By Hiding A Key In Your Car Do You Void A Claim

In a busy you are able to lose things, but having a hide a key isn’t always a good idea except for car thieves. But if a crook does find the key you skillfully hid in the cup holder, you’ll probably still be covered by insurance.
“Most personal auto insurance policies do not include clauses that would deny coverage for a theft if the keys were in the car or if the doors were unlocked,” said State Farm Canada spokesman John Bordignon in an e-mail. “However, if a person has a pattern of many losses over a short period of time or a history of suspicious claims, this could make an insurance company investigate further or to review their relationship with them.”
We checked with the provinces with government insurance. They said the same thing – you’ll be covered if a thief uses your spare key to drive away. And, it happens.
“Unfortunately, people leaving their keys in their vehicle and having the vehicle stolen is pretty common in Saskatchewan, according to what we hear from police agencies,” said Kelley Brinkworth, media relations manager for Saskatchewan Government Insurance.
How often? We checked with several police departments and didn’t get exact numbers.
“We did a project a couple of years ago where 60 per cent of the stolen vehicles we recovered had keys in them,” said Dan Service, director of investigative services for the Western and Pacific region for the Insurance Bureau of Canada.
When opportunity knocks
“You have to understand that there are two different kinds of car thieves,” Service said.
Organized theft rings steal higher-end cars and send them overseas in container cars, Service said. These more sophisticated car thieves clone keys,hijack the signal from keyless entry fobs or simply drive cars away on flat bed trucks
And then there are opportunistic car thieves who are looking for any car that’s relatively easy to steal.
“They want a car so they can travel from point A to point B because they don’t feel like walking or they want to commit a crime,” Service said.
Transport Canada made anti-lock engine immobilizers – which prevent the car from starting unless it recognizes a computer chip in the ignition key – mandatory for all new vehicles in 2007.
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Is There A Point To Traffic Lights If We Aren’t Really Driving?

Autonomous driving the next new thing everybody is interested in, but how much would it change everything else.
The century-old traffic light could be become extinct if autonomous vehicles become the most common form of automotive transport.
Traffic experts believe that a slot system — closer to how air traffic is routed — might work better for ground transportation than traditional lights once self-driving cars and trucks become ubiquitous.
That’s the finding of an international study from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the Swiss Institute of Technology and the Italian National Research Council.
Traffic intersections are complicated because different flows of traffic compete for the same space. Switching to a slot-based model could be simpler and more efficient, the study said.
“A slot-based system moves the focus from the traffic flow level to the vehicle level,” said Carlo Ratti, director of the MIT Senseable City Lab. “Ultimately, it’s a much more efficient system, because vehicles will get to an intersection exactly when there is a slot available to them.”
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The Road Block With Electric Cars

What do you consider when looking for a car, electric or gas powered?
Many people think that the electric vehicle’s time has finally come, with the roughly 300,000 orders for Tesla’s Model 3 providing a boost to advocates who have been disappointed many times. However, this sector of the blogosphere has a tendency towards uncritical thinking that deserves a lot more attention than it normally gets. History, as always, is informative.
An interesting piece from 2007 came to my attention recently, describing the apparent progress in the electric vehicle industry and suggesting a looming change in the automotive sector. It opened with “Putting the zoom into electric cars: Watch out, Detroit. A new crop of electric-vehicle startups aims to put a dent in the Big Three by applying the latest in high-technology engineering and design.” Granted, this was not a critical analysis of the industry but more of a general-interest story with the aim of cheerleading innovators, but it points to a number of problems with the sector.
Perhaps most informative was the status of the electric vehicles which the author (or an editor) described as the “Next Little Things.” The list seemed puzzling, as I recognized none of the names. Tesla was acknowledged separately, but an executive was quoted as saying they only aimed at a small subset of the market (which plan has since been modified), while others were said to be much more ambitious. Aptera, in particular, received attention for its unusual three-wheel design, described as looking like Batman’s girlfriend’s car, and the sales goals of 10,000 a month.
None of these vehicles is now in production, and most of the companies have disappeared, as have better known rivals like Fisker and A Better Place (a battery switching company), despite consistently positive coverage of them. A brief search suggests that only one of the companies, Zap, encountered significant skepticism, based on its record of unfulfilled promises and sales of a Chinese vehicle that proved to have serious quality problems. The others were typically heralded as revolutionaries who would transform transportation and the automobile industry.
The six companies seemed to have a similar operating concept: electric motors have many advantages over the internal combustion engine, they would reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and were particularly appropriate as commuter cars, where short driving distances and stop-and-go traffic is the dominant environment. Styling was often a focus of the manufacturers, who wanted their product to stand out and have a “wow” factor. The vehicles were marketed as commuter cars or second cars rather than primary transportation, unlike more recent designs like the Nissan Leaf, Chevy Volt and Tesla models.
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Is Start- Stop Technology A Blessing Or A Curse

