The Sounds of Google’s Self-Driving Car

self-driving carIn the company’s most recent monthly report, Google has revealed some interesting information about the noises that their self-driving cars will make. Not only are they in the midst of fine-tuning their vehicles to honk for themselves, but they are also working on a sonic noise that will alert passerbyers of their cars’ presence.

Honking

Unlike those drivers with road rage that seem to honk at every opportunity, Google’s self-driving cars will be designed to honk only when necessary. Right now, the company is working to teach its software the right and the wrong times to honk, as well as the different types of honks that can be used according to the specifics of the situation.

Honking will be used mainly to alert other drivers to the self-driving vehicle’s presence and depending on the severity of the potential situation, long honks or short beeps can be made. One example: When another driver swerves into the self-driving car’s lane.

Sonic Imprinting

In comparison to traditional gas powered vehicles, electric cars are extraordinarily quiet. And for pedestrians and bicyclists, this can be rather stressful when one passes close by. To combat this silence, the company has decided to create a sonic imprint that their vehicles will constantly emit when on the road. They are trying to make the sound, “friendly and a little futuristic.”

To learn more about Google’s latest improvements on their self-driving vehicles, check out this Mashable article.

Three Qualities to Look For When Choosing Your Next Vehicle

buying a new vehicleDeciding to purchase a new vehicle is usually a no-brainer. Whether your older car has reached its maximum mileage, your family has grown, or you need a truck to tow your boat or camper sometimes a new vehicle is just required. But once you realize it’s time for something new, the difficult work starts. You have to find the vehicle that is just right for you and your family.

There are many different aspects to consider as you visit dealerships and browse your options online, three of the most important which PermaPlate has highlighted below:

Performance

Gas mileage, horsepower and torque should all be considered when looking at a new vehicle, and depending on your lifestyle and vehicle use, your preferences will be different. For example:

  • Does your vehicle need to meet a particular towing capacity?
  • Do you live in an area where four-wheel drive is a winter necessity?
  • Are you interested in a more eco (and budget) friendly fuel option?

The answers to these questions and more will help you to narrow down your vehicle options and will make picking out your best fit a simpler process.

Comfort

No one wants to drive around feeling cramped or listening to family members complain about how crowded they are in the backseat. The number of children you have, as well as their age and hobbies, will plan a big role in the size vehicle you need for everyone to fit comfortably.

If you are going to need extra room for sports equipment and science projects – or plan on driving to your family vacation destinations – a vehicle with plenty of cargo space is a must. And if you have a few kids and a furry dog or cat companion, three rows of seating may be beneficial for you.

Style

Once you have considered performance and comfort, don’t forget to think about style. Purchasing a new vehicle is a big commitment, and the car you choose today is the one that you will be driving on a daily basis – probably for years to come.

Do you find the vehicle’s design attractive? Do you feel safe inside it? Does it have all the features you require?

Once you have taken performance, comfort and style into consideration, it will be much easier to narrow down your search for a new vehicle.

Regardless of what type of new car you decide on, PermaPlate’s automotive protection products can help maintain your vehicle. For more information and to find a dealership near you that offers our products, contact us by phone at 800-453-8470.

Learn More About Our GAP Protection

GAP ProtectionFor many of us, our cars are like our home away from home. We can’t imagine life without a vehicle. Although it is not a problem commonly discussed, if your vehicle is declared a total loss due to an accident or theft, how can you ensure that you aren’t left responsible for the remaining balance of your car loan should this situation arise?

The answer: GAP Protection. GAP, or Guaranteed Auto Protection, gives drivers peace of mind, ensuring that they can recover quickly after the occurrence of a stressful (and often expensive) situation like car theft or an accident that leaves your vehicle totaled.

This protection plan covers the difference between the balance of your loan or lease payoff and the amount that your automobile insurance company will pay if your vehicle is stolen or declared a total loss. Why? Most drivers need to replace their vehicle quickly, but qualifying for a new loan or lease can be difficult if you have an outstanding balance on the loan or lease of your stolen or totaled vehicle. GAP Protection eliminates the trouble of out of pocket expenses, helping you to get back on your fee when a loss occurs.

