2016

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2016

2017

2015
 

2016: A weird year - Brexit (23 June), Trump (8 Nov.), and the hottest on record (see 19/1/2017). The Volkswagen emissions cheating scandal trundles along (21 Dec, 7 Nov., 10 Sept., 1 Sept., 2 Aug., 10 Mar., 4 Jan.), as does the Takata air-bags matter (23 Sept., 8 May). Crude oil bounced around mostly between us$35 and us$50/barrel. Truck safety – speeding, poor maintenance, driver fatigue – is a concern (e.g., us 21 Dec, uk 15 Dec, 23 Nov, au 10 Oct, us 26 Aug, au 3 July). The Vic. 2016 road toll 292, 15.9% up on 2015's 252, Victorian TAC [www]; nationally >1290, The G [www]. Big companies and the rich and powerful continue to pay little or no tax (9 Dec., 10 Oct., 3 Apr., 22 Mar.) – not so unusual? Malcolm agile innovator Turnbull's Lib/NP government presided over the closure of Ford's .au car manufacturing (7 Oct), with GM Holden and Toyota soon to follow.

30 Dec Fri Melb ULP avg au$1.24/l; min $1.15 ([Perth] avg $1.30/l, min $1.20); oil us$54/b; au$1.00=us$0.72, £0.59, €0.69, ¥85

29 December 2016: "... There was flash flooding in several Melbourne suburbs on Thursday ... Sections of the Western Ring Road and the Tullamarine Freeway were closed in both directions while services on all major rail lines are delayed ..." -- [abc].

27 December 2016: "A $13 million project to construct luxury accommodation along the Falls to Hotham Alpine Crossing trail will ruin its natural beauty, opponents have said. ... four accommodation complexes, featuring cabins and luxury camping sites, are set to be built along the 56 kilometre trail ..." -- [abc].  Also see the draft plan at Parks Victoria [www].

26 December 2016 - 13 January 2017: "... the next stage of the West Gate Freeway upgrade between the Bolte Bridge and Power Street. ... upgrade activities planned for 26 Dec. 2016 to 13 Jan. 2017. ..." -- vic.gov.au [www].

26 December 2016: "A massive Christmas night storm and heavy rain that has sparked damaging flash floods in Central Australia is being described as a once-in-a-half-century weather event by the Bureau of Meteorology (BOM). A quarter of the community of Kintore was evacuated after it was drenched by 232mm of rain in the 24 hours since 9:00am yesterday - taking the December total to a record 373.4mm. ... The downpours also caused the closure of Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park. ..." -- [abc].

26 December 2016, .au: "Road safety experts have expressed concern about a notable spike in this year's death toll on the nation's roads. ..." -- [abc].

25 Dec Sun Melb ULP avg au$1.25/l; min $1.15 ([Perth] avg $1.26/l, min $1.15); oil us$53/b
23 Dec Fri au$1.00=us$0.72, £0.59, €0.69, ¥85

25 December 2016: 40°C in Adelaide.

23 December 2016: "First claim for billions asserted by US hedge funds dismissed in final judgment ... US hedge funds had last asserted claims against Porsche... of around 1.2 billion euro due to alleged damages arising from alleged short selling transactions as well as swaps and options relating to ordinary shares of Volkswagen AG in 2008 ..." -- Porsche [www].

22 December 2016, wa: "... Cyclone Yvette was about 700 kilometres north-west of Karratha ... not expecting it to reach coastal areas until probably Christmas Day or Boxing Day. ..." -- [abc].  And, "More than 200mm of rain has fallen in parts of WA's Kimberley region in the past 24 hours. ..." -- [abc].  And [23/12].

22 December 2016, recall PRA #2016/15793: "Ford Territory and Ranger ... an intermittent Output Shaft Speed Sensor failure may result in an unintended downshift into first gear. ... could cause an abrupt[!] wheel speed reduction. ..." -- .gov.au [www].

21 December 2016, .us: "Driverless trucks threaten jobs in 'Trumpland' ... The technology, now undergoing trials, is being touted as a way of reducing a massive road toll. There are nearly half a million accidents involving trucks each year, with 4,000 fatalities, or about 11 deaths a day. ..." -- [abc].

21 December 2016: "New vehicles in Australia would have to be cleaner and more fuel efficient [?] following a number of proposals being considered by the Federal Government. ... Three draft proposals have been released by the Federal Government, with consultations to close in March 2017. ..." -- [abc].  But also see "real world driving" 12 Dec.

21 December 2016: "Volkswagen has struck a deal with the US authorities over some 80,000 VW, Audi and Porsche cars with 3-litre diesel engines. ... The new agreement will cost Volkswagen an estimated $1bn, US authorities said. ..." -- [bbc].

20 Dec Tue Melb ULP avg au$1.25/l; min $1.15 ([Perth] avg $1.36/l, min $1.16); oil us$52/b; au$1.00=us$0.73, £0.59, €0.70, ¥85

20 December 2016: "A draft European parliament inquiry into the dieselgate scandal has found the European commission guilty of maladministration for failing to act quickly enough on evidence that defeat devices were being used to game emissions tests. ..." -- The G [www].

19 December 2016: "November 2016 ranks as 5th warmest on record for the globe ... The average global temperature this November was 1.31°F above the 20th-century average of 55.2°F ..." -- NOAA [www]. (Also see 19 Jan 2017.)

19 December 2016: "Two tropical cyclones possible in waters off WA coast over next two days: BOM ... Widespread rainfall totals of 25-50mm with isolated falls of 125mm were forecast for the northern and western parts of the Kimberley in the 24 hours to 9am on Tuesday ..." -- [abc].

17 December 2016: "Torrential overnight rain has caused extensive flash flooding across Mount Isa and surrounding areas in [Qld]'s north-west. ..." -- [abc].

15 December 2016: A "2017 Kia Niro officially received a Guinness World Record title for the lowest fuel consumption driving across the USA from coast to coast ([for a] hybrid car). The new record setting mark is ... 76.6mpg. ..." -- Kia [www].  (That'll be per smaller US gallon.)

15 Dec Thu Melb ULP avg au$1.25/l; min $1.12 ([Perth] avg $1.29/l, min $1.15); oil us$51/b; au$1.00=us$0.74, £0.59, €0.71, ¥87

15 December 2016, .uk: "Footage showing a lorry driver eating at the wheel moments before a fatal crash has been released. ... recording, taken by a camera inside his truck's cabin ... He appeared to not be fully concentrating as he was driving with one hand on the steering wheel. ..." -- [bbc].

15 December 2016: "... seasonal climate outlooks for January to March 2017 ... Below-average rainfall likely in parts of eastern .au; above average likely in NW and central WA. Warmer days and nights likely across E and N .au; cooler than average more likely in Tasmania and SW WA. ..." -- [bom].

14 December 2016: "A hands-free phone conversation while driving is just as dangerous as one using a hand-held phone, with both drivers taking a second longer to react, a Queensland study finds. ..." -- [abc].

14 December 2016: "General Motors [GM] has delivered its first (3) Chevrolet Bolt electric cars ... to claim first place in the race to deliver an electric car that can run for more than 200 miles on a charge and has a starting price below [us]$40,000. ..." -- The G [www].

13 December 2016, vic: "Daily lives lost update, Calendar year to midnight 13 December 2016,   [to 13 Dec] 2015: 242,   2016: 277 (up 14.6%) ..." -- stats [www] at TAC [www].

13 December 2016: "Fire danger warnings are in place across a large part of Australia, with hot temperatures and windy weather expected ... total fire bans in place in regions of South Australia, New South Wales and Victoria ..." -- [abc].

13 December 2016: "Australian motorists are being warned to fill-up at the pump before petrol prices spike in the week leading up to Christmas. ..." -- [abc].

12 December 2016: "Preliminary results from Australia's first on-road vehicle emissions test program ... Results show emissions of noxious gasses up to four times the regulatory limits, while greenhouse gas emissions and fuel consumption was up to 35% higher than figures shown on the relevant Government mandated Fuel Consumption Label, and 20% higher on average. ..." -- RACV [www].  (And the [abc].)  This has been known for a  l o n g  time. Also see 17 May 2012, and 'Honest John' [www].

10 Dec Sat Melb ULP avg au$1.26/l; min $1.15 ([Perth] avg $1.23/l, min $1.14); oil us$52/b
9 Dec Fri au$1.00=us$0.75, £0.59, €0.70, ¥85

9 December 2016: "The Australian Tax Office has named 670 large companies that paid no corporate tax in the 2014-15 financial year. ..." -- [abc] and [more].

6 December 2016: "Car loan provider BMW Australia Finance will refund millions of dollars worth of loans to thousands of customers after it was found to have breached responsible lending provisions. ... The total cost of the package is au$77 million ..." -- [abc].

6 December 2016: The partnership between Aston Martin and Red Bull Racing "is to be extended to cover the 2017 season ... Aston Martin is also confirming that all 150 road car versions of [the] AM-RB 001 hypercar have been sold out. Customer deliveries of the AM-RB 001 will commence in early 2019. ..." -- AM [www].

5 December 2016, .au: "Carbon price for power generators back on the table in Federal Government's climate policy review ..." -- [abc].  But then... "Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg backtracks on emissions intensity scheme ..." -- [7/12].

5 December 2016: SAE and others are "looking to deploy a high-powered DC fast-charging network for battery electric vehicles (BEVs) covering long-distance travel routes in Europe. ... led by BMW Group, Daimler AG, Ford Motor Co., and the Volkswagen Group (with Audi & Porsche), is looking at power levels up to 350kW ... The initial current test was at 350A, but now that the joint venture is looking at 400A ... addressing cooled cables to support the higher current in conjunction with a voltage bump from 500 to 1000V." -- SAE [www].  That certainly tops your average toaster.

5 Dec Mon Melb ULP avg au$1.27/l; min $1.09 ([Perth] avg $1.18/l, min $1.11); oil us$52/b; au$1.00=us$0.75, £0.59, €0.71, ¥85

3 December 2016: "The remote West Australian community of Fitzroy Crossing has lost power after a fire at the town's power station on Friday night. ... Motorists are urged to avoid relying on fuel supplies at Fitzroy Crossing, as there is no fuel available within 300km of the town." -- [abc].

2 December 2016: Nico Rosberg (31), the 2016 Formula One World Champion, announced his retirement at the prize giving ceremony. (See  the FIA [www] and [bbc].)

2 December 2016: "Outback Way sealing plan ramps up with injection of money ... The route is 2,800km long and runs from Laverton in WA's northern Goldfields to Winton in Queensland. ... the Shire of Laverton [WA] planned to seal 50km in the first half of 2017 ..." -- [abc]. (1500km to do.)

2 December 2016: "The leaders of four major global cities say they will stop the use of all diesel-powered cars and trucks by the middle of the next decade. The mayors of Paris, Mexico City, Madrid and Athens say they are implementing the ban to improve air quality. ..." -- [bbc].

1 December 2016: "Oil prices have risen further following Wednesday's agreement by the Opec group of oil producing nations to cut output. The price of Brent crude rose 4.5% to us$54.19 a barrel, its highest level this year ..." -- [bbc].

1 December 2016, uk, Brexit: "A deal to keep Nissan making cars in the north-east will not add to the government's liabilities, according to Philip Hammond, who said any costs would be kept within current spending limits. ..." -- The G [www].

 
30 Nov Wed Melb ULP avg au$1.27/l; min $1.09 ([Perth] avg $1.27/l, min $1.14); oil us$47/b; au$1.00=us$0.75, £0.60, €0.70, ¥84

29 November 2016, .au: 'With the letters "Last One" and the date "29/11/16" stamped on the back, the very last Holden six-cylinder motor rolled off the company's Port Melbourne production line at 10.47am on Tuesday, bringing to an end almost seven decades of local engine manufacturing. ...' -- SMH [www].

29 November 2016, .au: "... the year's best political cartoons are about to go on show at Old Parliament House in Canberra. ..." -- [abc].

28 November 2016: "Japan's government estimates the cost of cleaning up radioactive contamination and compensating victims of the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster has more than doubled, reports say. The latest estimate from the trade ministry put the expected cost at some ¥20 trillion ($180bn, £142bn). ..." -- [bbc].

27 November 2016 [#21/21]: UAE F1 Grand Prix, Abu Dhabi (start 5pm local, 1pm GMT).
Results: 1. Lewis Hamilton [Mercedes]; 2. Nico Rosberg (Mercedes); 3. Sebastian Vettel [Ferrari]. The result meant that Rosberg won the 2016 Formula One Drivers' World Championship. (Also see the FIA [www] and [bbc].) And see 2 Dec. above.
25 Nov Fri Melb ULP avg au$1.28/l; min $1.10 ([Perth] avg $1.23/l, min $1.12); oil us$48/b; au$1.00=us$0.74, £0.60, €0.70, ¥84

24 November 2016, .au: "Summer (Dec. to Feb.) rainfall is likely to be below average in parts of the east and above average in northwest WA. The Dec. outlook shows a drier month with warmer days for most of the country. ..." -- [bom].

23 November 2016, .uk: "... fatal crash tipper truck 'had serious brake defects' ..." -- [bbc].

23 November 2016: "... Fat cars. ... In the 1970s, when the earliest VW Golfs were a modest 1.6 metres across, the Institution of Structural Engineers and the Chartered Institution of Highways and Transportation recommended a standard [parking] bay size of 2.4m by 4.8m. Including mirrors, a new Golf today is 2.027m wide, almost as fat as a Range Rover. ..." -- The G [www].

23 November 2016, .us: The "NHTSA released proposed guidelines today to help address driver distraction caused by mobile and other electronic devices in vehicles. ..." -- NHTSA [www].

21 November 2016: "... The Bureau of Meteorology issued a severe thunderstorm warning for Melbourne and parts of the state on Monday afternoon. ... temperatures of 38°C were recorded at Avalon on Monday, while the Bureau of Meteorology's Olympic Park observation station showed the mercury hit 35°C. ..." -- [abc] and [2].

