Autonomous Vehicles, Hype vs. Reality By Randy Lioz, Editor, Car-ED.com | December 2017 At the recent AutoMobility LA conference that led into this year’s LA Auto Show, there were a few topics that were on the lips of nearly every attendee. These included electric vehicles, the connected car, and the major future disrupter, autonomous vehicles (AVs). What will the impact of autonomous vehicles be? While EVs may change the product mix that car companies will be offering to their customers, self-driving cars have the potential to change their entire business model. And indeed, it’s not just the auto industry that autonomous technology will impact, but the countless other industries with which it’s connected, like public transit and ride-hailing, hotels and hospitality, and even media companies that seek to capture a piece of the attention that’s freed up when we no longer have to attend to the driving task. To be sure, autonomous vehicles are now considered a future inevitability, but a significant portion of the current discussion is now dedicated to teasing out when we’ll actually be seeing these vehicles on the road in any legitimate numbers. But in order to understand how these vehicles will actually impact our lives, it’s important to first define what we mean by autonomous technology. How to talk about autonomous vehicles Some people who talk about autonomous cars may assume that cars will either have the technology [...]
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On Your Radar: Sub-Compact Utilities By Randy Lioz, Editor, Car-ED.com | December 2017 Auto show season kicked off last Friday, when the LA Auto Show opened to the public. It features 20 world debuts and runs until December 10th at the LA Convention Center. If you’re in the market for a new vehicle, going to one of the shows in the coming months—whether it be one of the big ones in Detroit, New York or Chicago, or a smaller regional show—is a great way to see what’s out there. Whatever segment you happen to be looking in, there are no doubt several vehicles that just aren’t on your radar. In a new series of posts, we wanted to take a look at some popular segments and point out a few entries that might not have caught your attention, but are definitely worth looking into. We start with one of the hottest segments in the industry, which has been growing quickly in both offerings and sales. The Sub-Compact Utility Segment What is it? These cute utes are often based on subcompact cars—the Honda HR-V, one of the top sellers in the segment, is built off the Fit platform—offering the cargo room, increased ride height and aggressive styling of SUVs, but with reasonable fuel economy. They also usually offer all-wheel drive for buyers in colder regions. Who is it for? Younger buyers grew up during the [...]
On Your Radar: Luxury Utilities By Randy Lioz, Editor, Car-ED.com | December 2017 Luxury brands really helped to kick off the crossover SUV craze of the 1990s. What started with the Mercedes M-Class and Lexus RX quickly blossomed into a full-scale invasion of utilities that has continued to this day. The onslaught began with mid-sized 2-row vehicles, but eventually spread outward to longer 3-row crossovers and compact utilities that offer an entry into these premium brands. Several of the vehicles that bowed last month at the LA Auto Show offer an illustration of these trends. Since they’re adding choice to what are some of the most popular luxury segments, we definitely think you should know about them, so here’s a roundup of the latest entries into the upscale utility fray. Luxury Crossover Utilities What are they? These SUVs from premium brands are built on car platforms—without a separate underbody frame—meaning they offer car-like handling and fuel economy, but generally still have a ride height advantage for a more commanding view of the road, and offer either standard or optional all-wheel drive. Who is it for? Luxury buyers have just as much desire for all-weather and cargo-hauling capability. Many buyers have reported appreciating the height advantage of a utility vehicle, especially with the other SUVs and trucks on the road. Families also enjoy the many flexible seating options, and the choice to include rear-entertainment systems [...]
The Sport Model Craze – Available from Any Brand! One of the trends to be seen in the Auto Show circuit of 2017 is the democratization of the “Sport Model.” No matter the vehicle segment – from small cars to large SUVs – a sport model with several special pieces of design and content can be found.