Is the UK ready for Self-Driving Cars?

King Charles III’s recent address to the UK included several significant announcements, including new legislation governing the deployment of driverless vehicles to the country. Mark Trimbee – motoring enthusiast and CEO of private number plate provider Regtransfers – explores the implications of growing interest in autonomous cars, expressing his concern that we, as a nation, should approach this emerging technology with caution.

The future of self-driving vehicles presents both outstanding opportunities and complex challenges; While the recent legislation mentioned in the King’s Speech marks a significant step towards our country realising the potential of autonomous cars, it also highlights critical issues within the security and safety of these vehicles. In both aspects, driverless cars may have some way to go before they can genuinely be considered a viable replacement on our roads.

A Revolution On Offer

The core development in autonomous vehicles lies in the Automated Vehicles Bill, a legislative measure aimed at unlocking a “transport revolution” through safe deployment of self-driving vehicles. Through this bill the King hopes the UK will see global leadership in the autonomous vehicle sector. Hailed as one of the world’s “most comprehensive legal frameworks” for self-driving vehicles, it places safety at its core, and carries far-reaching implications not only for the automotive industry, but the broader economy as well.

Growth and Prosperity

The government’s vision is clear: to unlock the growth potential of the autonomous vehicle sector in the UK. In doing so, it could create a market valued at up to £42 billion and generate 38,000 skilled jobs by 2035. This bold step aims to propel the UK into a leading position within this rapidly evolving industry.

Safety First

The argument “for” self-driven cars is strong; On paper, they have the potential to enhance transport safety, convenience, and accessibility, ultimately improving the lives of millions of UK residents.

In 2022, an estimated 1,695 fatalities and 136,022 casualties resulted from road traffic accidents, with a reported 88% being as a result of human error. Automated vehicles, it is said, may allow the country to reduce costs, injuries, and fatalities. Beyond this, people across the country will be able to take daily commutes to school or work more efficiently and safely – making them a triviality and increasing the population’s productivity in other areas.

These are clear, advantageous qualities for autonomous vehicles, and given the benefits, one could argue that we should make every effort to progress with mass production and deployment. However, before doing so, there are several current challenges faced by the technology that must be addressed before mass rollout becomes feasible.

Challenges and Concerns

Currently, it feels as though we have only dipped our toes into the uncharted waters presented by self-driving cars. Still, a number of key concerns have already been raised, warranting caution and careful consideration before fully embracing this technology.


Smart products, applications, and wearable tech already pose security challenges to the general public, and fully automated vehicles bring a new dimension of risk. A car operated entirely by computer systems could become vulnerable to hacking, with potentially severe consequences. The severity of this threat escalates if a large number of autonomous cars share the same network, increasing the potential damage caused by malicious activities.


In the UK, the cost of an automated car currently sits at an initial cost of around £50,000 – a sum out of financial reach for many individuals. However, as this is new technology, it’s expected that it will become more affordable for the average car owner as time goes on. Of all the concerns, this, while being the largest roadblock for the majority of the public, is one we will simply need to wait out.

The Moral Dilemma

One of the significant issues faced by autonomous cars revolves around everyday road traffic situations where there is no clear “black and white” or binary solution guaranteeing complete safety. When faced with a choice between two options, both of which could lead to harm—either to pedestrians or passengers—who decides the logic the vehicles use to navigate these choices? In such instances, the manufacturers responsible for the intelligence behind self-driving cars and the logic used may find themselves in an ethical minefield, facing accusations of “playing God.”

Potential Machine Errors

As with any machine, there is always room for error. The stakes are high where AVs are concerned, putting passengers and pedestrians at potentially grave risk in the event of a malfunction. This could manifest in systems erroneously activating or deactivating when they should not, leading to potential hazards such as fires from the car’s batteries or breakdowns resulting in a loss of control that leads to accidents. On paper, we’ve discussed that AVs present the opportunity for safer roads. In practice, this may not be the case.

