As the day nears when the hammer falls in Shannons Winter Auction, the company is spitting out information at the rate of knots with the latest news being the inclusion of ‘a procession of great European sporting nameplates from Italy, Germany and the UK’. Leading the parade is a beautifully presented, Australian-delivered, 1973 Ferrari Dino 246 GT coupe. Chassis number 07074 was one of the last right-hand drive 246 GT coupes imported into Australia and has had only three [ read more ]
Organic light emitting diode (OLED) is a new display and lighting technology used to create thin, very flexible, efficient and bright displays and lighting panels. It’s uses can include dashboard displays including instrument clusters, navigation, media, heads up displays, internal lighting, tail lights, turn indicators, digital rear-view internal mirrors and lots more. So, after mastering LED technology, the race is on between BWM and Audi to release the world's first production vehicle with OLED technology, with Audi announcing that it [ read more ]
THE TOPGEAR TEAM of Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May, along with long time executive producer Andy Wilman, will reunite to make a new car show available exclusively to Amazon Prime members. The award-winning team has committed to three seasons, the first of which is scheduled to premiere for Prime members early next year. WITH THE FOURTH round of the FIA World Endurance Championship season gearing up soon at the Nurburgring in Germany, the Nissan team is to join Porche [ read more ]
As the day nears when the hammer falls in Shannons Winter Auction, the company is spitting out information at the rate of knots with the latest news being the inclusion of ‘a procession of great European sporting nameplates from Italy, Germany and the UK’. Leading the parade is a beautifully presented, Australian-delivered, 1973 Ferrari Dino 246 GT coupe. Chassis number 07074 was one of the last right-hand drive 246 GT coupes imported into Australia and has had only three owners including its current long-term custodian who bought it in September 1984 with just less than 55,000 miles on the clock.
Records show that the Ferrari has been expertly maintained by Automoda in Sydney, repainting in its unique metallic green and the original vinyl trim replaced with leather. The engine was fully overhauled in 2006 and the five-speed gearbox was rebuilt in June, this year. Its exceptional provenance and the rapid appreciation of early Dinos on the world market as Ferrari prepares to reintroduce the ‘Dino’ nameplate on a new entry-level model, Shannons expect a price range of $260,000-$320,000.
Early Porsche enthusiasts should drive up the bidding for a restored 1964 Porsche 356C coupe that ‘lived’ in California for 27 years before arriving in Australia and converted to right hand drive. The vehicle was recently restored and fitted with an upgraded 1963 period type 616/15 Porsche engine. Features include the period radio, a German original-style tool roll, chrome wheels, new floor mats in the correct German weave material, a pair of genuine Porsche driving lights, two driver’s manuals, copies of old California titles and import approval papers. ($95,000-$110,000).
Another great sporting car from Germany is a 1966 Mercedes-Ben 230SL ‘pagoda roof’ convertible that has clocked up just 34,519 miles. From a private Mercedes collection, this early Pagoda has both hardtop and soft tops. ($82,000-$88,000).
Other vehicle include:
a refurbished 1971 Mercedes-Benz 350SL with both hard and soft tops ($15,000-$20,000)
a nicely refurbished 1970 Jaguar E-Type 4.2 Series II coupe (pictured above) one of the last two-seaters of its type, it has been extensive refurbishment and converted to RHD with many documented mechanical improvements including power steering. ($62,000-$68,000)
a well-restored 1951 MG TD from a small, well cared for private collection. ($20,000-$25,000)
a fully restored 1962 MGA 1600 MKII roadster with fully documented body-off rebuild in 2008. ($24,000-$30,000).
a nicely presented 1964 MGB Mk1 roadster that has been set up for track work with some engine work and larger 15-inch wire wheels. ($14,000-$18,000)
a nicely presented 1977 Triumph Stag MKII convertible that has undergone considerable mechanical refurbishment by Triumph specialists in recent years, including rebuilding its V8 engine, brakes and suspension. ($12,000-$15,000).
