What’s News: sporty caddy’s?

Temp Caddy

DETROIT, Mich.—On Thursday night, Cadillac took the wraps off a pair of new sporty sedans, revamping its V-Series performance lineup. One of the sedans, the CT5-V, is a souped-up variant of the new midsized four-door that launched at this year’s New York auto show. The second is the CT4-V, a sporty version of the yet-to-be-seen entry-level CT4. But if you were expecting fire-spitting monsters barely suited for the street, you’ll need to reset your expectations; these two new machines are more jalapeño than Habanero.

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What’s News: wrongly parked rideshare gets fenced in

Here’s a crazy story about a man putting his foot down over people parking on his property…

Seattle man builds fence around illegally parked car-share vehicle on property; demands payment

Seattle property owner upset about a car-share vehicle parked illegally in the parking lot of his duplex has erected a barricade around it and is demanding compensation from the owner.

Dan Smith said the car2go Mercedes-Benz has been parked in his lot since May 17, KIRO-TV reported. He said he gave Share Now, the company that operates car2go, two hours to collect the vehicle. After no response, he built a makeshift fence around it.

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The Pros and Cons of Garages


Many of us practically live in our car, which means the front door of our house is actually the garage door. The big exceptions are those who live in apartments and those who live further off the beaten track.

Not so Humble Origins

The tradition of a garage is as old as the car itself, as it began with wealthy people to store vehicles out of the weather. In the beginning, only the rich had cars and it was natural to keep them like they had the horses it replaced, in a stable where the maintenance, care and well, waste could be handled by household employees. So the first garages were repurposed “carriage houses”.

Apart from having money what kind of people would have a carriage house? Well, it depends on how you define one. If you think of it as a cart shed, then anyone with a horse or donkey probably had one. We’re not talking about people in slum areas, but everyone else. The posher ones had living space for staff and no doubt the first garages used the sleeping quarters for chauffeurs.

Modern racing fans know of pit row where cars pit-in for service, but we probably don’t think about the source of the name, which is a pit you dug in your garage so your chauffeur can perform regular maintenance on your vehicle. Now we use hydraulic lifts of course.


The Evolution of the Garage

Garages haven’t changed much with one big exception–where they are in relation to the rest of your house. Most houses now have an attached garage. The big advantage is that you can drive right up to, and really into, your abode without getting out in the weather.

Of course, it goes without saying that you need some sort of shelter for a convertible but there are some advantages for any vehicle. Garaging your vehicle keeps its exterior in better condition, prolongs the paint job, and reduces creature infestations like mice in the engine or yellow jackets in the air intake.

Are there any disadvantages to an attached garage? There must be. How many of us park in front of our garage and use it as a large storage facility. You can try to make the garage double for storage of things and cars, but things like ladders pose a bigger threat to your paint job than the weather outside.

An attached garage also either takes up room from your house (under the roof) or from your yard. Most of us have come to accept the loss of front green space and perhaps even consider it an advantage to have less mowing to do. Still, the modern house, with it’s living quarters tucked behind an amorphous garage is less conducive to a neighborhood feel than say, a wraparound porch.

If you’ve ever lived in a situation where you needed to walk outside for a bit, in order to get in your car, you notice how much the air wakes you up in the morning. You might also notice a lack of smell. Cars have a lot of chemicals, etc. that can gather in the sale air of a garage. The material used for the car such as diesel and anti-freeze also whiff a bit. If you don’t use the car a rust smell will also develop. Many people might prefer these kinds of odors further from the house.

Note: Now that some of us have remote start on their cars, it’s a good idea to make sure the garage door is up before starting your car. That carbon monoxide is dangerous. Then there is the smell. A number of older cars smell especially diesel cars.


Another big advantage to a garage is the safety factor. Garages are thought by insurers to a safer place to keep a car than say the street. For an insurer, it’s all about managing risk in any case. Your pride and joy might not be perfectly safe in a garage but it is better than the alternatives. Many single people feel personally safer walking into a garage attached to their house than walking outside to get in their car.

Whatever you choose, and garage placement may not be a big factor in choosing where you live, there are some plusses and minuses to having a garage. It’s worth giving some thought to.

Best of the Web: meet the man behind Rivian

Meet RJ Scaringe. The Founder of Rivian, Changing the Way We View Transportation

RJ’s goal? To change the way our society views transportation. To change the way we buy and own vehicles. To change the way we treat our environment.

Original story by Brooke Hess

Founder of Rivian, the company building the world’s first electric adventure vehicles, RJ Scaringe isn’t one to set simple goals. He thinks big.