20 Nov Sun Melb ULP avg au$1.30/l; min $1.12 ([Perth] avg $1.20/l, min $1.14); oil us$46/b
4 Nov Fri au$1.00=us$0.76, £0.62, €0.69, ¥79

19 November 2016: "The cows do not seem too perturbed but they make sure they get out of the way whenever the members of the Busted Arse Tank Repairs and Co roll by on an armoured vehicle. ..." -- [abc].

18-27 November 2016: Los Angeles Auto Show (trade 14-17) [www]. Including Jaguar 'I-Pace' electric SUV concept (see 15 Nov.); Mazda next 'CX-5' with 2.2 diesel option [www].

18 November 2016: "Volkswagen has announced plans to cut 30,000 jobs worldwide with about 23,000 of the losses borne in Germany. VW, still dealing with the aftermath of the emissions-cheating scandal, aims to rejuvenate its core brand, and develop new electric and self-driving cars. ..." -- [bbc]. Also see VW [www].

16 November 2016: "Cane toad sausages on the menu for Kimberley wildlife in taste aversion project ..." -- [abc].  This technique has been used by Australian Wildlife Conservancy (AWC) scientists at, for example, Mornington and Marion Downs [www] in the Kimberley, as part of "toad-aversion training" for "the endangered Northern Quoll as well as goannas, some large snake species and freshwater crocodiles" -- AWC [www].  The cane toads are at Purnululu (the Bungle Bungles) [www] and spreading westward.  Feral cats [www] and hot wildfires [www] are also issues for native wildlife.

15 November 2016: Jaguar revealed details of the 'I-Pace' electric SUV concept "with over 500km range ... 80% charge achieved in 90 minutes and 100% in just over two hours using 50kW DC charging." -- Jaguar [www]. (Can't see that being any use in the outback.)

15 Nov Tue Melb ULP avg au$1.18/l; min $1.07 ([Perth] avg $1.29/l, min $1.14); oil us$43/b; au$1.00=us$0.76, £0.61, €0.70, ¥82

14 November 2016: "[T]he last in an initial run of ten [Hawkei] vehicles [rolled] off the Thales production line in Bendigo ... The pilot Hawkei vehicles pave the way for full-rate production in 2018. ..." -- .gov.au [www].

14 November 2016: "... Toyota, has agreed to settle a US Federal class action for up to us$3.4bn ... covers 1.5 million Tacoma compact pickups, Tundra full-size pickups and Sequoia SUVs. Court papers alleged that the vehicles had received inadequate rust protection, and that corrosion could jeopardise their structural integrity. ..." -- [bbc].

13 November 2016 [#20/21]: Brazilian F1 Grand Prix, Sao Paulo (start 2pm local, 4pm GMT).
Results: 1. Lewis Hamilton [Mercedes]; 2. Nico Rosberg [Mercedes]; 3. Max Verstappen [Red Bull]. The race started in the rain, behind the safety car, and was red flagged twice, firstly when Kimi Raikkonen (Ferrari) crashed on the main straight on lap 20, secondly on lap 29 due to heavy rain. Verstappen got as high as second and might have finished there but for a tyre gamble that did not pay off. (Also see the FIA [www] and the [bbc].)

13 November 2016: 35th Historic Commercial Vehicle Club's display day, Vic., [www].

12-13 November 2016: Bendigo National Swap Meet [www].

11-13 November 2016: Classic Motor Show, NEC, Birmingham, uk [www].
Silverstone auction's Classic Car sale, including lot 314 a 1948 Land-Rover series 1; chassis #R861008, engine #R8210440NC (sold £43,875); lot 324 a 2012 Bentley Mulsanne, formerley used by "HM the Queen", chassis #SCBBA63Y5CC016596, engine #CKB301542 (passed in); [www].
10 Nov Thu Melb ULP avg au$1.13/l; min $1.09 ([Perth] avg $1.25/l, min $1.14); oil us$45/b; au$1.00=us$0.77, £0.62, €0.70, ¥81

8 November 2016 (Tues.): US Presidential election. To the surprise of many (but not the Simpsons [www]) Donald Trump (Rep.) defeated Hilary Clinton (Dem.) and will become the next President on 20th January 2017. Putin was pleased, the rest of the world was bewildered.  Also see the [abc], and The G [www].  The US Federal Register [2016] and previous [www].  ("Canada's immigration website crashes during US vote ... the cause was a higher than normal level of traffic. ..." -- [bbc].  And, "Donald J. Trump elected as last President of the United States of America ..." -- Betoota Advocate [www].)

8 November 2016: "... 2011-2015 was the warmest five-year period on record globally and for all continents apart from Africa (second warmest). Temperatures for the period were 0.57°C (1.03°F) above the average for the standard 1961-1990 reference period. The warmest year on record to date was 2015, during which temperatures were 0.76&dg;C (1.37°F) above the 1961-1990 average, followed by 2014. The year 2015 was also the first year in which global temperatures were more than 1°C above the pre-industrial era. ..." -- WMO [www].

7 November 2016: "Nissan's recently unveiled 2017 Note, a Japan-market 5-door, is powered by [a] series-type hybrid ..." -- SAE [www], and Nissan [www].

7 November 2016: "... Volkswagen says German prosecutors have expanded their probe of the emissions scandal to include the firm's chairman of the board. Hans Dieter Poetsch was chief financial officer when the scandal over cars rigged to cheat on US diesel emissions tests broke in September 2015. VW said prosecutors in Braunschweig were investigating two members of the board, Mr Poetsch and an unnamed other. ..." -- [bbc]. (And, "... the Braunschweig public prosecutor's office has extended its investigation against two members of the Company's Board for alleged market manipulation to include Hans Dieter Potsch. ..." -- VW [www].)

6 November 2016: Mercedes "... new gasoline 4.0-L V8 biturbo [engine] for the S-Class, new 6-cylinder units in gasoline and diesel forms with 48-volt technology, and a 2.0-L 4-cylinder gasoline which also uses 48-volts to power auxiliaries. The sixes are in-line not Vee ... The 48V system looks after high power demands of the water pump and air conditioning compressor and the ISG [integrated starter generator]. ..." -- SAE [www].

6 November 2016 (Sun.): The London to Brighton run for veteran cars [www].
4th: Bonhams London to Brighton run auction [www]. Lot 205, a 1904 Renault Type N-B 14/20hp 4-cyl. swing-seat tonneau, chassis #3388, sold for £272,540.

6 November 2016: "Firefighters are working to manage more than 50 fires across NSW ... The Port Stephens fire is burning on the northern side of the township of Karuah, and has reached Limeburners Creek. ... The Pacific Highway has been closed in both directions between Bulahdelah and Twelve Mile Creek. ..." -- [abc].

5 Nov Sat Melb ULP avg au$1.24/l; min $1.09 ([Perth] avg $1.22/l, min $1.14); oil us$44/b
4 Nov Fri au$1.00=us$0.76, £0.62, €0.69, ¥79

5 November 2016: One Nation senator "Malcolm Roberts calls on NASA to ban 'Islamic' crescent moon phase ..." -- The Betoota Advocate [www]. (Also see 21 Sept. below.)

5 November 2016: Regents Street Motor Show, London [www].

4 November 2016: "Australia's new vehicle sales remain on target for a record year ... overall year-to-date total of 980,433 sales ... continued strong growth in both SUVs and light commercial vehicles, which together accounted for 56.2% of total vehicle sales nationally during October. ..." -- FCAI [www].

4 November 2016: "The term 'new normal' is defined and applied to 2015's record-breaking temperatures. ... we determine that 2015 global annual average temperatures will be the new normal by 2040 in all emissions scenarios. ..." -- S. C. Lewis et al, 'Defining a new normal for extremes in a warming world,' Bull. of the Amer. Meteorological Soc. [www]. Also see the [abc].

3 November 2016, .au: "Hazelwood power station closure the latest blow for coal ... Hazelwood ranks as Victoria's second biggest generator, with a 1,600 megawatt capacity, supplying a quarter of the state's power needs and 5% of Australia's market. It also has the dubious distinction of being ranked as the developed world's dirtiest power station in a 2005 study by the conservation group, World Wide Fund for Nature. ..." -- [abc].  The plant "will officially close by the end of March 2017 ..." -- [2].

3 November 2016, .uk: "Drivers of polluting diesel vehicles could soon be charged to enter many city centres across Britain, after the government accepted in the high court on Wednesday that its current plans to tackle the nation's air pollution crisis were so poor they broke the law. ..." -- The G [www].

3 November 2016, .us: "The Army's next-generation combat vehicle will probably run on alternative energy sources and feature directed-energy weapons, advanced-composite armor and an active protection system ..." -- .mil [www].

2 November 2016, .au: "... we present evidence from Warratyi rock shelter in the southern interior [Flinders Ranges, SA] that shows that humans occupied arid Australia by around 49ka, 10 thousand years (kyr) earlier than previously reported. ..." -- G. Hamm et al, 'Cultural innovation and megafauna interaction in the early settlement of arid Australia', Nature [www]. Also see The G [www], and the [bbc].

1-4 November 2016: SEMA (trade) show, Las Vegas [www].

1 November 2016 (Tues.): Melbourne Cup.

 
31 Oct Mon Melb ULP avg au$1.17/l; min $1.07 ([Perth] avg $1.18/l, min $1.07); oil us$49/b; au$1.00=us$0.76, £0.62, €0.69, ¥80

31 October 2016, .uk: "A lorry driver who killed a mother and three children while distracted by his [mobile] phone has been jailed for 10 years. ..." -- [bbc].

30 October 2016 [#19/21]: Mexican F1 Grand Prix, Mexico City (start 1pm local, 7pm GMT).
Results: 1. Lewis Hamilton [Mercedes]; 2. Nico Rosberg (Mercedes); 3. Daniel Ricciardo [Red Bull]. The race was rather dull until the last few laps: The top 5 crossed the finish line in the order Hamilton, Rosberg, Max Verstappen (Red Bull), Sebastian Vettel (Ferrari), and Ricciardo but Verstappen was given a 5 second penalty for skipping corner 2 and Vettel a 10 second penalty for moving (on Ricciardo) in the braking zone - Verstappen 4th, Vettel 5th. (Also see the FIA [www] and the [bbc].)

30 October 2016: At the State Library of South Australia is "'the Holden collection covers 140 metres of shelf space, if you can imagine what 140 metres of shelf space looks like, that's a lot,' ... Not all of Holden's records are in the state library, but the company has confirmed the materials it holds will stay in Australia when local manufacturing finishes next year. ..." -- [abc].

30 October 2016: "The first self-driving [Volvo] cars to be operated by ordinary British drivers will be left deliberately unmarked so that other drivers will not be tempted to 'take them on', a senior car industry executive has revealed. ..." The G -- [www].  Also see 'Think Good Mobility, Autonomous Vehicles - Negotiating a Place on the Road ...' by London School of Economics and Political Science, Department of Psychological and Behavioural Science [www].  And, "Self-Driving Mercedes-Benzes Will Prioritize Occupant Safety over Pedestrians ... A self-driving car identifies a group of children running into the road. There is no time to stop. To swerve around them would drive the car into a speeding truck on one side or over a cliff on the other ... Mercedes-Benz simply intends to program its self-driving cars to save the people inside the car. Every time. ..." -- Car and Driver [www][7/10].

28-30 October 2016: Classic and Sports Car Show Alexandra Palace, London, uk [www].

28 October 2016: "Hot days will become more frequent in states such as South Australia, resulting in more extreme fire danger weather and longer fire danger seasons, a [BOM/CSIRO] report on climate change has found. ..." -- [abc].  Also see the 'State of the Climate 2016' report at the [bom], and at CSIRO [www].

28 October 2016: "A couple missing for 10 days in Western Australia's Great Southern have been found alive but hungry by friends in remote bushland where their car had broken down, a day after police gave up the search for them. ..." -- [abc].

26 Oct Wed Melb ULP avg au$1.18/l; min $1.09 ([Perth] avg $1.25/l, min $1.06); oil us$50/b; au$1.00=us$0.77, £0.63, €0.71, ¥80

25 October 2016: Mercedes revealed prototypes of its 'X-class' crew-cab pickup (ute) [www].

24 October 2016: "Globally averaged concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere reached the symbolic and significant milestone of 400 parts per million for the first time in 2015 and surged again to new records in 2016 ... Mauna Loa, Hawaii, predicts that CO2 concentrations will stay above 400 ppm for the whole of 2016 and not dip below that level for many generations. ..." -- WMO [www].  And, "January-September 2016 was the hottest such period on record, at 0.89°C (1.60°F) above the 20th century average ..." -- [19/10].

23 October 2016 [#18/21]: USA F1 Grand Prix, Austin (start 2pm local, 7pm GMT).
Results: 1. Lewis Hamilton [Mercedes]; 2. Nico Rosberg (Mercedes); 3. Daniel Ricciardo [Red Bull]. Ricciardo was second for a long time and might might have finished in that place but for a virtual safety car period. (Also see the FIA [www] and [bbc].)
21-23 October: MotorClassica, Royal Exhibition Building, Melbourne [www].
22nd (Sat.): The Collector Car Auction [www], including lot 26 a 1971 Ford Falcon XY GTHO Phase 111 (passed in) [www].

21 October 2016: "Rain in parts of the Kimberley region overnight has brought some much-needed relief to people fighting bushfires in northern WA. ... burnt about 1.8 million hectares ..." -- [abc].

21 Oct Fri Melb ULP avg au$1.17/l; min $1.09 ([Perth] avg $1.15/l, min $1.03); oil us$51/b au$1.00=us$0.76, £0.62, €0.70, ¥79

20 October 2016: "Professor Rick Shine['s] ... controversial strategy to help native animals in WA survive the cane toad invasion has seen him awarded the Prime Minister's Prize for Science. ..." -- [abc]. (Also see 16 Nov.above.)

19 October 2016: "Two men have had a nervous 500-km journey to Alice Springs after they saw one of Australia's deadliest snakes [1.4m mulga snake] crawl into the engine of their car ..." -- [abc]. So it can happen!

19 October 2016: "All Tesla Cars Being Produced Now Have Full Self-Driving Hardware ... as of today, all Tesla vehicles produced in our factory - including Model 3 - will have the hardware needed for full self-driving capability at a safety level substantially greater than that of a human driver. Eight surround cameras provide 360° visibility around the car at up to 250 meters of range. Twelve updated ultrasonic sensors complement this vision, allowing for detection of both hard and soft objects at nearly twice the distance of the prior system. A forward-facing radar ... Before activating the features enabled by the new hardware, we will further calibrate the system using millions of miles of real-world driving ..." -- Tesla [www]. (Also see the [bbc].)

