Top News Stories June 2016

How Robot Cars Could Save Us Money

Driverless cars may not appear too near in the future for South Africans yet, but when they do, they'll not only change the way we work,play, and live, but may also make the cost of motoring cheaper.The fact that a robot takes over from a human being mean less cell phone usage while driving which immediately decreases the risk of accidents, fines, and a host of human errors that end up costing us extra expense.

Solar Carport Charging Facility is in South Africa

The solar revolution has begun with BMW launching its first solar charging facility in Johannesburg towards the end of May. This makes it possible for owners of electric and hybrid vehicles to charge up completely using green energy. Even the carport is constructed mainly of bamboo, which is a particularly sustainable raw material.Charging time is under two hours for a car, but the carport charging facility can also be used to charge electric home appliances as well.Four pilot solar ports would be strategically located and established in Johannesburg,Cape Town and Durban.

BMW X5 Hybrid Launches in SA

And while we're talking about electric charging carports, BMW's new X5 xDrive40e plug-inhybrid also arrived in the country at the end of May. This is the first of arange in South Africa from BMW (not counting the i8), which recently promised to launch rechargeable hybrid versions of every car in its range within the next few years. Under the hood of this SUV is a lithium-ionbattery pack feeding an electric motor inside its eight-speed gearbox. It's possible to drive this X5 on pure electric power for up to 31km at speeds up to120km/h.

Uber Switches on Cash Payment Option

Since its launch in South Africa in 2013, an Uber ride meant you could only pay by credit card. Now, South Africa is the first country in the world where the cash payment option went live in five cities simultaneously. These were the main cities of Johannesburg, Pretoria, Cape Town, Durban and Port Elizabeth. This move comes after Uber fares were reduced by up to 20% in the country for the winter,causing controversy among Uber drivers, partners, and car owners, but the price-cut was designed to drive demand.

Top Gear is Back with a South African Spin

The BBC show on DStv Channel 120 will feature two new presenters Chris Evans and Matt LeBlanc. Also on offer are new locations, new ideas, and new challenges amongst outrageous track challenges and high-performance car reviews. An episode to watch out for features the team manoeuvreing their vehicle over the treacherous bends on Sani Pass, and racing to the highest pub in Africa.