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Traffic deaths decrease slightly, for the first time since 2020


Image for article titled Traffic deaths are finally going down, barely, for the first time in two years

image: Mark Wilson (beautiful pictures)

The death toll on US roads has dropped somewhat over the past few months but it’s really purely coincidental, South Korea and Hyundai are still thinking long and hard about their new EV tax credit program. I, and the shareholders of Faraday Future are being sued. All that and more in this Tuesday edition of Morning shift for September 20, 2022.

1st gear: A light drop

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported on Monday that the number of traffic deaths fell slightly in the second quarter of this year. That marks the first drop from a nearly two decades high continuously increasing since the third quarter of 2020. From Bloomberg:

About 10,590 people died in car crashes between April and June, down 4.9% from the same period in 2021, according to estimates released Monday by the Highway Traffic Safety Administration. National Speed. Deaths have increased since the third quarter of 2020.

Ann Carlson, acting administrator of NHTSA, said: “While it is pleasing to see the expected drop in road deaths in recent months, the road death toll in this country remains a crisis panic,” Ann Carlson, acting administrator of NHTSA, said in a statement. Carlson recently took over the role after Steven Cliff resigned to return to the California Air Resources Board.

The NHTSA said the road fatality rate for the first half of the year was 1.27 per 100 million miles traveled, a slight drop even as people spent more time behind the wheel. Total U.S. drivers increased by an average of 2.8%, or about 43.2 billion miles, according to preliminary data reported by the Federal Highway Administration.

As Bloomberg adds, the total number of deaths in the first half of 2022 is still about half a percent higher than in 2021. There’s much more we can do and different ways for automakers and the federal government to encourage or force safer driving, but no one really makes an effort.

The NHTSA’s release about this data yesterday covered a number of initiatives, such as guidelines for better street design, the goal of asking for a few additional driver-assistance safety features in new cars, and trailer crash guards, but they don’t seem to get into the big issues here: drunk driving, not wearing seat belts, and speed up.

Cars have more advanced safety features than ever before, but, of course, they can also be turned off. In fact, a lot of that tech may just make us less attentive — not more — behind the wheel. A 2019 study performed by the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute and published by Triple A posited theories for why:

Virginia Tech researchers hypothesize that drivers move through different stages associated with the experience of using ADAS. The first timer starts in a new phase where they learn and experiment with technology. These drivers have little confidence in the system’s functionality and reliability, so they stay active and engaged while driving. Eventually, drivers reach the experienced user stage, where over-trusting and over-trusting the system becomes more common. These drivers are more likely to take their eyes off the road and pay attention. Research in other industries shows that nuclear pilots and technicians demonstrate similar patterns of over-reliance on automated systems. These behaviors can eventually lead to distraction.

It’s great to see the numbers move in the right direction – quarter-over-quarter anyway – but real change requires real work, not the kind of work that just makes every car more expensive.

2nd gear: Korean president has EVs in mind

Yoon Suk-yeol, the President of South Korea, will attend the United Nations General Assembly this week. Since he’s here anyway, he’s also going to make this trip to meet President Biden and discuss a variety of things – one of which will be the new electric vehicle credit criteria under the Act. Reducing inflation, signed into law in August.

Korea’s frustration with the law has been very public over the past few weeks, and some of the country’s top national security and economic officials have expressed those concerns to their U.S. counterparts, who have so far delivered a very strong line. warm and reassuring “we’ll see”. Are from Reuters:

Speaking in Seoul on Tuesday, Prime Minister Han Duck-soo said the IRA “seems to violate the Free Trade Agreement” between the two countries. However, the South Korean government is currently focusing on bilateral dialogue, he said, in response to a question from a lawmaker in parliament.

US national security adviser Jake Sullivan told his South Korean counterpart Kim Sung-han earlier this month that the IRA would bring “more pluses than bad” to South Korea but promised to review the impact of the IRA. new rules.

“Structurally, it’s quite complicated because it’s been signed into law, but there’s still a way to do it,” said a senior South Korean official closely involved in the discussions. Senior South Korean officials closely involved in the discussions said on condition of anonymity due to the diplomatic sensitivity of the matter.

