Erie Insurance commissioned a national survey to  find out which features drivers disable the most and why. The survey, which was limited to drivers whose cars were model year 2016 or later, asked if they had ever turned off or disabled any of 11 features commonly available in newer vehicles.

 (PRNewsfoto/Erie Insurance)
This graphic shows the results of the survey.         (PRNewsfoto/Erie Insurance)

“Drivers said their most common reasons for turning off or disabling features is that they find them annoying or distracting,” said Jon Bloom, vice president of personal auto, Erie Insurance. The two features drivers were most likely to say they disabled were ones designed to enhance their comfort and convenience. The largest percentage of drivers (30 percent) said they had not used adaptive cruise control, which keeps a vehicle a specific distance from the car in front of it by applying the brakes if it gets too close. The most cited reason for not using this feature was “I want to control the vehicle, not have the vehicle control itself.”

The second most disabled feature was lane keeping assist, which helps prevent the car from straying across lane markings by automatically making light braking or minor steering adjustments. Almost a quarter of drivers (23 percent) said they turned off lane keeping assist, and the most cited reason was that they found the feature annoying. One respondent said the feature doesn't work well [because] it hugs the lines too closely and another said it reduces the car's fuel economy.

An analysis by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) and the Highway Loss Data Institute (HLDI) found that forward collision warning combined with automated emergency braking cuts front-to-rear crashes with injuries by more than half (56 percent). But the Erie Insurance survey found that, of the drivers whose vehicles have these features, 11 percent turn off forward collision warning and 17 percent turn off automated emergency braking.



Upstart, artificial intelligence (AI) lending platform, announced support for auto loans as part of its consumer lending platform. With Upstart’s new service, banks can offer refinance and purchase finance loans with a seamless digital experience, higher approvals, and potentially lower loss rates, all enabled by AI.

“Personal loans were the right first step for AI lending - now, we’re expanding to auto,” said Dave Girouard, co-founder and CEO of Upstart. “The days of randomly priced auto loans with confusing and laborious processes both for consumers and banks are nearing their end.”

Upstart’s new service eliminates the need for consumers to track down and enter their VIN or license plate number. Banks no longer need to manage detailed paperwork including title transfer, lien placement, or payoff of the borrower’s existing loan (in the case of refinance).

Upstart’s AI model for auto loans builds off its personal loan model, which – the company states –  has shown itself to be more predictive than FICO during the COVID-19 pandemic. Upstart’s auto model combines a time-delimited probability of default (or prepayment) with the vehicle’s modeled residual value to generate a custom loan offer for each applicant. In addition, thanks to Upstart’s seamless digital experience, banks can achieve Net Promoter Scores (NPS) scores far higher than published benchmarks for the largest banks.

The U.S. Department of Transportation announced nine companies and eight states that have signed on as the first participants in a new department initiative to improve the safety and testing transparency of automated driving systems, the Automated Vehicle Transparency and Engagement for Safe Testing (AV TEST) Initiative.  The participating companies are Beep, Cruise, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, Local Motors, Navya, Nuro, Toyota, Uber, and Waymo. The states are California, Florida, Maryland, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Utah.

“Through this initiative, the department is creating a formal platform for federal, state, and local government to coordinate and share information in a standard way,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao.

Testing for automated vehicles
The NHTSA is road testing automated vehicles in 8 states

The AV TEST Initiative will include a series of public events across the country to improve transparency and safety in the development and testing of automated driving systems.

Participants can share information about their activities, which will help increase the public’s awareness of testing, centralize the department’s role in promoting safety and innovation, and build stronger relationships among Federal, State, and local governments and stakeholders.  

A Cruise Chevrolet Bolt undergoing testing in San Francisco.
A Cruise Chevrolet Bolt undergoing testing in San Francisco.

Additionally, this voluntary initiative will provide an online, public-facing platform for sharing automated driving systems testing activities and other safety-related information with the public. Online mapping tools may show testing locations at the local, state, and national levels, as well as testing activity data, which may include dates, frequency, vehicle counts, and routes.

We can chalk this up to one of 2020's many surprising twists 'n' turns. The much-anticipated release of the resurrected Ford Bronco is being delayed, yet again, to July 13. Let's hope the third time's the charm.

Twitter took to roasting Ford Motor Co. over the coincidental date.
Twitter took to roasting Ford Motor Co. over the coincidental date.

The original reveal of the now 2021 Bronco was slated for March '20, with the smaller, "Baby Bronco" to be showcased a few weeks later at the New York International Auto Show. That show was canceled because the venue, the Javits Center, was repurposed as a field hospital for COVID-19 treatment.

The second scheduled release of the Bronco was for July 9. Then the Detroit Free Press pointed out that the new Bronco would share a birthday with infamous Bronco passenger, O.J Simpson. As you may recall, Simpson, with his friend Al Cowlings behind the wheel, took a '93 white Ford Bronco on a 45-minute drive through the streets of L.A. with the police in close pursuit.

Ford tweeted a new release date for the Bronco2020
Ford 's June 19 Twitter response

Ford recently tweeted that it would delay the release of the Bronco, again, by another four days to July 13. 

Which just happens to be Harrison Ford's 77th birthday. Was there some shrewd marketing behind these date choices?

Probably not, unless Harrison Ford ends up in a Bronco ad.

The base price of the new Bronco will be $30,000 with tons of add-on options. There is even rumor of a manual version with seven speeds. 

After a 24-year hiatus, the Bronco will soon be rolling off the assembly line at its old home, the Ford Michigan Assembly Plant in Wayne, Mich. 


Watch TopSpeed's sneak peak behind the new 2020 Ford Bronco below:


Agora Data Inc., a Texas-based provider of data, analytics and liquidity solutions for the buy-here, pay-here automotive industry, has announced its integration with DealerSocket’s IDMS web-based dealer management system (DMS).

This integration will increase dealer visibility into portfolio and loan performance, as well as create access to much-needed capital and cashflow. The addition of DealerSocket further expands the number of Agora integrated DMS partnerships.

BHPH dealers can leverage AgoraInsights to understand the current value of their loans.
BHPH dealers can use AgoraInsights to understand the current value of their loans.

“Access to reliable analytics is the difference between success and failure in today’s market,” said Agora founder and CEO Steve Burke.

AgoraInsights is Agora’s first of its kind portfolio and loan valuation analytics. It empowers BHPH dealers to manage more effectively their most significant asset, their loan portfolio, and confidently manage liquidity negotiations. By combining this technology with DealerSocket’s innovative IDMS, dealers will now have a more holistic picture and greater control of their business operations.

BHPH dealers can leverage AgoraInsights to understand the current value of their loans. Additionally, they gain the ability to compare their underwriting strategies with their industry peers through Agora’s benchmarking analytics.

“The partnership with Agora’s Insights platform provides incredible opportunities for our dealers to be empowered to better manage their business. More importantly, they gain access to capital through various finance channels,” said Jeff McCurry, DealerSocket’s vice president of product.

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