Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Are you willing to pay more for connected vehicle technologies?

We all know all sorts of technologies, everything from autopilot systems and remote diagnostics to stolen vehicle tracking, offer some potentially big benefits to the trucking industry.

But are truckers willing to pay extra for them? And if so, how much extra?

Global consulting firm Accenture recently conducted a survey posing those very questions to consumers in China, Germany and the U.S. regarding a range of automobile technologies and found – on average – drivers would opt to pay up to an additional 10% of a new car’s sticker price to obtain various in-car systems offering a variety of entertainment, information, remote and driver support services.

In the U.S., where average sticker prices for new light vehicles hit $34,428 in December last year, according to Kelly Blue Book, that “up to 10%” figure translates into some $3,400 or so for technology.

As a point of reference, Axel Schmidt, managing director in Accenture’s automotive practice, noted that the firm polled 5,111 drivers over the age of 18 who operate a vehicle on a regular basis in China, Germany and the U.S. and who also own a smartphone or plan to buy one in the next 6-12 months.

“Consumers are becoming more inclined to make separate purchases of the in-car functions they want most,” he added. “We believe that the demand for a range of features, from safety systems and remote services to parking assist technology, will increase in the coming years.”

Indeed, Accenture believes that by 2025, all new cars sold will be connectivity-enabled. But the question remains exactly what kinds of “connectivity” will appeal most to drivers. Some indications from the firm’s survey include:
  •     The functionalities consumers would be most willing to spend more on include remote services such as when a vehicle automatically sends a distress message (63%) to the nearest emergency center when a life-threatening situation occurs or alerts when vehicle breaks down (41%).
  •     There is also high interest in remote diagnostics (75%) and vehicle lifecycle management reports (71%), with nearly half of the respondents (43%) willing to spend extra on these features.
  •     Over half (55%) want location functionalities like stolen vehicle tracking and recovery, navigation, and remote parked car locator systems, with a third (29%) willing pay more for those in-car services.
  •     All told, seven in ten of all respondents (71%) would pay up to 10% of a car’s price to add such functionality to their light vehicles.

Accenture also emphasized that consumer interest in key in-car technologies is likely to grow, with 75% and 71% respectively expecting to use vehicle health and vehicle lifecycle management services in the future.

Appeal for location-based services is also anticipated to gain popularity, with 78% of respondents to Accenture’s poll saying they are interested in having a stolen vehicle recovery and tracking system in the future, with 71% desiring features like the remote parked car locator and just under two-thirds, or 59%, welcoming the use of in-car navigation systems down the road.

In addition, 35% of drivers surveyed by the firm desiring “concierge services” such as voice-activated responses to location-based questions, with 19% willing to pay an additional fee to get it.

A further 32% want “smart home” integration for their vehicles, which provides the ability to control automated devices within the home from a connected vehicle, and 20% would pay more for it.

Yet how much are folks willing to spend for such offerings? Here’s what Accenture’s poll found:
  •     Drivers surveyed in China would be willing to spend an average of 16% of the new car’s price on “infotainment” features, while U.S. drivers stop at 15% and Germans at 11% of a new car’s sticker price.
  •     For “convenience” services, drivers in the U.S. are willing to spend on average up to 16% of a car’s price, followed by China at 15% and Germany at 11%.
  •     With regard to payments for in-car services, nearly half of respondents (47%) are willing to make an upfront payment when buying a new car, or pay for connected services over the lifetime of the services.
  •     More than one-third of those polled (34%) want free basic services subject to in-car advertising with the option to upgrade to premium versions of services.
  •     And 32% would consider paying a monthly fee for connected vehicle services using a credit card or PayPal.
Some things to think about as we continue diving deeper into the connected vehicle future, in both the car market and commercial trucking space.

Source: http://fleetowner.com/blog/are-you-willing-pay-more-connected-vehicle-technologies

Future Industry-first OnStar Proactive Alerts set to redefine routine maintenance

DETROIT – Chevrolet is introducing the industry’s first predictive technology, enabling your vehicle to warn you about a potential maintenance need before it occurs.

