T-Mobile Earns a Role in the Connected Car Market

Technology has played a huge role in the development of cars.

From movie screens that descend out of the ceiling to sending texts without our hands, technology has changed what we expect our cars to do.

T-Mobile recently dT-Mobile Earns a Role in the Connected Car Marketeveloped new car-focused technology in an attempt to establish themselves within the connected car market. Many phone companies are jumping on board with this trend, working hard to develop technology that can be implemented into cars and intrigue drivers into purchasing.

T-Mobile just introduced a wireless plug-in module for cars called the SyncUp DRIVE.

The device plugs into a common data port in your car, tracking performance and maintenance while serving as a Wi-Fi hotspot.

The device connects into your car’s On-Board Diagnostics port which is typically located underneath the driver’s side dashboard in close proximity to the steering wheel, making it easy for anyone to install.

SyncUp DRIVE tracks your car’s performance, health, activity, and location. It provides drivers with information on driving behavior, family vehicle location, preventative maintenance, and can identify car troubles. Using SyncUp DRIVE also turns your car into a Wi-Fi hotspot, allowing you to connect up to five devices at a time without using data. SyncUp DRIVE is not yet compatible with electric, hybrid, or diesel engines.

Pricing is going to be a huge draw for consumers.

SyncUp DRIVE is just $149.99 but will be free for customers that choose to sign-up for a two-year agreement with T-Mobile at a two gigabyte plan or higher. Cars that come with built in Wi-Fi can be costly, making this an affordable alternative.

SyncDRIVE will be available for purchase on November 18.

Many wireless phone companies have been looking to create sales and revenue and they are using the connected car market to do so.

Why Electric Cars Are Still Relevant

Despite falling gas prices, electric cars are still desired by many drivers.

Gas prices often fluctuate, reaching extreme highs and lows on a monthly basis. In recent months, most of the United States saw a decrease in gas prices. As gas prices started to decrease, vehicles with lower MPG became more affordable. Regardless, demand for electric vehicles has increased.Electric Car Sales Are Still Relevant

Many people have committed to purchasing electric cars for environmental reasons.

In fact, the auto industry is working hard to produce cars that emit fewer pollutants, such as electrical cars, because many buyers are now demanding them. Audi believes 25% of the United Sates car sales will be electric cars in 10 years.

Some governments have mandated that cars have emission-reduction plans, forcing car companies to provide environmentally-friendly options when they normally would not have. Many countries have started to offer incentives for people that purchase electric cars, from cash bonuses to giveaways. Consumers have made it clear to the automotive industry that they want electric car options.

As demand for electric grows, engineers are working hard to make more affordable options.

In 2015, the Nissan Leaf traveled 107 miles without a charge. The benefits of electric cars are improving each year and their increasing sales reflect that.

Regardless of affordable gas prices, the United States could see an increase of electrical cars sold within the next few years.

Should You Repair or Replace Your Car?

Most of us spend a lot of time in our cars, which means we need them to function well. As your car ages, choosing to replace or repair your car is a tough decision. It’s important to understand what factors to consider when making that choice.

Keep Yourself SafeReplace or Repair Your Car

If your car is older, it likely has limited safety features. Safety should be a top priority for you, whether you drive alone or have a family of four alongside you. Most new cars come equipped with advanced safety features, including advanced airbags, rearview cameras, and forward collision alert. If you do not feel safe when you are driving your car, it might be time to replace it.

Recognize When to Repair

Our cars work extremely hard on a daily basis.  It is inevitable that they will need to be repaired on occasion. However, if the costs of repairs are starting to cost you more than a replacement car would, it may be time to start shopping for a new vehicle.

Consider Insurance Costs

Insurance companies will consider a variety of factors to determine the cost of your car insurance. For instance, new cars often come with lower insurance costs because they have a multitude of safety features. However, you can often opt out of additional protections that might not be necessary for an old car, making your insurance likely to decrease with an old car as well. Your insurance company can help you determine your insurance costs for both options.