RJ’s goals go beyond simply building electric cars. They go beyond 4×4 vehicles. They go beyond self-driving vehicles. RJ’s ultimate goal is this – to change the way our society views transportation. To change the way we buy and own vehicles. To change the way we treat our environment.

RJ founded a car company, and yet he does not want people buying his cars in the future. This may seem like a strange business plan, but to RJ, it is the only way forward.

RJ envisions a world where you don’t own a car. Your family doesn’t own a car. Your neighbors don’t own cars. Sounds like a hassle to get around, right? How will you go skiing this weekend? How will you take your family to the beach in the spring? How will you move your oldest child into her dorm room?

Cars and Celebrations


Although driving a car can be quite fun there are obvious reasons why they are not readily associated with parties. One exception though is the tailgate party, which takes place at the open tailgate or trunk of a vehicle. Although they can occur anywhere, they generally take place at stadiums and similar places where sports events take place.

The food consumed tends to be items you’d associate with a picnic such as cold potato salad or baked beans. Sometimes people play novelty, or lawn games, such as ladder golf and jolf.

While uncommon beyond sports events, tailgate parties have also occurred near concerts or reunions. And while tailgate parties are typically a “guy” thing they’ve even happened outside weddings.

Another way Cars and Celebrations Mix

When it comes to events for people who like cars there is a number of classic car shows around the country, which are sometimes known as “cruises.” You can often see Hollywood cars and race cars at these types of events and they are marketed as a day out for all the family. There was even a moon rover at one such event, which had a moon landing them to celebrate 50th anniversary of the moon landing. It is not clear what other vehicles linked to the moon take part.


Creating car events, as has been noted before, are a profitable way for race tracks to make a little coin out of season. It makes sense as people who attend racing are bound to be fascinated by cars and want more.

Some car events are branding activities for certain brands of car, for example, the centenary events linked with Bentleys. There are also week-long events such as the National Drive Electric Week. It’s a great way to promote new makes and new ways of driving.

Less Common Car Celebrations

And we come now too weird events. There is a tradition every fourth of July in Alaska for cars to be started up before going up ramps, though the drivers jump out before the car starts up. Where does the abandoned car end up? Over a ravine.

Though it sounds bizarre, an event using Victorian cars taking place called Show & Shine is simply when collectors’ cars are shone up and exhibited to the public at large. Exactly why the term is not more widely used is not known.

A term you might have heard of if you like military events is the Freedom Fest, which is held by the US Army at Fort Carson. As the name suggests it celebrates the American way of life through exhibiting various historical vehicles.

One car event you might not immediately think of though is to go without the car for a whole day. The pollution associated with diesel and gas cars means that such events have become increasingly popular. Whether they can go past a day remains to be seen though. It is certainly not most people’s idea of a celebration.

A Quick Guide to Car Performance Testing


We’ve all probably seen those episodes of Mythbusters where they show the intense force that can result from something as simple as a car crash. That’s why it’s wild so many people don’t fully understand how cars are tested for safety or performance overall.

In 2016 there were 272.48 million cars registered in the United States, and that is a huge chunk of the population buying and driving cars. Obviously, cars are a lot safer than the vehicles we were driving 100 years ago, and that is definitely due to laws concerning safety performance.

Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards

The need for motor vehicle safety standards came to light in the 1960s. In fact, we weren’t even required to have seat belts as a standard safety feature in cars until 1968. Now, seat belts feel like such an ingrained and necessary part of cars that it’s unbelievable they have only been around for the last fifty years or so.

Once it became a requirement for cars to meet certain standards and safety minimums, companies started performing their own crash safety tests to help maintain their standards.


Crash Safety Tests

These crash safety tests have grown more intense over the years to make sure that people are protected from all sorts of issues. Whenever you talk safety, you’re looking at things like:

  • How to prevent accidents
  • How to minimize the severity of the damage
  • How to prevent secondary damage

You never know what can go wrong in a car accident as it isn’t always as simple as a fender bender. There can be pile-ups, rolls, and more cause an accident to be fatal. No company wants their car to put people at risk because of faulty airbags or poor design.

If a car is unlikely to be hit, but when it is hit from the side it flips easily on its top and pours gas on the passengers, well, that’s not a safe car.

The best way to crash test a vehicle is by putting it through the wringer. These cars that show up on the market have often faced all sorts of abuse and disaster to make certain it adds no unnecessary risks or danger to the drivers.

Car manufacturers want to test every aspect of cars through production to make sure they needle out any potential issues. They don’t want customers having to complain about a problem after the car is on the market. It goes without saying that it’s more expensive to fix a problem after you’ve sold a hundred thousand units.

