At AAMCO Colorado, we love cars as much as you do. This means we want your vehicle to drive in safe operating condition. If you live in Colorado, and need a Transmission Service, Radiator Repair, Brake Repair, or any other Auto Repair, please contact your local AAMCO Colorado Location to schedule an appointment.
5 Of The Best Car Ever Produced By Honda
Honda is one of the biggest carmakers and certainly one of the most well-known brands in the world. Since the very first production vehicle, the T360, Honda has produced some very good cars that helped make it the automotive giant it is today. Here are the 5 greatest Hondas that went into production and sealed Honda’s reputation as one of the world’s best.
Whenever the topic of classic roadsters comes up, people are always waxing lyrical about the Triumphs, MGs and Austin-Healeys of the days gone by. However, a true car enthusiast would quickly point out that, even though not as famous as its British counterparts, the Honda S600 was a truly marvelous roadster. Styled to directly compete with the best of the British marquees, the S600 was the first ever Honda production vehicle offered in two trims, including a special upgrades package for the SM600. The 606cc 57hp engine may not have looked like much, but it was enough to make the car, which weighed less that three-quarters of a ton, go like stink.
Mention the name ‘Honda’ and the first thing that probably pops into everyone’s mind is the Accord. While never officially getting the designation of Honda’s flagship car (it has always been the Legend / Acura RL), it is undoubtedly the car that Honda is most well-known for around the world. Every generation of the Honda Accord had something to offer that could not be matched by other manufacturers; not at the same price at least. Competing with already established models, like the Mitsubishi Galant and Toyota Corona, the first generation 2-door hatchback Accord did really well in the Japanese market. After entering the European and North American market, the Accord established itself as one of Honda’s best-selling cars of all time. By 1993, the Honda Accord was a house-hold name. However, the fifth generation Accord was a real game changer; it blew the competition away. The fifth generation model was so good and so popular that even now, two decades since its debut, it still remains one of the cars most frequently targeted by car thieves.
3. Civic Si (4th Generation)
Almost every Honda Civic Si ever made has been a very good car. However, the one that stands out the most is the SI model based on the 4th generation Civic. Not only was it a vast improvement over the previous SI models, the 4th generation Civic Si raised the bar for all subsequent models and gave Honda a massive boost in the tuner market. With the Civic Si for the Japanese domestic market (JDM) getting a more powerful engine, American tuners went to great lengths to secure the JDM engines and swapped them with the D-series engines in their North American cars. The Civic Si can be credited for making engine swapping an integral part of the tuning culture.
Every auto enthusiast knows that the best convertibles are cars that were designed to be built as roadsters from the ground-up; not cars that are coupes and have had their roofs chopped off. The formula worked very well for Honda with the S500, 600 and 800 in the 1960s. With the S2000, Honda produced what can only be described as one of the greatest roadsters of all time. The car had excellent performance, but without having to sacrifice everyday comfort and reliability. It’s not surprising then that most automotive experts in the world preferred to have the S2000 over the Mazda MX-5 Miata, an excellent car itself.
In the 1980s, Honda wanted to make a V6-powered car that could rival the 348, Ferrari’s V8 track-and-road machine for those on a smaller budget (small at least in terms of Ferrari) and couldn’t plonk down the big bucks for a Testarossa or a F40. Styled by Pininfarina, the NSX was destined to be a great car from the development process itself. Racing legend and 3-time Formula One world champion Ayrton Senna played a key role in the development process of the car and the stiffer chassis for the NSX was a direct result of input provided by Senna during testing. With further input from Indianapolis 500 winner Bobby Rahal, the Honda development team could not have put a foot wrong. It is not surprising then that, upon launch, the Honda NSX became one of the most sought-after cars in the world. With high-end Ferrari-like performance for a fraction of the cost, the As one of the largest automotive companies in the world, Honda can be expected to produce many more great cars in the future. However, every good car they ever make will always be measured against these 5 great vehicles.
At AAMCO Colorado, we understand the difficulties that can arise when purchasing a new car or used vehicle. If you want to have a new vehicle you’ve purchased looked over, or have a pre inspection check for a used vehicle you are considering buying, be sure to Contact AMMCO, and schedule an appointment at one of many convenient locations. We are the #1 Denver Transmission Repair shop, and can also assist you with Radiator Repair, Brake Repair, or any other Auto Repair needed!
Things To Consider Before Buying Your Next Automobile
We all love the thrill of a new vehicle, the thrill of the hunt, and the thrill of the drive. Sadly however, many people often run across a multitude of problems which can entirely ruin what would be an otherwise happy moment. Before making your next purchase of a new or used vehicle, there are a handful of considerations to keep in mind. This depends of course on what is important to you, whether you’re concerned over the resale value, the purchase price, the vehicles history, or the available features will all determine whether you prefer purchasing a new or used vehicle. Read on to determine the benefits of each.
Advantages To Purchasing A New Vehicle
Free To Choose What You Want: The greatest advantage to buying a brand new vehicle is obviously the range of freedom you will enjoy. You can choose any make, model, color, engine type, additional features, and/or anything else your mind can imagine. The only two things that can hold you back is first your imagination, but more importantly, your price range. That said, and even if it’s not affordable, a person can day dream, and if by chance that dream becomes a reality, that single idea of freedom of choice will be the greatest feeling a person shopping for a new vehicle can hope for. The idea that it is possible to get exactly what you are looking for, without compromising.
