Archive for : February, 2018

Autonomous Cars: Recent Tesla Accidents Draw Focus to “Stage 3” Driving

For Tesla enthusiasts, 2017 may be remembered as the year when semi-autonomous vehicles faced heavy backlash after a fatal accident involving the electric car.

While the car brand was exonerated in that accident—the driver relied too heavily on the autonomous features and ignored repeated warnings—a string of recent accidents has brought Tesla back into the spotlight.

First of all, a Tesla Model S rear-ended a parked fire truck at a reported speed of 65 mpg (no injuries were reported. The autopilot feature was engaged, and as a result, the National Board of Transportation Security (NBTS) will be launching an investigation.

Secondly, highway patrolmen in San Francisco had to intervene when a driver fell asleep behind the wheel of his Tesla while it was on autopilot; the driver’s car had stopped in the middle of a 5-lane highway.

Tesla has repeatedly warned drivers that the autopilot features should only be used while the driver is alert and prepared to intervene. But for many, the temptation to check out altogether is too great.

The Stages of Autonomous Driving

Most of the Tesla vehicles involved in accidents are in what experts refer to as “stage 3” of autonomous driving. Other models by Mercedes-Benz and BMW are in the 2nd stage, and the eventual goal—totally autonomous cars—will be called “stage 4.”

Unfortunately, the current stage (stage three) is more dangerous than “stage 2” and the eventual “stage 4.” That’s because “stage 3” cars are autonomous enough to convince drivers that they will be fine if they don’t pay attention (and they often are!). Eventually the driver’s luck will run out though, and he or she will be in an accident by continually ignoring the road.

Google’s Waymo is Avoiding Stage 3 Altogether

Waymo, Google’s self-driving car affiliate, has decided to bypass “stage 3” altogether. It seems like a smart move for a company that is obviously under no pressure to turn a profit in the near future (Google certainly has the funds to prop Waymo up). Rather than deal with potential accidents related to distracted drivers, Waymo will simply wait until their cars are completely and safely 100% autonomous.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has conducted tests on each autonomous vehicle on the market, and they have discovered various glitches. A Mercedes, for instance had a tendency to veer off on exit lanes rather than stay straight, claimed IIHS founder Ian Reagan.

Tesla vehicles, on the other hand, had difficulty when reaching the crest of a hill. All of these glitches will be ironed out over time, and it’s likely that they have been fixed already. But a distracted driver could be injured or killed by remaining overly reliant on Tesla’s autonomous technology.

Liability Still Falls on the Driver

Unfortunately for these drivers, litigation probably isn’t on the table. They operated outside of Tesla’s guidelines, and as such, they can’t hold the car maker responsible for injuries or damage. Drivers involved in an accident due to a malfunction or manufacturer error should of course contact a car accident lawyer. In short, though, drivers still have to remain alert and in control of the vehicle while it is driving “autonomously.”

As for the drivers in the recent string of Tesla accidents, they have each claimed that responsibility falls on Tesla’s autonomous driving features for the accidents. The truth is the drivers are at fault though, and they will need a criminal defense lawyer to escape a harsh ruling in court.

Until Tesla makes the jump to “stage 4,” stay alert behind the wheel—a semi-autonomous car can’t keep you safe.

 

post image

V2V: No, It’s Not from Star Wars

In 2011, the US Department of Transportation approached University of Minnesota Duluth’s Imran Hayee with a task: to utilize Dedicated Short-Range Communications (DSRC) technology within automobiles. Teaming up with his graduate students, the professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering and his crew set to work. Thus, V2V communication was born.

V2V, or vehicle-to-vehicle communication, utilizes wireless frequencies, allowing vehicles to send and retrieve detailed information from other automobiles on the road. “The information is obtained and then distributed to each vehicle,” explained Hayee shortly after its creation. “The future phases of this work will increase safety and minimize travel time for emergency vehicles who need to arrive on the scene quickly.”

