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Car News In the Rearview: Doom, Doooom, DOOOOM…But Seriously, Doom

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Hello, and welcome to In the Rearview, where I bring you the week’s top car news, even when it makes me very worried about all of our safety on the road. This is especially true for this week, which is filled with various serious and less serious tidings of doom.


Our first doom tiding (dooming?) comes to us in the form of a study from AAA and the University of Utah, who together found that, despite what most people assume about their infotainment systems in their cars, often they are really, really dangerous to use while driving–“eyes off the road for the length of a football field” levels of dangerous.

Google/Waymo Self-Driving Car
Photo: Digital Trends

Our second dooming this week actually is falling on the robotic vehicles among us, because it seems people keep hitting them at intersections because, unlike we fleshy humans, they actually stop all the way.

2018 Chevrolet Equinox Premier

The third dooming for the week is falling on the heads of Chevrolet, as GM and the Canadian union workers of the CAMI Assembly Plant still haven’t resolved a strike which is drastically stunting production of the highly popular Equinox crossover, with little sign of an end in sight.

Oil Pump

Image: Paul Lowry

Our final, less personal dooming is just for the oil producers of the world, because as more and more governments across the world are setting up timelines to ban or limit gasoline combustion engine, analysts are predicting that oil demand with drop very soon, and very drastically–in the next decade, and by about 3.8 million barrels per day (aka the normal production capacity of Iran).

Unhappily, from here the warnings get more serious, because we want to remind everyone that, even though temperatures are dropping outside, they are still more than enough to drastically heat up the inside of your car–as in, heating to over 100 degrees within an hour when it is only 60 degrees outside. Please bring your kids out of the car.

On another serious note, 2016 was a bad year of car accidents, with the most deadly crashes in nearly a decade, due to speeding, lack of seatbelts, motorcycle collisions, and pedestrian collision. So please, while you are driving, take your time, wear your seatbelt, and make sure you check your surroundings thoroughly before you make a move.

2017 Toyota Tj CRUISER Concept

After all of that dire news, though, we thankfully have some rays of sunshine to break through the autumn clouds, as the Tokyo Motor Show is coming, which means we are about to see some weird and cool concept cars. From Toyota, we can expect three concepts for its home show, which I wish I could say lean toward the cool, but maybe you should just have a look for yourself.

Mazda next generation product concept

Toyota isn’t the only one to start up the hype train for the Tokyo Motor Show, though, because Mazda has also teased a pair of concepts, which the Zoom Zoom brand promises will reveal both its future design philosophy and its future technology, including the much-hyped SKYACTIV-X compression-ignition gas engine.