News Archive


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.


CLASSIC CARS OFTEN FAIL THEIR MOT

CLASSIC CARS OFTEN FAIL THEIR MOT

27/09/2021 17:45:45

Exclusive new data from the DVSA has revealed 18.4 per cent of classic cars aged over 40 years old failed MOT tests, despite there being no legal obligation for owners to have one carried out. Obtained via a Freedom of Information request by bookmygarage.com, the data showed 121,204 classic cars aged over 40 years old voluntarily had an MOT test between January 2019 and June 2021. Since May 2018, cars aged over 40 years old (classed by the DVLA as 'historic' vehicles) have been exempt from MOT tests and road tax, though owners are still responsible for keeping their vehicles in roadworthy condition. Failure to do so can result in a fine of up to £2,500 and three penalty points. The reasons behind voluntary MOT tests being carried out likely stems from owners or perspective buyers of classic cars seeking reassurance that the vehicle is in a safe condition. In addition, any cars which have been 'substantially modified' in the last 30 years, will also still legally require an MOT test. Of the cars tested, Dodge had the highest failure rate with over half (55.2 per cent) failing, followed by BMC (Austin-Morris) at 39.3 per cent and Volkswagen at 31.9 per cent. However, numerous renowned manufacturers also had clean sheet records with zero recorded failures, including Bentley, Wolseley, Saab, Peugeot, Opel, Toyota and TVR. The DVSA data showed newer classic cars were more likely to fail than their older counterparts, as 1970s cars are three times as likely to fail than those from the 1950s. In 2020, just 41,000 historic vehicles were tested, down 32 per cent on 2019, due to the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.


BOND FEVER DRIVES ASTON SEARCHES

BOND FEVER DRIVES ASTON SEARCHES

20/09/2021 16:31:32

Growing James Bond fever is driving up demand for some of the franchise's most iconic cars - including the Aston Martin DB5 and V8 saloon - according to data from PrestigeDriverApp. Searches for Aston Martin DB5s have increased by 45 per cent in the past 30 days, with collectors, car buffs and superfans clamouring to own a piece of Bond history as the new release reignites interest in the super sleuth's iconic car collection. The Aston Martin DB5 is the most iconic Bond car and to date has featured in eight films, including Goldfinger, Thunderball, Goldeneye, Casino Royale and new release No Time To Die. Searches for Aston Martin V8 saloon - another iconic Bond supercar which is also set to feature in the new release - have increased by 29 per cent; whilst searches for the Lotus Esprit (the submarine car made famous by Roger Moore in the Spy Who Loved Me) and the BMW Z8 (driven by Pierce Brosnan in the World is Not Enough) have also risen. Reuben Smith of PrestigeDriverApp said: "James Bond is synonymous with driving some of the world's most exclusive supercars and it is no surprise that as excitement grows for the new release collectors are once again switched on to some of the film's most iconic cars. Although in the original Ian Fleming books, Bond's car of choice was a Bentley, Aston Martin is probably the car maker most associated with the films and there have been numerous models featured in the franchise over the years - including the DB5, V8, V12 Vanquish and made-to-order DB10. "We have seen searches for Bond's favoured car brands (including Aston Martin, Lotus, BMW and even Bentleys) increase across the board over the past 30 days as excitement surrounding the long-awaited film starts to build. And buyers could be on to something - the classic car market is booming and if purchased at the right time and kept in good condition, the returns on prestige cars (especially those associated with the James Bond franchise) could outperform property, art or gold."


THREE-QUARTERS OF CARS IN UK BOUGHT FROM CAR SHOWROOMS

THREE-QUARTERS OF CARS IN UK BOUGHT FROM CAR SHOWROOMS

14/09/2021 12:44:23

The majority of car owners (76%) buy their car from a car showroom, rising to 86% of over 66s, compared to just 58% of under 34s. The survey of 2,000 UK drivers, commissioned by InsuretheGap.com, finds that drivers, who prefer to buy from showrooms, do so because: 1. 34% wish to part-exchange their vehicle; 2. 33% want a showroom warranty - this is particularly important for over 66s (41%), compared to under 34s (25%); 3. 21% like a showroom's after-sales service; 4. and 11% want to be able to access finance options. In contrast, almost one in ten (9%) prefer to buy a car online or privately so they don't have to deal with car salespeople (10% men and 8% women) and 12% say they can get a better deal not buying through a showroom. The remaining buyers purchase cars from a private seller (9%), car supermarkets (4%), online retailers (3%) and gifts from family members (3%). One in twenty (5%) drivers are happy to buy a car online without even seeing it (8% men and 3% women), rising to one in ten (11%) under 34s, compared to 4% of over 55s. 9% would also buy a car without a test drive (11% men and 6% women). Ben Wooltorton, Chief Operating Office of InsuretheGap.com said: "Car showrooms continue to be the Goliath of the car industry, and remain the go-to place for most car purchases. Drivers clearly feel confident in the quality of vehicles offered and the overall service. What I do find surprising is how many people are happy to either buy a car they haven't seen or one that they haven't even test driven!"


