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Rubber Soul Roundup: February 1 to 7

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TyresOnTheDrive takes a look at some of the more interesting tyre and motoring news stories from the week just gone and rounds them up for you in one place. All part of our mission to save you time! This week’s highlights include auto manufacturers’ Superbowl ads and a three-wheeler with a difference.

Superbowl fever!

Now we know the Superbowl isn’t really a UK phenomenon, but, like many things from the US, it is creeping onto our radar, not least because of the increasing numbers of companies competing to create show-stopping adverts for the breaks. And with over 114 million Americans watching on TV in 2015 (last night’s figures are yet to be released), who can blame them?! From the sublime to the frankly ridiculous, here are a few of our favourites from auto manufacturers!

Cars of the future are closer than you think

Google’s prototype driverless cars, so far mainly confined to tests in the US, could soon be seen a little closer to home following reports that London’s Deputy Mayor for Transport, Isabel Dedring, is in talks with the tech giant about starting tests in the capital. So far Google’s autonomous cars, which drive using sensors and software, have completed more than 1.4 million miles in tests, but mostly in California and Texas.

The UK could soon be giving the US a run for its money in the driverless car stakes, with the UK government announcing on February 1 that it is to invest £20m in eight new projects that will work on better communication between autonomous vehicles and roadside infrastructure. The government claims that the so-called “cars of the future” will be designed to “make getting from A to B safer, faster and cleaner.” That sounds pretty good to us!

UK car market continues full speed ahead

It seems the UK car market is going from strength to strength at the moment, with January seeing the best performance in 11 years. Registrations were up 2.9% to 169,678 led by alternative fuel vehicles, which were up 32.1% to 6,075. The best-selling car in January was the Ford Fiesta, with 8,353 units, followed by the Nissan Qashqai and the Vauxhall Corsa.

A three-wheeler with a difference

And finally, we’ve seen most things in our years dealing with tyres, but we have to admit this is a new one even on us! The BBC has reported that police had to pull a woman over near St Albans as she was driving on only three tyres and one wheel, and had been “for miles”. She reportedly hadn’t noticed, even though the discs were glowing bright red; she just thought her car had broken down (although being over the drink driving limit might have had something to do with it). If this isn’t a cautionary tale of the importance of checking your tyres, then we don’t know what is!

 

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