cars en Why more Americans are giving up their cars <p></p><p>Changes are happening in the way we've relied on cars and trucks to get us where we want to go. But can people really get around without cars?&nbsp;</p><p>Micki Maynard has founded a new journalism project called <a href="">Curbing Cars</a>. Part of this project is her e-book, <a href="">Curbing Cars: America's Independence from the Auto Industry</a>, which was published by Forbes. She joined us on Stateside.&nbsp;</p><p><em>*Listen to the full interview above.</em></p><p> Tue, 13 May 2014 20:24:13 +0000 Stateside Staff 17580 at Why more Americans are giving up their cars Are more of us making do without a car or truck? <p>Are Americans driving less?</p><p>Some interesting statistics from the University of Michigan's Transportation Research Institute finds that from coast to coast, more of us are making do without a car or truck.</p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">So, what's changing in the way younger Americans look at cars?</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">We're joined by Bridge Magazine writer Rick </span>Haglund,<span style="line-height: 1.5;"> who recently explored these questions in a piece titled "As Detroit auto show revs, America cools to car culture."</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">And we're joined by writer </span>Micki<span style="line-height: 1.5;"> Maynard, founder and editor in chief of <a href="">Curbing Cars</a></span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">, a website that chronicles changing attitudes towards transportation. She's also a former Detroit bureau chief for The New York Times.</span></p><p><em><span style="line-height: 1.5;">*Listen to the audio above.</span></em></p><p> Tue, 28 Jan 2014 22:40:41 +0000 Stateside Staff 16219 at Are more of us making do without a car or truck? Stateside for Monday, November 11th, 2013 <div><p>Driverless cars might just be a futurist's dream-no longer. The University of Michigan has announced its plans to bring a fleet of networked, driverless cars to Ann Arbor by the year 2021. We have the details on today's show.</p><p>And the temperatures are falling and parts of Michigan have snow on the ground. We asked if winter has already arrived.</p><p>Also, the Farm Bill passed last January took an important subsidy away from organic farmers.&nbsp;What does the loss of this subsidy mean to organic farmers in Michigan? And does a farm have to go through the trouble and expense of getting certified to be organic?</p><p>First on the show, it's been less than a week since voters in three very different Michigan cities all approved ballot initiatives allowing small amounts of marijuana for personal use on private property.</p><p>And that has pro-marijuana advocates hoping those votes will boost pressure on state lawmakers to legalize or decriminalize pot.</p><p>Michigan Public Radio Network's Lansing correspondent Jake&nbsp;Neher&nbsp;joined us today to give an overview of what efforts are underway.</p></div><p> Mon, 11 Nov 2013 22:20:01 +0000 Stateside Staff 15226 at Stateside for Monday, November 11th, 2013 Driverless cars could arrive in Ann Arbor in 2021 <p>Imagine driving through Ann Arbor, glancing over at the car next to you only to realize that the driver does not have his or her hands on the steering wheel, yet the car is moving along in traffic just fine.</p><p>That could happen in just a few short years.</p><p>The University of Michigan has announced plans to bring a fleet of networked, driverless cars to Ann Arbor by 2021.</p><p>Here to talk about what that would look like in the streets of Ann Arbor and what that might mean to drivers everywhere is the director of the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute. Peter Sweatman joined us today.</p><p><em>Listen to the full interview above.</em></p><p> Mon, 11 Nov 2013 22:03:33 +0000 Stateside Staff 15224 at Driverless cars could arrive in Ann Arbor in 2021 Stateside for Wednesday, July 31st, 2013 <p>The FBI has just completed a nationwide sweep resulting in the arrest of 150 pimps and the rescue of 105 children who had been forced into prostitution. We took a closer look at human trafficking in our state.