Whether you have a new or an old car, it is important to protect your car to ensure that it lasts as long as possible. PermaPlate can help you do that. 

General Motors and OnStar Collect Valuable Data to Serve Customers

driverGeneral Motors and OnStar have been collecting customer data for decades. All of the data collected is analyzed and used to better serve their faithful customers.

OnStar is constantly developing new programs and software. In fact, they typically file for a new patent every six days. OnStar uses advanced technology to communicate with customers, increasing the number of direct interactions they have with their customers. OnStar has 5 million conversations each month with their North American customers.

OnStar recently achieved a major accomplishment when they became accredited at the same level as a 911 advisor. OnStar employees are able to start providing medical support in the event of an accident or emergency situation while emergency responders travel to the scene. OnStar has developed relationships with 911 call centers nationwide and have priority lines at about 75% of them.

OnStar has also been monitoring weather activity nationwide and researching how to best communicate weather threats to their customers. OnStar is hoping that they will soon be able to alert drivers about potential weather threats. If a tornado was nearing the location of your OnStar equipped vehicle, you will be notified that you are in a county with an active emergency weather warning.

OnStar’s command center is full of flashing lights, packed excel documents, and bustling employees. All of the lights and numbers serve a purpose to the employees looking at them. Employees are collecting data on the number of people on the road, how many miles those people are driving, and how many calls are coming through at the same time. They collect this data to identify their busiest times so they know how many advisors need to be scheduled during certain hours. Certain flashing lights mean an airbag has been activated and other flashing lights mean that someone needs directions; OnStar employees are quick to know the difference.

As more companies work to develop improved and innovative technology, many of them look to OnStar as a source of inspiration.

Gear Up Your Car for Winter Weather

For much of the United States East Coast, winter weather has arrived. In fact, a lot of the East Coast had their first measurable snow fall today. Winter can take a toll on cars and it’s important to know how to protect them before you have to brush those six inches of snow off.

Tire Check
If you live in an area that gets a significant amount of snowfall, it’s important to have winter tires put on your car before the snow settles in. Tires do a lot of the work when it comes to winter driving and if you upkeep your tires, you can get a lot more mileage out of them. Many people do choose to go with all-season tires to cover all of their bases but winter tires have incredible snow traction. If you find yourself crossing slippery intersections and icy bridges often, snow tires are a good idea.

Fill Your Fluids52117692 - car in snow on the forest backgrounds
Make sure all fluids in your car are full. In the winter, we tend to use a lot more windshield wiper fluid because our windshield is dirty from the dirt, slush, and snow. Before winter weather begins, check your windshield wiper fluid to make sure it is full. You should also be checking your coolant in preparation for winter. If your coolant is low or it’s getting old, your car will not heat properly.

Swipe Your Wipers
Our windshield wipers get a good workout in the winter as they work to clean off snow, rain, sleet, and everything in between. If you’ve felt like your windshield wipers have not been giving you a clear view in recent months, you should replace them before it snows. Wipers should be replaced every six to twelve months. The winter takes a toll on our windshield wipers and we can’t risk them not working when we are in the middle of a snowstorm.

Seek Service
It is never a bad idea to get your car checked out by your mechanic before the winter begins. They can do a thorough inspection of your car and inform you of what you might need to replace before winter starts. Many car shops will offer inspection deals in the fall and early winter months, some even will do them for free. Call your mechanic and ask what it would cost for them to take a look at your car to prepare it for winter.

Can You Salvage Your Flooded Car?

Hurricane Matthew resulted in devastating damage in the Caribbean and the United Sates.  It washed away whatever stood in its path, destroying homes, lives, and of course, many cars. As the world recovers from the impact that Hurricane Matthew made, many people are left with flooded cars wondering what to do with them.
54403149 - vehicle driving through flood water on road
It is important to have a professional look at your vehicle after water damage has occurred. If the car was in a garage, water damage could be minimal depending on how the garage withstood the storm. But if your vehicle experiences serious water damage, you should not attempt to drive the car or turn the car on. If the fuel or oil have been exposed to water, turning the car on will make the damage worse or make the car unrepairable. The best thing you can do is tow the car to a mechanic and let them decide if it should be turned on.

