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Subsidizing Congestion: The Multibillion-Dollar Tax Subsidy That’s Making Your Commute Worse

January 7, 2015 Comments off

Subsidizing Congestion: The Multibillion-Dollar Tax Subsidy That’s Making Your Commute Worse
Source: TransitCenter and Frontier Group

The commuter parking benefit results in $7.3 billion in forgone revenue annually while also increasing traffic congestion in our most congested cities, according to TransitCenter and Frontier Group‘s new report, “Subsidizing Congestion: The Multibillion-Dollar Tax Subsidy That’s Making Your Commute Worse.” Released on November 18, 2014, the report found that the $1.3 billion public transportation benefit removes only about a tenth of the roughly 820,000 cars added to the road by the parking subsidy.

Economic and competitiveness gains from the adoption of best practices in intermodal maritime and road transport in the Americas

January 7, 2015 Comments off

Economic and competitiveness gains from the adoption of best practices in intermodal maritime and road transport in the Americas
Source: Oxford Economics

Broad-based preliminary estimates suggest implementation of TIR could boost exports in Argentina, Brazil, and Mexico by $1-$5 billion per annum, depending on the country, for a total of $9 billion per annum for all three countries. This report, produced by Oxford Economics, explores the maritime and road transport systems in international transport, focusing on trade facilitation and the potential for improvements in trade systems in Argentina, Brazil, and Mexico with implementation of the TIR system, as well as potential challenges.

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U.S. Department of Transportation Announces Decline in Traffic Fatalities in 2013 (December 2014)

December 23, 2014 Comments off

U.S. Department of Transportation Announces Decline in Traffic Fatalities in 2013
Source: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) today released the 2013 Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) data that shows a 3.1 percent decrease from the previous year and a nearly 25 percent decline in overall highway deaths since 2004. In 2013, 32,719 people died in traffic crashes. The estimated number of people injured in crashes also declined by 2.1 percent.

The more than three percent decline in traffic fatalities continues a long-term downward trend leading to the fatality rate matching a historic low – 1.10 deaths per 100 million vehicle miles traveled in 2013, down from 1.14 deaths per 100 million vehicle miles traveled in 2012.

Safety gains ground: More vehicles earn top honors from IIHS

December 23, 2014 Comments off

Safety gains ground: More vehicles earn top honors from IIHS
Source: Insurance Institute for Highway Safety

The number of vehicles earning either of the Institute’s two awards has jumped to 71 from 39 this time last year, giving consumers more choices for optimum protection in crashes. The number of winners in the top tier — TOP SAFETY PICK+ — has increased by 11 for 2015, despite a tougher standard for front crash prevention.

While the bar has been raised for TOP SAFETY PICK+, the criteria for TOP SAFETY PICK are unchanged: a good or acceptable rating in the small overlap front test and a good rating in each of the Institute’s four other crashworthiness evaluations — moderate overlap front, side, roof strength and head restraints.

Driver Assistance Systems and the Transition to Automated Vehicles: A Path to Increase Older Adult Safety and Mobility?

December 12, 2014 Comments off

Driver Assistance Systems and the Transition to Automated Vehicles: A Path to Increase Older Adult Safety and Mobility?
Source: Public Policy & Aging Report

Transitions in driving roles occur throughout one’s life-time. As medical conditions accrue, they can sporadically or permanently limit driving (Owsley, 2004). Women frequently cease driving earlier than men, and often while still fit to drive (Alsnih & Hensher, 2003; Siren, Hakamies-Blomqvist, & Lindeman, 2004). Widowhood can increase older women’s need to drive (Braitman & Williams, 2011) at a time when this is particularly challenging. On the other hand, even as adults age, they are becoming increasingly economically able to purchase new vehicles (Coughlin, 2009). As a consequence of both the increased numbers and economic independence of older adults, innovations in personal mobility that mitigate the burdens of age will grow in value over the coming decades. A move toward new urbanism, including improved public transit systems and walkable streets and sidewalks, is an admirable vision that would help meet the growing needs of many older adults. However, it will require, at considerable cost, rebuilding or retrofitting the existing infrastructure at a rate that is not likely to meet the needs of today’s aging boomers.

Fully automated or driverless cars, by contrast, represent a path that promises to enhance the mobility options of older adults within the existing infrastructure. However, many consumers do not clearly understand that while the basic building blocks of these systems are available today in advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS), fully automated or driverless vehicles are still on the distant horizon. For the foreseeable future, automated vehicle technologies, including ADAS, will continue to rely on a “responsible” driver to oversee the technology, capable of resuming control and having the foresight to make many (yet to be defined) strategic operational decisions. But because of their transformative promise and heavy news coverage, the prospect of automated cars has become a source of great hope for many. Some believe that fully automated cars, capable of navigating the roadways while the “operator” reads a paper or takes a nap, will be available within a few years. Unfortunately, that is not the case. Instead, there is work to be done to increase the awareness and education necessary to spur the purchasing of ADAS available today, which will support many older drivers’ mobility and safety needs.