The technology is similar in concept to that on the Boeing 787, which can send in-flight messages to ground crews alerting them of parts needing inspection before the plane arrives. For Chevrolet drivers who opt-in to the service, OnStar Proactive Alerts continually monitors the health of the vehicle’s starter motor, fuel pump and 12-volt battery. If anomalies are detected, OnStar will notify drivers to take their vehicle in for service, reducing unexpected repairs.

The service, is available now for OnStar subscribers who own a 2016 Chevy Silverado, Tahoe, Suburban, Corvette and Equinox.

“Chevrolet is already the most awarded car brand in the industry, and Silverado is the most dependable, longest lasting full-size pickup on the road,” said Steve Holland, chief technologist for Vehicle Health Management at General Motors. “With Proactive Alerts, we now can offer customers even greater peace-of-mind by taking the guesswork out of when to service their vehicle.” 

Proactive Alerts collects a small batch of data each time the vehicle is started, and monitors it on an ongoing basis. Then, sophisticated systems analyze and refine billions of pieces of data, accumulated across the fleet of vehicles. If the data indicates a particular vehicle’s component is not performing as expected, the system will automatically send the driver a message through an in-vehicle notification, and either an email or text message based on customer preference.

“Accuracy is the key to our prediction algorithms,” Holland said. “We will be able to inform dealer service departments so they can spend less time testing for a condition we have already diagnosed. They can replace the necessary part quicker and minimize the amount of time a customer’s vehicle is at the dealership.”

Proactive Alerts is offered with all OnStar service plans on eligible models, including the OnStar Basic Plan that comes standard for five years on new Chevrolet vehicles. In the future, plans are in place for Proactive Alerts to monitor additional vehicle components and expand to other Chevrolet models.

For example, Proactive Alerts can monitor the health of the 12-volt battery. The system is intelligent enough to distinguish between a low state of charge – which can be solved by going for a short drive – and high electrical resistance that could indicate the battery needs replacement.

“A few companies are doing limited in-vehicle diagnostics, but none have yet demonstrated the capability we offer,” said Paul Krajewski, director of the Vehicle Systems Research Laboratory at General Motors. “As we keep expanding the parts of the vehicle we cover, we hope to continuously enhance our customers’ experience, saving them time and money.”

About Chevrolet
Founded in 1911 in Detroit, Chevrolet is now one of the world's largest car brands, doing business in more than 115 countries and selling around 4.8 million cars and trucks a year. Chevrolet provides customers with fuel-efficient vehicles that feature engaging performance, design that makes the heart beat, passive and active safety features and easy-to-use technology, all at a value. More information on Chevrolet models can be found at www.chevrolet.com.

About OnStar
Launched in 1996, OnStar is a wholly owned subsidiary of GM Holdings LLC (“GM”) and offers emergency, security, navigation, connections and vehicle manager services in Chevrolet, Buick, GMC, Cadillac, Opel and Vauxhall models. Totaling more than 7 million subscribers in North America, South America, Europe and China, OnStar offers a range of standard, subscription and a la carte services such as the RemoteLink mobile app, Advanced Diagnostics, Automatic Crash Response, Stolen Vehicle Assistance, AtYourService, OnStar Smart Driver and 4G LTE Wi-Fi. In 2015, OnStar surpassed 1 billion customer interactions, topped more than 2 million 4G LTE Wi-Fi equipped-vehicles, and debuted in Opel/Vauxhall.

Monday, May 23, 2016

Ford Transit, Transit Connect, Flex Win Vincentric Best Fleet Value in America Awards

DEARBORN, Mich., May 19, 2016 – Ford Motor Company, led by the strength of its Transit van lineup, won seven Vincentric Best Fleet Value in America awards for 2016.

The awards recognize vehicles that provide fleet customers with lowest total cost of ownership.