</p><p>And, we spoke with Leigh Ann Ulrey, one of 30 college graduates to be selected for the Challenge Detroit program.</p><p>And, a new House bill could eliminate state income tax. State Representative Bob Genetski joined us to talk about why he thinks income tax is unnecessary.</p><p>Also, self-driving cars could be available to consumers within the next 2-3 years, according to Google. We found out what the future of transportation might look like.</p><p>First on the show, there was an important handshake this afternoon in Lansing.</p><p>UAW President Bob King shook hands with state government officials to officially launch the start of contract talks.</p><p>UAW Local 6000's contract with the state expires at the end of 2014.&nbsp;<span style="color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Georgia, Times, serif; font-size: 15px; line-height: 22px;">But the state needs to finalize the next contract by the end of this year in order to get it funded in next year's budget. Local 6000 represents 17,000 state employees.</span></p><p>Let's look at what the big issues might be in the negotiations.</p><p>Rick Pluta, Michigan Public Radio Network's Lansing bureau chief, joined us today.</p><p> Wed, 31 Jul 2013 22:16:27 +0000 Stateside Staff 13780 at Stateside for Wednesday, July 31st, 2013 European car sales are dropping and that's bad news for Ford, GM, and Chrysler <p>The latest word on new car sales in Europe is not anything that's bringing cheer at GM, Ford and Chrysler headquarters.</p><p>New car sales in Europe have just suffered their worst June in 17 years, and the six-month number is the worst in 20 years.</p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Reporter Russell </span>Padmore<span style="line-height: 1.5;"> from the BBC in London joined us today to give us a look at what's behind this&nbsp;</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">protracted free fall in European car sales</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">.</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">And&nbsp;</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">what do these European car sales numbers mean to folks at the </span>Ren<span style="line-height: 1.5;"> </span>Cen<span style="line-height: 1.5;"> in Detroit, Glass House in Dearborn, or the Tech Center in Auburn Hills? In other words, how are the poor sales in Europe affecting GM, Ford and Chrysler?</span></p><p>For that we turned to auto analyst Michele Krebs who’s with <a href=""></a>.</p><p><em>Listen to the full interview above.</em></p><p> Wed, 17 Jul 2013 21:41:43 +0000 Stateside Staff 13579 at European car sales are dropping and that's bad news for Ford, GM, and Chrysler New 'Pure' Michigan license plates unveiled (PHOTOS) <p>This morning, Secretary of State Ruth Johnson unveiled two new Michigan license plates.</p><p>(Click through the photos above to see Michigan plates through the ages.)</p><p>Standing on the Mackinac Bridge, Johnson revealed two newly designed plates that promote the state's Pure Michigan campaign.&nbsp; A simple blue and white version will eventually replace the state's standard plate, but another more colorful option featuring the Mackinac Bridge will also be available.</p><p>The plates will be available beginning early next year.</p> Wed, 22 Aug 2012 19:09:54 +0000 Michigan Radio Newsroom 8768 at New 'Pure' Michigan license plates unveiled (PHOTOS) Michigan is home to the Motor City, but what if young people stop driving? <p>In a state like Michigan, with a history that&#39;s virtually inseparable from that of the automobile, it might be hard to imagine a life without cars. But according to&nbsp; <a href="">a recent report</a>, an increasing number of the nation&#39;s young people are choosing to drive less or not to drive at all.</p><p>The report found that:</p> Tue, 01 May 2012 19:51:59 +0000 Michigan Radio Newsroom 7270 at Michigan is home to the Motor City, but what if young people stop driving? Car owners please apply! <p>Love it or hate it, nothing has shaped the American landscape quite like the car.</p><p>Tell us how important cars are to you. Do you name your cars? Do you love to drive?&nbsp; Is your car part of your identity?</p><p>Or, could you go a day, a week, or even a month without one?