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Rubber Soul Roundup: February 8 to 14

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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 a love-sick elephant on a rampage and the UK’s favourite car colours.

What becomes of the broken hearted?

Anyone who was spurned on Valentine’s Day can probably relate to the actions of ‘Bamboo Shoot Teeth’, a male Asian elephant in China who damaged 19 cars in a weekend rampage after losing a fight over a female elephant to a love rival. The elephant, housed at the Wild Elephant Valley nature reserve in Southern China, was reportedly “heartbroken” and took to a nearby highway to vent his frustration. No one was hurt in the incident and the car owners will reportedly be compensated. Poor love!

Source: China People’s Daily

Smokey and the bandit

We’ve all followed those clapped out cars that emit plumes of smoke, but the UK Department for Transport is trying to put a stop to it, sponsoring a trial in London and Birmingham of cameras that actually monitor vehicle emissions. The cameras, developed by an ex-NASA scientist, measure toxins released by passing vehicles, and are able to detect those breaking the law and identify the driver. The cameras work by shining a laser through a vehicle’s emissions, and are being trialled in some of London’s most polluted areas. If the pilot is a success, they could be used more widely across the capital. Maybe it won’t be the Big Smoke for much longer…

Red and yellow and pink and green

It seems that new car buyers are being less than imaginative with their colour choices, with white coming out on top for a third year running in 2015, according to figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders. More than a fifth of new cars registered were white (compared to less than 1% 10 years ago), with black, grey, blue and red comprising the remainder of the top 5. Brighter colours do seem to be on the up though, with orange and mauve in ninth and 10th position having both seen increases of more than 25% on the previous year, and green coming in at number 7. The most popular white cars registered were the Ford Focus, the Volkswagen Polo and the Fiat 500. What’s your favourite?

The ghost in the machine

It already sounded like science fiction, but Google’s self-driving cars have come a step closer to the future, with the US government’s National Highway Transportation Safety Administration ruling that the computer in the car can legally be deemed “the driver” (i.e. human!) This had previously been a problem for the tech giant, as under the law a car without a driver was not seen as roadworthy. This new development means Google can go ahead with fully testing cars that don’t have a steering wheel or pedals. Google is asserting that, if these controls were present in the car, the ‘human’ driver might be tempted to override the AI one, which is potentially more dangerous.

 

Any interesting developments you’d like to add?

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