Ford vans were named best value for fleets in the following categories for the second consecutive year:
  •     Full-size half-ton passenger van: Ford Transit 150 XL low-roof wagon
  •     Full-size three-quarter-ton cargo van: Ford Transit 250 low-roof van
  •     Full-size one-ton cargo van: Ford Transit 350 low-roof van
  •     Small commercial passenger van: Ford Transit Connect XLT short-wheelbase van
Ford Flex SE equipped with front-wheel drive was named a best fleet value in Vincentric’s large SUV/crossover category for the third time. Two Lincoln models also received awards.

Vincentric Best Fleet Value in America awards are based on fleet lifecycle costs in eight key areas – depreciation, fuel, insurance, financing, repairs, fees and taxes, opportunity costs and maintenance. Winning vehicles have the lowest lifecycle costs across 20 different ownership and mileage scenarios – ranging from 24 months of ownership/10,000 miles annually to 60 months of ownership/30,000 miles annually. Learn more, including the specific trim levels of the award-winning vehicles, at www.vincentric.com.
About Ford Motor Company

Ford Motor Company is a global automotive and mobility company based in Dearborn, Michigan. With about 201,000 employees and 67 plants worldwide, the company’s core business includes designing, manufacturing, marketing, financing and servicing a full line of Ford cars, trucks, SUVs and electrified vehicles, as well as Lincoln luxury vehicles.  At the same time, Ford is aggressively pursuing emerging opportunities through Ford Smart Mobility, the company’s plan to be a leader in connectivity, mobility, autonomous vehicles, the customer experience and data and analytics. The company provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company. For more information regarding Ford and its products worldwide or Ford Motor Credit Company, visit www.corporate.ford.com.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

GMC Enlists Josh Duhamel to Support Building for America’s Bravest During Military Appreciation Month

To donate visit ourbravest.org/enlistme 
or call 844-BRAVEST

DETROIT - In honor of Military Appreciation Month, and as part of the ongoing relationship between GMC and veteran support program Building for America’s Bravest, the brand is calling on its staff, fans and fellow Americans to support the foundation’s work to build life-changing smart homes for severely injured service members. GMC has committed to contribute up to $2 million by the end of 2016 and is asking people across the country to “enlist to unlist” the more than 200 severely injured service men and women currently waiting for smart homes.

As part of the campaign, a continuation of the #enlistme activity started in 2015, GMC has enlisted the support of actor Josh Duhamel as campaign ambassador, in an effort to increase awareness and raise funds to make significant differences in the lives of these courageous service members.

Speaking on why he chose to support, Duhamel referenced his strong ties to both the military and the GMC brand. “I grew up near a military base in North Dakota. My aunt was in the military and completed a number of tours overseas and my grandfather was a proud veteran. I feel it’s my duty as an American, and as a supporter of our veterans, to do as much as I can to bring awareness to the work of Building for America’s Bravest. I have owned a GMC truck since 2004, so when GMC asked me to step up and work with them, it was a no-brainer. I hope you will join me in enlisting to support this incredible cause.”

GMC and its parent company have supported the U.S. military for more than 100 years, working with the mantra of “Helping, Hiring & Driving,” through a mixture of employment programs, veteran support programs and offering the best possible automotive military discount during Military Appreciation Month, which is offered to all 21 million veterans and their families through May 31, 2016.

Speaking on the importance of the #enlistme campaign, U.S. Vice President GMC, Duncan Aldred added, “GMC supports the military all year round, but we are especially excited to work with Josh Duhamel during Military Appreciation Month to raise awareness for Building for America’s Bravest. The GMC brand is about precision and attention to detail across our vehicles, and as such, it makes sense for us to support the building of precise smart homes to give these heroes a sense of independence and comfort.”

The #enlistme campaign features two pieces of unique content, hosted by Duhamel, that introduce viewers to some of the veterans who have benefitted from the work of the program:

GMC #enlistme 360 Skydive - The first film sees two severely injured veterans, Marine Cpl. Todd Love and Army Staff Sgt. Stephen Valyou, complete a skydive to celebrate the feeling of independence that smart homes give to veterans. The unique 360-degree video will be available to view and post beginning May 21.

Discussing his passion for skydiving, Love, a triple amputee, said, “When I’m in the sky flying with my friends we’re all equals. Gravity treats us all the same.”

