Thursday 26 April 2018

'Clocking' is ticking; preparing for hackers; some safety app-lause; a second pair of eyes

Clocking - be on your guard
Clocking - be on your guard

Not a week goes by without someone or other warning about cars being clocked on a grand scale. This week it is the turn of new data from UK used-vehicle checker It says its 'serious warnings' segment on write-offs, finance-due and stolen vehicles have risen again. They account for 30.8pc of all checks in the first six months of 2017. That follows a 25.6pc rise in 2015 to 28.5pd last year. So be on your guard because a percentage of such cars are bound to make their way onto the Irish market, considering the number of used imports we're buying.

The company holds comprehensive data on every vehicle on UK roads. You can't say you haven't been warned.

* Subaru says that its EyeSight technology will be added to all models over the next couple of months. The collision avoidance system acts as a second pair of eyes for drivers as its stereo colour camera monitors the road and traffic ahead for potential hazards. It is currently on the Outback and Levorg models.

* The British government is getting deadly serious on the threat of autonomous cars being hacked. New legislation means the software developers of such cars have to build in security measures at several stages of the process to protect against hackers trying to access information or even control the throttle or brakes.

* Still on autonomous driving, reports continue to outline how difficult it is going to be for such cars to be accommodated on our roads. It is far from straightforward, given the legal hurdles alone that lie ahead. There are suggestions it will be at least 2020 before countries can agree on how to validate and approve what is called a Level 3 self-driving system. Level 3 is where a vehicle is able to monitor the driving environment around it and make decisions itself.

* Range Rover's plug-in hybrid, being readied for next year, will use a 2-litre petrol engine (as well as an electric motor of course), according to reports.

* A 10-year-old Dublin-based technology company, DriverFocus, has been shortlisted for the prestigious Brake road safety charity fleet safety award. The nomination is for its DriveNtell app and cloud-based service, which employers use to manage driving-related costs and risks. It is the product of eight years of research and field-testing with employers, drivers, instructors and other road safety experts. Well done.

* I see that a new survey of students has named Ford one of the world's most attractive employers. The annual worldwide investigation discovered that for those studying engineering, the blue oval's ranking rose to 12th this year.

Indo Motoring

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