Organic light emitting diode (OLED) is a new display and lighting technology used to create thin, very flexible, efficient and bright displays and lighting panels. It’s uses can include dashboard displays including instrument clusters, navigation, media, heads up displays, internal lighting, tail lights, turn indicators, digital rear-view internal mirrors and lots more. So, after mastering LED technology, the race is on between BWM and Audi to release the world’s first production vehicle with OLED technology, with Audi announcing that it will launch the latest offensive in September, when it reveals its first OLED Matrix-equipped concept car at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September.
Audi has been promoting itself as the leading brand in automotive lighting technology and not surprisingly, sees a real future in the technology. BMW surely would disagree with the first part of that statement, but it seems to agree with the latter, having showcased an OLED taillight-equipped concept a last year’s Beijing Motor Show. Audi has been working on the taillights for years and is now ready to follow up the artistic OLED Swarm tail light with the Matrix OLED, a production-ready taillight design.
The technology is said to offer several advantages over other light technologies, including LED. OLED taillights provide flat, homogenous light with continuously variable dimming, need less cooling and don’t need reflectors or light guides, ensuring lightweight, efficient performance. The lights can also be organised into different color and brightness subgroups, opening up a whole new world of lighting design possibilities. Audi promises fast switchover times and clean, precise borders between lights of different groups.
The automaker is still perfecting the technology and plans to replace the current thin glass sheet with flexible plastic films that can be shaped into new, interesting three-dimensional light structures. Increases in light density will allow for brake lights and turn signals. The new lights are expected to debut on an electric crossover concept, previewing a future model scheduled for production in early 2018, or perhaps, an electric concept vehicle.
Continental has already demonstrated a new concept in which the three rear-view mirrors are replaced by cameras and two OLED HDR displays. The “Camera Monitor System” is said to improve safety, efficiency and comfort, eliminate glare, gives better protected against dust and dirt, eliminates exterior mirror damage, offers better vision in poor light and rain, minimises wind resistance and road noise and eliminates blind spots. The dual displays use 12.3″ full-HD OLED panels, mounted on the left and right of the A-pillar. Back in 2012, Audi installed a digital internal rear view mirror in its then new R18 racecar.
THE TOPGEAR TEAM of Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May, along with long time executive producer Andy Wilman, will reunite to make a new car show available exclusively to Amazon Prime members. The award-winning team has committed to three seasons, the first of which is scheduled to premiere for Prime members early next year.
WITH THE FOURTH round of the FIA World Endurance Championship season gearing up soon at the Nurburgring in Germany, the Nissan team is to join Porche and Audi in adding front and rear interconnected suspension (FRIC) its vehicles. FRIC made headlines last summer when FIA banned its use in Formula 1. FRIC interlinks the suspension components at each wheel through an actuator at each wheel that is interconnected by a system of hydraulic lines, controlled by a main, centralised accumulator. The system allows each wheel to manipulate stress across the suspension, reducing pitch and roll in certain parts of the vehicle and improving stability through fluid being transferred between wheels and corners of the car. During braking, when load transfer from front to rear becomes enormous, the FRIC system allows the down-force to be altered and the front of the vehicle raised, which in turn leaves room the fitting of a much more aggressive aero kit and front slitter.
BOSCH has renewed its partnership with Road Safety Education to supply a series of practical workshops aimed at changing the way young people think about road safety. RSE is a not-for-profit organisation committed to reducing road trauma through the delivery of evidence-based road safety education programs for high school students. Bosch will show students how its driver safety technologies use radar, ultrasound and video-based functions such as the predictive emergency braking system, side view assist, lane departure warning systems and night vision systems to improve driver safety.
Speculation has been growing in recent weeks that the result of the 2015 Le Mans 24 Hours was decided at least in part by fuel flow metering rather than the out right speed of the Audi R18 and Porsche 919. During the race the challenge from Audi, the pre-race favourites, faded for no clear reason. Porsche LMP technical director Alex Hitzinger spoke to Racecar Engineering following the race and revealed that he too was not clear why the Audi’s faded. During the race Paul Truswell of Radio Le Mans identified the loss in pace of the R18’s and was contacted by well known engineer Howden Haynes who speculated that the loss in pace may relate to the fuel flow meters used on the R18’s. If you’re interested in this sort of thing, Paul Truswell and Andrew Cotton investigate the real reasons behind the result at Le Mans this year and have published their findings in the August 2015 edition of Racecar Engineering.
When it comes to bespoke auto options wheelwright Vitesse-AuDessus is in a class of it own. Not that there’s any wood to be seen around the company’s premises in Bethesda (USA). Quite the opposite. It’s all about carbon fibre with the likes of Ferrari 458, Lamborghini Aventador and Porche 918 Spyder owners in mind. According to CEO Stefany Sanchez, in addition to looking dead-sexy, the wheels can reduce unsprung weight by as much as 50%, which should make for an noticeable performance increase: “Our fabrication process and methodologies are the same as those used by Formula 1 race teams and respected Sweden-based supercar manufacturer Koenigsegg. Each piece starts with carbon fibre fabric that has been pre-impregnated with resin so as to ensure the ideal ratio of fabric to resin for maximum cured properties.”
The prepreg fabric is laid and weave-matched by hand within CNC-milled aluminum moulds and then cured in a high temperature autoclave. Out of the autoclave, the piece undergoes rigorous inspection to ensure they are devoid of any flaw or imperfection. Passing inspection, the piece is then meticulously finished by hand and given one final inspection before delivery to the client. As you’d expect, this sort attention to detail doesn’t come cheap. Equipping each corner with OEM replacements starts at about $9000 with prices for the bespoke orders starting at around at $10,500 per wheel.
HEY THERE! Did you know that a new age in motorcycle apparel is upon us here in Australia? How come? Well, French label Segura has hit our shores with a deluxe range of jackets, pants, boots and accessories that are just made for the fashion conscious motorcyclist who holds safety, versatility and style at the forefront. Well, that’s what the company, founded in 1967, reckons and claims that its brand is highly regarded as the pioneering force behind motorcycle apparel with vintage elegance.
According to a spokeswomen for distributors Ficeda, Segura’s rich motorcycle history and passion for design trends and style is the catalyst for their diverse range of vintage and racing options, creating products that not only look amazing but are also CE safety approved.
“Segura combines dexterity, technical prowess and inimitable style to offer a range of clothing for every occasion imaginable, whether you’re jumping on the bike for a quick ride around the city, or heading out on the town with friends, Segura’s jackets are designed to be worn wherever and whenever. This unique diversity allows riders piece of mind, knowing they won’t need to change out of their riding gear no matter what circumstance they’re in,” she said.
So if you’re after soft, supple leather, a clean cut and an extremely comfortable fit…even if you don’t own a motorbike and can’t think straight…then Segura has you covered from head to toe. More information @ www.ficeda.com.au
BMW…or whichever company happens to own the brand this week…has released the most powerful Mini to ever enter serial production. From what has to be the worst press release ever written – and that’s saying something in an industry that seems to have English as its second language – it’s possible to glean that the latest in the Mini John Cooper Works range will cost $47,400+ with standard six-speed manual transmission, or $49.950+ with optional six-speed Steptronic transmission and features a 2.0 litre, four-cylinder, transverse mounted twin power turbo engine. In Chitty Chitty Bang Bang – rhyming slang – the information is definitely a Barry Crocker, but BMW-inspired quality design and build has once again turned out a Harry Kewell of a Danny Marr.
YOU CAN NEVER have too much shelter from mother nature’s wrath when you’re camping or exploring the Australian outback. Well that’s what Rhino-Rack reckon. So they’ve developed the Foxwing Eco 2.1 awning said to be the quickest way to gain additional refuge, no matter if it’s rail, hail or shine. The awning can be set up and packed down by one person in a matter of minutes, is perfectly suited for utilities and small to medium sized SUVs that have existing roof racks. Constructed from a lightweight polyester with a polyurethane coating, the material is UV resistant for all day sun protection, has a 2000mm waterproof rating, a mould resistant coating to keep you dry in a downpour and the beams and awning case are rust- proof, anodised aluminium.
