AutoGuide News Blog
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.
Commuting into town can be one of the most miserable parts of your day. A group of students at College@Home has done some research to find out exactly what your commute is doing to you mentally and physically.
You may love that new car smell, but don’t breathe in too deep – it could make you sick.
Automakers sometimes use volatile chemicals in its cars’ interiors and there’s a study out from the Ecology Center that lists the worst offenders and the safest bets. The problem with that “new car smell” is that it contains volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that are bad for breathing, especially when it’s confined to such a small place – like a car.
Making the worst list are the Mitsubishi Outlander Sport, the Chrysler 300C and the Kia Soul. In the Mitsubishi Outlander, the Ecology Center states that its interior “contained bromine and antimony-based flame retardants in the seating and center console; chromium-treated leather on several components; and over 400 ppm lead in seating materials.”
But you can breathe easy in certain vehicles. On the safest cars list, from an interior chemical standpoint, are the Honda Civic, the Toyota Prius and the Honda CR-Z.
You can see what cars make the worst and best lists after the jump.
[Source: The Detroit Bureau]
Got a cold? Then don’t drive – turns out, it’s just as bad as getting behind the wheel drunk.
According to researchers in the UK, sneezing, runny eyes, fever and coughing are just as dangerous as a driver who has had a few drinks. It makes sense when you think about it. When you sneeze, you instinctively close your eyes for 2 to 3 seconds. Now picture sneezing constantly while zooming down the highway – basically, you’re driving blind and that’s pretty scary stuff.
As well, what’s the first thing you do when you start to feel that annoying tickle in the back of your throat? You reach for that bottle of cold medicine. Have you read the back of the bottle? Chances are, just one of the side effects is drowsiness. So now you’re drowsy, sneezing and feeling like crap – not a good combination when driving.
If you do get a cold and usually drive into work, take a sick day – you can always send this post to your boss as a sick note.
[Source: Real Age]
If you thought the risk of buying a flood car after Hurricane Katrina was serious, imagine having your health threatened just from being near the car. That’s exactly what’s been happening in Japan, where unsuspecting consumers are being sold dangerously radioactive cars that belonged to people living in Fukushima and the surrounding area after the earthquake and tsunami that destroyed the prefecture’s nuclear power plant in March.
According to harbor authorities, 660 cars have been banned thus far for export because of unsafe radion levels. Rather than destroy the hazardous merchandise, some Japanese car dealers are simply swapping license plates to cover their stock’s origin according to The Asahi Shimbun newspaper.
One re-registered van was found to be emitting 110 microsieverts of radiation an hour— for perspective, the national limit for export to other countries is is 0.3 microsieverts an hour.
An unnamed dealer from the western city of Osaka bought the notorious vehicle at auction and decided to sell it despite the risk because he said he couldn’t afford to take the loss.
“I decontaminated repeatedly after the test and retested the filter of the air conditioner, the wipers and tires, replacing them thoroughly, but the radiation level dropped only to 30 microsieverts per hour,” he said.
[Source: FoxNews.com Autos]
Ford researchers are taking an ‘active’ role in developing a series of health and wellness in- car connectivity solutions designed to improve drivers lives. Ford is utilizing its SYNC system to develop a first voice controlled in car connection to an array of health aids such as a glucose monitoring system, diabetes management services and asthma management tools.
“Ford SYNC is well known in the industry and with consumers as a successful in-car infotainment system, but we want to broaden the paradigm, transforming SYNC into a tool that can help improve people’s lives as well as the driving experience,” said Paul Mascarenas, chief technology officer and vice president, Ford Research and Innovation.
Medical software including mobile healthcare devices and health and fitness-related software are hitting the market today, leading to the possibility of automotive integration. ”We want to create the car that cares,” Gary Strumolo, Ford manager of vehicle design and infotronics.
Ford is taking a smart, high-volume approach to health and wellness solutions inside the car by looking at two populations with the most need of medical information- people with diabetes and those with asthma.
“Ford’s approach to health and wellness in the vehicle is not about trying to take on the role of a healthcare or medical provider, we’re a car company,” said Gary Strumolo, global manager, Interiors, Infotainment, Health & Wellness Research, Ford Research and Innovation. “Our goal is not to interpret the data offered by the experts, but to work with them to develop intelligent ways for Ford vehicles using the power of SYNC. In essence, creating a secondary alert system and alternate outlet for real-time patient coaching services if you will.”
“Health and wellness provides a tremendous opportunity for Ford to provide peace of mind and a personal benefit to drivers and passengers while they are in our vehicles,” said Strumolo. “As more and more devices and technologies lend themselves to such connectivity in the car, it is our responsibility, our philosophy, to examine those possibilities and open our doors to industry relationships that can help us do it intelligently, efficiently and economically.”
[Source: Ford Media]