When the software in the vehicle identifies a potential threat, it sends a combination of visual, tactile, and auditory alerts to the driver, warning him or her to take action in order to avoid a crash or hazard. V2V communication has the ability to “see” around corners and boasts an astounding 300-meter range, which exceeds the regular 48 feet most headlights reach at night. These features are life-saving. In 2016, there were 40,000 driving-related fatalities, a staggering 6 percent increase from 2015. With the invention of V2V, the Department of Transportation believes, these numbers could drop drastically.

In December of 2016, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration proposed a mandate for the new technology. The Department of Transportation followed suit in 2017, suggestion that V2V be applied to every newly-produced light-duty vehicle, but both propositions came to a screeching halt by the end of that year. Presently, both recommendations are expected to be eliminated from the picture.

The problem with V2V advancements lies in its mode of communication: wireless data. Most luxury vehicles come equipped with 100 million lines of software code. Imagine, then, the amount of data that would be transferred between hundreds of these vehicles on the road. Coupled with the already over-loaded Cloud, many networking companies worry this could be catastrophic to our internet-savvy society. Although the government reserved a 5.9 GHz band in 1999 for future use, this frequency is currently being used by WiFi. Adding to the dilemma, internet companies would like to use the frequency for themselves, and the automobile industry would like to reserve it for V2V or similar future technology.

“The number of car accidents in America is increasing,” states Edward Lake, the founder of law firm Gacovino Lake. “Whether it’s stricter laws about driving distractions or technological advances such as autonomous vehicles, this is an issue that needs to be addressed.” The NHTSA estimates that over 1,300 lives could be saved by this technology within a single year. It further expects V2V to decrease congestion and increase the speed at which emergency personnel can arrive at a crash. Of course, it does have flaws, and the technology itself is still being employed and studied.

 

Featured Image Source: daseuropeanautohaus.com

post image

Can You Refuse Field Sobriety Tests During A Traffic Stop?

There is a lot of confusion out there about refusing a field sobriety test during a traffic stop. A typical situation is when an officer pulls you over for a broken tail light, dark window tints, illegal headlights or speeding. Perhaps the officer might say they smell the odor of alcohol, or the driver’s eyes are red, or even their face is flushed.

Hypothetically, let’s say you were in this situation. You are coming back from a bar and you have had a couple beers so there is alcohol coming from your breath. After pulling you over, the officer has some suspicion that you drank and asks you to take a field sobriety test.

Do you have to take the field sobriety test?

Know Your Rights

First and foremost, if you are alleged to committing a crime, you do not want to give away any evidence or information away that confirms you have committed a crime. You will want to refuse to partake in any tests that could potentially be used as evidence against you to confirm any allegations that you have committed a crime.

Your decision on whether or not to take a field sobriety test is completely voluntary. This is true for every state in the United States.

It should also be noted that field sobriety test results are completely subjective. If an officer truly believes you are impaired and under the influence, his analysis of your field sobriety tests will be heavily biased. The field sobriety test results are all based on or influenced by personal feelings, tastes, or opinions of the officer. The officer’s conviction that you are guilty will subconsciously influence his perception of your performance on the field sobriety test.

Also, these field sobriety tests are difficult to pass even if you are sober. If you are sober, you could fail the field sobriety tests, and only be cleared up after you are arrested and take a breath test.

The results of the field sobriety test will all point to the consensus that you are intoxicated and not that they are difficult tests. In short, you have little to gain by completing the field sobriety test and a lot to lose if you fail it.

The most common misconception to refusing a field sobriety test or a breath test is that if you are to refuse the tests, you would then have your license suspended for a year. This only applies for the post-arrest blood or breath test. If you refuse to take a breath test after you are arrested, you will get your license suspended.

Closing Thoughts

Remember, the best policy is to have no alcohol in your system.

If you are alleged to be driving under the influence, one of the best things you can do for yourself pre-arrest is to refuse to take any field sobriety tests, remain silent or to ask to talk to your lawyer. You do have the right to remain silent. Everything you say or do will be used against you in the court of law.

