Transportation Service

Global Efforts to Combat Car Smog

Unfortunately for major metropolitan areas, smog from automotive carbon emissions can and is a major public health issue around the world. From Beijing to Delhi to Mexico City to Milan, metropolitan officials have to take into consideration the best way to curb pollution issues without hampering city-wide transportation.

sarejevo smogThere was a day in Milan last December when bicyclists had city streets to themselves as a result of a six-hour ban on private cars implemented by city officials in response to a persistent smog that had pervaded the metropolitan area. Milan is Italy’s business capital, and had at the time exceeded pollution levels considered healthy for over 30 days straight. Private car and motorcycle drivers respected the ban, finding common ground across cultural boundaries in the need for clean air.

Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzogovina dealt with auto-related smog in December by simply asking that private drivers use their vehicles as little as possible and instead adopt alternate means of transportation like biking and public transportation. Residents were also discouraged from spending extra time outdoors, with a particular emphasis on avoiding morning and evening hours. Red Cross workers and other volunteers also handed out face masks to residents who wanted or needed to move around outdoors despite the smog warning.

At the time, the air pollution in Sarajevo was so severe that authorities were forced to shut down schools and prompt an early winter break. The mountain city is prone to heavy fog, which can turn into smog in times of high carbon emission and little wind.

In Beijing that same December, city officials were moved to issue two smog-related red alerts. In China, red alerts are prompted by air quality index being forecasted to exceed 200, which is a level considered globally to be heavily polluted, for at least three consecutive days. 200 is seen as a very high level of air pollution across the world, but unfortunately Beijing has recorded air quality levels well over 900.

new delhi smogBeijing has attempted to enforce a variety of traffic restrictions in response to its highly problematic air quality. It has attempted to use including a number licence-plate system to force private car owners to alternate their daily access to public roadways, but unfortunately these regulations are often circumvented by people who cover their real license plates with fake ones or use license plates bought or borrowed in other cities.

In the Iranian capital of Tehran, smog has been considered a major issue among city officials. Tehran’s 14 million residents were warned to stay indoors whenever possible during December of 2015, schools were closed, and soccer matches were postponed in response to dangerously low air quality that in turn is a consequence of the widespread use of outdated vehicles, inadequate infrastructure and inconsistent enforcement of carbon emissions regulations. Tehran copes with similar issues as Sarejevo in that it is surrounded by mountains and blocked from cleansing winds.

New Delhi was named the most polluted city in 2014 and temporarily banned the sale of large diesel vehicles while creating stiff levies on trucks entering New Delhi. Trucks over 10 years old have been banned entirely from the quickly growing metropolis.

Europe’s Auto Industry is On the Rise

According to recent studies, new car sales within the European Union leaped ahead around 14% just in February. This is thought to be helped in party by the extra sales day made possible by the leap year, though some auto executives have been quick to caution that full-year growth may be a bit more modest, despite the fact that volumes seem to be headed back to precrisis levels.

car dealershipLast moth’s 14 percent boost build on a general growth of almost 10 percent in 2015 throughout the European Union. That said, the EU remains well below the annual highs reached before and around 2007, before the economic crisis hit. Also, it’s worth nothing that China and the U.S., which boast the world’s two largest car markets, have continued to grow this year as well, though not at rates that quite match that of Europe.

Some countries are also fairing better than others. Italy’s sales are up 27 percent and led double-digit gains in Europe’s biggest auto markets including that of France, Germany, and Spain. Market growth in the United Kingdom was remarkable if not as dramatic as some of its neighbors; it clocked in at somewhere around an 8.4 percent growth. All European countries underwent some kind of auto market growth with the exception of the Netherlands and Greece.

The continued auto market growth of Germany despite the enormous recalls that have occurred as a result of the VW scandal is somewhat surprising.

Although these surges are promising, it’s important to note that Italy closed out last year still about 40 percent below its 2007 levels. The way that the financial crisis curtailed consumer spending across southern Europe has been slowly ameliorating, but complete recovery remains a far-off goal for most European countries. Spain has 60 percent of its market to make up, while France is doing significantly better and is only about 7 percent behind its 2007 market levels. Combined, Italy Spain and France closed 2015 with 2 million in vehicle sales less than their precrisis highs, and Italy accounted for about half of that.

peugoetThis is why most auto executives are expecting a more modest advance of about 2 or 3 percent throughout the year despite the European market’s exciting showing in February and 10 percent growth in the first two months of the year. Despite the gains that have been made over the past two years, volumes of new cars registered in Europe closed 2015 about 12 percent below the peak that was reached in 2007, a sign seen as more indicative of the car buying trends within Europe than the potential fluke of these first two months.

“In 2016, we foresee a 3% increase in the car market but we must not forget that the crisis caused a loss of 3 million [in car sales],” stated Alfredo Altavilla, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV’s Chief Operating Officer for Europe, the Middle East and Africa in an email.

Other analysts are even more caution. IHS Automotive, for example, predicts that sales will only grow around 1.4% this year in Western Europe. That accounts for nearly 90 percent of the EU’s total volume. Even at a much more optimistic 3 percent growth (which is forecast by most execs), Europe remains about five years away from reaching its precrisis levels.

