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Volvo seeks edge on driverless car technology
Volvo is aiming to put up to 100 self-driving cars on the roads in China in the hope that testing them on the country’s notoriously congested, hazardous roads will enable the carmaker to pull ahead in the race to develop autonomous vehicles technologies. Pioneered by Google and other tech companies, autonomous driving is becoming one of the most disruptive forces in the auto industry, and carmakers are positioning themselves accordingly. General Motors’ $1bn purchase last month of driverless car start-up Cruise and Tesla’s new sensors-packed Model 3 suggest that companies now consider themselves not just in the business of making cars, but of providing “mobility”.
The Daily Telegraph
Volkswagen vows to stick with the US despite emissions-rigging slump
Volkswagen has told its dealers in America that the carmaker is still committed to a mass-market strategy in the US, despite the damage done to its reputation during the emissions-rigging revelations of last year. The German car maker is trying to stem discontent among its retailers as it negotiates with regulators about the fate of about 600,000 diesel vehicles in the US that were rigged to cheat on emissions tests.
Number of EU migrants working in UK to be revealed weeks before referendum
The number of EU migrants working in the UK will finally be revealed just weeks before the referendum on Britain’s EU membership – in a move that could prove immigration has been seriously underestimated by official statistics. HM Revenue and Customs will provide figures on how many national insurance numbers are actively being used by people from the European Economic Area after MPs mounted a battle to gain access to the statistics.
UK records highest monthly car sales in almost 20 years
The UK has recorded its biggest monthly car sales in almost 20 years, with more than 500,000 new vehicles registered in March. The figures, regarded as a barometer of economic confidence, are up 5.3% on March last year, making it the busiest month for traders since twice-yearly number plate changes were introduced in 1999. Forty-three consecutive months of sales growth came to an end last year, but Britain’s car market has remained more buoyant than in much of the rest of Europe, where trade remains below pre-recession levels. Sue Robinson, director of the National Franchised Dealers Association, said the sector was “in a good position for 2016”.
Pothole fund: Where £50m is going to fix the roads
Details of how a £50m pothole fund is to be divided up between English councils have been revealed.
The government, which first announced the fund in the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement, announced the cash is being split between 118 authorities. Transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin said the government wanted to “tackle the blight of potholes”. The Local Government Association said it would take £12bn to fix England’s roads. The money is the first tranche of a £250m Pothole Action Fund. The funding has been calculated according to the “size of the local road network in the area”.