Higher Resale Value: Compared to used vehicles, new automobiles obviously have a higher resale value. They are also at times easier to sell since people want newer-used vehicles. This point will actually be touched on for the advantages to used vehicles, but it is certainly something worth keeping in mind.
Reliability: When it comes to new vehicles, most of the time at least, you can always depend on the vehicles reliability more so than a used vehicle. That is so long as there are no manufactures mistakes, or the vehicle wasn’t improperly put together. When buying a used vehicle, and regardless of what history reports you can generate, there is no way to determine all the ruckus a vehicle has been through. Simply consider if you decided to sell the vehicle you had now. Would you mentioned that curb you hoped over while turning, or bottoming out on that speed bump you didn’t see. Point is, a new car is just that, new. No wear and tear, and no unknown accidents or problems.
Choice Of Features: Finally, any feature you can optionally have on a new vehicle will be left to you to decide whether it is needed or not. This all depends on the exact make and model of the vehicle being purchased, but more importantly it depends on exactly what it is you want. Sunroofs, sound systems, and leather interior is just the tip of the feature options iceberg.
Advantages To Purchasing A Used Vehicle
Buying Nearly New Used Cars: One common tactic that should be employed when shopping for a used vehicle to buy, is searching for a nearly new used car. These are vehicles which are only a few years old and only have a limited number of miles tacked onto them. These are in essence new vehicles, and as such there are certain benefits that come along with it. Factory warranties, higher resale values, and hopefully more reliability all make newer used cars the route to take when first shopping around.
Price: When it comes to considerations, none usually come before price, and when it comes to price, you will always pay less for a used vehicle. Now that means to own the vehicle, that does not mean it will run, or is reliable. Those are the problems used car shoppers face, and due to that, you should always be sure to receive a pre purchase inspection for any used automobile.
Less Depreciation: When the vehicle you are purchasing is older and cheaper, the total amount that it can depreciate is significantly lower. Now, percentage wise, it follows the same scale as it always has. But the total value of dollars lost through depreciation is less. This is worth considering depending on what you would be using the vehicle for. If you only intend on owning a vehicle for a year or two, you would hate to lose all that value right when you drive off the lot. To limit the loss to depreciation, be sure to buy used!
At AAMCO Colorado, we want people to be safe on the road. This means that your vehicle should be in a safe operating condition. If you live in Colorado, and need a Transmission Service, Radiator Repair, Brake Repair, or any other Auto Repair, please contact your local AAMCO Colorado Location to schedule an appointment.
Vehicle Safety Inspection Checklist
Before you head out on the road, you need to make sure that your car is in top condition; thus, you need to perform regular car safety inspection. This inspection is crucial in guaranteeing a safe driving experience. This article lists a few safety inspection tips that any average car owner can perform.
The tips below will help insure that your vehicle is ready for the road. You can check these items in your own garage, but it is still advisable to bring your vehicle to an auto repair shop.
The first item you should check is your vehicle’s engine oil. This is the simplest and most significant task. You have to understand that finding and addressing oil problems before it can damage your engine can save you a lot of money in repair costs. In addition, it also prevents potentially fatal car accidents.
The best time to inspect your engine oil is when the engine is still warm to the touch. To check the oil, follow these steps:
- Find the dipstick for the engine oil.
- Pull the dipstick out and clean the residue using a rag.
- After doing so, place the stick back inside and pull it out again. This time, you must check the end of the stick which you placed inside the engine.
- You want the oil to reach along the “full” line.
- If it is below the line, take your car to an auto repair shop because it might be time for an oil change.
In addition, make sure that the oil is clear and fluid. If it looks black and is sticky, take it to a professional mechanic immediately.
2. Transmission Fluid
Your car’s transmission fluid is another item you need to inspect. This is what ensures a smooth ride when your vehicle changes gear. Inspecting this fluid is as simple as checking the oil. All you have to do is look under the hood for the dipstick that is labeled with “transmission”.
Once you located the dipstick for the transmission fluid, you can then repeat the steps as checking the engine oil. Make sure that the transmission fluid is clean with no metal chunks, and it should be smooth. If you find any chunks of metal attached to the stick, promptly take your vehicle to the mechanic.
You wouldn’t want your car’s engine dying on you while you are in the middle of traffic. With that said, having a fully charged battery is very essential. Thankfully, there is an easy way to inspect your car’s battery. To do so, put a voltmeter across the terminal. In addition, you can also perform a visual check of the battery terminals.
The terminals must be clean and free of any corrosion buildup. If you find any signs of corrosion, you must clean them using a steal brush and a can of Coke. With the car turned off, disconnect the battery. After doing so, pour some of the Coke on the terminals and let it sit for a few seconds then start scrubbing using the steal brush. This will help get rid of the corrosion and improve the flow of electricity.
The tires of the vehicle must also be inspected before you take it for a ride. Remember that your tires keep the vehicle on the road; thus, you must insure that they are working accurately. Here’s what you need to do:
- Get a pressure gauge and check the pressure of each tire.
- It is advisable to check your owner’s manual to find out the recommended pressure of the tires, but it is usually between 30 and 34 pounds.
- Make sure that you have a spare tire in your car’s trunk and regularly inspect it as well. The spare tires must also be properly inflated with no damage.
These are just a few car safety inspection tips you need to follow. But aside from checking these items, it is also imperative to bring your vehicle for routine vehicle maintenance to ensure that your car is in top running condition. Lastly, you must also get the right automobile insurance policy for your vehicle so that you and your car will always be protected.
