Study: US faces constant Labor Day-like traffic in coming decades

Filed under: Government/Legal, Safety

US map of future traffic congestion

With Labor Day weekend upon our American readers, many of you have probably loaded up your vehicles for the last road trip of the summer. But with Labor Day weekend comes traffic. Lots and lots of traffic. And while the Labor Day scrum is generally as bad as things get for the year, a study by the US Travel Association reports that a number of freeways across the country are in danger of heavily increased traffic levels becoming the new normal.

As originally reported on The Car Connection, Americans may be driving less, but the number of cars on our roads is outpacing that decline, which in turn places greater stress on the interstate network. Take Interstate 96, the freeway that runs from downtown Detroit to Grand Rapids, as an example. The only major cities on that east-west road, besides its termini, is the state capital, Lansing. But during Labor Day weekend, its traffic volume increases 154 percent. The USTA warns that unless a project is started quickly, the increased traffic flow will become the norm by 2030.

The USTA also analyzed 15 other major interstates, including three different stretches of I-95 on the country’s east coast, I-5 between Los Angeles and San Diego, I-45 between Dallas and Houston and I-15 between southern California and Las Vegas. Each route was at risk of anywhere from 117- to 159-percent increases in traffic flow by 2040. See the map above for more examples.

All of that sounds pretty daunting, but we also have to wonder if advances in vehicle-to-vehicle communications and autonomous technology over the same period will go a long way toward increasing average traffic speeds by greatly reducing accidents while safely increasing traffic density through platooning.

Either way, scroll down to take a look at the complete study.

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US faces constant Labor Day-like traffic in coming decades originally appeared on Autoblog on Sat, 31 Aug 2013 10:58:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Video: BMW 1 Series M faces off against Audi TT RS on track

Filed under: Coupe, Performance, Videos, Audi, BMW

BMW 1 Series M Coupe and Audi TT RS

BMW 1 Series M Coupe vs Audi TT RS – Click above to watch video after the jump

Here’s a matchup made in heaven. The crew from Motor Sport Magazine took the time to pit the BMW 1 Series M Coupe against a fitting rival – the Audi TT RS. The two German sports coupes go fender-to-fender on track, and thanks to a few well-placed video cameras, we get to ride along for the action. There’s plenty of tail-wiggling glory from the smallest of the M family, but the TT RS seems more than capable of keeping the pace. With 340 horsepower to the 335 ponies of the TT RS, the 1 Series M Coupe has a slight power edge, but with all four wheels pulling in the Audi, the two are fit rivals.

While the video doesn’t actually capture any legitimate competition, it’s still fun to watch – and hear – these two pint-sized bruisers frolic around in a semi-controlled, off-street venue. We just wish it was us behind the wheel. Click past the break to check out the clip for yourself.

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BMW 1 Series M faces off against Audi TT RS on track originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 26 May 2011 19:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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2010-2011 Saab 9-3 faces recall over possible fuel pump defect

Filed under: Sedan, Europe, Recalls, Safety, Saab, Luxury

2010 Saab 9-3

2010 Saab 9-3 – Click above for high-res image gallery

Saab has announced that it is recalling around 4,400 9-3 models for defective fuel pumps. The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration says that the vehicles made have been built with pumps that did not meet the correct specifications, and as a result, the pumps may seize, causing the engine to stall. NHTSA believes that the defect could potentially increase the risk of an accident. As far as we know, no incidents have been reported as a result of the issue.

Saab will replace the fuel pumps free of charge, and the campaign is expected to get under way on or around February 18. Owners may contact Saab directly at 1.800.955.9007 or visit the NHTSA site for more information on the recall. Hit the jump for a look at both notices.

Gallery: 2010 Saab 9-3

2010 Saab 9-32010 Saab 9-32010 Saab 9-32010 Saab 9-32010 Saab 9-3

[Source: NHTSA]

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2010-2011 Saab 9-3 faces recall over possible fuel pump defect originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 21 Jan 2011 16:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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