The police officer may insist that you have to take the field sobriety test and may get angry for you not cooperating but it is your constitutional right to remain silent and decline the field sobriety test during a traffic stop.

However, if the officer obtains enough probable cause by showing that you cannot complete the field sobriety test or if you blow over a .08 on a breathalyzer, the officer will have probable cause to arrest you for a DUI. Under the “implied consent” laws of all states, the officer will require you to submit to a blood or breath test to determine the amount of alcohol in your body. If you refuse the test after you are arrested, you will get your license suspended.

There is no penalty for refusing to partake in a field sobriety test at a traffic stop. You will probably get arrested for a stench of alcohol, slurred speech or an open container in the vehicle but that will probably happen anyways. You do not want to give any more superfluous evidence to confirm any criminal allegations.

post image

The Strangest of Cars

Different makes and models have come and gone throughout the years, but there have been many a car, truck, or van that have been created—and very quickly swept under the rug. You’ll see why when you take a look at our list of strangest cars.

 

Amphicar Model 770

Source: hemmings.com

In terms of peculiarity, this one arguably takes the cake for creativity alone. Containing an engine and a propeller, the vehicle is—as its name implies—a perfectly viable option for both transportation on land and water. While the components of the car are mostly traditional, it does have a few features to ensure safety in the water, including double-hinged doors topped with rubber plugs. View the video to watch this vehicle take a dip.

 

The 1936 Stout Scarab

When car lovers discuss strange vehicles of the past, this one is always a no-brainer. Viewed as the first ever minivan, the Stout Scarab was inspired by William Bushnell Stout’s career and interest in aviation. The six-passenger sedan is appropriately named after the Egyptian beetle. Sadly, only 10 cars were created.

 

The ETV

Source: drivetribe.com

If outer space is to your liking, this is the car for you. No, it doesn’t fly, but it sure looks like it will float into the air at any moment. Built by Mike Vetter, the vehicle boasts a 40 miles per gallon average and has omitted the traditional side and rear-view mirrors for cameras. What’s underneath that UFO-like exterior? A stripped Chevrolet Aveo, but kits are available that can be added on to a wide variety of vehicles.

 

The Electric Egg

You’re not imagining it. The car looks like and is named after an egg. The 1942 Oeuf Electrique ran on battery power and was created for personal use by its maker, French artist, designer, and engineer Paul Arzens. It travelled at an impressive top speed of 37 miles per hour.

 

The Peel P50

This car still holds the record for being the smallest production car ever. Considered one of the rarest cars in the world (less than 30 exist today), this vehicle was built in the 1960s and could average an astounding 100 miles to the gallon. Because of its size, however, larger drivers may have more of an impact on that number than they would like. Jeremy Clarkson, the host of the television show Top Gear, managed to squeeze himself into one of these babies, which you can view here. That’s no easy feat when the car measures only 4 feet 5 inches and weighs little over 120 pounds.

 

Don’t be fooled by these unique features. As attorney Sherry Cross of Simmrin Law Group points out, “Too many consumers purchase automobiles based on exterior characteristics alone.” Putting it simply, driving on a highway in a 120-pound car may not be the best idea. But it is fun to consider that, one day, you could be scooting along to work in a scarab, an egg, or a UFO.

post image

How Technology Is Changing Ground Transportation

The world of ground transportation has changed immensely with a variety of technological advances that are impacting nearly everyone. It has become easier than ever to find a ride, track a delivery, and much more. Transportation has never been as easy as everything from train schedules to bus routes can be tracked using certain apps. This does not mean that these options do not have their problems, but they sure make things easier. The following are ways in which technology is impacting ground transportation.

Rideshare Apps

Taxi cabs used to be the preferred mode of transportation for people heading to the airport or home from the pub. Now Uber and Lyft dominate as the rates are much more affordable and the ride can be tracked to see estimated arrival time.

These apps will continue to improve as the service providers work on the driver quality as well as preventing glitches that are common with apps that rely on online maps. However, with the kind of growth these ridesharing app services are enjoying, it looks like taxi cabs will become a thing of the past sooner rather than later.