Each time technology or a new feature is added to a line cars there is debate whether it is better, and if it is needed. Dr. Keith Tao, a radiologist in Danville, Calif., owns three late-model Mercedeses, each equipped with a fuel-saving technology called start-stop.
The system saves fuel and reduces emissions by cutting the engine when the car comes to a full stop and restarting when the foot is taken off the brake.
One of the first things Dr. Tao does after starting the engine: He turns off the feature.
The problem, Dr. Tao says, is that the stopping and restarting is rather intrusive. “You actually feel it restarting,” he said. “In terrible stop-and-go traffic this thing comes on and off constantly. In 20 minutes you can have 50 stop-and-start cycles. It can drive you totally insane.”
Mercedes defends its technology, known as ECO Start/Stop, calling it “one of the most seamless systems,” according to Christian Bokich, a company spokesman. “Customers with any concerns always have the option of defeating the system each time they enter and start the vehicle.”
While start-stop technology may make some people crazy, the technology is here to stay.
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Car Companies Will Someday Make Automatic Braking Standard For All Cars

WASHINGTON — Automatic braking is when the car senses imminent danger approaching, such as a car suddenly stopping or an accident and the car automatically slowing the car down. Automatic braking will be standard in most cars and light trucks within six years, and on heavier sport utility vehicles and pickup trucks within eight years, under an agreement that transportation officials and representatives from 20 automakers announced on Thursday.
The voluntary pact means that the important safety technology will be available more quickly than if the government had gone through the lengthy process of issuing mandatory rules, said Mark Rosekind, head of theNational Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
“A commitment of this magnitude is unprecedented, and it will bring more safety to more Americans sooner,” Mr. Rosekind said.
But some safety advocates have filed a petition asking the government to issue those mandatory regulations.
They say voluntary agreements aren’t enforceable, and that since automatic braking is already available in some cars, issuing rules requiring the technology could be done faster than the six to eight years allowed under the agreement announced on Thursday.
Automatic braking systems use cameras, radar and other sensors to see objects that are in the way and slow or stop a vehicle if the driver doesn’t react.
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GM Drives Forward Towards Self Driving With New Autonomous Software Company

Every step counts in the race to self-driving cars and GM is willing to take that step. General Motors (GM) said Friday it has turbocharged its effort to win the self-driving car race with an acquisition.
The automaker — which is racing against tech giants Google and Apple, not to mention traditional car makers — said it has purchased San Francisco-based Cruise Automation, a software company dedicated entirely to self-driving car technology.
The Detroit-based manufacturer declined to say how much it paid for the start-up, which has backing from Silicon Valley venture investors Y Combinator, Maven Ventures and Signia Venture Partners. But the acquisition suggests GM is shifting into high gear when it comes to rolling out cars that will either largely or entirely move through traffic using sensors and other technology.
“We have a timeline that we are not announcing today, but I will say we are moving very, very fast,” Kyle Vogt, founder of Cruise Automation, told USA TODAY of the integration and testing of Cruise’s software in GM vehicles.
GM CEO Mary Barra has vowed to keep the automaker ahead in the self-driving car race, acknowledging that the company must be agile and willing to adapt its business model to survive the coming revolution in the auto industry.
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How Much More Dangerous Is It For Pedestrians

While walking can be a more environmental and economical way to get around, does not mean that it is less dangerous. The death toll of pedestrians killed in traffic crashes is projected to spike about 10% in 2015 compared with 2014. If the estimate proves to be accurate, it will be the largest annual increase ever.
That is the main finding of a new report released today by the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA), a nonprofit organization representing state highway safety offices.
“We are projecting the largest year-to-year increase in pedestrian fatalities since national records have been kept, and therefore we are quite alarmed,” Richard Retting, co-author of the report, said in a statement, referring to the Fatality Analysis Reporting System established in 1975.
Retting wrote the report with Dr. Heather Rothenberg, both of Sam Schwartz Consulting.
The association called the annual Spotlight on Highway Safety Report the first nationwide looks at 2015 pedestrian fatality trends, which is based on preliminary data supplied by the states and the District of Columbia for the first six months of the year.
“Pedestrian safety is clearly a growing problem across the country,” Retting added, stressing the importance of understanding the crash data so states and local governments “can apply the right mix of engineering, education and enforcement to counteract this troubling trend.”
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If You Are Not Technically In Control Of The Vehicle Are You Still At Fault

