Video: Driving the million-mile Porsche 356

Filed under: Classics, Coupe, Performance, Videos, Porsche, Luxury

Petrolicious makes a video about a man with a million-mile Porsche.

Maybe you’ve seen or heard about the Porsche 356 with almost one-million miles (though it doesn’t look like it), but Petrolicious finally has produced a video to show us what it’s like to drive the 982,000-mile car. Guy Newmark’s beautiful, dark-blue 1964 356C looks great in motion – much better than in photos – and serves to remind us not only what meticulous car care can do for old classics, but that old Porsches were built to last.

So how fastidious is Newmark about maintaining it? He takes the car to his mechanic of 40 years every 3,000 miles for an oil change and to fix anything that needs attention.

Newmark says his 356 “is everything you could want,” and that he finds errands to do just to go drive it. We would, too. The next-best thing is to watch the inspiring video below of the well-traveled Porsche.

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Driving the million-mile Porsche 356 originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 30 Aug 2013 19:57:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Report: Google self-driving cars should have data recorders, says US official

Filed under: Government/Legal, Safety, Technology

Driverless Cars from Google

Fears over domestic spying operations and privacy concerns have been splattered across the headlines with alarming frequency, and now it appears that even the auto industry isn’t immune. According to a report from The Huffington Post, the chairwoman of the National Transportation Safety Board, Deborah Hersman, has argued that black boxes should be mandatory in self-driving cars, like those that Google and Nissan have been working on.

“Data capture is going to help you understand if there is a vehicle problem, or if it’s a human factors issue,” Hersman told the Post. The fear behind black boxing cars, though, has always been one of individual privacy being compromised. That isn’t likely to change regardless of whether a car is controlled by man or machine, as evidenced by an Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers survey, which claimed that nearly three-quarters of participants were worried about driverless cars recording personal information. Adding to that, 70 percent of respondents feared their info being accessed by the government, according to the HuffPo report.

Those arguments aren’t enough for Hersman, though. “When you have a driverless car, you have to demonstrate on the front end that you have the data that shows it’s safe. But we would also say, you need to make sure you have good data recording capabilities, so when there is an event, you can understand what happened.”

Google self-driving cars should have data recorders, says US official originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 28 Aug 2013 13:31:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Study: The safest driving cities in America listed for 2013

Filed under: Safety

Texting while driving

We all like to claim we know where the worst drivers in the US hog the road, but for the last nine years, Allstate has released a study telling us exactly where we can go to find the best and worst drivers in the country. After compiling crash data in America’s largest cities (with more than 50,000 residents), this finding shows that for the third time in four years, Fort Collins, CO tops the list for safest roadways. Fort Collins drivers go almost 14 years between car accidents – an accident rate that is far better than the national average of about 10 years.

Making huge strides in traffic safety, according to the study, Brownsville, TX and Montgomery, AL each soared 21 spots and are now among the top 10 cities on the list. Phoenix is 71 out of the 194 cities listed, but it has the highest safety for cities with the population of more than one million people with crashes 2 percent more likely than average and about 10 years between crashes for drivers. At the bottom of the list, drivers in Washington, D.C. are more than twice as likely to get into a crash, with that population experiencing a wreck about every five years. Big cities like Baltimore, MD, Philadelphia, PA and Miami, FL were also some of the least-safe cities in which to drive. Scroll down for Allstate’s press release or check out the full report in pdf form.

*Note: cities in Massachusetts were excluded due to a lack of data.You lucked out, Bostonians.

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The safest driving cities in America listed for 2013 originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 27 Aug 2013 15:33:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Study: Americans who consider drunk driving ‘a serious threat’ declines 21% in 3 years

Filed under: Safety

The

Alternate titles for this story could have been “American drivers growing stupider,” “Number of boneheads on the road increases,” “Natural selection having greater influence on American drivers.” We don’t mean to make light of the latest study from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, but it’s so darn disturbing that we aren’t really sure what else to do.

AAA compiled the results of three years of surveys, and found that Americans aren’t nearly as concerned about seriously bad behaviors while driving as they were a few years ago. It’s no wonder there was an estimated 5.3-percent increase in annual traffic fatalities last year. The infuriating thing is that we’ve gone seven years without an increase in fatalities.