After water damage occurs, you can attempt to dry out the car. Get as much water and mud out of the car as possible with rags, buckets, or wet vacuums. Getting the water out will help you to avoid mold, corrosion and stains. You should also try and figure out how deep the water was and how far up the car it reached. If you believe water reached your dashboard, the car is likely not salvageable.

If water has reached either end of the dipstick, the oil will need to be changed before attempting to turn the car on. If the water was muddy, you should remove the oil pan and wash it off. Muddy water can easily get through engine seals in just a few hours. It is important to inspect the car the best you can to establish where what type of water got through.

Not all cars that face floods are lost causes. Some cars can be salvaged and some cars cannot, it usually depends on how deep the water was within the car. The best thing you can do is tow the car to a mechanic and get a professional opinion.

Cars May Eventually Monitor Your Health

Technology has changed many of the items we use every day including phones, watches, computers, and cars. From watches that tell us our heart rate to bracelets that monitor our every step, monitoring our health has become a focus of changing technology. Our cars may eventually monitor our health as well and the majority of the software is already developed but has not been put on the market yet.

The overall concept of cars monitoring our health could be considered old news. Ford developed a Wi-Fi several years ago that made cars able to measure allergies, asthma, and diabete42210307 - concept illustrating on the road the wellness and good healths. With pollution becoming a growing concern every year, the car could also indicate the status of the air quality outside. If you fall asleep at the wheel, the technology could detect your exhaustion. In an emergency, the car could even contact paramedics. These cars could eventually be able to measure heart rate, mood, and stress level as well among many other things. For instance, if you have a high stress level and are listening to music that might contribute to it, the car could change the music to improve your mood.

Ford does have the patent on the technology that would monitor a driver’s health from a car and has for a few years. It was developed when it became known that people don’t monitor their health. People would have the option to share the data with their healthcare providers. If they do grant permission, the healthcare results would be sent wirelessly from the car. Health care professionals see this technology as an advantage.

Some people do consider the idea of your car measuring your health too invasive while others see it as a proactive way to take ownership of their personal well-being. Your car could eventually have an ongoing record of your health making a yearly checkup less relevant. This technology could also make it easier for you and your doctor to track your health and wellness. There are always advantages and disadvantages to changing technology and people have differing opinions on this concept.

Why People Still Love Antique Automobiles

People love Classic CarsPeople have been driving automobiles since the twentieth century. The world has watched cars evolve from man-made machines to becoming machine made.  Automobiles are now faster, cheaper, and more economical than they have ever been. With each year, automobiles rapidly improve and we find ourselves intrigued by safety features and touchscreen radios. However, when we see an antique automobile drive down the road, we turn our head to stare.

Antique automobiles manage to turn heads for several reasons. The shapes of old automobiles are atheistically pleasing to us, their sharp edges and curved lines are refreshing. When antique automobiles were being designed, they were sketched by hand. Computer software did not determine the shape of antique automobiles, people did. Automobiles now are designed to be safe and secure which is a great advantage to modern technology but they lack character. However, because of that, many current cars have a similar shape and appearance and few of them stand out.

Cars are now mass produced using computers, machines, and robots to meet efficiency and safety standards. Factories have specific standards that need to be met on every automobile. Automobiles have an electronic focus such as electronic steering and an electronic clutch. Automobiles used to be created manually to some extent, with tools and human hands.  Antique automobiles were often made with thousands of individual parts made to function as a unit. Many people loved driving antique automobiles because they are able to work on the engines and customize them to their preferences. They could step on the gas pedal and feel a rumble beneath their foot.
Antique automobiles also have stories. People can talk about where they came from, where they’ve been, and how old they are. They can tell you if they pride themselves on the fact that they preserved the original color. Antique automobiles are filled with memories of first dates and family vacations, making them nostalgic for many people. If you purchase an antique automobile, it can be a bit of a gamble. You don’t necessarily know how much refinishing and refurbishing you’ll have to do but it’s a game that many people love to play.

