December of 2020 was a busy month for French Police in Versailles as they started a crackdown against French Car smugglers operating from the city. The smugglers were known to be from an African background and had deep connections in the area around the city.
The probe surrounding the illegal activities began back in June when police uncovered a shipping container with three stolen cars from a small village located west of the city of Paris. Following the footprints from the probe, the highly organized operation ended up sniffing up the smugglers in their act.
The smugglers operated mostly at night when they would steal cars and then ship them over to African countries in an undocumented manner. The suspects were all aged between 20 and 35 years.
“First they would break into the car, plug a computer into the on-board diagnostic port and use software to reprogram the vehicle to accept a new key. They would then pay someone 50 Euros ($60) to pick up the car and park it on the street with a new registration plate for days or even weeks. Once the car was no longer deemed “traceable” it would be shipped in a container to Africa,” noted AFP.
Investigators and police officials have officially linked 30 stolen vehicles, especially SUVs with this gang.
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.
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.
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.
The last two to three weeks has been quite a tumultuous time for the French government, as residents have been out protesting against the latest hike in the prices for fuel. The rate hike in the prices for fuel has meant that consumers will have to pay almost 10 cents more for each gallon of gas for their car.
Consumers didn’t take well to the measures and came out in numbers, protesting against the Government and the impoverished measures of austerity. Many took the law in to their own hand, and burnt cars scattered across the roads.
The French government previously stated that these taxes had been levied to fight off the threat of climate change in not just France, but the world as well. However, a rights group by the name of the Yellow Vest movement, comprising of poor, rural Frenchmen has been protesting since many weeks about the poor living conditions in the country, despite the fact that it has some of the highest rates for taxation in the whole of Europe.
While the government had at first remained steadfast, they had to eventually retreat in the face of constant opposition from the group and other violent mobs. The u-turn by the French government is a reflection of how today’s politicians are fickle and have zero control over public violence.
Prime Minister Edouard Philippe finally bowed down in front of the mayhem and gave in to the demand of the mobs. The government had previously spoken highly of standing beside their policies, but with this latest decision they have given an indication of how spineless they really are.
Thousands of rioters marched around French Streets throughout last week, setting on fire more than a hundred French cars. The lives of many residents were disrupted, as the mobsters went from street to street, setting fire to the expensive cars across neighborhoods.
Not only did the government fail to restrict the protestors and the damage they were causing, but it also bowed down in front of them. The state failed against some cheap rioters with no clear mission up their sleeves.
The French government has showed the rest of the public how there is nothing that can be done when angry mobsters turn towards burning French cars. Next time someone falls out of favor with the government, they can set out to burn French cars, because that’s what scares the government.
Did you know that the 22nd of September is celebrated as the Annual Car-Free Day? If you didn’t already know that, then you should know that we’re not kidding about it. In fact, this day was ACTUALLY celebrated in Paris and Brussels this year. A person with a skeptical mind cannot help but think about what exactly such a celebration has to offer. After some deep thinking, one is likely to come up with only one logical conclusion: possibly nothing!
It’s not that the officials at Paris and Brussels were content with the mere celebration of the day in their respective cities; they call forth for ALL the countries in Europe to join them on this bandwagon of fools. What these officials don’t understand is the fact that, unlike them, the officials and administrators are busy running their cities and making the lives of their inhabitants easier. The people of Brussels and Paris would benefit if, instead of declaring a car-free day, the officials did something for their betterment.
If you think about it, the thought of a car-free day in this day and age feels tiresome. These modern times are known for being fast paced. During such times, why would you wish to make a statement by “freeing” your cities of something that represents progress?
Actions like these makes one doubt the aims of the current French government. Is it to take the French citizens forward into the future or back to the stone ages? There is no doubt that their actions appear to be in service of the latter!