European CO2 emissions rise
The average CO2 emissions of vehicles registered last year in Europe rose compared with figures from 2018, vehicle data giant Jato Dynamics said.
Last year, the average for the 23 European markets totalled 121.8g/km under the NEDC regime – the third such annual increase in a row, with the company blaming a lack of demand for diesel.
“We don’t anticipate any change to this trend in the mid-term, indeed these results further highlight the industry’s need to adopt EVs at a rapid pace to reach emmissions targets,” said Felipe Munoz, global analyst at the company
Budget should ‘re-examine VED impact’
Next week’s Budget should be used as “an opportunity to re-examine the impact of Vehicle Excise Duty on rental companies and other businesses that keep new vehicles for less than a year”, medium-term rental company Meridian Vehicle Solutions.
The firm said the current inability to obtain a full refund on any outstanding balance from the first VED payment at registration could add hundreds of pounds per vehicle to running costs.
“The refund received is based on whichever is the lower of the initial registration payment or the rate for the standard, ongoing charge. The latter is usually much lower than the first, so there is often a substantial disparity,” said Phil Jerome, the firm’s MD. “There appears to be no particular reasoning behind this rule and it effectively adds an additional VED levy on rental companies like ourselves, as well as franchised dealer groups and car manufacturers, that keep most of their cars for less than 12 months.”
Seat developing anti-fatigue tools
Seat has announced it is researching and developing artificial intelligence technology to combat driver fatigue and improve road safety.
In conjunction with Eyesight Technologies, the car maker is developing technology that studies a driver’s eyes and head movement to detect if they’re falling asleep or distracted. It uses an algorithm which analyses the eye openness, angle of vision, blink rate and head position of the driver, along with other visual attributes.
In the event it detects that the driver is drowsy, asleep or perhaps distracted by their mobile phone, it will trigger an alert, while the firm added the technology can also identify the driver from previous trips and adjust the seats, mirrors, heating settings and other cabin features according to their personal preferences.