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A1 Auto Transport Blog

Auto Transport on the Precipice?

Just days ago, a car carrier full of cross-over vehicles was involved in an accident that almost sent the cargo off the edge of a tall bridge in China.  The truck’s driver somehow managed to swerve off the road, only saved from mortal danger by the weight of the vehicles holding the truck in place.  This close call is just one of the many reasons that drivers must remain vigilant at all times, especially commercial drivers such as this one.  Thank goodness the driver escaped unharmed, and there was minimal damage to all the vehicles on board as well.  The transport truck, however, was another matter.  And the costs involved to right this wrong were nearly insurmountable.

 

 

When shipping a vehicle, it is always important to check the company’s shipping record before agreeing to any contract.  Although there is no planning for freak accidents or acts of God, it is telling if a company routinely employs drivers with a less than stellar track record.  Although minimal information has been released regarding this particular driver, judging by this predicament alone, I would not recommend enlisting this auto shipping company for future transport.  It is truly a miracle that the 20+ vehicles in transport suffered only cosmetic damage when involved in an accident of this magnitude.

 

 

Keep in mind that the most expensive car transport company is not necessarily the best, and conversely, the most affordable is not always the worst.  Shop reputable companies and compare quotes before making a decision with who to go with when entrusting your vehicle into another’s care.  Make the right decision and you won’t have to worry about receiving the call that your vehicle has been “hung-up” with a completely unprecedented accident such as this one.  Chinese police were forced to divert traffic into the remaining two unaffected lanes, causing the flow of traffic to come to a stand-still for hours on end, while the carrier rescue was underway.  In any case, it’s safe to say, that as lucky as the driver was to escape with his life, job security from this point on will be almost definitely non-existent.

 

 

 

Golf Cart Shipping | A-1 Auto Transport, Inc.

Unlike shipping a standard sized vehicle, transporting a golf cart is a specialized service that not every shipper has extensive experience with. That being the case, you may get some wildly different cost estimates when comparing prices and evaluating companies. When in doubt, the best approach to lean toward the companies that have both experience and a physical office in location in the areas you’re shipping to and from.

Whether you’re shipping an ATV, UTV, go-kart, or golf cart, we are able to provide affordable, professional shipment to any part of the world. A-1 Auto Transport ships to all 50 states (including Hawaii and Alaska), and we are fully licensed, bonded, and insured (see below for more information about insurance). It doesn’t matter if it’s new or used, running or not; with more than 25 years of industry experience, there’s no job we can’t handle!

 

If you need a golf cart shipped internationally, that’s also a service we offer. We cater to customers from all parts of the world and regularly make shipments to every corner of the globe. If you’ve had a hard time finding a reliable shipper with the experience you can trust, give us a call to learn more about what we offer! 

 

The Process of Shipping A Golf Cart: Tips & Info

 

Aside from which company you decide to go with, you’ll have some choices to make when shipping a golf cart. The are two main ways to have a vehicle transported: in an open carrier, or in an enclosed one. As you might imagine, an enclosed carrier offers more protection and privacy, but it does come with an additional cost. Similarly, you can have a shipment delivered directly to your door (as opposed to a delivery terminal) as a premium service. 

 

Here are three of the most important aspects of golf cart shipping:

 

Vehicle tracking - Every shipment we make is tracked electronically, allowing us to provide customers with real-time updates on the status of their delivery. We focus on providing affordable, on-time delivery for every single vehicle and we pride ourselves on keeping our customers in the loop and the lines of communication open. We’re happy to answer any of your questions at any point during the process. 

 

Insurance - Insurance is included as part of every cost estimate we provide, regardless of vehicle type or destination. Whether you need a golf cart shipped across the state or across the country, we’ve got you covered against potential damages. 

 

Crating - Depending on the method of shipment, you may want to consider having you’re golf cart crated before delivery. This is not always necessary, but it can be a good idea in certain situations (for example, air freight, or flatbed transport). We provide crating services for motorcycles, go-karts, UTVs, golf carts, and any other type of recreational vehicle.

 

Considering shipping a golf cart, go-kart, ATV, or UTV? Give us a call today at the number at the top of the page to find out how we can help! We have shipping experts on hand to answer your questions and we offer FREE cost estimates--no commitment or obligation required!

 

 

Volkswagen & Dieselgate: Where Are We Now?

What is Dieselgate? 

The Environmental Protection Agency issued Volkswagen a violation of the Clean Air Act in September 2015. The violation came after it was determined that certain Volkswagen models--namely TDI, or turbocharged direct injection diesel engines--had emission control settings that were only activated during certain types of emission tests. What this did was allow the vehicles to essentially give a false negative in tests about emission pollution. 

 

In some cases, the cars that were passing emissions tests were giving off up to 40 times more than the amount of nitrous oxide emissions allowed by current regulations. All told, this “technology” was implemented in over 11 million vehicles between 2009 and 2015, of which about 500,000 were in the U.S.

 

What penalties were handed down?

Volkswagen will face criminal charges from the U.S. Department of Justice in light of the scandal, the details of which are still being worked out. It remains to be seen whether a guilty plea will be sought out, though Volkswagen has already agreed that it deceived regulators with the practice. 

 

Most likely, the case will be settled with financial penalties and a deferred prosecution agreement, as has been the case in past safety issues with auto manufacturers, namely GM and Toyota. As part of the penalty, Volkswagen must pay nearly $15 million to both consumers and regulators for intentionally misleading them. In the wake of the scandal, Volkswagen’s chief executive resigned after the findings of the EPA were revealed. 

 

Past Cases & The Future Of Volkswagen

 

According to an article in the Wall Street Journal, Volkswagen has earmarked $21 billion to deal with the aftermath of the scandal. Obviously, no small sum of money, which indicates the German automaker may be bracing for an even larger penalty and more fallout. 