GMC Presents #enlistme with Josh Duhamel - In a documentary-style film, Duhamel meets Marine Sgt. Ben Tomlinson at his smart home in Jacksonville, Alabama to speak with Tomlinson and his family about their journey and the positive impact this home has had on his life. The mini documentary will be available to view and post beginning May 26.

Describing his experience with Building for America’s Bravest, which is a program of the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation, Tomlinson said, “Living in this house has made my outlook on life more positive, and I know the impact on my family has been as big, if not bigger, than it has been for me. I am told all the time that I’m a hero, but to me, the people from Building for America’s Bravest are the real heroes because they’re helping to improve people’s lives. I’m grateful to GMC for supporting their work.”

Speaking on the longstanding relationship with GMC, Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation CEO Frank Siller stated, “GMC’s support of the military is second to none. We’re incredibly thankful for our partnership with them.” Siller continued, “The respect and appreciation that Josh Duhamel has for our veterans truly serves as an example for us all. We’re grateful for his selfless effort to help raise funds and awareness for our Foundation. With the help of Josh and GMC, we’ll be able to build more smart homes for catastrophically injured service members through our Building for America’s Bravest program.”

360° Camera | F-150 Class-Exclusives

A Ford F-150. A tightly packed parking lot. And some very expensive-looking bikes. What could go wrong? See how our class-exclusive 360° camera* leads the way.

Learn more about the Ford F-150 and its class-exclusive features: http://www.ford.com/trucks/f150/

Subscribe to Ford Tough: https://www.youtube.com/fordtrucks/

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Ford Ranger 2016 - Test Drive Review

If you are looking for a new 4x4 pick-up at present, you'll be hard-pressed to know which way to turn. Mitsubishi has recently relaunched the L200, Nissan has introduced the next generation NP300 Navara, Toyota is about to reveal a new Hilux, revised VW Amarok is later this year and an updated Isuzu D-Max will hit UK shores early in 2017. If that wasn't enough, Fiat and Renault are about to enter the fray respectively with the Fullback (rebadged L200) and Alaskan (rebadged Navara). Mercedes-Benz is even joining the fun in late 2017 with a re-bodied, Navara-based offering.

But it is the blue oval which has launched the latest muscle truck in the form of the revised Ranger and it is making some pretty big waves. It is already the best-selling 4x4 in Europe and in the UK, after trailing behind the L200 and Hilux last year, January and February 2016 sales have seen it taking pole position in its sector. - See more at: http://www.vansa2z.com/Ford-Ranger-2016-Test-Drive-Review#sthash.QrmtHPVZ.dpuf

Friday, May 20, 2016

2016 Ram 1500 Review

The current-generation Ram 1500 has been one of the most value-packed half-tons in the segment from the moment it was introduced in 2013. Now that the pickup market is moving at warp speed (growing last month by 10 percent), Ram announced it will move most of its next-generation 1500 production to a bigger plant with more capacity.

Meanwhile, take a look at the strengths and weaknesses of the current-gen Ram 1500 in our comprehensive Cars.com review to see how the current Ram half-ton measures up against the competition. Click here.

Source: http://news.pickuptrucks.com/2016/05/2016-ram-1500-review.html

Iveco makes the most of CV Show 2016

As the sole major truck manufacturer attending this year’s Commercial Vehicle Show, Iveco is maximising its presence with an outdoor exhibit by the entrance featuring its award-winning Eurocargo and Stralis (International Truck of the Year 2013) trucks alongside Daily. Not only that, with Mercedes-Benz a no-show Iveco has taken the opportunity to purloin the German manufacturers historical stand position opposite Ford by the entrance to Hall 5.

The stand will house a 7.5 tonne version of the latest generation Eurocargo (International Truck of the Year 2016) and at least seven different Daily (International Van of the Year 2015) models. Daily’s line-up is being selected to highlight the breadth of the 3.5t – 7.2t range and will include panel vans, chassis cabs, a 4x4 model and a minibus powered by the latest Iveco diesel engine technology. Iveco promises a major international premiere at the show, and will also showcase the latest generation Daily Electric for the first time in the UK.

