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Top seven car stories for 2016

car storiesNo matter how you feel about this past year, there’s no doubt that a lot has gone down. Between technology, a new president and lots of shifts in the way we see cars, the year has definitely shocked a lot of people. We’ll bring you the top car stories for 2016, which may help give you a better indication of what you can expect for 2017 and what to travel in when you partake in those driving distances between major destinations.


Tech in Cars

Technology has people making more and more demands for practically every industry to get their act together, and car makers has seen just how much it can pay off to listen to those demands. They’re not only on board with wi-fi and Bluetooth, but also investing in Silicon Valley’s self-driving software. This was the year that we started to see just who is interested in bringing this from an idea into a wide-spread reality. GM paid handsomely to support these types of initiatives, throwing a curve ball straight at tradition.


Trump Attacks and Retreats

It’s worth knowing how the leader of the free world feels about automobiles, and Trump has been pretty vocal about just how many jobs have been shipped out of the states to far-off lands. He went after Ford for their work in Mexico, which kicked up fear across the industry. But he’s also made a lot of claims about the environment, and how the country may be better off loosening up the restrictions placed on car manufacturers in favor of production.


VW Pays a Price

Speaking of environmental restrictions, VW was caught red-handed trying to get out of the smog emissions standards, actively manipulating their software to make it look as though they weren’t causing too much pollution. Billions of dollars in fees were given to the government, and VW has to buy the dishonest cars back from owners as well. This did little to boost their sales, and the company has only recently begun to see themselves getting back on their feet.


The Model S Was a Success

Elon Musk did not quite expect the response he got to his Model 3, which ended up getting close to 400,000 pre-orders for the car that was much more affordable than his other 6-figure options. Despite tragic stories demonstrating that their self-driving technology was not perfect, the company has certainly seen its fair share of interest across the board.


Uber Is Coming On Strong

The company has given drunk people a way to get home with just a few taps of their phone, and they’ve put many to work making their own schedule and their own money. Not only has there been an increase in New York TLC/Hack License courses, in Pittsburgh, they put their self-driving fleet into action this year, and that’s something that had the whole auto industry collectively turning their heads.


Electric Cars Are Still Kicking

It’s not that charging stations are everywhere yet, but people are starting to really come around to the whole idea of ditching the pump. The Chevy Bolt goes for 200 miles and is under $30k. That was quite attractive for a lot of new-car buyers. This year we may see more and more people ditching their tanks for something a little cheaper.


Fiat Chrysler Says Yes to SUVs and Trucks

But they had to make a clean break with passenger cars first. There are better profits and more demand for both the pickups and the bigger SUVs, and the company truly believes that they’ve found the best way to secure their business. The CEO is famously confident that they know the future and that passenger cars will never be popular in the US again.


Skyline Drug Task Force touts new online tool to combat illicit drug sales

Law enforcement officials from across the region gathered in Waynesboro Thursday to talk up ReportADrugDealer.com, an online reporting tool being used to combat illicit drug sales.

Cliff Hyra: Libertarian reaches out to undecideds in Virginia governor race

Cliff Hyra, the Libertarian candidate for governor, was technically at Tuesday’s Virginia gubernatorial candidate debate.

The Petty Hearts bring Tom Petty tribute to Wayne Theatre on Sept. 22

Tom Petty tribute band The Petty Hearts are coming to the Wayne Theatre on Friday, Sept. 22.

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Upcoming events in the Shenandoah Valley, Central Virginia and statewide from the Augusta Free Press Events Calendar. Don't see your event listed? Email augustafreepress2@gmail.com.

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