Archive for April, 2015

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Vehicles Will Have Own Social Network

IBM recently sponsored the “Automotive 2025 Global Study,” which collected the thoughts of automobile manufacturers along with other global leaders on the state and future of the automotive industry. The summary report provides many interesting findings, including that executives believe automobiles will have their own social network in the next 10 years. Vehicles will have the sophistication to communicate with other vehicles, sharing information like traffic conditions, weather and repair tips. Similar make vehicles will be able to diagnose each other’s problems and offer suggestions for maintenance or repair. Believe it or not, these cars are coming in the relatively near future to the Chapman Las Vegas dealerships.

Delivering Value Key to Future Growth

The growth of the car industry will not solely be tied to selling more vehicles, but delivering value to consumers. New growth areas include cost-sensitive options to vehicle ownership, like ride sharing and car ownership sharing. As new technology enters the auto industry, expect the costs to keep rising, pricing some people out of the market for individual car ownership. Auto executives believe partnerships with other industries, some of them foreign to the auto experience, are key to continued future growth.

Consumers Demand Personalized Experience

Today’s auto buyers are sophisticated and knowledgeable about what’s available both in the auto world and the entertainment industry. They demand solutions that fit their lifestyle and they want a say as to the personalized options available in a car. Dodge has already taken a step in this direction with the online design tool for the Viper, offering buyers the chance to build a completely unique vehicle with a personalized name badge. Other companies are offering options like Apple Car Play and Android services that turn the car into a rolling Hot Spot. Visit one of the Chapman Las Vegas dealerships to see what technology is available today.

Driverless Cars May or May Not be on Horizon

Not all auto executives are convinced that drivers will be taking a back seat in the next 10 years. Only 8 percent of those surveyed see that happening by 2025. More than 80 percent believe that driving will become more automated in the next 10 years, while 55 percent believe that highly automated driving is just around the corner. An example of highly automated driving is where the car does most of the work and just asks for help when needed.

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Driverless vehicles made a grand appearance in Las Vegas at the Consumer Electronics Show, but no one expects to see them on the roads in the very near future. Those who will be operating these vehicles will be given an “autonomous vehicle testing” permit or in essence a driverless license. You will actually have to retrain yourself NOT to touch the steering wheel when the vehicle is moving; especially for long periods.

Even though it might sound futuristic, these vehicles are here now and ready to be driven on our roads. Auto manufacturers like Audi, Tesla and Mercedes-Benz have been testing them on public roads in the U.S. And equally refining the technology that will revolutionize the way we drive in the future.

This autonomous technology will be mainstream someday, even at Chapman Las Vegas. But don’t expect to see them roll out until sometime in the next decade. It will be rolled out in phases and the fully autonomous driving with no human assistance is a very long way off.

With that being said, an Audi A7 prototype made a 550 mile road trip totally unassisted by a driver. The prototype reached highway speeds of 70 mph. It also effortlessly navigated through stop-and-go traffic and driving lanes.

The Audi A7 prototype made use of numerous sensors, radars and front-facing cameras to navigate traffic. The system is excellent on highways, but in construction zones it requires human intervention. The driver will get a 10-second warning after which an array of LED lights will go from blue to amber, and then to flashing red. The driver can resume control by simply grabbing the steering wheel, pressing the gas or pressing the brake.

The laws that govern autonomous cars will also need to evolve as the technology evolves. There are no Federal laws overseeing autonomous cars at this stage. Thus it will be up to the individual states to regulate these vehicles. So far California is taking the lead in this area, but it will need Federal intervention at some point. Otherwise different laws in different states will make driving more tedious.

In California, drivers of these autonomous cars will have to actually learn how NOT to drive. The drivers will also have to be proficient in turning the system on and off, as well as deciphering between conditions best suited for the system. Compared to a regular driving test, the autonomous car test was much more involved and challenging.

Audi sees a slow rollout beginning with the car operating by itself in highway traffic. Then once the traffic jam has cleared, the driver will resume control of the vehicle. The fully-automated, no human interaction needed scenario is not expected until the next decade. The technology will need to mature and so will the acceptance of drivers.

Buying a car

Either Stays on Lot or Heads to Auction

Depending on the age, condition, number of miles and some other factors, your trade-in will either head to the auto auction or go to the dealership’s garage for inspection and an eventual place on the lot. Sometimes the saturation of a car in a market determines whether it stays on the lot or gets shipped out. If, for instance, a dealer already has a large inventory of used Volkswagen Beetles, chances are yours might go to auction to find another lucky home. Chapman Las Vegas only keeps the cream of the crop for sale as used car inventory.

Some Head to the Scrap Yard

If you have squeezed every ounce of life out of your trade-in, you probably didn’t get much for it and it will likely be sold for scrap metal. Dealerships have a legal obligation to only sell cars that are road worthy, so if it’s only running on about half the cylinders, missing some major body parts and otherwise unfit for the road, you can bet it will sit in the dirt lot in the back until the wrecking yard comes around to start the recycling process.

Once Deal is Done, Clock Begins

If your nice trade is one the dealership will keep on the lot, it usually has 60 days from the time of your deal until it either has to sell, get shipped to auction, or go to another lot owned by the dealership. Once you’ve signed your car over, the dealer’s used car manager determines a retail price and gets the car into shop for inspection of all major components. Once it’s determined ok for the road, it goes through detail and then to the Internet team for pictures to put on the company website. All that’s left at this point is for the salespeople to find a lucky buyer. Check the Chapman Las Vegas dealership website often if you are looking for a particular used car, as inventory turns over frequently.