At AAMCO Colorado, we know summer has finally arrived, and that means many of you will be hitting the road with your motorcycles to catch some of that sweet summer breeze. For your automotive needs, and to ensure you stay safe on the road, be sure to find your nearest AAMCO Location and schedule a brake service, transmission repair, muffler repair, or any other auto maintenance needs. Click to schedule an appointment!
How To Be A Safer Motorcyclist
There are more than 6 million motorcycles registered in the U.S., and probably another million who ride off road bikes, which do not require a license. According to experts, 72.34 per 100,000 registered motorcycles end up in fatal accidents. The need for motorcycle safety has never been greater.
Here are five ways to help stay out of harm’s way while riding a motorcycle:
1. Get the Proper Training
Training is one of the most effective ways to stay safe and minimize the risk of injury. There are many organizations across the U.S. that offer United States Motorcycle Safety Education courses, including state agencies, non-profit organizations, and corporations.
Motorcycle training teaches riders the skills for driving on public roads, much like driver’s education teaches people how to safely drive a car. Many motorcycle-training courses in the U.S. utilize the Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF) course materials — 31 states use the MSF test for motorcycle licensing, and 41 use the MSF motorcycle operator manual.
All but five states waive license testing for motorcyclists who have completed MSF training courses. Completion of a motorcycle safety course often qualifies the rider for lower insurance rates, an additional perk.
2. Wear the Right Clothing and Equipment
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), one of the main reasons that motorcyclists are killed in accidents is that the motorcycle itself provides little or no protection in a crash, and the rider was not wearing the proper protective clothing and equipment. Helmets, eye protection, and protective clothing not only increase riding comfort but also reduce the severity of injury should the rider get into an accident.
Studies show that the head, arms, and legs are the parts of the body most often injured in a motorcycle accident. Protective clothing and equipment serve three purposes: to protect the motorcyclist from the elements; to offer protection from injury; and through the use of colored or reflective materials, to help other motorists see the motorcyclist and avoid collisions.
3. Practice Defensive Driving
Motorcyclists need to practice driving, and ride confidently and assertively, but not timidly or aggressively. An aggressive motorcyclist may lead others or ride alone in the left side of the lane to show dominance, while an assertive rider will follow newer riders to observe their skills and not lead them to ride at a faster pace than they can handle. An assertive rider practices defensive driving by using choosing his position in a lane (left, center, or right third of the lane) to help increase their visibility in traffic, while an aggressive driver often disregards lanes entirely.
Approximately 70% of motorcycle-vehicle accidents happen in and around intersections, so riders should watch for vehicles that may unexpectedly turn or pull out in front of them. When encountering obstructions such as shrubbery, parked vehicles, signs, and buildings, slow down and check rearview mirrors before changing lanes or stopping.
Courteous driving also helps keep motorcyclists safe and free from injury. Weaving in and out of traffic, riding on the shoulder of the road, and lingering in another motorist’s blind spot are all inconsiderate driving practices that can result in accidents.
According to Daniel R. Rosen, a Colorado attorney who’s been handling motorcycle accident cases for decades, “Motorcylists who consistently practice defensive driving protect themselves. They also set a positive example for everyone on the road. But, it’s important to remember that accidents can happen to anyone.”
4. Be Aware of Road Conditions
According to DMV.org, the most adverse weather conditions for a motorcyclist are rain, excessive heat, and extreme cold. If you must ride a motorcycle in these conditions, play it safe by taking a short break every few hours to avoid fatigue, slow down if visibility is poor; and when in the middle of a long trip, consider stopping for the night as opposed to continuing on, as operating a motorcycle at night can be challenging even under normal weather conditions.
When riding in the rain, a motorcyclist should aim for smooth control, be gentle with the brakes and throttle, and always complete a turn before beginning to accelerate. When riding in high heat, a motorcyclist should take care to stay hydrated, taking plenty of water breaks but avoiding soda, which will actually cause dehydration. Even though it may seem too hot for a lot of clothing, keeping your body as covered as possible will lower your risk of dehydration.
Although many people think of motorcycling as a warm-weather activity, many riders take to the roads in cold weather as well. Dressing well is key to cold-weather riding, so take care to keep your hands, feet, and torso warm to keep your blood flowing. Wind-proof your body with a jacket that offers good insulation, such as one made from wool or Thinsulate™. If your bike doesn’t already have one, consider installing a windshield to block the wind as you ride.
5. Make Sure Your Motorcycle Is Well-Maintained
A motorcycle requires a high degree of maintenance, and part of the responsibility of owning one is either performing this maintenance or seeing that it gets done. The simple act of washing and detailing a motorcycle can reveal areas of concern, including loose components or parts that need to be replaced. Changing the oil regularly — every three months or 3,000 miles — will keep a motorcycle running smoothly.
Chain tension and lubrication is very important on a motorcycle. Chain tension is important because if the chain is too tight, undue wear of the chain and sprocket will occur; a chain that is too loose can grab, causing the motorcycle to break down. Many riders lubricate their chain before every ride, a good habit to get into.
And don’t forget your tires. Inspecting them and maintaining proper tire pressure is extremely important on a motorcycle. Always check tires when cold (before a ride) and add air as needed. According to DoItYourself.com, if you buy only one motorcycle-maintenance tool, it should be a good-quality air pressure gauge. The investment might save your life.