16 Oct Sun Melb ULP avg au$1.18/l; min $1.12 ([Perth] avg $1.07/l, min $0.90); oil us$50/b
14 Oct Fri au$1.00=us$0.76, £0.62, €0.69, ¥79

15-16 October 2016 (Sat-Sun) .au: Melbourne Model Engineering Exhibition, Rowville Secondary College Eastern Campus, Humphreys Way, Rowville, Vic., (10am-5pm Sat, 10am-4pm Sun) -- [www].  (NB. Not run by MSMEE [www].)

13 October 2016, .uk: A "£35 million package to boost the uptake of ultra-low emission cars and scooters was unveiled by Transport Minister John Hayes ... government's plans to improve air quality, and it comes as Defra launch a new consultation on introducing clean air zones in Birmingham, Leeds, Nottingham, Derby and Southampton by 2020 - delivering on the government's commitment to create cleaner air and reduce emissions. ..." -- DT [www]. And, "Open consultation, Implementation of Clean Air Zones in England ..." -- DEFRA [www].

13 October 2016, .au: "Kimberley bushfire ... One million hectares has now been razed by the bushfire after it was sparked by a lightning strike at Ellenbrae Station in late September. ..." -- [abc].

11 Oct Tue Melb ULP avg au$1.21/l; min $1.10 ([Perth] avg $1.23/l, min $0.92); oil us$51/b; au$1.00=us$0.76, £0.61, €0.68, ¥79

11 October 2016: "There was a surge in oil prices overnight, with Russia's agreement to join a proposed deal to cap oil production ..." -- [abc].

10 October 2016: "Australians should start preparing for a return to a more active tropical cyclone season in 2016-17 ... warmer-than-average sea surface temperatures around northern Australia, and this will help to fuel the tropical cyclone season ahead. ..." -- [bom].

10 October 2016: "Australia is in the midst of an enormous gas export boom, yet a tax meant to share the profits with the community is failing to raise any new revenue. ..." -- [abc].

10 October 2016: "A truck driver has pleaded guilty to killing a cyclist and injuring two others in a crash near Port Pirie [SA] ... [He] is also facing 32 charges relating to heavy vehicle fatigue management." -- [abc].
And, "Sydney trucking company raided, defect notices issued after double fatal accident at Erskine Park ... police examined the company's fatigue management practices and the work diaries of drivers. ..." -- [abc].

9 October 2016 [#17/21]: Japanese F1 Grand Prix, Suzuka (start 2pm local, 5am GMT).
Results: 1. Nico Rosberg [Mercedes]; 2. Max Verstappen [Red Bull]; 3. Lewis Hamilton [Mercedes]. Hamilton started 2nd on the grid but had an awful start and fell to 8th; he recovered to 3rd. There was a good deal of overtaking, not only by LH. (Also see the FIA [www] and [bbc].)

9 October 2016, .au: Bathurst 1000 [www]. 1. Will Davison & Jonathan Webb, 2. Shane van Gisbergen & Alex Premat, 3. Nick Percat & Cameron McConville.

7 October 2017: "The end of the Holden Cruze is not the end of Australian-made Holdens. That comes next year, when Commodore production ends. ... the first Cruze came off the Elizabeth line [SA] on February 28, 2011. ..." -- [abc], [2].

7 October 2016, Fri.: Ford Australia shut its Broadmeadows and Geelong factories. See The Conversation@[abc]. Also, "Ford enthusiasts take us on a drive down memory lane ..." -- [abc], and [6/10].
6 Oct Thu Melb ULP avg au$1.26/l; min $1.07 ([Perth] avg $1.13/l, min $0.93); oil us$50/b; au$1.00=us$0.76, £0.60, €0.68, ¥79

5 October 2016, .au: "... sales of SUVs during September were up by 6.8% over the same month last year, and up 9.9% year to date compared with 2015. Light commercial vehicle sales are driving ahead even more strongly, up by 17.9% on Sept. 2015, and 11.2% year to date. ... The top-selling vehicle for Sept. 2016 was the Mazda3 with 3,491, followed by the Toyota Corolla (3,423 sales), Toyota Hilux (3,209 sales), Ford Ranger (2,903), and Hyundai i30 (2,741)." -- FCAI [www].

5 October 2016, vic.: "Homes in north-east Victoria have been evacuated over fears of flooding ... More than 70 millimetres of rain has fallen in the Ovens River catchment near Wangaratta since Tuesday. ..." -- [abc].
4 October 2016: "The State Emergency Service said the [Albury] area was facing the highest river levels in 20 years, with the Murray expected to peak at 7.7 metres. ... There were major flood warnings for the Avoca and Loddon rivers in the state's north-central district. ..." -- [abc].  (Also see warnings @ the [bom].)

3 October 2016: GM showed off the "Chevrolet Colorado ZH2 [a] fuel-cell-powered electric [4x4] ... at the fall meeting of the Association of the United States Army (AUSA). ... The U.S. Army will test the Colorado ZH2 ..." -- GM [www].

3 October 2016: "Nissan broke new ground for gasoline engines ... when it unveiled the first production-intent variable-compression-ratio gasoline engine. The VC-Turbo, a 2.0 l inline four cylinder ... features a novel cranktrain and control system that enables the effective compression ratio to be varied between 8.0:1 and 14:1, depending on load. ... designed to replace the company's 3.5-L V6, with a target output of 268hp (200kW) and 288 lb ft (390Nm) ..." -- SAE [www]. Video [www].  Patent Pub. No. US 2013/0327302 A1 -- [www].

2 October 2016 [#16/21]: Malaysian F1 Grand Prix, Sepang (start 3pm local, 7am GMT).
Results: 1. Daniel Ricciardo [Red Bull]; 2. Max Verstappen (Red Bull); 3. Nico Rosberg [Mercedes]. Rosberg was caught up in a first corner collison and fell to the back but recovered to 3rd. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) seemed headed for a convincing win until his engine failed on lap 41 - not his lucky year. (Also see the FIA [www] and [bbc].)

2 October 2016, .au: Start of daylight saving (except NT, Qld, WA) [www].

1-16 October 2016: Paris Motor Show [www]. Including Alfa Romeo 'Stelvia' SUV(!); BMW 'X2' SUV concept; Citroen 'CXperience' concept petrol plug-in hybrid [www], new 'C3' [www]; Honda next 'Civic'; Kia's new 'Rio'; Land-River Discovery 5 [www] and SAE [www]; Mercedes 'E-Class All-Terrain' 4x4 station wagon [www]; Mitsubishi 'Grand Tourer concept' SUV [www]; Nissan "reborn" 'Micra' [www]; Peugeot new '5008' SUV [www]; Renault 'Alaskan' (~Nissan Navara), next 'Zoe' electric car (41 kWh, 400 km range claimed); Suzuki new 'Ignis' small SUV & revised 'SX4 S-Cross' [www]; Toyota 'C-HR' hybrid [www]; Volkswagen 'I.D.' electric concept [www].

1 Oct Sat Melb ULP avg au$1.10/l; min $1.02 ([Perth] avg $1.08/l, min $0.93); oil us$48/b
30 Sep Fri au$1.00=us$0.76, £0.59, €0.68, ¥77

1 October 2016, .au: AFL Grand Final. The Western Bulldogs beat the Sydney Swans.

 

30 September 2016, sa: "Power outages hit as storms sweep across state ..." -- [abc], and [1/10].  (Also see roads, dpti, sa [www].)

29 September 2016: "Strong chance of above average October to December rainfall in southeast and northwest Australia ... Climate influences include a negative Indian Ocean Dipole, warmer than average ocean temperatures surrounding northern Australia, and an ENSO-neutral tropical Pacific, though showing some La Nina-like characteristics ..." -- [bom].

29 September 2016: The "provisional [F1] 2017 calendar [was] published by governing body the FIA on Wednesday ..." -- [bbc]. Also see the FIA [www].

29 September 2016: "The oil producers cartel Opec has agreed a preliminary deal to cut production for the first time in eight years, sending crude prices surging. ... Brent crude, the international benchmark for oil, rose almost 6% to nearly [us]$49 a barrel on the news. ..." -- [bbc].

29 September 2016: "The severe weather storm that caused a state-wide blackout in South Australia will continue to move across Victoria today, bringing heavy rains and wind gusts of up to 90km/h, mainly in north of the state. ..." -- [abc].

29 September 2016: "The U.S. Army has awarded Oshkosh Defense, LLC ... a us$409 million contract to produce 1,661 Family of Medium Tactical Vehicle (FMTV) trucks and 31 trailers ..." -- Oshkosh [www].

28 September 2016: "... The first DB11 coming off the Gaydon production line today ..." -- Aston Martin [www].

27 Sep Tue Melb ULP avg au$1.09/l; min $1.03 ([Perth] avg $1.23/l, min $0.95); oil us$46/b; au$1.00=us$0.77, £0.59, €0.68, ¥77

27 September 2016, nsw: "Forbes has been declared a natural disaster zone after the region was hit by flooding over the weekend. ..." -- [abc].
And sa: "Adelaide residents are preparing for heavy rain, high seas and strong winds forecast to hit later this week ..." -- [abc].

25 September 2016, nsw: "A hundred homes have been inundated with water and people have been evacuated from Forbes in central-western NSW, as floodwaters cut off roads ... The Bureau of Meteorology issued warnings for several rivers in the state's central west on Saturday." -- [abc].

September 2016: "Project Land 400 Phase 2 ... estimated program cost ... au$14 to $20 billion ... will replace ASLAV and M113 fleets ... Two tenderers for the Combat Reconnaissance Vehicle (CRV) [have been] short-listed ... BAE Systems Australia [the] Patria AMV35 while Rheinmetall has the Boxer CRV. ..." -- Army Newspaper, p.14, Sept. 2016 [www].

23 Sep Fri Melb ULP avg au$1.10/l; min $1.04 ([Perth] avg $1.08/l, min $0.94); oil us$46/b; au$1.00=us$0.76, £0.59, €0.68, ¥77

23 September 2016, on air bags: "Takata Corporation today provided the following comment on a report the Company filed with U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) that was posted on the NHTSA website today. ..." -- Takata [www].  Also see the NHTSA [www], and recalls in .au [www].

24 September 2016: Craig Smith's , about $25, is actually a book intended for the good guys.

22 September 2016: And the 2016 IgNobel prize for Chemistry was awarded to "Volkswagen, for solving the problem of excessive automobile pollution emissions by automatically, electromechanically producing fewer emissions whenever the cars are being tested." -- Improbable Research [www]. Also see the [bbc].

22-29 September 2016: 66th IAA Commercial Vehicles, Hanover [www].

21 September 2016: "It has a sense of humour as dry as the Australian outback and all the journalistic integrity of Borat. The Betoota Advocate [Qld] [www] ..." -- [bbc]. Also see [12/2015].

19 September 2016:"Self-driving, yes, but also safe New technologies and regulations will be explored at a White House conference in Pittsburgh ... my administration is rolling out new rules of the road for automated vehicles ... " -- Pres. Barack Obama writing in the Pittsburgh Gazette [www].

19 September 2016: "For those who believe it unlikely autonomously-piloted vehicles will be coming in the foreseeable future, high-level technology executives from automakers and major suppliers have this response: autonomous vehicles are 'going to be here very shortly.' ..." -- SAE [www].

18 September 2016 [#15/21]: Singapore F1 Grand Prix (start 8pm local, noon GMT).
Results: 1. Nico Rosberg [Mercedes]; 2. Daniel Ricciardo [Red Bull]; 3. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes). (Also see the FIA [www] and [bbc].)

17-27 September 2016: The Royal Show, Melbourne [www].

17 September 2016, .uk: "Drivers caught using handheld mobile phones in Britain are to face 'much tougher penalties,' with fines and points doubling ..." -- [bbc].

16 Sep Fri Melb ULP avg au$1.16/l; min $1.08 ([Perth] avg $1.11/l, min $0.97); oil us$44/b; au$1.00=us$0.75, £0.57, €0.67, ¥77

18 September 2016: "Victoria is bracing for more rain as towns in the west and north-west of the state remain on flood alert. ..." -- [abc].

17 September 2016: '... current advanced batteries are edging closer to the end of their electrified vehicle lifespan. "We've been very fortunate with almost 500,000 vehicles on the road that we haven't gotten a lot of those advanced batteries back yet. ...' -- SAE [www]. (Also see 4 Aug. below.)

16 September 2016: "As people wait for floodwaters to recede and the clean-up continues, the weather bureau has warned more rain is forecast across South Australia in the next 10 days. ..." -- [abc].

15 September 2016: "On September 10, 2016, Arctic sea ice extent shrank to 4.14 million square kilometers (1.60 million square miles). ... tied with the minimum of 2007 for second-lowest in the satellite record, both behind the 2012 record low. ..." -- climate.gov [www].  Also see NSDIC [www].

15 September 2016: "Heavy rain has caused flooding across Victoria. ..." -- [abc] and [14/9].

15 September 2016: "The number of motorists illegally using mobile phones while at the wheel is rising, an RAC [uk] survey suggests. ..." -- [bbc]. See the report@RAC [www].

15 September 2016: "Car maker Fiat Chrysler is recalling 1.9 million vehicles over an air bag defect that may be linked to three deaths and five injuries. ..." -- [bbc].

15 September 2016: "The tank is 100 years old. The first one used by the British Army was used in 1916 during the Battle of The Somme. ..." -- mod [www].

14 September 2016: "Every major car manufacturer is selling diesel cars that fail to meet EU air pollution limits on the road in Europe, according to data obtained by sustainable transport group Transport & Environment (T&E). ..." -- T&E [www].  Also see The G [www].

10 September 2016, maybe coming to a car near you: "Optimizing engines for the new era of 'real-world' driving cycles will require new lubrication strategies - fast warm-up being a particular area of focus. A recent U.K. government survey showed that the average car journey time has fallen to only 22 minutes ..." -- SAE [www].

