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Newspaper round-upBack

FTThe Financial Times

GM seeks head start on safety with gadget that eyes distracted drivers –Seeing Machines, an Australian group listed in London, has signed an agreement with safety-goods maker Takata to supply GM with tracking devices for up to 500,000 vehicles over the next three to five years. The gadgets will measure the rotation of the head and alert drivers who are spending insufficient time looking in certain areas such as the road ahead of the rear-view mirror.

The Daily Telegraph

Nissan man slides into Aston Martin hot seat – Aston Martin’s nine-month search for a chief executive has ended, with former Nissan executive Andy Palmer assuming the position at the loss-making sports car manufacturer. The company said that Palmer’s ‘wealth of experience on the global automotive stage…will be instrumental in taking Aston Martin forward through its most significant and ambitious period to date’.

Uber refuses to stop for German ban Uber has vowed to continue operating in Germany in spite of a nationwide ban imposed there. In an emergency ruling in Frankfurt, it was found that Uber was in breach of German law as it did not have the necessary permits. A spokesperson for Uber said that the firm would continue to serve German customers as ‘innovation and competition is good for everyone’.

RAC pulls out of drive to lower insurance premiums – RAC has exited a car insurance joint venture with Quindell less than six months after setting it up. The venture was aiming to reduce insurance premiums for drivers by installing ‘black box’ computers in cars to record driving data. The deal became financially unviable as a result of attacks on Quindell’s share price by a US short seller.

The Independent

Deferential drivers make traffic jams 20% longer – Research carried out for SIAS Transport Planners by Heriot-Watt University, which suggests that the ‘deferential’ driving habits of British drivers add an estimated 20 per cent to the length of traffic jams. Guy Walker, Heriot-Watt University, said: ‘The majority of drivers, when confronted with roadworks ahead, quickly move into the nearside lane as early as possible rather than merge at the front of the queue. No one wants to be seen by fellow drivers as they type of person who pushes in. This behaviour, however, leads to the loss of a further lane of capacity that’s in addition to the ones already closed because of roadworks’.

The Times

The Latest Discovery The new Discovery Sport has been unveiled by Land Rover. The car will be built at the Jaguar Land Rover plant at Halewood on Merseyside and will go on sale in January with prices starting at £32,000.

Laser brakes can stop 50mph car crashes – According to experts, an automatic braking system could save thousands of lives if it was made compulsory. Autonomous emergency braking can slow or stop vehicles before a collision by using lasers or radar to detect obstacles and activate the brakes more quickly than a driver can react.

How wounded soldiers will keep Jaguar roaring ahead A commercial partnership between Jaguar Land Rover and the Invictus Games for injured Servicemen and women. In addition, the manufacturer has pledged to provide more than 40 jobs for those leaving the Armed Forces this year. There will also be projects for those learning to cope with lost limbs.

End of the road for tax discs – and their top fan – Neil Jones, who, over thirty years, has amassed a collection of over 207,000 discs. Jones says: ‘The discs were always going to stop before I did – I’ve often thought I should wind it up, but then found a good one and regained my enthusiasm. But this does seem like a natural time for it to come to an end.’

The article also notes the results of a survey by Money.co.uk, which found that 40 per cent of drivers were unaware of the changes or when they would be implemented. Hannah Maudrell, the site’s editor, is cited as saying: ‘Just because you don’t have to display a tax disc doesn’t mean you can get away with not paying. If anything, you’re more likely to be caught. Also keep in mind that failing to have valid vehicle tax means your insurance is unlikely to pay out in the event of an accident.’

Posted by Sue Robinson on 05/09/2014