Owning an antique automobile is an investment that many automobile enthusiasts find well worth it. Do you own any antique automobiles? Does your antique automobile have a story? We would love to hear it. Share it with PermaPlate in the comments below.

Families Purchasing Vehicles Want More Space

Family VehicleMany families desire a large vehicle that is big enough for the whole family. Although safety is a huge priority for families, space has been the biggest factor when purchasing a vehicle in recent months. Families with several children prefer minivans and SUVs, increasing the demand for larger vehicles.

Gas, for many years, was a large reason that people opted into smaller vehicles because gas was too expensive to fill a large gas tank. People had to purchase smaller cars in order to be able to fill the tank as needed. With gas now hovering consistently around $2.00 or less, people are now able to afford a larger vehicle which has them choosing minivans and SUVs.

The SUV has certainly taken off in recent years and sales are up 8% within the past year. SUVs are no longer seen as “large cars” but an extremely practical option. Families are eager for more space and an SUV has that. The minivan also used to get a bad reputation and was not desired by families for several years. People did not find them visually appealing. However, the minivan is back in style as well. In the past year, sales of minivans have gone up 19.4%. With screens that come down from the ceiling and the ability to control your own air conditioning, minivans sales are at an all-time high because they are comfortable and spacious.

The amount of “extras” that come along with vehicles now is continuously evolving. From touchscreen navigation, rearview cameras, USB plugs, and three-zone climate controls, families can essentially live in their vehicles. Between daily commutes to work and constant trips to school, families need space. In fact, many vehicle owners have said that they would leave all of the extras on their vehicle behind as long as it still has the space they desire.

Parents spend almost every week day driving their kids back and forth to school events such as sports, concerts, drama club, and rehearsal, not to mention what children are involved in outside of school. With families spending so much time in their car, it’s clear why space is a big desire. With family dinners frequently happening within the four walls of their vehicle, parents prefer a larger vehicle.

If you’re shopping for a new car in the near future for your family, PermaPlate can help you enjoy that car with confidence by protecting the interior and exterior of your vehicle. With your children piling in and out, you’ll likely need it!

Earn Income by Renting Your Car to Strangers

In Europe and the United States, many carpooling services are adding a peer-to-peer car rental option. People can now rent out their car to strangers that might need a car to use because they are traveling or they are having car issues. The people that rent out their cars make money from the rental which can help cover the cost of owning and maintaining their own car.

To rent a car on a “peer-to-peer” basis in Europe, it is about $30 a day. In the U.S., it is roughly $60 for ten hours. The type of car you are renting determines the price so luxury cars can command a higher price. You can also charge a long-term fee if the person is renting for several days to a week instead of a daily or hourly rate. People who own two cars especially find this to be a good option because they don’t always need to drive their second car but they do need the money to care for it.

21852109 - car dealer offering car keys to a hand

In Austria, Belgium, Germany, and Spain about 38,000 cars are listed for rent with one million registered users searching for a car to rent. The United Sates has several thousand cars listed as of now. It is believed that this concept will be worth billions by 2024 because it is faster, cheaper, and more convenient for people searching.

This concept has only grown since it was originally started and it is still taking off. Before registering your car as an available rental, make sure your car is meeting all of the standards of a safe, well-maintained car.

Permaplate provides a range of automotive protection programs, ranging from theft protection to paint protection film. Consider taking advantage of these protections for your car if you choose to participate in a peer-to-peer rental option.

Protecting Your Vehicle During Hurricane Season

Weather is unpredictable, and although
we take precautions to protect Hurricane1ourselves and our homes from severe weather threats, we should be protecting our car as well. Hurricane season has picked up in the United States and several parts of the world, bringing heavy rain and strong winds, but there are precautions you can take to protect your car from the threat of severe storms.

