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The Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) said the Modern Transport Bill, announced during the Queen’s Speech, is an important step to improving road safety and reducing congestion and the Government is now being urged to introduce a ‘software MOT’ for driverless cars.
The Government also needs to introduce legislation to improve cyber security in autonomous cars, which represents one of the challenges of connected vehicles.
IET cyber security expert Hugh Boyes said: “We must ensure that cyber security is carefully considered. It is not just about the threat of a car being hacked, it also relates to the overall security and safety of the vehicle’s operation.
“It will be vital to ensure that this software runs smoothly so, in the same way as we take our cars for annual MOTs at the local garage today, in the future we will need to include a check on the software to ensure defects and vulnerabilities are addressed,” explained Boyes.
The latest Department for Transport (DfT) figures showed vans registered with the help of the plug-in van grant reached 895 units last year, compared to the total number of plug-in vans 27,447 cars.
According to DfT figures, grant eligible cars have gone from a market of 111 in 2010 to 27,447 units in five years. In comparison, eligible vans have gone from 34 registrations over the same period to 895.
Plug-in van customers can get £8,000 towards the cost of their vehicle, as the structure of the grant did not change for them in March this year. The grant for plug-in cars, however, moved to a three tier system and the grant level was reduced from a maximum of £5,000 to £4,500.
Renault, one of the two major vehicle manufacturers producing plug-in vans with its Kangoo ZE, said the difference in growth is due to the market offering and market size.
The Kangoo ZE was the 12th most popular plug-in vehicle on the market in the UK, according to stats analysed by the RAC Foundation, accounting for 740 units as of Q4 2015.
A spokesman for Renault told Commercial Fleet: “Plug-in car numbers also encompass plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEV). As there aren’t any PHEV vans, the depth of offer isn’t the same for LCVs as it is for passenger cars.”
A spokesman for Nissan admitted that, while it has seen a marked increase in demand for e-NV200 between 2015 and 2016, it needed to bring more success stories to those fleet operators who are considering electric vans but are worried about range.
Source: Commercial Fleet
The average consumer journey from first website visit to a completed test drive request lasts just 1.3 days, according to market analysis from Sophus3.
Based on the data captured in the firm’s eDataXchange initiative, it found that in a month in the UK alone, more than 300 million automotive consumer visits to car brand websites, their YouTube channels and Facebook pages occur.
Only 1% of the 20 million monthly visits in the UK, will equate to a car purchase in the near future. The challenge is identifying those 1% to engage with them in their visit, which typically lasts 3:31 mins.
The van and its driver are vital to the UK economy with more than 4 million of them on the road according to the FTA Logistics Report 2016. By the end of 2015, retailers predicted they would be delivering more than 860 million parcels to UK homes, thanks to the e-commerce explosion.
FTA’s statistics have been supported in the latest Department for Transport (DfT) Road Traffic Estimates. which showed that van traffic grew faster than any other vehicle type in the UK, and currently covers around 48 billion miles in 2015.
Mark Cartwright, FTA Head of Vans said: ‘It’s been recognised for a while that there is a clear correlation between UK GDP and van ‘traffic’ but we’re now seeing the growth in ‘van traffic’ outstrip economic performance, primarily due to internet shopping and entrepreneurial activity.’
UK motorists spend a collective £21.1 billion a year on servicing and repair, according to a new report published today by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).
The report reveals that UK consumers spend an average £695.39 on car maintenance every year –12% higher than the average global spend per car of £621.62. With more than 42,500 vehicle service and repair locations of all types, the UK automotive aftermarket is a huge, it delivers an annual £12.2 billion to the UK economy and supports more than 345,000 British jobs.
Transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin said the former Labour chancellor Gordon Brown had made a mistake when he cut diesel duty by 3p in his 2001 budget.
RAC spokesman Simon Williams said, “The present tax system has for many years favoured diesel over petrol vehicles, not least because diesel cars generally emit lower levels of CO2,”
“Many drivers and businesses have, in good faith, invested in diesel cars for this reason. What is more, diesel drivers contributed almost £17bn in fuel duty last year and already pay some of the highest diesel prices in Europe.
“There is no doubt that action is needed to improve air quality, however by the Government’s own admission this needs to be tackled at a local level.
“The Government can also not ignore the fact that congestion levels can exacerbate pollution levels and must consider measures that keep traffic moving.”
Source: Fleet News