</p><p>Be a part of our Public Insight Network of&nbsp;everyday people with a story to tell:</p> Thu, 05 Apr 2012 17:44:58 +0000 Tracy Samilton 6923 at Car owners please apply! Boring, but important: Fuel economy standards getting tougher <p>New, more stringent fuel economy standards are the topic of conversation in Detroit today at the first public hearing for the proposed 2017 to 2025 model year CAFE standards (Corporate Average Fuel Economy standards).</p><p>Today&#39;s meeting in Detroit is the first of three meetings. The others will take place in Philadelphia and San Francisco.</p><p>So far, the remarkable news for a proposed standard that calls for fleet-wide average fuel economy of 54.5 mpg by 2025 is the lack of any formidable opposition. Tue, 17 Jan 2012 22:27:53 +0000 Mark Brush 5828 at Boring, but important: Fuel economy standards getting tougher People holding onto their clunkers, average age reaches a record 10.8 years <p>O.k. - just because it&#39;s old doesn&#39;t mean it&#39;s a clunker.</p><p>There still could be plenty of good miles left on that engine.</p><p>A Southfield-based auto research firm says Americans are holding onto their cars and trucks for a longer period of time.</p><p>The average age has reached a record 10.8 years, according to Polk.</p><p>From the Associated Press:</p><blockquote><p>The Polk research firm said Tuesday that the average age of a car last July was 11.1 years, while the truck average was 10.4.</p><p>Unemployment and the sour economy have caused people to put off buying cars and trucks.</p><p>Polk says the average vehicle age has been rising since 2008. But the firm says a sales rebound last year is likely to slow the aging rate.</p><p>Car companies sold 12.8 million vehicles in the U.S. last year, up from 11.6 million in 2010.</p><p>In 2010 the average vehicle on U.S. roads was 10.6 years old, up from 10 years in 2008.</p></blockquote><p>The numbers for the Polk analysis come from national auto registration data.</p><p>The group estimates that as of July 2011, there were 240,504,646 cars and trucks on the road - down from a record of 242,081,704 cars and trucks on the road in July 2008.</p><p>The average age of vehicles on the road has climbed steadily in just about every year since 1995, when the average age was 8.4 years.</p><p>In its<a href=""> press release</a>, Polk said the vehicle market is changing:</p><blockquote><p>Polk expects this trend may change in the coming years as CUV and small SUV populations in the U.S. market have risen in 2010 and 2011 due to their continued success in the market. Additionally, the rebound in new vehicle sales in 2011 and for the next couple of years will most likely slow down the aging rate seen in the market over the past three years, according to Polk.</p></blockquote><p> Tue, 17 Jan 2012 15:52:54 +0000 Mark Brush 5816 at People holding onto their clunkers, average age reaches a record 10.8 years Will.I.Am announces new car company on Tonight Show <p>The front man for the pop music group the Black Eyed Peas, William James Adams, Jr., more commonly known as <strong>Will.I.Am</strong>, announced that he will start a car company in East Los Angeles, the neighborhood he grew up in.</p><p>&quot;I invested my money in building my own vehicle, because I want to bring jobs to the ghetto that I come from, so why not invest like I invested in making a demo to start the Black Eyed Peas,&quot; said Adams.</p><p>He&#39;s not building a car from the ground up - more like modifying a car with existing Chrysler parts.</p><p>Here he is announcing the new venture, IAMAUTO, on the Tonight Show (apologies if you have to suffer through a commercial):</p><p><iframe frameborder="0" height="314" id="NBC Video Widget" src="" width="430"></iframe></p><p>Jalopnik, the Gawker website of the automotive world, didn&#39;t take the announcement too well.</p><p>Here&#39;s what Matt Hardigree wrote in his post &quot;<a href="">Will.I.Am Launches Crappy Car Company</a>&quot;:</p><blockquote><p>I didn&#39;t watch Leno last night, so all of this is coming via one online report attached to this picture. I&#39;d like to think it&#39;s a hoax but it&#39;s so bad it seems like it could credibly be a BEP byproduct.