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Your car can have all the safety equipment in the world but if you don’t drive in line with prevailing road and weather conditions it can all be for nothing.

That was forcibly brought home to me recently as I watched several cars tailgating and cutting across lanes on the M50 in the torrents of rain.

It takes long enough to slow down under normal conditions. But your tyres, for example, can’t grip as effectively on saturated underfoot conditions.

Stopping distances are quite a bit longer than under dry conditions.

Obvious isn’t it? Well it obviously isn’t to some.

The sad thing is it may only become apparent to them when it is too late.

Madness .


I’ve driven cars at plastic ‘dummies’ several times to prove how automated emergency braking systems can bring the car to a halt before touching them.

It is a wonderful experience, if a little nerve-wracking, because you have to trust the system to stop without you slamming on the brakes.

Which is why I’m surprised to be told that the technology was often ineffective under a new study.

Tests conducted by US motoring organization AAA showed that cars equipped with automated emergency braking systems struck adult dummy pedestrian targets crossing the road 60pc of the time.

The closed-street tests were carried out during daylight hours with cars travelling at 32kmh.

The performance of the emergency braking systems deteriorated after the tests were made more challenging when adult dummies were swapped for child-sized objects.

Greg Brannon, the AAA’s director of automotive engineering and industry relations, is quoted as saying: “We wanted to understand how the systems work and get a feel for where they work well.

“We had hoped they would work well across all scenarios. What we found was something quite different.”


Volvo Cars and Geely are merging their current combustion engine operations into a stand-alone business.

They are going to establish a “new global supplier” that will develop next-generation, highly efficient combustion engines and hybrid powertrains.

Volvo, as you know, have planned an electrified version of every model in their range but are obviously realistic enough to know the combustion engine still has to have a part to play in the transition to electric.


Volkswagen is continuing its re-branding drive with a revised logo for its high-performance R sub-division.

The auto giant unveiled a new version of its VW roundel at Frankfurt.

It has now introduced a new version of the R logo for its performance arm which it claims represents a fresh start for the brand.

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