Corona is at play and the world seems to be suffering at its hands. Almost all financial, sporting, business and other activities have come to a standstill because of the impacts of COVID-19. While the virus has struck hard all over the world, Europe seems to be hit the most by it. France, Spain, England, Italy and Netherlands are all reeling from it.
The repercussions of COVID-19 include a lockdown across all countries of Europe. What this has meant is that there is little to no financial and business activities happening around.
The impact of the virus was also felt by the French car registration agencies. French Car Manufacturers PSA reported that their car registrations fell by a massive 73.43 percent in March. This is a record fall and is a severe shock to the embittered manufacturers.
PSA is responsible for making cars for the Peugeot and Citroen brands. Additionally Renault also reported a 71.6 percent drop in their registered vehicles. This total drop will harm the economy as consumers have literally altered their spending patterns.
Whether the world ever comes out of the COVID-19 pandemic is yet to be seen, but what we do know is that the French Car industry is suffering damage beyond repair.
Drivers of French Cars registered on ride-sharing apps such as Marcel, Uber, and Kapten will soon be going into a strike because of poor policies by both the government and the ride-sharing apps in question.
The decision was taken by the INV, which is the national union for all drivers and cars registered in ride-sharing applications. All drivers and stakeholders for these apps are expected to gather for a protest outside the Paris Uber Headquarters on the 6th of March. This protest is meant to urge the ride-sharing company to pay heed toward their demands.
The grievances for the ride-sharing app drivers include insane commission charged by the parent company they work under, no minimum payment being given on rides, and high chances of suspension if they cancel a trip.
President of the Union Brahmin Ben Ali sided with the drivers and said this was a precarious profession, which needs social protection and government justice. Drivers have special grievances with Uber after the company implemented a change in policy to suspend drivers who refuse rides. This leaves drivers without a source of income or access to work all of a sudden.
There were previous protests against Uber 4 years ago, which turned violent. Hopes are these protests remain safe, and violence is avoided.
Vandals from the town of Strasbourg in France started the Year 2020 by burning several cars in the city. A number of videos showed countless vehicles set on fire on New Year’s Eve. The acts of arson continued across the city, as police tried to hush down this eerie but common French tradition.
The burning of French vehicles is an unfortunate but still existent New Year’s tradition within some parts of France. According to the tradition, mobs target and torch numerous cars they think are violating their space. Local media reported that over 1,031 vehicles were torched within the country during New Year’s Eve. While no official figures indicating the overall damage have been released so far, social media videos have shown quite depressing pictures from Strasbourg.
Footages circulating across social media show many burned vehicles, many of them lying overturned on the streets of Strasbourg. One of the viral clips shows a series of burnt vehicles lying across the road, presenting a rather gloomy sight for anyone to see to on a night that is known for celebrations across the globe.
What is the one thing that you always check before leading the police into a high profile chase? The fuel in your car! A French Car driver, driving his car at a speed of 240kph in a 90kph zone was caught after the fuel ran out of his car.
The French car driver surely thought he could outdo the police and could run away free of all charges, but that wasn’t to happen. The driver, who was driving a Mercedes Class C 63 AMG, violated the speed limit multiple times, before being actively ensued by the police. The driver was alerted by the police to stop, but instead of doing so he further intensified the chase.
The cat and mouse chase was being won by the driver, when the Mercedes ran out of petrol somewhere along the A7 motorway. The police reached over to the car, only to see two passengers sitting on the rear seats. Both passengers alleged that someone else was driving the car and had fled away after the vehicle ran out of fuel. But, the police later identified that it was indeed one of the self-proclaimed passengers who was driving the car.
The driver was taken into custody and the vehicle impounded. The police believed the vehicle wasn’t fit for roads as it had alterations that could put the lives of other drivers in danger.
While we all should look to avoid any chases with the police, if you do get involved in one, it is necessary that you give the fuel meter a glance.
Drivers when they go on the roads are looking for a lot of convenience and performance from the car they are driving. Hence, when a car fails to meet their expectation they are quick to note it down and take it off from the list of cars that they would recommend others to drive.
In a poll conducted by car magazine Auto Express, British drivers were asked to vote the car makes and models based on the performance they provide on the road.