 

Previous Cases

 

Toyota - Toyota was forced to pay $1.2 billion in a settlement in 2014 in which it was revealed that they intentionally hid safety defects in their cars from consumers and regulators. The defect was related to a sudden and unexpected acceleration of several of their vehicle models.

General Motors - Following on the heels of the Toyota scandal, GM was forced to pay a $900 million fine an ignition-switch defect. The defect was connected to nearly 200 deaths before being discovered. 

 

Looking Forward

Based on the two previous cases that most closely resemble the Volkswagen emission scandal, it would seem that a hefty fine and a promise to change their methods is all that will come of this. In both the Toyota and GM case, no criminal charges were brought forward against specific employees and a deferred agreement was reached with prosecutors. 

Testing Technology: Can You Trust Tesla’s Autopilot?

Autopilot and autonomous driving are coming soon; there’s no doubt about that. What there is some doubt about is how quickly the technology can be implemented and most importantly, how safe it is. Recent incidents with the Tesla Model X SUV self-driving technology has raised some new questions about high-tech on the roadways, as well as the role of the operator in handling a car with an autopilot feature. 

 

Pennsylvania - A Model X crashed on the Pennsylvania turnpike on July 1, causing the vehicle to roll after hitting a guard rail. The driver claimed to be using the autopilot feature at the time. According to Tesla, the autopilot feature disengaged after several visual, and auditory cues (the steering wheel also vibrates to alert the driver when this happens). 

 

These cues tell the driver they need to take control of the vehicle or it will shut down, which is what appears to have happened in this case. There was a similar incident that occurred in Montana, which, according to Tesla, resulted from a similar situation as the Pennsylvania crash. No one was hurt in either crash. 

 

Ohio - In July, the driver of a Tesla Model S was killed when he hit a semi-truck that was turning in front of it. Autopilot was engaged at the time and the car went under the semi and, according to reports, the driver was watching a movie on a portable DVD player at the time of the tragedy. 

 

Tesla Moving Forward In Spite Of Controversy

 

There is no doubt that driving, as we know it, is about to change in a big way and Tesla Motors will no doubt be a major player (if not leader) in that transition. However, the current state of “self-driving” technology is still in its infancy as CEO Elon Musk repeatedly states. (The autopilot feature is called a beta for a reason, he says.)

 

Tesla has been quick to defend itself against critics in the past, having had particular success with information gleaned from onboard computer logs. In the instances mentioned above, they claim that autopilot was either not engaged, or not used appropriately. 

 

While they’re likely right that user error was a factor in these crashes, you can forgive the general public for over-trusting a vehicle that not only drives and steers for you, but is capable of changing lanes for you, too. What does this mean going forward?

 

Mainly, that Tesla needs to do a better of job of explaining what the feature does and does not do. Another crash in Beijing even caused the company to remove the term “self-driving” from their Chinese website. An understandable correction given that the term means automatic piloting of your vehicle. Tesla will no doubt have issues to address and questions to answer going forward, but they show no signs of slowing down: they recently received a massive round of funding to continue expansion and growth in the electronic vehicle industry. 

Vehicle Reports & Reviews: Nissan BladeGlider Prototype

More and more manufacturers are starting to jump on board with the move toward electronic vehicles and that is increasingly starting to include more performance cars. Nissan, who first hit the EV scene with the initially popular Nissan Leaf, has returned to the arena with an updated version of its BladeGlader prototype. (In recent sales numbers the Tesla Model 3 has cut into the sales of the Leaf significantly in the electronic vehicle segment.)

 

Nissan first introduced the BladeGlider at the 2013 Tokyo Auto Show, at which point it looked quite similar to the Ben Bowlby designed DeltaWing (which had a Nissan engine). Since then, the concept car has evolved a bit, ditching some of the elements that didn’t work while still maintaining the sleek, cutting-edge components that made it so interesting in the first place. 

 

The BladeGlider has maintained it’s “1+2” seat layout with the driver’s seat in front and two passenger seats in back. Because of the unique seat layout, the body of the vehicle allows for a very slim, if somewhat strange looking, angularity to it. 

 

The inside of the BladeGlider is just as futuristic as its exterior design, with a distinctly cockpit like feel from the driver’s seat. Everything is digital and high-tech, including screens that provide informational displays to the front-mounted rear-facing cameras that acts as modern mirrors.

 

Nissan’s Future & Innovative Technologies

 

The most recent iteration of the BladeGlider is its final form according to Nissan, but they say it will not hit sales floors for at lest 2-3 years still. They have not set an anticipated selling price at this point. 

 

The design of the BladeGlider is part of Nissan’s recent commitment to “intelligent mobility.” It represents a long-term goal of ushering in an era of driver confidence, integrated technology, and electric power efficiency. Part of this plan is closely tied to zero emission vehicles that are entirely powered by electricity. 

 

Here are some of the features that Nissan hopes will propel the BladeGlider to the forefront of high-tech driving:

 

Safety technology - Many of the features of the BladeGlider center around driver safety and comfort. Things like lane change warnings and forward emergency braking are part of that equation, along with autonomous driving. Nissan is set to release the first piloted drive car in Europe, the Qashqai, in 2017. 

 

Driving range - An increased driving range is always at or near the top of the list of improvements that drivers of electric vehicles would like to see. Nissan has responded with an increased driving range for the BladeGlider, with a range of nearly 350 miles and an increased charging time.

 

Connected cars - Connected cars, or those vehicles that are able to connect to the internet and share information inside and outside of the vehicle. The potential benefits of this technology are far-reaching, particularly in terms of safety and traffic flow.