• The European Parliament has approved new minimum safety standards, such as intelligent speed assistance and advanced emergency-braking system, which must be installed on all new vehicles from 2022.

    The rest of the requirements include a lane-keeping system, driver drowsiness and attention warnings, the facility to retrofit an alcohol interlock device and an electronic data recorder, which would function as a “black box” and be able to capture data from seconds before, during and after a collision.

    The new rules will also improve passive safety requirements, including crash tests and windscreens, to lessen the severity of injuries for pedestrians and cyclists. Type-approval of tyres will also be improved to test worn tyres.

    The executive director of the European Transport Safety Council (ETSC), Antonio Avenoso, said “It’s a massive step forward that could prevent 25,000 deaths on our roads within fifteen years. Importantly, the new requirements will also improve the safety of all road users, not just vehicle occupants.”


  • Mercedes-Benz has revealed the new GLS, which the company refers to as “the S-Class of SUVs”. Wider and longer than its predecessor, the new GLS offers more interior space and three fully electrically adjustable seat rows offering space for seven people.

    The fully fledged seats in the third row can be lowered into the floor to increase the boot space (up to 2400 litres), while the seats in the second row fold flat – which can all be done with the push of a button. A six-seater variant with two luxury individual rear seats in the second seat row will also be available for the first time. The new GLS will go on sale in the Summer, with prices yet to be announced.


  • Lotus announced this week its first all-new product in more than a decade, which is set to become the first all-electric hypercar from a British manufacturer, the ‘Type 130’.
    CEO Phil Popham said: “Type 130 will be the most dynamically accomplished Lotus in our history. It marks a turning point for our brand and is a showcase of what we are capable of and what is to come from Lotus.” The all-car will be revealed in London, the birthplace of Lotus, later this year.


  • Aston Martin debuted its first all-electric model, the Rapide E, at the Auto Shanghai motor show this week, which will also become James Bond’s first all-electric vehicle.

    With twin electric motors producing over 610PS and 950Nm of torque, it is the most powerful Rapide model to date and will be built at St Athan in Wales, Aston Martin’s home of electrification.

    Just 155 examples of the car will be built in collaboration with Williams Advanced Engineering, with an estimated cost of £250,000.

    Along side the Rapide E, Aston Martin also shown off two other “futue proof” cars at Shangai, the AM-RB 003 and the Lagonda All-Terrain Concept.


  • Another Auto Shanghai motor show announcement was the Audi AI:ME concept.

    The Audi AI:ME is designed for use in the city and for driving at what is known as level 4. This is the second-highest level on a standardised international scale for increasing automation.

    Although systems with level 4 do not require any assistance on the part of the driver, their function is limited to a specific area—such as motorways or a specially equipped area in inner cities. In these places, the driver can completely transfer the task of driving to the system.

    Audi also announced the Audi Aicon concept, which by contrast, is a vehicle with level-5 function that is always fully autonomous. Unlike the Aicon, the Audi AI:ME is therefore equipped with the traditional steering wheel and pedal control elements in addition.