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."
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.
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