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The AutoGuide News Blog is your source for breaking stories from the auto industry. Delivering news immediately, the AutoGuide Blog is constantly updated with the latest information, photos and video from manufacturers, auto shows, the aftermarket and professional racing.
Believe it or not, hybrids are safer in a crash than their gasoline-only counterparts, according to a new study by the Highway Loss Data Institute.
“Hybrids on average are 10 percent heavier than their standard counterparts,” Moore said in a statement today. “This extra mass gives them an advantage in crashes that their conventional twins don’t have,” said Matt Moore, Data Institute President and author of the study.
The study didn’t include cars like the Toyota Prius and Honda Insight, which are only available as a hybrid. The study also counted other factors like who drives hybrids and how they generally behave on the road.
While the drivers and hybrids themselves may be contributing to improved safety inside the car, a separate study also conducted by Highway Loss Data Institute suggests that these cars are 20 percent more likely to hit a pedestrian.
The reason, they say, is that while running in electric-only mode they are too quiet, making them less noticeable to someone crossing the street.
Earlier this year, Congress gave the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration three years to decide on a standard for equipping hybrids and electric vehicles with a sound device to alert pedestrians.
Japan is the only country to currently enforce such a standard, according to a CNN article Moore sighted.
Despite that, it seems Nissan has already equipped their Leaf with a system to catch pedestrian attention. Toyota started including the feature on the 2010 Prius in Japan, and will add it to the 2012 North American Prius V.
[Source: Automotive News]
Could the motor city be turning into tech town usa? In a CNN Money special, Detroit’s automotive related technology boom is highlighted for its recent increase technology related jobs. Tech job openings rose 82% in Detroit, with companies like Google and Ford hiring engineers en masse.
According to the report, Google says this will be its biggest hiring year yet in Detroit. Furthermore, Doug Van Dagens, Director of Ford Conected Services Solutions, says there is a tech boom and his sector will be doubling in size over the next few years and tripling over a three year period.
Detroit tech workers make an average salary of $71,000 per year, less than Silicon Valley but above average for the auto industry. Several engineers are interviewed during the video, explaining how competitive the tech sector has become, how engineers are being enticed to stay and that a movement to rebuild Detroit is a driving force behind the recent hiring spike.
One engineer explains that there is significant potential within the city to flourish economically because the economy had crippled Detroit, however the city is developing significantly in the technology sector. Technology within the auto industry is becoming more efficient and competitive. Even though Detroit is not as big as traditional tech centers like Silicon Valley, this city is the central core in the Midwest for technology, growing financially and technologically at an astonishing rate.
[Source: CNN Money]
After Toyota recently debunked an ABC News report about sudden acceleration in its vehicles, the Japanese automaker has now decided to take on CNN, after the news outlet reported that Toyota knew about sudden acceleration issues as far back as 2002.
The story by CNN‘s special investigations unit reports that in a secret document Toyota admitted to electronic issues related to the throttle, even saying that in 2002, “Toyota had a sudden acceleration problem and that according to Toyota’s own technical service bulletin, the problem was electronic.”
Toyota has responded, essentially debunking the document and exposing CNN‘s faulty reporting; the “secret document” being a 2002 Technical Service Bulletin (TSB) published by Toyota and sent to all of its dealers as well as being publicly available online through several government and independent websites as well as through Toyota’s own site: https://techinfo.toyota.com. In fact, the 2002 TSB was discussed by Toyota Motor Sales USA President Jim Lentz during his appearance before the Congressional testimony looking into Toyota’s recall woes.
As for the content of the TSB, Toyota says that the issue was never sudden acceleration but rather, “a drivability issue at speeds of between 38 and 42 miles per hour at light throttle.” the TSB continues, “This condition was strictly related to a function internal to the transmission torque converter under certain throttle conditions. It manifested as a slight rocking motion, or surge, while holding steady throttle at the specific speed window. This issue was in no way related to any kind of sustained acceleration.”
Toyota contests the misinterpretation of the word “surge” in the document, which is says has been taken out of context. Toyota’s statement says that, “The term surge has been used across the industry for many years to describe a condition where there is a very slight slow-down and speed-up perception (typically two miles per hour or less) while holding steady throttle at low to moderate speeds.” Toyota also says almost every other automaker has issued a similar TSB, with 80 such TSBs being published in the last 10 years.
It would appear as though CNN has now followed after ABC News, with horribly poor investigative journalism that puts ratings ahead of integrity, research and fact checking.
See the official Toyota release and CNNs original story after the jump: