Sometimes, folks who write about the auto industry find themselves grasping at straws, struggling to find anything that merits a blog post. Some weeks, the news crawls by.
This is not one of those weeks. This is the opposite of those weeks. There have been so many news items in the past few days, it’s as if the clogged lower intestines of the auto gods finally loosened and sprayed us all with crap. I mean that in the best and holiest way possible.
Here’s a quick roundup of those stories, which we would totally write about in detail if we had more time. And coffee.
- In England and Wales, it’s now illegal to smoke in a car with passengers younger than 18. If the brats themselves are puffing away, it’s probably fine, though.
- A man who’d been living in a Mercedes-Benz beside a busy road in Scotland has been “evicted” after three years. Reaction has been mixed.
- General Motors will debut a fleet of self-driving 2017 Chevrolet Volts late next year, but you won’t be able to ride in one unless you actually work for GM.
- Google’s autonomous car is ready for its debut, too — but you still can’t have it.
- Don’t get excited, though: Self-driving technology still isn’t perfect. A car’s GPS in Australia led its driver onto some train tracks, with predictably crunchy results.
- There seemed to be slightly fewer headlines about Volkswagen’s appalling diesel scandal this week — though given the avalanche of bad press the company received the week before, that’s not saying much. Still, the fact that California is launching its own emissions investigation, separate from the federal probe, is among the company’s worst news yet. In our crystal ball, VW’s future looks a lot like Wall Street: Suits as far as the eye can see.
- How well do you know these free apps for drivers?
- With so many auto stories flooding the news feeds, it’s easy to forget about Planet Earth’s grittier, grimmer problems. For example, thousands of LGBT Syrians are fleeing their homeland, threatened not only by ISIS radicals, but also by members of their own families.