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Afternoon round-up: Skoda adds Alexa skill, £30m eco powertrain comp, Brexit freight study

Skoda adds Alexa skill to Connect app

Skoda Karoq SE Technology 2018

Skoda has integrated Amazon’s Alexa voice assistant into its Connect smartphone app, allowing owners to “interact with their vehicles on a whole new level”, the firm said.

By asking a question to Alexa-equipped devices, motorists can receive information about their vehicle, including the fuel level, the average speed of their last journey, and where they last parked.

To activate the function, owners need to add the Skoda Connect skill to Alexa, which will allow the Amazon personal assistant to access real-time information about the vehicle.

APC opens £30m competition to fund new powertrains

The Advanced Propulsion Centre has launched a £30 million competition to help fund the next-generation of low-carbon powertrains in the UK.

Funding is available to businesses of all sizes and the APC said it will fund various projects, including programmes to develop alternative propulsion systems, power electronics and energy storage technology, as well as lightweighting and thermal propulsion systems.

Ian Constance, chief executive of the APC, said: “The development of low carbon powertrain technology remains crucial to the future success of the UK automotive industry. This latest round of APC funding, and the innovations it will support, will help to further establish the UK as a leading destination for the development of low carbon technology.”

Transport Select Committee launches Brexit freight study

Ford Transit Custom 2017 facelift 1

The cross-party Transport Select Committee has launched an enquiry into the affects of Brexit on the freight and logistics industry.

According to the TSC, little has been said about the needs of the freight industry following the UK’s withdrawal from the European Union in order to continue the smooth operation of freight in the long-term.

“We’ve heard a lot about custom arrangements, border controls, tariffs and trade deals. But we haven’t heard enough about transport infrastructure, policy and regulation implications affecting freight operators and their customers. But from day one after Brexit, we will expect our goods to turn up and for life to continue as normal,” said Lilian Greenwood, chair of the Transport Select Committee. “We want to cast our evidence-gathering new as wide as possible, then focus on areas where government and industry actions will be most pressing, to prepare for both the challenges and opportunities of Brexit.