Posts Tagged ‘news release’

Low Demand Continues to Pull National Average Lower

September 21st, 2020 by EEdmonds

The latest Energy Information Administration (EIA) report measures demand at 8.48 million b/d, which is a slight uptick from the previous week’s 8.39 million b/d. However, the small increase — likely due to holiday road trips — is still 461,000 b/d lower than last year at this time. Low demand, even as total domestic stocks of gasoline declined to 231.5 million bbl, has helped keep pump prices low.

Today’s national gas price average is $2.18, which is one cent less than last week, the same price as a month ago, but 48 cents cheaper than mid-September last year. On the week, all states saw gas prices decrease or remain stable at the pump. The majority of state averages have pushed cheaper by a penny or two since last Monday. With the nation entering the fall driving season, which typically sees fewer road trips, a continued drop in demand will likely lead to pump prices continuing to decrease.

Additionally, the National Hurricane Center is currently tracking Tropical Storm Beta, which is expected to produce severe flooding and heavy rain in coastal Texas and Louisiana later today. The expected damage to infrastructure will likely hinder ongoing recovery efforts in the region due to other recent storms and hurricanes, which have shuttered total U.S. crude refining capacity by 8.7%. The amount of shuttered oil production in the Gulf of Mexico now stands at 179,237 b/d (just under 10% of total offshore output), according to the federal Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement. Any crude or pump price impacts will likely be contained to the region and not have a national impact.

Quick Stats

  • The nation’s top 10 largest weekly decreases: Delaware (-5 cents), Florida (-4 cents), Maryland (-3 cents), West Virginia (-3 cents), Utah (-3 cents), Colorado (-2 cents), South Carolina (-2 cents), Georgia (-2 cents), New Jersey (-2 cents) and North Carolina (-2 cents).
  • The nation’s top 10 least expensive markets: Mississippi ($1.84), Texas ($1.85), Arkansas ($1.87), Oklahoma ($1.88), Missouri ($1.88), Louisiana ($1.88), South Carolina ($1.90), Alabama ($1.90), Tennessee ($1.93) and Kentucky ($1.96).

Oil Market Dynamics

At the close of Friday’s formal trading session, WTI increased by 14 cents to settle at $41.11. Domestic crude prices increased last week after EIA’s weekly report revealed that total domestic crude inventories decreased by 4.4 million bbl to 496 million bbl. Decreasing stocks could signal that supply and demand are rebalancing, even while production grew by 900,000 b/d last week to 10.9 million b/d. For this week, crude prices could increase again if EIA’s next weekly report shows another decrease in total inventories.

Motorists can find current gas prices along their route with the free AAA Mobile app for iPhone, iPad and Android. The app can also be used to map a route, find discounts, book a hotel and access AAA roadside assistance. Learn more at AAA.com/mobile.

The latest Energy Information Administration (EIA) report measures gasoline demand at 8.3 million b/d, which is the lowest level since mid-June. As demand dropped for a second week, so did gasoline supply levels – down nearly 3 million bbl to 231 million bbl. While consistently decreasing week-over-week, supplies also sit at a 3 million bbl year-over-year surplus.

“Typically lower supply levels translate into higher pump prices. However, even with consistent declines in gasoline stocks, that’s just not the case right now,” said Jeanette Casselano, AAA spokesperson. “Despite the steady supply dip, continued low levels of demand helped push the national gas price cheaper on the week.”

Today’s national gas price average is $2.19, which is three cents less than last week, two cents more than a month ago, but 37 cents cheaper than mid-September last year. On the week, all states saw gas prices decrease or stabilize at the pump. States with the largest declines are paying a nickel to a dime less, but the majority of state averages pushed cheaper by a few pennies since last Monday.

