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New Features – Assign Rating Colors

Yesterday we rolled out an update that includes a handful of new features to the portal that we’re very excited about! Below is a list of the key new features:

  • You now have the ability to select a ‘rating color’. This will change the color of the rating box for the rating that is selected on the line. This is something that many users have asked for as it will allow you to make changes like have a green, yellow, and red color system to match your ratings.
  • There is a new ‘Summary Items’ column in the Inspections view. This will show you how many items were marked with a rating that is set to go to the summary. With many of our standard templates this is the ‘Poor’ rating. This is a great feature as it allows you to see which inspections have issues without  having to open them first.
  • You can now manage what templates appear on your mobile device from the portal. This is very helpful when you have multiple users and you don’t want them to see our standard templates that you don’t use.
  • There were a handful of other small tweaks and changes!

 

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Two New Templates

We’ve added two more templates to the prebuilt options! There is a new template called ‘Cosmetic Inspection’ which covers the cosmetic aspects of a vehicle without going into the mechanical and electrical details. The other template is ‘Pickup Truck’ which is specific to inspecting a Pickup Truck.

We love hearing what new templates you’d like to see so keep sending in suggestions. You can email us at info@inspectaride.com.

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Recent Update to the Portal

We recently released an update to the portal that made it easier to add devices to your account. This means you can add new devices to your subscription at any point in time!

There is also a new feature which gives you more control over the columns you see when in the ‘Inspections’ view in the portal. You can now hide columns you don’t need and choose to show additional columns that weren’t options before. The goal here was to give you more flexibility to see what you need and remove information that is not important to your company/organization.

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V2X Technology Hits the Road

As mentioned in a previous post, advances in data processing technology and communications infrastructure will soon allow real time interactive communications between vehicles and the world around them. This communication could include vehicle to vehicle (V2V), between vehicles and transportation infrastructure (V2I), between vehicles and the network (V2N) and even between vehicles and people (V2P).

This real time interactive communication is anticipated to increase safety, reduce fuel consumption and improve traffic flow. Safety is increased by allowing cars to in effect “see” around obstacles (buildings, other cars, etc.) to avoid collisions and anticipate the need to merge, etc.; by allowing vehicles to tell other vehicles of their intent (lane changes for example); even to “see” pedestrians if they are properly equipped with the right tech. Fuel consumption and congestion can be improved by using these same abilities between cars and by communicating with traffic signals and other roadside sensors. A demonstration that occurred in Europe on July 13, 2018 included the use of something called SPaT (Signal phase and timing) to communicate the timing of traffic lights to vehicles.

There are at least two competing sets of technology currently in play. C-V2X is a technology based on the same technology used by your cell phone. The competing tech, known as IEEE 802.11p/DSRC is Wifi based. There are some differing characteristics to the systems, but both rely on nearly instantaneous communications between cars and infrastructure to achieve their results.

Panasonic, Ford and Qualcomm recently announced the first real-world test of a C-V2X system in Denver Colorado. The system will collect data from vehicles and communicate that information to other cars and “external” systems. The stated goals of the system include “to reduce travel times by almost half, and potentially eliminate up to 80% of crashes”.

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New Templates

We’ve been hard at work and have recently released a handful of new templates. These include templates specifically for:

  • Hybrid vehicles
  • Electric vehicles
  • Motorcycles
  • Repossession inspections
  • Exterior only inspections

Take advantage of using these new templates and let us know if there is a specific template that would be helpful to you! You also always have the ability to quickly create your own or modify one of the standard ones to set it up exactly how you want.

 

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The Two Wheeled Revolution

Most everyone has heard about the growing number of electric cars. But how many realize that there is also a two wheeled electric revolution going on as well? From full-sized motorcycles, to scooters of all shapes and sizes, two wheeled transportation is changing just as fast as the four wheeled kind.