Unless your car is completely paid off, GAP Protection is a great security option for you to consider, especially if:

  • You leased or financed your vehicle
  • You put less than 20% down
  • You financed accessories and/or add-ons
  • You financed negative equity

To learn more about GAP Protection and provide yourself with the peace of mind that this protection plan offers, contact PermaPlate by phone at 800-453-8470.

The Three Biggest Benefits of Adding a Backup Camera to Your Vehicle

car in reverseA standard feature in many new vehicles, the backup camera provides drivers with an incredibly useful safety feature. Also available as an aftermarket add-on, a backup camera can be added to any vehicle to minimize blind spots and make parking a breeze.

Eliminate Your Blind Zone

Did you know that without a backup camera installed, you have a blind spot reaching 20 feet behind your vehicle? That is a large amount of space to account for, and especially in busy parking lots and neighborhoods with many small children and pets, you can never be sure your blind spot is clear.

According to the NHTSA, between 58 and 69 lives could be saved each year if there were backup cameras were installed in all vehicles. So whether you are trying to parallel park on a busy street or are worried about hitting the neighbor’s cat that likes to sunbathe on your driveway, a backup camera can provide an added level of safety to your daily routine.

Make Parking Easy

Parallel parking is tough – especially if you don’t do it often – as is backing your car into a tight spot in a busy parking lot. Make your life easier and ensure you are always backing your vehicle up straight with a little assistance from your backup camera.

While a backup camera can’t do all the work for you, it can make the job less stressful, ensuring that you don’t tap another vehicle or a stray shopping cart.

Hook Up Your Trailer Quickly

For individuals who are new to using a trailer or have just purchased a camper for family vacations, a backup camera will make hooking up to your vehicle a breeze. Instead of backing up and pulling forward to straighten your truck out a few times, navigate your vehicle perfectly on the first try, impressing your friends and getting you on the road right away.

Not sure where to start when searching for a backup camera? Popular mechanics just put together a post titled “10 Best Backup Cameras for Your Car”. Check it out here for help finding a camera that suits your needs and budget.

Even with the assistance that backup cameras provide, accidents can still happen. To ensure that your vehicle looks its best throughout all of your adventures together, consider PermaPlate protection programs.

For more information, visit us online or contact us by phone at 800-453-8470.

Learn More About Our Paintless Dent Repair

paintless dent repairLittle dings and dents are often unavoidable and are extremely frustrating to see on your vehicle – especially when it is new. To keep your investment looking its best without unnecessary worry, PermaPlate offers a Paintless Dent Repair Program for the repair of dents and dings where the paint surface has not been broken.

How does Paintless Dent Repair work?

Paintless Dent Repair, or PDR, is a repair process that fixes dings and dents from the inside of the vehicle’s panel. With specially designed tools that reform the metal of your vehicle’s panel back into shape, our repairs are covered with a satisfaction guarantee.

Purchasing PDR for your vehicle has many advantages, all of which help to ensure that your new car will look its best and retain a high resale value. Benefits include:

  • Unlimited repairs for the term of the contract
  • Lifetime repair guarantee
  • No out-of-pocket expense
  • No deductible
  • Available for new and used vehicles
  • Mobile repair technicians, when available

 What is the repair process like?

Here at PermaPlate, we understand how frustrating it is to find a dent in your vehicle, which is why we work to make our repair process as simple as possible. When you notice a dent in your vehicle, just contact our customer service center to initiate a repair. Arrangements will be made to have repairs completed at a mutually convenient location.

For more information about PDR and PermaPlate’s other protection services, visit us online or contact us by phone today.

Four Tips for Purchasing a Used Vehicle

buying a used carWhether you are looking for a car that will get your high school senior to and from school or are interested in finding a winter ride with four-wheel drive, purchasing a used vehicle is a bit different than buying new. From vehicle history reports to Kelley Blue Book value, there are some new things to take into consideration.

Research Models You Like

Especially when purchasing a used vehicle, it can feel like your options are absolutely endless. Instead of allowing this thought to overwhelm you, we recommend doing some research and coming up with a specific list of vehicles you like.

Read reviews of the cars you think you will like most, and bring a list of choices with you to the dealership so you can test drive each of your favorite options. Kelley Blue Book is a great place to start your research, with consumer reviews, expert reviews and safety ratings all in one place.