Mid-September is typically a point in the year that ushers in cheaper gas prices due to the switchover at gas stations from summer-blend to winter-blend, which is cheaper to produce. The difference between the two blends comes down to Reid Vapor Pressure (RVP), which is a measure of how easily the fuel evaporates at a given temperature. The higher – or more volatile – the RVP, the more able it is to evaporate at low temperatures. Winter-blend has a higher RVP which allows the fuel to evaporate at low temperatures for the engine to operate properly, especially when the engine is cold. If the RVP is too low on a frigid day, the vehicle will be hard to start and once started, will run rough.

“Motorists will see some cost savings at the pump with the switchover to winter-blend, but the price difference will be less than other years given how cheap prices have been this year already,” added Casselano. “However, hurricanes can always change any forecast for savings.”

The National Hurricane Center is currently tracking a number of tropical storms and depressions. Tropical Storm Sally is expected to produce life-threatening storm surge and hurricane-force winds for the northern Gulf Coast starting later today. Sally has already forced at least one refinery shutdown in Louisiana at Phillips 66. Others are watching the storm to determine any operational decisions (see more details in Oil Market Dynamics section). Any pump price impacts will likely be contained to the region and not have a national impact.

 

Quick Stats

  • The nation’s top 10 largest weekly decreases: Ohio (-10 cents), Kentucky (-7 cents), Indiana (-6 cents), Michigan (-5 cents), North Carolina (-5 cents), South Carolina (-5 cents), Wisconsin (-4 cents), Washington, D.C. (-4 cents), Tennessee (-4 cents) and Illinois (-4 cents).
  • The nation’s top 10 least expensive markets: Mississippi ($1.86), Texas ($1.87), Arkansas ($1.90), Louisiana ($1.90), Missouri ($1.90), Oklahoma ($1.90), Alabama ($1.91), South Carolina ($1.93), Tennessee ($1.94) and Kentucky ($1.96).

Oil Market Dynamics

At the close of Friday’s formal trading session, WTI increased by three cents to settle at $37.33. Although crude prices made a small gain at the end of the week, the price of crude saw a weekly loss of $2.44. Domestic crude prices decreased after EIA’s weekly report revealed that total domestic crude inventories increased by 2 million bbl, increasing total stocks to 500.4 million bbl. Increasing stocks could signal that crude demand is declining, while production increased by 300,000 b/d last week to 10 million b/d. For this week, crude prices could decrease further amid growing demand concerns.

In related news, Tropical Storm Sally has led some offshore platforms in the Gulf Coast to shutter production. Chevron shut its Blind Faith and Petronius platforms and evacuated the workers, while Royal Dutch Shell said it began shutting some of its offshore drilling operations on Sunday. However, according to reports, its offshore production was unchanged, and all personnel remain on production platforms. Additionally, Murphy Oil shut the Delta House platform because it is in the path of the storm. The exact impact of the storm and how long operations remain shuttered will determine if crude supply will be impacted in the region, which could lead to fluctuations in crude prices. Any crude price impacts will likely be contained to the region and not have a national impact.

Motorists can find current gas prices along their route with the free AAA Mobile app for iPhone, iPad and Android. The app can also be used to map a route, find discounts, book a hotel and access AAA roadside assistance. Learn more at AAA.com/mobile.

AAA Cautions Consumers: Don’t Buy the Hype

September 10th, 2020 by AGross

New Research Shows Automaker Marketing May Lead to Overconfidence, Misunderstanding

WASHINGTON, D.C. (Sept. 10, 2020) –  Motorists using active driving assistance systems, which combine vehicle acceleration with braking and steering, tend to overlook safety limitations when the branding and marketing used to sell it suggest an “automated” driving experience, according to new research from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety.  Researchers found consumer information that stresses convenience and capabilities while minimizing limitations can inflate expectations regarding what the system can do and the situations that it can handle. AAA warns that a false sense of system capabilities created by marketing campaigns can lead to dangerous scenarios on the road.

Additional Resources

“Based on data collected from our research, subtle differences in tone and emphasis significantly influenced people’s understanding of the technology and their expectations of its capability,” said Dr. David Yang, executive director of the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. “These systems assist the driver and take some of the stress out of driving, but they don’t eliminate the need for drivers to pay attention.”