Combine all of these measures — proper training, protective clothing, defensive driving, attention to road conditions, and motorcycle maintenance — and you will dramatically increase your level of safety. Remember that safety is important every time you get on your motorcycle. Being proactive is a responsibility all motorcyclists share for safer streets. See you on the road!
At AAMCO Colorado, we fully understand that you expect your vehicle to get you where you need to be. If you intend to take any long distance trips this summer in your vehicle, be sure to take the necessary precautions to ensure your vehicle is ready for the haul. If you need a Radiator Repair Shop, Transmission Repair, Colorado Brake Repair, or any other automotive maintenance needs, be sure to find the nearest AAMCO Location to you, and give us a call to set up an appointment!
Best Places To Take A Road Trip In Colorado
If you either live in Colorado, or anticipate visiting our beautiful state this summer, you would be doing yourself a favor by taking a road trip to see some of the amazing scenes that nature provide. Between the tall peaks, low lying valleys, open plains, and running rivers, there’s no amount of time that would be enough to see it all.
Fortunately though, we have devised this list of 4 must see places in Colorado which are all accessible by car, making your road trip through the state an unforgettable one. After all, we do have a stretch of road coined The Million Dollar Highway, not based on it’s cost, but on the beauty of the land in which it crosses through. And in fact, we’ll start with that to kick off this list.
The Million Dollar Highway
The Million Dollar Highway is a section of U.S Route 550, which is a spur of U.S Highway 50, that runs from Silverton to Ouray. Overall this stretch of road is 12 miles long, and there is a specific section where the road derives its name which is the Summit of Red Mountain Pass. This road is not for the faint of heart, as there are a number of challenging and potentially hazardous sections to drive. There are steep cliffs, narrow lanes, and no guardrails through this memorable section of highway. Between the hairpin curves which are used to gain elevation, and the road which is cut directly into the sides of the mountains, this knuckle whitening and aw inspiring road is sure to invigorate the spirit and leave you with scenes of utter joy and delight.
Race The Durango – Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad Train
The Durango to Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad is one of only two remaining and functioning narrow guage railroads in the country. The trains itself has been around since the 1800′s, and as such, its not particularly difficult to beat in a race. However, driving along the mountainous path from Durango to Silverton is full of beautiful scenes. For a great portion of the drive, you’ll follow the Animas River before it finally branches off. Ideally, it is recommended to to drive to Durango and take the train to Silverton as it is an absolutely amazing ride. The train route is carved out of the mountains that it travels through, where when looking down out of the train car, there are spots where you cannot even see the ground the train sits on. A most worthwhile trip worth taking, even if you aren’t really a train enthusiast.
Rocky Mountain National Park
Now for many that don’t care to, or have a hard time hiking, much of the Rocky Mountain National Park will sadly go unseen. However, that does not mean you can’t witness the beauty of the area through the roadways that pass through. Many of the mountain peaks and low lying valleys can be viewed from the comfort and safety of your vehicle. Not to mention there are many scenic stopping points along the way which give the opportunity to get out of you car for a minute and stretch your legs, take in some brisk mountain air, and revel in the beauty of the surrounding landscape.
Hwy 285 Outside Of Bailey
If you are fortunate enough to be in Colorado for either early Spring or late Fall, be sure to pay a visit to Hwy 285 that passes through Bailey Colorado. There are aspen tress which line the highway, and if caught during the right time of the year, it would appear as though you’re driving through a rainbow. The bright and gorgeous colors hit ever imaginable variation of green, yellow, and red. Considering Colorado is a high Dessert, it is truly amazing to see such colors erupting from a land that is otherwise arid and dry. Combine those colors with the background of high peaks and further down south, the opening up of the plains, and Hwy 285 outside of Bailey soon becomes a destination in itself if caught during the right part of the year.
At AAMCO Colorado, we know that summer is finally approaching. Which means you are going to need your car to be properly functioning in order to get you where you need to be. If you are in need of Transmission Repair, Brake Service, or to deal with the summer heat, an Auto Air Conditioning Service, be sure to check out your nearest Colorado AAMCO Location to schedule an appointment!
Gas Efficiency in Vehicles Has Not Kept Pace With Other Automobile Advances
Here’s an odd thought. Take into consideration all of the technological advances that have occurred over the past 30 years in automobiles for safety, comfort, appeal, enjoyment, and performance. This consideration would no doubt take a while as the number of advancements that have occurred in each category are staggering.
But when you consider this, why then has the fuel efficiency of of our vehicles not also improved dramatically. Granted, for hybrids they certainly have, but I am meaning from model to model, not a new vehicle that has been specifically created to be efficient. Why have not all vehicles been made more efficient over time, where technological improvements in that realm kept pace with those in others?
When you look at many of the models of vehicles that existed 30 years ago, everything has improved greatly save for fuel efficiency. It only makes you wonder why technology could advance so rapidly in everything else revolving around cars, save for that which propels it. Let’s break this down a little to explain this point further.
Technology Has Improved Many Aspects Of Automobiles Tremendously
It should really take little thought to realize that over the last 30 years, technological improvements have made vehicles of all shapes and sizes better. Safety has no doubt improved by leaps and bounds what with air bags being relatively standard, motion sensors, cameras, anti-lock brakes, orientating headlights, and a slew of other structural safety improvements. Comfort has improved through a better use of ergonomic design in cabins, better suspension, heated seats, and the like. Cars nowadays, mostly at least, have great designs as we no longer drive square boxes down the road. Vehicles are, if anything, stylish. I would assume automobiles are more enjoyable these days what with the countless offerings and options of movies, internet, gps, a slew of music choices, and even voice recognition. And finally performance, which increases and becomes better with every model that is released.
