Google’s driverless cars to hit the market within 5 years

Google self-driving carFor anyone who is a bit bored of having to actually, you know, drive their own car and would rather be doing something else, such as playing Candy Crush, napping or munching on a burger, Google plan to have the solution all wrapped up by 2015 with their driverless cars. What started as a madcap project that was probably inspired by Eddie Murphy’s character in The Nutty Professor has now become a very serious reality, with the head of Google’s self-driving cars project, Chris Urmson, saying that the American giant has “made some pretty exciting progress and at this point we’re pretty convinced this technology is going to come to market.”

Being “pretty convinced” doesn’t sound very solid to us, but you have to admire Google’s guts, inventiveness – and their reasons. After all, the driving incentive behind the project is to make our lives safer, with Urmson pointing out that 1.2 million people are killed on our (the whole world’s) roads every year. To give that some perspective, it’s the equivalent of a 737 crashing every single day. Google’s driverless cars will be able to sort this issue out, as well as navigate traffic, make better U-turns than Lewis Hamilton and even detect obstacles in the road. If it spots a tenner, it’ll direct you to it (maybe). Backseat lovemaking will never be the same again …

Consumer Reports List Their Best Used Cars

Consumer Reports have always said that buying a used car gets you more bang for your buck. After all, a new car loses 27% of its value within one year. After two years, it’s lost more than half and you’re left tearing your hair out. “STOP LOSING VALUE!!! CHRIST!”

All the while, used car buyers are waiting in the wings, watching from a pub window, laughing. They’re smirking. They know that they’re about to get their hands on your depreciated-to-hell car, and they’re gonna get it for less than half the price you paid for it.

The problem for used car buyers is that picking a good one has never been easy. There are far too many bad eggs out there, and far too many dodgy sellers who drive off into the sunset minutes after they’ve knowingly sold you a crap car. So long, sucker!

This is why Consumers Reports decided this week that they’d compile a list of the best cars that will do what you want without breaking down after a week. The list includes the Hyundai Sonata 4 cylinder (2006-08), the Subaru Impreza (2010), the Kia Soul (2012), the Toyota Prius (2010-13), the Lexus RX (2006-08), and the Honda Accord (2008-12).

Nissan Bladeglider Production Stalls

A year ago, Nissan got us all excited by talking about their forthcoming Bladeglider, a narrow racer that would house a driver in the front with two passengers by their side at the back. It sounded like a really cool project, and the futurist-looking car looked like something we used to design when we were giddy kids, but owing to some changes at the top, it looks like Nissan are shelving the project – for now at least.

The brand’s new planning boss, big old meanie Phillippe Klein, says that the Bladeglider “is not among the immediate priorities … at the end of the day, it has to make sense to the company.” Oh, and the Nissan Murano Cross Cabriolet seriously made sense, did it? A car which everyone else could have made but didn’t because it was that rubbish? And what about the fossilised Nissan Sentra that’s older than my 101 year-old turtle? Sort it out, Nissan.

Honda To Flog Civic Hatch To U.S.

Honda hasn’t sold a Civic hatchback in the U.S. for a decade, but that could soon be about to change, as Japan’s Nikkei business daily hinted that the brand are ready to ship the UK built Civic to the U.S. from 2016 onwards. Although Nikkei failed to cite a source, they claimed that Honda would ship up to 40,000 Civic’s per year to North America – including the sought-after Type R that was recently unveiled at the 2015 Geneva auto show.

The changes in tactics from Honda are most likely down to the fact that sales in Europe have been poor, whilst their underused Swindon plant needs a pick-me-up. The plant is able to produce 250,000 vehicles a year, but only one of its two lines is currently in use. And with Honda expected to end production of the Honda Jazz there later this year, utilisation rates will take a further blow.

Nissan To Enter Indian Market With A Bang

Nissan want a slice of the Indian car market, and to achieve this goal they’re preparing to launch a $5,000 compact Datsun which they hope will give them a 5 percent share of the market. The car is as yet unnamed and is expected to be launched within the next 18 months. Their current cheapest option in India is the Datsun GO, which sells for just 324,000 rupees. Absolute bargain mate.

The unnamed car is expected to be both cheaper than the Datsun GO – and smaller. Nissan expect this will make it more competitive in India’s super-low-cost car market which is currently monopolised by the quaint Maruti Suzuki, a car that is certainly an acquired taste.

Developed out of an alliance between Nissan and Renault, the new Datsun model is Nissan’s best chance of breaking through the so-far elusive 5% threshold, with the current Datsun GO achieving about 2% share in the Indian car market.

Just watch Mercedes come along and ruin it by coming up with something better. I mean, a Datsun? Is that all you’ve seriously got Nissan?

Virgin Enter The Electric Car Market

Not content with blasting people into outer space, Richard Branson now wants his company, Virgin, to work on electric cars too. Elon Musk, chief product architect of Tesla, like Branson has plans to blast people into space. And Branson now wants to go head-to-head with the former PayPal co-founder in the electric car market.

“We have teams of people working on electric cars,” said Branson. “So you never know. You might find Virgin competing with Tesla in the car business as we do in the space business.”

We have long suspected that Virgin has plans to take over the universe, and so it was only a matter of time before they got involved in the electric car game. But it will have a long way to go to catch Tesla, who are presently preparing to launch a Model S that will never ‘unintentionally run out of charge.’

Will Titterington
  • 23rd March 2015

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