, Avis has been slacking in the carsharing business compared to competitors Hertz (with Hertz On Demand) and Enterprise. This deal nicely dovetails an already established network of carsharing vehicles with Avis' fleet, a combination that Tim Worstall, a contributor to Forbes, at least, thinks will be quite beneficial. His reasoning is that Zipcar will now be able to buy cars cheaper because of Avis' discounts, turning a loss (when the vehicles are sold) into a profit. In a statement, available below, Avis and Zipcar say "Avis Budget expects to generate $50 to $70 million in annual synergies as a result of the transaction."

Zipcar was founded in 2000 and today has more than 760,000 members. The company went public in April 2011 with shares at $18.

*UPDATE: Already, there are questions. Bernstein Liebhard LLP has just announced an investigation of the deal, wondering if Zipcar "breached its fiduciary duty to its shareholders in agreeing to sell Zipcar to Avis Budget Group, Inc." Specifically, "The investigation is focused on the potential unfairness of the price to Zipcar shareholders and the process by which the Zipcar Board of Directors considered and approved the transaction." Details below.

Continue reading Avis buying Zipcar for $500 million *UPDATE

Read more..

Avis buying Zipcar for $500 million

01/02/2013   [Original: Autoblog]
Category: Transportation Alternatives

ford zipcar

Zipcar has long been the granddaddy of carsharing programs, and has spent years forming partnerships with colleges, cutting a deal with Ford and working with the Feds to become a vendor in the government's Short Term Rental (STR) program. The company also first turned a profit in late 2011. A history like that was attractive enough to traditional car rental company Avis that Avis today announced it will buy Zipcar for $500 million. Avis is paying $12.25 per share. Zipcar's stock closed at $8.24 on the last day of trading in 2012.

Outwardly, Avis has been slacking in the carsharing business compared to competitors Hertz (with Hertz On Demand) and Enterprise. This deal nicely dovetails an already established network of carsharing vehicles with Avis' fleet, a combination that Tim Worstall, a contributor to Forbes, at least, thinks will be quite beneficial. His reasoning is that Zipcar will now be able to buy cars cheaper because of Avis' discounts, turning a loss (when the vehicles are sold) into a profit. In a statement, available below, Avis and Zipcar say "Avis Budget expects to generate $50 to $70 million in annual synergies as a result of the transaction."

Zipcar was founded in 2000 and today has more than 760,000 members. The company went public in April 2011 with shares at $18.

Continue reading Avis buying Zipcar for $500 million

Read more..

Pages:  1   2   3    ..