There will also be the chance to get hands-on with Daily. Iveco is doubling the size of its CV Show ride and drive fleet, with visitors able to get behind the wheel of five Daily vehicles over a 20-minute route departing from outside Hall 5.

The test fleet will include three Daily vans featuring Iveco’s Hi-Matic eight-speed fully automatic gearbox, a CNG-powered model and a Daily minibus. - See more at: http://www.vansa2z.com/Iveco-makes-the-most-of-CV-Show-2016#sthash.UiCtZ5nS.dpuf

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Reading Truck Body - 2016 - Craig Bonham, The Classic II

READING TRUCK BODY discusses their Flagship 9 foot all-Aluminum Classic II service body with 40 inch cabinet network, which matches Ford's flowing bumperline with the skirtline of the body. Craig demonstrates stainless steel paddle latches, a brand-new pull-out mechanic's drawer system, as a part of the partnership with ProTech, a quick install modular design. Craig also demonstrating Readygate, announced this year, giving the owner/operator 1.1 cubic feet of additional storage space.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

New report: Pickup and SUV production surging 49 percent-

Though they may be the scourge of some government officials set on doubling the current fuel efficiency average, you may have noticed more pickups and SUVs on the road.

If you have, that would come as no surprise to a leading U.S. auto analyst said Wednesday that trucks and SUVs are poised to become the most popular vehicles on the road, according to Reuters.

See more at:


2017 Ford Super Duty Camper Handling and Roll Testing

Ford engineers put the all-new 2017 Super Duty – the toughest, smartest, most capable Super Duty ever – to the test at the Arizona Proving Grounds.

See how we push the Super Duty to the limit with a custom built slide-in camper simulator to demonstrate the roll stability control and other capabilities designed to ensure that every Super Duty customer is a happy camper.

Learn more about the all-new Super Duty: https://www.ford.com/trucks/superduty...

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Cummins Stage V Engine Launch at Bauma 2016

Cummins Chairman and CEO Tom Linebarger and Vice President of Engineering Jim Fier introduce the Cummins Stage V Engine lineup at the Bauma Exhibition held in Munich in April 2016.

The newly revealed F3.8, B4.5, B6.7 and L9 engines range from 100hp to 430hp (75-321 kW), and achieve a major increase in power and torque by removing the Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR) system and using Cummins Single Module™ aftertreatment technology.

The X12 and X15 engines complete the Stage V line-up, taking output up to 675hp (503 kW) for heavy duty applications. The F3.8 is also available at a 74hp (55 kW) rating, ideally suited for compact equipment requiring high levels of torque.

“Cummins is raising the engine performance bar higher with our EGR-free approach for Stage V, and that leadership will continue to drive the equipment industry forward to meet the regulations in 2019 with simpler machine integration," said Linebarger. Learn more at http://cumminsengines.com/bauma

Monday, May 16, 2016

Chevrolet reveals 2017 Silverado High Desert package-

 Chevrolet today unveiled the 2017 Silverado High Desert package, which is based on the concept vehicle revealed at the 2014 SEMA show.

Arriving at dealer showrooms this fall for the LT, LTZ and High Country trim levels, the High Desert package offers unique exterior styling, a new cargo system that is lockable and water resistant and available Magnetic Ride Control suspension on High Country.

“The High Desert package blends the capability and utility of Silverado with the refinement and luxury of Suburban,” said Sandor Piszar, director of Chevrolet truck marketing. “It’s ideal for those customers who want both the security of a lockable cargo area, as well as the flexibility of a pickup truck bed.”

A new flexible, lockable storage system in the cargo bed locks cargo and protects it from the elements. The system installs over the roll-formed, high-strength steel bed to add dual side storage bins and a three-piece hard tonneau cover.

Inside, a cargo divider can be raised to secure smaller items, or lowered to access the full length of the bed floor. As with all Silverado LT, LTZ, and High Country models, the tailgate locks with the keyfob, enabling users to secure their cargo with the push of a button.

