OC&C survey finds US consumers lag behind major industrialized countries in embracing electric/hybrid vehicles

Americans are much less likely than consumers in other major industrialized countries to purchase an electric vehicle or hybrid, largely because of concerns over access to charging stations away from home, according to a survey by global consulting firm OC&C Strategy Consultants. The survey, which included 10,000 respondents across five... Read more →


by Michael Sivak. This article is the latest in a series that examines recent changes in various aspects of road transportation in the United States. The focus here is on distance driven per person as opposed to total distance driven (which depends, in part, on the continuously increasing size of... Read more →


The number of vehicle miles traveled (VMT) often mirrors changes in the price of gasoline, according to data presented bybthe US Department of Energy (DOE). The figure below shows the percentage change in gasoline prices and VMT from one year to the next (e.g., January 2009 data were compared with... Read more →


IEA: global energy efficiency progress drops to slowest rate since start of decade

Energy efficiency has tremendous potential to boost economic growth and avoid greenhouse gas emissions, but the global rate of progress is slowing, according to a new report by the International Energy Agency. Global primary energy demand rose by 2.3% in 2018, driven in large part by the People’s Republic of... Read more →


Adelaide study suggests driverless cars could lead to more traffic congestion partly because of drivers’ attitudes

New research from the University of Adelaide suggests that driverless cars could worsen traffic congestion in the coming decades, partly because of drivers’ attitudes to the emerging technology and a lack of willingness to share their rides. Using the City of Adelaide as a test model, researchers surveyed more than... Read more →


J.D. Power, SurveyMonkey find automakers not making progress in persuading consumers to want electric or self-driving vehicles

As auto manufacturers invest billions to bring self-driving vehicles to market and to increase consumer choice in battery-electric vehicles, many consumers still lack confidence in these technologies. According to the J.D. Power 2019 Q3 Mobility Confidence Index Study fueled by SurveyMonkey Audience, the Mobility Confidence Index is 36 (on a... Read more →


UK researchers show 20mph zones effective in reducing road casualties

A review of published evidence by a team of researchers in the UK has found 20mph zones to be effective in reducing the number and severity of traffic collisions and casualties. The research, published in the Journal of Transport and Health provides important evidence to support the implementation of 20mph... Read more →


Survey of Italian truck drivers finds many suffer from sleep-related breathing disorders

A survey of 905 Italian truck drivers has shown that approximately half suffer from at least one sleep-related breathing problem that potentially can cause drivers to fall asleep at the wheel. In a presentation at the European Respiratory Society International Congress on Monday, Luca Roberti, President of Apnoici Italiani (the... Read more →


by Michael Sivak. In this analysis I examined gender differences in travel patterns. The data came from ATUS—the American Time Use Survey. ATUS provides nationally representative estimates of the amount of time people spend doing various activities. It is an annual time-diary study by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.... Read more →


New Ipsos study on autonomous driving finds most Americans simply enjoy the act of driving their vehicle

Ipsos, the global research and insights organization, explored consumer thoughts in its third annual Global Mobility Navigator Syndicated Study. The study comprises three modules, with the first focusing on Autonomous Driving. The newly released module contains results from more than 20,000 new car buyers from 10 countries. Todd Markusic, Vice... Read more →


More than two people are killed every day on US roads by drivers running through red lights, according to data analysis performed by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. The most recent crash data available shows 939 people were killed in red light running crashes in 2017—a 10-year high and... Read more →


Waterloo team uses on-board data to identify speed as the best predictor of car crashes

Speeding is the riskiest kind of aggressive driving, according to an analysis of data from on-board devices in vehicles. Researchers at the University of Waterloo examined data from 28 million trips for possible links between four bad driving behaviors—speeding, hard braking, hard acceleration and hard cornering—and the likelihood of crashes.... Read more →


A team of researchers in China suggest that, in the context of promoting the use of clean fuel vehicles and increasing vehicle fuel efficiency, CO2 emissions of China’s urban passenger transport sector could reach a peak of 225 MtCO2 in 2030. If the mode share of public transport could further... Read more →


Robert Bosch Venture Capital leads US$17.5M investment in Teralytics; advanced mobility analytics using telecom data

Robert Bosch Venture Capital GmbH (RBVC), the corporate venture capital company of the Bosch Group, is leading a US$17.5-million investment in Teralytics, a Swiss software company building a platform to provide advanced mobility analytics powered by telecom network data. It uses proprietary artificial intelligence to extrapolate insights, anonymized and aggregated.... Read more →


Fifty-six models of electric-drive vehicles were available in model year (MY) 2018 in the US. One quarter of the models were midsize cars, followed by large cars at 16% and compact cars at 14%. Together, small sport utility vehicles (SUV), standard SUVs and minivans accounted for another quarter. Electric-drive vehicles... Read more →