In 2009, 90 percent of the AAA survey respondents thought drunk driving was a “serious threat.” 71 percent were opposed to drowsy driving. 87 percent considered working a smartphone while behind the wheel to be a bad thing, while 21 percent admitted to texting while driving. 77 percent took issue with people that ran red lights.

Fast-forward to 2012, and we’re going to see a rather radical shift in feelings. Only 69 percent of people find drinking and driving to be an issue, while 46 percent are opposed to drowsy driving. 81 percent think a smartphone and driving don’t mix, while 26 percent have texted while behind the wheel. Also baffling, 70 percent of people are against running red lights, with over a third admitting to flying through a red in the past month. For those that don’t feel like looking at the paragraph above for comparison, fewer people are concerned with bad behind-the-wheel behaviors.

Take a look below for the full press release on the AAA study, and please, please be safe behind the wheel.

Continue reading Americans who consider drunk driving ‘a serious threat’ declines 21% in 3 years

Americans who consider drunk driving ‘a serious threat’ declines 21% in 3 years originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 22 Aug 2013 13:20:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Report: Google shacking up with Continental on self-driving cars

Filed under: Frankfurt Motor Show, Safety, Technology

Google co-founder Sergey listens to California Gov. Edmund G Brown Jr. during a bill signing for driverless cars at Google headquarters in Mountain View, Calif., Tuesday, Sept. 25, 2012.  The legislation will open the way for driverless cars in the state. Google, which has been developing autonomous car technology and lobbying for the legislation has a fleet of driverless cars that has logged more than 300,000 miles (482,780 kilometers) of self-driving on California roads. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)

Google, well known tester of self-driving cars, may have just come one step closer to making its sci-fi tech a widely realistic proposition. Along with IBM, it’s inked a deal with tier one supplier Continental, according to Reuters. The official announcement is set to be made during September’s Frankfurt Motor Show.

This is really a huge development for the world of driverless cars. Continental has its hands in a number of pies, supplying tires, brakes, stability control systems and other essential components to manufacturers. Google, meanwhile, is one of the biggest names in tech and has been toying with driverless vehicles for years, making this a formidable pairing. This could be the kick in the pants driverless cars need to get further into the mainstream consciousness.

Continental is already teamed up with Cisco Systems, as well, in a bid to establish data transfer networks between cars. All told, there are some mighty big names throwing their hats into the autonomous ring. Expect more news on the terms of this alliance at Frankfurt.

Google shacking up with Continental on self-driving cars originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 21 Aug 2013 17:28:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Video: Watch Werner Herzog’s intense anti-texting-while-driving documentary

Filed under: Safety, Videos

People, if there are any doubts as to just how dangerous texting while driving is, you need to watch this documentary, entitled From One Second to the Next, created by Werner Herzog for AT&T and co-presented by Sprint, Verizon and T-Mobile. The short film starts out by saying that more than 100,000 accidents occur each year by someone who is texting while driving, and then proceeds to tell just four stories that feature people affected (and devastated) as the result of a distracted driver.

The image above is the aftermath of one of the incidents that killed two men, but each of the stories describe the anger, pain, regret and even forgiveness of these easily preventable accidents. This video, which is posted below, is part of the It Can Wait campaign aimed at getting people to pledge not to engage in dangerous driving distractions, including texting, e-mailing and surfing the internet.

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Watch Werner Herzog’s intense anti-texting-while-driving documentary originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 09 Aug 2013 19:58:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Official: Ford Focus ST, Fiesta ST buyers to get free Octane Academy driving school

Filed under: Performance, Hatchback, Ford

The Ford Focus ST and Fiesta ST have created plenty of excitement in the sport compact segment, and Ford is looking to make sure that owners are driving and enjoying their cars to the best of their abilities. As an added bonus for buying one of these sporty hatchbacks, Ford will provide a complimentary ST Octane Academy session to be held at the Miller Motorsports Park in Utah.

Attendees will be responsible for travel and lodging, but Ford will provide the driving school free of charge. Included in this two-day trip, ST owners will get class instruction and driving instruction in prepped Focus ST and Fiesta ST models on the track and autocross course. Some karting action will also be involved as will a tour of Ken Block’s Hoonigan Racing headquarters located nearby. If this doesn’t sound like enough fun, there is also an optional day of activities that includes some more track time in a Mustang GT and off-road instruction in an F-150 SVT Raptor.

