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Framework for Gauging Health Impacts of Self-Driving Vehicles

Autonomous vehicles (AV) are the wave of the future in the automobile industry, and there's extensive discussion about the impacts on transportation, society, the economy and the environment.

However, less attention has been focused on the potential health impacts of self-driving vehicles.

Texas A&M University researchers have developed a conceptual model to identify these health impacts systematically. They identified 32 transportation-related risk factors that affected health and concluded that 17 could negatively impact public health, while eight could have a positive impact. There were seven areas of uncertain implications that require further investigation.

The researchers recently published their findings in the December issue of Sustainable Cities and Society.

"A survey on the receptiveness of autonomous vehicles' impacts showed that there is a lack of awareness of the potential health impacts of AVs and low perceptions of the importance of AV health benefits," said Soheil Sohrabi, a doctoral student in the Zachry Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and a graduate researcher at the Texas A&M Transportation Institute (TTI). "On the other hand, there are some unintended consequences of AVs' implementation that need to be studied before AVs find their way onto the road."

Average Down Payments for New Vehicles Continue to Rise in Q4

Analysts say financially stable consumers continued to take advantage of lower interest rates to upsize their vehicle purchases during the pandemic

SANTA MONICA, Calif., Jan. 5, 2021-- Consumers in the financial position to buy a new car during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic aren't holding back on upsizing their purchases in favor of bigger vehicles with more amenities. According to the car shopping experts at Edmunds, the average down payment for a new vehicle climbed to $4,734 in the fourth quarter, compared to $4,458 in the third quarter and $4,329 a year ago. The average amount financed for new vehicle purchases increased as well, climbing to $35,373 in the fourth quarter compared to $34,692 in the third quarter and $33,525 a year ago. And, Edmunds data reveals that monthly payments increased, reaching $581 on average in the fourth quarter compared to $568 in Q3 and $570 a year ago.

Edmunds experts note that financed vehicle purchases in December helped drive these figures up compared to the third quarter. According to Edmunds data, December financed purchases represented the highest average monthly payment of the year at $587 and the highest average down payment of the year at $4,876.

Today on Under the Hood With Glen, we take a look at the inside of a 2002 Astro Van. The owner of this vehicle ignored the warning lights for too long and ended up costing him more than a simple fix would have costed. Tune in to see how these simple mistakes can be prevented from becoming HUGE mistakes.

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8 tips to get the most out of your car battery and extend its usable life!


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The right preventative maintenance will help your vehicle last longer! We recommend taking a proactive approach to vehicle maintenance instead of waiting until something goes wrong.


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Today in Under the Hood With Glen, Glen takes a look at the cabin air filter after noticing his air was coming out with sub-par power. You'll never guess what he found inside! Watch to see what might be inside your cabin air filter.


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Today on Under the Hood with Glen, we take a 2006 Jeep Commander in for diagnostic service at a service center at a local automotive dealership. Watch as Glen unpacks the findings, gives his perspective, and answers the question, "Can you trust dealerships?"

Find out what Glen discovered using this local dealership in this latest installment of Under the Hood with Glen.


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One of the most important safety features your car has is the brakes... that is as long as they are working properly. Here are some reasons why you may have squealing brakes and if you should be concerned.


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Clip of the Week

Bumper to Bumper answers some important questions regarding the warranty and lifespan of hybrid car batteries.