Auto News for Dec. 28 – Driving Under the Influence of Caffeine?

 It’s a crazy world out there this morning!

 A California man is fighting a charge of driving under the influence – of caffeine. Joseph Schwab was pulled over by an Alcohol Beverage Control agent, according to several reports, who said he was driving erratically. Blood tests showed no presence of drugs or alcohol, just caffeine. Yet the DA said she believes he was under the influence of something that didn’t show up in blood tests but agreed that proving that will be difficult in court. Schwab’s attorney is moving to have the charge dismissed.

 Two studies just out with logical conclusions: Edmunds.com said the most researched class of vehicles on its site were Sport Utility Vehicles. While an Allstate survey showed what it said were the safest cities to drive in during bad winter weather. Two of them were in Florida while the safest city, Brownsville Texas lies in the deep south of the Lone Star State along the Mexican border.

 Elsewhere:

 Europeans buying midsize cars are turning to luxury brands, where sales are up 8 percent this year, according to Automotive News. Sales of more mainstream midsize cars are up by just one percent. So, good news for Mercedes, Audi and BMW.

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 Ford will display its “next generation” Fusion Hybrid at both the Consumer Electronics Show and the Detroit auto show next month. The new vehicle uses the current Ford autonomous vehicle platform, but ups the processing power with new computer hardware. Electrical controls are closer to production-ready, and adjustments to the sensor technology, including placement, allow the car to better see what’s around it. New LiDAR sensors have a sleeker design and more targeted field of vision, which enables the car to now use just two sensors rather than four, while still getting just as much data, Ford said.

 On any long trip you must stop for food. If you are in Las Vegas and want something different you might want to try Evel Pie, a pizza joint opened by Evel Knievel’s son. The Los Angeles Times reports that menu items include pizza topped with rattlesnake jalapeno sausage, onion, bell peppers and garlic. You can wash that down with beer served in a motorcycle helmet.

 As I said, a crazy world out there this morning.

 

   

 

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