Cover Your Vehicle

Covering your vehicle is a simple yet proven way to protect it in a hurricane. Whether your car is parked inside a garage or outside, covering it will help protect it. Use a waterproof tarp, or a padded tarp for extra protection, to protect the car from falling debris, drywall, branches, and more. This can prevent dents, scratches, and other forms of impact. If your car is parked in a garage, be sure to take anything down that might be hanging on the walls that could hit the car such as bikes.

Secure Documentation

Cars come with a lot of paperwork from titles, registration, and insurance. Secure all documents relating to your vehicle in a sealed bag in a locked waterproof and fireproof safe. If you don’t have one and live in an area affected by severe weather, it’s worth purchasing one. Make copies of your documents and your car keys and mail to a family member out of the eye of the storm to have incase yours are washed away. Be sure to understand your insurance policies to see if your car is protected from severe weather.

Take Pictures

Insurance will want to see documentation of what your vehicle was before the storm hit. Take extensive pictures of the interior of your car along with the outside of your car. This will give you pictures to show insurance exactly what damaged occurred. These pictures will help you gain the most back from your insurance if your car is damaged in the hurricane.

Park Safely

Ideally, your car would be parked in a garage to protect it from the outside elements. If you do not have a garage, park on the highest ground possible. By parking on higher ground, you are less likely to run into flooding which could wash your car away. If you can park by a large building, the structure can protect your call from high winds, trees, and power lines.

Fill Gas Tank

Car3Before the hurricane hits, be sure to go out and fill your gas tank. If possible, fill a gas can to go as well. Even if you are not driving your car to evacuate, it is important that your car has gas before the storm begins. If you lose power in the house, you can use your car to charge your phone or run the heat or air conditioner if you need to sleep in it when the storm passes if your house suffers damages. If you do need to evacuate on short notice, you may not have time to go get gas.

Check out our blog for more automotive news.

Self-Driving Cars are Real But They Are Not Yet a Reality

Self-driving vehicles are being developed and tweaked every day, and although a human could never safely get into one today, we might find ourselves in one eventually.

Congested traffic is a nightmare that people despise.  It is believed traffic jams are frequently caused by poor driver reaction times. Human beings are slow to react to traffic when it is stop and go, which causes slowdowns and standstill traffic. Self-driving cars would have advanced abilities to reduce the occurrence of traffic jams. In fact, they are being designed with this feature in mind. However, self-driving vehicles cannot safely transport humans at this point.

Not one self-driving vehicle to date can be operated without a human behind the wheel to adjust the vehicle when something goes wrong, 52661010 - driverless self driving car technology concept. side profile young handsome man using laptop computer while driving a carwhich obviously does not make it self-driving. Currently, self-driving cars can only get so far before they face an issue they do not know how to respond to. Certain cars, such as Mercedes for instance, cannot operate in self-driving mode for long before they require human hands on the wheel. Most self-driving cars are still experiencing autopilot crashes as well thus making them unsafe for human passengers.

In order for self-driving cars to work, vehicle-to-vehicle communication must work, which essentially means cars within a hundred meters of each other will be able to communicate their speed, position, brake status, and more to each other. Vehicle-to-infrastructure would also have to work, which means infrastructures around the road would gather information on traffic and suggest certain behaviors on certain traffic.

Self-driving vehicles are certainly far off in the future, but it could, and likely will, one day happen. We may be able to drive distracted in the future while remaining safe but for now, your full attention is required.

Mitsubishi EVO Production Coming To An End

The Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution has been around for nearly the last decade, but Mitsubishi has announced it’s time to say goodbye to the high-performance vehicle.

A Dramatic Send-Off

The Mitsubishi company has stated there will be no replacement for the car, however, it’s not going out without a bang. The 1600th Final Edition will be auctioned off on eBay by Mitsubishi Motors North America and the proceeds given to charity. While many are disappointed by the end of its production, fans may not necessarily be surprised by the news, as the Evo was canceled in several other markets across the globe.

