BMW Regains the Lead in Luxury Lighting

BMW beats Audi in the race to market new ‘exceptionally precise’ OLED lights. The official 911-by-the-hour ‘Porsche Driver’ service expands to Berlin, and Switzerland!

Also, Freight News roundup: catching up with the Russia truck protest. Mega fines for French couriers. Germany and Austria hand out incorrect driving rights. UK and Dutch haulage associations both call for the French army in Calais.

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BMW REGAINS THE LEAD IN LUXURY LIGHTING

First production OLED lights on new M4 GTS.

It was BMW who invented fancy lighting with its - supposedly - iconic ‘halogen rings’ almost two decades ago, but it wasn’t until Audi’s much later LED day time running lights that the idea really caught on. Despite first showing new OLEDs (Organic Light Emitting Diodes) at the 2013 Los Angeles Consumer Electronics Show, Audi has been beaten to the production punch by BMW with its new M4 GTS. Made up of wafer thin material which illuminates across the whole surface - unlike LEDs which emit points of light - OLEDs dispense with lenses and the rest to allow compact light systems featuring, in the words of BMW, ‘exceptional precision’. The next stages are 3D tail lamps then OLED body panels. Expect to see these flashing past on the autobahn soon. See more. Photo BMW.

BMW M4 GTS. Photo BMW

It was BMW who invented fancy lighting with its – supposedly – iconic ‘halogen rings’ almost two decades ago.

However, it wasn’t until Audi’s much later LED day-time running lights that the idea really caught on.

Despite showing the first OLEDs (Organic Light Emitting Diodes) at the 2013 Los Angeles Consumer Electronics Show, Audi has been beaten to the production punch by BMW with the new M4 GTS.

Made up of wafer thin material which illuminates across the entire surface – unlike LEDs which emit points of light – OLEDs dispense with lenses and the rest to allow much more compact light systems.

In the words of BMW, the new units are capable of ‘exceptional precision’.

Swish tail lights are not as useful to British (or right hand) drivers as their front facing counterparts, which now mostly switch for driving on the other side of the road, and do away with the need for fiddly headlamp stickers.

But expect to see a set of OLEDs flashing past on the autobahn very soon.

The next stages are 3D tail lamps then OLED body panels. See more.

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After kicking off in Stuttgart last March, the official 911-by-the-hour ‘Porsche Drive’ programme has now expanded to Berlin, and Switzerland. Prices range from €69 per hour for a Boxster or Cayman to €2599 per week for a 911 (the full Porsche model range is available). The cars can be hired from the Porsche Museum in Stuttgart and the dealerships in Franklinstrasse, central Berlin, and Rotkreuz, beside Zugersee in north central Switzerland, just above the Alps (between Zug and Lucern). Drivers must be at least 27-years old and the deposit is quite hefty but the package does include suggested driving routes. Gift vouchers from €30 are also available. See more, or see Porsche Drive.com.

After kicking off in Stuttgart last March, the official 911-by-the-hour ‘Porsche Drive’ programme has now expanded to Berlin, and Switzerland. Prices range from €69 per hour for a Boxster or Cayman to €2599 per week for a 911 (the full Porsche model range is available). The cars can be hired from the Porsche Museum in Stuttgart and the dealerships in Franklinstrasse, central Berlin, and Rotkreuz, beside Zugersee in north central Switzerland, just above the Alps (between Zug and Lucern). Drivers must be at least 27-years old and the deposit is quite hefty but the package does include suggested driving routes. Gift vouchers from €30 are also available. See more, or see Porsche Drive.com.

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roundup Freight News: RUSSIA. Far from petering out, the trucker protest against the new Platon electronic truck toll system is digging in for the winter. Two camps have been established on the outskirts of Moscow says The Moscow Times. Seventy drivers protested outside the city’s presidential administration building yesterday. They want a nationwide referendum on the issue. Meanwhile, this afternoon, an amendment which reduces the fines by up to a hundredfold was signed into law. However, the toll rate will double on 1 March 2016 to 3.06RUB/km (£0.03). Revenues have already reached 1.468RUB billion (£14 million) according to a later report from Moscow Times. FRANCE. Twenty courier companies have been fined more than €670 between them for price-fixing in France from 2004-2010. The local subsidiaries of DHL, FedEx and TNT were caught up in the ring which also colluded on a fuel surcharge reports France24. ‘Nearly the entire fabric of French industry and commerce was affected by the price-fixing practices including the e-business sector which was booming,’ said the Competition Authority. LICENCES. More trouble on driving licences from some surprising countries: ‘In some cases Austria and Germany have given incorrect driving rights to holders of certain truck or bus licences,’ says the December Infringements Package from the European Commission, and ‘Poland has not correctly transposed the rules on normal residence, notably concerning persons who live successively in different Member States,’ it continues. Finland is in trouble too for failing to connect to the EU driving licences network RESPER. The previous infringements package also included several member state referrals on licence rules. CALAIS MIGRANT CRISIS. The RHA Road Haulage Association has renewed its call for the French army to be deployed in Calais to protect truck drivers. It follows a visit to the port last week by chief executive Richard Burnett. He says that the 1300 security staff currently on site – a mix of police and CRS riot squad – are only ‘a drop in the ocean’ compared to the up to six thousand migrants. The TLN Dutch Association for Transport and Logistics also called for the French army today saying the migrant activity around Calais has so far cost its members €150 million.

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