11 Sep Sun Melb ULP avg au$1.20/l; min $1.08 ([Perth] avg $1.06/l, min $0.92); oil us$46/b
9 Sep Fri au$1.00=us$0.77, £0.57, €0.68, ¥78

10 September 2016: "Volkswagen engineer James Liang pleaded guilty on Friday to one count of conspiracy in the company's emissions cheating scandal and has agreed to cooperate in the widening criminal investigation. ..." -- The G. [www].

9-11 September 2016: Goodwood Revival [www].
10th: Bonhams auction [www]. Including lot 103 a 1976 Land-Rover SIII 88" 4x4 utility (sold £10,925); lot 140 a 1956 Porsche 1.5-litre Typ 550/1500 Rennsport Spyder (sold £4,593,500).

7-18 September 2016: Paralympics, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

7 September 2016: "New research from Swansea University challenges the idea that older people are dangerous drivers. Analysis of data on vehicle accidents showed that drivers aged 70 are involved in 3-4 times fewer accidents than 17-21 year old men. ..." -- [bbc].

6 September 2016: Disco 5 revealed, a little bit -- "All new Discovery 5" -- Land-Rover [www]. (Waiting for the Paris Motor Show, above.)

6 Sep Tue Melb ULP avg au$1.25/l; min $1.00 ([Perth] avg $1.21/l, min $0.95); oil us$44/b; au$1.00=us$0.76, £0.57, €0.68, ¥79

6 September 2016: "Toxic air pollution particles found in human brains ..." -- The G. [www]. Also see, 'High-resolution analytical imaging and electron holography of magnetite particles in amyloid cores of Alzheimer's disease,' G. Plascenia-Villa, et al, Nature Scientific Reports, 6 (24873), [www][4/2016].

September 2016: "The EQUA Index provides an easy and honest picture of vehicle performance in real-world driving. ... fuel consumption and air quality data ..." -- Emissions Analytics [www]. (Note, UK based so mpg in terms of imperial gallons.)

5 September 2016: "The owner of Virgin Media is set to take control of Formula 1 in an us$8.5bn (£6.5bn) deal. John Malone's Liberty Media is expected to make the first of two payments on Tuesday, according to a German magazine. ..." -- [bbc]. Agreed [8/9].

4 September 2016, .au: "History has been made in Birdsville with a female duo taking out Australia's biggest outback thoroughbred race. ... Kayla Cross stormed home to a victory on the Heather Lehmann-trained More Alpha ... The 11-race program is normally held on a Saturday but was delayed by one day this year due to heavy rainfall this week...." -- [abc]. Also see the rain, Friday [2/9].

4 September 2016 [#14/21]: Italian F1 Grand Prix, Monza (start 2pm local, noon GMT).
Results: 1. Nico Rosberg [Mercedes]; 2. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes); 3. Sebastian Vettel [Ferrari]. Hamilton qualified on pole but had a poor start, falling to sixth, before recovering to 2nd. (Also see the FIA [www] and the [bbc].)

3 September 2016: Bonhams Chantilly Sale, Paris, including lot 4 a 1975 Range Rover 4x4, chassis #35816833D, engine #34105311D (sold €40,250); lot 25 a 1934 Horsch 780B Cabriolet, chassis #78380, engine #50321 (sold €632,500); [www].

2-4 September 2016: Windsor Castle Concours d'Elegance [www].

1-3 September 2016: Salon Prive, Blenheim Palace, uk [www].

1 Sep Thu Melb ULP avg au$1.28/l; min $1.01 ([Perth] avg $1.14/l, min $0.99); oil us$45/b; au$1.00=us$0.75, £0.57, €0.68, ¥78

1 September 2016: "The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission [ACCC] has instituted proceedings in the Federal Court of Australia against [Volkswagen] and its Australian subsidiary ... Volkswagen Group Australia alleging they engaged in misleading or deceptive conduct, made false or misleading representations and engaged in conduct liable to mislead the public in relation to diesel vehicle emission claims. ..." -- ACCC [www]. About time! (Also see the [abc] and the [bbc].)

 

31 August 2016: "... almost one-third of vehicles tested in the 2016 Used Car Safety Ratings (UCSR), scored a Poor or Very Poor rating for occupant crash safety protection. ... A driver of the worst vehicle rated is more than six times as likely to be killed or seriously injured in a crash, compared with having the same type of crash while driving in the best vehicle. ... The ratings are based on reports from more than seven million actual crashes from 1987-2014 reported to police in Australia and New Zealand. ..." -- howsafeisyourcar [www].

30 August 2016, .au: "Rainfall is likely to be above average across parts of northern Australia. Elsewhere, the chances of a wetter or drier spring are roughly equal. ..." -- [bom]. Also see "... The national mean temperature was 0.44°C above average for August ..." -- [bom].

29 August 2016: "Army unveils latest gadgets and gear in Canberra ... A 70-gram unmanned aerial vehicle or drone ... A new M1A1 Abrams tank was a crowd favourite. ..." -- [abc].

29 August 2016, Vic. road toll: 1 Jan to date 2016, 204 (male 146, female 57, unknown 1); 1 Jan to 29 Aug 2015, 173 (male 125, female 48, unknown 0) -- stats [www] at TAC [www].

29 August 2016, .au: "Troubled trucking and logistics firm McAleese has gone into voluntary administration ... McAleese runs businesses including ... Cootes Transport (which was plagued by safety problems [see 3 Oct 2013]) ..." -- [abc].

28 August 2016 [#13/21]: Belgian F1 Grand Prix, Spa-Francorchamps (start 2pm local, noon GMT).
Results: 1. Nico Rosberg [Mercedes]; 2. Daniel Ricciardo [Red Bull]; 3. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes). Hamilton started from 21st on the grid due to penalties for replacing too many engine parts caused by failures early in the season. (Also see the FIA [www] and [bbc].)
27 Aug Sat Melb ULP avg au$1.00/l; min $0.97 ([Perth] avg $1.11/l, min $0.94); oil us$48/b
26 Aug Fri au$1.00=us$0.76, £0.58, €0.68, ¥77

26 August 2016, .us: The NHTSA and FMCSE "propose equipping heavy-duty vehicles with devices that limit their speeds on U.S. roadways, and requiring those devices be set to a maximum speed, a safety measure that could save lives and more than $1 billion in fuel costs each year. ..." -- NHTSA [www].

24 August 2016, usa: "... At the moment, not a single conventionally-powered vehicle can meet the 2025 emissions standard. And what should we speculate about where this thing's going when in July, Ford F-Series outsold the company's fuel-sipping C-Max by a ratio of 35:1?" -- SAE [www].

22 August 2016:"Businesses with Chinese connections gave Australia's major parties more than $5.5 million between 2013 and 2015, making them easily the largest source of foreign-linked donations. ..." -- [abc].

22 Aug Mon Melb ULP avg au$1.02/l; min $0.99 ([Perth] avg $1.02/l, min $0.93); oil us$46/b; au$1.00=us$0.76, £0.58, €0.67, ¥77

22 August 2016, .au: "The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission's [ACCC's] latest report on the Australian petroleum industry shows that average petrol prices in 2015-16 were at their lowest levels since 2002. However, gross retail margins also increased to their highest levels, indicating that the full benefits of lower international crude oil and refined petrol prices are not being passed on to motorists. ..." -- ACCC [www].

21 August 2016: Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance [www].

19-20 August 2016: Sotherbys Monterey auction, including lot 114 a 1955 Jaguar D-type, chassis #XKD 501, engine #E2036-9 (sold us$21,780,000); lot 125 a 1966 Ford GT40, chassis #P/1057, engine #NR157 (sold us$2,900,000); lot 134 a 1968 Lotus 56 Indianapolis 4WD gas-turbine car, chassis #56/3; lot 141 a 1966 Ford GT40, chassis #P/1061 (not sold); lot 234 a 1939 Alfa Romeo 8C 2900B spider, chassis #412041, engine #2027 (sold us$19,800,000); [www].

19 August 2016: Bonhams Quail auction [www], including lot 36 a 1931 Bugatti type 51 GP racer, 2,262cc supercharged straight-8, chassis #51121, engine #2 (sold us$4,000,000).

17 August 2016: "July 2016 was 1.57°F above the 20th-century average, breaking last year's record for the warmest July on record by 0.11°F, ... This was the 15th month in a row to break a monthly heat record, surpassing July 2015 as the warmest month ever on record. Records date back 137 years to 1880. ..." -- NOAA [www].

17 Aug Wed Melb ULP avg au$1.05/l; min $0.99 ([Perth] avg $1.17/l, min $0.92); oil us$46/b; au$1.00=us$0.77, £0.59, €0.68, ¥77

17 August 2016: "The US justice department is reported to have found evidence of Volkswagen acting criminally in connection with the emissions cheating scandal ..." -- The G. [www].

16 August 2016, .au: "The latest generation of Iveco's ... Daily 4x4, is now available ... in single and dual cab configuration in a car licence-friendly 4,495kg GVM or no cost optional 5,500kg GVM - both offer a braked towing capacity of up to 3.5t, while payload varies from 1,500kg to 2,800kg depending on the variant selected. ... the double low range transfer case also continues, boasting 24 speeds and an ultra-low 101:1 ... 3-litre, turbocharged power plant produces 125kW (170hp) at 3,000-3,500rpm, with torque of 400Nm at 1,250-3,000rpm. ... 6-speed manual ..." -- Iveco [www].

16 August 2016: "Ford announces intention to deliver high-volume, fully autonomous vehicle for ride sharing in 2021 ... Ford's first fully autonomous vehicle will be a [SAE]-rated level 4-capable vehicle without a steering wheel or gas and brake pedals. ..." -- Ford [www]. (Also see the SAE [www].)

14 August 2016: Brooklands Reunion, celebrating the 90th Anniversary of the 1st British Grand Prix held at Brooklands (7th August 1926) [www], at [www].

10-12 August 2016: "... we show that the security of the keyless entry systems of most VW Group vehicles manufactured between 1995 and today relies on a few, global master keys. We show that by recovering the cryptographic algorithms and keys from electronic control units, an adversary is able to clone a VW Group remote control and gain unauthorized access to [i.e., rob/steal] a vehicle by eavesdropping a single signal sent by the original remote. ..." -- F. D. Garcia et al, 'Lock It and Still Lose It - On the (In)Security of Automotive Remote Keyless Entry Systems,' 25th USENIX Security Symposium 2016 [www]. (Also see the [bbc].)

12 Aug Fri Melb ULP avg au$1.10/l; min $1.03 ([Perth] avg $1.12/l, min $0.93); oil us$43/b; au$1.00=us$0.77, £0.59, €0.69, ¥78

8 August 2016, recall PRA #2016/15581: "BMW 5 Series - E39. CPA: 11150. BMW 3 Series - E46. CPA: 13175. BMW E53 X5. CPA: 25512 ... The gas generator of the driver's airbag can malfunction if subjected to high levels of absolute air humidity. ..." -- .gov.au [www].  NB. www.recalls.gov.au seems to have changed to www.productsafety.gov.au

7 Aug Sun Melb ULP avg au$1.15/l; min $1.06 ([Perth] avg $1.10/l, min $0.94); oil us$42/b
5 Aug Fri au$1.00=us$0.77, £0.58, €0.69, ¥77

5-21 August 2016: Olympics Games, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Also see the Paralympics, 7-18 Sept.)

5 August 2016: The AAA "is putting top selling vehicles to real world, on-road emissions tests in the wake of a spate of allegations that Volkswagen Group [VW] and other vehicle manufacturers have cheated on testing or otherwise misreported the performance of their vehicles. ... The AAA also plans to test a sample of affected Volkswagen Group diesel vehicles before and after remediation by [VW]." -- RACV [www]. Also see the AAA [www].

5 August 2016, .au: "... The Federal Government's new Science Minister Greg Hunt has instructed the CSIRO to renew its focus on climate science. ..." -- [abc].

4 August 2016: "... What happens if you buy an electric car and, at some point in your ownership, have to replace the battery? ... For a ['13-'16] BMW 'i3' a new battery will set owners back about us$16,000, according to Dr. Christian Cozzarini [of] BMW ... [versus] a new GM LS3 'crate motor' ... 430hp (320kW) V8 [which] costs about us$6000." -- SAE [www].

4 Aug Thu Melb ULP avg au$1.18/l; min $1.05 ([Perth] avg $1.17/l, min $0.96); oil us$41/b; au$1.00=us$0.76, £0.57, €0.68, ¥77

4 August 2016: "... with drought affecting more than 83% of Queensland, floods have not been a regular part of life in far-western Qld in the past four years. The widespread drought has meant the rivers and creeks that supply the Channel Country have not had a flush of water through them. ... For the Cooper Creek, the summer of 2012 was the last major flood and for the Diamantina and Georgina it was 2011. ..." -- [abc].

3 August 2016: "Tenneco's predictive active ride control ... developing a fully active suspension system ..." -- SAE [www].

2 August 2016: "South Korea has suspended sales of 80 Volkswagen models and fined the German carmaker over allegations the firm rigged emissions test data. ... Europe's largest carmaker admitted last year that it had falsified emissions data in its diesel vehicles. ..." -- [bbc]. (Also see the VW scandal 18 Sept. 2015.)

1 August 2016: "Australia's fifth-warmest July mean minimum on record, all of the eastern States and Western Australia in the top ten ... Every month of 2016 has had mean temperatures well above average and the oceans around Australia have been running with record warmth for more than six months. The mean temperature for the year to date (i.e. January to July) has been 1.33°C above average. ..." -- [bom].

 
31 July 2016 [#12/21]: German F1 Grand Prix, Hockenheim (start 2pm local, noon GMT).
Results: 1. Lewis Hamilton [Mercedes]; 2. Daniel Ricciardo [Red Bull]; 3. Max Verstappen (Red Bull). (Also see the FIA [www] and the [bbc].)

29-31 July 2016: Silverstone Classic, .uk [www].

29 July 2016: "A Queensland study has discovered why Australian drivers choose to tailgate ... The Queensland University of Technology's (QUT) Centre for Accident Research and Road Safety (CARRS-Q) [www] invited drivers to take part in an online survey ... Heavy vehicles[*] have a two-second [gap] legal requirement but it's not in law for light cars ..." -- [abc]. (Also see 3 July below.)