Two French car manufacturers gathered lamentable results on the poll, as they picked up the last positions in the poll of 35. All voters weren’t in favor of Peugeot and Renault, as both of them picked the last spots on the poll.
Peugeot was voted the worst by the voters as it got the last stop on the poll, while Renault finished second to last at 34th. Citroen, which is another French manufacturer, finished 28th on the poll!
The poll was topped by Skoda, with Lexus, Porsche, Jaguar and Honda coming 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th respectively. British drivers haven’t taken a liking for both Peugeot and Renault, which is a concern for both these car manufacturers.
France is famous for its absurd laws, but we believe there will be one less law to worry about after the French Government decided to scrap the law requiring drivers to carry one breathalyzer inside their cars.
The controversial rule was first introduced in March 2013, after which all car owners in France were required to carry a breathalyzer in their cars at all times. The new transport bill by the French government will now dispose this law and will make arrangements for better policies.
The allowance for alcohol while driving is almost half of what it is across the Channel. The UK allows an alcohol limit of 0.8 mg/ml, while France only allows a limit of 0.5 mg/ml for adult drivers and a reduced limit of 0.2 mg/ml for young drivers.
Rod Dennis, the spokesperson for the RAC, responded to this news and mentioned, “While the law governing drivers carrying breathalyzers in France might be about to change, drivers heading across the Channel should still remember that the country has a much stricter drink-drive limit than in the UK – and anyone caught over the limit faces some very tough penalties.”
He further added, “The best advice is to never drink and drive, whether driving in France or elsewhere. For any driver that still chooses to, it still makes a lot of sense to carry a portable breathalyzer to check they are well below the relevant legal limit.”
Hunter Abbot, the Managing Director of a breathalyzer manufacturer called AlcoSense, also spoke on this issue and mentioned, “It is still a legal requirement to carry an NF-approved breathalyzer in the vehicle while driving in France and that will be the case for a while yet. With the French limit significantly lower than the English limit and the penalties harsher, it would still be advisable to carry a breathalyzer to test yourself while driving in France and avoid unintentionally drink driving.”
While the new laws are in process, all French car owners should have at least one breathalyzer with them at all times.
Formula One and 2 are both notoriously known for the risks involved within the sports. Just recently the world of French cars and Formula 2 enthusiasts was taken by surprise when the Belgian Grand Prix saw a fatal collision take the life of French Driver Anthoine Hubert.
Hubert collided with the car of American driver Juan Manuel, before he was sent packing into the barriers. The accident happened on the second lap of the circuit.
The race was halted just after the accident, but once news of the injury and death of Anthoine Hubert circulated across social media, it was eventually called off.
McLaren declared its “heartfelt condolences to Mr Hubert’s family and loved ones, his colleagues at the Arden team, and the entire F2 community“.
Lewis Hamilton, who is a five time Formula One champion, also took to Instagram to talk about the accident. He mentioned ‘This is devastating. God rest your soul Anthoine. My prayers and thoughts are with you and your family today.
The entire world of Formula One and Formula Two racists is in a state of shock as they are still coming to terms with this freak accident. FIA has already begun probing the accident, as the weather and track were dry for the day.
The French are always quick to jump onto approaching opportunities. From recognizing the opportunity within French cars, to working on the industrial revolution, the French know how to cash resources around them.
While French cars have bossed the word of automobiles for quite some time now, we might be seeing some flying models soon, if the word of Franky Zapata is to be believed. Zapata, who is a renowned flyboard hero in France, has mentioned that he expects flying cars to be bossing the open spaces above by the end of this year.
Zapata, who is still fresh from his recent achievement as the first human to flyboard across the English Channel, is ready to move towards the challenge of flying cars. Zapata has no intentions of resting on his laurels and has mentioned that he and his fellow inventors are working on flying cars to make commutes easier and free of hassle.
Zapata recently flew across the Sangatte in Northern France to St Margaret’s Bay in Dover, England, within just 20 minutes. The achievement is the first of his kind and has positioned Zapata as a renowned name in the flying industry.
“People dream of flying, we’ve all lived with science fiction movies. We waited until 2015, and Marty Mc Fly’s hoverboard as in the movie Back to the Future. There were none, so we did it,” Zapata said at a press conference. “In 2015, we were also expecting flying cars as in The Fifth Element. There isn’t, well, we’re going to do one!”
