The Road Ahead : June July 2007
F A Q S Indicate intentions Q.If I am approaching an intersection and turning right from a lane with a right turn only pavement arrow, am I still required to use my vehicle's right turn indicator? A.Yes, a driver is still required to indicate to turn right even if they are in a dedicated right turn lane with a right turn pavement arrow. A driver in that lane must only drive in the direction indicated by the pavement arrow (or one of the directions if the pavement arrow shows more than one direction). The pavement arrow does not replace the need to indicate. This rule also applies to left turns. Waterless 'washing' Q.With tightening water restrictions, it's tempting to use one of these waterless car cleaning products that have appeared on the market. Are they okay to use and will they damage my car? A.These products are intended for light to moderately soiled vehicles only. The cost per 'wash' can var y considerably depending on product and how generously they are applied. They claim to encapsulate the dir t preventing paint scratching, but we haven't seen any proper scientific tests that show the long-term effect of use on paint. A commercial car wash using recycled water is an alternative to consider. TOP GEAR Fuel for thought Passenger-type diesel engines are getting quieter and more common, so Land Rover has developed a system to prevent someone accidentally filling a diesel car with petrol. A shutter-based device incorporated in the filler head can distinguish between the different diameters of diesel and petrol dispensing nozzles and refuse to open if the wrong nozzle is put into the filler cap. Personal fuel cell An environmentally friendly power source is a big plus for caravanners, especially those who like to go bush. German company Smar t Cell has developed a lightweight fuel cell that provides consistent power in all weather. Designed for campers and available in Australia from Hymer, the scaled-down fuel cell conver ts methanol into electricity. Weighing only 7.5 kg and running silently, it produces up to 1600 watts of power a day. The maker says the only side products are water vapour and an amount of carbon dioxide similar to what you'd find in a child's breath. Memory check Have you ever walked away from a car and wondered if you've locked it? Volvo's S80 sedan has one answer. Called a Personal Car Communicator, it has a key fob with a small button marked 'Info' which shows if the car has been locked, if it has been broken into or if an intruder is in the car. The first two items can be checked no matter how far away you are but the third item operates only when within 100 m. It is a hear tbeat monitor and can detect anyone still inside. If you're approaching the parked car and have reasons to be suspicious, you can check for a possible intruder. It's a great concept -- let's hope others pick up the idea. Talking technology The idea of being able to give voice instructions to accessories such as audio equipment has been around for 20 years but finally it's coming to volume-produced cars. For those fitted with satellite navigation, it has enormous potential, allowing the driver to input a required destination without stopping. In conjunction with voice command, Citroen has launched a NaviDrive system with a 30 GB hard disc for storing road maps and music, all accessible via the spoken word. Another clever Citroen option is a lane depar ture warning system that uses a vibration mechanism in the driver's seat to aler t an inattentive driver should the car cross solid or dotted lane markings. WITH PEDR DAVIS 52 JUN/JLY 07 On reflection USA's PPG Industries has developed a new glass that is said to reflect 90 percent of the sun's rays. Suitable for windscreens and sunroofs, it is claimed to keep the car much cooler when parked and also reduces the energy consumed by the airconditioning when motoring.
April May 2007
August September 2007