Monthly Archives: January 2015

European Driving – A Selection of Incredible Roads

Now we have moved into 2015, many of you may be planning your holidays for the coming months. Should you be considering travelling to a European destination by car, you’ll be pleased to know that there’s a great way to add a little extra enjoyment to your drive.

Rather than having to put up with looking at the empty fields that can often run alongside Europe’s main routes, with careful planning there’s a number of superb roads you can include in your journey. These can offer you both incredible scenery and a more exciting drive, here are some examples you might want to consider:

Route 500, Black Forest, Germany

Boasting some breath-taking views of the Rhine Valley, as well as the rolling tree-tops of the Black Forest, this road in southern Germany can bring something special to your trip. The roads twist and traverse their way across many miles of Germanic countryside and can provide a gateway into neighbouring Switzerland.

Stelvio Pass, Italy

With the Italian Alps as your backdrop, you can certainly count on there being a rather picturesque view. The road surface is so smooth it’s almost like somebody has carved a perfect ribbon of silk into the mountainside ready for you to drive on. What’s even better is with its 48 hairpin bends you’ll get plenty of chance to take in the scenery as you leisurely drive down this impressive route.

The Atlantic Ocean Road, Norway

If you intend on driving up to Scandinavia, if you can add this particular road into your travels you’re in for a treat. This relatively short section of one of Norway’s cross county roads connects several small islands together over the Norwegian Sea. One of the most iconic features is the Storseisundet Bridge which majestically arcs over the water as you cross the isles.

Back Roads of Provence, France

While not strictly a set ‘route’, the beauty of these roads in the South of France is that you can stumble on something amazing by accident. With a number of relatively quiet options on offer, you could find yourself stopping by in a lovely little French village, or even paying a visit to one of the many fabulous vineyards of this region.

These are just a few of the many incredible roads Europe has to offer, so be sure to take the time to add them into your journey. Equally, the last thing you want is to let anything spoil such a trip, so be sure you have the proper breakdown cover for your vehicle before you set off.

Car Makers Unveil New Vehicle Technologies at 2015 Consumer Electronics Show

The annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas sees some of the biggest names in technology showcasing their new and upcoming designs. From Smartphones, to robotics and even clothing, the innovative tech on display is often a tantalising insight into what we could see in shops in the coming months.

Several of the biggest names in car manufacture have also been involved in this event. Established brands including Ford, Mercedes and Audi have been exhibiting some of the new technologies that could be within their cars this year. Some manufacturers used this as an opportunity to demonstrate the latest developments with their driverless vehicles.

Luxury Autonomous Driving

Mercedes revealed their latest prototype, the electrically powered, ‘F 015 Luxury in Motion’ saloon car, which as the name suggests, is attempting to provide its passengers with a mixture of comfort and autonomous driving. The vehicle’s interior sees four individual armchair-like seats within the cabin, which can be rotated to face one another or be set out in a more typical front-facing style. Further to this, there is a central communications hub complete with six screens where passengers can connect their smart-devices and control parts of the vehicle.

The rather space-age aspects were the biggest spectacle with this car, but in terms of the actual tech involved with the self-driving features, Mercedes didn’t offer audiences any new or updated information.

‘Ford Smart Mobility’ Initiative

During a keynote speech at the Ford exhibition, Ford CEO Mark Fields told audience members of the ‘Ford Smart Mobility’ initiative.  The intention behind this being to gain an understanding of what the world’s future driving needs could involve based on existing trends. Fields said:

‘We see a world where vehicles talk to one another, drivers and vehicles communicate with the city infrastructure to relieve congestion, and people routinely share vehicles or multiple forms of transportation for their daily commute…The experiments we’re undertaking today will lead to an all-new model of transportation and mobility within the next 10 years and beyond.’

An update to the on-board computer systems in their vehicles was also presented. The new ‘SYNC3’ will replace the old ‘SYNC2’ system with improvements being made to the user-interface, the speech recognition feature and its smartphone connectivity.

While much of these technologies are quite impressive to behold, it is still important to remember that no vehicle is going to be 100% reliable. If and when these cars are released, a sensible option is to still invest in things like breakdown cover, despite the apparent luxury and easy driving on offer.