Fast Lane

The new Mercedes-Benz CLA Coupe (above) is bigger all round, but sits slightly lower than its predecessor. With a longer wheelbase, it also promises more room. It will have a host of new features, including gesture control, augmented reality navigati
The new Mercedes-Benz CLA Coupe (above) is bigger all round, but sits slightly lower than its predecessor. With a longer wheelbase, it also promises more room. It will have a host of new features, including gesture control, augmented reality navigation and voice commands.
Volkswagen has offered a glimpse of its mobile quick-charging station (above), which can be set up anywhere - independent of power supply.
Volkswagen has offered a glimpse of its mobile quick-charging station (above), which can be set up anywhere - independent of power supply.
The Leaf 3.Zero (above) features an output of 160kW (up from 110kW) and 340Nm of torque (versus 320Nm) and a driving range of up to 383km (versus 270km). This version is unlikely to be introduced in Singapore, though.
The Leaf 3.Zero (above) features an output of 160kW (up from 110kW) and 340Nm of torque (versus 320Nm) and a driving range of up to 383km (versus 270km). This version is unlikely to be introduced in Singapore, though.

Roomier Mercedes-Benz CLA Coupe

The new Mercedes-Benz CLA Coupe is bigger all round, but sits slightly lower than its predecessor. With a longer wheelbase, it also promises more room. It will have a host of new features, including gesture control, augmented reality navigation and voice commands.


All-electric cars make up one-third of Norwegian market

Almost a third of all new cars sold in Norway last year ran on batteries, reinforcing the Nordic country's reputation as the world's best market for electric vehicles.

Bloomberg reported that oil-rich Norway aims to eliminate all emissions from new cars by 2025 and offers generous subsidies for buyers who opt to go electric.

Last year, all-electric cars made up 31.2 per cent of the Norwegian market, an improvement of more than 10 percentage points from the the previous year, the Norwegian Road Federation said.

Three of the five most popular models were electric, with the Leaf from Nissan claiming the top spot, ahead of BMW's i3 and Tesla's Model X.


Hyundai Motor and WayRay unveil next-generation visual technology

Hyundai Motor, in collaboration with Swiss deep-tech start-up WayRay Ag, has unveiled the world's first holographic augmented reality navigation system, which will feature in the new Genesis G80. The two parties will continue long-term road tests in South Korea to minimise errors.


Volkswagen unveils mobile charging station

Volkswagen has offered a glimpse of its mobile quick-charging station which can be set up anywhere - independent of power supply. The mobile charging station works according to the principle of a power bank - the portable device people use to charge smartphones.

With a charging capacity of up to 360kWh, it can charge up to 15 evehicles. It takes only 17 minutes on average to charge one vehicle.

The first mobile quick-charging stations will be set up as early as the first half of this year in Wolfsburg, Germany. They will be rolled out to other cities from next year.


Mercedes-Benz A-class safest small family car

The European New Car Assessment Programme (NCAP) has named its annual "Best in Class" winners.

The Mercedes-Benz A-class has emerged as the safest among Small Family Cars and last year's overall best performer.

The Lexus ES is tops among Large Family Cars and also Euro NCAP's best-performing hybrid, while the fuel cell-powered Hyundai Nexo is the best Large Off-Roader.

Euro NCAP secretary-general Michiel van Ratingen said: "Euro NCAP put automated driving technology to the test in 2018 for the first time and our findings helped clarify some of the confusion that motoring consumers are currently experiencing.

"Assisted driving systems can bring safety and convenience benefits, but full automation is a long way off."


A more powerful Nissan Leaf

Nissan has unveiled a longer-range and more powerful version of its electric Leaf.

The Leaf 3.Zero (above) features an output of 160kW (up from 110kW) and 340Nm of torque (versus 320Nm) and a driving range of up to 383km (versus 270km). This version is unlikely to be introduced in Singapore, though.


Chinese ride-hailing app branches out into lending and insurance 

Chinese ride-hailing giant Didi Chuxing has launched a slew of financial products, reported Xinhua. Insurance covering critical illnesses, credit and lending, wealth management and vehicle financing are part of the menu.

The insurance and lending products mainly target gig economy workers and are built on its credit mechanism and data-based risk control architecture, Didi said.

The company now serves about 550 million users and has offered flexible work to more than 31 million drivers. It has also branched into services like car maintenance and food delivery.


Win a curated trip by Cycle & Carriage

To mark its 120th anniversary, Cycle & Carriage is giving away 120 Exceptional Journeys to Mongolia, Nepal and Korea.

To qualify, purchase a new car from Cycle & Carriage and receive 120 draw chances. Every $200 spent on its after-sales services will receive one draw chance, capped at 120 draw chances.

Participants can visit www.cycle carriage.com/120 and submit the entry form between now and Nov 30. It is open to individuals aged 18 and older as well as companies.


Kia and Hyundai show concept of driverless car-charging and parking system

Kia Motors Corporation and Hyundai Motor Company have unveiled the concept of an electric-vehicle wireless charging system with a new Automated Valet Parking System (AVPS).

The system will offer convenience to drivers who face overcrowding at parking and charging locations as electric vehicle numbers grow steadily. It relocates fully charged vehicles from charging stations and allows other waiting electric vehicles to charge.

Upon commanding the vehicle to charge using a smartphone, the vehicle will automatically cruise to a vacant wireless-charging station. When the vehicle is fully charged, it will relocate to another vacant parking space using the AVPS, allowing other vehicles to charge at the spot.

When the driver calls for the vehicle, it will then autonomously return to the location of the driver.

The overall process takes place via continuous communication between electric vehicle, parking facility, charging system and driver. The parking facility sends location details of empty parking spaces and charging stations, while the charging system updates the charging status of the vehicle in real-time.

Christopher Tan

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 12, 2019, with the headline 'Fast Lane'. Print Edition | Subscribe