Again, to keep this brief, that is only to name a few of the most basic. And to keep it in perspective, keep in mind the options that were available in vehicles during the early and mid- 80s. Strangely, when you think of the vehicles being released then, they seem archaic. Essentially a motorized box on wheels, while the same went for every other vehicle before them. Now this is not to say that old vehicles are not great… far from it. There is definite style and character in these vehicles. But as far as what was being offered, there was not much compared to today. That is of course, you’re speaking of gas mileage, because oddly, those numbers are similar.
Fuel Efficiency Rarely Becomes Better With Time For Many Vehicle Models
When you compare the various makes and models of automobiles today to their predecessors 30 years prior, the first noticeable thing is everything that was mentioned above. The improvements in safety, comfort, appeal, enjoyment, and performance are all stark and obvious. However, the one area where little ground has been covered is that for fuel efficiency. Matter of fact, over 30 years, fuel efficiency has been relatively stagnant overall. Meanwhile, the cost of gas has risen nearly 4-fold since the late 90s. So obviously, of all conveniences for automobile makers to throw our way, of all the gadgets and enjoyments they’ve included, does it stand that they never considered doing us a favor by allowing us to save money at the pump? Or is it that we reached the pinnacle of technological improvements that could be found for increasing fuel efficiency?
Oddly I think the latter to be foolish, as there may be a breaking point, but we’ve certainly not realized or reached it. For example, the world record in 1973 for the total distance traveled on a single gallon of gas in an automobile went to a modified 1959 Opel, which traveled 376.59 miles. That record was set 40 years ago and in a 54 year old car. Currently, the world record for distance traveled on a single gallon of gas was 12,665 miles. It was set in 2005 by the PAC-Car II. Now over the course of around 40 years, that’s a noteworthy improvement, 377 miles to 12,665. That is how technology can be used to make drastic improvements.
But when we look at everyday automobiles, no one is expecting 12, or 10, or 5, or even 1 thousand miles to the gallon. Nowadays, many newer vehicles are pulling in under 20 mpg. 20 mpg!?! Then there are those claiming to be efficient at around 30-40 mpg. 30-40 mpg?!? 30 years ago vehicles were getting a little less if not the same gas mileage as vehicles today. And anyone who would argue there have been improvements would no doubt be correct, but are the improvements such that their even worth mentioning. I mean, in 2005 a vehicle drove nearly 13 thousand miles on a single gallon of gasoline. That is no doubt due to an extremely light weight body, flawless aerodynamics, and the coast/burn technique often employed by those competing. But however it’s done, it is impressive, and only makes everyone watching salivate in pure want as they soon realize they’re spending hundreds of dollars a month on gasoline.
There is most definitely a demand from people for more fuel efficient vehicles, but oddly, we don’t find those willing to offer a supply. Rather, we are left chasing the carrot over our heads as we’re told an extra 5, 10, or 15 extra miles to the gallon will make the difference. Technology advances like a snowball falling down a hill, getting bigger and faster as it gets bigger and faster. This is of course unless it is impeded, which can be the only explanation as to why everything about automobiles has been made better over the years, save for the distance we can travel on a full tank. Simply some food for thought and to stoke the fire.
At AAMCO Colorado, we know that you need your car to get you where you need to be, and that means not only trusting the vehicle to make it to your destination, but to make it there safely. If your vehicle needs a brake repair, transmission repair, or an overall auto tune-up service, check for the nearest AAMCO location and schedule an appointment. Because those that know, know to go to AAMCO!
How Would An Autonomous Vehicle Be Able To Choose Between What Is Right And Wrong?
For those of you unaware, the future is nigh, and robots are going to be doing more for us than ever before in history. With the advent of autonomous vehicles, some really hard hitting questions are being asked, and some worry that these same robots are going to take away some of our privileges, such as driving.
We can all agree that computers can calculate and react much faster than humans for most activities, driving certainly not being excluded. So in the future, when our cars drive us and it is no longer the other way around, these autonomous vehicles are going to be able to do the job both better and safer. Which eventually could even get to the point that humans will no longer be able to drive. Machines don’t have a bad day, get stressed, distracted, tired, or drive under any sort of influence. It’s certainly not a long shot to assume then that if overall it’s safer and better to let the machines drive, who would want a human to operate a vehicle when all that does is add extra danger.
But there is one aspect of autonomous vehicles that has been discussed well before the idea of an actual autonomous vehicle was ever realized. In certain situations where human lives are risk, how can we trust that our vehicle will make the best decision for us? After all, any ethical decisions made on the behalf of a machine were programmed into it by someone we probably don’t know. How can we be sure that the ethical decisions programmed match our own, and how can we feel comfortable that our own cars driving us won’t make a decision that does against what we believe?
Before we begin to dive into that question, let’s go over what Isaac Asimov, the Godfather of autonomous robotic theory, declared as the laws all autonomous machines should have to follow.
Isaac Asimov Machine Laws
- A robot may not injure a human being or through inaction allow a human being to home to harm.
- A robot must obey the orders given to it by human beings, except where such orders would conflict with the first law.
- A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the first or second law.
