Automakers join in for driverless-car test site
General Motors, Ford and Toyota are joining the University of Michigan to establish a testing site for driverless cars that will simulate a cityscape in an effort to help make such vehicles commercially viable. The Michigan Mobility Transformation Center's 32-acre testing site in Ann Arbor is scheduled to be completed this fall. The facility will include concrete and asphalt roads with intersections, traffic signs and signals, sidewalks, roundabouts, benches, simulated buildings, streetlights and obstacles such as construction barriers. Automakers hope research done at the site will reduce the number of crashes, relieve urban congestion, cut pollution and reduce energy use. Each automaker has committed $1 million over three years to support the program.
— The Associated Press
Survey: Some buyers don't take test drives
A number of buyers are bypassing test drives, according to research from marketing company DMEautomotive. A survey of automotive consumers found that before purchasing, 16 percent took no test drive and 33 percent test-drove only one car. It also found that 68 percent of people visited two dealerships or fewer before buying, while 40 percent visited only one dealer. DMEa analyst Mary Sheridan says that most buyers are using the Internet for car research "and then swooping in to buy when their minds are already made up."
— NWautos staff