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LOCKDOWN BOOST AS LUXURY CARS JUMP UP THE TOP 10 LIST

LOCKDOWN BOOST AS LUXURY CARS JUMP UP THE TOP 10 LIST

08/11/2021 16:42:32

Mercedes-Benz cars jumped two places in the UK rankings of most popular cars during the pandemic, climbing from eight before the country's first lockdown, to six in 2020 and 2021 - the only significant change in the top ten table. A luxury motor might not be the obvious choice amidst a penny crunching global pandemic, but many consumers have surplus savings given their lack of holidays and socialising during lockdown. Research from a consumer insight report shows households earning over £28,000 were able to save more than usual during the pandemic. According to data from Quotezone, the top three reasons people borrowed money during the pandemic were to purchase a car, consolidate their debts and to do home improvements - with car purchase as number one. Other luxury cars, such as Land Rover, are also on the move up the top 20 table, jumping from 19th in 2019 to 17th in 2020 and then 14th in 2021. BMW and Audi held steady at 4th and 5th respectively across all three years. Luxurious motors became increasingly popular right across the UK, with Northern Ireland picking up a luxury car in its top three as Audi move from 4th in 2019 and 2002 up to 2nd in 2021. Scotland see Mercedes-Benz move up the top 10 list from 9th to 8th, and Wales see Audi enter the top five for the first time in three years. Greg Wilson, Founder of Quotezone.co.uk, comments: "The pandemic has given some drivers the opportunity to trade in their motor for the luxury car they've always wanted - with work from home keeping mileage to a minimum and reducing the need for inner city parking which can be both risky and expensive. "In a year without foreign holidays and weekends away it perhaps makes sense that people took the opportunity to upgrade their vehicles. However just because customers bought a high-end vehicle doesn't mean they should pay high-end prices. Comparison sites help customers compare and save, no matter how expensive the car."


FORD BRAIN RESEARCH - WHY DRIVERS DROP OFF AT THE WHEEL

FORD BRAIN RESEARCH - WHY DRIVERS DROP OFF AT THE WHEEL

14/10/2021 16:36:36

Ford is pioneering new brain research that could ultimately lead to a faster and more accurate way to detect when the driver is starting to switch off behind wheel. Alerting drivers who are tired or distracted far earlier could help keep drivers, passengers and other road users safe, with driver fatigue cited as a contributing factor in up to 25 per cent of fatal and serious road incidents. A survey shows that 40 per cent of drivers in Europe do not follow the recommended practice of taking a break every two hours on long journeys. "The brain processes huge amounts of information when we are driving, but that may change as driver assistance technologies do some of the driving for us. Drivers also get tired and their minds can wander. Identifying more quickly when this happens could be of critical importance," said Stefan Wolter, research engineer, Research and Advanced Engineering, Ford of Europe. Working with neuroscientists, Ford is hoping that by identifying the brain responses that reveal lapses in concentration, it may then be possible to match the scans to their physical manifestations - such as changes in heart rate or breathing. Should a loss in concentration become apparent, for example if a change in heartbeat variability was detected via wearable technology, the vehicle could then alert the driver. As driver assistance technologies offer increasing levels of support to those behind the wheel, it remains crucial drivers stay alert and do not become overly reliant on assistance technologies. Ford is conducting this research on mapping brain patterns to driver's reactions with Uniklinik RWTH Aachen, in Germany. The testing involves participants completing a driving simulation while their brain activity is scanned by an MRI machine. A specially positioned mirror enables the participants to see the simulation on the screen. The scenario, designed using gaming technology, involves a three-lane motorway at night where a vehicle in the middle lane brakes suddenly and the participant has to take over and move the car to the left or right, using a handheld device. The participants are also prompted by engine sounds to indicate which lane it is safe to move to. The MRI machine scans the brain before and during these actions, while the researchers measure how quickly the participant reacts and if they make the right decision, and monitor changes to heart rate, breathing rate and other physiological measures.