In this latest AAA Foundation study, 90 research participants received a brief overview of an active driving assistance system with a realistic but fictitious name. Before driving the same vehicle, half of the participants were told their system was called “AutonoDrive” and were given an upbeat training that emphasized the system’s capabilities and driver convenience. The other half of the participants were told their system was named “DriveAssist,” and their training placed greater emphasis on the system’s limitations and driver responsibility. Participants trained on AutonoDrive came away with greater confidence — and in some cases, overconfidence — in the system. After completing the training and driving the test vehicle, 42% of the participants using AutonoDrive, said its name made the system sound more capable than it is, while only 11% of DriveAssist users felt the same. Also, compared to those who learned about DriveAssist, participants trained on AutonoDrive were more likely to believe erroneously that the system would behave as outlined below.

Sample Perception Differences Between AutonoDrive versus DriveAssist

AutonoDrive DriveAssist
The system would make them feel more comfortable eating while driving 65% 27%
The system would make them feel more comfortable using a handheld cell phone 45% 13%
The system can take action to avoid a collision when a vehicle directly to the side begins steering into it to change lanes 42% 4%
The system can automatically reduce speed on a tight curve without the driver doing anything 56% 27%

 

Potential consumer misunderstandings of new vehicle technology need to be addressed. In a previous survey, 40 percent of Americans told AAA they expect active driving assistance systems, with names like Autopilot and ProPILOT, to have the ability to drive the car by itself. AAA recommends that automakers provide consumers information that is not only technically accurate but also balanced in terms of setting expectations that match what consumers will ultimately experience on the road. For consumers, there must be an emphasis on driver engagement and understanding the limitations of these technologies. Car dealers have a responsibility to educate car buyers on these technologies, but not to oversell a vehicle’s bells and whistles.

“Automakers are in the business of selling vehicles.  Understandably, they will emphasize convenience and system capabilities in their marketing campaigns.  But, their marketing campaigns, materials and consumer information should not mislead motorists,” said Jake Nelson, AAA director of traffic safety advocacy and research.  “Words matter.  We can do better by taking care to be more realistic in setting expectations for consumers such that the sale of a new vehicle does not come at the expense of safety.”

  • Purpose – Learn the purpose of active driving technology by reading the vehicle’s owner’s manual and visiting the manufacturer’s website.
  • Limitations – Understand what the technology cannot do; do not make any assumptions about automation. An active driving system should not be confused with a self-driving one.
  • Allow Time For Testing – Allow time for safe on-road testing, so drivers know exactly how this technology works in real driving situations.
  • Never Rely On It – Do not rely on this technology; instead, act as if the vehicle does not have it with the driver always prepared to retake control if needed.

About AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety: Established in 1947 by AAA, the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety is a nonprofit, publicly funded, 501(c)(3) charitable research and educational organization. The AAA Foundation’s mission is to prevent traffic deaths and injuries by researching their causes and by educating the public about strategies to prevent crashes and reduce injuries when they do occur. This research develops educational materials for drivers, pedestrians, bicyclists and other road users.

About AAA: AAA provides more than 60 million members with automotive, travel, insurance and financial services through its federation of 32 motor clubs and nearly 1,000 branch offices across North America. Since 1902, the not-for-profit, fully tax-paying AAA has been a leader and advocate for safe mobility. Drivers can request roadside assistance, identify nearby gas prices, locate discounts, book a hotel or map a route via the AAA Mobile app. To join, visit AAA.com.

 

As Summer Fades Away, Cheaper Gas Prices Here to Stay

September 8th, 2020 by jcasselano

Motorists saw plenty of savings at the pump from Memorial Day through Labor Day. The national gas price average during the unofficial start and stop to summer was $2.15 – the cheapest since 2004. Demand was decimated this summer, which ultimately meant increased supply and cheap gas prices. That trend continues. In its latest report, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) reported that demand dropped from 9.16 million b/d to 8.79 b/d. While gasoline stocks dropped by 4.3 million bbl to 234.9 million bbl, total supply is 5.2 million bbl more than this time last year.

