x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Traffic fines - for loud cars

Supercar owners beware - a pilot scheme in Canada is trialling a "Noise Snare" device that, when proven operational, will enable authorities to fine drivers with excessively loud vehicles.

The Rolls-Royce 102EX was in Dubai last month. Jaime Puebla / The National
The Rolls-Royce 102EX was in Dubai last month. Jaime Puebla / The National

Traffic fines - for loud cars

Supercar owners beware - a pilot scheme in Canada is trialling a "Noise Snare" device that, when proven operational, will enable authorities to fine drivers with excessively loud vehicles.

Working very much like a speed camera by pinpointing the source of noise and determining if it exceeds the acceptable decibel level under the local laws, it will then take a photograph of offending vehicles so an appropriate fine can be issued.

The technology, which is being pioneered by the city of Calgary, is aimed at drivers who modify their vehicles so the exhaust produces loud noises.

According to the Calgary Herald, the city will set up several free noise check stations so motorists can see if their vehicle exceeds the limits.

As well as being a way of reducing nuisance noise, reports have found that loud traffic noise can increase the risk of heart attacks.

A Swedish study in 2009 found that people who were regularly exposed to traffic noise in excess of 50 decibels were 40 per cent more likely to suffer a heart attack than those who lived in quieter areas.

Rolls-Royce customers aren't finding the 102EX electrifying

Rolls-Royce may not include an electric car in its lineup anytime soon after all, even as the company's experimental, all-electric 102EX continues its worldwide tour.

At the Dubai motor show two weeks ago, Torsten Müller-Ötvös, CEO of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars, said clients' reaction to the one-off testbed for an alternative drivetrain Phantom has been cool.

"We have seen on one side a great reception of the car, but on the other side a lot of commentary on the range of the car, only 120km, the charging time is not acceptable, at over eight hours. So, too much compromise for many of our customers. And so, I don't have a cheque yet on my desk that tells me to build that car. There is no customer yet that has asked me if he could buy one.

"The whole project is not ended yet; I don't want to make an assumption of 'are we doing that, yes or no'. But it's still in the United States, and I'm very much looking forward to what the US, our biggest market, is saying about that car. So let's wait and see."

Read what we thought of the electric Rolls at www.thenational.ae and search for 102EX.

Karting finals in Al Ain today

The Al Ain Raceway today plays host to the final day of the Rotax MAX Challenge Grand Finals, a karting event involving 264 drivers from around the world from age 13 upwards. It's the largest karting event in the world.

Practice rounds were scheduled for Monday and Tuesday before the qualifiers on Wednesday and Thursday and the first day of finals in the four classes was set for yesterday. But there's still time today to get along to check out the final and deciding races, as well as the podium celebrations.

Now in its twelfth year, the Rotax MAX Challenge Grand Finals is an international CIK event which has become the most prestigious championship in the world of karting.

Drivers qualify for the Grand Finals via the National Rotax MAX Challenge in their home country - approximately 3,700 competitors take part worldwide. The season's winners of each class are invited to the Grand Finals.

Al Ain Raceway is a 1.4km-long track with Level B homologation - the highest in the region. It hosted the same event in 2007, shortly after it opened.

Today's event starts at 9.30am with prizes being handed out from 5pm. Entry is free.

Scottish police charge more than just criminals - their cars, too

You can't imagine it being that successful during a high-speed chase but in the other important pursuit of cutting carbon emissions, police in Scotland have added an electric Mitsubishi I-Miev to its ranks.

Police now stationed at the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh will use the vehicle as police enact plans to have more carbon-neutral vehicles in its fleet.

"The acquisition of these electric vehicles signals our intent to continually look to the future and provide the highest quality of policing while, at the same time, take significant steps to reducing our carbon footprint," chief superintendent Derek Robertson told Britain's Daily Mail.

Lothian and Borders Police has also invested in a zero-emission Ford Connect Electric van.

"There is definitely a place for it in our operations," says Dave Kennan, fleet manager for the force. "These cars are great at low speeds and are ideal for city centre driving."

Mercedes-Benz tuning company Brabus opens facility in Dubai

On Wednesday November 16, German tuning company Brabus, in the presence of HH Sheikh Saeed Bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, officially opened its new workshop and showroom facility in Al Quoz, Dubai.

Brabus, founded in 1977 by Professor Bodo Buschmann, who still owns the company, is the world's largest independent Mercedes-Benz tuning company (AMG is now a subsidiary of Mercedes) and its emphasis has always been on huge power.

At the opening ceremony for the 3,000 square metre regional headquarters, Prof Buschmann said: "We consider this to be an outstanding centre of excellence, that will not only service the needs of our traditional customers but also those of our trading partners in the region."

Many of the company's current range of modified Mercedes and Smart cars are on display, and a team of engineers, predominately from Germany, is now based there.