General Motor News

Mobile Traffic for Motor Insurance at Record High

In May, figures produced by Greenlight show a record total of 17% Motor Insurance queries came from mobile devices.

Their report shows that out of 2.2 million Insurance related searches, 361,149 of them were completed on a mobile device. Does this come as a surprise?

Figures from Google show that our usage of smartphone technology will increase from 58% in 2012 to 75% 2013 this year.

Social media has become one of the most successful online marketing tools. Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn are the three most popular forms of social media, these offer businesses an opportunity to update customers on latest trends, developments and products. Currently 62.49% of the entire UK’s online population are signed up to Facebook, and 34 million live accounts on Twitter are coming from the UK.

With technology advancing more and more each day, and the cost of owning a portable device getting less and less, are businesses doing all they can to make themselves available to this market?

 

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Meet Urbee, the World’s First Printable Car

Yes, you read correctly… A printable car…

Company Kor Ecologic, headed by founder Jim Kor, have been working on something very special. An electric car called Urbee is about to make history by going into production as the first 3D printed electric car.

Upon full production, Urbee is boasted to be ultra-strong, ultra-light and can ‘take on the rigours of the highway’.

The prototype of the vehicle was built at 3D printing company RedEye. Using ABS plastic the car is printed in large pieces and then combined with lots of small pieces. It weighs a very light 544-Kilograms and in total takes two-thousand five hundred hours to print. Although the idea of the car is to conserve costs, the prototype cost about $50,000.

urbee jim kor printable car

Above, Jim Kor and Urbee’s frame and model.

Kor says the manufacturing of the printed out car has a ‘lights out’ construction method. Basically meaning that you can set up the printer to print one area of the car, turn out the lights, lock up the factory and return in the correct amount of hours (a few hundred for the bumper), and the piece will be completed.

The 3D printer has the ability to print the density of the car’s shell. Meaning when this comes down to printing the bumper, the printer is able to add the correct amount of padding for the bumper to pass as safe. In fact, it can be so accurate and thick it wont be too different from the bumper of any modern car on the road today.

But will a printable car pass general safety?

Of course the car isn’t completely printed out. The engine and base chassis are metal. But how safe is that fifty piece plastic body on the motorway? Taking this into high consideration and priority, Kor says:

“We’re calling it race car safety,”

“We want the car to pass the tech inspection required at Le Mans.”

“We’re planning on making a matrix that will be stronger than FDM,” says Kor. He admits that yes, “There is a danger in breaking one piece and have to recreate the whole thing.”

 

Listen to Kor describe how Urbee became a reality here:

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Volvo Unveils Self-Parking Car Prototype (With Video)

Over the last couple of years there has been much talk about vehicles that can drive themselves being put into full scale production and, while progress is certainly being made, it is hard not to feel that we are still some distance from them being readily available. Volvo may have other ideas though if their recent autonomy heavy prototype is anything to go by after unveiling a vehicle that can find a space and park itself in a car park, all without the need for anyone to even be in the car at the time.

The concept V40 model used in the demonstration operates using a series of sensors and transmitters which not only allows the vehicle to navigate through a parking lot to find an empty space to park in, but also reacts to other vehicles and pedestrians to ensure no collisions occur. The technology is hooked up with the drivers smartphone meaning that they can simply get out of their car in a designated drop-off area, activate the self-park process via their phone and then leave the car to go and park itself. When the driver returns, they again use the smartphone technology to request the car to return back to the drop-off area.

The Volvo Car Group’s Senior Safety Advisor, Thomas Broberg stated, “Our approach is based on the principle that autonomously driven cars must be able to move safely in environments with non-autonomous vehicles and unprotected road users.” Broberg also went on to reveal that he feels production of the new technology could start “sooner than you think”.

With many innovative new features and technologies in the pipeline, it is an interesting and exciting period in the motor trade industry.

For a full run through of the technology in action, check out the official Volvo video below;

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The Halved, Carved Car

Now, here’s something worth checking out….

Vasyl Lazarenko, a craftsman from western Ukraine created this strange, eye-catching car. He has been quoted saying the idea came from a split decision over his dream car, so instead he settled for both. The left side from a modern saloon and the right from a 1930’s convertible. Imagine trying to describe that to your insurer!!

The exterior of the car took Lazarenko over a year and is made by crafted mosaic pieces of wood.

“I have always loved the freedom a convertible gives the driver in the hot summers in the Ukraine, but I have always felt a hard top saloon is more practical.

“My girlfriend has always wanted to be driven around in a convertible that would turn heads, so the decision was there in front of me.”

Made of oak and fitted with luxury modern accessories, the vehicle isn’t made just to be looked at, although Vasyl exclaimed “I have only driven the vehicle twice in the city and everyone was staring and taking pictures. It really is special,”

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Love it or hate it, it’s worth attention! What do you think? Come and let us know! We’re on Facebook, Google+ and Twitter!

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Why the Weather Plays Havoc with Your insurance

The unruly British weather is age-old nuisance. This year the seasons have been particular bothersome with one result being a rise in car insurance claims.

 

You may wonder just what the weather has got to do with your car insurance. The answers lie in the road.

The frequent freezing and thawing of potholes has increased their size and depth. Such irritants have become far worse through the year and are seen as a serious menace to drivers and their vehicles. Insurance claims for suspension and axle damage shot up by 12% in the first four months of 2013 and are expected to rise even further.

A survey of the AA’s 22,827 members revealed that drivers suffered worst from potholes in Scotland where 44% said they had suffered damage such as damaged wheels, and tyre and steering alignment.

Edmund King, president of the AA, said: “The fact that one third of our members have had their car damaged by potholes is a damning indictment of the state of our roads – they’re a national embarrassment.”

 

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