28 July 2016, .uk: The resurrected Bristol Cars, bankrupt in 2011, unveiled the new Bristol 'Bullet' sports car, with a 4.8 l V8 "manufactured by BMW and finished by Bristol" -- [www].

28 July Thu Melb ULP avg au$1.26/l; min $1.08 ([Perth] avg $1.19/l, min $1.01); oil us$42/b; au$1.00=us$0.75, £0.57, €0.68, ¥79

28 July 2016: "Above average rainfall expected over drought-hit Queensland going into Spring ..." -- [abc]. And, "Winton dinosaur museum open for business after two-week closure due to floodwaters ..." -- [abc].

27 July 2016: Premiere of "Mercedes-Benz Urban [electric] eTruck ... based on a heavy-duty three-axle short-radius distribution truck ... electric motors directly adjacent to the wheel hubs. ... three modules of lithium-ion batteries with a total capacity of 212kWh. ... range of up to 200km ..." -- Daimler [www].

26 July 2016, recall PRA #2016/15557: "2014-2015 WK Jeep Grand Cherokee ... The electronic shift lever in the vehicle does not move like a conventional shifter and the driver may inadvertently fail to correctly engage the 'PARK' position before exiting the vehicle if the engine is left running. ..." -- [www].

24 July 2016 [#11/21]: Hungarian F1 Grand Prix, Budapest (start 2pm local, noon GMT).
Results: 1. Lewis Hamilton [Mercedes]; 2. Nico Rosberg [Mercedes]; 3. Daniel Ricciardo [Red Bull]. (Also see the FIA [www] and the [bbc].)
23 July Sat Melb ULP avg au$1.25/l; min $0.99 ([Perth] avg $1.16/l, min $1.02); oil us$45/b
22 July Fri au$1.00=us$0.75, £0.57, €0.68, ¥79

21 July 2016: "A night in the museum is turning into a week after a downpour in western Queensland. ... The Bureau of Meteorology said 120 millimetres had fallen in Winton in the past seven days. ..." -- [abc]. Also see the [bom].

19-23 July 2016: The War and Peace Revival, Kent, uk, Tues.-Sat., [www].

19 July 2016: "A climatologist says the unseasonal winter rain in Queensland is the result of the El Nino breaking down. ..." -- [abc].

19 July 2016: "June 2016 was 1.62°F above the 20th century average, breaking last year's record for the warmest June on record by 0.04°F ... For the year to date, the average global temperature was 1.89°F above the 20th century average. This was the highest temperature for this period, surpassing the previous record set in 2015 by 0.36°F. ..." -- NOAA [www]. See ncdc.noaa for summary [www] and full report [www]. Also see the [bbc].

18 July Mon Melb ULP avg au$1.04/l; min $0.99 ([Perth] avg $1.14/l, min $1.00); oil us$46/b; au$1.00=us$0.76, £0.57, €0.69, ¥80

15-17 July 2016: Farnborough International Air Show (11-15/7 trade show) [www].

15 July 2016: "Commemorative Wrangler 75th Salute Concept Vehicle ... Built on the 75th Anniversary of July 15, 1941, the date Willys-Overland Motor Co. was awarded the U.S. government contract to build the first Willys MB ..." -- Jeep [www].

15 July 2016: "Road testing of a new variable-compression ratio (VCR) combustion system in Europe has been 'very successful to date' as OEMs validate the FEV-developed technology ... 'It's a simple, passive system, requiring just a bit of hydraulics and a 2-way valve to lock the system into positions 'A' and 'B,'' ... The con rod's unique design incorporates two small hydraulic pistons, each within a dedicated chamber; the hydraulics in the two small cylinders serve only as a locking function to stabilize the mechanism in the 'A' position. ..." -- SAE [www].  (Also see 3 Oct. above.  And, Saab, as was, had prototype variable compression engines some years ago but they were effected by hinging the lower block - containing the crankshaft - relative to the upper block.)

July 2016: "Suzuki has signed a corporate partnership agreement with Hakuto, the first privately funded lunar exploration team from Japan to challenge the Google Lunar XPRIZE ... which includes landing a privately funded rover on the moon, traveling 500 metres, and transmitting back high definition video and images ..." -- Suzuki [www]!

July 2016, usa: "Foot Traffic Ahead: 2016 shows that [cities] with the highest levels of walkable urbanism are also the most educated and wealthy (as measured by GDP per capita) - and, surprisingly, the most socially equitable. ..." -- smartgrowthamerica [www].

14 July 2016: "A US court has ruled people affected by faulty ignition switches in General Motors (GM) cars can sue the company. The potential lawsuits [are] over the defect that led to hundreds of injuries and deaths ..." -- [bbc]. Also see 13 October, 16 June, 16 May and 11 March 2014.

13 July 2016: Technology to "allow a future autonomous car to drive itself over any surface or terrain has been demonstrated by Land Rover ... surface identification and 3D path sensing research which combines camera, ultrasonic, radar and LIDAR sensors ... overhead clearance assist ... can be used sense bumpy terrain including uneven and undulating surfaces and washboard roads [corrugations], potholes and even standing water. ..." -- Land Rover [www]. (Also see the SAE [www][3/8].)

13 July 2016: "Victorians have woken to snow in numerous locations, including Trentham, Ballarat, Romsey and Scotsburn as the state was blasted by high winds, hail and freezing conditions. ..." -- [abc].

13 July Wed Melb ULP avg au$1.07/l; min $1.01 ([Perth] avg $1.26/l, min $1.07); oil us$47/b; au$1.00=us$0.76, £0.57, €0.69, ¥79

12 July 2016, .au, SA: "Light snow reported, trees and powerlines down as cold front smashes state ... Dozens of people braved chilly conditions at Mount Lofty in the Adelaide Hills with hopes of seeing snow, and there appeared to be a light fall by lunchtime. ..." [abc].

12 July 2016: "Road rage: University of Queensland studies why mild-mannered people flip out ... The survey is online[*] for the next few weeks. Results will be released in October." -- [abc].   [*] Survey [www]. (Also see 29 July above.)

12 July 2106, .au: "... Electricity generation from non-renewable sources (including coal, natural gas and petroleum products) comprised 88% of the total electricity produced by Australian businesses in 2014-15. Renewable energy sources accounted for the remaining 12%. Of this, hydro accounted for 5% and wind 4%. ..." -- ABS [www]. (And, "... Overall, large scale power generation ... has dropped almost 9% from 255,319GWh in 2012 to 233,212GWh last year. ... [in part due to] shutting down of large scale industrial plants in the aluminium industry." -- [abc].)

11 July 2016, .uk: A major consultation to help pave the way for automated cars to be used on British roads is being launched, with all drivers invited to have their say. ..." -- .gov.uk [www].
"Open consultation Advanced driver assistance systems and automated vehicle technologies: supporting their use in the UK ... closes 9 Sept. ..." -- DOT [www].
10 July 2016 [#10/21]: British F1 Grand Prix, Silverstone (start 1pm local, noon GMT).
Results: 1. Lewis Hamilton [Mercedes]; 2. Max Verstappen [Red Bull]; 3. Nico Rosberg [Mercedes]. After a downpour just before the start, the race began behind the safety car. Hamilton led throughout (except briefly, for pit stops). Verstappen passed Rosberg on the damp track and held 2nd place for much of the race. Rosberg regained 2nd place but struck a gearbox problem near the end; the team advised him how to reset systems and manage the problem but this was deemed too much radio advice and later he was penalised 10 seconds, demoting him to 3rd. The damp track led to several slides and spins. (Also see the FIA [www] and [bbc].)

10 July 2016: "Close to 10,000 hectares of mangroves have died across a stretch of coastline reaching from Queensland to the Northern Territory. International mangroves expert Dr Norm Duke said he had no doubt the 'dieback' was related to climate change. ..." -- [abc].

10 July 2016 (Sun.): "... A strong cold front will move over [S. Australia] on Tuesday. ... Rainfall totals in the Mid North overnight Monday and into Tuesday are likely to be in the range of 20mm to 40mm with totals over the Mount Lofty Ranges likely to be in the range of 40mm to 80mm. There is a risk of rapidly rising water levels and flooding in creeks and watercourses across the Watch area. ..." -- -- [bom],   [10/7].

8 July Fri Melb ULP avg au$1.10/l; min $1.06 ([Perth] avg $1.22/l, min $1.09); oil us$45/b; au$1.00=us$0.75, £0.58, €0.68, ¥75

8 July 2017: The 2nd generation Mazda 'CX-9' SUV went on sale in Australia, 4x4 and 4x2, from au$42.5K.

8 July 2016: "... A number of flood warnings are still in place across the east of [Victoria] after it was soaked in heavy rainfall for much of the week. Bairnsdale and Sale have received more than 160 millimetres of rain. ..." -- [abc]. Also see warnings at the [bom].

7 July 2016: "A negative Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) pattern has established in the Indian Ocean. ... typically brings above-average rainfall to southern Australia during winter-spring, with cooler-than-average daytime temperatures across southern Australia, and warmer day and night-time temperatures in northern Australia. ..." -- [bom]. And, "Most locations are likely to see above average rainfall this July to September. ..." -- [bom].

6 July 2016: PSA Group [Peugeot, Citroen] released "the results of real-world fuel consumption tests for 30 core models. ... The measurements were made on public roads open to traffic (25km urban, 39km rural and 31km motorway) and under real-life driving conditions, notably with passenger and luggage loads, road gradients, and the use of air-conditioning systems. ..." -- PSA peugeot [www].

5 July 2016: "Aston Martin and Red Bull Racing are today revealing their ground-breaking [prototype] hypercar; codenamed 'AM-RB 001.' ... mid-mounted, high-revving, naturally aspirated V12 engine [giving] a 1:1 power-to-weight ratio; 1 bhp per kilo of weight. ..." -- Aston Martin, PR [www] & car [www].

4 July 2016: "You could describe 'Bush Mechanics' as like Top Gear, but set in the Australian outback and featuring some of the crappiest cars on the planet. OK, so nothing like Top Gear. ..." -- [abc]. Also see [2].  Also see 'Black As', on abc iview [www].

3 July 2016, .au: "Speeding trucks to be grounded on the spot in push for tough new road safety law ... 'Available data shows that a high proportion of heavy vehicles exceed speed limits on open and urban roads,' the [NTC] said. 'It is estimated that if all heavy vehicles were to comply with speed limits all the time, there would be a 29% reduction[!] in crashes.' ... [heavy vehicles] make up just 3% of registered vehicles on Australian roads, do 8% of kilometres travelled and are involved in 18% of fatal and serious injury crashes on the road. ..." -- The Age [www].  And see the discussion paper at the National Transport Commission (NTC) [www].

3 July Sun Melb ULP avg au$1.14/l; min $1.09 ([Perth] avg $1.20/l, min $1.11); oil us$49/b
1 July Fri au$1.00=us$0.75, £0.56, €0.67, ¥77
3 July 2016 [#9/21]: Austrian F1 Grand Prix, Spielberg (start 2pm local, noon GMT).
Results: 1. Lewis Hamilton [Mercedes]; 2. Max Verstappen [Red Bull]; 3. Kimi Raikkonen [Ferrari]. Hamilton started on pole and led until a slow pit stop dropped him behind Nico Rosberg (Mercedes). On the last lap Hamilton moved to pass Rosberg but the latter "did not turn where he would be expected to and ... the two collided." Rosberg's car was damaged and he finished 4th; he was also penalised 10 seconds for causing the accident -- [bbc] and [2]; also see the FIA [www].
2 July 2016 (Sat.), .au: Federal election (a double dissolution).
The result was too close to call on the night: [abc] and [2], and 3/7 [abc].
8/7 (Fri.): "Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull [edged] closer to forming Government after two more crossbenchers pledged their support on confidence and supply. ... [Bill] Shorten concede[d] Coalition likely to 'scrape' over the line Victorian independent Cathy McGowan and Tasmanian Andrew Wilkie made the commitments, [probably] giving the Coalition 76 votes it needs to govern in minority. The pair joins north Queensland MP Bob Katter in committing themselves to supporting the Coalition on the vital votes. ..." -- [abc].
10/7 (Sun.): "Malcolm Turnbull (Lib.) claims victory after Bill Shorten (ALP) concedes defeat ..." -- [abc].
As of 30/7: House of Reps., Lib/Nat 76, Labor 68, Greens 1, Xenophon Team 1, others 3. Senate [won (+likely)], Lib/Nat 27 (3), Labor 24 (3), Greens 7 (1), One Nation 1 (2), Xenophon Team 3 (0), Hinch JP 0 (1), Lambie network 1 (0), in doubt 3 -- [abc].
As of 4/8: House of Reps., Lib/Nat 76, Labor 69, Greens 1, Xenophon Team 1, others 3. Senate, Lib/Nat 30, Labor 26, Greens 9, One Nation 4, Xenophon Team 3, Hinch JP 1, Family First 1, Lambie network 1 -- [abc].

2 July 2016: "Paris drives old cars off the streets in push to improve air quality. Vehicles made before January 1997 banned from streets of French capital from 8am to 8pm, Monday to Friday ..." -- The G. [www].

1 July 2016: "BMW Group, Intel and Mobileye team up to bring fully autonomous driving to streets by 2021 ... The goal of the collaboration is to develop future-proofed solutions that enable the drivers to not only take their hands off the steering wheel, but reach the so called 'eyes off' (level 3) and ultimately the 'mind off' (level 4) level transforming the driver's in-car time into leisure or work time. This level of autonomy would enable the vehicle, on a technical level, to achieve the final stage of traveling 'driver off' (level 5) without a human driver inside. ..." -- BMW [www].

1 July 2016:"The first known death caused by a self-driving car was disclosed by Tesla Motors on Thursday evening, a development that is sure to cause consumers to second-guess the trust they put in the booming autonomous vehicle industry. The 7 May accident occurred in Williston, Florida ..." -- The G. [www]. Also see Tesla Motors [www][30/6].