Porsche launches carbon offsetting program for US drivers

Porsche Cars North America, Inc. (PCNA) has launched Porsche Impact, an online tool that links individual CO2 emissions to specific climate projects. The program is available to US customers after PCNA earlier this year enrolled its own Porsche Experience Center cars and its Porsche Passport subscription fleet. Impact has been... Read more →


by Michael Sivak. Because of the long distances typically involved in flying, your next airline trip will likely contribute a substantial amount of greenhouse gas emissions. Obviously, to minimize the emissions, taking a nonstop flight is the way to go because that will result in the shortest distance flown. However,... Read more →


In the US, more than 50 million children between the ages of 5 and 17 traveled to school in 2017, according to the 2017 National Household Travel Survey (NHTS). More than half (54.2%) were driven to school in a private vehicle, while 33.2% typically traveled by school bus. The distance... Read more →


The used vehicle Consumer Price Index (CPI) in 2018 was 4.4 times higher than in 1970, while the new vehicle CPI was 2.8 times higher—i.e., used-vehicle prices have risen more than new-vehicle prices. Used-vehicle prices were more volatile than new-vehicle prices over the period from 1970 to 2018 and used-vehicle... Read more →


Volkswagen of America announced today that the Volkswagen Golf Alltrack and Golf SportWagen will end production with the 2019 model year. Volkswagen will continue building the Alltrack at the Puebla, Mexico plant through December 2019 to provide enthusiasts additional opportunity to own an affordable, European-designed wagon. 2019 Gold Alltrack Over... Read more →


In the US, the used light-duty vehicle market is more than twice the size of the new light-duty vehicle market for each year shown. Used vehicle sales for 2018 were 40.2 million vehicles, while new vehicle sales were 17.2 million. Used vehicle sales include pre-owned vehicles sold by dealerships, franchises,... Read more →


by Michael Sivak. This analysis examined the effect of flight distance on greenhouse gas emissions per passenger, and compared emissions from flying different distances with annual emissions from driving. Greenhouse gas emissions were examined for 17 nonstop flights with round-trip distances ranging from 131 miles to 19,040 miles. Among these... Read more →


The average age of light vehicles in operation (VIO) in the US has risen again this year to 11.8 years, according to new research from business information provider IHS Markit. This acceleration of average age can easily be seen when looking across the last 17 years. From 2002-2007, the average... Read more →


Recently Volvo Trucks North America, along with automated vehicle software provider Perceptive Automata and customer Dependable Highway Express (DHE), showcased a collaborative innovation project designed to strengthen safety capabilities for the trucking industry through automation. This project leverages human intuition artificial intelligence that reads the intention and awareness of vulnerable... Read more →


A report released by C40 Cities finds that consumption-based emissions from nearly 100 of the world’s big cities already represent 10% of global greenhouse gas emissions. Without urgent action, those emissions are projected to nearly double by 2050. The new research, The Future of Urban Consumption in a 1.5°C World,... Read more →


Vehicle miles traveled (VMT) in the US was seven times higher in 2017 than in 1950, according to the US Department of Energy (DOE). The number of vehicles in operation was more than six times higher in that same period, while the resident population doubled. Growth of VMT and vehicles... Read more →


CapGemini: 1 out of 2 consumers want to get into a self-driving experience within the next 5 years

A new study from the Capgemini Research Institute has found that consumer preference for riding in self-driving cars is set to double within the next five years. While only 25% of consumers would prefer to ride in a self-driving car over a traditional vehicle in 12 months’ time, more than... Read more →


Researchers from the University of Kentucky and the San Francisco County Transportation Authority have determined that, contrary to the concept and vision, transportation network companies such as Uber and Lyft are the biggest contributor to growing traffic congestion in San Francisco. Using data scraped from the application programming interfaces of... Read more →


Migration has been a driving force behind some of the biggest changes around the world—particularly over the past two decades. The shift of individuals moving from rural areas to urban areas has not only driven economic development, but also created myriad challenges for policymakers who need to understand the needs... Read more →


UK study links being a car commuter with obesity to a 32% increased death risk

New research presented at this year’s European Congress on Obesity in Glasgow, Scotland (28 April - 1 May) shows that individuals with obesity who commute by car have a 32% higher risk of death, from any cause, compared with those individuals with a normal weight and commute via cycling and... Read more →


by Michael Sivak. In a recent article, I examined changes in distance driven in the United States during the period from 1984 through 2017. Distance driven per person reached a maximum in 2004. While this rate has been on a rebound since 2013, the 2017 rate is still down from... Read more →


The benefits of connected, self-driving cars (CAVs) will likely induce vehicle owners to drive more, and those extra miles could partially or completely offset the potential energy-saving benefits that automation may provide, according to a new University of Michigan study. In the coming years, self-driving cars are expected to yield... Read more →


MINI USA survey finds 73% say 75 miles EV range sufficient for daily use

According to a new survey MINI USA recently commissioned from market research and business intelligence firm Engine International, Inc, 63% of consumers said the best way to use an EV is for commuting or city driving, At the same time, 73% of consumers surveyed said that battery range of up... Read more →


