Luxury Cars

"The difference between men and little boys is the price of their toys."

Fast Cars

"Everything in life is somewhere else, and you get there in a car."- E.B. White

Car Technology

"And I, I took the road less traveled by. I was using a GPS system."- Robert Brault

Green Cars

"Environmentally friendly cars will soon cease to be an option ... they will become a necessity."- Fujio Cho

Safe Cars

"Any man who can drive safely while kissing a pretty girl is simply not giving the kiss the attention it deserves." - Albert Einstein

Monday, July 29, 2013

Driverless car technology zooming into the UK

Could the information superhighway soon be moulded to the tarmac highway? It could if Google and other developers of driverless, electric and other ‘smart’ vehicles break through with the technology.

Google’s driverless car is scheduled to hit UK roads as early as next summer for test drives. But in the US, three states have already passed laws to allow cars to be driven automatically, by censors and software, rather than by human hands.

There is almost certainly a future for semi-autonomous – or even autonomous – vehicles in the UK and abroad. Transport minister Patrick McLoughlin is already preparing his department to implement new strategies for UK roads on which automatic cars will feature prominently.

The trials will begin on rural roads, and will be in the presence of a back-up driver in the case of an emergency. Guided by censors, the vehicles are programmed to keep a safe distance from the car in front and to stay in the same lane.

Researchers at Oxford University are currently trialling a RobotCar that communicates with the driver via an iPad. Bill Ford Jr, the head of the Ford motor company, expects driverless vehicles to be commonplace by 2025.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Drop in petrol prices eye of the storm for motorists

Have you noticed something strange at the petrol station recently? No, not the fact that a lot of them sell beer. If you fill up at a supermarket, you may have seen the price of fuel briefly go down.

It’s obviously not going to last long – it’s the eye of a storm whipping up. But big supermarkets Sainsbury’s, Asda and Morrisons have cut the price of petrol by 2p a litre. It offers motorists a brief reprieve from the grind of constantly rising prices, but for many motorists, capping the cost of unleaded at 130.7p is like slightly easing the grips on a strangulation.

And right on cue, the AA announced this week that the grip is about to tighten again, with more price rises expected. All this for a number of factors, apparently. Low interest rates and a falling pound makes petrol more expensive because it’s bought in US dollars. Wholesale prices rose $50 a tone for the first time since April, a hike that will be passed on to customers for sure.

Monday, July 01, 2013

Tension cools between fast lane and cycle lane

Consumer Intelligence has released a report that shows how cyclists are grinding motorists' gears. The vast majority of drivers are griped by cyclists who aren’t insured, don’t wear helmets and cycle dangerously, and would like to see new rules introduced to make insurance and helmets compulsory.

A large majority (83%) said they think cyclists should have to pass the equivalent of a driving test before they’re allowed on the roads. A third would also like cyclists to pay ‘road tax’, or vehicle excise duty, which is compulsory for motorists but not for cyclists.

But motorists hankering after a bit of road rage over these findings may be disappointed. Most two-wheelers actually agree that helmets and road safety tests ought to be compulsory, while over a third are happy to buy insurance.

Bicycle campaigners have noted – rather facetiously – that nobody pays ‘road tax’, since it was abolished in 1937. But whatever it’s called, this doesn’t alter the fact that car and van owners pay a tax to use the roads – vehicle exsice duty – which cyclists do not.

So it seems the biggest debate, for once, isn’t over who cut up who at a roundabout, but the semantics relating to a piece of legislation. Maybe relations are cooling between the fast lane and the cycle lane.


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