A Car Travelling 85 Km/h Strikes A Tree

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A Car Travelling 85 Km/h Strikes A Tree – This police image shows a Tesla Model S driving on the highway near Ponoka, Alberta. Photo: RCMP

Police in Canada have charged him with speeding and dangerous driving after he was found asleep at the wheel of his self-driving car while traveling at 150 km/h on a highway in Alberta, Canada.

A Car Travelling 85 Km/h Strikes A Tree

A Car Travelling 85 Km/h Strikes A Tree

In announcing the charges Thursday, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police said they received a complaint about a Tesla Model S vehicle speeding on the highway near the town of Ponoka on July 9.

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“The car was self-driving, traveling at speeds in excess of 140 km/h, with both front seats fully reclined and both occupants appearing to be asleep,” RCMP said in a statement.

However, after police turned on their lights, the Tesla electric vehicle “accurately” sped up to 150 km/h, police said. Most of Canada’s highway network has a speed limit of 110 km/h.

The driver, a 20-year-old man from neighboring British Columbia, was cited for speeding and had his license suspended for 24 hours for driving while tired.

The province has also decided to charge the driver with dangerous driving and he is scheduled to appear in court in December.

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The proliferation of self-driving vehicles, pioneered by electric car company Tesla, has presented a challenge for regulators trying to determine the safety and effectiveness of on-board systems.

In January, a driver in Ontario was charged with careless driving. After officers saw him using both hands to brush his teeth as his vehicle sped down the highway at 135km/h.

Two months ago, a Tesla vehicle was spotted driving on the wrong side of the road without a driver.

A Car Travelling 85 Km/h Strikes A Tree

In the US, officials are investigating a number of fatal crashes involving the Autopilot feature, including one in which the driver was using the feature to play games on his phone.

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“While new vehicle manufacturers have built-in safeguards to prevent drivers from taking advantage of new vehicle safety systems, those systems are just that – additional safety systems,” RCMP Superintendent Gary Graham said in the statement. “They are not self-driving systems. They are still responsible for driving. Photo: David Zalubowski/AP

After a car dealer asked $10,000 over the sticker price for a new hybrid vehicle, car buyer Michael Rathjen of Kirkland, Washington decided not to pay the manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP) for the vehicle he wanted. Little did he dream that his search would take eight months and 3,000 miles from home.

“I speak all over the country. I think this is impossible. I wouldn’t find a dealer that would sell at MSRP,” recalls Rathjen, a technology writer. “I kept calling farther and farther until I hit Vermont.”

In early May, Rathjen flew to Burlington, Vermont, to pick up his new Toyota RAV4 Prime, paid $51,000 for the full-featured premium model, and immediately returned and drove to bring it home. The journey took eight days, with several stops for sightseeing and friends.

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Record low inventory levels, supply chain backlogs and production delays don’t fully capture the huge challenge facing consumers looking to buy a new car, light truck or SUV without falling prey to profiteering dealers. Determined buyers willing to pay the sticker price in today’s market must draw on a reservoir of persistence and patience and, in some cases, travel hundreds, even thousands, of miles. However, vendors like Rathjen are happy to do so. “I was very lucky to get exactly what I wanted and at MSRP,” he said.

“Now, if it’s the right vehicle, there’s no limit to how far people will go,” said Ryan Denecker, director of sales for Heritage Automotive Group, which operates Toyota and Ford dealerships in Burlington. Lower than sticker price. His dealerships sold to buyers across the country.

Heritage Automotive typically has 500 to 700 vehicles for sale, according to Denecker. Today, lots are almost empty and buyers must put down a deposit and wait two to 12 months for their vehicle to arrive.

A Car Travelling 85 Km/h Strikes A Tree

“I’ve been doing this since the late ’90s,” Denecker said. “This is a landscape I’ve never seen before.”

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It’s a landscape battered by a perfect storm that squeezes supply at a time of intense demand.

Two years ago, Covid-19 shutdowns crippled the auto supply chain, a slowdown the industry hasn’t been able to recover from. Demand for semiconductor chips in today’s highly digitized vehicles far outstrips supply, a situation exacerbated by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The besieged nation is a major supplier of the neon gas needed for the lasers that etch tiny pieces of silicon to create semiconductor chips, and a major producer of the wire harnesses needed to connect cables around vehicles. Labor shortages in American factories and ports have added to the auto industry’s woes.

New car prices have risen as demand outstrips supply. According to Kelley Blue Book, the average transaction price for a new vehicle in May was $47,148, up 13% from May 2021. Electric vehicle prices rose 15% year-over-year, while hybrid prices rose 18%. .

These price increases are helping to push consumer inflation to the highest level in four decades. Last week, the US Department of Labor announced that annual inflation in its basket of goods and services, as measured by the Consumer Price Index (CPI), rose to 8.6% in May. New vehicle prices rose 12.6% year-to-date and used vehicles rose 16.1% from May 2021.

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Two-line graph representing the difference in used and new car prices. Both tend to rise with used car prices.

Contributing to the price hikes are manufacturers allocating their precious semiconductor supplies to their most profitable vehicles, said Michelle Krebs, executive analyst at Kelley Blue Book parent Cox Automotive. “Car manufacturers sell their best models,” she said.

According to Edmunds, buyers have been paying more than sticker price since last August as the average transaction price for new vehicles has steadily increased. The Automotive Market Research Institute says vehicles that now typically sell for more than $3,000 more than MSRP include the Kia Telluride SUV, the Lexus NX450H hybrid and the GMC Hummer electric vehicle.

A Car Travelling 85 Km/h Strikes A Tree

Kevin Ratz of Chicago was stunned when his local Toyota dealer asked $21,000 for the only RAV4 Prime in stock. This prompted him to start hunting for hybrid SUVs that sell for sticker prices. Ratz’s search involved contacting more than 60 dealers, some priced at $10,000, before he finally found his prize 900 miles from home.

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“It was a challenge to find the car where I didn’t pay a dollar through the window sticker,” said Ratz, a commercial pilot. “The feeling I got when I got that deposit off – I couldn’t believe it happened.”

For vehicles in high demand, it makes sense to fly to reasonably priced dealerships, argued Ian Drury, senior knowledge manager for Edmunds. “These are extreme measures that people are taking because they are confused by what is happening in the industry,” he said. “The fact that people are proud to say, ‘I paid MSRP’ is completely unlike any time in history.”

Before the pandemic, dealers competed to see how much they could sell a car, light truck or SUV for below sticker price. But it is no longer a buyer’s market; Dealers now have an advantage, and the rare exception is those willing to sell popular models, especially hybrids and electric vehicles, at sticker prices.

“We’re inundated with orders we can’t fill,” said a sales manager at a Toyota and Volkswagen dealership in New Jersey, whose vehicles cost no more than their sticker prices. He asked not to be identified because he is no longer accepting orders for popular models, including the Toyota RAV4 Prime and Highlander Hybrid, and has a list of 160 customers who have put down deposits and waited months for their vehicles.

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