</p><p>The vehicle will be built using &quot;OEM parts from Chrysler&quot; with a Beats by Dr. Dre audio system. Given he drives a Chrysler 300 in <a href="">his new video</a> it&#39;s likely this is the basis for the car. Lord help us if it&#39;s a Chrysler 200.</p></blockquote><p>Will.I.Am wants Leno to test drive the car when it comes out. Thu, 05 Jan 2012 16:17:59 +0000 Mark Brush 5650 at Will.I.Am announces new car company on Tonight Show States ban lead wheel weights <p><em>By Julie Grant for The Environment Report</em></p><p>The U.S. has worked to get lead out of gas and out of paint, but the biggest source of lead in a consumer product is still on roadways. It&rsquo;s in the form of wheel weights, used to balance the tires on our cars. The Environmental Protection Agency says about 1.6 million pounds of lead fall off of vehicles each year, and it winds up in the environment. A handful of states is leading the effort to ban lead wheel weights.</p><p>If you notice a wobble or vibration when you&rsquo;re driving, it could mean you&rsquo;ve lost a wheel weight. Jeff Gearhart is a researcher with the Ecology Center in Ann Arbor. He says wheel weights are about the size of your pinky finger, and there are usually one or two of them for each tire.</p><p><em>&ldquo;If you look at the rubber part of the wheel, then there&rsquo;s a metal part, and if you look carefully, then you&rsquo;ll see a clip-on weight.&rdquo;</em></p><p>Gearhart isn&rsquo;t a traditional car guy. He cares about wheel weights because in most states, they&rsquo;re made with lead. Gearhart says it&rsquo;s easy to bump a curb, and lose a wheel weight. The EPA says 13% of them fall off. On the roads, the weights get crushed into dust. He says the lead winds up in the soil, in drinking water and ground water.</p><p><em>&ldquo;Lead&rsquo;s a neurotoxin, leads to learning disabilities, lower IQ. We don&rsquo;t know of any safe level of lead exposure in the environment.&rdquo;</em></p><p> Thu, 10 Nov 2011 14:00:00 +0000 Michigan Radio Newsroom 4927 at States ban lead wheel weights Honda recalling 1.5 million vehicles in U.S. <p>Honda is recalling about 1.5 million vehicles in the U. S. to update the software on the automatic transmission to decrease the possibility of transmission damage.</p><p>The recall affects certain 2005-2010 4-cylinder Accord,2007-2010 CR-V and 2005-2008 Element vehicles.</p><p>The company said Friday that without the change, the transmission&#39;s secondary shaft bearing can be damaged when the car is shifted too quickly. Honda said that can happen when a driver tries to get the vehicle dislodged from mud or snow.</p> Fri, 05 Aug 2011 18:59:41 +0000 The Associated Press 3634 at Honda recalling 1.5 million vehicles in U.S. Technology's Role in New Fuel Efficiency Standards <p></p><p><span id="role_document">Last week, when the government announced the new fuel efficiency standards for 2025, I heard a number of Detroit auto buffs snort that they were unrealistic, utopian, and impossible.</span></p><p><span id="role_document">&ldquo;There&rsquo;s no way they can get a corporate fuel economy average of fifty-four miles a gallon, no way,&rdquo; one man told me.</span></p><p><span id="role_document">Well, my technical knowledge of cars is limited to knowing where to find the owner&rsquo;s manual when one of those warning lights comes on. But I do know something about the history of technology, and the general pattern is this:</span></p><p><span id="role_document">If the experts say something is going to happen in five years, that usually means it is happening somewhere, right now, and will be widespread within a year and totally triumphant in eighteen months.</span></p><p><span id="role_document">If they say that something is technically impossible, that means that the first practical application may not appear for a year or so. There are exceptions, of course.&nbsp; But just consider this:</span></p><p> Fri, 05 Aug 2011 14:40:00 +0000 Jack Lessenberry 3630 at Technology's Role in New Fuel Efficiency Standards Smart cars not catching on in Michigan <p>The only Smart car dealership in Michigan will close next week.</p><p>Aaron Bragman is senior analyst with IHS automotive. He says Smart cars never caught on in the US.</p><blockquote><p>&ldquo;In this market if you&rsquo;re going to offer a small car and have it be successful, it has to be small and something. It has to be small and cute or small and efficient or small and well built. The smart car unfortunately was really just,&nbsp; small.