Recent Concerns

Beyond the challenges inherent in self-driving technology, recent developments in the industry have raised alarm bells. Just last year, around 400 self-driven car systems were reported to be involved in road accidents.

Recent news from the US highlights further difficulties faced by autonomous vehicles, including those operated by General Motors’ Cruise division. Concerns include the technology’s vulnerability to hacking, struggles in recognizing hazards like large holes in the road, and difficulties in identifying children in certain scenarios, posing risks of accidents. Each of these has led to a recall of all 950 vehicles to perform software updates.

While autonomous vehicle companies assert the safety of their systems, incidents such as these raise important questions about the readiness of this technology.

Parliamentary Support

The King’s announcement received a warm reception from MPs on the Transport Committee. This parliamentary body had previously called for new legislation to address safety concerns, as articulated in their September report on the future of self-driving vehicles. It seems, at least for the time being, that their calls may have been answered.

The Journey Ahead

As the UK charts its course towards the future of autonomous vehicles, the industry, regulators, and the public must unite to confront a range of current challenges. From security and data privacy to the ethical dilemmas posed by self-driving technology, this is a journey marked by opportunities and responsibilities.


Ford’s latest hill climb monster to race to the clouds – FORD SuperVan vs. PIKES PEAK – packs a 1,400-horsepower payload.


 Known to motorsport fans as “The Race to the Clouds,” the legendary Pikes Peak International Hillclimb sees competitors take on 12.5 miles of twisting mountain road with menacingly-named corners like Bottomless Pit, Ragged Edge and the Devil’s Playground.

Ford has been racing its vehicles to the top of Pikes Peak in the Rocky Mountains since the first organized event back in 1916 – but for the 101st running earlier this year, Ford decided to go in a completely new direction.

Ford entered an electric Transit van, dubbed SuperVan 4.2 to challenge the world in the Devil’s Playground. The FORD SuperVan vs. PIKES PEAK racecar blends 1,400 horsepower of high-tech electric power, born from three electric motors; body inspired by Ford Pro’s latest E-Transit Custom van.

Ford’s update of the crowd-wowing Pro Electric SuperVan 4.0 that debuted at the Goodwood Festival of Speed 2022, but fresh from an 880-pound weight reduction and super-charged with an enhanced battery and electric motors. It’s also had an aerodynamic redesign to create two tons of downforce at approximately 150 miles per hour for maximum cornering grip.

FORD SuperVan vs. PIKES PEAKWith racing driver Romain Dumas – holder of the record for the fastest-ever Pikes Peak hillclimb – strapped into the driver’s seat, Ford is ready to race into the sky.

Watch the FORD SuperVan vs. PIKES PEAKvideo to discover how this epic adventure unfolded: SuperVan 4.2 video#fpstate=ive&vld=cid:0b02ea15,vid:5i6XNPX67tE,st:0

Mercedes-AMG A45 S review

Mercedes-AMG A45 S review

We take the Mercedes-AMG A45 S – the most powerful hot hatch on the market – for a spin…

It could be argued that the concept of the ‘hot hatch’ – in the traditional sense – is now in its dying days.

After all, we live in an era where a family EV is often quicker off the mark than many a performance ICE (Internal Combustion Engine) car.

Mercedes-AMG A45 S review

There are only a few genuine ‘hot’ hatches left, including the Audi RS3, Volkswagen Golf R, Honda Civic Type R and the Mercedes-AMG A45 S – the subject of this week’s road test.

Just to recap, the fourth-generation Mercedes-Benz A-Class hatchback was launched in 2018 and facelifted at the end of 2022.

Topping the range are a pair of performance models (the Mercedes-AMG A 35 and the even-faster Mercedes-AMG A 45 S), which have now also received a makeover.

Mercedes-AMG A45 S review

The A 45 S is the most powerful hot hatch on the market (415bhp and 369lb ft of torque) and it features the world’s most potent series-production four-cylinder engine.

The key stats say it all, because that turbocharged 2.0-litre engine means it’s capable of 0–62mph in a blistering 3.9 seconds and a top speed of 168mph.

