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It all sounds good to me except for the batteries article states that it will take decades and gas mileage. The government EPA current mpg are lies according to the AAA field testing. They are off by about 40%. You have to revise your starting point regarding mpg. Building a 60 mpg family car can be done now but with very expensive materials and without the 240 hp. The marketplace for family cars that can hold 5 or more comfortably is not a small car with a watermelon sized engine. The US consumer has had 40 mpg cars available since Fiat's 1960s model. I have owned small cars that got 45 and 50 mpg which they have stopped selling because of low consumer demand. I do not see high consumer demand for high mpg cars today except for the Toyota Prius. Honda's high mpg cars have not seen huge demand. The consumer wants a minivan or suv for the family vehicle. Add the lack of demand, inertia in politics, and a mere 9 years to advance the technology and manufacturing cost effectively, I have severe doubts we will have the average US family vehicle get 60 mpg with a 240 hp engine in the 2015 model.

jeffolie

OOps I forget to identify myself.

GK

jeffolie,

My estimation of 60 MPG (hwy) is from a combination of :

1) What is considered 'hybrid' today dropping in cost delta and becoming a standard technology for most cars.

2) New nanomaterials permitting the total weight of a car to drop by up to 20%, even with added strength and durability.

3) New electronic systems that will optimize the energy generated by the ICE more efficiently.

All this put together makes me comfortable about estimating that a car selling for under $35,000 in 2015 dollars will offer 240 hp and 60 MPG.

Honda sells a lot to China and India too, and their volume is rising a lot. Demand for fuel efficiency coulod be driven from there, with the technology reaching the US only by default.

We'll see what happens....

GK

Anyway, regarding safety, the reduction in auto deaths by half (per capita) by 2020 is a relatively modest prediction. It could even end up better..

jeffolie

I agree with you regarding safety.

According to AAA the mpg on todays hybrids are grossly overstated. I got better real mpg in my 50 mpg car in the early 1990s.

I do not know how fast nano materials can cost effectively be manufactured for vehicles. 2015 seems very optimistic to me. You can get 10% savings on weight immediately using aluminum but the manufacturers won't use it because of higher costs.

The US consumer has rejected externally created car technology before and now. The Europeans use small deisel engines that have failed to sell well here. Alternative feuls are widely accepted in Brazil and Europe uses biodeisel, but the US consumer has rejected these technologies.

fewlesh

If you were to have researched the statistics a little bit better, you would have found out that alcohol related fatalities have dropped significantly from 1982 - 2004, and that non-alcohol fatalities have ACTUALLY INCREASED significantly.
http://www-nrd.nhtsa.dot.gov/pdf/nrd-30/NCSA/TSF2004/809916.pdf

The trend you should have been tracking was the average car size. SUV's have made the road much more dangerous, as the larger size of cars leads to more deaths do to the drastically increased energy of the collision. (impact energy = 1/2mv^2). As SUV's have large engines, they travel fast and are larger killing the poor people who bought fuel efficient cars!

Please investigate your sources before you post such naive analysis of traffic fatalities!

Better technology does not universally equal progress on all fronts all the time!

GK

Fewlesh,

That factor was already taken into account. If anything, if the reductions in drunk-driving fatalities has been offset by the increase in sober SUV-induced fatalities, then the technologies above are even more likely to cause future reductions.

The Collision Avoidance and Lane Departure Warning systems may be less effective with drunk drivers than sober drivers who can't see, but can react quickly when prompted. The addition of these features to cars and SUVs will help in the area where more deaths are currently occuring. SUV buyers may get these technologies first, as they are often less cost-sensitive than subcompact owners. Read the link for more on those technologies.

Lastly, if SUVs hitting smaller cars are the root of the problem, $70 oil has greatly dented SUV sales. This will thus result in fatality reductions over the next few years, or one more reason why $70 oil has unexpected side benefits.


GK

Fewlesh,

Also, in this report below, it shows that passenger car deaths have actually been dropping and 'light trucks' have been rising. The latter is partly due to the increase in number of SUVs, but the drop in passenger car deaths refutes your statement of SUVs hitting compacts being the reason for increased non-alcohol deaths. See page 2.

http://www-nrd.nhtsa.dot.gov/pdf/nrd-30/NCSA/TSF2004/809911.pdf

The reason for increased non-alcohol deaths is due to an increase in motorcyclists killed. Take motorcycles out, and you see even non-alcohol fatalities stay constant per capita.

Prof. Willard

You haven't gone back far enough.

The death toll on America's highways has been between 35,000 and 50,000 per year since the 1930's, except I believe for the gas-rationing period of World War II. It has been the only number relating to American automobiling that has remained so flat for all of those years. Size of our vehicle fleet, number of drivers, number of miles of paved road, number of miles of limited-access road, average speed, number of miles per vehicle per year, all have been relentlessly climbing. To set against these trends: safety glass, better brakes, other technical improvements such as collapsing steering columns, turn signals (legally required in Delaware only since 1950), changing attitudes about DUI (a minor-fine crime in the old days), and tightening federal regulations about things like having and using safety belts have all acted to keep the death toll stable.

If I were dumped into the 1930's by a kidnapper with a time machine, I would agitate for some of the simplest low-tech improvements that they could have used then, if only somebody had thought of them. For example, white stripes on the outside edges of roads have probably kept thousands of cars from hitting telephone poles over the years. My parents used to complain about the few-and-far-between route signs that could keep a driver distracted for miles, wondering if he were still on the right road.

My best guess: between now and 2015, carbon-fiber-reinforced bodies, radar hazard-warning alarms, and wider use of stuff available now such as air bags will all act to suppress the death toll. And highway congestion and increasing average speeds will boost that toll. And the total in 2015 will still be between 35,000 and 50,000.

It's a sort of tax we all pay to live in our highly mobile society.

GK

Prof. Willard,

Good thoughts. I still think we are over the hump and will lower to about 25,000 per year by 2020 (you were talking of 2015). Miles driven per person will saturate, as there just aren't enough hours in the day for the average driven per person to become 30,000 miles a year.

Plus, faster broadband and better videoconferencing will allow some people to telecommute, reducing their driving.

Also note that the costs of accidents have risen much faster than inflation, and free markets are triggering innovations in safety that would not have been enough of an ROI before.

Rusik

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Truck Rental

It is good to know about the advances in automobile technology. I agree with you regarding safety as well as . It is the essential step that we must have to take. It will really helpful in decreasing road accidents as well..

Automotive Seo

The advanced safety features will help to a certain extent; however all the technology in the world will NOT make up for drunk drivers and inattentive drivers who text while driving, or applying makeup when driving. No amount of technology will help the other party when they get t-boned at 70 mph; not even driving a Benz with all the latest gadgets.

Stephen Schaunt

We've seen a couple of car recalls in the recent years, all because of safety concerns. It's good news that victims are getting what they need and deserve through injury claims. Now moving on with the future of safety, it's fascinating that most cars today are now equipped with a boost of safety features. This will not only lessen the unnecessary loss of life or occurrences of disability, but also, as this post implies, lessen the financial constraints brought about by road accidents.

krithika

well aiming at safety with advancements at hand is a brilliant thought cause i wouldn't have thought of anything but luxury . good enlightening article

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