“Summer may be fading into the rearview mirror, but less expensive gas prices are not,” said Jeanette Casselano, AAA spokesperson. “Moving into fall we traditionally see a drop in demand and further savings at the pump. This year that means pump prices could possibly push even lower then we’ve already seen in 2020.”

On the week, the majority of state averages are cheaper by a few cents. A few states in the Mid-West did see more significant price drops ranging from a nickel to a dime. The small handful of states with increases saw a jump of just penny or two, with the exception of Florida (+6 cents).

At $2.21, today’s average is two cents less than last week, one penny more than last month and 35 cents cheaper than a year ago.

Quick Stats

  •  The nation’s top 10 largest weekly decreases: Ohio (-11 cents), Indiana (-9 cents), Kentucky (-6 cents), Michigan (-6 cents), Wisconsin (-5 cents), North Carolina (-4 cents), Illinois (-4 cents), South Carolina (-4 cents), Washington, D.C. (-3 cents) and Oklahoma (-3 cents).
  • The nation’s top 10 least expensive markets: Mississippi ($1.88), Texas ($1.89), Oklahoma ($1.90), Louisiana ($1.91), Arkansas ($1.91), Missouri ($1.92), Alabama ($1.93), South Carolina ($1.96), Tennessee ($1.96) and Kansas ($2.00).

Oil Market Dynamics

At the end of Friday’s formal trading session, WTI decreased by $1.60 to settle at $39.77 per barrel. The price of crude decreased in reaction to a decline in the stock market at the end of last week. The price decreased despite EIA’s weekly report revealing that total domestic crude inventories dropped by 9.4 million bbl, lowering total domestic stocks to 498.4 million bbl. For this week, crude prices could decline further if crude demand concerns arise amid another stock market downturn.

Motorists can find current gas prices along their route with the free AAA Mobile app for iPhone, iPad and Android. The app can also be used to map a route, find discounts, book a hotel and access AAA roadside assistance. Learn more at AAA.com/mobile.

ORLANDO, Fla (September 4, 2020) – AAA, North America’s largest motorist and leisure travel organization, today announced that Douglas Kelly has been named vice president and general counsel. Based in Orlando, Fla., Kelly will leverage his more than two decades of legal experience to provide strategic direction to AAA’s Legal, Corporate Affairs and Insurance Services departments.

“With expertise including litigation, finance, public affairs, regulatory, international privacy and hospitality law, Doug will serve an integral role as our new general counsel,” said AAA President and CEO Marshall Doney. “We are pleased to welcome him to AAA.”

“Working for a widely recognized consumer brand as general counsel has been a career aspiration,” said Doug Kelly. “I gained tremendous experience working for Marriott Vacations Worldwide. I look forward to this new endeavor, which is sure to bring many professional opportunities and learning experiences. This kind of opportunity with AAA does not come along often.”

In his role with the more than 61 million member organization, Kelly will also serve as corporate secretary for the AAA Board of Directors, where he replaces current secretary Jim Brehm.

Prior to joining AAA, Kelly served as Senior Vice President & Associate General Counsel at Marriott Vacations Worldwide Corporation. Previous to that position, he held various legal positions with Marriott Vacations Worldwide and Marriott International, Inc. He also worked in the Orlando office of the law firm Holland & Knight LLP, and served as an adjunct professor of law at Florida A&M’s University College of Law. Among accolades, he was named to the Legal 500’s GC Powerlist: United States Rising Stars 2014 and serves a member of the board of directors of the Central Florida chapter of the Association of Corporate Counsel, where he previously served as the chapter’s president.