US Authorities Request VW Make Electric Cars

vwIt was hard to miss the VW scandal in the late half of 2015; Volkswagen was forced to admit to creating car software that allowed their diesel cars to cheat on emissions tests. The cars would realize when they were being tested, operate based on a different set of standards that allowed for them to pass the test, and then reset to their original settings.

To give an idea of the scope of this scandal, Volkswagen has announced that over one million vehicles have been equipped with this cheating software… in the UK alone. Around the world, millions of cars are fit for recall.

A study conducted by scientists funded by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) discovered the software issue, and now US authorities are asking VW to produce electric vehicles in the United States as a way to partially make up for the illegal emissions being released into the air and potentially save some face as a brand within the country.

According to German newspaper Welt am Sonntag, the EPA is currently holding meetings with Volkswagen regarding the company’s ability to produce electric vehicles at the VW plant centered in Chattanooga, Tennessee as well as its ability to set up a network of charging stations for electric vehicles in the United States.

Because a lot of VW models are already equipped with electric or hybrid motors, it’s not an enormous stretch to ask the company to take this turn in its business model. However, the amount of details that would need to be ironed out to make this work are of course, enormous.

“Talks with the EPA are ongoing and we are not commenting on the contents and state of the negotiations,” stated a VW spokesman. The EPA also declined to comment.

This coming April, VW is set to present its final report on the crisis to the law firm Jones Day.

Just to put a real number to the assault VW has conducted upon the world with its misleading products: according to Volkswagen, 11 million cars worldwide have the “defeat device” or cheating software.

vw gold“We’ve totally screwed up,” stated VW America boss Michael Horn when the scandal hit the media. The group’s chief executive at the time of the scandal, Martin Winterkorn, acknowledged that his company had “broken the trust of our customers and the public.” Winterkorn resigned after the scandal and was replaced by Matthias Mueller, former CEO of Porsche.

“My most urgent task is to win back trust for the Volkswagen Group- by leaving no stone unturned,” Mueller stated upon taking up his new post.

Perhaps this productive punishment could be better for everyone; after all, the United States needs more electric car infrastructure and VW needs some way to regain the trust and appreciation of its American (and global) markets. It could be that this opportunity is actually a way for the somewhat antiquated company to get a leg up on the burgeoning electronic car market that other major manufacturers like Ford and General Motors are racing to get a piece of.

Hackers Find Way to Remotely Control Jeep Cherokee

In July of 2015, one reporter from Wired magazine signed up for a risky ride that he knew would spiral out of his control, even as he kept his position behind the wheel of a Jeep Cherokee.

The plan was for writer Andy Greenberg to drive along a St. Louis highway and wait for hackers Charlie Miller and Chris Valasek to take control of the car’s stereo, air conditioning, windshield wipers, transmission, and brakes from their house, 10 miles away.

Miller and Valasek had recently discovered a zero-day hacking technique that gave hackers control of any Jeep Cherokee on the road using the Jeep Cherokee’s built-in internet connection. Using their technique, Miller and Valasek can control a vehicle’s dashboard functions, steering, brakes, and transmission.

Stealing online information

Stealing online information

Greenberg was brave enough to embark on his doomed journey without knowing exactly what the hackers had in store for him. He knew only that they wouldn’t do anything life threatening. Still, they duly reminded him, “no matter what happens, don’t panic.”

As planned, the second Greenberg pulled onto the highway, the Cherokee started to misbehave. A picture of the two hackers in their signature track suits appeared on the car’s virtual display, the air conditioning started blasting cold air, and the radio started blasting music from a local hip hop station. The dashboard did not respond to any of the poor author’s attempts to adjust settings to a normal level.

That’s when the hackers cut his transmission. Greenberg began to fight off the panic that the hackers warned him against as the Jeep Cherokee slowed to a crawl on a freeway overpass. A line of cars began to accumulate behind Greenberg and honk at him angrily. As the highway began to slope upward, it seemed Greenberg had not only stopping to worry about, but actively falling backwards.

At this point Greenberg tapped out; he begged the hackers to stop, and accordingly they relinquished control over the car. The experiment was over.

Greenberg, Miller and Valasek had all met two year prior when Greenberg bravely volunteered to drive a hacked Ford Escape and a Toyota Prius through South Bend, Indiana. For that run, the hackers hacked from the backseat with their laptops and laughed at Greenberg as they took over the steering wheel and jerked his seatbelt around. In that experiment, the hackers at least had to be present in the car, where they needed to wire into the vehicle’s onboard diagnostic port to do any real hacking.

jeep cherokeeNow, only two years later, they can do some real damage over the Internet. The two have since shared their findings at the Black Hat security conference in Las Vegas. Their discoveries have prompted sponsorship of an automotive security bill that will heighten the security standards for cars and trucks equipped with online capabilities.

