Pia Wilkes has been appointed as the new chief executive of the Vehicle Certification Agency (VCA).
Mrs Wilkes joins the VCA from HORIBA MIRA, where she is the Senior Manager for the Test Engineering, Homologation & Certification Product Groups.
The Chief Executive’s role will see her lead the agency’s work to ensure and improve the safety standards of all new vehicles on UK roads.
The VCA is responsible for approving new on and off road vehicles and ensuring they have been designed and built to international standards of safety. The agency also publishes the vehicle emission data which forms Vehicle Excise Duty rates.
The illegal use of handheld mobile phones is at epidemic proportions with an estimated 11 million* motorists admitting to making or receiving a call while driving in the last 12 months and a shocking five million** saying they have taken photos or videos while at the wheel of a moving vehicle.
Research from the RAC’s Report on Motoring 2016 has revealed that for some, attitudes towards handheld mobile use have worryingly relaxed over the last two years. The proportion of people who feel it is acceptable to take a quick call on a handheld phone has doubled from 7% in 2014 to 14% in 2016 and the percentage of drivers who feel it is safe to check social media on their phone when in stationary traffic, either at traffic lights or in congestion, has increased from 14% in 2014 to 20% in 2016. The percentage of drivers who said it was not acceptable to take a quick call at the wheel has correspondingly fallen 6% from 84% in 2014 to 78% today.
Fleet management could increasingly incorporate employee mobility as well as vehicle information, as more organisations turn to “big data” to meet their transport and asset needs.
That’s the prediction of fleet software specialist Chevin Fleet Solutions, whose managing director Ashley Sowerby explained: “As more organisations work to harness so-called ‘big data’ and integrate it meaningfully into their operations, they may be able to pinpoint savings opportunities that extend well beyond a traditional fleet approach.
“For example, we have seen instances where, rather than just being handed the keys to a company car, employees are being offered a range of different travel options or some kind of overall mobility allowance.
“This is especially relevant for employees who travel largely within cities between urban areas, where there are other transport solutions readily available - from the train through to car clubs.”
Biggest ever UK order of the all-electric Renault Zoe to support Europcar's city-based deliver & collect service
Renault has delivered its biggest ever UK order of the all-electric Renault ZOE, with 55 of the innovative supermini having been supplied to Europcar UK for use in the delivery and collection of hire vehicles in major UK cities.
With zero emissions in use and offering the benefits of smooth and instant pulling power, the award-winning Renault ZOE is ideally suited to the busy urban-based role. While supporting Europcar’s Deliver & Collect service, which ensures that customers of the leading mobility player enjoy a highly convenient and flexible hire car experience, the Renault ZOEs will also contribute to Europcar’s continued efforts to be at the forefront of reducing vehicle emissions and introducing customers to new technologies. Europcar is committed to five per cent of its total UK vehicle fleet being electric by 2020.
The Low Carbon Vehicle Partnership (LowCVP) announced the 2016 Low Carbon Champions last night at the industry’s leading networking dinner, held in association with Cenex LCV2016, in Milton Keynes. The Champions Awards celebrate achievement and innovation in moving the UK to lower carbon road transport.
H2 Aberdeen – which has developed a strategy for the introduction of cleaner, hydrogen-powered transport to the Scottish city – and Argent Energy – which has developed a drop‐in diesel replacement for cars, buses and trucks – were jointly presented with the highest accolade; the ‘Grand Prix’, or winner of winners, Award.
Sir Peter Hendy was recognised as the 2016 winner of the Outstanding Individual in Promoting Low Carbon Transport at the celebration. Hosted by Formula E TV presenter and science communicator, Nicki Shields, who was Master of Ceremonies, the event took place at the Double Tree by Hilton, MK Dons Stadium.
Business mobility specialist, Alphabet, today announced that they have provided nearly 10 per cent (9.4) of the electric and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles eligible for the Government’s Plug-In grant which have been delivered for the year to date. Figures released by the Society of Motor Manufacturers & Traders (SMMT) last week, revealed that 23,109 new cars and LCVs were eligible for the Office of Low Emission Vehicles’ Plug-In car and van grants in 2016 so far, of which 2,176 are funded by or leased from Alphabet.