Know What Features You Need

Power windows and locks are standard features in most new vehicles, but this may not be so when you are shopping for a used model. Regardless of if you would like leather seats, a sun roof or any other particular feature, be sure to share this information with your salesperson so they will only suggest vehicles that meet your specifications.

Ask Questions

Purchasing a new vehicle is fairly straightforward, but there are a lot more questions you may want to ask when shopping for a used vehicle. Here are just a few of the most important ones to take into consideration as you shop:

  • How many miles has the vehicle been driven?
  • Have there been any safety recalls?
  • How many miles to the gallon does the vehicle get?
  • Has the vehicle been in any accidents?

Review the Vehicle History Report

On top of asking questions about the particular vehicle you are interested in, remember to ask for a vehicle history report. This report can be printed right for you right at the dealership, and it will let you know how many owners the car has had, how many accidents have been reported and what maintenance has been performed over the years.

With these tips in mind, you will be well-armed to find and purchase a used vehicle that is in great condition. And once you purchase a vehicle, you will want to ensure that it stays in the best condition possible with PermaPlate’s automotive protection products. Learn more about your options online or contact us by phone at 800-453-8470 to find a dealership near you that offers PermaPlate protection.

Is a Hardtop or Soft Top Convertible Right for You?

convertible carHere at PermaPlate we can hardly believe that the official start of summer is just a month away! With the weather heating up and the sun shining until long after dinnertime, there is no car more enjoyable to cruise around in than the convertible. When it comes to shopping for one of these beautiful vehicles, there are a variety of different features to take into consideration – one of the most important of which is the type of top you choose.

Hardtop

If you are worried about someone breaking into your vehicle during evening hours or are interested in driving your convertible with the top up on chilly fall days, a hardtop is the better bet for you. More durable than the soft top, a hard top convertible will warm up more quickly when the top is up and will offer a much quieter drive in wind and rain.

For individuals who often use their trunk for storage, the hardtop convertible does have one drawback – the top of the vehicle typically stows itself away into the trunk space.

Soft Top

Typically less expensive in price than hardtop convertibles, soft tops have the well-loved, completely unmistakable “convertible look” about them even when the top is up. Perfect for hot summer days, soft top convertibles are lighter – and therefore faster – than their hardtop counterparts.

They can be a bit loud to drive in when it’s rainy, and they are not ideal if you plan on driving your convertible through the cool fall months, as the fabric top does not contain heat as well as a metal one would.

Regardless of which type of convertible is right for you, PermaPlate can provide your beautiful new vehicle with the protection you need to keep it looking its best, regardless of what Mother Nature throws at you during your summer travels. From windshield protection to paintless dent repair, we have a wide variety of protection programs available to suit all of your vehicle needs.

Get Your Vehicle Summer Ready

vehicle packed for summerEveryone talks about the importance of stocking your vehicle full of winter supplies, but keeping the summer essentials in your trunk is just as important! As the school season nears its close and you prepare for a summer of afternoon adventures with your family, we recommend taking a quick inventory of the supplies in your car – adding these summer essentials in with your jumper cables and first aid kit.

Summer Snacks

Whether you are taking a day trip or just driving home from soccer practice, chances are your children will be hungry for a snack. We recommend keeping a stash of heat resistant snacks – like crackers, granola bars and dry cereal – to keep your passengers happy.

Towels

Children and dogs alike have a tendency to end up in mud puddles and bodies of water during summer adventures, making a couple extra towels necessary for keeping your vehicle clean. After a day of hiking or an impromptu trip to the beach, you’ll be glad you added these items to your summer checklist.

Sun Screen & Insect Repellant

Sunburn and bug bites are two of the biggest pains of summer, so keep your family protected from day to night by storing sunscreen and insect repellant in your vehicle. A can of each is sure to come in handy.

Spare Change

From lemonade stands to farmer’s markets and ice cream shacks, there are a few important summer stops that may not take credit cards. Ensure you and your family can enjoy all the best treats of summer by stocking your center console full of spare change as the weather gets warm. Your children and your stomach are sure to thank you.

As you store these important items in your vehicle, be sure to check your first aid kit to ensure that it is stocked full of band aids and allergy medicine. Summer is one of the most enjoyable and exciting times of the year, and we at PermaPlate hope you have a fun and safe summer on the road with your family!