In the midst of this terrorist-activity-riddled era, this legislation is more necessary than ever. After all, Miller and Valasek could fully kill the engine, abruptly engage the brakes, disable the brakes, and hijack the wheel when the vehicle is in reverse. The potential for harm that could be done with these capabilities is immeasurable.

EVOLUTION OF AUTOMOBILE INDUSTRY

Automobile Industry:

Automobile industry plays a very vital role in many ways. It is a huge industry and it has evolved and transformed tremendously over the decades rather centuries. The first vehicles were designed primarily as horse-free carriages in the United States of America towards the end of 18th century and just before the beginning of 19th century. That is when the revolution in using automobiles started and they were manufactured predominantly by the USA like almost 90% of the entire automobile carriages in those days.

Those were the times when automobiles were considered as a luxury and hence only a very elite few would possess them. Later on, other big players like China, Japan, France, Germany emerged turning the tables of the entire automobile production industry. Automobiles come in various forms, makes, colours, fuels and speed. Over the years due to the great evolution in the automobile industry, many new forms and companies have emerged thereby creating a lot of competition globally. Because of this enormous transformation in the automobile industry as well as the great evolution of technology, having a vehicle is no longer a luxury and every single family have it now.

Manufacture and production:

The federation based in Paris namely “International Organization of Motor Vehicle Manufacturersor popularly called as “Organisation Internationale des Constructeurs d’Automobiles” in French, is a head organization that facilitates communication and co-ordination between the automotive or the automobile manufacturing and producing countries. This organization also conducts the global auto shows to showcase the new production lines. Some of the countries that arrange auto shows every year are the USA, the UK, India, China, Japan, Italy, Thailand, Russia, Germany, South Korea, Switzerland, Netherlands, Brazil and Belgium. These are the major players in the manufacture of automobiles as well as their parts.

Types of automobiles:

There are many different types of automobiles such Bikes, Motorcycles, Autos or three wheelers, other passenger vehicles like such passenger cars, light commercial vehicles (LCV) to carry goods, Heavy trucks (HCV – Heavy Commercial Vehicles) to carry very heavy goods and materials, Buses and coaches to carry passengers as well as trains. All these vehicles come in different types, ranges, colours, makes as well as weight. They also come with engines that support many different fuel types such as Petrol, Diesel, CNG, Electric, as well as Gasoline. All these automobiles that are currently available in the market are come with latest technology, safety and security features and in various ranges.

Major players in the automobile industry:

The main global players in manufacturing automotive vehicles are the Toyota Motor Corporation, Honda Motor Company, Nissan, Suzuki Motor Corporation from Japan, The general Motors Company, Ford Motor Company, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles from USA, Volkswagen Group AG from Germany, Hyundai Motor Group from South Korea and PSA Peugeot Citroën SA from France. Of course there are other major players like BMW, Mercedes Benz, KIA, Renault, Jaguar, Isuzu etc., in various ranges and types. Automobiles are no longer considered as luxury but they have become a necessity and an everyday need for all.

How to Hire a Reputed Transportation Service Provider?

You love your car and have customized it as per your liking. This is one of the most valuable possessions for you. When you are relocating to another city, it is your prime concern as how to transport it? If the distance is too long, then there are safety risks involved and endless driving will make you tired. That is why it is always advisable to hire the services of a reliable and experienced transport service provider. They will save you from all the stress you may face by driving. Let us find out other important points you need to know in order to make sure that the chosen service provider is genuine.

fghExperience

A reputed company has a long list of satisfied clients and has an extensive experience. Due to their experience they are able to provide efficient services to their customers whenever and wherever they need. The customer base is the most important factor and this tells a lot about the reliability of the service provider. On the other hand, they provide attractive rates for these services. They also offer discounts on multiple car transport and this will enable you to avail cost effective services.

Payment Options

It is imperative on your part to opt for those transportation services which are open to different kinds of payment methods. Make sure they accept payment from personal cheques, cashier cheques and accept credit cards. They are also supposed to allow other methods like cash on delivery and money orders.

Timely Transportation

The time taken in transporting a vehicle may vary as it depends on several things. It starts from the time they pick up the vehicle and approximately it takes around 7 to 15 days to reach to the destination. It also depends on the route they take while transporting to the desired location.

Experienced transportation services are essential to complete the entire process in a convenient and efficient manner. They have their well proven methods to follow from the starting of the process to the delivery of your car. They provide transport quotes on the phone and online also. The best part is that their system is convenient and equipped with customer friendly options. After they pick up your car you can always find out its current location by using the online tracking system. This will analyze and tell as how much time they will take to travel the distance?

Multiple Vehicles

If you are shifting to another city with your family, then it is essential for you to look for efficient transportation services. They will transport multiple cars at discounted rates. Reputed service providers offer various plans on transporting more than one car.

mklLicense

This is the most important part of hiring a reputed transportation company. You can ask them about their license and the permission they have from the state department to offer these services to the general public. Find out whether they are registered with the concerned state authority or not. There are many advantages of taking services from reputed companies like they provide a complete inspection of the vehicle and door to door transportation service. In case of any problem, they also provide insurance coverage.