Nissan and Fosters to create fuel station of the future

We all hate the price of fuel, and many of us find filling up our car to be a bit of a chore.

Fosters + Partners have paired up with Nissan in a bid to work on what they call the “fuel station of the future.”

Whether these fuel stations will still sell dodgy coffee and £1.50 bottles of water, we’re unsure.

But £100million is being pumped into this project by Nissan alone.

For now, the project will take a look at how fuelling stations will need to adapt to new market shifts towards new energy sources, such as electric power.

It will also take a look at autonomous cars, smart cities, and electric motors.

Head of Design at Fosters + Partner David Nelson said: “The aim of our collaboration with Nissan is to highlight the magnitude of the challenge that we face in evolving cities to meet our change.

“New technologies, alternative forms of fuel and changing trends within our society are all having a huge impact on the way we get around.”

Nissan and Co. will present their vision for the “fuel station of the future” towards the end of the year.

Watch this space.

Cops Make Almost £2mill By Selling Seized Cars

You know what it’s like when you work all the hours that God sends but you still haven’t got enough money to feed you and your family, your pets, and pay all the bills on time.

And don’t get me started on having some left on the side for a bit of leisure and good times.

So what do you do in these dire times of austerity, zero hour contracts and Iain Duncan Smith? You look for ways of making a bit of cash on the side. Wheeling and dealing and all that.

And it turns out that West Yorkshire Police are no different from the rest of us, as they made approximately £1.8million from selling seized vehicles from uninsured drivers in the last 3 years.

The cops confiscated over 13,000 vehicles from motorists who were not properly covered.

The find included a pair of Bentleys, a quintet of Porsches, and over 360 BMWs. The biggest seller raised £11,420 by itself. Back of the net.

At least 2,500 of them were sold at auction, raising £1million big ones for the coppers. A further 4,743 were flogged as scrap.

The amount of cars, trucks and motorbikes that West Yorkshire Police have removed from our roads is more than any other force besides the Metropolitan Police.

And the situation is only expected to stay the same, as more and more drivers are stopped without insurance. The AA said confiscating the car is simply not a good enough deterrent.

When we asked a copper what deterrent he thinks would solve the problem, he said there wasn’t a problem for him. And then winked.

Geezer.

Upon hearing the news, a zero hour contract worker we spoke to from Durham said they want to get into the seized car game, while some lads in Salford were also looking into the possibility.

“Our kids got a car I could seize,” said Harry ‘Mad Fer It’ Smith, as he mulled over whether to go for it. “And me dad’s got a new Audi on benefits. There’s no way he’s insured mate, no way. I’ll seize it tonight when he’s watching United on the TV.”

Uber Hires Car Hackers

International transportation network company Uber has been in hot water with taxi drivers recently for “stealing their business.”

Cheeky.

Meanwhile, regular readers of this column will remember that a pair of hackers recently remotely hijacked a Fiat Chrysler Jeep, exposing safety flaws.

Lads.

So it probably comes as little surprise that the world’s most controversial taxi app has got together with the world’s most infamous car hackers to do business.

It’s like an episode of Batman, isn’t it?

Charlie Miller and Chris Vasalek left their posts at Twitter and IOActive last week to work for Uber’s Advanced Technology Centre.

Launched in February earlier this year, the UATC focuses on research and development, and it will be Miller and Vasalek’s jobs to work on vehicle safety, mapping and autonomy technology.

One London cabbie we spoke to was sceptical, though, and smelled a rat: “I guess they’re gonna be ‘acking me cab ain’t they I’m tryna get to Brixton in me cab, they’re gonna remotely take control o’ me steering wheel and send me to bloody Tottenham ain’t they.”

Miller and Vasalek have always had their hearts in the right place, though, and only hacked vehicles to expose serious safety flaws.

So they said.

In 2013, they remotely hacked a Toyota Prius, before hacking a Fiat Chrysler Jeep earlier this summer.

The incident resulted in Fiat Chrysler recalling 1.4million cars to iron out the flaws.

But perhaps the pair will also need to work on Uber’s own security issues, as “malicious actors” hacked their data in April to gain access to 50,000 of its drivers license numbers.

Unless, of course, said actors were Vasalek and Miller.

BMW Invests In Startup That Will Help You Find A Parking Spot

BMW know a thing or two about cars, and they also know a thing or two about drivers pet hates.

And one of our prime pet hates is not being able to find a parking spot in the city.

Being stuck in traffic is one thing, but circling a city for an hour trying to find a place to park?

Nightmare.

Especially when it means driving around for an hour in your Proton. Someone you know is definitely going to spot you.

It’s even worse when you’re about to pull into a spot and some spotty beggar in a Vauxhall Corsa goes and nips in head first before you.

So the German giants have decided to sort it all out.

By investing millions in a San Francisco-based start-up that specialise in on-demand parking, BMW might be taking a bit of a financial risk, but they’re confident it will pay off.

ZIRX is essentially a start-up that rents parking spaces in the city in the form of garages.

Drivers then input their destination via an app, and ZIRX sends out a valet to meet the driver before taking the car to the secure spot.

If he likes the car, he’ll take it to Dubai.

When the driver is ready to head home, the valet returns the car to their location.

Unless he’s in Dubai.

ZIRX also offers lots of juicy extra features too, such as gas fill-ups and car washes.

No one has confirmed just how much BMW have put into this, but the Ultimate Parking Machine is said to have invested “multiple millions.”

No one has confirmed either how BMW and ZIRX will work together – or whether they even will.

Toyota Launches New Driving School In India

Toyota has courted quite a bit of controversy in recent weeks, what with hiring their first female executive before sacking her a month later. But this week they seem to finally be putting a bit back into the community.

Earlier this week, Toyota confirmed the launch of its brand new Toyota Driving School in Hyderabad, India.

It’s actually the third such school created by Toyota in the subcontinent, and is designed to help make safer, better drivers of all the Indians.

Blimey. It makes you wonder how scary they are at driving over there.

It also makes you wonder why the first two driving schools didn’t work out as planned.

Toyota’s vision is “Safest Car With Safest Driver” and their school aims to make all the students a safer, more responsible driver.

They have also launched the Toyota Express Service Facility in India, a service in which a serviced vehicle is delivered to a consumer within 60 minutes with “the highest standards of quality.”

By the end of the year, it is hoped there will be 14 such facilities across the country.

Managing Director of Toyota Kirloskar Motor, Naomi Ishii said: “With the launch of Toyota Driving School in the city we intend to make the journey towards safe India as smooth a ride as possible. The driving school will work towards inculcating safety habits among aspiring drivers and make every student a safety ambassador as well as a responsible driver.”

India – becoming a safer place since Ghandi.

Will Titterington
  • 4th September 2015

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