Oh, and all that power is directed to the road via an eight-speed dual-clutch gearbox and AMG’s 4Matic all-wheel drive system.

Mercedes-AMG A45 S review

For what it’s worth, fuel economy is a claimed 30.8mpg. And frankly, unless you possess superhuman levels of restraint, the reality is closer to 25mpg.

First impressions count and the Mercedes-AMG A45 S is a statement car.

Apart from new front and rear lights and an AMG badge on the bonnet, the update hasn’t made much of a difference to the car externally – which is no bad thing.

Mercedes-AMG A45 S review

With its aggressive stance, lower lip spoiler, quad-exhaust pipes, front bumper canards and a massive rear wing, it oozes performance.

Inside, the first thing you notice is the driving position, which is a tad high, while the seats are on the firm side. The dashboard is shared with standard A-Class models, so there’s an impressive dual-screen set-up and a head-up display.

If you prefer things minimalist, the Mercedes-AMG A45 S may not be for you. There’s a complex twin-spoke steering wheel incorporating two mode buttons, five circular air vents and a line of climate-control switches.

Mercedes-AMG A45 S review

There’s plenty of room up front, but those bucket seats eat into the rear passenger space, so best to try the space for size.

The 370-litre boot is about average for a family hatchback and there’s a useful 40/20/40-split rear bench.

Of course, premium materials are used throughout the interior and it’s hard to fault the overall build quality, inside and out.

Mercedes-AMG A45 S review

Naturally, the Mercedes-AMG A45 S is a little more vocal on start-up than your average hatchback, but it’s not anti-social.

In fact, it’s really easy-going, happy pootling around town and cruising on the motorway. Put your foot down and it’s a car transformed. The exhaust note is angrier, it pumps through the gears and before you know it, you’re up to the legal limit.

Traction is prodigious, but hot hatches aren’t just about straight-line speed – it’s how they cope on more challenging roads.

Mercedes-AMG A45 S review

And it’s here that the Mercedes-AMG A 45 S is in another league. There are a bewildering amount of drive mode settings (there’s even a drift mode), and you can tweak the steering, suspension and exhaust, but ultimately, the sportier you get the more astonishing it becomes.

With sharp, responsive steering, phenomenal cornering ability, powerful brakes and a glorious rear bias, it’s remarkably forgiving and remains unbelievably composed.

I can’t pretend to understand all the clever, technical stuff going on behind the scenes. All I know if that it works superbly. Not only does it put a smile on your face, but it leaves you yearning for more. This could be an entertaining track day weapon.

Mercedes-AMG A45 S review

My only criticism is that the ride is firm, even in comfort mode, but it’s certainly not a deal-breaker. Sadly, the starting price of £63,285 will be for many.

Verdict: Quite simply, the Mercedes-AMG A45 S is one of the best hot hatches ever – a heady mix of power, superb driving engagement, top build quality and practicality.

Mercedes-Benz UK

Half of van drivers overload their vehicle

Gareth Herincx

4 days ago
Auto News

Volkswagen Transporter 6.1

A survey by Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles has found that 48% of UK van drivers admit that they overloaded their vans.

This is despite the fact that 89% of drivers claim to know the legal weight restriction for their light commercial vehicle (LCV).

Overloading your vehicle by as much as 30% of its gross vehicle weight could lead to a fine of up to £300, meaning the nation’s van drivers are risking a combined £703 million in penalties.

Anything above 30% overloaded and offenders may even be issued with a court summons and a custodial sentence in the most serious cases.

The survey also found that 66% of younger drivers (aged 18-24) had overloaded their van in 2022, followed by 63% of driver aged 65 or over.

Additionally, the research revealed that carpenters are the tradespeople most likely to overload their vans (63%), closely followed by builders (60%), electricians (55%) and painter decorators (55%).

Overloading penalties
In the UK, the maximum gross vehicle weight for an LCV is 3.5 tonnes (3,500kg), rising to 4.25 tonnes (4,250kg) for an alternatively-fuelled vehicle, such as an all-electric Volkswagen ID. Buzz.

Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles’ Working With You promise supports customers throughout the entire vehicle purchasing process, including the selection of the correct van for business requirements. This is available across the entire Van Centre network of 60 sites and 30 Authorised Repairers in the UK.

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Hagerty’s Greg Ingold guides us through the second generation of the Supercar that started it all in THE GREAT ONE: 1968-1972 PONTIAC GTO.


Pontiac called it “A Device For Shrinking Time & Distance.” Magazine editors called it a “Supercar”. And in 1964 enthusiasts flocked to Pontiac dealers from coast to coast to see the new GTO, an option that breathed life into a Tempest. Pontiac, not Ford, Chevy or Plymouth, essentially created an option that ignited the Supercar Revolution and an almost cult-like, youth-market movement. The GTO’s extensive performance and comfort and convenience “menu” was the envy of the industry. It was the Supercar for all seasons and reasons and started a performance revolution in Motown.

The musclecar genre actually predates Pontiac’s launch of the 1964 GTO by many years. There were a number of earlier cars built on midsize platforms that had engines originating in larger, more powerful cars. Oldsmobile built midsize 88 models with big OHV V8 engines in 1949 that could be had with three-speed-stick or automatic transmissions. And, they were successfully raced. But the GTO, an option offered on Tempest models in 1964 had an almost endless option list that covered performance as well as appearance upgrades. It was the total package, from 389-inch V8 to four-speed and limited-slip rear with road and track gearing. The second-generation model – THE GREAT ONE: 1968-1972 PONTIAC GTO – upped the game with bigger, more powerful 400-455 cubic inch Ram Air engines and higher visibility with models like The Judge.

It’s no stretch to call Pontiac’s GTO the single most important car of the musclecar era. Yes, there are varying opinions as to when and how the American musclecar really kicked off. But the fact remains that the standard formula of taking a mid-size car and stuffing a large engine under the hood started with the GTO. Launched in 1964, it first came as an option on the Tempest Le Mans, increasing the engine size to 389 cubic inches for a stout 325-horsepower in base form, and 348 with Tri-Power (three two-barrel carbs).

The GTO’s performance and sales success put everyone on notice, including Pontiac’s siblings within General Motors, and forced other brands to play catch up. But while the likes of Chevrolet and MOPAR focused on putting down huge raw power numbers, Pontiac struck a balance of offering excellent power with killer looks and more creature comforts than more entry-level manufacturers like Chevrolet, Dodge, and Ford.

THE GREAT ONE: 1968-1972 PONTIAC GTO.1967 would be another watershed year with the old 389 being swapped out for Pontiac’s all-new 400 cubic inch engine. At least in the eyes of Poncho enthusiasts everywhere, the Pontiac 400 ranks among one of the all-time great engines and would be the basis for Pontiac’s famed “Ram Air” option. And with the introduction of an updated engine, it was time for Pontiac to update the GTO as a platform. While it had big shoes to fill, the second generation 1968-1972 GTO was more than up to the task. Those were arguably the model’s best years but, being a musclecar with a wide range of available powertrains, performance options, convenience features and colors, the market for the second-gen Goat is a nuanced one, and values can range from barely above entry-level to well over half a million dollars.

GM completely refreshed the A-Body platform on which the GTO rides for 1968. It was a welcome change, leaving behind the boxiness of the 1964-1967 models in favor of the softer, curvier “Coke bottle” style popularized in the later part of the 1960s. Pontiac’s styling department also went to town on the GTO setting it far apart from the competition. The biggest innovation to the GTO’s look was the introduction of the revolutionary “Endura Bumper”, a GTO exclusive. In short, the bumper shook up the industry by eliminating the traditional chrome front bumper and instead replaced it with a painted, impact-resistant piece made of a rubberized material, which could be molded to any shape and withstand minor impacts with minimal damage.

Continue reading THE GREAT ONE: 1968-1972 PONTIAC GTO at

The full range of Gen I and Gen II GTOs, including Royal Pontiac Bobcats, are extensively covered in DAY ONE,