Could the Next Big Thing Be Auto Accessories As A Service?

The concept of Auto Accessories As A Service (aaaaS) may have moved one step closer to reality as Apple Inc. registered several domain names related to automobiles. Some of the product specific URLs that are now in Apple's portfolio include apple.auto, apple.cars and apple.car. Although some automakers consider Apple's involvement in auto manufacturing to be a given, MacRumors suggested the newly acquired domains were likely related to Apple's CarPlay. The latest iPhone app that will allow drivers to access contacts, make calls or listen to voicemails with his or her hands firmly gripping the steering wheel. Since Google first introduced its driverless car in Nevada more than a year ago, Silicon Valley has become a prime area of interest to bridge the gap between auto technology and...

December 27, 2016
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Autopilot System Forced to Obey Speed Limits

Getting drivers to obey the speed limits set on city streets and back roads has long been a concern for public safety officials. From the law enforcement officers to the engineers who design studies to determine the speeds, there is little agreement on what is a safe speed. After sponsoring studies to establish a better understanding of travel speeds on various roadways, the Federal Highway Administration concluded that driver compliance with speed limits set for urban roads was on average about 30% of the drivers. In part, compliance with a posted speed appears to be related to an individual driver's perception as to how realistic the posted speed limit seems to be. Results obtained by researchers at Purdue University determined that among the 1,000 drivers surveyed the respect...

December 27, 2016
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Recalls for Faulty Airbags May Extend to Other Manufacturers

For years, personal injury lawsuits have been brought against Takata Corporation for exploding airbags. The Japanese manufacturer of auto and racing products may have covered up safety concerns identified while testing airbag inflators used in millions of vehicles sold in the United States. Since parts suppliers have a duty to provide products that are free of defects, to perform adequate product testing, and to fully disclose issues that pose safety threats, federal regulators and Congress have launched investigations into Takata's failure to act in a reasonable manner in responding to potential defects. Now, auto safety parts maker, Autoliv, has announced that they may be on the verge of issuing a recall for up to 400,000 vehicles. According to the Swedish manufacturer, the products...

December 27, 2016
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Look to the Stars: Be the First to Own a Lucid Air

If you've ever wanted a low-serial number car, now's the time to invest in Lucid Motors new Air. The company is presently accepting $25,500 deposits toward the purchase price of $160,000 (give or take a few thousand) for the newest American made automobile. Early deliveries of the all-electric, all-wheel drive Air are currently slated for the first half of 2019, so there will be a short wait. However, the first 255 special edition Lucid Air vehicles come loaded with options to challenge Tesla's electric all-wheel drive Model S. To be manufactured at Lucid's factory in Casa Grande, AZ, the plant expects to begin producing the Air sometime in early 2017. This model will feature a glass canopy roof that extends from the car's hood to its trunk lid providing a one-of-a-kind view of the...

December 27, 2016
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Monster Energy Replaces Sprint as New NASCAR Sponsor

Starting with the 2017 season, Monster Energy will be replacing Sprint as the new title sponsor for NASCAR's premiere series in a multi-year agreement. NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian France was part of the announcement earlier this month in Las Vegas during their annual awards banquet. As part of the deal, Monster Energy will also become the title sponsor for the annual All Star Race and be the official energy drink of NASCAR. Having sponsored BMX, Rallycross, snowmobile racing, and motocross in the past, Monster Energy is no stranger to motorsports. "We view this as a rare opportunity that doesn't come along every day," said Mark Hall, Chief Marketing Officer for Monster Energy. "If you would have asked me five years ago if I've ever contemplated something like this, the answer would...

December 14, 2016
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Utica-Rome Speedway Switching Back to DIRTcar

The Utica-Rome Speedway has seen more than its fair share of changes in its 56-year history. 2017 will see another change as the historic raceway switches gears and changes from being a NASCAR HomeTrack to a DIRTcar Racing track. While Utica-Rome enjoyed a 3-year run on the NASCAR circuit, owners felt it was time for a change. This will be the first time in the past 10 years that the track has been sanctioned for DIRTcar events. The switch back to DIRTcar racing allows drivers to earn coveted home track points while racing at the speedway. “It was a way to entice drivers to come out and compete, which in hand, brings in more cars,” said co-owner Bill Shea about the new home-track point system. “More cars means more excitement for our fans.” In addition, one of...

December 14, 2016
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Snowmobile Event Drops Small Town Michigan Track

Residents of Caro, Michigan look forward to the Caro Winter Fest, held annually in January. One of the highlights of the 2017 festival was to be the No Bull Triple Crown snowmobile race. That was until race sponsors announced that Caro would be dropped from the 2017 schedule. “We regret to inform everyone that due to track conditions, per insurance, we must move the race out of Caro, MI.,” officials state. “The adjacent building and width of track have thrown up red flags. The safety of our drivers in No Bull Triple Crown is a main concern.” This news came as a surprise to operators of the Tuscola County Fairgrounds, where the race was to be held. In the fall of 2015 the track underwent extensive improvements and was given the seal of approval by No Bull. As...

December 14, 2016
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New Racing Toys, Just In Time For The Holidays

Almost as soon as the forks were set down from Thanksgiving, shoppers began hitting stores to snatch up Holiday gifts for their loved ones. If you're one of the millions of parents (or aunts or uncles) faced with finding just the right gift for the child who seems to have grown-up too fast, you may want to consider some of the new racing toys which came to market this year. Compared to the toy race cars many of us played with as kids, today's models are leaps and bounds ahead in terms of technology. Between smart phone controllers, robotic sensors, and realistic racing physics, the landscape can seem like a minefield to the uninitiated. Lucky for you, E3 is here to take some of the mystery out of the way. Let's start with the classic, Hotwheels. The toy maker has come out with...

December 14, 2016
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Ford Performance Unveils Shelby FP350S at PRI Show

Spectators at this year's Performance Racing Industry Show in Indianapolis were in for a real treat as Ford Performance unveiled their new non-street and track-ready Shelby FP350S race car. Though many comparisons have been made to the GT4, this Shelby truly stands on its own. In fact, the only similarities between the two vehicles are the white stock body they come with and the roll cage. Where the GT4 was built for pro series racing, the FP350S is slotted for club and sprint racing classics like the SCVA's T1. According to Ford Performance Engineering Manager Dave Born, the new Shelby will feature a 5.2-liter V8 but be tuned to produce greater torque and horsepower at lower RPMs. How much more horsepower? "Quite a bit more," according to Born. The stock Shelby GT350R intake and...

December 14, 2016
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Leno and Dunham Race the World's Fastest Amphibious Cars

On a recent episode of CNBC's hit show Jay Leno's Garage, host Jay Leno raced ventriloquist comedian Jeff Dunham in the world's fastest amphibious cars. Screaming across the open waters of Castaic Lake, the pair were surely a site for spectators, each in a WaterCar Panther. These fantastically fun specialized vehicles hold the world record for being the fastest amphibious car, one which functions as both a road and water vehicle. Resembling a retrofitted Jeep, and handling like one on the road, the WaterCar Panthers can reach a top speed of 60mph once they hit the waves. Owning one of these bad boys will set you back a cool $155,000 but they're definitely worth it. As Leno said mid-race, "all right, this is stupid fun." The race took place just northwest of Los Angeles on Castaic...

December 14, 2016
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