‘Check engine’: Now what?

The daunting “check engine” warning that shows up as a solid light on your dashboard might indicate a problem that’s easy to fix. 

Parking locator to make debut in vehicles

Parking-spot locators will be integrated into vehicles as automakers continue to explore ways that they can minimize smartphone-use distraction by drivers, according to transportation-system analyst Adela Spulber. 

Expert: Safety feature might be negated

We informed readers in “Auto Insurers: Hardly Progressive,” in our July/August 2017 issue, that automobile insurance companies typically don’t provide a premium discount to owners of vehicles that have advanced safety systems. 

An electric pickup?

Plug-in-hybrid-pickup manufacturer Workhorse will hasten work on the consumer version of its W-15 model that’s designed for corporate fleets.

Expert: Three of concept’s features desirable

The likelihood that a concept vehicle will make it onto the dealership floor is slim. Such vehicles are used more to gauge consumer reaction to their features than they are to preview an automobile that will be produced.

Aftermarket rearview cameras

For those who drive an older automobile, equipping it with an aftermarket rearview camera might not provide the same quality or performance that a factory-installed version provides.

Hydrogen cars: No chemistry

In April 2017, Toyota announced the launch of a feasibility study that will examine the performance of hydrogen-fuel-cell-vehicle (FCV) technology in heavy-duty applications. 

Auto-parts stores vs. Amazon

When the New York Post reported in January 2017 that Amazon signed contracts with several major automobile-parts manufacturers, one had to wonder whether Advance Auto Parts, AutoZone, O’Reilly Auto Parts and others were destined to meet the same plight that brick-and-mortar retailers in other segments face—a substantial loss of sales, store closings or bankruptcy.

Self-driving motorcycles?

Motorcycle manufacturers are exploring ways to employ technology that smacks of that which automakers use to develop automated safety systems.

Automobile damage estimator

Liberty Mutual Insurance developed a mobile app that uses machine-vision technology to recognize pixels of an image to compare the image of damage to a vehicle that you take with a smartphone with a database of thousands of crash images.

Three plus three

The three-passenger (one adult, two children) i-Tril concept car from Toyota is built upon a structure that has the vehicle’s rear axle connected to the cabin by a hinge.

High-tech safety, low-speed discounts

Consumers are told that safer driving links to lower insurance rates. Hence, vehicles that reduce the number of crashes should lead to lower rates.

Volvo concierge service

In December 2016, Volvo launched a pilot program in San Francisco that gives 300 owners of S90 luxury cars or XC90 luxury SUVs the opportunity to use a mobile app to order services, such as a fill-up, maintenance work or a car wash from third-party companies.