Ford told us that those who have already purchased a Focus ST or Fiesta ST will still be able to attend the performance driving school, but the press release, which is posted below, makes it sound like it applies to original owners only. Ford has yet to announce its schedule for the ST Octane Academy or prices for additional activities or guests.

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Ford Focus ST, Fiesta ST buyers to get free Octane Academy driving school originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 01 Aug 2013 09:28:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Report: Man arrested in Australia for driving with pliers instead of steering wheel

Filed under: Etc., Government/Legal, Safety, Australia, Humor

Aussie man caught driving with vice grip pliers instead of steering wheel

We’ll be the first to say that taking short cuts to keep a car on the road isn’t a good practice, but sometimes, people take it too far. No, we’re not talking about using a coat hanger for a throttle linkage, or driving on bald tires for one more week, even though the cords are showing. We’re talking about driving without a steering wheel and using locking grip pliers clamped around the steering column shaft to navigate, which is just what one man has been caught doing in Adelaide, Australia, the Daily Mail reports.

The unnamed 38-year-old man’s Monday morning commute was interrupted when police pulled him over for driving erratically with two flat tires, and they were surprised to find him holding the pliers instead of a wheel. He was arrested and charged with many offenses, including driving without a license in an unregistered vehicle, uninsured while under the influence of illegal drugs and more. Police also said they believe he was involved in a hit-and-run accident.

There are many things one can learn from this man’s mistakes, which can be summed up in two words: Drive safely. And that includes taking good care of your car.

Man arrested in Australia for driving with pliers instead of steering wheel originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 24 Jul 2013 13:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Study: Lack of new midsize pickup models driving strong resale values for older models

Filed under: Car Buying, Truck, Chevrolet, Nissan, Toyota

2012 Nissan Frontier

According to a new study by Black Book, the fact that there are fewer mid-sized pickup truck options on the market is driving up the retail cost of used models. During the month of June, used vehicles from model years 2007-2011 depreciated an average of 1.3 percent across the board, but midsize pickups of the same year saw their value decrease by just 0.7 percent on average. Look across the past year, and the market as a whole saw those cars depreciate by 13.7 percent while midsize pickups saw their value decline by a mere 5.1 percent.

Ricky Beggs, senior vice president and Managing Editor with Black Book, says midsize pickups are holding their value better than other products on the market due to the fact that there are so few brand-new options available. Currently, only Chevrolet, Nissan and Toyota offer midsize pickup trucks. Honda has a player in the game in the form of the Ridgeline, which is a sort of cross between a traditional pickup and a crossover, and the discontinued Ford Ranger falls into a smaller size class that no longer exists in the US.

What’s all this mean to you? If you happen to have a set of keys to midsize pickup in your pocket, you’ve made a good investment. Don’t expect to see the machine depreciate as quickly as other vehicles on the road. Conversely, if you’re in the market, expect to pay a bit more than you might have expected for a non-fullsize pickup truck. Scroll down for the press release from Black Book.

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Lack of new midsize pickup models driving strong resale values for older models originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 27 Jun 2013 08:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Video: Italian bus driver fired for driving with elbows while using two phones

Filed under: Etc., Europe, Safety, Videos

Bus Driver with two cell phones in Rome

Bus Driver with two cell phones – Click above to watch video after the jump

The Italians sure do know how to live. Their vehicles are more beautiful, their meals more delicious and their bus drivers more distracted. Just take a look at the video after the jump to see what we mean.

While jostling through the hectic traffic of Rome (of course it’s in Rome, where else?) this particular driver took the time to attempt to set up his email on a new smartphone while speaking to customer service on a second handheld device. That’s right, this guy was rocking two phones at once while ferrying a load of people through the city streets.

Now, you may be wondering exactly how the mechanics of such a situation would play out. Our enterprising pilot took to steering the bus by using his elbows. According to The Guardian, the company that owns the bus service has suspended the driver pending a full investigation. Still, it’s terrifying to know that this guy is likely still behind the wheel of his personal vehicle. Click past the break to see the full video for yourself.

Continue reading Italian bus driver fired for driving with elbows while using two phones

Italian bus driver fired for driving with elbows while using two phones originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 17 May 2011 14:59:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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