A lot of car testing is done in Death Valley, California. Car companies have actually received express permission to crash test cars in Death Valley National Park. It is a great remote area for companies to do this so bystanders aren’t hurt.

Both the structural design of a car and applied safety systems can really contribute to safety. Crash tests are meant to help show what would happen to a car in different events and it shows what parts are structurally weak and need to be fixed.

Side Note: An example of a post-design safety system is a two-pound plastic plate which Canadian Ford Pintos included, which radically reduced the chance of gas tank puncture when rear-ended.

Often these days crash test dummies are used to demonstrate the impact a crash would have on a human being. This is to help discover what protections might be needed to make the car safer for passengers. Crash test dummies are meant to mimic real people and employ advanced designs to lead to proper results of the impact.

Crash Test Ratings

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gives out crash test ratings based on a scale of one to five stars. How it rates cars is based on a number of certain factors. Tests that are included in these ratings are a front crash test, side crash test, and rollover crash tests.

The crash test rating involves aspects of all the results from multiple crash tests. Included are results based on damage sustained by crash test dummies such as neck extension or other potential injuries. Multiple injuries are counted as well, data is taken from all parts of the body.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety also has its own vehicle safety ratings that impact how cars are manufactured. Their determination for crashworthiness is similar to the NHTSA, though focuses on a few different aspects. The testing is a bit more hardcore than with the NHTSA to help ensure safety.


Crash test ratings have helped improve the quality of cars produced over the years. Now it is an important part of car production to make sure that cars protect passengers as much as possible.

When it is time to go buy a car there are many ways to take a look at how safe they really are. You can check the car safety ratings and even watch the crash testing videos if you think that would reassure you.

What’s News: GM car sharing pulls out of some markets

Maven, the car-sharing service owned by General Motors, is ending operations in several major North American cities. According to The Wall Street Journal, the mobility brand will wind down service in eight of the 17 cities in which it operates, including Boston, Chicago, and New York City. Maven will continue to operate in Detroit, Los Angeles, Washington, DC, and Toronto.

More here
“We’re shifting Maven’s offerings to concentrate on markets in which we have the strongest current demand and growth potential,” a spokesperson said in a statement.

Human Error and the Crash


car-accident-2789841_1920People worry about the rise of self-driving cars but it seems like most people struggle to negotiate the road with normal cars. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says that 94% are due to dangerous choices or errors which people make when they are behind the wheel. Whether they are blatantly dangerous or are revealed to be so after hindsight must be worth looking into though.

The statistics divide things into “distracted driving,” “drunken driving,” or “driving while drowsy.” Possibly a crash might be caused by a combination of factors which no one can get to the bottom of. Some of which might be natural, such as ice on the road, stormy winds etc. Certainly, there are days when it pays to be more vigilant.

The errors can be divided into five types:

  • Recognition error
  • Decision error
  • Performance error
  • Non-performance error
  • Other

Distraction is usually regarded as a recognition error. Deciding to speed or do another illegal maneuver or not anticipating what other drivers will do is known as decision error. Performance error is losing control of the vehicle or pushing the car too far. Non-performance is another name for drowsiness and falling asleep. 8% of car accidents were caused by miscellaneous human error or “other”.

drink-driving-808790_1920Something which seems on the rise is drugged driving. There are warning signs of drunk or stoned driving you might watch out for, such as a driver weaving in and out of the traffic. Or it may be that a driver goes far too slowly, though that could be down to a number of factors, the weaving is more obvious a sign.

The problem with many drivers is that driving consists of many tiny micro-tasks which all need to be obeyed to keep the car on the road. If something changes then there could be a problem. It may be something the brain has yet to process or it could be something that is making the person behave in a reckless manner.

Teens age drivers are most likely to behave irresponsibly, and they win high insurance premiums as their only prize. It’s likely a combination of being less experienced drivers (not knowing how to react to a situation) and less experienced decision makers.

So what can you do to reduce the risk? Well, you’ve likely heard a lot of ideas that, while technically sound, are really difficult to carry out. Things like:

  • Never drive with someone to distract you?
  • Never drive late at night?

You can’t really avoid every situation that is inherently unsafe. Perhaps the bigger shift needs to happen in our thinking. Many people don’t think they are doing anything which might cause an accident, and that’s when it gets you.

Although self-driving is said to wipe out death by human error it is unlikely to be widespread any time soon. The same can be said for laws about what lanes trucks use, or sensors to detect pedestrians. The kicker has pondered these efforts before and we generally recommend actually trying things out before making sweeping changes because computers have yet to prove themselves as better decision makers than humans in the driving seat.