AD #1618 – Autonomous Cars Crash in Cali, Ford GT Design Details, Renewable Fuel Breakthrough?

May 12th, 2015 at 11:47am

Runtime: 7:23

- Chevy Teases New Camaro
- Autonomous Cars Crash in Cali
- Become a Marketing Genius
- New Ford GT Design Details
- Renewable Fuel Breakthrough?
- Toyota & Mazda Expand Partnership
- Automakers’ Small Overlap Woes

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41 Comments to “AD #1618 – Autonomous Cars Crash in Cali, Ford GT Design Details, Renewable Fuel Breakthrough?”

  1. Fred Says:

    you keep claiming that autonomous cars will reduce traffic congestion. Explain your claim as the cars stuck in traffic do not know if there is a human behind the steering wheel. Fred

  2. Jon M Says:

    “Both companies claimed that the cars were not at fault.” That’s the funniest statement I’ve heard in a long time–if not the most defensive. Well, if the cars were not at fault, then the programmer was. Seriously, though, of course autonomous cars are going to have “accidents.” My laptop, desktop, and “smart”phone have them all the time. Heck, it generally only takes about a month or so after I buy a new one before the “accidents” start happening. Isn’t technology wonderful!?!

  3. Rob Says:

    #1 A lot of the congestion during my commute is created by drivers that are unable or unwilling to merge properly and eventually someone needs to slam on their brakes and a subsequent back up is created. Often times a rear end collision included. That goes not only for reduced lanes but just simple on and off ramps. Secondly I believe the idea is if the cars are tied into a live navigation updates alternate routes can be taken to avoid adding to already existing congestion.

  4. Rob Says:

    #2 Jon I believe the accidents they were refering to at least in one case the car was sitting at a light stopped and was broadsided. Not exactly avoidable and certainly not the cars fault.

  5. Bradley Says:

    Will the new Camaro be any smaller? The current one is simply too BIG.

    The small overlap test is very unrealistic. What percent of accidents are “small overlap” and what percent of those are with a concrete barrier or other rigid barrier?

  6. Rob Says:

    5 I bet with the increase in texting and driving accidents crossing left of center and overlap test is becoming a lot more relevant.

    My guess is they use concrete or rigid barriers to reduce cost not having to destroy two cars with each test.

  7. Kit Gerhart Says:

    5 The new Camaro should be smaller, and lighter, since it will use the ATS platform.

  8. Kit Gerhart Says:

    5 From what I heard when working in the auto business, the vast majority of “head on” crashes are actually offset crashes, many of them “small offset.”

  9. Drew Says:

    Kit, but most of those higher speed off set crashes are more than 25% overlap. So, in the real world, the crash engages the front structure and the occupants do well.

    ALD, IIHS contrived the small overlap test to gain media attention with graphically crumpled vehicles that really does not translate into lives saved. Congrats, how did the Kool Aid taste?

    So, why did IIHS contrive this test? The largest expense for insurance companies is property damage, not bodily injury. So, the small overlap test is to embarrass OEMs to beef up the outboard structure to lower repair costs… weight and fuel efficiency be damned per IIHS.

  10. Drew Says:

    Vinyl seating surfaces – SASSY seats (swamp ars sweaty seats from yesteryear). Also foolishly call Leathette, MB Tex,

  11. Buzzerd Says:

    Drew- if your vehicle is in just about any kind of head on crash your car is going to be written off I don’t care how much they ” beef up the outboard structure”, any crash that involves enough speed to endanger life, so I’m not buying your argument.

  12. G.A.Branigan Says:

    The ‘NEW vinyl seats”,how about buttburner,legsticker,or for the one’s that go ape$hit with armorall,the all new ‘slip n slide’ seats.Or the all new ‘BsHyde’.

  13. Drew Says:

    Buzzerd… It is all about low speed damage ability. Many years ago, OEMSs made their bumper beams narrower. So, the one of the main technical solutions for new IIHS test is to widen the bumper beam as part of a deflection strategy.

    My point is the IIHS test is sold for safety, but addresses a benign, business issue. The question IIHS won’t answer – if vehicles have collision avoidance technologies, then why escalate injury prevention testing?

  14. Buzzerd Says:

    We would like to announce our new seat material that we have made by re-purposing free range plastic bottles and previously enjoyed engine oil into a material called eco-weave, Eco-weave, just like cotton but with out all the farming mess.

  15. Drew Says:

    Buzzerd – Ecoweaze sounds a lot like Ford’s Duraweave from the late 70s/early 80s.

  16. w l simpson Says:

    Upscale Kia-s have a neat driver awareness system that makes much more sense than automation.
    Automation makes dumb drivers even dumber.
    The overall accident rate could be drastically
    reduced by pro grade driver training.
    leather or vinyl that is textured and “breathes” can be quite comfortable.

  17. HtG Says:

    Some cool names






    Jony_iVinyl (for the Apple iCar. Anything from Apple sells)

  18. Bradley Says:


    That is good news. I don’t like the size at all on the current Camaro.