With the introduction to autonomous driving many questions have been brought up about the subject of accidents and insurance if the driver is technically not driving. A proposal has made its way to the Florida State Senate that, if passed, would set new insurance requirements for drivers working with app-based transportation network companies — a product created very recently in response to the growing popularity of services such as Uber and Lyft. Measures like this are created to ensure victims of auto accidents can obtain compensation, as well as to protect the party at fault from financial ruin. While the matter of ride-sharing had a relatively straightforward solution, the oncoming shift to self-driving cars produces a tougher problem for the insurance industry and legislators alike .
Autonomous vehicles confuse the issue of liability. If two drivers of traditional cars get into an accident, the personal insurance policy of the party at fault will cover the property and bodily damages sustained by the victim. But what happens if the at fault vehicle was being operated by a computer? Presently, the answer is unclear. According to a report byBusiness Insider Intelligence, as much as 10 million cars will be outfitted with self-driving features by the year 2020. If true, this does not leave much time to come up with a solution to the liability issue.
“Somehow or another we need a mechanism to allow for compensation from auto accidents” says Marc Mayerson, a lawyer and adjunct professor of Insurance Law at Georgetown University. Mayerson adds, “In theory self-driving cars would not create negligence liability for the passenger/non-driver/owner of the car.”
For most drivers, liability coverage accounts for a large part of their auto insurance bill. Repairing physical damage to your own vehicle is a drop in the bucket compared to the risk of paying hospital bills or court fees when you injure another individual. Just as we’re beginning to see laws for ride-share insurance requirements emerge in states like Florida, similar requirements for personal policies have existed since as early as the 1920’s. In California, for example, drivers are required to carry at least $15,000 in bodily injury coverage per person, and $30,000 per accident. Plus, the state mandates a minimum of $5,000 property damage coverage.
If liability is taken out of the equation, it stands to reason personal auto insurance premiums for owners of self-driving cars would become much lower. At that point, who would shoulder the bill for liability? “One model would be to have the car manufacturer bear all the liability and impose that liability simply based on the autonomous car’s being a substantial cause of the injury,” Mayerson suggests. If an accident is the result of the computer’s failure, it becomes reasonable to assume the fault would then lie with the manufacturer.
Insurance costs being passed down to automakers aren’t necessarily good news for consumers, however. If the car manufacturers are facing increased operating costs due to liability concerns, they may make up for that by increasing the price of the vehicles. In other words, while autonomous vehicle owners may save money on their insurance policies, the cost may end up trickling down to the price of their new ride.
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Uber Drivers Deal With Hectic Post Game Chaos Successfully

Uber has grown drastically in the past couple years and took another step forward with being first on the scene after the Super Bowl.
But that doesn’t mean Uber’s first attempt to be part of the mass transit solution to a Super Bowl exodus went off without a hitch. The startup reportedly paid up to $500,000 to be the Super Bowl’s first official ride-hailing partner, which came with a parking lot near the stadium from which Uber could stage drop offs pregame and pick ups after the Broncos upset the Panthers.
Overall, Uber calls the night was a success, with “thousands” more drop offs and pick ups than expected. The Uber app used geofencing to direct departing fans about a 15 minute walk to the lot, from which they lined up and requested rides just as they would normally. Uber employees on site let users find their car only once a match was made and the driver pulled in and parked.
“We had huge numbers of people use Uber on Super Bowl Sunday and during Super Bowl week, including new services like uberPOOL that help reduce congestion and pollution. It was great to be part of the celebrations, helping passengers get from A to B at the push of a button–and we’re pleased that partners had such a busy week,” Uber spokesperson Laura Zapata told FORBES.
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Don’t Just Wait And See If Your Car May Be Recalled

Although most cars are perfectly fine to drive some has malfunctions or problems that need to be corrected which is why they are recalled. Car owners shouldn’t just passively wait for safety recalls to show up in their mailboxes.
They should proactively check to see if their car is subject to a recall — and then by all means get the work done, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Safety recalls affected a record number of more than 51 million vehicles in 2015, NHTSA Administrator Mark Rosekind said last week. That was the second yearly record in a row, he said. “Massive recalls are still a prominent feature of the safety landscape,” Rosekind said at the 2016Washington Auto Show.
The most notorious recent example is for potentially faulty airbags from Japanese supplier Takata. The Takata airbag recall affects 19 million vehicles from 12 different manufacturers, according to NHTSA. However, Takata is just one example of nearly 900 auto safety recalls in 2015, the federal regulator said.
By law, recall work has to be performed at no charge to the customer, NHTSA said. However, according to NHTSA historically around 25 percent of recall repair work never gets done. Presumably owners are unaware, or else they don’t have the time or the desire to get the work done.
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