These ridesharing app services are not all roses, though, and they come with their own set of drawbacks. One of the major ones is that you always need to be connected to a high-speed internet connection to be able to use them effectively. If you’re unsure what makes up a high-speed, reliable internet connection, you may want to read through this detailed article here at NBN Australia.

Nearly Everything Can Be Delivered

There are more opportunities to get anything delivered that you previously thought was impossible. Amazon can deliver groceries to your home now which makes the process of grocery shopping as easy as a few clicks. The delivery process has become as descriptive as ever with people being able to track the exact location of a package.

The tracking system for food delivery has made it easy to see where a driver might have taken a wrong turn. Drones could take over ground delivery far in the future so we might be at the summit of how smooth ground delivery can go. Even traffic can be monitored to make sure you have an accurate estimate of when a meal or product will be delivered.

Self-Driving Cars Could Be The Future

Self-driving cars seem to be a thing of the future when it fact they are readily available today. This can be a great tool as the cars studied have had less accidents than the normal people. There are sensors that help the car avoid accidents that a driver might not have been able to see or avoid.

The idea of being able to take a nap during a commute is an attractive option for many. Another possible advantage is that your car can make you money completely passively as you’re not even required to be physically present in it. This is like an Uber but without a driver so you can have your car making you money while you are not using it. That would be a great return on investment and could even cover a car payment.

Technology is changing at a rapid pace which is causing nearly everything to change for the better. There will be growing pains so be patient as all of these advances are just trying to make life easier for the common person.

First Steps When You Hear Something Terrifying Under the Hood

You’re driving down the same road you take every morning when you hear a funny noise. You turn down the radio to hear better. Yup, it’s definitely the car.

When you hear something coming from the front of your car, it can definitely be terrifying. You know engine repairs can be costly, and most of us aren’t prepared to spend an unexpected grand on our cars. Still, you know this is something you have to address.

Here’s what you should do when you hear something terrifying under the hood:

Don’t ignore it

Some people “fix” problematic noises by turning the radio volume up so they can’t hear them anymore. If only it were that easy. Unfortunately, most problems get worse if you don’t fix them. This is especially true with auto repairs. Something that may have once been an easy repair can lead to a major expense if you keep driving and ignore it. You don’t want to wait until your engine stops before you get it fixed – not unless you’re looking to junk this car and buy another!

Try to replicate the sound

Everyone feels silly going to the auto mechanic and making the same sound their car makes – but it really does help! If you can identify the sound as a whooping, whirring or grinding, that will tell the mechanic more about what’s going on under the hood. Your description of the sound can give the mechanic a head-start in identifying the problem because it can help them figure out where to start troubleshooting.

Look for patterns

Your mechanic will want to know as much as possible about this sound, so pay close attention. Does it only happen when you accelerate? Does it get louder as you drive? When do you hear the noise and does it ever stop? Also, try to pinpoint where the noise is coming from. Is it on the driver’s side, passenger side or is it centralized? The more information you can give, the easier it will be for your mechanic to troubleshoot. And we all know that a mechanic’s time is money, so this is a good idea to keep your bill as low as possible.

Understand normal engine noises

If your car has been sitting overnight and makes a tapping or ticking noise when it starts, this is usually not a problem. This happens when the oil settles to the bottom of the engine. When you start the car, it can take a few minutes for the engine to build oil pressure and that causes the sound you hear. However, if the sound doesn’t go away after a minute or two, you may have a problem.

Head to the auto mechanic

Because you must pay for your mechanic’s time, no one wants to head to the mechanic for nothing. But if you’re hearing troubling noises coming from under your hood, it’s time. Better to have it checked now than to have it turn into something worse. Give your auto mechanic as much information as possible and then give him some time to evaluate the problem. He may give you his opinion upfront, but then he’ll have to take a look at your car to see what’s really happening.

Once you get the estimate, talk to your mechanic about the repair. If you’re concerned about cost, let him know. A good auto mechanic will tell you if something can wait or if you need to have it repaired right away to avoid getting stuck on the road.