Most vehicles, including cars, vans, motorcycles and scooters, will need to meet new, tighter exhaust emission standards or pay a daily charge to travel within the area of London’s Ultra-Low Emission Zone (ULEZ), which comes into effect today. Motorbike insurer Bikesure recently surveyed 1,000 commuters in London to find out... Read more →


by Michael Sivak. Compared with cars, SUVs consume more energy per vehicle mile. Consequently, SUVs emit more carbon dioxide per vehicle mile than do cars. However, in the United States, the typical occupancy is higher for SUVs than for cars. The issue of interest in this study was the resultant... Read more →


ASU research finds that Cash for Clunkers rebates were too high to prompt car upgrades

New research from a team at Arizona State University shows that even when receiving a big rebate from the government, consumers won’t always behave in expected ways. The study found that people would have been more likely to upgrade their cars if rebates had been less and if they had... Read more →


by Michael Sivak. Recently, the amount of retail e-commerce in the United States increased rapidly in terms of both the absolute volume and the percentage of all sales. For example, retail e-commerce sales during the fourth quarter of 2007 totaled $36.2 billion (in current dollars), or 3.5% of all retail... Read more →


Volvo Cars to limit all its cars to 180 km/h (112 mph); geo-fenced limits possible in future; proposals coming on intoxication and distraction

Volvo Cars, as a worldwide leader in safety, will limit the top speed on all its cars to 180 km/h (112 mph) from 2020. The company’s Vision 2020, which aims for no one to be killed or seriously injured in a new Volvo by 2020, is one of the most... Read more →


A researcher at the University of San Diego has used energy meter-level data from the San Diego region to analyze the energy load profiles of residential customers under the time-of-use (TOU) rate with and without EV charging requirements. Unlike previous forecasts on the effects of EV charging loads, the energy... Read more →


Rice, Texas Tech study finds automated cars and their operators fail to detect dangers

New research from Rice University and Texas Tech University has found that drivers often fail to spot hazards missed by automated vehicles, and it only gets worse the longer drivers ride in them. The study is published in the journal Human Factors. The researchers examined the behavior of 60 licensed... Read more →


by Michael Sivak. This article is the latest publication in a series examining recent changes in various aspects of motorization in the United States. The focus here is on distance driven per person and per household, as opposed to the absolute distance driven (which depends, in part, on the continuously... Read more →


Mercedes-Benz considers empathy and trust to be central factors for the acceptance of self-driving vehicles. For people to have trust in the machine, they must immediately and intuitively be able to recognise what an autonomous vehicle intends to do. Mercedes-Benz is conducting research into this “informed trust” with the help... Read more →


by Michael Sivak. In a 2011 article, Brandon Schoettle and I showed that the proportion of young Americans aged 16 to 39 years with a driver’s license decreased substantially from 1983 to 2008. (In contrast, the proportion of older persons with a driver’s license increased during the same period.) This... Read more →


UC Santa Cruz prof suggests self-driving cars will torpedo parking pricing as effective congestion management policy; “incentive to create havoc”

With no need to park, autonomous vehicles (AVs) will clog city streets and slow traffic to a crawl, according to a new paper by University of Santa Cruz transportation planner Adam Millard-Ball, an associate professor of environmental studies. However, a policy fix could address these problems before autonomous vehicles become... Read more →


Volkswagen customers in Germany ordering more diesel vehicles; share of 43% in 2018, vs. 39% in 2017

Customers of the Volkswagen Passenger Cars brand in Germany are once again placing more orders for diesel vehicles. In 2018, the share of incoming orders for vehicles equipped with the latest diesel technology as a proportion of the overall vehicle portfolio was 43% compared to 39% in 2017. Demand for... Read more →


Manipulating a cellphone was a contributing factor in more than 800 crash deaths on US roads during 2017 amid a marked increase in the percentage of drivers observed interacting with cellphones, new IIHS research indicates. The estimated number of deaths, however, still represents a fraction of the overall crash death... Read more →


by Michael Sivak. This analysis was conducted to examine changes in traffic volume on rural and urban roads in the United States from 1991 through 2016. The raw data for the analysis were lane length (which takes into account all roadway lanes of travel) and distance traveled, both from the... Read more →


Under current policies, home energy storage systems would also often increase carbon emissions, according to a study by a team of researchers at the University of California San Diego published in the journal Environmental Science & Technology. The researchers selected 16 of the largest utilities companies in the country and... Read more →


NZ study shows cycle lanes and walkways cut car use, reduce emissions

Researchers in New Zealand have shown that investing in cycle lanes and walkways encourages people to drive less and cuts carbon emissions. The researchers from the University of Otago, Wellington and Victoria University studied the impact of new cycling and walking paths built in New Plymouth and Hastings in 2011.... Read more →