THE2015 LZ FORD FOCUS range will debut EcoBoost engine technology, improved safety and a host of key visual and feature upgrades when it arrives in Ford dealers from October, says Ford. Standard across the LZ Focus range is a new fuel-efficient 1.5-litre EcoBoost engine with auto-stop start engine technology, 132kW and 240Nm and either a six-speed manual or auto trans. There’s also Ford’s MyKey system that allows parents to program a key that limits top speed, reduce maximum radio volume, disables the radio until the seatbelts are fastened and prevents deactivation of the driver assistance and safety technologies and driver assist technology standardised across select models. Other things include a blind spot information system (it’s amazing we still build new cars with blind spots) rear cross traffic alert and active city stop collision avoidance system that readies the brakes if a potential impact is detected, park assist and airbags just about everywhere.
MEANWHILE,a new 6-way fuse distribution box has been added to Narva’s 12-way product, aimed at eliminating messy wires particularly in RV, caravan and marine applications where limited earth connections are available. There’s an in-built common earth return that enables accessories to be wired back to the fuse box using a single negative feed point connected to a vehicle’s battery, dual power inputs, which allow accessories to be run from two separate circuits, or, outputs can be bridged to operate accessories from the one circuit or power source. The company has also launched a 13-pin European trailer adaptor that will eliminate the need for European vehicles to be retrofitted with Australian-compatible sockets by the selling dealership or importer. Fitment of the adaptor is said to be very simple using an intelligent double connection system. Once inserted into the vehicle’s socket, a simple twist and lock function secures the connection. For added peace of mind, a flat disc receiver on the adaptor also accepts the vehicle’s socket dust cap, further securing the connection and ensuring it won’t work itself loose even over rough road conditions. The adaptors are suitable for, but not limited to the Land Rover Discovery, Mercedes ML Series, VW’s Golf, Amarok and Caddy, the Audi Q Series and BMW X3, X5 and X6.
SIX GAMERS have been selected to represent Australia at the Nissan PlayStation GT Academy international race camp at Silverstone next month. Matthew Simmons, Elliott Schutte, Nick Dalton, Corey Creed, Tyler Blackburn and Simon Feigl will compete for the chance to become a professional racing driver for Nissan. They will be joined by former V8 Supercars champion and two-time Bathurst 1000 winner Rick Kelly, who will be a member of the judging panel and act as a mentor to the Australians (no conflict of interest there, lads). Last year’s Australian finalist Joshua Muggleton, narrowly lost out in the final to Mexico’s Ricardo Sanchez who is now racing a GT-R Nismo GT3 in the Blancpain Endurance Series in Europe.
IN OTHER NEWS –
The new Nissan NP300 Navara, recently launched in Australia and New Zealand, has stepped up to match a handful of its light commercial ute competitors achieving a five-star Ancap safety rating.
The big, bold sedan is back is the form of Chrysler’s new 300 (pictured above) that the company says offers unmistakable styling and world-class engineering, quality and technology.
Volvo Car Australia will join Australia’s national independent road research agency, the ARRB Group and the SA government in the first trial of a driverless vehicle on an Australian road. The trial will in November to coincide with the Driverless Vehicle Conference to be held in Adelaide on November 5-6.
The Australian Automotive Aftermarket Association has launched an online incident reporting system to monitor the performance of the recently signed Agreement on Access to Service and Repair Information for Motor Vehicles.
Is there anything beyond the reach of BMW’s desire to present itself as other than just another manufacturer of a product that we all love but one that is a major contributor to the rapid decline in the climate? Nowadays, almost every press release out of Munich that has an i after the BMW is said to stand for “visionary mobility concepts, progressive design and a new understanding of premium that is strongly defined by sustainability”.