Driver Preparedness: A 2014 Survey of Drivers Age 30+

December 2, 2014 Comments off

Driver Preparedness: A 2014 Survey of Drivers Age 30+
Source: AARP Research

Key findings include:

  • In general, drivers age 30 and older (98%) feel prepared before taking a car trip of 50 miles or more, with 84% feeling very prepared and 14% feeling somewhat prepared.
  • Likewise, drivers report ensuring their vehicle is prepared before taking a trip of 50 miles or more. Specifically, roughly eight-in-ten report always ensuring their mirrors are adjusted properly (89%), checking dashboard warning lights and addressing any related problems (84%) and ensuring their vehicle is up to date on its recommended services (80%). A majority of drivers also report always checking that their headlights are working (64%), checking the oil level in their car (57%), checking their windshield wipers (53%), and checking their tire pressure (51%).
  • In general, the extent to which drivers engage in vehicle preparation increases with age. For example, older drivers (age 50+) are particularly likely to always ensure their mirrors are adjusted properly, ensure their vehicle is up-to-date on recommended services, check that their windshield wipers are in good condition, and check their tire pressure.
  • Drivers also engage in a variety of planning behaviors, at least sometimes, before taking a trip of 50 miles or more. A majority of drivers report always telling someone when they expect to arrive at their destination (62%), and planning to avoid rush hour traffic (54%). Over four-in-ten report always packing food or planning where to eat (44%), while 38 percent report sometimes doing this. Additionally, a third say they always plan where they will stop to rest (30%), while roughly four-in-ten (38%) say they sometimes do this.
  • Drivers generally engage in the vehicle preparation measures more often than the planning measures tested in the survey. For example, while 80% always make sure their vehicle is up-to-date on services, only 26% always plan to avoid driving in dimly-lit conditions.
  • In general, the frequency in which drivers plan to avoid potentially challenging or risky driving situations increases with age. For example, older drivers, particularly those age 65 and older, were more likely than their younger counterparts to always make alternative plans for bad weather, plan to avoid driving in dimly-lit conditions, choose a route that avoids confusing intersections, and choose a route that avoids high speed roads.
  • Drivers understand the importance of having certain safety items in their car when taking trips. For example, over nine-in-ten say that a spare tire (98%), a cell phone (96%), and cash (92%) are important items to have in their car. Furthermore, drivers report typically having these items in their car when taking a trip. For example, over nine-in-ten report typically having a spare tire (99%), a cell phone (96%), and cash (92%) in their car. However, in some cases, there is a discrepancy between the percentage of drivers who believe an item is important and the percentage of drivers who typically have the item in their car. Most notably, seven-in-ten respondents believe flares, warning triangles and reflectors are important, while only 37 percent say they typically have them in their car.
  • Perhaps in part due to the preparation and planning behaviors drivers already engage in, most drivers do not worry about potential challenges they may face, such as getting lost or their car breaking down. A majority of drivers, however, do worry about adverse weather conditions.
  • Roughly half of drivers (54%) typically use a navigation system when taking a trip of 50 miles or more. Although the use of navigation systems decreases with age, four-in-ten drivers age 65+ typically use the device when taking trips.
  • Two-thirds (67%) of adults belong to a roadside assistance program. This figure increases with age, with eight-in-ten drivers age 65+ (77%) belonging to a program. Drivers also report having the phone number of the roadside assistance program readily available when traveling in their car.
  • The overwhelming majority of drivers say that they know how to change a tire (80%) and jump-start a car (81%).
Categories: AARP, motor vehicles, safety

KPMG: Convergence Of Consumer & Auto Technologies, Rise Of Mobility Services, Transforming The Auto Industry And Way We Live Our Lives

December 1, 2014 Comments off

KPMG: Convergence Of Consumer & Auto Technologies, Rise Of Mobility Services, Transforming The Auto Industry And Way We Live Our Lives
Source: KPMG

How disruptive will the convergence of consumer and automotive technologies, and mobility-on-demand services be to the automotive landscape and consumers? According to new research published by KPMG LLP, the U.S. audit, tax and advisory firm, the automotive ecosystem and the way we interact with our vehicles is on the verge of a complete transformation.

In its latest whitepaper, “Me, My Car, My Life,” KPMG’s automotive practice suggests that the era of ubiquitous connectivity – the moment when you, your car and your life are one – has arrived. It will change the basic notions about mobility and revolutionize the way we think about and use our cars. That car is no longer just a way to get from point A to point B. In fact, it’s not just a car: It’s the control center for our mobile lives. As a result, the automotive industry is in the midst of a massive evolution.

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