Monday, January 21, 2008

A Revolution in Motoring?

I previously blogged about the new Tata cheap car and how it would put many more drivers on the road in India. The Guardian has followed this story up by talking about how environmentalists fear city smog nightmare if millions of Tata's Nanos hit the road:

It has no radio, no boot, no airbag, no passenger-side mirror and just one long windscreen wiper. And if you want air-conditioning to deal with India's summer heat you'll have to buy the deluxe version. India's Tata Group yesterday pulled the covers off the world's cheapest car, the Nano, which goes on sale later this year with a price tag of 100,000 rupees - £1,260 - to bring motoring to the country's billion-strong masses.

For 70-year-old Ratan Tata, the group's chairman, the launch of the Nano is a landmark in transport comparable to the first powered flight by the Wright brothers, or the first moonshot. But environmentalists say the new car heralds a "nightmare" of choking pollution and clogged roads.

Read article - 'India gears up for mass motoring revolution with £1,260 car'

Other motoring news, GM plans to use an inexpensive computer chip and an antenna to link vehicles equipped with driverless technologies:

The first use likely would be on highways; people would have the option to choose a driverless mode while they still would control the vehicle on local streets, Burns said. He said the company plans to test driverless car technology by 2015 and have cars on the road around 2018.

Read - 'GM Envisions Driverless Cars on Horizon'

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