How Asimovs Laws Make Sense But Ethically Are Not Practical
The first problem with Asimovs Laws is that for autonomous vehicles, there are inevitably going to be instances where the machine will have to make life or death decisions for both the passenger in the vehicle, and anyone else around them. Let’s give a few examples to highlight this point.
Example 1: You are driving on a one way road where to either side of the road is a steep cliff. Out of no where a person appears in the road and there is not enough time for the vehicle to stop. So the vehicle has but two decisions to make. It can either swerve off the road and fall off the cliff avoiding the pedestrian whilst killing the passenger in the process. Or it can apply the brakes and continue forward hitting the pedestrian which will most likely cause great harm, or even death.
Example 2: Same scenario as before, but this time there is a car that you will crash into where there are multiple passengers inside. Your vehicle can swerve as before saving the others, or it can slow down and allow the crash to occur potentially harming or killing many.
After these examples, make up some of your own and consider the ethical decisions you would make. Whether a child runs in front of the car, a pregnant woman, a drunk homeless man, a criminal trying to car jack you, or any other number of scenarios. What will soon become apparent is that your actions will not always be the same, and under some conditions you may well take the chance of putting yourself into harms way to avoid hurting others. But there are probably certain instances where you would take the chance of harming someone else so that you yourself can be saved. And remember, there is no right or wrong decision as they are each personal and will not be the same for everyone. But if you’re riding in an autonomous vehicle that you own, you would want the car to act as you would, or follow the same ethical decisions you would make.
The problem at hand is that the decisions to be made are programmed by someone you don’t know, but more importantly, it’s by someone that doesn’t know you. So how can you trust riding in an autonomous vehicle when if the car senses it’s going to run into another person or persons, it may put you into harms way in an attempt to avoid harming them. I can only imagine a few instances where I would personally put myself into harms way to save another, and those instances are pretty few and far in between. I would also want my vehicle to understand that as well.
When you go over Asimovs laws, it soon becomes apparent that they certainly do not cover every type of scenario that could arise, and nor could they. Because no two people are the same, and where one might willingly toss themselves off a cliff to avoid harming a family, others might take the chance to ensure they themselves survive. While again, there is nothing wrong with either decision.
So we’ll have to wait and see what unfolds for ethics for machines, but one thing is certain, it is going to be interesting nonetheless. I would argue that we all live in one of the best times now, where technology is getting better like the proverbial snowball down a hill. The better we make it, the faster new improvements come along. Just consider the fact that no more than 20 years ago we were all watching movies that were VHS. VHS people… you could fit 6 or so iPhones into a single VHS tape, and imagine exactly what those phones are capable of. Times are certainly changing, and they’ve never changed faster before.
At AAMCO Colorado, we understand that drivers need their vehicles to both function and operate properly in order for them to get to where they need to be, and safely. Which is why if you are looking for a Colorado Auto Mechanic, be sure to find an AAMCO location nearest you!
Teen Driving Laws For Colorado
For parents, there are already enough stresses in their life regarding their children as is, but once a teen is able to drive, a whole slew of other concerns arise. The car their child will drive, their insurance, the cost of gas, and even the saddening feeling that their children are starting to fly the coop. Then there are the obvious concerns over their safety while driving, because as we all know, teens at times do some pretty stupid things.
Fortunately, Colorado has a few laws in place that were instated with the idea of protecting teen drivers. It is important for parents to understand these so that they can ensure their children adhere to the laws. Also, if a teen driver breaks these teen specific laws, there are consequences which can result in monetary fines, and points being taken off their license. Add to that, if a teen driver accrues too many fines or tickets, their insurance premiums are going to go up as well. So for both the safety of your child, as well as reducing any extra costs associated with a negligent teen driver, make sure that the following laws and rules are both known and understood.
Using a Cellphone Whilst Driving
We have all heard the dangers of driving and being on your cellphone. Whether that be talking, texting, listening to music, watching a video, or any other number of things that can be done on the gadgets nowadays. Studies have been done which make very strong cases showing how even just talking on your cell phone can reduce your attention to driving by around 50%, and that’s just talking. All of the other actions that can be taken reduce ones attention by more than 50%, making it almost as though you’re not paying any attention to the road whatsoever.
For teen drivers under the age of 18, they are strictly prohibited from using a cell phone while they are driving unless in the case of an emergency. This includes every use of a cellphone, talking included. Once a teen is 18 years or older, they are then legally allowed to speak on their cellphone while driving. But every person of any age is prohibited from texting while they drive in the state of Colorado. This should be remembered as there are many fatalities that occur every year due to drivers texting, there is no need for it, and it is both dangerous and stupid. Many people would agree with that, but very few would adhere to it.
Restricted and Limited Driving Hours
From the hours between 12am and 5am, teens are not allowed to drive unless in the case of an emergency situation. This makes sense as during these hours, a person is generally more tired, it is harder to see, and for the most part, these are the hours when a person tends to drive under the influence. Either coming back from a party, an evening dinner, or any other nighttime event. This law helps to keep teens, who may like to enjoy themselves from time to time, off of the road.
This law generally does not apply for teens who are driving during these hours to go to school or work. They also do not apply amidst emergency situations. Another instance where this law does not apply is when a parent or guardian who is over the age of 21 is accompanying the teen driver.
