China’s Geely Holding Group says its Zeekr electric vehicle brand has agreed to produce a new model for US autonomous driving company Waymo LLC (owned by Google), according to reports in China.
The model will be designed and developed at Zeekr’s research and development (R&D) facility in Gothenburg, Sweden, where Geely’s Volvo Cars subsidiary is based. Waymo will add its autonomous driving technology after its takes delivery of the vehicles, ahead of their deployment in the USA.
The Chinese automaker said the new model aimed to set a new benchmark for autonomous ride-hailing vehicles, with its design and layout to be very “rider-centric”. It will be based on open-source architecture and will be available with a fully configurable cabin with and without driver controls.
Zeekr CEO An Conghui said, “By becoming a strategic partner and vehicle supplier to the Waymo One fleet, we will be able to share our experience, ideals and provide our expertise in collaborating on a fully electric vehicle that fits Waymo’s requirements for this rapidly expanding segment in the global market for sustainable travel”.
Waymo said in a statement these new vehicles would be a big part of its commitment to “expanding access to sustainable transportation”.
Geely also established a joint venture last year with Chinese ride-hailing company Baidu, called Jidu Auto, which is scheduled to unveil its first car with Level 4 autonomous driving technologies in the first half of 2022.
Lamborghini pushes out final Aventador, Ultimae, ends V12 supercar
Supercar manufacturer, Lamborghini, has announced the production of the last Aventador. You can call it Avantador’s last dance. The final Lamborghini Aventador Ultimae was rolled off the production line in Sant’Agata, Italy, and kissing goodbye to V12-powered supercar that shaped an era. The Lamborghini V12 will be hybridised going forward.
This Ultimae Roadster marks the 11,465th Aventador to reach customers worldwide. First launched in 2011, the Aventador is not exactly modern, but when it debuted, it was described by CEO Stephan Winkelmann as “a jump of two generations in terms of design and technology,” with “performance that is simply overwhelming.”
A plug-in hybrid replacement is expected to be revealed later this year, having been spied testing.
Lamborghini made sure the final model was the most powerful, with the 6.5-litre unit producing 10bhp more than in the previous range-topping Aventador, the Lamborghini Aventador SVJ, sending 769bhp (780PS, hence the name) to both axles. The Aventador-based Essenza SCV12 produces 819bhp but is limited to track use.
The Ultimae’s 531lb ft torque peak matches the SVJ’s, with which it shares its power- to-weight ratio. But with a 0-62mph time of just 2.8sec and a top speed of 221mph, the Ultimae is the fastest road-going Aventador.
The 350 coupés and 250 roadsters – each sold with a numbered plaque – were offered in a range of unique colour schemes, including a new grey-on-grey option with contrasting red trim elements, while the roadster could be specified with an exposed carbonfibre roof panel. It was also subtly marked out from other Aventadors by way of a unique styling package that “took the best components” of the S and SVJ.
The Aventador’s plug-in hybrid replacement will serve as a bridge to pure-electric Lamborghini models in the future.
This electrified future will see the Hurácan and Lamborghini Urus also go down the same route, and an all-electric 2+2 introduced in the second half of the decade.
Importantly, however, while its replacement will use an electrified drivetrain, it will take the bulk of its power from a large-capacity V12, in line with company boss Stephan Winkelmann’s commitment to the emotional value of its supercars.
He told Autocar last year that there is “a lot of emotion attached” to the 12-cylinder engine, which he is particularly aware of, having been involved in the launch of the Aventador in his first stint as the boss of Lamborghini in 2011.
Lagos holds car-free day, residents to go cycling, walking Sunday
Residents of Lagos on Sunday (tomorrow) are expected to take to trekking and cycling as the state observes car-free day.
The Lagos State Government said this in a statement, adding that the programme would be organise in collaborating with the Lagos Urban Development Initiative (LUDI).
It stated that the event was to encourage road users and motorists to park their cars for a day and take up active and inclusive means of transport such as cycling and walking known as Non-Motorized Transport (NMT).
It stated that traffic would be diverted around Alausa/Ikeja as cyclists would utilise Governor’s Office Road, through Mobolaji Johnson Ave, Billings Way, Obafemi Awolowo Way, Aromire, Adeniyi Jones, and Oba Akran Way for bicycle ride to mark the event while about 400 metres of the Governor’s Avenue will be closed for the event.
The Lagos State Commissioner for Transportation, Dr Frederic Oladeinde, said the aim of the initiative was to create awareness about the benefits of NMT, which include reduced environmental pollution.
The commissioner who was quoted in a statement by the Deputy Director, Public Affairs, Mrs Bolanle Ogunlola, added that the initiative would reduce insufficient physical activity and sedentary behaviour to promote health of the people regardless of their ages.
He cited the significant drop in air pollution recorded during the Covid-19 pandemic lockdowns, when movement was curtailed and many private cars and public vehicles were off the roads, which he said resulted in reduction of vehicular carbon emissions into the atmosphere.
This, he stressed, helped in improving the quality of air, as well as increase in physical exercise and improved health practice.
Oladehinde said, “Vehicular emissions have now become a global issue. In Nigeria as well as other developing countries, 25% of the air pollution problems are as a result of automobile exhaust.
“This is very evident in the number of unroadworthy, smoky vehicles plying our roads on daily basis, causing not just health issues but visibility problems and sometimes accidents.”
He also said the event would provide cities and governments an opportunity to do more in advancing public transport systems which could be run more efficiently through provision of viable, reliable alternatives to the cars in the urban areas, as well as implementing NMT with walking, cycling and inclusive mobility given priority.
Oladeinde said the event being coordinated by the Lagos State Ministry of Transportation along with other Ministries, Departments, Agencies and Lagos Urban Development Initiative was necessary to continuously enlighten the citizenry on the importance of environmental health.
He urged motorists to prepare to join the rest of the world in observing the Car Free Day.
The commissioner disclosed that hundreds of people are expected to convene at the Alausa, Ikeja venue where many fun and exciting activities such as cycling, cycling training, cycling competitions, skating, stretches, music, dance would hold.
Auction: Lagos Assembly reviewing traffic law, says Justice commissioner
The Lagos State House of Assembly is currently reviewing the state Transport Sector Reform Law (2018) for amendment, the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice in Lagos State, Moyosore Onigbanjo, has said.
He said this on Tuesday during an interview on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily.
It was a reaction to the criticism that greeted last Thursday’s auction of vehicles impounded for traffic offences by officials of the state government.
Onigbanjo said, “The Lagos State Transport Sector Reform Law is currently being reviewed by the state House of Assembly and amendments will be in place as soon as possible.
“This issue of driving against traffic has become such a nuisance, such a danger, and such a menace to society that something drastic has to be done, and the legislators at that time imposed these penalties.
“There is a process to amend the law so people can go up to their representatives in the state house of assembly and make agitations that in our view, this is draconian and we think you should change the law. That could kick-start the process but ongoing right now, there is a process to review the law.”
There has been public outcry after abandoned and impounded vehicles were auctioned last week by the Lagos State Government at the Task Force Yard, Ikeja.
Some of those who attended the public sale included drivers whose vehicles were seized for disobeying traffic laws.
The event was filled with different dramas from bidders and businessmen who came solely for business purposes.
The Lagos State Transport Sector Reform Law 2018 states that anyone who drives in a direction prohibited by the law or neglects traffic direction will have to forfeit the vehicle as a fine and, in addition, serve one-year imprisonment for a first-time offender and three years imprisonment for second-time offenders.
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