The writing is on the wall. Diesel powered cars are “out”. Many companies now only allow their staff to choose petrol engined cars as their company car. Indeed, leasing companies in our country now push their corporate clients to do so. Soon we will be assisting at a massive resale value loss of diesel engined cars all over Europe, with the average European car owner, the majority of which own a diesel, paying the bill. Actually, this is already happening.
This loss in resale value also threatens the quality cars made in Germany, despite their longevity and mechanical stamina. This is the last thing they want to see. On top of that comes the ban on diesel cars in cities, which is now legally possible in Germany. In the light of all these uncertainties, who wants to purchase an expensive (German made) diesel with an expected long service life?
So something has to be done, in order to save the millions of owners of (German) diesel cars of financial disaster and even the possibility that they are not able to use their car any more for worry free urban mobility.
Audi has worked on it, since 2014. They come up with “clean” e-gasoline and e-diesel fuel. After this report here was published on our site, we talked to the Audi people in Germany, and they added some further comments based on out further questions. Just read on what they have achieved so far, and find their answers at the end of our report…
Mitsubishi chose a proper outlandish name for this car: the PHEV version indeed takes you into unseen territory. We never experienced so far hybrid driving with such utter smoothness and refinement, and thus this Mitsubishi proved for us to be a very special and endearing car in present day traffic.
The all-new Jeep® Compass made its debut at the latest Geneva Motor Show, and arrives at the dealers showrooms this summer, at a starting price of 25,000 Euros in select markets. This new Compass enters the compact SUV segment, which is the largest SUV segment in Europe.
But before you actually can see the car in the showroom, Jeep has brought in an innovative customer experience through augmented reality, thanks to Google’s Tango technology.
So clever, we wanted here to present it here in a special report… besides telling you more about this new Compass, which we will hope to drive for you soon!
E-power in synergy: The BMW 530e iPerformance parked in front of the Schréder R&D centre in Liège.
E-mobility is set to conquer our (mega)cities, and car manufacturers are revamping their model range to prepare for the electric age. BMW is indeed also at the forefront of this development with it’s I-drive range, and also with the plug-in hybrid iPerformance models, which combine combustion engines with electric power. The latest 5-series comes now with a 530e iPerformance, and we were keen to drive it.
But that is not all. The dynamic PR people of BMW Belux Group decided to combine the presentation of the 530i Performance with a visit to the Belgian R & D Centre of Schréder in Liège, where we could see how the cars were charged by their clever 11 or 22kW electric vehicle (EV) charger, incorporated in the multi-functional Shuffle streetlight column, of which more here below.
Your servant pulling out the socket at the Schréder “Shuffle” modular lighting/recharging pole…
It was in the cards: with our vehicles detecting road conditions electronically through their driving assistance systems, it was only logical that these data could be send via the cloud to other drivers. This is something Volvo has paid attention to already two years ago, and is now a standard feature on Volvo’ sold in Sweden.
Recently the first “1st European Conference on Connected and Automated Driving”was held in Brussels at the European Commission. Here Håkan Samuelsson, president and chief executive of Volvo Cars, asked governments and car makers to join hands in sharing traffic data in order to improve global traffic safety.
Indeed, sharing anonymised data related to traffic safety in real time can provide a strong boost to overall traffic safety while safeguarding the privacy of individual road users, Mr Samuelsson said. Volvo started doing exactly this in Sweden and Norway two years ago, in collaboration with local authorities.
An excellent practice, which should be adopted all over Europe, we should think…We tell you here somewhat more about it.
Hans Knol ten Bensel
Volvo is sharing data since 2015…
In 2015, Volvo Cars started a collaboration on sharing safety data with the road administration authorities in Sweden and Norway. Via a cloud based network, all Volvo cars in a certain area share anonymized information about road friction from their anti-skid systems. The info is transferred in real time to other Volvo drivers notifying them of icy road conditions. The same information will be shared with road administrations so that they quickly can address icy road conditions.
The same approach is used to warn drivers when another vehicle turns on its hazard lights, which may indicate a potential dangerous situation on the road ahead. These technologies, Slippery Road Alert and Hazard Light Alert, are standard on all SPA-based vehicles on sale in Sweden and Norway: the XC90, S90, V90, V90 Cross Country and the new XC60.