Prior to a teen under the age of 18 being able to transport passengers under the age of 21 in the vehicle with them, they are required to at least hold their license for a minimum of 6 months. Once they have had their license for a year, a teen driver is allowed to have 1 passenger under the age of 21 in the vehicle with them. In order to have more than one passenger in the vehicle with them, a teen driver under the age of 18 must have had their license for at least a year. The only exceptions this rule are during an emergency situation, and when driving with family members.
If you have any teens who are about to start driving, please be sure to inform them of these laws, as well as the reasons to be safe on the road. Kids tend to believe they are indestructible, which is the beauty of youth. However, that also leads to arrogance, and arrogance leads to stupidity. Don’t let your kids take on any of these attributes, and you will have done your job as a parent!
At AAMCO, we know you need your car to get you where you want to go. Which is why if you are in need of an expert Automotive Mechanic, especially for Transmission Repair, we suggest you seek out an AAMCO Location nearest you and schedule an appointment so we can keep you happy and safe while on the road.
New Trend Emerging For Car Sales in Colorado
There is a new trend arising for both new and used car sales in Colorado, one which manufacturers and salesmen alike need to be aware of. The Colorado Automobile Dealers Association recently stated that in 2012, there was a 10% increase from the year prior for new car sales. In the same time, there has been a 9% decline in sales for used cars. The problem is more people are looking to buy used cars, the issue is that there simply isn’t enough supply to go around to meet the demand. Yet that is…
An Increase in New Car Sales
For the past decade, new car sales numbers have appeared rather bleak, not exactly meeting what car manufacturers would hope. But in 2012, at least in Colorado, new car sales have actually risen, and with gusto. From 2011 to 2012, there has been a 22% increase in new vehicle registration. This is a relatively high number, especially when compared to the very slow years prior, and it is expected to rise even further in 2013. But there are a handful of reasons that could be attributed to this sudden increase in new car sales.
The first reason that pops up is that for a while now the economy has been reeling, and is still uncertain for most. Unemployment and underemployment is still a real and major concern for many. However, those who had put off buying a new car may have finally felt like they’ve waited long enough. So this sudden surge of new car purchases could partly be attributed to the fact that many people had wanted to purchase a new car, perhaps they had been wanting to for years, and are only just now feeling financially comfortable enough to do so.
There is also the growing concern over the cost of fuel, which with the slew of hybrid and electric vehicles being offered nowadays, there is finally a selection worth peoples attention. The idea of buying a new gas guzzling vehicle nowadays usually turns people off, especially if they already have a functioning gas guzzling vehicle which suits their purposes.
It used to be, back in the good old days, many people would purchase a new vehicle every 5 years. Many people believed you should do this to avoid the cost of having to repair and maintain an “older” vehicle. But new cars last a lot longer than they used to, and are much more dependable. This has caused people to hold onto their vehicles longer, reducing yet another need to buy new cars. This idea will certainly not change as we move forward either, so it’s important for salesmen and manufactures to be aware that in total, fewer cars will be purchased per person per lifetime. However, how this relates with a growing population is uncertain. But it is definitely known that people hold onto their vehicles for much longer than they had in the past. Where it was once 5 years being the mark to signify an “older” vehicle, that number has now risen to around 10 years. Essentially doubling the lifespan of a car for an owner.
Finally, it has become increasingly easier to receive financing to purchase a new vehicle. There are also great leasing terms being offered as well. These have all obviously been reduced and set up in a way to tempt and lure potential new car shoppers into actually buying rather than living with their old vehicle for another year. These new and/or uncertain customers have become a strong target market for the automotive industry, because quite frankly, they had to do something. Sales were looking poor, and that’s a trend that can’t last long for any business.
A Decrease in Used Car Sales
Now you would assume that if new car sales have been on the rise, that used car sales would probably increase as well. Considering that when someone buys a new car, they generally sell off their old one. However, statistics show that the used car market has dramatically tightened up in Colorado. For the first time in automotive history, the average cost of pre-owned vehicles is at an all time high.
In 2002, the average wholesale price of a used vehicle was around $11,100, while the average days supply of used cars was 80. Fast forward a decade and in 2012 the average wholesale price of a used vehicle had jumped to $14,500 with the average days supply being 45. So over 10 years, the average cost had increased by $3,400 or around 30%. Meanwhile with the average days supply had fallen by about 35 vehicles or around 43%. Essentially, there has been a drastic decrease in the number of used vehicles that are for sale. Couple that with an increase in demand, or even if the demand stayed the same, and the cost has for good reasons risen.
Beyond their being a lack of supply for the market, there are other attributes involved here which caused the increase in prices. Though supply, as economics has taught us, is most definitely a major factor. Another reason for fewer used vehicles are being sold is that the economy has been questionable at best. Car owners, being uncertain over the economy, decided to hold onto their vehicles for a bit longer. Waiting to see how exactly things would play out.
Finally, we have to take into consideration that the quality, dependability, and longevity of vehicles being made in recent years allows for us to use them for longer without much worry over costly repairs. It used to be a sort of rule of thumb where you would buy a new car every 5 years so as to avoid the associated cost of maintenance and repairs. Nowadays, its more common than not for people to own their vehicle for upwards of 10 years before thinking of buying a new vehicle. As such, the longer people keep their vehicles, the fewer used vehicles there are on the market for re-sale.
When all of this is added up, you quickly begin to see why both new car sales are on the rise, and why the cost of used vehicles has not only risen, but there are fewer of them around on the market. Manufacturers and salesmen alike need to keep these facts in mind as they move forward, as people are keeping their vehicles longer, are more concerned with fuel efficiency and dependability, and after the recent recession, more reluctant to make frivolous or poor purchasing decisions. This is indeed all very interesting, but with the waves of new technology coming out in the future, such as driver-less automobiles, there are no doubt many more hurdles to overcome.