There are a number of new companies such as Zero, Alta and Enegica making and selling electric motorcycles today. Several of the traditional motorcycle manufactures are also saying that they plan on getting into the field. Harley Davidson, Indian and Victory all claim to be working on electric motorcycles. Some of the current and planned offerings are very competitive with traditional gas powered motorcycles. The Lightning LS-218 is reported to have 200 brake horsepower and 168 lb/ft of torque. That is enough to give it a zero to 60 mph time of 2 seconds and a 218 mph top speed!  There is even an offroad/motocross bike from Alta; the Redshift SM.

Electric scooters abound as well. Vespa, Bolt Mobility and Gogoro (and many others) are selling street legal electric scooters around the world. Again many are very competitive with their gas powered counterparts, both in terms of price and performance. A company called Scutum is even making a model, marketed to police departments; that can carry up to 390 pounds. One California startup (genze) is developing both an electric scooter and an electric bicycle.

In a unique synthesis of electric transportation and ride-hailing, several companies are experimenting with basic electric scooters (think of a child’s foot powered scooter with an electric motor and battery pack) that people can easily rent to go short distances in major urban areas. E-scooter rental is viewed by some as a “last mile” solution to get people from mass transit hubs to their ultimate destination, and by others as a lower polluting alternative to using Uber or Lyft to get around in the city.

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Yes/No Line Type Added

We recently added the ability to include lines with Yes/No options to give you more flexibility when creating templates. This means you can have lines using your standard ratings, as well as, have lines that include Yes/No as options in the same template. This is helpful in cases where you are documenting information as part of your inspection that doesn’t need the grading scale offered by ratings.

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Subscription Based Car Rental

We have been exploring how the concept of personal transportation is changing. Car subscriptions is a trend that seems to have sprung up from nowhere. But, you know something is becoming main stream when it makes the national television network morning news shows. As reported on at least one morning news show recently, a number of different companies, including manufacturers, dealers and others are now offering car subscription services. Now you can change your car as easily as you change your wardrobe.

Most of these plans work in a similar way. For a fixed fee (usually per month) you can drive a car of your choosing (within limits), and at the end of the period choose to keep driving it, or switch to something else. Drive an SUV for the winter and a convertible for the summer. Some subscriptions allow a switch as often as every two weeks, while others are almost lease-like in that you are committed for a full year. Most include the cost of insurance and repairs in the monthly fee. Some even include roadside assistance and/or regular maintenance items in the basic fee.

Subscription plans are typically going to be more expensive than just buying or leasing, but it is hard to beat the convenience and fun factors of being able to drive a different car every month or so. Plans range from a few hundred dollars a month to over $3,500/month for some high end luxury brands. Depending on the company there may be limits on the vehicles available. Obviously, a major manufacturer is only going to rent you vehicles from their brand(s). Also, not all options involve new cars. Some plans rent off-lease cars that may be 3 or 4 model years old. There is even a company that offers an all-electric fleet made up of the Nissan Leaf, Fiat 500e, BMW i3, Volkswagen eGolf, and the Tesla Model S.

Subscription car services are mostly still in the pilot stage and available in only selected areas. While this whole concept is likely a somewhat desperate gambit by manufacturers and dealers to combat shrinking car sales; if you are the kind of car enthusiast who always dreamed of being able to regularly have something new to drive, this may be just the thing you were looking for.

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VIN Scanner

The InspectARide app includes a VIN scanner that makes it fast and easy to scan a vehicle’s VIN and then decode it. If you’re doing any type of vehicle inspection and manually writing or typing VINs then this feature alone will save you a significant amount of time and hassle.

All you have to is tap the ‘Scan’ icon and use your phone or tablet’s camera to scan the VIN. Once the VIN is scanned, you can decode it with the tap of one button and it will populate the key information about the vehicle such as the Year, Make, Model, etc.

If you haven’t checked out the app then setup a free 7 day trial here and go to the Google Play Store/Apple App Store on your phone or tablet to download the app by searching for ‘InspectARide’.