The Final Edition

Mitsubishi EVO Production While the Final Edition vehicle resembles the debut Evo with its manual transmission, the tenth-generation vehicle has added trim upgrades, sleek wheels, and better suspension. The 1600 limited-edition vehicles were designed with a numbered interior plaque that marks its place in history. Car and Driver’s speed tests of the Evo indicate the all-wheel drive vehicle can reach 60 miles an hour in 4.4 seconds and 104 miles an hour in 13.3 seconds. While this shows that the 303 horsepower vehicle isn’t shabby in terms of speed, drivers can’t ignore the fact the technology is a decade old. The lack of updates is considered part of the vehicle’s downfall.

An Auction to Remember

The Final Edition car, referred to as US1600 by Mitsubishi, will be shown on eBay Motors subsite for a week. Proceeds from the sale of the car will go to two foodbanks, Feeding America Riverside of San Bernardino and Second Harvest Food Bank, which serves Orange County. The final Evo is sure to fetch a premium price, but is expected to have a turnout of Evo fans who are willing to pay whatever price it takes to own the limited-edition vehicle.

Ford’s New Twist On The Keypad

The classic touchpad key system on Ford doors may soon get a big upgrade. According to autoblog.com, a new patent released by Blue Oval showcases a redesigned unlocking system, moving the well-known keypad off of the car door and onto the car fob. The car fob will feature a small touch screen, similar to those found on most smart phones. At this time, there are no plans to install a similar touch pad on the door itself; you would only be able to access your vehicle via the car fob.

Ford Touch pad

Ford’s Current Touchpad System

The patent suggests the new “smart fob” would, once unlocked, not only allow you to lock and unlock your car, but also select additional functions, such as adjusting your windows and starting the ignition. No doubt, it would be pretty convenient to be able to control certain functions of your car while standing outside the vehicle.

This change could mean added safety. The keypad would allow for more diverse code combinations, making it more difficult for thieves to guess your combination correctly. The new system also means, in the event that your keys fall into the wrong hands, they would still need to know your combination to unlock the car.

There are, of course, potential downsides to such a redesign. Joel Stocksdale, in the previously mentioned article, points out moving the keypad to the fob means you can’t get into your car unless you have the key fob on you. Also, the fob’s ability to control other functions means the stakes are a little higher if you lose your keys. Additionally, needing to know a specific combination would make it more difficult to do a quick hand-off in the event a friend or family member needs to borrow your car.

While we don’t have an official release date for this new system, it’s possible these fobs could hit the market in the next few years. Overall, we’re for any feature that makes life easier (and safer) for you like these other features from Ford.

 

 

 

Traffic Fatalities Increasing Even Though Vehicle Safety at an All Time High

Bad accidentOver the last several decades, vehicle manufacturers have worked hard to make cars, trucks, and SUVs safer. From adding airbags throughout vehicles to changing the materials used to build them, they have made great strides when it has come to safety. Nevertheless, despite this, the National Safety Council—a nonprofit organization that uses data obtained from state authorities to issue reports about vehicle safety—is reporting traffic fatalities across the United States are actually on the rise. Through the first half of 2016, fatalities are up nine percent when compared to the first six months of 2015, and it seems that percentage is only going to continue to increase.

According to the NSC, there were about 19,000 people killed in traffic accidents in the U.S. from the beginning of January through the end of July. That is an 18 percent increase over the same period in 2014, and in addition to fatalities, the NSC is also reporting more than two million people were seriously injured in accidents through the first half of 2016. Additionally, the NSC is estimating, if the current trend continues, there could be more than 40,000 traffic fatalities in the U.S. in 2016. It would be the first time in the last 10 years the death toll eclipsed the 40,000 mark in a single year.

There has been no definitive explanation provided yet as for why the number of traffic fatalities is increasing so quickly. The NSC believes it could have something to do with low gas prices that are encouraging more people to drive. The organization also believes an increase in vehicles on the road could be playing a part in the rise of traffic fatalities. Regardless of the reason, it is clear fatalities are going to continue to increase in the coming months and years if steps are not taken to prevent them.