 

June 2016: The RACV's annual cost of motoring report included (light car) Mazda '2' 5-door 1.5 auto $130/week; (small car) Kia Cerato 5-door 2.0 auto $140/week; (large SUV) Toyota Kluger GX AWD 3.5 auto $254/week; (4x4 ute) Toyota Hilux SR 4x4 2.8 auto $253/week; and (all terrain) Toyota LandCruiser 200 Series petrol V8 $375.34 a week (the most expensive); assuming 5 years of ownership, 15,000km/y -- [www] and [2]. As always, standing costs were about 75% of costs.

30 June 2016: "The UK government has set a world-leading climate change target up to the early 2030s. The Fifth Carbon Budget will cut carbon emissions by 57% by 2032 - that's based on 1990 levels. ..." -- [bbc].

30 June 2016, .au: "About 900 soldiers got their first taste of the cold South Australian air when they disembarked HMAS Adelaide on June 22, before heading to Exercise Hamel ... June 27 to July 13 ..." -- Army, p.7, ed.1376, June 2016, [www].

Burra
South Australia was certainly crawling with military hardware in late June, including Bushmaster, ASLAV, G-wagen 4x4 and 6x6, Perentie 4x4 and 6x6 (still), Unimog, and Mack.

30 June 2016: "Toyota recalls nearly 73,000 UK vehicles over safety fears ... recall 2.9m vehicle worldwide including 72,885 UK-registered Prius, Auris and Lexus CT200h models, over possible cracks in the fuel emissions control unit. ..." -- The G. [www].

28 June Tue Melb ULP avg au$1.18/l; min $1.12 ([Perth] avg $1.29/l, min $1.05); oil us$46/b; au$1.00=us$0.74, £0.56, €0.67, ¥75

28 June 2016: "German carmaker Volkswagen has reportedly reached a us$15bn (£11.3bn) settlement with US car owners after admitting it cheated emission tests. ..." -- [bbc]. And, "Volkswagen Reaches Settlement Agreements with U.S. Federal Regulators, Private Plaintiffs and 44 U.S. States on TDI Diesel Engine Vehicles ..." -- VW [www].  (But, "Australian owners of Volkswagen Group vehicles must be wondering why their counterparts in the US are receiving compensation from the company in the wake of the emissions testing scandal, when all they are getting locally from Volkswagen is silence. ..." -- the AAA [www][24/6].)

26 June 2016: Pikes Peak International Hill Climb [www].

25-26 June 2017: Tankfest, the Tank Museum, Bovington, uk [www].

23-26 June 2016: Goodwood Festival of Speed [www]. (Thurs, Moving Motor Show.)
24th: Bonham's auction [www] including lot 239 a 1936 Bentley 41/4-litre racer, registration no. JR 5544, chassis #B186HK, engine #D5BF (sold £104,540).
23 June 2016: British referendum on whether or not to leave the European Union (a EU Brexit).
To the surprise of many pundits, leave 51.9% : remain 48.1% ! But, London 40:60; Scotland 38:62; N. Ireland 44:56. (See the [bbc].)

23 June 2016: "Snow could fall on Melbourne's outskirts and in parts of New South Wales as a cold front pushes across the country, bringing freezing temperatures and rain. ..." -- [abc].

22 June 2016, recall PRA #2016/15391: "2014-2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee, 2012-2014 Chrysler 300, ... Drivers may inadvertently fail to engage the 'PARK' position before exiting the vehicle. If the engine is left running, the 'PARK' position is not engaged and the 'PARK BRAKE' is not applied prior to the driver exiting the vehicle, the vehicle may roll away striking and injuring the driver, passenger or bystanders. ..." -- [www].

22 June 2016: "Kia ranks highest [quality] among nameplates, ending 27-year reign for premium brands ..." -- J. D. Power [www] (and [bbc].)

19 June 2016 [#8/21]: European F1 Grand Prix, Baku, Azerbaijan (start 6pm local, 1pm GMT).
Results: 1. Nico Rosberg [Mercedes]; 2. Sebastian Vettel [Ferrari]; 3. Sergio Perez [Force India]. (Also see the [bbc].)

18-19 June 2016: Le Mans 24-hour race. 1. Romain Dumas / Neel Jani / Marc Lieb, #2 Porsche 919, 92 laps, 243.2km/h; 2. Stephane Sarrazin / Mike Conway / Kamui Kobayashi, #6 Toyota TS050; 3. Lucas Di Grassi / Loic Duval / Oliver Jarvis, #8 Audi R18; [www]. The #5 Toyota was about to start the last lap with a comfortable lead - but then came to a halt.

June 2016, .au, Diesel: $1.15±/l in major cities; $1.20 to $1.25/l in Broome, Katherine, Alice Springs, Port Augusta; $1.40 to $1.60/l in road houses on the Stuart Highway; $2.09/l at Mt Barnett RH on the Gibb River Road, WA.

17 June 2016: "Dozens of people are stranded in towns across South Australia's outback where heavy rain has closed major roads. ... Up to 35 millimetres of rain fell in some parts, with the Oodnadatta Track closed between William Creek and Marree and from Oodnadatta to William Creek and Coober Pedy. ..." -- [abc]. Also see the [bom].

13 June 2016 (Mon.): Queen's Birthday.

12 June 2016 [#7/21]: Canadian F1 Grand Prix, Montreal (start 2pm local, 6pm GMT).
Results: 1. Lewis Hamilton [Mercedes]; 2. Sebastian Vettel [Ferrari]; 3. Valtteri Bottas [Williams]. (Also see the [bbc].)

10-12 June 2016: Cholmondeley Power and Speed (was Pageant of Power), Cheshire [www].

7 June 2016: "A team of security researchers are calling on Mitsubishi to recall at least 100,000 Outlander hybrid cars after exposing a security breach that allowed the hackers to remotely turn off the car's alarm system, control the lights and drain the battery. ..." -- The G [www].

3 June 2016: "Retrofit of Volkswagen Passat, CC and Eos begins ... affected Passat, CC and Eos models with 2.0l TDI engines with power outputs of 81kW, 100kW and 103kW ... will rectify all vehicles affected by the [diesel] NOx issue. ..." -- VW [www].

 
29 May 2016 [#6/21]: Monaco F1 Grand Prix, Monte Carlo (start 2pm local, noon GMT).
Results: 1. Lewis Hamilton [Mercedes]; 2. Daniel Ricciardo [Red Bull]; 3. Sergio Perez [Force India]. Ricciardo was leading and would almost certainly have won but for a rare slow pit stop by Red Bull who did not have the right tyres ready. (Also see the [bbc].)
15 May 2016 [#5/21]: Spanish F1 Grand Prix, Barcelona (start 2pm local, noon GMT).
Results: 1. Max Verstappen [Red Bull]; 2. Kimi Raikkonen [Ferrari]; 3. Sebastian Vettel [Ferrari]. The Mercedes of Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg collided on lap one. It was the 18 year old Verstappen's first F1 win. (Also see the [bbc].)

14 May 2016: Sotherbys Monaco auction, including lot 254 a 1968 Ferrari 275 GTS/4 NART Spider by Scaglietti, chassis #11057, engine #11057 (not sold); [www].

13 May 2016: Bonhams auction Les Grandes Marques, Monaco [www], including lot 106 a 1991-1992 Benetton-Ford B191/191B, 3.5 V8 formula 1 racer, chassis #B191B-06 (ex Michael Schumacher, sold €1,058,000); lot 114 a 1953 Jaguar C-Type, chassis #XKC011, engine #E 1066-9, raced by Stirling Moss (sold €7,245,000) [www].

12 May 2016: "Nissan and Mitsubishi Motors (MMC) announced Thursday that they have signed a Basic Agreement to form a far-reaching strategic alliance between the two Japanese automakers. ..." -- Nissan [www], and [25/5] Mitsubishi [www].

8 May 2016: "Honda Motor will recall an additional 20 million Takata-made airbags globally ... in a widening scandal that has led to the biggest auto recall in US history. ..." -- [abc].

8 May 2016: "A huge wildfire raging in the Canadian province of Alberta is growing further and could spill in to neighbouring Saskatchewan ... [It] now covers an area of more than 700 sq miles ..." -- [bbc].

6 May 2016: "Significant rainfall is expected in parts of all states and territories this Mother's Day weekend, extending into early next week. ... predicted to bring heavy falls of rain to parts of the Eastern Pilbara, Kimberley and Interior districts of [WA] on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. ... Widespread areas of flooding are expected in the Tanami, Lasseter and Simpson districts over the weekend. This is expected to affect road access in many parts with some roads becoming impassable. ..." -- [bom].

6 May 2016, recall PRA 2016/15361: "2015-2016 (WK) Jeep Grand Cherokee ... The left front brake caliper may have been cast from an incorrect material. ..." -- [www].

6 May Fri Melb ULP avg au$1.06/l; min $0.98 ([Perth] avg $1.09/l, min $1.03); oil us$44/b; au$1.00=us$0.74, £0.51, €0.65, ¥79

6-8 May 2016: London Motor Show, Battersea [www].

5 May 2016, F1: "Max Verstappen has been promoted to Red Bull and Daniil Kvyat dropped to junior team Toro Rosso ... following Kvyat's calamitous weekend at the Russian Grand Prix, when he crashed into Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel twice within two corners. ..." -- [bbc].

2 May 2016: "Oshkosh Defense ... will feature its TerraMax(tm) unmanned ground vehicle (UGV) technology equipped on a MRAP All-Terrain Vehicle (M-ATV) during the annual Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International's (AUVSI) conference, XPONENTIAL in New Orleans from May 2-5, 2016. ..." -- Oshkosh [www].

1 May Sun Melb ULP avg au$1.04/l; min $1.01 ([Perth] avg $1.05/l, min $1.01); oil us$46/b
29 Apr Fri au$1.00=us$0.77, £0.52, €0.67, ¥82
1 May 2016 [#4/21]: Russian F1 Grand Prix, Sochi (start 3pm local, noon GMT).
Results: 1. Nico Rosberg [Mercedes]; 2. Lewis Hamilton [Mercedes]; 3. Kimi Raikkonen [Ferrari]. (Also see the FIA [www], and [bbc].)
 

29 April 2016, .au: "... Barndioota, a cattle property. West of Wilpena Pound it is a place that is not often reported on - but it will be in the future as it's been earmarked by the federal government as a likely site for a future nuclear waste dump. ..." -- [abc]. (There is still only one perfectly safe place for this stuff: in the basement of parliament house.)

28 April 2016, .au: "May to July favours above-average rainfall likely for large parts of mainland Australia and warmer-than-average days likely for the tropical north and parts of southern Australia. ..." -- [bom].

27 April 2016, .au: "Kakadu National Park has suffered its driest wet season in more than two decades, according to a ranger. ..." -- [abc].

27 April 2016: "The Japanese carmaker Mitsubishi Motors has admitted using fuel-economy testing methods that did not comply with Japanese regulations for 25 years ..." -- The G. [www].

26 Apr Tue Melb ULP avg au$1.07/l; min $1.04 ([Perth] avg $1.20/l, min $0.97); oil us$44/b; au$1.00=us$0.77, £0.53, €0.68, ¥86

25 April 2016 (Mon): Anzac Day.

23 April 2016: "Germany's top carmakers will recall 630,000 vehicles to fix diesel engine software technology that has been blamed for causing high pollution, while the emissions scandal engulfing Japan's Mitsubishi Motors deepened. Porsche, Volkswagen, Audi, Opel and Mercedes diesel cars will be recalled as part of a clampdown on nitrogen oxide emissions, according to a German government official. BMW, which invested in fuel-saving technologies earlier than most rivals, is not part of the recall, the official said. ..." -- The G. [www].

22 April 2016: "... delegates have finished signing the Paris climate agreement at UN headquarters in New York. Some 171 countries inked the deal today, a record number for a new international treaty. About 15 nations, mainly small island states, had already ratified the agreement. ..." -- [bbc].

22 April 2016: "Fiat Chrysler is to recall 1.1 million vehicles worldwide over fears they may roll away after drivers get out. ... The affected models include 2012 to 2014 Dodge Charger and Chrysler 300 sedans and 2014/15 Jeep Grand Cherokee SUVs. ..." -- [bbc].

21 April 2016: "... F1's bosses are poised to sign off on a set of new regulations that they hope will guarantee a rosier future for the next few years, with faster cars, happier drivers [tyres], better racing and less financial strain [engine$] on smaller teams. ..." -- [bbc].

22 April 2016: "The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) has requested from Daimler AG on April 15, 2016, by pointing out the strict confidentiality of the matter, to review its certification and admissions process related to exhaust emissions in the United States by way of an internal investigation in cooperation with the DOJ. Daimler has agreed to cooperate fully with the DOJ. ..." -- Daimler [www].

21 April 2016: "As part of ongoing investigations on pollutants in the automobile sector, today PSA [Peugeot] Group has been the subject of a visit and a seizure by France's General Directorate for Competition Policy, Consumer Affairs and Fraud Control (DGCCRF). ..." -- [www].

21 April 2016: "A group of world leaders and international finance chiefs has urged the world to rapidly expand the pricing of carbon pollution. They argue that more than half of emissions of CO2 should be covered by a carbon price within a decade. ..." -- [bbc].

21 Apr Thu Melb ULP avg au$1.11/l; min $1.03 ([Perth] avg $1.15/l, min $1.04); oil us$43/b; au$1.00=us$0.78, £0.54, €0.69, ¥86

21 April 2016, "Policy paper Vehicle emissions testing programme: conclusions. ... We established this important programme following the revelations that Volkswagen had been using software in their cars which caused the engines to behave differently during emissions tests, compared to real world driving. ... the tests have not detected evidence of test cycle manipulation strategies as used by the Volkswagen Group. However, tests have found higher levels of NOX emissions in test track and real world driving conditions than in the laboratory for all manufacturers' vehicles, with results varying significantly between different makes and models. ..." -- .gov.uk [www].

21 April 2016: "Volkswagen and US officials have reached a deal under which the car maker could offer to buy back up to 500,000 diesel cars in the US, according to reports. ..." [bbc].

20 April 2016: "Mitsubishi Motors has admitted manipulating test data to overstate the fuel efficiency of 625,000 cars. ... Mitsubishi Motors joins Hyundai, Kia and Ford on the list of carmakers that have mishandled testing or reporting of their models' fuel economy. ..." -- The G. [www].