About AAA: AAA provides more than 61 million members with automotive, travel, insurance and financial services through its federation of 32 motor clubs and nearly 1,000 branch offices across North America. Since 1902, the not-for-profit, fully tax-paying AAA has been a leader and advocate for safe mobility. Drivers can request roadside assistance, identify nearby gas prices, locate discounts, book a hotel or map a route via the AAA Mobile app. To join, visit AAA.com.

Demand and Pump Prices Jump Across the Country

August 31st, 2020 by EEdmonds

The national gas price average spiked by a nickel on the week to $2.23, but is expected to push cheaper in the week ahead. Pump prices jumped as a result of Hurricane Laura and an increase in demand for one of the highest measurements of the year.

“It’s typical to see increased demand and more expensive gas prices ahead of a storm, especially one that threatens rigs and refineries in the Gulf of Mexico region,” said Jeanette Casselano. “The latest industry reports indicate that facilities in Texas have already begun the restarting process, which means there is no major threat to gasoline stocks and gas prices should push cheaper.”

However, operations in the Lake Charles, La., region are still down and could be for some time. This includes the Lake Charles CITGO (440,000 b/d) and Phillip66 (239,400 b/d) facilities. In the Gulf of Mexico, the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) reports that 70% of current oil production is still shuttered, which is still significant but better when compared to 84% reported when the storm hit.

The second factor pushing prices more expensive in the last week was the Energy Information Administration (EIA) report that gas demand increased from 8.63 million b/d to 9.16 million b/d. While higher than we’ve seen throughout the summer, this estimated rate is 739,000 b/d lower than the rate last year at this time. Moreover, total domestic gasoline supplies decreased by 4.6 million bbl last week to 239.2 million bbl, but the current level is 7.2 million bbl higher than the level at this time last year.

Today’s national average is a nickel more than last month, but 35 cents cheaper than a year ago. On the week, all but five states saw state gas price averages increase. Of those that saw jumps, nearly 20 state averages are 5 to 15 cents more expensive.

Quick Stats

  •  The nation’s top 10 largest weekly increases: West Virginia (+14 cents), Ohio (+13 cents), Indiana (+10 cents), North Carolina (+9 cents), Pennsylvania (+9 cents), Delaware (+9 cents), Virginia (+9 cents), Minnesota (+8 cents), South Carolina (+8 cents) and Tennessee (+8 cents).
  • The nation’s top 10 least expensive markets: Mississippi ($1.88), Louisiana ($1.89), Texas ($1.90), Arkansas ($1.92), Oklahoma ($1.92), Alabama ($1.93), Missouri ($1.94), Tennessee ($1.99), South Carolina ($2.00) and Kansas ($2.00).

Oil Market Dynamics

At the end of Friday’s formal trading session, WTI decreased by seven cents to settle at $42.97 per barrel. Although crude prices ended the day lower, crude prices increased on the week as Tropical Depression Laura reduced crude production in the Gulf of Mexico. For this week, crude prices may rise again due to a weak U.S. dollar and if prolonged closure of rigs and production platforms tighten domestic crude inventories amid rising demand. However, EIA’s latest weekly report revealed that total domestic crude inventories, currently sitting at 507.8 million bbl, are 80 million bbl higher than where they were during this time in August 2019. The higher level could play a role in stabilizing crude prices.

As of Monday morning, the BSEE Hurricane Response Team reports:

  • Personnel are still evacuated from a total of 137 production platforms, 21.31 percent of the 643 manned platforms in the Gulf of Mexico.
  • Personnel are still evacuated from 2 rigs (non-dynamically positioned), equivalent to 16.67 percent of the 12 rigs of this type currently operating in the Gulf.
  • From operator reports, BSEE estimates that approximately 70% percent of the current oil production in the Gulf of Mexico remains shuttered.

Motorists can find current gas prices along their route with the free AAA Mobile app for iPhone, iPad and Android. The app can also be used to map a route, find discounts, book a hotel and access AAA roadside assistance. Learn more at AAA.com/mobile.

At $2.18, the national gas price average increased by one cent on the week. That is the same price as a month ago and 41 cents cheaper than a year ago.

