Occupant fatality rates in all basic vehicle classes have been going down since 1997. The overall conclusion from the NHTSA Research Note is that "compact cars have the highest occupant fatality rate while the "large vans" category has the lowest occupancy fatality rate.
We have all been following the press accounts of Toyota becoming the top producing vehicle manufacturer in the world in 2006 and we have heard statements by Toyota management that Toyota is going to become more aggressive in the future. Historically, Toyota has taken a relatively humble and mild stance to its growing presence worldwide and in the USA particularly, but in 2003 the gloves came off with Toyota Motor Sales USA taking a higher profile. Their pace of advance will quicken substantially in 2006.
As more of these third party devices hit the market, manufacturers are also making it more difficult for in-dash ICE to be replaced. More and more, manufacturers are integrating the car's ICE into other functions, so the "radio" aspect is difficult to remove and replace.
We did get a chance to learn about the navigation expertise and capabilities of the new TomTom unit - and I had the chance to get a nice demo, which was impressive. We captured the experience on digital video - and we'll bring that to you in a new VehicleVoice video-cast in the very near future.
Since reaching a peak in September, the price of gasoline in the United States continued to decline through mid-December and drivers are reacting to these moderating fuel prices. The December 2005 Fuel Price Impact Survey conducted by AutoPacific’s (http://www.autopacific.com) VehicleVoice (http://www.vehiclevoice.com)confirms that many consumers are paying less for gasoline but are still very aware of the long term effects of gasoline priced above $2 per gallon. The Fuel Price Impact Survey is based on the results of a VehicleVoice Internet survey with 1,122 respondents who completed the survey between December 13 and December 19, 2005.