2017’s Most Affordable Car

Affordable CarPurchasing a new car in 2017 doesn’t have to cost you a fortune. It’s almost impossible to find a new vehicle priced at under $10,000, but fortunately, there are many makes and models available for just a shade over that price. One great example of this is the 2017 Nissan Versa, which is priced at just $12,825 and is a steal when you consider how well respected the Nissan name is within the automotive industry. Nissan is known for building reliable vehicles that stand the test of time and last you for many years.

If you opt for the base S sedan when you purchase a 2017 Versa, it won’t come with many bells and whistles. You get access to features like Bluetooth phone connectivity, power mirrors, and air conditioning, but you will also get a five-speed manual transmission, manual door locks, crank windows, and many of the most basic features. If you don’t mind, the base model is priced well, and you won’t find a better deal on the car market. However, if you want things like an automatic transmission, 15 or 16-inch alloy wheels, a navigation system, power windows, or a push-button start, you can also look into purchasing the S Plus Versa model for about $14,825, the SV model for $16,415, or the SL model for $17,975. A trusted Nissan dealer will be able to speak with you about your specific needs and then help you pick out the Versa to fit your lifestyle best.

No matter which Nissan Versa you choose, you should consider PermaPlate automotive protection. You can contact us at 1-801-974-5557 to inquire about the excellent services we offer.

What Would Our Cities Be Like If Everyone Drove Electric Cars?

electric cars chargingDid you know that there were more than one million electric cars sold by October 2015? This may seem like a big number to you, but it only makes up 0.1 percent of the world’s vehicle. Less than a year later and this number continues to be on the rise.

Have you ever thought of what our cities would be like if everyone owned an electric car?

Less Pollution

The first improvement that we would automatically see is a reduction in pollution. Cars are a necessity to get us all from Point A to Point B, but there is an incredible amount of air pollution in the world that they contribute to – especially in big cities. There are so many diseases linked to poor air quality that could easily decrease with the use of electric cars. Some of these include cancer, heart disease, asthma and COPD.

Less Noise

The streets would be a lot quieter as well. Imagine sitting outside at your favorite café and not have to talk over the sound of noisy cars driving by, or having to smell the oil and diesel fumes as you try to enjoy a delicious snack and mug of coffee.

No Trips to the Gas Station

Gas stations would nearly be a thing of the past. Think about how many you pass by as you run errands. That number is probably in the range of five or 10. Imagine never again having to run to the gas station to fill up. Instead, you could charge up your vehicle at home and be ready to go for your weeks’ worth of driving to work, soccer practice and the gym!

All of these ideas are truly amazing. Obviously the change will not happen overnight, but the movement is getting stronger and stronger with each passing year. As always, PermaPlate is interested in seeing where the future of cars takes us, and we encourage you to think about all your options – including electric vehicles and semi-autonomous ones – when you are purchasing your next car.

Sources: https://www.comparethemarket.com.au/blog/car/what-if-all-cars-were-electric/http://www.treehugger.com/cars/what-would-our-cities-be-if-all-our-cars-were-electric.html

Get the Most from Your Tires

tiresTires can be a huge investment. Chances are they are at least a week’s worth of pay, if not more. And when you are spending on a big purchase like this, you obviously want to get the most out of it as possible. Luckily, PermaPlate has a few tips of the trade to help you out!

Get Winter Tires

With fall right around the corner, the sooner you purchase your winter tires, the better. Maybe you can even catch some great deals at your local dealer by investing before peak season arrives – when the tires (and the deals) can be sparse. Think about when the snow can hit in your area. There is nothing worse than a storm hitting before your winter tires are ready to go on your car. Plus, by purchasing winter tires now, your all seasons will last twice as long because they will not be over worn while you are constantly breaking on those slippery early-winter roads.