The minimal change reflects the slow movement at pumps across the country on the week. The vast majority of states (30) saw pump prices fluctuate by a penny, if at all. A few states in the Mid-Atlantic and Mid-West saw more significant jumps, including North Carolina (+7 cents), Kentucky (+6 cents), Virginia (+5 cents) and West Virginia (+5 cents), while Indiana (-5 cents) holds the spot for the largest weekly decrease. The increase in these states could be a result of increased demand, but nationally demand saw a one week decline.

“Gasoline stocks hit their lowest level since the pandemic began and demand dipped on the week, down to 8.6 million b/d,” said Jeanette Casselano, AAA spokesperson. “These decreases typically lead to cheaper pump prices, but this summer we’ve seen atypical gas price trends.”

The Energy Information Administration recorded gasoline stocks at their largest one-week draw since May. Total stocks fell by 4 million bbl down to 243.7 million bbl. Year-over-year, stocks are at a 10 million surplus while demand sits 1.3 million b/d less. U.S refinery utilization rates continue to hover at 80%.

Hurricane Watch

This week the market is watching Tropical Storms Marco and Laura. Marco, whose force is decreasing and is expected to be a tropical depression late on Tuesday, is less of a concern. However, Laura is forecasted to move into the southeastern Gulf of Mexico and become a hurricane by early Tuesday.

According to the U.S. Department of Interior’s Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement, approximately 58 percent, or 1.065 million b/d, of crude production in the Gulf of Mexico has been shuttered ahead of the storms and 114 (18%) platforms evacuated.

While gasoline stocks remain at a healthy level, if platforms and rigs are offline for an extended amount of time, supply could tighten and gas prices could be impacted. AAA will continue to monitor activity and provide related gas price updates.

Quick Stats

  • The nation’s top 10 largest weekly changes: North Carolina (+7 cents), Kentucky (+6 cents), Virginia (+5 cents), West Virginia (+5 cents), Indiana (-5 cents), Illinois (+3 cents), Michigan (+3 cents), Wisconsin (-3 cents), South Dakota (+2 cents) and Iowa (+2 cents).
  • The nation’s top 10 least expensive markets: Mississippi ($1.83), Louisiana ($1.86), Arkansas ($1.87), Alabama ($1.88), Texas ($1.88), Oklahoma ($1.88), Missouri ($1.90), Tennessee ($1.91), South Carolina ($1.92) and Kansas ($1.97).

Oil Market Dynamics

At the end of Friday’s formal trading session, WTI decreased by 48 cents to settle at $42.34 per barrel. Crude prices were supported by growth in the strength of the U.S. dollar. Additionally, domestic crude prices decreased despite EIA’s weekly report revealing that total domestic inventories decreased by 1.6 million bbl last week, lowering total stocks to 512.5 million bbl. For this week, crude prices could increase, depending on the impact of Tropical Storms Laura and Marcos. If crude production continues to decrease and stays offline for an extended period, crude prices could increase as supply tightens.

Motorists can find current gas prices along their route with the free AAA Mobile app for iPhone, iPad and Android. The app can also be used to map a route, find discounts, book a hotel and access AAA roadside assistance. Learn more at AAA.com/mobile.

New automotive engineering research finds 73% of performance issues were related to lane centering

ORLANDO, Fla. (Aug. 6, 2020) – AAA automotive researchers found that over the course of 4,000 miles of real-world driving, vehicles equipped with active driving assistance systems experienced some type of issue every 8 miles, on average. Researchers noted instances of trouble with the systems keeping the vehicles tested in their lane and coming too close to other vehicles or guardrails. AAA also found that active driving assistance systems, those that combine vehicle acceleration with braking and steering, often disengage with little notice – almost instantly handing control back to the driver. A dangerous scenario if a driver has become disengaged from the driving task or has become too dependent on the system. AAA recommends manufacturers increase the scope of testing for active driving assistance systems and limit their rollout until functionality is improved to provide a more consistent and safer driver experience.