CARS CREATING THE MOST ONLINE BUZZ

CARS CREATING THE MOST ONLINE BUZZ

14/09/2021 12:43:21

Car fans love to show off their favourite vehicles on social media and chat and debate with other petrol heads, whether it's the latest supercar that they can only dream of owning or their very first car of their own after finally passing their driving test. But which are the cars that get discussed and posted about the most online? Social media is a vital way of gaining exposure for brands of all kinds and it's no different for cars, so we've taken a look at which vehicles generate the most discussion online, taking into account three factors: mentions on Twitter, mentions on Instagram, and a number of posts on Reddit. Taking the top spot is Nissan's legendary GT-R supercar, which as well as being the most mentioned car on Twitter, was also the second-most popular car on Reddit. The GT-R is the successor to the Skyline GT-R and has been one of the most popular supercars for 13 years now and is popular amongst petrol heads for being one of the more affordable supercars on the market. In second is another iconic model, the Ford Mustang, which is by far the most talked-about car on Instagram, with over 14 million posts mentioning it. It dates all the way back to 1964 and essentially started the "pony car" trend in the US, inspiring similar models such as the Chevrolet Camaro and Dodge Challenger. Its latest evolution is the all-electric Mach-E model which launched in 2020. The Honda Civic has a loyal fan base thanks to its long-standing history and family-friendly targeting. The compact car was initially known for being a reliable, fuel-efficient runaround, but later models such as the Type R, VTi, GTi, and Si have shown a sportier, higher-performance side to the Civic.


KIA SORENTO THE UK'S FASTEST SELLING USED CAR

KIA SORENTO THE UK'S FASTEST SELLING USED CAR

01/09/2021 16:32:38

According to the latest data from Auto Trader, the 2015 Kia Sorento (diesel automatic) is the UK's fastest selling used car taking an average of just 18 days to leave forecourts. It means the popular Korean SUV is selling over a week faster than the current 26-day average for a used car to sell. The speed at which SUVs are currently leaving forecourts reflects the huge levels of consumer demand in the market. Based on searches and advert views they are the most in demand body type on Auto Trader, and by some margin, with levels increasing over 14% year-on-year (YoY) this month. In second place is hatchbacks (+11%), followed by coupes (+7%), saloons (+3%), estates (+1%), convertibles (0%), and MPVs (-10%), the only body type to see levels of demand contract this month. Whilst the consumer appetite for 4x4s and crossovers continue to accelerate, the level of supply into the market is comparatively more conservative, albeit a still robust 7% YoY. This slight imbalance of supply and demand has not only given SUVs a solid market health, a 7% YoY increase, but also helped drive used prices up significantly. Last week, the average price of a used SUV was £22,859, which marks a huge year-on-year increase of 16%; ahead of the current total market average of 15.2%.


RISING INTEREST IN HYBRID CARS

RISING INTEREST IN HYBRID CARS

01/09/2021 16:31:07

Over half (52%) of Brits believe their next car is likely to be a hybrid vehicle but despite this strong intention to go greener, 68% of petrol and diesel drivers feel like they do not know enough to buy one. New research from Honda indicates that this knowledge gap is one of the contributing factors to Brits taking over a year (13 months) on average to purchase a hybrid vehicle - highlighting a gap between people's green goals and car purchases. When it comes to technology, the research revealed that hybrid drivers consider themselves to be early adopters. A third (33%) say that they are likely to try new technology before friends and family, in comparison to 18% of fossil fuel drivers. This attitude also influences whether they update other items of personal tech, with only 15% of diesel and petrol drivers likely to upgrade their mobile phones before others, in comparison to 27% of hybrid drivers. This contrast is consistent when it comes to vehicles too. Petrol and diesel drivers tend to favour the familiar, with 57% agreeing that purchasing a hybrid would be a "leap in the dark". It is perhaps understandable then that those looking for a little more tech in their lives prefer hybrid cars. Hybrids offer a great combination of petrol and electric virtues, enabling quiet, zero-emission running at lower city speeds with the power of a petrol engine available at higher speeds, along with quick, conventional refuelling for longer journeys. Some combine this innovation under the bonnet with the latest in-car gadgets too; the all-new Honda Jazz e:HEV offers WiFi hotspot capability, an AI-powered personal assistant and a My Honda+ app to keep owners connected to their car remotely.