  19. Chuck Grenci Says:

    Agree with the above posts; if the car is involved in the 1/4 offset accident, it is all about passenger safety, the car is just about always going to be a write-off.

    As far the interior material, how about: wanlingomundo; exotic, yet rolls off the tongue.

  20. HtG Says:

    3. Merger issues here too, Rob. Uncanny how cars aim for the same patch of road. I had one ditz accelerate into me as I was merging, and had to step on it. What was she thinking?

    My new rule to predict peoples’ behavior on the street, not just cars, is that they will only do what is most immediately convenient for them without regard to others. Try it.

  21. Bradley Says:


    However, points to something I don’t like about GM. They switch platforms on cars too much. Its like they are making decisions based solely on cost and that pedigree doesn’t matter.

    ReBadge the ATS to be a Camaro…

  22. Chuck Grenci Says:

    #19 HtG

    HtG said:
    “My new rule to predict peoples’ behavior on the street, not just cars, is that they will only do what is most immediately convenient for them without regard to others.” BINGO, you nailed it (my friend)

  23. Kit Gerhart Says:


  24. Kit Gerhart Says:

    20 I think building the Camaro on the ATS platform makes great sense. The current Camaro is built on a soon-to-be-extinct Aussie platform. Using that platform made sense at the time, because it was a rear-drive platform that GM had available.

    The Camaro should end up about 400 pounds lighter than the Mustang, and 800 pounds light than Challenger. The Challenger is too big, putting it in almost a different category from Mustang and Camaro, but I understand its being so big. They used the only rear drive car platform they had, the one used for the 300 and Charger.

  25. Tim Achterhoff Says:

    That new name for vinyl you’re looking for…
    how about iLeather. Or iHide. Or iLeather6.

  26. Drew Says:

    20 Bradley – I fear we will see a lot more short-cycling of platforms as the 54.5 MPG CAFE means substantial changes for lower weight and clean-sheet battery/electric motor packaging (to eliminate the package inefficiency of added-on electrification). I know my family rejected the present crop of plug-ins due to compromised cargo and people space.

  27. Bill Says:

    IMHO E85 hasn’t caught on because it delivers 20-25% less energy than gasoline (Edmunds), but only a few cents cheaper than gasoline. If gas is going for $2.40 a gallon, E85 should be in the $1.92 to $2.04 price range, not $2.35!

  28. Rope-Pusher Says:

    It’s time to go hunting for the wild Naugas again – Naugahyde!

  29. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I thought naugas were extinct.

  30. Kit Gerhart Says:

    25 A station in Kokomo, IN has E85 for 1.96, close to break even with E10. Maybe it’s because Indiana is corn country, and there is an ethanol processing plant nearby.

  31. HtG Says:

    So I read this bit in AutomotiveNews on the Google car collisions,

    “They have been hit from behind seven times, Urmson wrote in Monday’s article, side-swiped twice and “hit by a car rolling through a stop sign.” These accidents were spread across 1.7 million miles, including 700,000 miles driven under human control.”

  32. HtG Says:

    A link to an article by Google’s autonomous car leader, wherein he wriites,

    “we’ve programmed our cars to pause briefly after a light turns green before proceeding into the intersection — that’s often when someone will barrel impatiently or distractedly through the intersection.”

    He also says it’s important to keep in mind that lots of collisions aren’t reported.

  33. HtG Says:

    Just get radar on cars to prevent rear enders and sensors on traffic lights to warn of red lights and we may solve a lot of problems.

  34. HtG Says:

    Humdrum getting around for most people needn’t be so risky.

  35. Kit Gerhart Says:

    It looks like the autonomous cars get hit from behind a lot. Is it because they go the speed limit, rather than with the flow of traffic?

  36. HtG Says:

    Maybe people like to ram Priuses. :)

    But really, it’s interesting what Google is sayong about the under reporting of collisions in general. They prolly have some interesting stats.

  37. C-Tech Says:

    Ok, I’m game

    4:20hyde made from hemp,and other natural grasses

    Rapperhyde made for rented Mercedes-Benz, Escalades, and 7-Series BMW

    Brickhyde made for tradesmen with trucks and large suv’s

  38. G.A.Branigan Says:

    Jeckle-n-Hyde,for those that want to change..

  39. Tman Says:

    Since the exotic sounding Alcantara is the name of a place in Portugal as well as a Spanish last name, I decided to search for names of exotic places in exotic countries. Here goes;

    “Tangier” a type of soft leather. ( Tangier is the northernmost city of Morocco).

    “Maradi” a synthetic fabric seat trim ( Maradi is Niger’s 3rd largest city)

    “Agadez” a synthetic center console surfacing. (Agadez is a historic city in Niger)

    “Takoradi” a light colored open pore wood finish ( Takoradi is the major Harbour of Ghana)

    …and a bonus from mythology;

    “Zaria” another synthetic fabric. ( Zaria is the goddess of beauty in Slavic mythology)

  40. Chuck Grenci Says:

    A couple more fabrics: Asguard, Chantilly, Kinderproof, Lesscare (Lesscara), Ultacara

  41. HtG Says:

    37 Ooh that’s a good game