Whether you are looking to provide your family with extra protection from the sun or are hoping to keep the interior surfaces of your vehicle free of stains, PermaPlate has a wide range of protection programs for you to consider. For more information, visit us online or contact us by phone at 800-453-8470.

Learn More about Our Window Tints

tinted windowsTinted windows are a great way to increase privacy while protecting your family from the sun’s harmful rays. Tinted windows also reduce glare and heat for a safer, more comfortable ride.  PermaPlate offers two different types of window tints, both of which are available in five levels, depending on your state laws and preferences.

SolarPlate IR Premium Window Tint

Able to reduce heat levels in your vehicle up to 60 percent, SolarPlate IR Window Tints create a more comfortable ride while reducing stress on your air conditioning unit. These tints are available in a variety of color options and come with a lifetime guarantee, ensuring that they won’t bubble or peel.

IR Window Tints block up to 99 percent of UV rays from the sun for maximum protection during travel. This window tint is made from non-metalized and nonconductive materials, ensuring that you won’t have any trouble with your GPS, keyless entry or cell phone.

SolarPlate SPC Classic Window Tint

Similar to the IR Window Tints, SolarPlate SPC Window Tints are made from non-metalized materials and are able to block up to 99 percent of UV rays. The biggest differences between the SPC and the IR Window Tints are that the SPC Window Tints reduce heat up to 47 percent instead of 60 percent and are available in slightly different color options.

The SPC Window Tints are available in a variety of soft charcoal shades, pairing well with any vehicle color.

Both options will never turn purple and will keep you and your family safe from prying eyes and the sun’s harmful UV rays, and are backed by a lifetime warranty.

For more information and to find a dealership near you that can apply PermaPlate’s window tints, contact us by phone at 800-453-8470.

Stick Shift in 2016

standard transmission 2016Although stick shift is common in vehicles across Europe, these third-petal cars have all but disappeared here in the United States. According to Edmunds.com, manual transmission vehicles only made up about 7 percent of sales in 2012, and this number may have dropped even lower in more recent years. And if you are searching to purchase a new car this year and one of your “must-haves” is a stick shift, your options may be limited.

Luckily, there are still a number of auto makers offering a manual transmission version of their most exciting 2016 models.

2016 BMW M5

An incredible vehicle that was only available with manual transmission until 2005, the BMW M5 is the sport sedan all others compare themselves to. Unfortunately, BMW has decided to get rid of the manual transmission option in future models of the M5 and M6, leaving the M3 and M4 as your only options for driving stick in years to come.

2016 Chevy SS

If you are searching for a full-size sedan offering stick shift in 2016, the Chevrolet SS is one of the only options available. With a four-star rating from Car and Driver, this vehicle is definitely worth a look.

2016 Dodge Viper

An exhilarating reminder of the muscle cars of the 1960s, what would a Dodge Viper be without standard transmission? Another Dodge favorite that offers a six-speed manual transmission: the 2016 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat.

2016 Jeep Wrangler

What would the Jeep Wrangler be without manual transmission? All two-door Wranglers come equipped with this option, because there is nothing more fun that traversing uncharted terrain with a six-speed stick shift and four-wheel drive.

2016 Dodge Ram 2500

Just like the Chevy SS, the 2016 Dodge Ram 2500 is the last of its kind. If you are searching for a heavy-duty pickup truck with a stick, this American-made vehicle is your only option.

Regardless of if you prefer to drive stick or automatic, PermaPlate understands just how important your new vehicle is to you, which is why we offer such a wide range of protection programs.

Source: http://www.popularmechanics.com/cars/g2161/20-best-cars-with-manual-transmission/

Five Tips for Keeping Your Vehicle’s Interior Clean

cleaning vehicle interiorRegardless of if you typically drive alone or have a back seat filled with children, your new vehicle can get messy in the blink of an eye. With a few simple tricks you can keep your vehicle looking almost as perfect as it did when you drove it off the dealership lot.

Take Out the Items You Bring with You

The easiest way to keep your vehicle clean is to make a point to take out every item you put into it. For example, instead of leaving your sneakers in the back seat after your trip to the gym, take them out to ensure the stinky shoe odor doesn’t linger. The same goes for your morning cup of coffee, your child’s snack wrappers and the bills you set on the seat next to you.