The latest, somewhat tenuous, effort is to link up with that doyen of sustainability the bicycle, through the patent for a drive unit swing arm! Apparently, this answer to global warming, is in the form of a new kind of frame technology for full-suspension eBikes featuring a mid-motor has gone into production at the HNF eBike factory.
According to Bayerische Motoren Werke AG, the concept allows the drive train, which was previously firmly attached to the main frame, to float freely, eliminating the need for the conventional chain tensioner. This permits for the first time the combination of a rear suspension and the durable, maintenance-free carbon belt drive on full-suspension eBikes, resulting in outstanding propulsion and handling characteristics.
“In accordance with the principle of four-joint kinematics with a virtual rotary axis around the spindle, the BMW drive unit swing arm is guided in such a precise way as to prevent the relative position of the mid-motor spindle unit from deviating in relation to the main frame. In conjunction with the shock linkage, this swing arm connectivity facilitates long spring travel of up to 150 mm on the rear wheel.
“One of the dynamics-related advantages of the drive unit swing arm is the fact that it functions without recoil from the pedal. Compared with other rear-mounted suspension concepts, which are specifically optimized for muscle-powered drive systems, there is no stiffening of the rear swing arm when the electric motor is providing a high degree of assistance such as during acceleration, constant travel at high speeds or on hills.
“The suspension can respond sensitively at any time, ensuring excellent grip and high traction. As the proportion of human driving force is relatively small, there is no unpleasant rocking movement when accelerating or breaking. Even in the event of extremely uneven terrain it is possible to pedal smoothly and efficiently.”
It’s almost 50 years since Sir Thomas Playford officially opened a little car museum at Braidwood Mill in the Adelaide Hills. Originally established by motoring enthusiasts Jack Kaines and Len Vigar and later renamed the National Motor Museum, it is now one of those ‘must visit before I die’ places for any serious motoring enthusiast. And what better time to visit than on Sunday, 22 November, for the 50th Birthday Picnic at the Mill celebrations? Attractions will include a display of about 400 vehicles on the grounds, including cars, motorcycles, vans and buses, a special displays of gold and 1965 vehicles, a photographic exhibition telling the story and history of the Birdwood Mill and museum, ‘60s live music, old style picnic games, kids activities, etc.
Or, why not make a weekend of it by visiting the museum on the Saturday and view the largest collection of motor vehicles in Australia that includes the much-prized and historically significant Shearer Steam Carriage, built in 1899 and a 1963 Zeta manufactured by the South Australian Company Lightburn. The vehicles on display evoke memories for thousands of visitors each year and the stories they tell have immense appeal for families and tourists alike. The museum is also renowned for its major annual events such as the Rock & Roll Rendezvous and Bay to Birdwood.
This official promotional video to promote the Lincoln’s second album Teddy Boy Rock n Roll was filmed at Mix Master Studios, Adelaide. It’s an action packed rockin’ CD that has something for the boppers, jivers and the strollers and should give you a good idea of the sort of atmosphere to expect at the 50th Birthday Picnic at the Mill. It’s only five bucks entry for adults and concessions with children under 15 years in for free. The National Motor Museum is at Shannon Street, Birdwood. More @ http://nationalmotormuseum.com.au
A magnificent and distinctive 1925 Rolls-Royce Phantom I two-door sports saloon that once belonged to a famous Australian singer, will take centre stage at Shannons Sydney Classic Winter Auction on August 10. Hot on the heels of the company’s Melbourne Winter Auction, where a 1920 Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost 40/50HP saloon sold for $371,000, the Phantom is one of two superb vintage Rolls-Royces in the Sydney sale.
