Concept cars are some of the most important debuts at auto shows because their shape or technology gives you a sneak peek into what you can expect from car companies in the future; but what happens to the beautiful creations when they don't make it to the showroom? Using their car care know-how car solutions company Chipex is giving us a glimpse into how classic cars from the '70s might look if they were revisited and revived as concept cars in 2019. "At Chipex," says Johnny Graham of Chipex, "our aim is to help you take care of your car, showing you how a few tweaks here and there can make a difference. Taking this twist on concept cars shows that not everything is lost forever and with some handy upgrades, you can see how cars of yesteryear can become cars of tomorrow." Chipex was launched in 2009 to provide a fast, very effective and safe solution for the home user to repair paint damage to vehicles. To see the cars, go to www.chipex.co.uk/blog.
The Volvo XC90 Armoured, is designed and built to provide safe and comfortable travel with a high level of personal protection for the occupants. Work to develop a car with a VPAM VR8 protection rating commenced just over two years ago. "We are proud to be able to offer these armoured cars. With our armoured cars, we can provide vehicles with a high level of personal security for individuals who require heightened protection," says Stephan Green, Marketing Director at Volvo Cars Special Vehicles. There is a growing global market for armoured vehicles at present, and a large number are manufactured with various protection ratings. Volvo Cars has received numerous requests over the past few years to develop an armoured XC90. Volvo Cars has extensive experience of building police cars, fire engines and diverse special vehicles. A certified VPAM VR8 rating means the car has 360-degree ballistic resistance as well as explosive resistance.
While SUVs dominate the sales charts, new research from What Car? has found MPVs are the superior choice for families with young children thanks to their capacity to accommodate a greater number of child seats. Of the seven SUVs tested, only two models were capable of taking all three child seats - the Peugeot 5008 and Kia Sorento. The use of a child seat in the second or third row was prohibited in four of the large SUVs tested, and the one that could take a third seat in the second row wasn't wide enough to do this. In contrast, of the four MPVs tested, all were able to accommodate three child seats with ISOFIX points. The latest Seat Alhambra and VW Touran models both feature ISOFIX points in all five of their rear passenger seats - a record matched by only one of the luxury SUVs; the Audi Q7.
An innovative 'Smart Wallet' technology which is being tested by Jaguar Land Rover will let drivers earn cryptocurrency on the go. Drivers will be able to earn cryptocurrency and make payments on the move using innovative connected car services being tested by Jaguar Land Rover. Using 'Smart Wallet' technology, owners earn credits by enabling their cars to automatically report useful road condition data such as traffic congestion or potholes to navigation providers or local authorities. Drivers can then redeem these for rewards such as coffee, or conveniently use them to automatically pay tolls, parking fees and for smart charging electric vehicles.
According to new Motorparc data released by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders or SMMT, last year, the number of plug-in electric cars on British roads grew by three quarters. The UK's largest automotive analysis shows there is now a record 195,410 plug-in vehicles on our roads. As drivers take advantage of the latest low emission vehicle technology - whether petrol, diesel or AFV - it means that the average CO2 emissions for the UK Motorparc have fallen to the lowest on record, down -17.8% compared with 2008. Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, said, "Thanks to massive investment from manufacturers in delivering a wide range of models across all fuel types, to suit all driving needs, environmental gains are now being delivered across the UK. Ever-more advanced in technology makes every new generation of vehicle more efficient than the last, and this is filtering rapidly from the new car market into the broader parc." Overall ownership of alternatively fuelled vehicles (AFVs) increased by almost 30% last year, with more than 620,000 hybrid, plug-in hybrid, and battery electric cars now in use. It's thanks to manufacturer investment in advanced powertrains, transmission types, lightweight materials and aerodynamics, that cars are more efficient than ever before and drivers are seeing the benefits. The UK's record 34.9 million-strong car fleet has never been more diverse, with more than 1,600 model ranges and almost 68,000 different specifications on the roads last year. "Fleet renewal is proven to work," continues Hawes, "so we need a world-class package of incentives and infrastructure to give motorists the confidence to buy the latest, cleanest cars, whatever the fuel type, in the greater numbers we need to meet environmental challenges." While superminis continued to dominate, making up a third (33.2%) of all cars in the parc, dual purpose vehicles saw the biggest growth, up 10.6%. At the same time, family hatches and saloons (upper medium) saw the largest fall, down -4.7% to four million. Elsewhere, the data reveals that female car ownership remains at a record high, surpassing 2017's level by 1.4%, with more than 12 million cars now owned by women. Cars registered to men also rose moderately by 0.5% to almost 17.9 million.
For many people and businesses, when it comes to switching to a fully electric vehicle, there is a concern that charging stations will not be there when they are needed. However, Ford has now come up with a concept to help allay those concerns. The basis for this new approach is using big data to identify the most beneficial places to locate new rapid-charging points. Data scientists at the company have developed an algorithm, based on more than 1 million kilometres of driving data to pinpoint the places that could help drivers integrate charging within their operating patterns. This will alleviate having to make special journeys to out-of-the way locations. "Being able to harness, analyse and leverage the huge amounts of data that is available through existing vehicle use can make a real difference to how easy we find it to get about in the cities of the future," said John Scott, project lead, City Data Solutions, Ford Mobility. "We at Ford are committed to delivering smart vehicles for a smart world - including electric vehicles that will contribute to cleaner, quieter towns and cities." Following in-depth analysis in Greater London, the team concluded that it would be possible to significantly improve access to on-the-go charging through deploying a relatively small number of strategically positioned rapid-charging stations. Ford City Data Solutions Report As part of its far-reaching Ford City Data Solutions Report, published in December 2018, Ford fitted 160 connected vans with a simple plug-in device to record journey data. With the consent of participants, this generated more than 500 million data points, from more than 15,000 days of vehicle use, that was sent to the cloud for analysis. It was from this data, captured over an eight-month period, that Ford's Global Data Insight and Analytics team were able to identify where charging points would be most useful to a fleet. "Electrification changes the way we drive - and refuel - our vehicles," said Scott. "In locating these additional charging points, we've attempted to take into account regular driving and stopping patterns so that topping up slots into drivers' regular day-to-day activities." This announcement is ahead of the plug-in Transit Custom van and Tourneo Custom people carrier that go on sale later this year.