By taking out everything you bring into your car as you get out of it the next time, you will prevent clutter from building up while reducing the likelihood of spills and foul odors.

Keep Trash Bags On Hand

Another way to keep things clean in your vehicle is to keep a couple trash bags on hand. Placed in your glove compartment, these will come in handy quickly. Don’t have many passengers in your front seat? Secure a bag to your passenger’s side door handle and fill it with the little pieces of garbage – like straw and gum wrappers – that typically litter your floor.

Wipe Down Surfaces

While you are stocking up on vehicle cleaning supplies, you may also want to add sanitizing wipes to your arsenal. It is common for surfaces inside your car to get dusty, and wiping them down every week or so will keep your interior clean while also adding a fresh scent!

Perform Monthly Cleaning

If daily cleaning isn’t for you, another great way to keep the interior of your vehicle in top shape is performing a monthly cleaning. Vacuum the carpets, wipe down surfaces, and clean out all the clutter that has been stashed in cup holders and beneath seats. Regular cleaning will breathe fresh life into your car, making every day you drive more enjoyable.

Add a Layer of Protection

Whether it is made of leather or cloth, add an extra layer of protection to your vehicle’s upholstery with an interior protection program from PermaPlate. Learn more about our Fiberguard and Leatherguard products here, and contact us by phone at 800-453-8470 to find a dealer that offers PermaPlate protection near you.

Learn More About Our Windshield Protection

windshield protectionFrom road debris to water spots, there are many different things that can affect the windshield of your vehicle. And there is nothing more important than being able to see clearly when you are behind the wheel of your car. PermaPlate understands how important it is to keep your family and your vehicle safe while on the road, which is why we offer windshield protection for new and used vehicles.

Our windshield program helps keep your windshield free from chips and cracks, also ensuring that covered damage will be repaired without additional out-of-pocket costs. Our glass treatment involves a unique molecular coupling agent that creates a protective coating that strengthens the glass on your vehicle and creates a protective shield against propelled road debris.

Creating a molecularly stronger surface, PermaPlate windshield protection lowers the friction coefficient of the glass, deflecting road debris with ease and improving glass clarity even during rain and snow. Other benefits include:

  • Protection against acid rain and water spots
  • Water, ice and snow repellant
  • Improved rain vision
  • Reduced night glare
  • Easy removal of bugs

If windshield damage does occur, there are no out-of-pocket expenses to worry about, and no unnecessary claims to file with your insurance company. PermaPlate works with Safelite, the only national company with an internal certification program that insures compliance with the American National Standard Institute auto-glass replacement safety standards. This ensures that your repairs are done correctly and quickly, with one hour drive-away time adhesive for windshield installation.

To learn more about PermaPlate’s windshield protection and to find a local dealership that can apply it for you, contact us by phone at 800-453-8470.

8 Safety Tips For Your Next Road Trip

family road tripWith summer drawing near, the whole family is excited for your next road trip. But how can you make sure that the trip will be the family fun event you’re all expecting it to be? Most large family cars come with plenty of safety features nowadays, but the old saying “you can never be too prepared” is certainly one to pay attention to.

If you want everyone to enjoy their vacation as much as possible, then it’s best to be prepared. Here are some safety tips to keep in mind:

1. Make Sure Your Car is Well-Maintained

Get a tune-up a few days before the journey to ensure your car is in good condition and that there won’t be any sudden breakdowns on the open road.

2. Plan Your Route and Driving Schedule

Bring a map (or consult your GPS) and decide on which roads to take and what places you will visit ahead of time. Schedule breaks in between long drives to help you rest and avoid falling asleep while driving.

3. Have an Emergency Kit on Hand

Bring everything you need for emergency car repairs, including a flashlight with batteries. A first aid kit with medicine and bandages is also ideal in case any family members get sick.

4. Be Dressed to Go

Before getting on the road, make sure to dress comfortably and pack sunglasses and a bottle of sunscreen. Driving into the bright sun can impair your visibility, and although your tinted windows protect against UV exposure you are sure to be stopping regularly for bathroom breaks and opportunities to stretch. Especially in the hot summer sun, these breaks from your vehicle can result in sunburn – and there is no worse time to experience this pain than while sitting in your vehicle during a long trip.

