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Belgian capital plans to lift ban on Uber taxi app
Brussels introduced plans to make Uber legal in the city for the first time, as the US group is currently illegal in the capital, with Uber drivers facing fines of up to €10,000 and even having their cars impounded.
Driverless cars must steer through moral issues
The growing moral dilemmas that carmakers are starting to take into consideration, such as whether autonomous vehicles could use algorithms to replicate the “ethical” decisions human drivers make before an accident.
VW’s profit margins stuck in slow lane as challenges loom
Volkswagen has warned of little or no improvement in group profitability in 2015 and said it was aiming for a group operating margin of 5.5 per cent to 6.5 per cent this year, compared with 6.3 per cent in 2014. The carmaker also highlighted “major challenges” in the year ahead, led by tough conditions in Russia and Brazil.
Aston Martin targets wider appeal
Aston Martin is set to unveil its biggest overhaul, as it seeks to widen its sports cars’ appeal beyond traditional buyers. The carmaker’s chief executive, Andy Palmer, is expected to reveal plans to rebuild its suite of sports cars, while adding two new product lines. The strategy will include luxurious cars aimed partly at wealthy buyers with a chauffeur, probably under its Lagonda brand that is being revived in the UK, and a radical move to attract young buyers and women.
No sweat: Brompton to wheel out electric bike
Brompton Bicycle is developing an electric version of its folding bike, using Formula 1 technology. The new pedal-assisted ebike could be launched as early as next year.
15 and counting …car sales motor on (PDF Attached)
Nearly 2.5 million cars hit the roads of Britain last year, the best sales figure for a decade and the fourth highest on record. Sue Robinson, director of the National Franchised Dealers Association which represents the retail market, says, “January saw strong growth in the UK fleet market, with an increase of 18.1 per cent, indicating a strengthening in business confidence, enabling businesses to invest in the purchase of new vehicles.”
BMW’s growth story hits a Brics wall
An official survey conducted by the Department for Transport which revealed that about half a million motorists a day are using mobile phones illegally while driving, an increase of almost 50 per cent since 2008. The survey found that young people aged between 17 and 29 are four times more likely to use their mobile phone while driving, as the “addiction” to social networking websites seems to be the reason for the rise of offenders.
Drivers can appeal against speeding fines on the internet
motorists accused of minor offences such as speeding will be able to register a formal plea online via a secure website, under a new governmental scheme. The government’s “Make A Plea” programme, which has been tested in Greater Manchester, will allow motorists to register their response to an allegation of a summary motoring offence 24 hours a day via their computer, tablet or smartphone from the end of next month
New car sales driving to three years of growth
The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders is set to reveal official industry data on vehicle registrations that shows record three years of continuous growth this week. The figures are expected to show 36 months of year-on-year increases, meaning that motorists have driven more cars from dealers’ forecourts in February than the 68,736 registered during the same month last year. Demand for new cars is being driven by a combination of strong consumer confidence, helped by low fuel prices and interest rates. Manufacturers are reportedly targeting the UK as the strongest market in Europe, where weak growth is discouraging people from buying.
Government is accused of idling on new car technology
A major parliamentary report on a six-month investigation by the Transport Select Committee expected to be published on Friday. The report will warn that Britain risks missing out on the benefits of a £900 billion global “smart car” revolution, due to the lack of a strategic plan by the government to exploit new technologies, including “black box” engine technology and intelligent motorways. MPs are also expected to call for greater use of telematics technology, which involved data from car performance such as fuel economy, speed and movement information being transmitted digitally to manufacturers and insurers.
Ban drivers caught on their mobile
Gloucestershire chief constable Suzette Davenport has called for drivers caught using their phones at the wheel to be banned from the roads. She believes that an increase in offending shows that current punishments are not enough of a deterrent, with an estimated 500,000 people a day believed to be breaking the law.
Safer lorry designs unveiled
New, safer designs for construction vehicles were on show last week as part of efforts to improve road safety and better protect cyclists and pedestrians. More than a dozen designs for HGV’s by manufacturers including Mercedes-Benz, DAF Trucks, Scania, Volvo and MAN were on display at the ExCeL, designed to massively reduced blind-spots,