19 April 2016: "Dutch politicians have voted through a motion calling on the country to ban sales of new petrol and diesel cars starting in 2025. [But it] would need to pass through the Dutch senate to become legally binding. ..." -- The G. [www].

19 April 2016: "For 11th straight month, the globe was record warm ... For March, the average temperature for the globe was 2.20°F above the 20th century average. ..." -- NOAA [www].

19 April 2016, .au: The Daly Waters pub, by the Stuart Highway, NT is for sale -- [abc].

19 April 2016: "Australians will likely go to the polls in a double dissolution election on July 2, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has confirmed. ..." -- [abc].

18 April 2016: "The unofficial election campaign starts today, as Australia looks set for a July 2 double dissolution poll ..." -- [abc].

18 April 2016: "A meeting of the world's leading oil exporters to discuss capping production has ended without agreement. ..." -- [bbc].

17 April 2016 [#3/21]: Chinese F1 Grand Prix, Shanghai (start 2pm local, 6am GMT).
Results: 1. Nico Rosberg [Mercedes]; 2. Sebastian Vettel [Ferrari]; 3. Daniil Kvyat [Red Bull]. (Also see the FIA [www] and the [bbc].)
16 Apr Sat Melb ULP avg au$1.14/l; min $1.05 ([Perth] avg $1.06/l, min $1.03); oil us$40/b
15 Apr Fri au$1.00=us$0.77, £0.55, €0.69, ¥85

13 April 2016: "Hundreds of documents uncovered by the Center for International Environmental Law (CIEL) push back the record of oil industry knowledge on climate change by decades. ... demonstrates that the oil industry was explicitly warned of climate risks in the 1960s. ..." -- CIEL [www].

13 April 2016: "Peabody Energy, the world's largest privately-owned coal miner, has filed for bankruptcy protection in the US after a sharp fall in coal prices left it unable to repay its debts. ..." [bbc].

12 April 2016, .au: "While the 2015-16 El Nino remains at weak to moderate levels, recent changes in the tropical Pacific Ocean and atmosphere, combined with current climate model outlooks, suggest the likelihood of La Nina in 2016 has increased to around 50%. ..." -- [bom].

11 April 2016, .au, there must be an election coming[*]: Malcolm not so agile Turnbull, the PM, "has been floating possible funding models" for a Very Fast Train, Melbourne - Canberra - Sydney - Brisbane. E.g., see [abc]. Remember 'Very Fast Turnover', episode 3 (9/6/2015), series 1, of 'Utopia' [abc]? (Turnbull was at one time minister responsible for the now not so fast NBN (not NBA).)  [*]¿2 July?

11 Apr Mon Melb ULP avg au$1.21/l; min $1.07 ([Perth] avg $1.02/l, min $0.95); oil us$40/b; au$1.00=us$0.76, £0.54, €0.66, ¥82

9 April 2016: "Basic bushcraft crucial to outback survival, says expert bushman ... Authorities say an increasing number of people are getting stranded or lost in remote parts of Australia, as four-wheel-drive technology improves, and the 'Grey Nomad' population grows. ... In 2015, police had to conduct around 230 searches for people in WA alone, with about a third of those in regional areas. ..." -- [abc].

9 April 2016: Coys Techno Classica auction, Essen, .de [www], including lot 125 a 1978 BMW M1, chassis #4301013, mid-engined 3.5 6-cyl; lot 223 a 1966 Amphicar 770, chassis #106-522-222.

8-10 April 2016, .au: FPM MotorExpo, Royal Exhibition Building, Melbourne [www].

8 April 2016: "The Australian Army's largest vehicle modernisation program is now underway as the Department of Defence officially received the first trucks and trailers as part of project LAND 121 Phase 3B. ... will replace the Unimog, Mack and S-Liner fleets, translating to around 2700 trucks, 3800 modules and 1700 trailers. ... the first 12 trucks from Rheinmetall MAN Military Vehicles Australia ..." -- gov [www].

April 2016: "The premiere of manned flights with the world's first certified Multicopter, e-volo's Volocopter VC200 ..." -- e-volo [www]. 2-seat, electric, 18 rotors.

7 April 2016: "At the unanimous request of the teams ... Jean Todt, President of the FIA, and Bernie Ecclestone ... accepted, in the interests of the Championship, to submit a proposal to the F1 Commission and World Motor Sport Council to revert to the qualifying format in force in 2015. ..." -- FIA [www].

7 Apr Thu Melb ULP avg au$1.25/l; min $1.06 ([Perth] avg $1.15/l, min $1.04); oil us$38/b; au$1.00=us$0.76, £0.54, €0.67, ¥83

6 April 2016: 'Land Rover Reborn' is an official initiative of Jaguar Land-Rover's Classics Division (.uk) to restore 25 series one Land-Rovers to their former glory (warranty included). The first example, 'car zero', is an ex-Queensland 80" shown at Techno Classica. Also see LR [www] and JLR [www]. Prices est. £60K+.

6-10 April 2016: 28th Techno Classica, Essen [www]. (See Coy's auction, 9th.)

4 April 2016, NT: "The wet season, for large parts of the Northern Territory, has delivered the lowest rainfalls on record, January through to March this year. ..." -- [abc].

4 April 2016, .au: "... A report by the Grattan Institute found that while spending in marginal regional areas was popular with voters, it did not serve the economy. It found that Victoria's Geelong-to-Colac road, which traverses key swing federal and state seats, is the country's second biggest financial waste. ..." -- [abc].

3 April 2016: "A huge leak of confidential documents has revealed how the rich and powerful use tax havens to hide their wealth. Eleven million documents were leaked from one of the world's most secretive companies, Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca. ... The documents show links to 12 current or former heads of state ..." -- [bbc], [2], and [3].
"... Twelve national leaders are among 143 politicians, their families and close associates from around the world known to have been using offshore tax havens. ..." -- The G. [www], and [2].
"... The leak exposes the offshore holdings of 12 current and former world leaders and reveals how associates of Russian President Vladimir Putin secretly shuffled as much as $2 billion through banks and shadow companies ..." -- The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) [www].
5/4, .au: "Convicted fraudsters, directors banned by the corporate regulator and former Australian Tax Office (ATO) officials are among hundreds of Australians linked to companies incorporated by Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca. ..." -- [abc].
3 April 2016 [#2/21]: Bahrain F1 Grand Prix (start 6pm local, 3pm GMT). Fernando Alonso (McLaren) was ruled unfit following from his crash in Australia. The much disliked knock-out style qualifying system was retained and, as in Australia, there was no action at the end of the sessions. (But see 7 April above.)
Results: 1. Nico Rosberg [Mercedes]; 2. Kimi Raikkonen [Ferrari]; 3. Lewis Hamilton [Mercedes]. Hamilton had a slow start and a collison with Valtteri Bottas (Williams), but recovered to 3rd. Sebastian Vettel (Ferrari) had engine failure on the formation lap. (Also see the FIA [www] and [bbc].)

3 April 2016, .au: End of daylight saving [www] (d.s. not observed in NT, Qld, WA).

1 Apr Fri Melb ULP avg au$1.11/l; min $0.97 ([Perth] avg $1.12/l, min $1.03); oil us$38/b; au$1.00=us$0.77, £0.53, €0.67, ¥86

1 April 2016: "Tesla has unveiled its much-anticipated Model 3 electric car ... first deliveries of the vehicle are scheduled to start in late 2017 ... basic model will start at $35,000 (£24,423) and have a range of at least 215 miles (346km) per charge. ..." -- [bbc]. Also see SAE [www][4/4].

1 April 2016, .au: "... Australia's March mean temperature [was the] warmest [for March] on record at 1.70°C above average ..." -- [bom]. (Also see the [abc].)

 

31 March 2016, .uk: "Birmingham remains the UK's crash for cash capital. ... [Aviva] detected more than 3,000 organised crash for cash claimants last year ... Top 10 locations for induced accidents in 2015: 1. Birmingham, 2. N. London, 3. E. London, ..." -- Aviva [www].

28 March 2016: Easter Monday.

27 Mar Sun Melb ULP avg au$1.06/l; min $0.97 ([Perth] avg $1.06/l, min $1.00); oil us$39/b
24 Mar Thu au$1.00=us$0.75, £0.53, €0.67, ¥85

27 March 2016: John Krafcik of Google on self-driving cars "... Google, with years of experience in this area, has predicted as early as 2020. ..." -- SAE [www].

25 March 2016: Easter Friday.

25 March - 3 April 2016: New York Auto Show [www]. Including Ford Lincoln 'Navigator' (oil's cheap) SUV concept [www]; Mazda 'MX-5 RF' (retractable roof) [www]; Toyota 'Prius' plug-in hybrid [www].

25 March 2016: "Volkswagen is recalling 800,000 vehicles due to a suspected problem with the pedals ... recalling 391,000 of its Volkswagen Touareg sports utility vehicles (SUV) and 409,477 Porsche Cayennes ..." -- The G. [www].

24 March 2016: "A US court has given Volkswagen until 21 April to come up with a plan to fix 600,000 cars that emit illegal levels of pollution. ..." -- [bbc].

24 March 2016, .au: "April to June favours above-average rainfall likely in parts of southern Australia, below average likely in the far north for April to June and warmer-than-average days and nights likely for much of Australia. April rainfall is likely to be below average across much of northern Australia and parts of the southeast mainland ..." -- [bom].

22 Mar Tue Melb ULP avg au$1.09/l; min $0.97 ([Perth] avg $1.21/l, min $1.04); oil us$40/b; au$1.00=us$0.76, £0.53, €0.67, ¥85

22 March 2016, .au: "The Australian Tax Office [ATO] has named 98 large private companies that paid no corporate tax in the 2013-14 financial year. ... The companies each have a total income of $200 million or more. ..." -- [abc].

22 March 2016: TVR "announced today that its new production facility will be located in the Ebbw Vale Enterprise Zone in South Wales. ..." -- TVR [www].

20 March 2016 [#1/21]: Australian F1 Grand Prix, Melbourne (start 4pm local, 5am GMT).
Teams (engine) and drivers: [Ferrari], Sebastian Vettel, Kimi Raikkonen; [Force India] (Mercedes), Nicolas Hulkenburg, Sergio Perez Mendosa; [Haas F1] (Ferrari), Romain Grosjean, Esteban Gutierrez; [Manor Racing] (Mercedes), Pascal Wehrlein, Rio Haryanto; [McLaren] (Honda), Fernando Alonso, Jenson Button; [Mercedes], Lewis Hamilton, Nico Rosberg; [Red Bull] (Tag Heuer, i.e., Renault) Daniel Ricciardo, Daniil Kvyat; [Renault], Kevin Magnussen, Jolyon Palmer; [Sauber] (Ferrari), Marcus Ericsson, Luiz Felipe de Oliveira Nasa; [Toro Rosso] (Ferrari), Max Verstappen, Carlos Sainz jr; [Williams] (Mercedes), Felipe Massa, Valtteri Bottas.
Results: 1. Nico Rosberg [Mercedes]; 2. Lewis Hamilton [Mercedes]; 3. Sebastian Vettel [Ferrari]. The Mercedes qualified 1 (Lewis Hamilton) and 2 (Nico Rosberg) but both Ferraris jumped them at the start, costing Hamilton the most. Fernando Alonso (McLaren) survived a big crash on lap 17 and the race was stopped while the track was cleared. Kimi Raikkonen (Ferrari) retired with an engine fire. The Mercedes made good use of the harder 'medium' tyres to recover the first two places. The new Haas F1 team scored points in its first race with Romain Grosjean, 6th. A new qualifying system was (fair but) a flop and will be dropped (but no it wasn't). Also see the FIA [www] and [bbc].)

18 March 2016: "The Regional Court of Stuttgart has acquitted the former members of the executive board of Porsche Automobil Holding SE, Stuttgart (Porsche SE), Dr. Wendelin Wiedeking and Holger Harter, of alleged market manipulation. ... member of the Porsche SE executive board responsible for legal affairs and compliance, said: 'We were always of the opinion that the [2007±] shareholding in Volkswagen AG was acquired in accordance with capital market regulations ...' ..." -- Porsche [www].

17 March 2016: "Motor vehicles increasingly vunerable to remote exploits [hacking]. ..." -- the FBI and DoT [www].

17 Mar Thu Melb ULP avg au$1.12/l; min $0.97 ([Perth] avg $1.15/l, min $1.03); oil us$38/b; au$1.00=us$0.76, £0.53, €0.68, ¥85

14-20 March 2016, .au: 37th Corowa Swim-In, the year of the Chrysler 2 and of the Tank, Corowa, NSW [www].

14 March 2016 (Mon.): Labour Day.

12-14 March 2016, Vic.: Scoresby Steamfest [www].

12 March 2016: "Jeep will test pickup concepts at Moab 50th ... The Renegade-based Comanche and the Wrangler Unlimited-based Crew Chief 715 trucks are among this year's seven Jeep concept vehicles ..." -- SAE [www].

12 Mar Sat Melb ULP avg au$1.17/l; min $0.93 ([Perth] avg $1.07/l, min $0.94); oil us$39/b
11 Mar 2015 Fri au$1.00=us$0.75, £0.52, €0.67, ¥85

11 March 2016: "Global oil supplies eased by 180,000 barrels per day (180 kb/d) in February, to 96.5 mb/d ... But production stood 1.8 mb/d above a year earlier ... Non-OPEC production in 2016 is estimated to fall by 750 kb/d, to 57.0 mb/d ..." -- IEA [www].

11 March 2011: 5th anniversary of the Japanese earthquake and the tsunami that led to the meltdown at Fukushima nuclear power station, e.g., [abc].

10 March 2016: "The annual growth rate of atmospheric carbon dioxide measured at the Mauna Loa Observatory in Hawaii jumped by 3.05 parts per million during 2015, the largest year-to-year increase in 56 years of research ..." -- NOAA [www].

10 March 2016, .au: "... BoM senior climatologist David Martin said the hot start to autumn showed a 'clear trend' toward warmer weather across the country. ... Melbourne sweltered through its hottest March night on record on Tuesday [8th] night, when temperatures hovered at 30°C, only dipping slightly after midnight. ..." -- [abc].