Remember to maintain regular servicing to help keep your car in good shape so you can avoid future surprises. This doesn’t mean that you won’t ever have problems, but your mechanic can help keep you informed about what’s happening with your car. He can tell if something is beginning to look like a problem well before you hear a terrifying noise under the hood.

post image

Here’s What You Need to Know about the Lyft Referral Bonus

Most people start driving for Lyft because they want to earn extra cash doing something they love. But there are other ways to make even more money as a rideshare driver: referral and sign-up bonuses.

Here’s what you need to know about both of these bonuses.

Lyft Lets You Choose Your Sign-Up Bonus

One unique thing about Lyft is that they allow drivers to choose their sign-on bonus. Essentially, there are three tiers of bonuses based on how many rides you give in the first 30 days of driving.

  • $200 for 100 rides in the first 30 days.
  • $100 for 50 rides in the first 30 days.
  • $50 for 20 rides in the first 30 days.

Occasionally, Lyft will also run promotions that allow new drivers to earn more cash. For example, drivers may earn an additional $2.67 per ride in the first 60 days, up to $600.

Referral Bonuses are More Lucrative

The sign-up bonus is simple and straightforward, but Lyft also offers a referral bonus that can be more lucrative.

To take advantage of this bonus, you have to receive an invite from an existing driver.

Here’s how the process works:

For New Drivers

New drivers will need to obtain a referral code from an existing driver when signing up. If the driver supplied you with a referral link, the code will automatically be entered for you.

Once the code is active, you’ll need to complete the required number of rides in the first 30 days. Once you meet the requirements, the bonus will be credited to your account.

Ride requirements will vary, depending on your city. In most cases, it’s between 50 and 100 rides. The bonus amount you receive will also be dependent on your city, not the existing driver’s city.

For Existing Drivers

Existing drivers can also earn extra cash by referring friends and family to Lyft. Referral codes can be obtained through the Partner Dashboard by clicking on “Invites.”

Just give the code to friends, and have them enter it when they sign up to become a driver. Each referred driver will need to complete the required number of rides before you can obtain the bonus. Once the ride requirements are met, both you and the new driver will receive credits to your accounts.

Referral Bonus Amounts

The amount earned through referral bonuses can be confusing, especially to new drivers. To make matters worse, Lyft no longer lists the bonus amounts.

Ultimately, the bonus amount depends on the new driver’s location.

Let’s say an existing driver is in Miami. He goes to the “invites” section, and sees that the sign-up bonus is $500. He refers a friend who is also in Miami. They each get a $500 bonus when the ride requirements are met.

Now let’s say that same driver (in Miami) refers a driver who is in Cleveland, and the bonus amount for Cleveland is $300. Both the new and existing driver would get a $300 bonus.

Please note that these are example figures and not the actual bonus figures offered by Lyft.

Bonuses offered by Lyft can range anywhere from $100 to $1,000, depending on location.

Top Causes of Teenage Car Accidents

Every year, one of the biggest causes of teen deaths in the United States is auto accidents. A feeling of invincibility is common during the teenage years, and it’s this feel that has been known to show up in this particular group’s quality of driving. Unfortunately, the mindset of a teenager combined with the lack of driving experience can lead to a higher rate of car accidents.

Driving is something many take for granted, especially a carefree teenager. In 2013 alone, there were over +2,000 teen deaths, aged 16-19, in the United States. Additionally, well over 200,000 additional teens were treated for injuries suffered in a crash. There are many causes of teen, car accidents.  Here, I will go over some of the most prevalent ones.

Driver inexperience

Teen drivers are the least experienced group of drivers on the road, often fresh out of driving school. They often have their licenses for 3 years or less, which often means they haven’t had enough time to develop the mature reflexes and instincts required to drive safely. This inexperience can manifest itself into an accident in several ways, though through no inherent fault of the driver.

Examples of accidents caused by inexperience include not seeing another vehicle pull into the road, most likely because the driver isn’t properly scanning their surroundings. Or, forgetting to utilize the turn signal and in turn being rear ended. These are skills drivers master over the years, but new drivers can expect to be more prone to making these simple mistakes.