Motorists are less enthusiastic than ever about the idea of driverless cars - with more than half of drivers saying the idea "horrifies" them. This is according to newly released figures online motor retail specialist BuyaCar.co.uk that show motorists are now more fearful and sceptical about computer-controlled driving than they were just two years ago. They have tracked consumer attitudes to the concept of autonomous vehicles since April 2017. The latest findings will worry transport policy makers who are determined to see driverless cars introduced onto the UK's roads as soon as possible. In February the Department for Transport announced that it wanted to see driverless cars start to be introduced as early as 2021 - but it appears that scepticism, fear and mistrust of driverless cars has increased since April 2017. "There seems to be a gap emerging between the enthusiasm of transport policy planners toward autonomous vehicles and the willingness of today's motorists to accept them," says BuyaCar.co.uk Managing Director, Austin Collins. "Despite the constant flow of headlines about driverless cars arriving in just a few years, our analysis of the views of motorists shows enthusiasm waning and fears growing." In April 2017 almost one in five motorists thought they 'definitely' or 'probably' would own a driverless car one day. This month that figure has slumped to 13%, despite frequent publicity around government plans to encourage take-up of driverless cars in the next few years. And in a sign of hardening attitudes the number of people declaring that they 'definitely will not' own a driverless car at any point has risen from 38% to 42%. Over the past two years fear of not being in control of a vehicle has risen from 55% to 62%. Concerns over poor quality road markings leading to confusion for sophisticated visual recognition systems are also on the increase, with a rise from 24% to 29% of motorists mentioning it as a factor. But overall, a general sense of mistrust appears to be building, with 44% of drivers now saying they 'just don't trust the idea of a driverless car', compared with 34% in April 2017. "If driver concerns about their introduction continue to mount," concludes Collins, "it's possible to imagine it becoming a problem for transport policy makers or even a political issue."
Land Rover has handed over the first of a new fleet of Discovery vehicles to Highways England, which will begin patrolling England's motorways this month. They are the latest in a long line of Discovery public services vehicles, stretching right back to the original Discovery in 1989. A fleet of 70 Highways England Land Rover Discoverys have been specially modified for the needs of traffic officers, including a roof-mounted light array, programmable rear LED board, iconic Battenburg livery and a cavernous reinforced load area. Nick Harris, Executive Director of Operations at Highways England, said: "Having the right equipment and vehicles for our traffic officers is essential. It allows us to deliver the high levels of customer service and the support drivers expect from us while we work to keep England's motorways and major A-roads running smoothly round the clock. " Traffic officers have to carry over 600kg of equipment, including lights, traffic cones and safety barriers. Often called into action to tow stranded vehicles, the Discovery's mighty 3,500kg maximum towing capacity and its 700Nm of torque demonstrates its suitability for the job. "The Land Rover Discovery has always been the ultimate in versatility, comfort and ability," said Scott Dicken, Jaguar Land Rover Sales Director. "For fifteen years it has been a trusted workhorse for Highways England, and it gives me great pleasure to see the latest generation Discovery continuing that legacy." The Land Rover Discovery SE 3.0 Sd6 models will be in service with Highways England for roughly four years, with each expected to cover around 250,000 miles on England's motorways and major highways.
Aston Martin DBX - the British luxury marque's first SUV - has continued its intensive development programme this week at Pirelli's official test facility, close to the Arctic Circle in Sweden. Pirelli's R&D Sottozero Centre at the Flurheden Proving Ground provides a range of extreme environments, from snowy roads to ice handling courses, allowing Aston Martin's vehicle dynamics specialists - led by Aston Martin Chief Engineer, Matt Becker - to put the DBX prototype to the test. Becker said, "The Aston Martin DBX needs to be ready for a wide range of multi-terrain surfaces, so in addition to testing the car in normal day-to-day situations, we need to test it in extreme conditions such as these. "Testing these prototypes in cold climate conditions helps us to assess the car's early dynamics and crucially ensure confidence inspiring sure-footedness on low grip surfaces. This car propels Aston Martin into a new segment and our engineering team are enjoying the challenges of developing a quality luxury SUV experience through this robust testing schedule." Progress is on-track and Aston Martin are confident that they will deliver over and above what their customers would expect from an Aston Martin SUV. The Aston Martin DBX will go into prototype build at St Athan, Wales in mid-2019, before full production commences in 2020.
Motion sickness affects over 70% of people. But nausea whilst on a car journey could soon be radically reduced. That's according to Jaguar Land Rover which has created an algorithm that generates a 'wellness score' for each passenger. JLR says this can be used to automatically personalise a vehicle's driving to reduce car sickness by up to 60%. "As we move towards an autonomous future where occupants will have more time to either work, read or relax on longer journeys, it's important we develop vehicles that can adapt to reduce the effects of motion sickness in a way that's tailored to each passenger," said Spencer Salter, Wellness Technology Researcher at Jaguar Land Rover. JLR says it has already collected 15,000 miles of motion sickness data. This will help it work towards minimising the need for steering corrections and therefore the risk of motion sickness while passengers work or relax in an autonomous vehicle. JLR says the findings of the research are already being implemented into further and will help it create personalised cabin experiences for its customers in future vehicles.
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