&rdquo;</p></blockquote><p>Bragman says the fuel economy wasn&rsquo;t what people thought it would be.</p> Wed, 22 Jun 2011 17:45:49 +0000 Michigan Radio Newsroom 2990 at Smart cars not catching on in Michigan Toyota recalls certain RAV4s and Highlanders <p>An airbag issued is prompting Toyota to recall some RAV4s and Highlanders.</p><p>From the Associated Press:</p><blockquote><p>The recall includes about 214,000 RAV4s from 2007 and 2008 and approximately 94,000 Highlander and Highlander HV vehicles from 2008. All of the vehicles involved were sold in the U.S.</p><p>The recall does not include any other Lexus or Toyota vehicles.</p> Thu, 21 Apr 2011 18:35:13 +0000 Mark Brush 2172 at Toyota recalls certain RAV4s and Highlanders Honda to recall Civics from 2011 <p>The <a href="">Detroit News</a> reports that Honda will recall&nbsp; 2011 model year Civics for possible problems in rollover accidents. From the News:</p><blockquote><p>Honda said the to inspect and replace a part that could fail to prevent fuel from leaking out of the fuel tank and into the evaporative emissions canister in a rollover.<br /><br />The fuel pump module is equipped with a rollover valve but because of improper welding of the plastic case, it may break or crack, Honda said.</p> Thu, 17 Mar 2011 14:53:39 +0000 Mark Brush 1688 at Honda to recall Civics from 2011 GM plans to "go green" without government help <p>The new GM has been turning a corner of late. It posted three profitable quarters last year:</p><ul><li>$865 million in the first quarter</li><li>$1.6 billion in the second quarter</li><li>$2.1 billion in the third quarter</li></ul><p>(still waiting on fourth quarter numbers)</p><p>Now, in another sign of financial health, the auto company says it will no longer seek government loans to help it modernize factories:</p><p>From the <a href="">Associated Press</a>:</p> Thu, 27 Jan 2011 18:07:05 +0000 Mark Brush 1039 at GM plans to "go green" without government help GM's Mark Reuss talks about auto industry's future <p>Today president of <a href="">GM</a> North America, Mark <span>Reuss</span> spoke with Michigan Radio's All Things Considered Host, <a href="">Jennifer White</a>.</p><p>The Chevy Volt won the "<a href="">Car of the Year Award</a>" at the Detroit Auto Show. White asked Reuss why the auto company has put so much into the development of the Volt.</p><blockquote><p>"If you look at the electric and hybrid car piece of the industry, it's been steadily gaining in popularity as time goes on. But what does it take to go beyond hybrid? To go beyond the traditional electric car and produce something that really has an exteded range with the gasoline and the battery on board, so you don't have to worry about an electric engine on board?"</p></blockquote><p>Reuss said they accomplished that with the development of the Volt, and that GM remained focused on the Volt through some rough times.</p><p>When asked about the prospects for the new car market, Reuss was upbeat because he says there are a lot of people driving older cars, so there's "pent up demand" for new cars:</p><blockquote><p>"And the reason why I say this is because if you look at the cost to operate some of the newer vehicles from a fuel efficiency standpoint, they're much, much lower than some of the vehicles these people are forced to hang onto."</p></blockquote><p>Reuss said, in the past, the company has been good at engineering and building trucks and some of the "truck variants," but today they're re-focusing their efforts on smaller cars:<span _fck_bookmark="1" style="display: none;">&nbsp;</span></p><blockquote><p>"We have refocused with the launch of things like the Volt, and the Sonic for Chevrolet, and then the <span _fck_bookmark="1" style="display: none;">&nbsp;</span>Verano for Buick. We've really refocused our efforts into excellence in the small and compact car markets. And you're going to see those as really good alternatives in the market as we go forward."</p></blockquote><p>Reuss was asked how he views the automotive industry today. Here's his response:<p></p> Mon, 10 Jan 2011 22:21:00 +0000 Mark Brush 824 at GM's Mark Reuss talks about auto industry's future