Reckless driving and misunderstanding road conditions

Another type of inexperience is not recognizing the dangers of certain road conditions. Speeding is a common problem among teenage drivers. If these two are paired together, plenty of accidents can occur. Scenarios could include coming around a turn too fast, or not recognizing the need to leave more space to stop in wet or icy conditions. Some accidents might lead to simple fender benders, but others, like taking a highway exit too fast, can cause serious harm.

Driving with other teens

Many states have strict rules around the teen driver-teen passenger scenario. This is done for a reason: Having people in one’s car can be distracting, and is a proven common cause of accidents. Teenagers may be more likely to distract the driver and having multiple teens in the car may be a distraction that’s difficult to ignore. Studies show having teenagers in the car increases the risk of other driving problems as well.

Distracted driving

Another trend amongst teens is using their driving time to multi-task (e.g. looking at the phone or texting). Younger generations, from an early age, have been introduced to cell phones; social media and interactivity has become second nature. Unfortunately, when the decision is made to text or look at their phone while driving distraction and chances of an accident increases.  This is a problem that hits any generation, but when you combine the distraction with lack of driving experience it can be a real issue.

Driving is one of the more dangerous activities a person will undertake in life, and teens should be taught and tested to recognize their risk exposure in the early stages. There are some great tools out there to help teens along the way. Pairing these tools with a few additional driving lessons, focused specifically on safety is a great way to ensure teens avoid an accident.

In his near 20-year career, Alex Lauderdale has served in multiple Transportation Administration, Analytic, and Management positions spanning multiple companies, including two in the Fortune 500. As a founder of EducatedDriver.org, he uses his experience and continued research to educate and broadcast information related to the current status and future of driving, driving technologies, technology TCD (total cost to driver), driver safety, and gaps in between. 

post image

What Uber Drivers Need to Know about Taxes

Being an Uber driver can feel like you’re running your own business, and as far as the IRS is concerned, you are. If this is your first year driving for a rideshare company, you may have questions about taxes. How are they paid? Will you be responsible for keeping track of them?

Here’s what you need to know about taxes.

Uber Drivers File a 1040

Uber drivers are considered self-employed in the eyes of the IRS. That means drivers receive a 1099 tax form at the end of year. Employees of businesses typically receive a W-2.

Drivers fall under 1099-K rules, and other payouts fall under 1099-MISC rules. Other payments may include bonuses, referral fees and other income received.

The Uber partner panel provides driver tax information.

Uber Drivers are Responsible for Filing and Paying Their Own Taxes

Uber does not withhold taxes for drivers, and this applies to other ridesharing platforms, including Lyft. That means drivers are responsible for paying their own taxes, and are treated as independent contractors.

Independent contractors are considered business owners. Uber does not provide benefits of any kind, and that includes withholding your taxes.

Taxes are far more complicated when you run your own business. If you make a significant income through Uber driving, you may want to hire a professional accountant.

“Filing taxes—and meeting tax deadlines—is simply part of being a business owner,” says JAK CPA. “But taking on tax preparation by yourself can leave you with headaches and, if your tax filings are deemed noncompliant, much worse.”

Each year, Uber will file a Form 1099-MISC and/or 1099-K with your state tax agency and the IRS.

Uber Drivers Pay Self-Employment Tax

Because you are considered an independent contractor, or business owner, you will be responsible for paying self-employment tax, which covers Medicare tax and Social Security tax. You’ll also be responsible for paying income tax.

Independent contractors like yourself must pay all of Medicare and Social Security taxes. Employers typically pay half of this cost for their employees, but you have no employer.

Self-employment tax can be substantial: 15.3% flat rate on the first $118,500 earned in net income. IRS Form SE is filed with your tax return to pay and report these taxes.

If you earn more than $400 through ridesharing, you’ll need to report that income. You will be required to file a Form 1040 with an attached Schedule SE and Schedule C.