Tire Rotations

Tires wear according to the position they are put on your vehicle, so in order to get the longest life out of your tires, you should rotate them regularly. We recommend having them rotated every time you go in for an oil change, to ensure that they are maintained regularly.

Air Pressure

If you ignore the PSI on your tires, you are guaranteed get fewer miles to the gallon. There are so many easy tools that will help you check your PSI, and many new cars even have the tire pressure programmed into your dashboard – allowing you to check it without even having to step out of your vehicle.

Alignment

If your wheels are out of alignment, they will wear unevenly, leading to an even earlier replacement. This can also be a signal of other mechanical problems with your car, so don’t hesitate to take it into the mechanic when you first notice this problem.

The next time you go in for your oil change, think about all of the above items. At the top of your mind should be preparing for the impending winter months with a set of snow tires. They will be one of the best investments that you can make for your vehicle!

Source: http://www.popularmechanics.com/cars/a21191/tire-guide/

Four Reasons to Love Compact Cars

compact carWhether it is with a house or with a car, there has been a recent movement in the US to downsize. But why are we so drawn to these tiny homes and vehicles? Well, good things do come in small packages!

Here at PermaPlate, we love the benefits that compact vehicles can provide their drivers; here are just a few reasons why.

Fuel Economy

If you are looking for great fuel economy for your hour long (plus) drive into the office and home each day, a compact car is the way to go. According to FuelEconomy.gov the Ford Fiesta, Dodge Dart, Nissan Versa, Toyota Corolla and Fiat 500 can get 40 mpg on the highway.

Luxury

Just because you are going small, does not mean that the manufacturers are skimping on luxury. Have you taken a look at the new Chevy Cruze lately? It has a great sporty appearance with projector beam headlamps, as well as an awesome entertainment center.

Fun

Do you love zipping down the highway? In a compact car, you will be able to maneuver down busy streets – and fit into parking spots – much better than those big, bulky trucks and SUVs. Especially in rush hour traffic.

Price

If you are tired of paying a premium each time you go to the mechanic, you will see a significant decrease in repair and maintenance costs when driving a compact car. There is a big different between buying new tires for an SUV compared to tires for a compact car.

In our opinion, now is the perfect time to look into purchasing a compact car. With prices at the pump in constant fluctuation, why not trade in your old car for a nice compact one? Just don’t forget about your warranty and protection when choosing a new set of wheels!

Sources: https://blog.allstate.com/5-things-to-love-about-small-cars/http://www.cbsnews.com/news/7-reasons-you-should-buy-a-small-car/

Uber Testing Semi-Autonomous Vehicles with Free Rides

semi-autonomous carIf you are interested in taking a spin in a semi-autonomous car, we recommend downloading the Uber app and catching the first flight to Pittsburgh. Why? The company announced on August 18, 2016 that they will be adding self-driving cars to their Pittsburgh area taxi fleet within the month.

Uber has teamed up with Volvo for this test run, which means 100 or so customized Volvo XC90s will soon be carting passengers from Point A to Point B. For those unsure about the capabilities of semi-autonomous cars, there is no need to worry. There will be an engineer seated behind the wheel of every vehicle, along with a co-pilot taking notes on how the car handles. The luckiest of Uber passengers will also be able to contribute to this scientific advancement too, as there will be a table in the backseat sharing more information about the vehicle with you and allowing you to rate your ride.

Best of all, if you happen to get into the backseat of a semi-autonomous Uber vehicle the ride will be completely free!

The Uber-Volvo team up goes even further than the 100 semi-autonomous vehicles you will see on the roads of Pittsburgh. Volvo just announced the signing of a $300 million agreement to create fully autonomous vehicles with Uber by 2021. Through this partnership, base vehicles will be developed by Volvo then purchased by Uber for use, as well as the potential addition of the company’s own autonomous systems.

This announcement marks an incredible advancement in autonomous technology, as it is the first time that members of the public will be able to experience the self-driving car for themselves. We at PermaPlate cannot wait to hear how the Uber semi-autonomous vehicles fare, and look forward to further discussing the topic in the near future.