The flyboard, Zapata has been working on since ages, is also a marvel in its own. However, the only drawback going against is that the board needs refueling after 10 minutes, which is why Zapata had to make a stop on the middle of a ship for refueling purposes.
Knowing all about refueling challenges, Zapata’s proposed flying car has a bigger and better mileage with Zapata having mentioned himself that the car would be able to fly 120 km without a stop.
The flying French car Zapata is working on will be able to travel at a fastest speed of 300 km/h and will have a solid chassis mounted on the rear.
Electric cars are all around us, and it is time for us to see how they will go in this ultra-modern era. While a lot of progress has been made, the infrastructure throughout much of Europe still leaves a lot to be desired.
A team of engineers from the National Grid went on a 565-mile round-trip from Wokingham to Teesside to test the facilities for electric cars and see how these cars reacted in the pressure.
The goal for the journey was to check the vehicle charging network across the UK and assess the speed, accessibility, and ease-of-handling during the whole journey.
The whole journey had 9 hours of driving and over 4 hours of charging, which goes to show that the infrastructure is still developing.
“We don’t know yet . . . what people really want to do in terms of charging,” Richard McMahon, from the Warwick university, told the BP conference.
“The [current] charging infrastructure, you can make it work . . . but if we want this to really take off we need big charging infrastructure,” said Dustin Benton, policy director at the Green Alliance, a think-tank.
“People talk about connecting these ultra fast chargers at strategic locations and various destination points [but] they potentially put a lot of local strain into the [electricity] distribution system and what we need to do is to start putting investment into that distribution system to allow it to cope with that,” mentioned Keith Anderson, who is the chief executive of Scottish Power, which owns electricity networks in parts of Scotland, Wales and north-west England.
“We’re an industry built over 120 years of internal combustion, and shifting to a technology that’s not relatively new but is a fundamental turning point for the industry,” he further added.
Electric cars have still got a long way to go, and the current progress is not satisfactory by any means.
Gone are the days of automobiles on road, as mankind is slowly and steadily entering the phase of flying automobiles.
European airspace giants Airbus are in contact with Paris’s underground operators RATP to study the viability of flying vehicles within the city. Knowing the rich history France has in this respect, and how well gifted it is in this regard, it only makes sense for flying cars to make their debut on the airspace of Paris.
Both the firms are believed to be getting together for exploring the feasibility of the urban air mobility services within the French capital. The broader Ile de France region is also under contemplation for the advent of flying cars in the region.
“Airbus is developing demonstrators of autonomous and unmanned technologies,” mentioned Guillaume Faury, who is the company’s chief executive.
“This is not science-fiction any more, it is fact. Today we have all the technical tools. But they have to be integrated into everyday life without jeopardizing our priority, which is safety,” he added.
“RATP is a good partner in such a project because of its knowledge of the associated needs and services,” said Faury.
Chief Executive of RATP, Catherine Guillouard was also optimistic about the process. RATP is responsible for managing bus, underground and train services in the city of Paris. While mass transport is the core business for RATP, they are also looking forward to developing newer models of services and transport within the smart city for the future.
While there have been numerous advancements towards the development of flying cars off late, we haven’t seen anything concrete yet. The model designed by AeroMobil is under production in Slovakia and is yet to be put up on sale.
“Flying cars are definitely coming within the next two to three years. The regulation is in place and authorities are actively supporting the innovation,” a spokesperson from AeroMobil told AFP.
Levi Tillemann, who is the author of the 2015 book: “The Great Race: the Global Quest for the Car of the Future“, believes that safety is a big challenge when it comes to the car of the future.
“The only thing that really makes the idea of a flying car even remotely viable is a new generation of autonomous driving technologies that will reduce the likelihood of catastrophic failure.”
But Tillemann further added that “from both a cost and energy consumption standpoint, ground-based transit generally makes more sense“.
The VivaTech exhibition in Paris is host to some of the most disruptive and unique technologies within the world of flying cars. There are numerous prototypes on display within the exhibition, as innovators throng the city of Paris to display their models and to look at the disruptions happening here.
It is believed that more than 20 realistic projects are currently underway to manufacturer flying cars across the globe. Even ride sharing app Uber is looking for flying taxis as an option for commute.
French cars have long bossed the world of automobiles, and it remains to be seen whether this domination continues with flying cars.