Of course, South Korea’s view is that Hyundai built and committed to building more factories in the US before the new regulations were put in place, and this is the thank you they received. Speaking of which…

3rd gear: Kia’s future

Korean media have reported that Kia is preparing to start producing electric vehicles in the US in 2024, Reuters also let us know.

If true, this will be earlier than some predictions. It’s no secret that Hyundai and Kia have been pushing to set up a base in the US for electric vehicles, especially since the Inflation Reduction Act was passed. They will need to move to reinstate the potential $7,500 tax credit to the customer as soon as possible. The report doesn’t locate or outright give any details, but it does follow, given the concern about South Korea and the Biden administration’s unwillingness to budge.

4th item: Faraday Someday?

Faraday Future employees have urged shareholders to remove two key members of the startup’s board of directors. As of Monday, those shareholders filed a lawsuit against the company seeking to remove the executives, Reuters reported.

The company, which has yet to begin production of the FF 91 luxury electric vehicle, has come under pressure from FF Top to remove executive chairman Susan Swenson and board member Brian Krolicki.

In a lawsuit filed in Chancery Court in Delaware on Monday, the group of shareholders – which have more than 20% of the shares in the company and about 36% of voting rights – say that the startup is “suffering from a severe financial crisis”. leadership crisis at the board level. . “

FF Top added that “the current board has driven the company forward”.

In a separate filing with the US securities regulator, the shareholder said it had sent notice to the company to nominate Li Han and Xin (Adam) He to replace Swenson and Krolicki.

Last month, several Faraday Future employees urged the board and shareholders to remove Swenson alleging that the executive chairman orchestrated efforts to “push the company into bankruptcy and reinstatement.” structure”.

FF 91 recently produced delayed until the fourth quarter – four years behind the company’s earliest projections.

5th gear: Stellantis will build electric and hybrid vehicles in Turin

Of course, one day they will do it everywhere. But right now, Turin is the focus. Again, Reuters:

Stellantis has chosen the historic Italian car manufacturing city of Turin for its investment to enhance its role in low-emission vehicle manufacturing and as a recycling center for cars and their parts.

The Franco-Italian group has signed an agreement with Belgian partner Punch Powertrain to increase production of electrified dual-clutch transmissions (eDCTs) for hybrid and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles at the Mirafiori plant in Turin, the manufacturer auto exporter said on Tuesday.

Making and selling more electric and hybrid vehicles is a key part of Stellantis CEO Carlos Tavares’ plan in March to double revenue to 300 billion euros ($300 billion) a year by 2030. .

Tavares on Tuesday said the group was investing a “double-digit” million euros in gearbox upgrades, but did not give exact figures.

The Mirafiori complex will also become the company’s main hub for itsso business known as the ‘circular economy’, which focuses on renovating, dismantling vehicles and reusing parts, in when Tavares noticed a prolonged shortage of ingredients.

Recycling raw materials is another plan for the Mirafiori plant – an activity many automakers are currently working on go to terms with nowespecially when metals and many other valuable components seem to remain scarce for the foreseeable future.

Reverse: Ra Ran

A port of Yu Suzuki’s classic arcade racing game Run out for the Sega Saturn released on this date in Japan in 1996, according to MobyGames.

Credit: World of Longplays via YouTube

Saturn Run out Today, the portal deals with a relatively high amount of money, around $80 or more, and it’s interesting because the game’s first tap only works on Saturn’s “Type 1” hardware – the type that launches with oval style buttons. The uglier system with round buttons – the one I own – wouldn’t start the game, although Sega eventually re-released this release to correct that. It’s another shining example of Sega’s astute decision-making and business sense in the mid-’90s. If you want to play Run out in its best form today, you should start Sega Ages Out Run on Nintendo Switch. It’s only $4you have no reason at all.

Neutral: Favorite fall drink?

I don’t like a ton or even most drinks, but I do like whiskey in hot cider. Add some cinnamon sticks, crushed spices, let that crap sit in a gourmet jar all day and you really can’t go wrong. What are your fall preferences, alcohol or not? Note that I’m not going to judge you if you say Pumpkin Spice Latte, and quite frankly anyone who isn’t my friend.



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