Overdrive Radio Program Issue 23 2019

Hello and welcome to Overdrive, a program where we put the world of motoring and transport under the microscope. Im David Brown and this is Overdrive

In this program we have:

  1. UK to trial new ‘noise camera’ system to combat excessively loud vehicles
  2. Hybrids are 14 times better than battery electric vehicles at reducing real-world carbon dioxide emissions
  3. Google Maps ‘could soon let you know when taxi drivers take you on dodgy routes’ with automated app alerts.
  4. China’s father of electric cars says hydrogen is future
  5. Fiat Chrysler sued over alleged Jeep Wrangler ‘death wobble’
  6. Rob Fraser gives us the second installment on preparing your car to go to the snow
  7. We talk to the Managing Director of Ssangyong Australia about how they are making a comeback in Australia.
  8. Brian Smith and I talk about some quirky news
  9. We have two motoring minutes
  • Lexus NX300H
  • Nissan Patrol

UK to trial new ‘noise camera’ system to combat excessively loud vehicles

The UK Government has commissioned a prototype ‘noise camera’ system in a crackdown on drivers who disturb communities with vehicles that are breaking legal noise limits.

New camera technology aims to measure the sound levels of passing vehicles to detect those that are breaking the law, and could use automated license plate recognition technology to help enforce the law by prosecuting the registered owner (or nominated driver) in the same way that speeding is enforced.

The system could also help to catch those who rev car or motorcycle engines beyond legal limits at traffic lights or other locations, making life difficult for those who live nearby. Studies have found that exposure to excessive noise can have significant physical and mental health implications.

The system will be tested at several locations across the UK over the coming months

Hybrids are 14 times better than battery electric vehicles at reducing real-world carbon dioxide emissions

Emissions Analytics, a company that works in the area of scientific measurement of real-world emissions, suggests that mass adoption of hybrid vehicles, rather than low-volume take-up of pure battery electric vehicles, is the most effective solution to cutting CO2 in the short term and also in meeting 2030 emission targets.

According to the report, of all electrification strategies, full battery electric vehicles currently offer the least effective CO2 reduction: 21 times worse than mild hybrids and 14 times worse than full hybrids.

The EU’s CO2 reduction target for passenger cars by 2030 is 37.5%.
Emissions Analytics tests shows that, even with current technology, widespread hybrid-ization would achieve more than three-quarters of that target.

Fiat Chrysler sued over alleged Jeep Wrangler ‘death wobble’

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles faces a class-action lawsuit over an alleged “death wobble” involving 2015 to 2018 Jeep Wranglers with a solid front axle. The suit says that this can cause the steering wheel to shake violently at normal highway speeds.

The lawsuit alleges Fiat Chrysler had knowledge of the issue: and Rather than address it — or disclose its possibility or warn drivers at the point of sale —the company simply claimed that the ‘Death Wobble’ was not a ‘safety issue’ and that it ‘could happen with any vehicle that has a solid front axle – rather than an independent front suspension.

According to the suit, the problem occurs because the solid front axle cannot absorb bumps and vibrations as efficiently as a vehicle with a front suspension that allows each wheel to move independently.

It goes on to say that Drivers have complained about Wrangler’s steering problems to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration for years.

The lawsuit seeks damages for affected drivers in the form of a buyback program and also seeks punitive damages.

China’s father of electric cars says hydrogen is future

A former Audi executive who went on to become China’s science-and-technology minister, Wan Gung convinced leaders two decades ago to bet on the then-untested technology of vehicle electrification, promoting it not only as a way to boost economic growth – but also to tackle China’s dependence on oil imports and its mounting levels of pollution.

His strategy — using government subsidies to bring car-makers and drivers on board — made China home to one of every two Electric Vehicles sold globally today.

Now this visionary is saying that – Hydrogen is the future.

Wan Gang says that China should get ready for the next game-changing moment.

“We should look into establishing a hydrogen society,” he said, “We need to move further toward fuel cells.”

The adoption of fuel-cell vehicles has been slow in spite of China having an abundant supply of hydrogen. There are only about 1,500 hydrogen powered vehicles in use there today, compared with more than 2 million electric vehicles.

However China is promoting the adoption of hydrogen vehicles in selected regional trials as it sets up an ecosystem that includes hydrogen production, storage, transportation and refueling,

Time will tell if Wan’s vision is the right one.

Google Maps ‘could soon let you know when taxi drivers take you on dodgy routes’ with automated app alerts. 

Google Maps ‘could soon let you know when taxi drivers take you on dodgy routes’ with automated app alerts. Google Maps has tested the new feature known as “Stay Safer” in India.

Yahoo News reports that the ‘off-route alerts’ could warn riders that drivers have deviated from the quickest route, offering an alert when the driver has deviated 500 metres from the quickest route.

Google Maps have also recently rolled out a speed camera detection feature,

You can find more information at Driven Media or previous programs are available as podcasts on iTunes or Spotify. OR our Facebook site OverdriveCity

Originally broadcast 8 June 2019  across Community Broadcasting Association of Australia (CBAA) and Torque Radio affiliated commercial radio channels.

About David Brown 407 Articles
David’s boyhood passion for motor cars did not immediately lead to a professional role in the motor industry. A qualified Civil Engineer he specialised in traffic engineering and transport planning. What followed were various positions including being seconded to a government think-tank for the planning of transport firstly in Sydney and then for the whole of NSW. After working with the NRMA and as a consultant he moved to being an independent writer and commentator on the broader areas of transport and the more specific areas of the cars we drive. His half hour motoring program “Overdrive” has been described as an “informed, humorous and irreverent look at motoring and transport from Australia and overseas”. It is heard on 22 stations across Australia. He does weekly interviews with several ABC radio stations and is also heard on commercial radio in Sydney. David has written for metropolitan and regional newspapers and has presented regular segments on metropolitan and regional television stations. David is also a contributor for AnyAuto