If you made less than $400 and are not required to file an income tax return, then you will not have to report your Uber income.

Uber Drivers Can Deduct Expenses

Just like any other business owner, Uber drivers can deduct expenses, including:

  • Car expenses, including mileage
  • Part of the cost of your smartphone (100% of the cost if you use it solely for business)
  • Extra insurance coverage you have to purchase for rideshare driving
  • Any items you provide to your passengers
  • Parking and tolls
  • Transaction fees you pay
  • Interest on car loans
  • Home office deduction if you use a portion of your home for administrative tasks or record keeping (must be used exclusively for business)
  • Commissions and fees charged by Uber

It is your responsibility to keep track of these expenses, and to keep record of them.

What is the Best Radar Detector for 2018?

There are many great radar detectors on the market in 2018; radar detectors that can serve many different needs and expectations. With everything said, how do you decipher which radar detector will be the best radar detector for your personal needs? This decision can come down to seemingly small factors such as the area that you live in; a factor that can affect the amount of sensitivity that you will require from your radar detector.

 

Deciphering Signals

The best radar detector for you will be a radar detector that is able to filter through false alarms and notify you of signals from police radars and lasers. False alarms can come from an array of things such as grocery store automatic doors to the traffic avoidance systems in many modern cars. A radar detector that is great at its job will be sensitive enough to alert you of a police signal but not sensitive enough to trigger when it receives a false alarm.

 

The Review

To meet the various needs of our readers, we have compiled a list below of the radar detectors that we believe will serve you best. In this review, we provide both the positive and negative attributes of each radar detector in addition to pricing and seemingly minute details.

 

Our Pick: Uniden R3 ($399)

The Uniden R3 is a radar detector that matches the caliber of many more expensive radar detectors, and has a range that exceeds that of the other detectors on our list. The R3 is able to filter through K and KA signal bands.

 

The R3 is highly modifiable and offers a mute function that allows for you to silence it in areas with high radar traffic, such as in the automatic door scenario that we mentioned earlier. In addition to many goodies, the detector comes with an integrated GPS that notifies you of red light cameras and speed traps.

 

A complaint that we have heard about the Uniden R3, although it is a sensitive radar detector, is that the radar has a subpar laser sensitivity

 

Valentine One ($399)

The Valentine One has excellent radar range and can notify its user of where a signal is coming from through two arrows that point up and down. The Valentine one, or V1 for short, is very quick to alert a user of a signal detection and now offers device optimization through the Valentine smartphone app.

 

Unlike the Uniden R3, the V1 is not offered with an integrated GPS and cannot be easily modified without utilizing Valentine’s smartphone app.

 

One thing to be aware of with the V1 is that Valentine offers hardware and firmware updates that you will need to pay for. These updates a great way to make sure that your device is able to perform at its peak performance.

 

Escort Max 360 ($649)

Much like the Valentine One, the Escort Max 360 displays arrows to its users. Like the V1, it also has a smartphone app that allows its users to make changes to the device settings. Unlike the V1, however, the Max 360 has an integrated GPS and displays alerts from every direction. The Max 360 is also able to prevent false alerts that can be created by the technology in many modern vehicles.

 

A negative aspect of the Escort Max 360 is that updates are not always tested before they are released and can lead to some frustrating experiences with the detector depending on what bugs the update may have. Additionally, when compared to the Valentine One, the Max 360 is not very quick to make alerts.

 

Escort Redline ($599)

The Escort Redline is another radar detector that has great range. The Redline can alert users of the largest range of signals; such as X, K, and Ka signals. The POP feature of the Redline is great as it detects the sneaky POP signals of police officers. Much like the Uniden R3, the Redline has a mute function and can also make itself “invisible” to radar devices. To complete the great package that Escort has placed into the small device that is the Redline, the Redline has voice alerts which allow the user to focus on the road as the device speaks to them.

 

The downside of the Escort Redline is that it can alert users of a signal far past when the signal was detected. This can make the device a little annoying at times and can prevent a user from determining when a new alert has been detected.