Additional Resources

Active driving assistance, classified as Level 2 driving automation on a scale of six (0-5) created by the SAE International, are advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) that provide the highest level of automated vehicle technology available to the public today. This means for a majority of drivers, their first or only interaction with vehicle automation is through these types of systems, which according to AAA, are far from 100% reliable.

“AAA has repeatedly found that active driving assistance systems do not perform consistently, especially in real-word scenarios,” said Greg Brannon, director of automotive engineering and industry relations. “Manufacturers need to work toward more dependable technology, including improving lane keeping assistance and providing more adequate alerts.”

AAA tested the functionality of active driving assistance systems in real-world conditions and in a closed-course setting to determine how well they responded to common driving scenarios. On public roadways, nearly three-quarters (73%) of errors involved instances of lane departure or erratic lane position. While AAA’s closed-course testing found that the systems performed mostly as expected, they were particularly challenged when approaching a simulated disabled vehicle. When encountering this test scenario, in aggregate, a collision occurred 66% of the time and the average impact speed was 25 mph.

“Active driving assistance systems are designed to assist the driver and help make the roads safer, but the fact is, these systems are in the early stages of their development,” added Brannon. “With the number of issues we experienced in testing, it is unclear how these systems enhance the driving experience in their current form. In the long run, a bad experience with current technology may set back public acceptance of more fully automated vehicles in the future.”

AAA’s 2020 automated vehicle survey found that only one in ten drivers (12%) would trust riding in a self-driving car. To increase consumer confidence in future automated vehicles, it is important that car manufacturers perfect functionality as much as possible – like active driving assistance systems available now – before deployment in a larger fleet of vehicles. AAA has met with industry leaders to provide insight from the testing experience and recommendations for improvement. The insights are also shared with AAA members and the public to inform their driving experiences and vehicle purchase decisions.

Methodology

AAA conducted closed-course testing and naturalistic driving in partnership with the Automobile Club of Southern California’s Automotive Research Center and AAA Northern California, Nevada and Utah’s GoMentum Proving Grounds. Using a defined set of criteria, AAA selected the following vehicles for testing:  2019 BMW X7 with “Active Driving Assistant Professional”, 2019 Cadillac CT6 with “Super Cruise™”, 2019 Ford Edge with “Ford Co-Pilot360™”, 2020 Kia Telluride with “Highway Driving Assist” and 2020 Subaru Outback with “EyeSight®” and were sourced from the manufacturer or directly from dealer inventory. The 2019 Cadillac CT6 and the 2019 Ford Edge were evaluated only within naturalistic environments. For specific methodology regarding testing equipment, closed-course test scenarios and naturalistic routes, please refer to the full report here.

About AAA

AAA provides more than 60 million members with automotive, travel, insurance and financial services through its federation of 32 motor clubs and nearly 1,000 branch offices across North America. Since 1902, the not-for-profit, fully tax-paying AAA has been a leader and advocate for safe mobility. Drivers can request roadside assistance, identify nearby gas prices, locate discounts, book a hotel or map a route via the AAA Mobile app. To join, visit AAA.com.

Volvo Sedan earns top spot among 50 vehicles reviewed

ORLANDO, Fla. (June 18, 2020) – AAA announced a 2020 Volvo luxury sedan has earned the top score in its first edition of the newly released AAA Car Guide, a consumer resource on the latest and greatest in vehicle technology. The guide provides consumers with reviews based in part on how many advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) are included in the vehicle as well as a number of other criteria. The majority of the category winners for 2020 are either electric, plug-in electric hybrids or hybrids, signaling that eco-friendly vehicles tend to offer the most cutting-edge vehicle technology.

The 175-page guide includes comprehensive, easy-to-read reviews of each vehicle which are based on 13 criteria, including braking, fuel economy, emissions, handling, ride comfort, acceleration and the number of ADAS safety features. These vehicles are tested, scored and placed in one of five vehicle categories by the Automotive Research Center (ARC) of the Automobile Club of Southern California, a member of the AAA federation of motor clubs. 