The Phantom was delivered to its first owner in England fitted with conservative Baker Limousine coachwork, but after arriving in Australia in 1930 it was re-bodied as a very stylish two-door sports saloon by renowned Melbourne coachbuilder Martin & King for its then-owner R. C. Cleland. A notable feature incorporated in its new body were the 26 separate warning lights and indicators designed by Mr Cleland. These included turning hands at the front, arrows at the rear, pilot lights on the near side, courtesy lamps on the running boards, reversing lights, ditch lights designed to illuminate drains on country roads and even red and green passing lights.
The Rolls-Royce with its powerful 7.6 litre in-line six cylinder engine was also equipped for serious long distance touring and featured a purpose-built radio with a 2000-mile range, folding seats that converted into a bed and long-range fuel tanks mounted in the boot. For a period leading up to World War II, the vehicle belonged to the world famous baritone Peter Dawson. Considerable mechanical refurbishment was carried out recently by marque specialist Garth Selig’s Rolls-Royce Repair and Restoration Services in Wetherill Park, Sydney and the car has covered just 700 miles since. According to Shannons, the Phantom drives well and its burgundy and black coachwork remains in generally good order. Most of R. C. Cleland’s novel lights have been disconnected but it is understood that they could be re-activated. For its style and wonderful provenance, the Shannons is estimating that it will fetch between $100,000-$125,000.
As an alternative for collectors, Shannons also have a very desirable 1934 Rolls-Royce 20/25HP H.J.Mulliner Saloon with a distinctive and documented history. Chassis GAF62 was originally delivered, with its current saloon bodywork, to the High Sherriff of Herefordshire, a serial Rolls-Royce customer, whose purchases included no less than eight 20/25 cars. A number of the vehicle’s distinctive features included special vent windows on the front doors and a ‘Dover spring steering wheel’, a novelty at the time. The car found its way to America, as did so many classics in the post-WWII period, before eventually arriving in Australia in the late 1980s where just three owners have cared it for in the past 25 years.
This Roller has also been the subject of considerable mechanical refurbishment; it starts on the button first time, runs beautifully and reportedly drives exactly as a well-sorted 20/25 should. Because of its period originality, mechanical condition and provenance, Shannons expect it to sell in the $58,000-$68,000 range. As a much more affordable alternative is a nicely presented 1979 Silver Shadow II V8 saloon, finished in distinctive metallic blue over silver, with a well-maintained parchment leather and typical burr walnut interior, which should sell in the $18,000-$22,000 range. More info @ www.shannons.com.au
Electric car sharing represents an important pillar of efforts to help create a sustainable model for urban mobility, reduce traffic volumes and improve the quality of life in cities. All of which is why the BMW Group in Europe has brought together a team of experts to work with cities and other stakeholders on concepts for future mobility in urban areas. The company’s Centre of Urban Mobility Competence has officially started operations at the same time that 100 all-electric BMW i3 vehicles are being made available to DriveNow car sharing customers in Berlin, Hamburg and Munich. The vehicle has already been added to London DriveNow fleet and other cities in Germany and Europe will soon follow suit.
DriveNow has added more than 470,000 customers around the world over the last four years, including 430,000 in Germany and 120,000 in Berlin alone). For the past couple of years, the web-based company has been running 60 all-electric BMW ActiveE cars in Munich and Berlin as part of the WiMobil and ePlan research projects. Reports suggest that the vehicles have performed well in day-to-day use and will now be replaced by 40 BMW i3s in Berlin, 30 in Hamburg and Munich.
According to DriveNow’s Nico Gabriel, the initiative has put around 3000 people per month behind the wheel of an all-electric vehicle for the first time: “In so doing, we have sparked their enthusiasm for electric mobility and the introduction of the BMW i3 into our fleet is the logical next step that will soon be followed by a range of others in Germany, Europe and around the world.”
The BMW Group also believe in the important role electric car sharing has to play in driving forward electric mobility in Germany. Vehicles involved in electric car sharing schemes boost the use of charging points in cities and on a more predictable basis. This rapidly makes electric mobility visible and more easily accessible to local people, turning it from a niche activity into an everyday reality, breaking down barriers and easing the pathway into electric mobility.