5. Organized and Safe Back Seat

Clean out the back seat of your vehicle before your trip, checking to ensure that there are no items that could be choking hazards or injure your children by accident.

6. Strap Everyone in Securely

The most basic of all car safety rules can save your lives. Older children and grownups should be wearing their seatbelts all the time, while little ones should be properly secured in their car seats.

7. Pack and Stow Properly

Pack your items neatly in your bags and arrange everything properly in the trunk of the vehicle so that nothing gets spilled or broken while you’re driving down bumpy roads.

 8. Be Prepared for Bad Weather

You never know when the weather might change, so bring waterproof items and clothing and keep them inside of your vehicle within reach in case you need to get out into rain or snow.

Now that you’ve got everything and everyone ready, take a deep breath and relax.  Unforeseen circumstances can always occur, but with this advice you will be able to deal with them as they arise and have an incredible family vacation.

Regardless of what experiences you face out on the open road, PermaPlate offers the protection you need to keep your vehicle in top shape. Learn more about our products online or contact us at 800-4553-8470 to find a dealership near you that offers PermaPlate protection.

Five Tips to Improve Your Driving Skills

woman drivingRegardless of your age and driving experience, there is always room for improvement. Whether you just got your license or you are looking to make some improvements now that you have your little ones in the back seat, PermaPlate has some words of advice for you to follow.

Maintain your skills as a safe and attentive driver with these five simple tips.

Stay Alert

Whether you are in the middle of a long drive or just heading home after a busy day at work, it is important to pay attention to how your body feels while you are behind the wheel. Driving while fatigued can be very dangerous, slowing your reaction time and increasing the chance that you fall asleep.

If you begin to feel tired behind the wheel, pull over for a cup of coffee or to take a quick nap. When driving long distances, it is also better to travel with a companion, so you can take turns driving, ensuring you don’t have to stay on the road when you get tired.

Position Your Hands Correctly

For years, driving instructors taught that you should keep your hands on the steering wheel where the 10 and 2 positions are on the clock. This guideline was changed by AAA and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration a few years ago, and these groups now recommend placing your hands at 9 and 3 or 8 and 4.

The lower placement of your hands on the steering wheel provides extra stability, also protecting your arms from injury in case of an accident. In this lower position, it is less likely that your hands and arms will be hurt if your airbag goes off.

Map Your Route Ahead of Time

To help make sure you are paying attention to the road – and not your map or GPS system – while driving somewhere you have never been before, we recommend taking some time to map your route ahead of time. Pull out your map or phone a couple days or hours before you head out, reviewing the route you will be taking so you are aware of any quick turns you may have to make.

Take a Defensive Driving Course

Fairly inexpensive in price, defensive driving courses do more than just lower your car insurance rate. These courses are the perfect way to refresh yourself on the rules of the road, reminding you to be attentive to your surroundings and wary of other vehicles during your travels.

Be Aware of Your Strengths and Weaknesses

Just like everything else in life, everyone has different strengths and weaknesses when it comes to driving. Pay attention to the way you drive, noticing which skills you excel at and which you could use some help with. Whether you always notice yourself speeding or you have trouble parallel parking, pay attention to the areas you need to work on for a conscientious and safe drive.

No matter your driving capability, accidents happen, which is why PermaPlate offers an array of automotive protection products. Whether you would like to protect the inside of your vehicle from spills or your windshield from rocks and road debris, we have a program that can fit your needs.

Learn More About Our Interior Protection Programs

dog in carFrom the muddy paw prints Fido tracked into the back seat to the coffee stain you made when taking your turn into the parking lot just a little too fast, interior damage can happen quickly. And if you’re like us here at PermaPlate, you want your new vehicle to look its best for as long as possible.

There is plenty to think about when purchasing a new vehicle, and regardless of what material you decide on for your interior upholstery, PermaPlate has an interior protection program to keep it looking its best. Fiberguard® and Leatherguard® provide protection against the everyday mishaps your vehicle is bound to face, including stains and damage from:

  • Food and beverages
  • Oil-based spills
  • Water-based spills
  • Ink and dye spills
  • Pets
  • Lipstick and makeup
  • Leather/vinyl fading and cracking
  • Leather/vinyl accidental rips and tears
  • Leather/vinyl accidental burns

Fiberguard®

Fiberguard specifically covers your interior cloth upholstery, carpet and fabric door panels, making spills easy to clean. This fabric protection product bonds to the individual fibers of your interior, creating a barrier that is tough for oil and water based products to penetrate.

