Charity

U.S. Soccer teams with Volkswagen to support 9 charities

Volkswagen is upping its commitment to U.S. Soccer.

Photo courtesy of Volkswagen

Volkswagen is committing to growing the sport of soccer on and off the field. The company has partnered with 10 of the sport's top U.S. players to support charities as part of the company's "Drive Bigger" campaign.

All the partners are members of the U.S. Women's and Men's National Soccer Teams and join Alex Morgan and Megan Rapinoe as brand ambassadors for the sport as part of Team Volkswagen.

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"Volkswagen welcomes our teammates from the U.S. Men's and Women's National Teams, and we're thrilled to donate to organizations that our athletes are passionate about," said Duncan Movassaghi, executive vice president, sales and marketing at Volkswagen of America. "Building the game at the grassroots level while giving back to our communities is the essence of what we mean by Drive Bigger."

The players and the charity they have chosen for Volkswagen to support include:

Tyler Adams (MNT), Crystal Dunn (WNT): America SCORES, which uses soccer as an outlet to inspire urban youth to lead healthy lives, be engaged students, and build confidence for a better future.

Abby Dahlkemper (WNT): Grassroot Soccer, which leverages the power of soccer to educate, inspire, and mobilize youth to overcome their greatest health challenges, and be agents for change in their communities.

Ali Krieger (WNT): Women and Girls in Soccer (WAGS), which has a mission of empowering women and girls from all over the world through soccer to realize their full potential, supports six unique programs that promote confidence, strength, character and leadership in a variety of ways.

Carli Lloyd (WNT): The Women's Sports Foundation, whose goal is to ensure that every girl and woman has the opportunity to unlock her potential through the benefit of sports and physical activity. It supports girls' and women's soccer dreams via community programs and travel and training funding and advocacy for gender equity at the professional level.

Samantha Mewis (WNT): Hidden Gems, which connects girls who play soccer in low-income areas of the U.S. with professional athletes. The goal is to use the power of teamwork and soccer as an equalizer to increase young girls' perceptions of their ability on and off the field.

Weston McKennie (MNT): The Steve Nash Foundation (SNF), which works to increase access to critical needs, health, and education resources for underserved children. McKennie made his first splash with SNF when he was named the Most Valuable Player of the Steve Nash Foundation Showdown charity soccer match in 2018—the youngest in the event's 12-year history. Showdown and the annual SNF Charity Shield soccer tournament both raise funds for SNF's community programs and services for kids.

Jordan Morris (MNT): The Jordan Morris Foundation, whose goal is to educate, inspire, and support the lives of children with Type 1 diabetes. Soccer is used as the main vessel to achieve these goals.

Kelley O'Hara (WNT): The Kelley O'Hara Scholarship Fund, created by Kelley's youth club, AFC Lightning in Peachtree City, GA, in honor of winning the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup. The scholarship fund aims to support two female players at the club to ease the financial constraints of playing at the collegiate level.

Gyasi Zardes (MNT): The Columbus Crew SC Foundation, which focuses on changing young lives in the Columbus, OH area through their many programs focused in soccer.

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VW purchased the rights to the iconic Scout name and plans to make new EVs under the brand.

Volkswagen

Automakers bring back names and brands from the past all the time, but it's not every day that a major company purchases a brand name specifically for the purpose of reviving it. That's exactly what Volkswagen just did with Scout, the name of an ultra-popular off-road SUV that was built by International Harvester in the 1960s and 1970s.

As for the types of vehicles we'll see from the brand, we currently only have the renders to go on. The pickup truck and SUV both feature throwback styling that is reminiscent of the original Scout shapes. Beefy off-road tires and lifted suspension are the only other clues available in the drawings.

Volkswagen has its own EVs, and its other brands like Audi and Porsche have made significant progress with electric vehicles as well. That said, VW doesn't really have a solid off-road option from any of its brands at the moment, so the Scout purchase opens doors for the automaker in that arena.

The announcement sounds exciting, but we've still got plenty of time to wait before there's a Scout-branded EV on the roads. Volkswagen said the plan is to release vehicles by 2026, but it won't be sitting idle between now and then. The VW ID.4 is still very fresh and the automaker says it will launch a total of 25 new EVs in the U.S. by 2030.

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The IIHS may increase the speeds it uses to test advanced driver aids.

Insurance Institute for Highway Safety

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) recently announced that it is considering changing the speeds it uses to test vehicle-to-vehicle front crash prevention systems. The agency currently tests the systems at 12 and 25 mph, but says that the speeds don't accurately represent the types of crashes the safety tech is meant to prevent.

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Automatic emergency braking (AEB) is designed to notify of a possible collision and help respond with automatic application of braking. Just like a human using the brake pedal, it can stop the car, but higher speeds make it difficult to stop in time. The new tests would be conducted at 35 to 45 mph, which is the range where a large number of rear-end crashes occur. As Automotive News noted, an IIHS study showed 43 percent of rear-end crashes occur at speeds of 45 mph or less, so it's important to have a test that shows how well the tech performs at those levels.

A whopping 85 percent of 2022 vehicles earned a "Superior" rating in the current testing regime, so the IIHS will remove it from 2023 testing and Top Safety Pick award evaluations. Their view is that, since the majority of vehicles meet the criteria, it's no longer an accurate way of evaluating performance. In its place, the agency introduced a night test for automatic emergency braking systems that will begin next year.

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