The High Desert package on the LT trim level features 20-inch wheels with all-season tires, while 22-inch wheels and all-terrain tires are available on LTZ and High Country trim levels.

The High Desert is also the first Silverado offered with Magnetic Ride Control suspension, which delivers more precise body motion control. Its sensors analyze the road every millisecond, triggering damping changes in as little as five milliseconds in electronically controlled shock absorbers that replace conventional mechanical-valve shocks. They’re filled with a magneto-rheological fluid containing minute iron particles and under the presence of a magnetic charge, the iron particles align to provide damping resistance. Changes in the magnetic charge alter the damping rate of the shocks, with changes occurring almost instantly.

Silverado’s EcoTec3 6.2L V-8, is available on LTZ and High Country models and is backed by the new Hydra-Matic 8L90 eight-speed automatic transmission. The engine is SAE-certified at 420 horsepower and 460 lb.-ft. of torque, making it the most powerful engine offered in a light-duty truck.

Chevrolet reports that Silverado’s lineup of special editions offer more choices for truck buyers than any other brand.

- See more at: http://www.hardworkingtrucks.com/chevrolet-reveals-silverado-high-desert-package/#sthash.vFjNIc1Q.dpuf

Venturo Van Cranes for HVAC, Plumbing, Parcel Delivery, Utility Services, Etc!

Van manufacturers have been boosting production as demand increases for Euro style, high roof, cargo vans.  This includes many industries which could require lifting solutions such as HVAC, plumbing, parcel delivery, health services, construction fleets, utility services and government fleets.  With this in mind, Venturo has developed specialized crane applications that are the first of its kind in the industry.  The all-new VC1000 van crane from Venturo features a horizontally articulated jib boom to reach deep within the van with a capacity of 1,000 lbs. at maximum reach.  The VC1000 allows safe and productive material handling without the need for a forklift or a heavy, expensive lift gate.  Venturo also offers a side-door option with a 500 lb maximum capacity and a 2.6′ reach with a 12V DC winch.

 Model  VC500FB

The VC500FB van crane includes a 2 ft, 6 in boom length with a maximum capacity of 500 lbs. for the Ford Transit 250 Mid-Roof work van side door. This crane fits the new Euro-style vans.

Note: 500LB maximum capacity is based on typical van floor structure limitations, not winch capacity. It is the sole responsibility of the installer to determine if additional floor reinforcement is necessary.

VC1000 Commercial Van Crane – Coming Soon!    

All-New Van Crane Coming 2016!

The Venturo VC1000 Van Crane utilizes a unique dual floor and ceiling mounted telescopic mast that integrates with the van structure itself to ensure maximum structural integrity. The horizontally articulated boom uses roller bearings that allow the operator to guide the load easily in and out of the van. A unique rotation control feature utilizes a hand lever that operates a cable controlled multi-position rotation lock. This rotation lock enables the operator to lock the crane in various positions. This key feature adds an additional safeguard for the operator as the load is being loaded and unloaded.

12110 Best Place Cincinnati, OH 45241   PHONE: 800-226-2238  EMAIL: info@venturo.com 

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Sacramento Auto Museum Spotlights Pickup Trucks

Anyone living in or traveling to the Central Valley of California in the next few months should plan to visit the California Automobile Museum in Sacramento. You'll want to see the dozen historically significant pickup trucks on display there.

Dressed up to do the things they're built to do, the pickups are part of a temporary exhibit called "The Pickup Truck: Where Utility Meets Everyday." The exhibit showcases some of the most important pickups built during the last century. It even includes an aluminum-body Ford F-150 to represent today's workhorse (some will argue whether this pickup will ever become a classic, but you never know).

"Where Utility Meets Everyday" includes period-correct displays of the activities for which these trucks may have been purchased, along with several interactive displays designed to get kids and adults contributing to the exhibit. Our favorites were the miniature toy truck display and the post-the-oddest-thing-you've-seen-in-a-pickup-bed board, where people can briefly tell their own stories about how creative pickup owners can be when it comes to cargo.

See more at: http://news.pickuptrucks.com/2016/05/sacramento-auto-museum-spotlights-pickup-trucks.html