“With an increasing number of vehicles equipped with advanced safety features, we thought consumers would benefit from an in-depth review of how they stack up with other driving criteria,” said Greg Brannon, AAA’s director of Automotive Engineering and Industry Relations.  “Previous AAA studies have shown that many drivers don’t understand some of the features in their new vehicles and believe they can do more than is technically possible.” 

The AAA Car Guide is an evolution of the popular AAA Green Car Guide, the book that focused on fuel-efficient, low-emitting cars and trucks. The 2020 version has expanded the types of vehicles it reviews and ranks to include vehicles that are all new or completely redesigned and that include the latest automotive safety technology, including advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS). 

Highest ranked by category are:

Category Vehicle
Overall 2020 Volvo S90 T8 E-AWD R-Design (plug-in hybrid)
Small 2019 Nissan Leaf SV Plus (electric)
Midsize 2019 Toyota Camry Hybrid XLE (hybrid)
Large 2020 Volvo S90 T8 E-AWD R-Design (plug-in hybrid)
Pickup 2020 GMC Sierra 1500 2WD Crew Cab SLT (diesel)            
SUV/Minivan 2019 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid Limited (plug-in hybrid)
Best Under $30,000 2019 Honda Insight 4-door Touring (hybrid)
Best $30,000-$50,000 2019 Kia Niro EV EX Premium (electric)
Best Over $50,000 2020 Volvo S90 T8 E-AWD R-Design (plug-in hybrid)

“These days, a vehicle buyer may feel overwhelmed or confused not only by the differences of how the vehicle is powered – either by gasoline, hybrid, plug-in hybrid or electric – but by which of the safety features they need and how those work in the real world,” said Megan McKernan, manager of Automotive Research Center. “Our evaluations are designed to help drivers select a safe and comfortable vehicle that meets their needs.”  

As buyers return to the market, industry groups such as the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) are providing dealerships with guidance on how to safely interact with car buyers. This includes procedures on keeping employees and customers safe, cleaning and disinfecting dealership facilities and vehicles and safely handling sales operations. Some dealerships are even modifying their buying process and offering to deliver vehicles to customers for test drives.

The AAA Car Guide is designed to help consumers navigate new car buying since many of the latest models come equipped with some sort of advanced safety system, many of which go by different names. In fact, previously AAA analyzed 34 vehicle brands sold in the United States to identify the number of unique names manufacturers use to market ADAS. For example, automatic emergency braking, standard on 31% of 2018 vehicles, has 40 names for just this one feature. As a result, AAA along with other safety organizations has called on the industry to move towards common naming to help clear the confusion for consumers.

The AAA Car Guide also contains a compendium of AAA’s recent research of current automotive technologies and topics, such as advanced driver-assistance systems, gasoline quality, the advantages of synthetic oil, reduced tire traction in wet-weather driving, and headlight effectiveness.

Winners, detailed evaluation criteria, vehicle reviews and an in-depth analysis of the ADAS technology can be found at aaa.com/carguide.

AAA provides more than 60 million members with automotive, travel, insurance and financial services through its federation of 32 motor clubs and more than 1,000 branch offices across North America. Since 1902, the not-for-profit, fully tax-paying AAA has been a leader and advocate for safe mobility. Drivers can request roadside assistance, identify nearby gas prices, locate discounts, book a hotel or map a route via the AAA Mobile app. To join, visit AAA.com.

(May 12, 2020) – AAA, Consumer Reports, J.D. Power and the National Safety Council commends SAE International in its endorsement of common naming of advanced driver assistance systems as well as its consideration to revise the SAE J3063 Standard to directly support the effort of clearing the confusion for consumers regarding new vehicle technology. For the full announcement from SAE, click here.

The most current list of common ADAS naming can be found here.

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