The Plug-In car grant, originally introduced in 2011, now covers:
The wealth of new technologies being launched at this year’s Emergency Services Show, taking place at the NEC on 21 and 22 September, evidence the vital and increasing role information and communication technology plays in assisting the emergency services to collaborate, communicate and respond more quickly and effectively.
Headlining the show’s free-to-attend ICT Innovation Theatre will be an extended session on the UK’s Emergency Services Networkpresented by the Home Office, Motorola and EE on Wednesday 21st September.
The House of Lords Science and Technology Committee today invites contributions to its new inquiry, which will investigate future uses of driverless vehicles in the UK.
The UK has the potential to become a world leader in developing, producing and deploying driverless (also known as autonomous) vehicles. This inquiry will collect evidence on the potential uses and benefits of autonomous vehicles in contexts such as road transport, farming and space exploration.
The Committee is seeking written evidence from as wide an audience as possible and across a whole range of possible applications from cars to public transport.
London is set to have the largest fleet of electric buses in Europe, with 51 new vehicles introduced. The additions mean there will be 73 fully-electric buses on the Capital's streets by the end of the year.
Mayor Sadiq Khan said: "It's vital that we act now to clean-up our Capital's toxic air and do everything we can to help prevent the thousands of deaths it causes each year. I've set out a comprehensive plan to improve our air, and the transformation of London's bus fleet will play a key role in making our transport cleaner and healthier."
TfL's Managing Director of Surface Transport Leon Daniels said: "This is a real game-changer in the drive to green the capital's transport network, and mean better air quality and better journeys."
This is the latest in a number of plans to make bus travel greener, which includes making all 300 single-deck buses that travel through central London zero emission by 2020, and all 3,100 double-deck buses to be hybrid by 2019.
The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) will stop providing taxi driving assessments for local councils from 31 December 2016.
People becoming a taxi driver in around 200 council areas have to pass a DVSA taxi driving assessment before they qualify however, DVSA will stop providing this service from 31 December 2016.
For those people who have a DVSA taxi driving assessment booked, it will go ahead as planned. However, DVSA isn’t taking any new bookings for the assessment. You will need to contact your local council to find out what you need to do to become a taxi driver in your area.
Schools and community groups will benefit from £2 million for minibuses. The second round of the community minibus fund is launched by Transport Minister Andrew Jones, yesterday (8 September 2016).
This money, part of a £25 million funding pot, will improve the everyday lives of people in rural communities by providing vital links to medical services, shops, and social events. The first round of the fund has already been allocated to more than 300 charities and community groups across England, and will pay for more than 350 minibuses.
Arun Srinivasan, Managing Director of Bosch Mobility Solutions UK, succeeds Tony Spalding as Chairman of RoadSafe, one of the UK’s leading road safety charities.
On taking up the appointment, Arun Srinivasan said: “Car manufacturers have made massive strides in improving the safety of cars and commercial vehicles available to the UK market in recent years. Collectively, the road safety community has made UK roads amongst the safest in the world. Now we are on the eve of many more technological advances, which will make our roads safer still with autonomous vehicles in particular. I am pleased to be able to guide RoadSafe through this exciting future”.
Twenty years after inventing the world’s first compact MPV with the Scénic – which has since sold almost five million units and was named European Car of the Year in 1997 – Renault has completely overhauled its offering in the segment with the fourth generation of its iconic model, carrying over the hallmarks of versatility, space, user-friendliness and travelling enjoyment that helped it to become such success story.
Unveiled at the 2016 Geneva International Motor Show, and based on 2011’s R-Space concept, the All-New Scénic and All-New Grand Scénic receive 20-inch wheels as standard across the range – unique in its segment and aiding its seductive and ground-breaking design.
Venson Automotive Solutions reveals that over half (57%) of people phoning an automated customer service line wait on average for between 10 to 15 minutes before the call is answered. Nearly 10% said they spend over 25 minutes in an automated queuing system, according to a new survey from the company. Venson believes that direct access to an accountable customer service team is crucial for busy fleet managers and drivers, and says that call centres, voicemail and sitting in queues is unacceptable for any business focused on productivity and profitability.