AAMCO Colorado knows how hard Colorado weather can be on a vehicle, and if you are in need of a Greeley Transmission Repair, we highly recommend you find the nearest AAMCO Location and set up an appointment. Because those who know, know to go to AAMCO!
If you are in need of a trusted Auto Mechanic, be sure to visit your nearest AAMCO Location. If you’re on the Front Range, and are looking for a Greeley Transmission Repair specialist, take a stop over to the local Greeley AAMCO Location where they will be happy to help however they can!
Can Coloradans Find A Suitable Solution For Trains On The Front Range?
Over the years, Coloradans on the Front Range have had a tumultuous relationship with the trains which travel through their towns. Fort Collins, Greeley, Longmont, Lafayette, and Louisville all have tracks that either run through or near the area, and as time has passed, the problems the residents of these towns face has begun to grow.
In essence, there are two main problems each town faces due to trains. There is also only one solution to these problems. The main problems are, of course, the road traffic that the trains create for commuters who have to wait at crossings and the noise pollution the trains emit. The only solution that exists, which is problematic, is diverting the train around or further away from these towns. This is problematic because changing the route is extremely, extremely expensive. And no one exactly “has” to do anything about the problem.
As you have probably endured, sitting at a train crossing can take anywhere from 10-60 minutes. As a kid, this is fun and exciting, because well… trains are cool! But as an adult, it doesn’t exactly have the same thrill factor it did when you were younger. Not to mention, people have places to be. But some towns in Colorado, such as Fort Collins, are noticing rather long commute times when in town. The reason being that the train passes by when traffic is picking up. This only worsens traffic, as residents regularly wait anywhere from 15-30 minutes for the train to pass.
This problem could seemingly go away if the commute times changed either for the trains, or the residents of the town. But neither really want to make a change. A train certainly doesn’t have to wait for cars to pass by it, so it forges ahead regardless and lets drivers wait idly by. This traffic issue is not as large of a concern for other towns, where trains pass through at reasonable hours. This way, it avoids adding to any traffic congestion created by people getting off of work and going home.
Noise however is a different issue. If you haven’t lived next to train tracks, well you should consider yourself lucky. The noise that is created by the steel on steel grinding forward is extremely hard to ignore. Not to mention the rattling that occurs makes it so even if you didn’t hear it, you would certainly feel it. Add to that, the air horns that trains are required to use when passing through towns, and you have in essence, an extremely large noise machine whose purpose is to annoy and disrupt.
I say that because beyond those attributes, towns people see no other benefit from their use. Commuters can’t take the trains, as they are not for public use. The tracks the trains move along are on grounds which are either owned or rented from private owners or cities for an indefinite period of time. So in essence, the trains are well within their right to roll right on through. While any complaints that may arise, usually fall onto deaf ears as, well, they’re not doing anything they haven’t been doing all along. Nothing on their end has changed, and they’ve stayed within the law and ensured anything asked of them within reason is accommodated to make people happier. However, with more people, come more complaints.
The Unaffordable Solution: The Cost To Divert Trains Away From Towns:
Towns and cities in the eastern portion of the U.S have had both time and funds to create a proper plan for trains within town or city limits. As a result, the infrastructure is in place, and experience has been garnered to provide the best solution for trains as well as city/town residents. However, in the west, there has never been much use for trains besides for commercial use. As a result, the tracks laid and routes used have changed little over the years. Add to that, a growing population, the sprawling nature of towns and cities in the west, and you soon realize that there is going to be some issues that arise. Especially when trains travel near or through these towns and cities.
Now the reason there is no quick fix for this problem, as you could imagine, is the funding needed to divert trains away from populated areas is extremely expensive. You might not consider it, but it’s not like the toy trains when you were a kid. You simply can’t lay down track and voila… track complete. You need to find the ground, purchase/rent the ground, level the ground, test the ground, lay the track, secure the track, and the list goes on and on. Other options would be to create over or underpasses for traffic. But that is terribly expensive as well. While really, the only way to ensure residents are happy, such that they don’t have to deal with waiting at crossings and hearing the noise pollution created by the train, is to divert the train away from populated areas.
So what’s the solution then? Well the answer is nothing cheap, regardless of what is chosen. But it’s a well known fact that the infrastructure in America is aging, and soon we will need to upgrade it. With that in mind, perhaps it should be time that citizens invest in alternate modes of transportation, ie. railways. Companies could use these as well, for a fee, and they can be properly planned out so that even as cities and towns grown, they will not have to be butt up against the tracks. Which causes these headaches. But just as anything else is concerned, when it comes to making improvements, it all comes down to the dollar. And trains, their infrastructure and installation require many, many dollars to create. So it’s unlikely we will see any change any time soon, and most likely if we do, it’ll only be a marginal fix, or temporary one. So if you have been plagued by commuting delays due to trains, you should probably start to change your times of travel, and if your plagued by their noise pollution, it may be well worth investing in some ear plugs. Because the problems caused by trains on the Front Range aren’t going anywhere anytime soon.
At AAMCO, we know you depend on your automobile to get you to and fro. So let us help you the next time you are in need of Auto Repair, Transmission Repair, or any other Car Maintenance needs. Because those who know… Trust AAMCO!