Leatherguard®

Leatherguard protects your interior leather and vinyl, creating a barrier that prevents the fading, discoloration and signs of aging commonly caused by sun and temperature extremes.

Both services ensure that your interior surfaces remain in top condition through everything you and your family throw at them. For more information, visit PermaPlate online or contact us by phone at 800-453-8470 to find a dealership nearest you that offers our protection products.

What is Lidar?

autonomous vehicle with lidar sensorsThe successful evening drive performed by Ford’s autonomous Fusion has the auto industry buzzing, as nighttime driving is one of the biggest hurdles that self-driving cars face. Tested in complete darkness on a test course in Arizona, the vehicle relied completely on its Velodyne LiDAR technology and 3D maps of the area.

According to Ford researcher Wayne Williams, “…I was following the car’s progression in real time using computer monitoring. Sure enough, it stayed precisely on track along those winding roads.”

This incredible success has brought one particular question to the minds of individuals across the country: What is lidar?

The primary sensor system used by Ford, Google and other manufacturers working to create autonomous vehicles, lidar technology is rather different from the optical sensors used in the semi-autonomous vehicles Audi and Tesla have on the roads today.

The word “LIDAR” stands for the phrase “Light Detection and Ranging” and is essentially a laser light that analyzes its surrounding to create a high resolution digital image.

These laser sensors are located on the top and front of the vehicles, acting together to gather information on objects both near and far, constantly transmitting this information to the computer system inside the vehicle.

Ford’s successful nighttime test drive is being attributed in part to the high-resolution of the area, leading researchers to believe that autonomous, lidar-enabled vehicles will be restricted to well-mapped areas for testing over the course of the next few years.

Here at PermaPlate, we are interested to see where autonomous technology will take us, and are proud to keep your vehicle – autonomous, semi-autonomous or driver required – looking its best with our appearance protection programs.

Learn More About Our Exterior Appearance Protection

7457028_SPurchasing a new vehicle is a big investment and one that you will want to protect as best as you can. From road salt to bird droppings and tree sap, there are many corrosive substances that can cause damage to the painted surfaces of your vehicle. If you are looking to provide the outside of your new car with the best protection possible, PermaPlate offers Paintguard®, an exterior appearance protection program.

With the latest technology advancements in surface treatment products as well as a network of authorized technicians, PermaPlate’s appearance protection program defends the exposed surfaces of your vehicle from a variety of damage including:

  • Fading
  • Oxidation
  • Loss of gloss
  • Road salt
  • Bird droppings
  • Tree sap
  • Hard water spotting
  • Acid rain
  • Industrial fallout

Instead of worrying about repair costs down the road, purchase PermaPlate Paintguard® with your new vehicle. Unlike car insurance, there are no deductibles or out-of-pocket expenses and no per-occurrence limit.

For more information about PermaPlate’s exterior appearance protection program, Paintguard®, visit us online or contact us by phone at 800-453-8470 to find an authorized dealership near you.

Please refer to your warranty for specific coverage details and exclusions.

Are Our Cities Ready for an Increase in Electric Vehicles?

electric car chargingThe unveiling of Tesla Motors’ Model 3 vehicle has caused quite a stir throughout the automotive community. Starting at $35,000 with a battery range of 215 miles, Model 3 sedans have the potential to change the marketplace. But Tesla’s new vehicle, along with the increase of other electric vehicles on the market, has many individuals wondering if cities across the US are ready to handle an influx of plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs).

Especially in the country’s largest cities, many car owners do not have garages of their own where they can charge their electric vehicles at night. This makes the placement of charging stations throughout the area a key factor in the purchasing of an electric vehicle, and according to an Indiana University study, Portland, Oregon is the major city most ready to accommodate PEVs.

Portland and other top-rated cities have each taken a unique approach to help encourage the use of PEVs, offering good ideas for other cities looking to increase their number of PEV drivers. For example, PEV drivers in Honolulu, Hawaii are exempt from parking fees and those in Austin, Texas pay less than $5 a month for unlimited charging at more than 250 public stations.

