Sunday 20 August 2017

Doing the dirty work; GoCar will travel; blinded by the light; another Qashqai rival

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Eddie Cunningham

Eddie Cunningham

I was breathalysed recently. It was a bitterly cold night. I could see from within my well-heated cabin that the gardai on checkpoint were really feeling the chill.

As I don't drink, I had no worries about the test but I got to thinking afterwards about the physical effort that's involved in maintaining a deterrent to drink driving and speeding, etc.

Take the Traffic Corps as an example. It has been decimated in terms of resources over the years, yet we expect a reduction in dangerous driving and fatalities.

Gardai on the streets and roads are a big, big part of saving lives - being seen and knowing they are likely to be out there is major deterrent - but that takes resources.

There shouldn't be a minute's hesitation. Let's have the funds to cut deaths. Otherwise we really are a nation of hypocrites.

Sure, like everyone else, I'm uneasy seeing gardai with the speeding 'hairdryers' in areas were you feel it's like shooting fish in a barrel and merely a revenue exercise. But we easily overlook and forget how Garda work can also be a gritty, tough gig out there, working in miserable conditions that would have the rest of us whining. Ultimately that is how lives are saved.

If that cold, chilly checkpoint caught one drink driver that night, how do we know it didn't save a life? How much of a value do we truly put on that?

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I've already lost the flickering embers of the goodwill/new year season thanks to eejits who think it's okay to have their foglights on all the time.

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Reports suggest there will be a Mini John Cooper Works GP hatchback version.

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Mitsubishi is expected to unveil a compact SUV to rival the Nissan Qashqai, according to reports.

The new SUV, which will slot between the ASX and the Outlander, is due for reveal at the Geneva Motor Show.

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A car-share company is planning to double the number of cars and vans it has to offer to rent by the hour this year.

And the nice thing about it is that it is asking people to tell it where it should expand the service to. In other words, it is looking for a steer on where demand is likely to be. Good idea and proactive.

So if you reckon there is a need in your area, tell it at GoCar.ie.

This move comes after the relatively recent addition of electric vehicles to the GoCar fleet. The firm also has a new partnership with Dublin Airport Authority.

As we reported last year, the company joined forces with BMW for 10 new electric cars to take to the streets of Dublin. All the cars have a petrol generator on board which extends their range to a claimed 330km (more likely 200km/240km in normal driving).

The hourly rate for the BMW i3s is €8.99. It is usually €4.99/hour plus 45c per kilometre but with the BMWs there will be no charge for distance covered. That is so long as people plug the vehicle back in when they're finished with it. If they don't, there will be a 20c/km charge.

A new computer system will allow for monitoring of cars and their charge levels.

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Volvo is pushing hard on autonomous driving. A new joint venture called Zenuit aims to develop software for autonomous driving and driver assistance systems. Work is expected to start quite soon.

Indo Motoring

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