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Carmakers

  • Nissan’s shared car ownership scheme uses social profiling

    Nissan has announced what it calls the "world's first digitally powered" shared car ownership scheme. The Nissan Intelligent Get & Go Micra service was announced by the automaker at the Web Summit in Portugal, and will see users share ownership of the car, Nissan wrote in a press statement. "Social networking is at the heart of this plan, as Nissan is able to profile-match consumers to form next-generation car sharing communities through a 100 percent digital experience," it added. The service uses an algorithm that combines geo-location technology with social profiling to match compatible owners with "complementary" driving needs. The new car-sharing service from...

  • Avis now offers BMW i3 for chauffeur service

    Car rental service Avis now offers the BMW i3 in its fleet. "This is the first time BMW i3 will be available in the car rental sector in South Africa," BMW South Africa noted in a press statement. However, you won't actually be driving the electric car, as the BMW i3 will be used as part of the Point 2 Point chauffeur service. Avis has acquired the BMW i3 vehicles as part of their chauffeur service "Avis recently purchased three BMW i3 cars for their Point 2 Point fleet and four BMW i8s for their Luxury Fleet as part of their ongoing initiative to lower...

  • Tesla warned against Autopilot marketing in Germany

    Germany's transport ministry has called on Tesla to stop using the term "Autopilot" in marketing for their electric vehicles. "It can be confirmed that a letter to Tesla exists with the request to no longer use the misleading term Autopilot for the driver assistance system of the car," a ministry spokesperson told Reuters. A Tesla spokesperson defended the company's use of the term though, comparing Tesla's use of Autopilot to that of the aerospace industry. "Just as in an airplane, when used properly, Autopilot reduces driver workload and provides an added layer of safety when compared to purely manual driving," the spokesperson was...

  • Honda to recall 350 000 Civics in the US

    The American division of Honda has announced a recall of 350 000 Civic vehicles due to faulty parking brake software. At the time of writing, no crashes or injuries have been reported relating to the failure. Civic models from 2016 are being recalled to update their Electric Parking Brake software within the US. The issue of faulty software was discovered through customers returning the vehicle with claims and queries associated with the vehicle's brake warning light. The affected software, the Vehicle Stability Assist Electronic Control Unit, stops the electronic parking brake from engaging when it's initiated after the vehicle has been turned...

  • Audi kills off its electric R8 supercar – report

    Well, that was rather unexpected. The Audi R8 e-tron electric vehicle has been killed off by the German automaker, it has been reported. First revealed in 2015, the vehicle has seen "fewer than 100" units being built before the perplexing decision to drop the model, according to Car and Driver. "We could have built more than we did," an Audi representative told the publication. The car had a US$1-million price tag but was limited to the European market. Got an Audi R8 e-tron? Well, you're in an exclusive club now The move comes as more and more car manufacturers jump on the electric bandwagon, led by Tesla,...

  • This team managed to hack a moving Tesla from 19km away

    The idea of a connected car sounds like a great idea, but like all newly connected things, they're vulnerable to cyber-attacks. Now, Chinese security researchers have upped the ante, by remotely hacking a Tesla while it was moving. Researchers from Keen Security Lab were able to identify several vulnerabilities, using these security gaps to remotely control the Tesla Model S in parking and driving modes. The team used unmodified cars with the latest firmware to show off the attack. The company also published a video, showing the researchers being able to remotely pop open the boot/doors, adjust seats, turn on indicators and...

  • Tesla pushed envelope in terms of safety – Mobileye

    A tech firm that creates driver assistance systems claims that it ended its relationship with Tesla because the electric carmaker "pushed the envelope in terms of safety". Mobileye, which makes high-tech cameras and other assistance systems, told Reuters that Tesla's Autopilot system was not meant to deliver a driverless experience. "No matter how you spin it, (the Autopilot system) is not designed for that. It is a driver assistance system and not a driverless system," Mobileye's Amnon Joshua told the newswire. The comments came a few months after the two companies halted their relationship in July, and in the wake of at...

  • Tesla delivers big Autopilot upgrade with new firmware

    Tesla saw plenty of bad press thanks to a fatal crash in Autopilot mode earlier this year. However, the latest firmware update is heavily focused on improving this department. In a blog post detailing version 8.0 of the Model S firmware, Tesla explained that radar is now becoming the primary control sensor for Autopilot mode. Previously, it was used to feed supplementary data to the camera and image processing system. The company outlined some challenges in using radar as the main sensor. Radar isn't perfect "The radar can see people, but they appear partially translucent. Something made of wood or painted plastic, though opaque to...

  • The new Ford Figo: beware the lag

    When Ford first launched the Figo into the South African market back in 2010, it was pretty clear that it had VW's Polo Vivo firmly in its sights. Even the formula was the same: a cheap, basic car based on an older version of an existing model and rebadged. But after a week in the newest Figo, I'm not so sure that's the case any more. Between the looks, features, and tech, you get the feeling that the current Figo is aimed less at the "I can afford a new car too" market and more at the kind off...

  • VISION NEXT 100: Rolls-Royce reveals its first autonomous ‘floating’ car

    Rolls-Royce unveiled its vision of future automotive luxury at the Roundhouse in London last week, a fully autonomous spectacle of opulence called the “103EX”. The self-driving car was designed by Giles Taylor and his team as part of the VISION NEXT 100, a range of imaginative car concepts that not only celebrated BMW’s centenary birthday but aimed to envision what the next hundred years of car evolution will look like. “Rolls-Royce 103EX is our first ever vision vehicle, and embodies just one of the endless possibilities that awaits. A personalised icon for the future, providing a sanctuary of calm in...

  • How many BMW i3s have been sold in South Africa?

    BMW South Africa has revealed just how many i3 electric vehicles have been sold in the country. In a press release to announce the UberGreen promotion in Cape Town, BMW and Uber noted that 124 cars have been sold in South Africa since its March 2015 launch. The UberGreen promotion will see BMW i3 cars available as an option for Uber users in the Mother City, albeit for a limited time only. BMW and Uber also revealed that "close to 50 000" BMW i3s have been sold since its international launch in 2013. The German automaker's cheaper i-series vehicle goes from 0-100 in 7.2...

  • This is the new BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo

    If you're not a fan of the direction BMW is taking with its GT cars, avert your eyes now. The German auto giant has just announced the latest BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo, set to launch in July. According to BMW, the new 3 Series Gran Turismo is sportier and more fuel-efficient than its predecessors and will come with three petrol and five diesel engines, all offering higher outputs than the ones they replace. At 4 824 millimetres in length, the BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo is around 200 millimetres longer than the other members of the BMW...

  • Ford Focus ST: feel the power!

    "Be careful, it's fast". That was the warning given to me by a Ford representative when he dropped off the Focus ST at Burn Media HQ. I nodded my assent, but was quietly confident I could handle this muscular-looking beast. A week later, I'm still not really sure who handled who. You see, the ST is perfectly capable of handling everyday driving tasks with relative comfort and ease, but it doesn't take long before you find you realise that nothing about this car says "everyday". A very hot hatch While the hot hatch wars don't generate nearly as many...

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