With the Tesla Model 3, revamped versions of the Chevy Bolt and Nissan Leaf, and a new electric vehicle Hyundai entering the market, there are many different options for car owners to consider when purchasing a new vehicle. And with the introduction of autonomous vehicles drawing nearer, accessible PEV charging stations may soon serve more than one purpose. The perfect place for autonomous vehicles to park between customers, these areas can serve as a hub for the companies that own self-driving cars.

Here at PermaPlate, we are interested to see where the future will take the auto industry, and happy to provide protection services for your new electric vehicles! For more information about our services, visit us online or contact us by phone at 800-453-8470 to find a dealership near you that offers PermaPlate protection products.

Theft Protection Advice and Statistics [Infographic]

theft protection infographic

At one point or another, every car owner has worried that their vehicle may be stolen. And it may surprise you that it isn’t the brand new luxury car that is in the most danger of being taken, but the older, more ambiguous vehicle. Vehicles you see everyday – like the Honda Accord and Ford F-150 – have some of the highest theft rates, which is why it is important for all drivers to brush up on theft prevention tips.

Play it Safe

Although almost 80 percent of drivers always lock their vehicle, 33 percent admit to leaving their vehicle unattended while it is running and 47 percent don’t always park in well lit areas.

Small adjustments can greatly reduce your risk of car theft. We recommend never leaving your vehicle running (or leaving your key in the ignition), even if you are just running across the street to the mailbox or inside a convenient store for a couple minutes.

Pay attention to your surroundings when parking your vehicle, searching for a spot in a parking garage or a well lit parking lot. For vehicle owners who don’t park in a garage at home, we recommend installing a motion activated light near your driveway.

Avoid leaving valuables like your purse or wallet in your vehicle – and if you must leave them behind, place them somewhere out of view. Even bank statements and bills can put your vehicle at risk for theft, so pay attention to what you have lying around before getting out of your car.

Install Anti-Theft Technology

While most new vehicles come with a car alarm, don’t forget to set yours every time you get out. The ringing of this alarm should draw enough attention to your car to stop a thief in their tracks, but if your vehicle does not have an alarm installed, there are plenty of other protections to consider.

With steering wheel locks, ignition kill switches and tracking devices all available – and able to get you a discount on your car insurance – there is a safety device that will help prevent the theft of your vehicle regardless of your price range.

Consider Window Etching

A theft deterrent option recognized by The National Insurance Crime Bureau and various law enforcement agencies, window etching is a simple way to reduce your chances of vehicle theft. When a vehicle has a traceable code etched onto its parts, it is difficult to salvage for money, making it useless to thieves.

PermaPlate offers an etching service called Etchguard, installing a traceable security code to various parts of your vehicle and making it much less desirable to thieves. Etchguard also adds your personal registration to a national database available to law enforcement in case your vehicle is stolen and provides you with a Replacement Vehicle Allowance if it is not found.

To learn more, visit us online or call us at 800-453-8470 to find a dealership near you that offers PermaPlate Etchguard.

PermaPlate Teams Up With Keys To Success Again This Spring

PermaPlate Keys To Success ScholarshipHere at PermaPlate, we believe that it is our responsibility to give back to our local community, especially our community youth. Today’s high school students are tomorrow’s leaders; one of the many reasons we have formed a partnership with Keys To Success.

A program that works to enhance academic initiatives in local high schools and reward students for their academic improvements, Keys To Success’ core values include character, commitment, respect and self esteem.

Based in Utah, the organization has spent the past 10 years helping high school students to continue their education and become members of a well educated and capable workforce. This year alone, more than 300 scholarships are being offered, helping give teens across the state the means to succeed.

One of Keys to Success’ main goals is to achieve the highest percent of high school graduates pursuing post-high school degrees in the country, and each year between the months of March and May PermaPlate teams up with this incredible organization to award students with scholarship money to use towards their college education.

A proud business sponsor of Keys To Success, PermaPlate was happy to present our first scholarship of the season on March 21, 2016.

Learn more about Keys To Success and find out how you can help support your local students here, then visit PermaPlate online to learn about the other community organizations we serve.