Developing a regulatory framework for autonomous cars…
Of course, there is also the very important matter of autonomous driving. Volvo Cars underlines here the need to put safety first when developing a regulatory framework for autonomous cars. When it comes to autonomous driving, it is for Volvo important that the user interface is crystal clear about the role of the driver.
Mr. Samuelsson expressed his concern about the so-called “Level 3” autonomous driving modes. “In this mode the car is in charge of the driving, yet the driver must still be prepared to take over in case of emergency, which could be a matter of a few seconds. Volvo considers this Level 3 driving mode unsafe and will thus skip this level of autonomous driving,” he said.
Consequently, when Volvo launches its first autonomous cars in 2021, they will be at Level 4, in other words completely unsupervised on applicable roads. This means that these cars will be able to manage emergency situations and bring the car into a safe state by itself without driver interaction and that Volvo will assume liability while the car is in autonomous mode.
The discussion is now only beginning, but we can say here that the Volvo point of view is quite logical and exemplary. We will follow the developments in these columns…
The French have a gift for elegance and beauty. And we must admit that the Renault styling department is going from strength to strength lately. The 32nd Festival Automobile International at the Hôtel des Invalides in Paris, France, has singled out on January 31st the Renault TREZOR as the most beautiful concept car of 2016.
“I would like to thank the jury for this award which will inspire us to pursue our design strategy,” says Laurens van den Acker, SVP Corporate Design, Renault. “The TREZOR’s powerful, sensuous lines pave the way for the styling and technologies that will be features of our upcoming models. It also marks the beginning of a new cycle of Renault concept cars which will be revealed soon.”
“The jury decided this award should go to the TREZOR because of the extreme beauty, sensuality and elegance it exudes,” observes Rémi Depoix, President of the Festival Automobile International. “It is the epitome of a concept car and we were notably won over by the cohesion of its overall design and the attention that has been paid to the details. It is a fine creative work which, we hope, will inspire Renault’s future roadgoing models.”
A harbinger of the styling language of future Renaults
The lines of the Renault TREZOR are warm, sensuous and refined, while its assertive front end incorporates signature C-shaped lights. In terms of their styling, Renault’s upcoming models will draw their inspiration from the TREZOR’s DNA as their forms become even more fluid and mature.
The TREZOR’s interior design, meanwhile, places the emphasis on driving enjoyment and features a large enveloping touchscreen display that reinforces the cockpit feel. This customisable, connected interface juxtaposes warming, prestige materials like wood and leather. The interiors of upcoming Renault models will take their inspiration from these increasingly refined styling trends and connected technologies.
For the duration of this year’s Festival International de l’Automobile, the Renault TREZOR will be on display at the Hôtel des Invalides alongside other concept cars selected by the jury.You will have to hurry though: this display will be open to the public from February 1-5, 2017. For further information, go to www.festivalautomobile.com/gb/index.php.
Experiencing your personal digital world in a vehicle is made possible by VW at the latest CES.
In the future, your own profile and preferences will always be with you – regardless of which Volkswagen model you’re driving. Volkswagen presents the next milestone in ease of use Visionary I.D. electric car being shown for first time in the USA.
We just tell you here somewhat more about Volkswagen’s show highlights…just read on!
Artificial intelligence (AI) is a key technology for piloted driving – that’s why Audi and strong partners from the electronics industry are jointly developing game-changing know-how in the field of machine learning. At the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas Audi is presenting the Audi Q7 deep learning concept, a piloted driving car made possible thanks to collaboration with NVIDIA.
Mercedes-Benz vehicles of tomorrow will enhance the fitness and well-being of their passengers in an even more individualised way while offering worlds of experience for all the senses. In connection with Mercedes me, Mercedes-Benz is also planning a holistic ecosystem to assist the user with an active and healthy lifestyle also when away from the vehicle.
Mercedes-Benz Vans exhibits for the first time at this year’s CES in Las Vegas. The presence at the Consumer Electronics Show underpins Mercedes-Benz Vans’ transformation into a supplier of holistic system solutions for the transport sector – a process initiated by the van manufacturer’s strategic future initiative adVANce. Mercedes-Benz Vans’ exhibits at CES include the van study “Vision Van”, which was presented to the public for the first time in September 2016.