Archive for April, 2007
If, like Bernhard Stadlinger, you are feeling lucky after a night out on the town, and manage to get it on with a young lady you’ve met at the disco (well, he is German!), then you may well face the same problem as him.
After all one black VW Golf looks much like another, and if, like our 24 year old Bavarian chum and his unnamed lady friend, you choose the wrong one, you could be in trouble. When the middle aged owner of the car came back and found the windows a bit steamy, she called the police, and poor old Bernhard found himself with some explaining to do.
Now if only he had fitted a smart bodykit, mad exhaust, bling alloys, and some window tinting to his car he would have had no trouble finding it. You’ve got to wonder, though, how it was that, according to the press reports, his key fitted the locks on both cars.
After hearing that good old Richard Brunstrom, (AKA the Traffic Taliban) has come up with an ingenious plan to hide even more speed cameras in cats eyes, we were wondering if he had ever given any thought to the alternative theory that speeding might actually save the odd life:
Meanwhile Brunstrom has got himself into serious bother over some photo’s shown at the same press call, designed to shock the audience with graphic images of road accident victims, including a decapitated biker. The anger arose as he apparentlydidn’t tell the families of the unfortunate victims what he was going to do. Of course the fuss over this has somewhat eclipsed the “catseye camera” announcement, but you’d have to be a true cynic to read anything into that.
Our colleagues at HIC have put together some squidoo lenses which have something for any Vee Dub fan who decides to check them out. For aircooled fans there are lenses on VW Beetle, VW Camper & Bus & VW Karmann Ghia, while watercooled VW fans are catered for with lenses on VW Golf & Golf GTi, VW Corrado and VW Scirocco stuff, with Polo, Passat, Bora and Lupo lenses in the pipeline.
Check out the Herts blog as well, for the pics and news from their visits to VW shows over the past few weeks.
Obviously Herbie, the possessed Beetle, hasn’t put Volkswagen of the idea of giving their cars a mind of their own. Yesterday a highly modified VW Passat went on show at the Science Museum. The advanced teutonic driving wizardry is part of the Team LUX entry into the DARPA Urban Challenge, a competition run by the US military with the aim of finding a car capable of driving itself through urban environments. Then they’ll presumably build themselves an army of robotic tanks like something out of Robocop.
The LUX Passat cost a whopping £1m to put together, which is expensive, even for a VW, but the money will have been well spent if their technology is used for any commercial or military applications, and, who knows, perhaps your car will be driving itself within a few years.
Team Lux say:
Team-LUX has chosen a production car for the DARPA Urban Challenge – a VW Passat 2.0 TDI built in 2006. The autonomous control equipment is fully integrated into the vehicle. This makes the Team-LUX the first ever to enter the DARPA Challenge with a car that looks exactly like a standard road model, mostly without visible extensions such as sensors, antennas or processing systems.
The vehicle is equipped with three Ibeo laser sensors or “intelligent eyes”: two at the front of the vehicle and the third in the rear, giving the car 360° vision. No other sensors of any type are required!
We’re not sure whether we could find an underwriter to accept a robot as a named driver, but we reckon it’s got to be a pretty good risk. It will, presumably, need to pass a driving test before we have to worry about that, though.
Cars are definitely getting more and more advanced, but, thankfully, there’s nothing quite like the Dancing / Ice Skating Citroen Robots just yet.
Amid all the bad press that younger drivers get and the column inches filled with their problems getting car insurance, it’s easy to forget that elderly drivers often have trouble getting cover at a reasonable rate. It seems as though some insurance companies decide that any driver over ‘a certain age’ is a danger to the bottom line, despite the fact that everyone knows older drivers tend to drive safely and sedately for the most part.
Well, Adrian Flux can find older drivers insurance policies that offer a high level of cover, but don’t punish you for being mature in years.
Just as long as they don’t make a habit of doing this…
If you listened to Radio 1 yesterday, you may have heard the newsbeat item about the change in the law regarding uninsured vehicles.
A lot of people seem to be confused about how the law will operate, given that it will now be an offence to own an uninsured vehicle, as opposed to driving it.
The law does not apply to cars notified as SORN, however, so classic car owners and people who are restoring, modifying or building a car off the road don’t have to worry about a visit from the old bill (unless they’ve forgotten to inform the DVLA that the car is off the road). Anyone insomniacs who want a hand sleeping can read the DfT’s paper on the subject of uninsured drivers (pdf).
The 1Xtra radio station also had a somewhat moreinteresting documentary on uninsured drivers, where they went to a part of Manchester notorious for the problem, with one in three drivers not having insurance cover, and talked to the offenders and those who have to live near them.