USE YOUR FORD FOR PARCEL DROP-OFF
USE YOUR FORD FOR PARCEL DROP-OFF

USE YOUR FORD FOR PARCEL DROP-OFF

07/10/2021 09:55:21

As many return to the workplace, the likelihood of missing crucial deliveries increases. Even those at home may prefer not to interrupt a conference call or other activity to answer the door. With the boom in online shopping, and the resulting challenge for logistics companies to create more efficient and safe deliveries, Ford and Hermes UK have come up with a solution. Why not have parcels delivered to your car, where they will be safe, dry and can be picked up when convenient? Launched in selected areas of the UK this month, the Secure Delivery to Vehicle pilot will enable parcels to be delivered directly to vehicles located at the owner's home address. The project also speeds up deliveries by saving drivers from having to knock on doors, climb stairs or find a neighbour to take the parcel when you're not home. The delivery-to-vehicle option is offered to customers with FordPass, expanding the range of connected services already available via the app. The option comes at no extra cost and ensures social distancing requirements are adhered to. As the pilot expands, Ford and Hermes UK hope to increase the number of participants and broaden the project's scope, such as by offering "returns" from the vehicle and enabling vehicle deliveries at other locations, for example at the customer's work address. How it works When shopping with selected retailers, those taking part in the pilot will have "delivery-to-vehicle" as the standard option for delivery and provide details of its location. Customers will also be able to have a home delivery, if preferred. Once the delivery driver is within 300 metres of their destination, the exact location of the customer's vehicle is displayed on the Hermes app. Within 50 metres, the driver scans the barcode on the customer's parcel to create a one-time unlock token for the vehicle. This enables the driver to unlock the boot and deposit the package. For added security, if the delivery driver fails to lock the vehicle after making the delivery, the vehicle locks automatically within a set time period. Locating the vehicle and remote unlocking/locking is enabled through permissions granted by the recipient via the FordPass app. If the vehicle is not within 300 metres of the selected delivery-to-vehicle address, the parcel is delivered to the recipient's home address. This also applies to parcels that are too large to fit in the vehicle.


BOND FEVER BOOSTS ASTON MARTIN

BOND FEVER BOOSTS ASTON MARTIN

07/10/2021 09:54:05

A few things come to mind when you think of James Bond: martini's, suave suits and of course his iconic Aston Martin. New data from Chill Insurance has revealed that demand for Aston Martin's has increased by 110% in the UK in the past month, as the world enjoys the new James Bond flick 'No Time to Die', Daniel Craig's last assignment as James Bond. Using Google search data, Chill identified a huge spike in demand for the luxury car brand, famously driven by 007 throughout the franchises' 26 films. James Bond movie memorabilia can be notoriously expensive, with lifelong fans eager to get hold of a piece of film history. These are the most expensive James Bond Aston Martin's ever sold: - Aston Martin DB5 (appeared in Golden Finger & Thunderball) Sold at Pebble Beach in 2019 - Sold for £4.6 million - Aston Martin DB5 (appeared in 1995 Golden Eye) Sold at Goodwood Festival of Speed in 2018 - Sold for £1.9million - Aston Martin DB10 (appeared in Spectre) Sold at Christie's, London in 2016 - Sold for £2.4 million


DOUBT ABOUT DRIVER-LESS CARS

DOUBT ABOUT DRIVER-LESS CARS

07/10/2021 09:50:21

A study by Volkswagen Financial Services UK (VWFS) has revealed that 46% of British motorists think they'd be a better driver than driverless cars powered by Artificial Intelligence. Regionally, it's Scottish people who are Britain's most confident drivers with 54% of Scots answering that they'd trust their own driving skills over driverless vehicles. People living in northern England are the second most likely group to back their motoring prowess over driverless cars (48%), followed by people in the South East (47%) and respondents in the Midlands (46%). However, just four in ten people (40%) in Wales and the South West feel they'd be better drivers than driverless cars. Generationally, 18-24 year olds believe in their driving abilities most (52%) whereas just 39% of over 75s think they'd be a better driver than a driverless car. The Department for Transport announced earlier this year that self-driving vehicles could be allowed on UK roads by the end of 2021, with automated lane-keeping systems (ALKS) the first type of hands-free driving legalised. The government says the market in the UK could be worth as much as £42 billion by 2035, capturing around 6% of the £650 billion global market, and creating approximately 38,000 new jobs. The research from Volkswagen Financial Services UK also found that almost a quarter of Brits (24%) think the first fully driverless car will be available to consumers in five to ten years, whilst 8% think they'll never hit the mass market. Just 4% of respondents felt that a fully driverless car will be available to consumers within the next 12 months. And many consumers are not completely convinced by the idea of a driverless car, with only one in five people (21%) saying they're likely to buy a driverless car if and when they become available. However, men are significantly more likely than women to answer that they would be likely to purchase a driverless car (29% versus 13%). As expected, younger people also indicate a greater likelihood to purchase a driverless car. Respondents aged between 25 and 34 years old are ten times as likely to buy a driverless car than people aged 55 to 64 years old (50% versus 5%). Most people who are interested in driverless cars say they would expect to spend their time listening to music (44%) whilst behind the wheel, but 22% of people would still be focusing on the road. Other popular activities envisaged by this group included watching TV or a film (25%), reading (25%), sleeping (20%) and checking emails (17%). The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) has said automated driving systems could prevent 47,000 serious accidents and save 3,900 lives over the next decade through their ability to reduce the single largest cause of road accidents - human error.



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