Markup Not as Big as You Think

With the proliferation of used cars for sale on the Internet, dealers have to keep prices low to remain competitive. Before so much information was available at consumer fingertips, it was not uncommon for a dealer to profit a few thousand dollars on used cars. Now, with sites like KBB and Edmunds providing facts and figures on what a used car is actually worth, a dealer may only clear a few hundred dollars or less on a vehicle. While that might still sound good, those acres of cement and large buildings don’t come for free, creating a large overhead bill each month. Correctly pricing a trade-in at the time of a deal is an art form that can make or break a dealership in the car sales industry of the 21st century.

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Whilst fans of high-tech gadgets stormed social media to rave about Apple’s latest ultra-thin laptop and futurist wristwatch, a majority appeared to completely miss one of the coolest products that will soon be available to drivers everywhere.

Apple CarPlay is making a big move onto your future car’s dashboard.

Not just another tech story

Stories about automated vehicles and the latest Tesla innovations have been dominating headlines in recent years. But many of those changes are possibly years away, perhaps even decades. However the time is now for this new Apple gadget. It isn’t just some far out future plan. Expect Apple CarPlay to be in the next new model vehicle you invest in.

“Now every major car brand has committed to delivering CarPlay,” Apple CEO Tim Cook said during the company’s live event, according to Car and Driver. Furthermore, he added that the new software will already be included in 40 model vehicles shipping this year.

In order to put things in perspective, picture the infotainment system of your car compared to the sleek and effortless operating system of your smartphone’s operating system. For the majority of car makers, their expertise lies in manufacturing the next most fuel-efficient, safest and all-around accommodating vehicle. Whereas the dashboard’s user experience is usually an afterthought. Now Apple has introduced a game-changer to an often neglected area.

By allowing mobile tech experts to design specialized systems themselves, auto manufacturers ensure that every professional involved is at the highest expertise level of their specific field.

Outdated and un-user friendly dashboard displays are soon to be ancient history, and Apple isn’t the only company motorists have to thank. Android Auto – Google’s response to CarPlay – will probably also turn heads and make a splash among other model vehicles too.

Whilst some speculation does exist about which model vehicles will carry CarPlay, last year Apple leaked that a great deal of automakers have given consent to include the system at some point in the future, according to Digital Trends.

The software has been tested already by Mercedes-Benz and Hyundai. Other auto makers looking to take advantage of the value offering include Ford, Subaru, Nissan and Honda, among others. Car and Driver have reported that Toyota has chosen to stick with their own infotainment offerings, but other news sources have failed to confirm.

Get excited, but stay smart

CarPlay and Android Auto seem like the latest greatest new dashboard gadgets coming to new vehicles at Chapman Las Vegas. However responsible drivers shouldn’t forget that safety must come into play first and foremost. Even if the new infotainment system is easier and straightforward to use, that doesn’t mean you should be fiddling with it while merging on the turnpike. Although the system is hands-free, it can still serve as a distraction on the road. Use new infotainment systems with caution the same way you used older models:

Only use them when your car is at a complete standstill – before you shift out of park and only sparingly at stopped signs or red lights.

Let the passenger to take control – unless his or her driving playlist is absolutely awful.

Get acclimated to the system – before you head out on the road, don’t waste unnecessary time fumbling about while driving.

New technology is always exciting at Chapman Las Vegas however, nothing takes priority over road safety.

low gas prices

Households across the country are saving lots of money thanks to the lower gas prices. The amount of money you save will depend on how much you drive and the fuel efficiency of your Chapman Las Vegas vehicle. The price of gas has an impact on many things, from plane tickets to groceries.

So how much money are people actually saving? A Wells Fargo/Gallup survey showed that people are saving an average of $108 per month since gas prices fell last year. Many believe these savings are only temporary, while others believe that low prices are here to stay; at least for an extended period of time.

What causes oil prices to fluctuate? The answer to this question is very complex, but we will attempt to explain the gist of the issue.

1. Most of the U.S. oil supply comes from overseas and therefore oil prices are affected by global issues like war and foreign relations.
2. New technologies such as finding new oil sources, which increases supply and push down prices.
3. Quite a few countries are economically dependent on oil revenue. While there is enough oil to supply the market, these countries will continue to sell their oil to the U.S. at a reduced price out of necessity.

 
These 3 factors have come together to form the perfect conditions for a near historic low for oil prices. The U.S. produces over 9 million barrels of oil daily and it doesn’t look like it will drop until after 2016.

Countries like Algeria, Brazil and Israel are using new technologies to discover and extract oil. This further points to oil supply staying high in the near future.

Domestic oil consumption has stayed relatively even over the years, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. Also there are indications that demand will not increase in 2015 or 2016. Therefore, high supply and unchanged demand of oil will keep prices low for now.

There are a few issues that could result in the price of oil going up, like the federal fuel tax on gasoline. The fuel tax has been at the same 18.4 cents per gallon since 1993, but this might change soon. The Federal Highway Trust Fund (FHTF) is the the organization in charge of the maintenance and upkeep of bridges, highways and other structures. The company depends heavily on fuel tax funds and as a consequence, are close to bankruptcy. Many critical projects have been put on hold because of lack of funds. That means there might be bridges that need urgent maintenance but it is being put off, which could cause serious problems down the road.

This is one scenario that could see an increase in prices at the pumps. Global events can always have an immediate impact on gas prices too.

Now is the perfect time to waste less fuel, by investing in a more fuel-efficient car or using less energy.