Electric mobility and car sharing represent two important building blocks for the BMW Group when it comes to working with cities to develop revolutionary mobility concepts. The company’s Bernhard Blättel claims that significant change has taken place within the BMW Group that is setting out to establish itself as the leading supplier of premium products and premium services for personal mobility worldwide.
“We are witnessing the changes our customers and society as a whole, are making and we are taking them on board. Our aim is to work towards developing a higher quality of life in cities with ample space for urban living. Set up at the start of this year, the Urban Mobility Competence Centre has since provided us with a team of experts who are working with cities and the associated stakeholders to develop and implement new concepts for future urban mobility. In the BMW Group’s view, it is possible to further improve mobility for people living in urban areas. It is not a contradiction in terms to improve mobility and at the same time ensure cities offer a high quality of life for the people who live there.”
The company believe that the quality of life in our increasingly densely populated cities can be improved significantly by putting public spaces to different use. One to achieve this is by freeing up a large portion of the parking areas currently required. To make this possible, mobility concepts and frameworks need to be in place that can spark people’s enthusiasm for urban mobility beyond their own car.
“Local public transport continues to provide the backbone of mobility services in urban areas. Complementing local public transport with car sharing schemes and other modes of transport, and creating seamless intermodal connections, allows people to use all the routes through a city. This results in a significant reduction in the volume of cars looking for parking spaces and in the number of parking spaces required, not to mention improvements in air quality and noise emissions,” Bernhard added.
The German government’s car sharing legislation fundamentally address this approach, enabling cities to offer parking privileges for car sharers over private car users. Assuming that these kinds of incentives apply in equal measure for users of station-based and non-station-based car sharing, cities would be able to make substantial progress when it comes to extending the reach of sustainable mobility. The same applies to Germany’s electric mobility legislation, which, among other things, gives cities the option of designating parking areas exclusively for electric vehicles. This can also help local authorities meet their aims when it comes to limiting vehicle emissions. Indeed, authorities can combine such an approach with a well-thought-through strategy for sustainable urban development to set the tone and embark on a course towards creating an environment that provides a higher quality of life.
The BMW Group has recognised the changing nature of the challenges it faces when it comes to mobility and claims to have broadened its corporate strategy accordingly. Between now and 2020, the carmaker aims to be the leading supplier of premium products and premium services for personal mobility worldwide. Alongside DriveNow, this involves other services such as ParkNow and ChargeNow. The substantial pressure on parking in central areas of cities around the world gives rise to considerable traffic congestion and additional emissions, caused by people looking for parking spaces – and with it unnecessary emissions. For drivers, this is often the most unpleasant part of a journey.
ParkNow serves as an integrated platform on which to manage parking using both public areas and private spaces. There are also advantages when it comes to parking space monitoring in cities if parking tickets can be paid for online and the number of ticket machines reduced. Depending on parking demand, it is also possible to use real-time information in cars to manage traffic by showing drivers the likelihood, based on a learning algorithm, of a space being available on a given street.
“If there are no parking spaces available in a particular area, this allows traffic caused by people looking for spaces there to be avoided from the outset. This idea can be extrapolated to provide another parking management option such as pegging parking prices to current demand, said Bernhard.
“The intermodal route guidance function integrated into the navigation system of the BMW i3 moves things forward another step. When route guidance is activated, this function shows not only the most efficient route to the desired destination by car, but also an intermodal connection, should this provide the most efficient solution. For example, a switch onto local public transport, using precise timetable data, or a rental bike can be integrated into the route guidance process.”
The intermodal route guidance function, which will be introduced gradually across all the BMW Group’s vehicles, allows additional traffic to be avoided and the driver to be pointed actively in the direction of alternative local public transport options. BMW says that the top priority of the Competence Centre is to safeguard mobility for all users at its current level at the very least. The company believes that deprivation or coercion are viable options and that the types of mobility available will be improved and coordinated so effectively that people will adopt them as a logical consequence.