Quartix, the multi award-winning tracking systems supplier has agreed a deal with Nextbase, the UK’s top-selling Dash Cam manufacturer.
Starting today, all Quartix customers who purchase an InfoPlus or Corporate package will receive a Which? Best Buy Nextbase 312GW Dash Cam, further protecting them on the road and driving down insurance costs. Prices for the package start at only £15.50/month + VAT for a 36-month contract per vehicle. Other contract terms are available.
Drive Me, the world's most ambitious and advanced public autonomous driving experiments, starts today.
Volvo Cars has officially kicked off Drive Me, the world’s most ambitious and advanced public autonomous driving experiment. This morning it produced the very first autonomous car that will be used in the Drive Me project in Gothenburg.
The autonomous Volvo XC90 SUV was finalised in Volvo Cars’ special manufacturing facility in Torslanda this morning, and is the first in a series of autonomous cars that will eventually be handed to real families in Gothenburg to be driven on public roads.
Volvo is the industry leader in the area of automotive safety and believes that the introduction of AD technology promises to reduce car accidents. Furthermore, AD technology promises to free up congested roads, reduce pollution and allow drivers to use their time in their cars more valuably.
Volvo currently offers a semi-autonomous functionality called Pilot Assist on its 90 series cars. Pilot Assist gives gentle steering inputs to keep the car properly aligned within lane markings up to 80 mph without the need to follow another car. The Drive Me cars will add hands-off and feet-off capability in special autonomous drive zones around Gothenburg, powered by what Volvo calls the Autonomous Driving Brain.
The new Alfa Romeo Mito has gone on sale in the UK. Revised for 2016 with a new look to emulate the style and attitude of the all-new Alfa Romeo Giulia, with more technology, a revised range and the introduction of the updated 1.3-litre JTDM-2 turbo diesel with increased 95hp output and reduced CO2 emissions (just 89g/km), the new Alfa Romeo Mito is more enticing and competitive than
To give the Mito the new Alfa Romeo family feel the styling has been revised with new sports grilles, dark-finish headlamp bezels, revised rear bumper designs and new alloy wheels, as well as new Alfa White paint option. Inside, all models get new upgraded seat upholsteries, Uconnect Live services and a new finish on the centre console, dashboard and door trims. Naturally, the new Alfa Romeo logo features inside and out, while the Mito badge adopts the same script as that of the new Giulia.
Fleet managers will need to familiarise themselves with the different kinds of autonomous car technologies as they start to arrive on the market, says Arval, a leading vehicle leasing and fleet management company.
There will be no overnight shift to driverless vehicles - instead the next few years will see a range of stepping stones towards autonomous driving, explained Shaun Sadlier, Head of Consultancy at Arval UK. "There has been a lot of attention given to the recent announcement from Ford that they intend to have a fully autonomous, mass-market car available within five years. This is an ambitious target and it will be interesting to see their progress.
"While the planned car would most likely be initially operated as an autonomous taxi, this news still strongly signals that existing, major manufacturers are serious about the technology and believe it is viable for commercial use in what is a comparatively short space of time.
Volkswagen’s highly praised new up! city car is now available to order in all-electric form as the new e-up! four seater joins the refreshed up! range in the UK.
Expanding on the extensive appeal of the new up!, which has already been roundly praised for its style, versatility and quality, the new e-up! builds on the standard car’s accomplished packaging with a zero emission solution.
With its 82 PS electric motor the e-up! boasts a peak torque figure of 210 Nm, equating to a brisk 0-62 mph time of 12.4 seconds and it will keep on going, where the law permits, to 80 mph. The car boasts a maximum range of around 93 miles between charges.
PEUGEOT is completing the roll-out of its range of Euro 6 engines with the large van segment. The PEUGEOT Boxer will now be available with a new range of 2.0-litre BlueHDi Diesel engines, designed and produced by the PSA Group. BlueHDi technology has been tried and tested in PEUGEOT saloons and SUVs since 2013, treating up to 90% of NOx and 99.9% of even the finest particulates. Not only is it considered the most effective technology on the market for treating emissions; it has the added advantage of optimising fuel consumption and CO2 emissions. At the same time, PEUGEOT has extended the Boxer’s range of new, modern and efficient features, to make life easier for professionals and motorhome customers.