10 March 2016: Bonhams Amelia Island auction [www], including lot 139 a 1937 Bugatti type 57SC sports tourer (sold us$9,735,000).

10 March 2016: "Volkswagen's top executive in the US is stepping down nearly six months after the German carmaker became engulfed in the diesel emissions scandal. ... Almost 600,000 VW cars in the US are affected, but the company says about 11 million vehicles worldwide were fitted with the [defeat device] engine software. ..." -- [bbc].

8 March 2016, .eu: "There are growing concerns that cheap imports of biodiesel from Poland could wreck the European market in biofuels. ... the EBB believes that some suppliers are meeting the obligation to provide green fuel at home by simply adding extra diesel to the mix and reserving the fuel made from crops. ..." -- [bbc].

8 Mar Tue Melb ULP avg au$1.19/l; min $0.93 ([Perth] avg $1.19/l, min $0.95); oil us$38/b; au$1.00=us$0.74, £0.52, €0.67, ¥84

8 March 2016: "... Brent crude, used as an international benchmark, rose more than 5% to trade at us$40.83 a barrel. ... The rise is being put down to talks taking place between oil-producing countries in an effort to curb production. ..." -- [bbc].

8 March 2016, .au, the scandal of bad financial advice from the big banks spread to bad insurance: "... a joint Four Corners-Fairfax investigation aired the stories of sick and dying CommInsure[*] policy holders, ..." -- [abc], and [7/3]. [*] Commonwealth Bank's insurance arm. Is anyone suprised?

7 March 2016, .uk: "General Dynamics announce that it will build the AJAX (AFV) Armoured Fighting Vehicle in a factory site near Merthyr Tydfil in South Wales. ... The AJAX programme was originally known as the SCOUT Specialist Vehicle (SV) programme. ..." -- MoD [www].

7 March 2016, recall PRA 2016/15242: "Volvo MY 2016 Diesel XC60, V60 Cross Country and XC70 ... The engine can momentarily cut-off and immediately restart while driving. This issue may cause disturbances in some electrical systems such as shut down of the instrument cluster, infotainment system and loss of power steering assist. ..." -- [www].

3-13 March 2016: 86th Geneva Motor Show [www]. Including Aston Martin 'DB11' [www], and at the SAE [www]; Audi 'Q2' SUV; Bugatti 'Chiron' (Veyron successor), see 1 March; Ferrari 'GTC4Lusso' 4-seat 4WD 6.3 l V12 [bbc]; GM Opel/Vauxhall 'GT' concept [www]; Gumpert 'Apollo N'; Honda 'NSX'; Hyundai 'Ionic'; Jaguar 'F-type SVR'; Kia 'Optima Sportswagon'; Koenigsegg production 'Regera' & the last 'Agera' [www]; Lamborghini 'Centenario'; Maserati 'Levante' SUV (2017); Morgan 'EV3' electric 3-wheeler [www]; Porsche (2017) '718 Boxster' 4-cyl turbo [www]; Seat (VW) 'Ateca' (~Tiguan) SUV; Spyker 'Preliator' sports car [www]; Tesla 'Model X' electric SUV [www]; VW 'T-Cross Breeze' open SUV concept.

3 Mar Thu Melb ULP avg au$0.99/l; min $0.93 ([Perth] avg $1.11/l, min $0.96); oil us$34/b; au$1.00=us$0.73, £0.52, €0.67, ¥83

2 March 2016: "... Volkswagen considers the German shareholder lawsuits to be without merit ... The starting point of the diesel matter[!] was, in hindsight, the strategic decision by Volkswagen in 2005 to start a major diesel campaign in the United States and to facilitate a breakthrough for this technology which at the time was already very popular in Europe. ... a group of persons - whose identity is still being determined[!] - at levels below the Group's Management Board in the powertrain development division, decided to modify the engine management software. With this software modification, emissions values were generated in bench testing that differed substantially from those under real driving conditions. ..." -- VW [www].

1-4 March 2016: Second F1 test session, Circuit de Catalunya, Barcelona.

1 March 2016: Bugatti revealed the 'Chiron', pretty much a Veyron+, 8-litre, W16, 4-turbo, 1,103kW, 1600Nm -- Bugatti [www].

1 March 2016: "Volkswagen's boss has warned that a deal with US authorities over its [diesel] emissions scandal could take longer and cost more than expected. ... the €6.7bn (£5.2bn) set aside to cover the costs of the scandal might not be enough. ..." -- [bbc].

1 March 2016: "The Northern Territory is sweltering through one of its poorest wet seasons on record. Rainfall data compiled by the Bureau of Meteorology shows a number of regions have received well below their average rainfall from October 1 to February 29. ..." -- [abc].

 
29 February - 4 March 2016: Lake Gairdner speed week -- Dry Lake Racers Association [www].
And, "Hundreds of speed obsessed car and bike enthusiasts will this week challenge their machines and their mettle on the salt flats of Lake Gairdner in South Australia. ..." -- [abc][1/3].

28 February 2016, .uk: "... Drug drive arrests have soared by up to 800% in a year after the government introduced tough new laws ... During the Christmas 2015 drink and drug drive campaign, 1,888 drug screening tests were carried out in just 1 month across England and Wales, and nearly 50% were positive ..." -- DoT [www].

27 Feb Sat Melb ULP avg au$0.99/l; min $0.94 ([Perth] avg $1.04/l, min $0.96); oil us$33/b
26 Feb 2015 Fri au$1.00=us$0.72, £0.52, €0.65, ¥82

27 February 2016, .uk: "Attack of the cloners sees drivers caught up in number plate fraud ..." -- The G. [www].

26-28 February 2016: Race Retro, Stoneleigh Park, Coventry, uk [www].

25 February 2016: "The Australian Automobile Association (AAA) today announced the 15 winners of the 2015 Australia's Best Cars awards. ... [including] Best Small Car under $35,000 Hyundai i30 Active; ...; Best 4x4 Dual Cab Ute Toyota Hilux SR5." -- RACV [www].

24 February 2016, .uk: "According to the latest figures from TRACKER ... the highly desirable Range Rover Sport was the most stolen and recovered vehicle in 2015 ..." -- IAATA [www].

23 February 2016: "Top End [NT] fishing spots that were overflowing this time two years ago are looking sparse from above, as the region experiences its driest monsoon season in 25 years. ..." -- [abc].

22-25 February 2016: First F1 pre-season test session, Circuit de Catalunya, Barcelona. The new 'Haas' team (USA) took part.

22 Feb Mon Melb ULP avg au$1.03/l; min $0.99 ([Perth] avg $1.00/l, min $0.95); oil us$30/b; au$1.00=us$0.72, £0.50, €0.65, ¥81

21 February 2016: "Volvo is recalling 59,000 cars over faulty software that can briefly shut down the engine, including more than 7,000 in the UK. The recall affects five-cylinder diesel models S60, V60, XC60, V70 and XC70 built from mid-2015. ..." -- The G. [www]. (Also see 7 March above.)

21 February 2016 (Sun.), .au: Victorian 4WD Show, Wandin [www].

18-21 February 2016: London Classic Car Show, Excel [www].

18 February 2016: "The powerful 2015-2016 El Nino has passed its peak but remains strong and will continue to influence the global climate ... It is expected to weaken in the coming months and fade away during the second quarter of 2016. ... models indicate a return to an ENSO neutral state during the second quarter of 2016. It is too early to predict whether there will be a swing to La Nina (the opposite of El Nino) after that. ..." -- WMO [www].

18 February 2016: "Aston Martin is setting up a venture with the Chinese consumer electronics group LeEco [of e car start-up Faraday Future] to jointly develop the British luxury car brand's first electric vehicle. ..." -- The G. [www]. Also see A.M. [www].

18 Feb Thu Melb ULP avg au$1.09/l; min $0.97 ([Perth] avg $1.11/l, min $0.96); oil us$31/b; au$1.00=us$0.72, £0.50, €0.64, ¥82

17 February 2016: "Oil prices fell on Tuesday despite Saudi Arabia and Russia agreeing to freeze oil output at January levels if other producers follow suit. ... Brent crude, which had risen more than 5% earlier, finished down 3.2% at us$32.33 a barrel, while US crude was down 2% at us$29.14. ..." -- [bbc].

17 February 2016: "... present a novel, empirical approach to assess the relative sensitivity of ecosystems to climate variability ... We find ecologically sensitive regions with amplified responses to climate variability in the Arctic tundra, parts of the boreal forest belt, ... and eastern areas of Australia. ..." -- Seddon et al, 'Sensitivity of global terrestrial ecosystems to climate variability', Nature, [www].

15 February 2016: The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has released its fifth quarterly report into the Australian petroleum industry [to Dec 2015] ... quarterly average prices were lower than previous quarters, but not as low as might have been expected given lower crude oil prices. Reasons for this include high refiner and retail margins. The recent resolution of litigation between the ACCC and a number of petrol retailers will make price information available [in May] to consumers and motoring organisations, which should increase competition and put downward pressure on retail margins. ... the quarterly average price in the five largest cities (i.e. Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide, and Perth) was 124.4 cents per litre (cpl), which was 8.8cpl lower than the previous quarter and 11.4cpl lower than in the June quarter 2015. ..." -- ACCC [www].

February 2016, recall, PRA 2016/15202: "Bridgestone 215/60R16 95V Supercat Tyre made in Thailand ... Bridgestone has detected that some of these tyres may exhibit an issue with the tread / belt leading to possible rapid loss of air pressure. ..." -- [www]. A blow out.

13-21 February 2016: Chicago Auto Show [www].

12 February 2016: "Oil prices surged as much as 12% on Friday after new suggestions that Opec nations were set to cut oil production. The United Arab Emirates' energy minister said that Opec members were ready to reduce output, the Wall Street Journal reported. ..." -- [bbc]. (WTI us$29/b, Brent us$33/b.)

12 Feb Fri Melb ULP avg au$1.16/l; min $0.99 ([Perth] avg $1.10/l, min $0.99); oil us$26/b; au$1.00=us$0.71, £0.49, €0.64, ¥80

9 February 2016, .au: "The World Heritage-listed Kakadu National Park is suffering through one of its driest wet seasons on record. ... The weather bureau is forecasting below average rainfall for the Kakadu region over the next three months." -- [abc].

9 February 2016: "Having peaked, at a five-year high of 1.6 million barrels per day (mb/d) in 2015, global oil demand growth is forecast to ease back considerably in 2016, to 1.2 mb/d, pulled down by notable slowdowns in Europe, China and the United States ..." -- IEA [www]. ('Launch of Medium-Term Oil Market Report 2016' [www] due 22/2/2016.)

8 February 2016: "Shares of Fiat Chrysler fell more than 7% ... [as] The US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) doubled its investigation to cover 856,000 Jeeps, but has not requested a recall. ... focuses on the cars' electronic gear shift, which lights up when moved from one gear to another, rather than making a physical click. Some say this means drivers cannot tell whether or not it is in drive mode. ..." -- [bbc].

8 February 2015: "The Bureau of Meteorology has confirmed that 2015 was Australia's fifth-warmest year on record, with the release of its final Annual Climate Report 2015 this morning. ..." -- [bom].

6 Feb Mon Melb ULP avg au$1.19/l; min $0.99 ([Perth] avg $1.06/l, min $1.00); oil us$31/b; au$1.00=us$0.71, £0.49, €0.64, ¥83

5-6 February 2016: Retromobile Salon auction, Paris, including lot 170 a 1957 Ferrari 335 S Scaglietti (sold €32,075,200, us$37,794,319); lot 212 a 1995 Bugatti EB110 SS 'Sport Competizione - Le Mans' (sold €941,700, us$1,050,890) -- Arcturial [www]. Also see the [bbc].

5 February 2016, recall 2016/15178, Toyota Lexus LX470: "Due to improper programming in the airbag control module initialisation sequence, there is a possibility that ... the Curtain Shield Airbags could activate when not necessary. ... Owners are advised not to drive the vehicle until the SRS airbag warning light turns off (approx 4 seconds after ignition on) to ensure airbag initialisation is complete. ..." -- [www].

4 February 2016: Bonhams Les Grandes Marques auction, Paris [www], including lot 317 a 1972 Renault Alpine A110 1600S coupe chassis #17810, engine#11319 (sold €94,300); lot 333 a 1992 Jaguar XJ220 coupe chassis #SAJ-JEAEX8AX 220869 (sold €299,000); lot 352 a 2000 Mercedes CLK GTR coupe, chassis #WBB29739719000023 (passed in).

3 February 2015: "Porsche's decision to downsize the new generation Boxster's engines from flat-6 to turbocharged flat-4 may shock purists, but power and torque are up, and fuel consumption and emissions down. ..." -- SAE [www].

2 Feb Tue Melb ULP avg au$1.00/l; min $0.98 ([Perth] avg $1.23/l, min $1.01); oil us$32/b; au$1.00=us$0.71, £0.49, €0.65, ¥85

1 February 2016, .au: "Petrol prices have hit a one-year low as the rout in global oil prices flows through to the bowser. ... the national average fuel price fell by 1.8 cents last week, to 111.9 cents a litre. ..." -- [abc].

 

31 January 2016, .au: "More Volkswagen drivers have come forward producing information that raises questions about what the carmaker told a coronial investigation into the death of a young woman. ..." -- [abc].

31 January 2016, .au: "Ex-tropical cyclone Stan has weakened over land [Pilbara WA]. Heavy rain and gusty winds still expected near the path. ..." -- [bom].

29-30 January 2016: Gooding Scottsdale Auction, Arizona, [www], including lot 120 a 1990 Ferrari F40, chassis #ZFFMN34A2L0086554 (sold us$1,534,500); lot 122 a 2003 Ferrari Enzo, chassis #ZFFCW56AX30132049 (sold us$2,860,000); lot 126 a 1995 Ferrari F50, chassis #ZFFTA46B000099999 (sold us$2,400,000).

29 January 2016: "... Recent summers, however, have been unusually warm in the context of the last two millennia and there are no 30yr periods ... that exceed the mean average European summer temperature of the last 3 decades (1986-2015 CE). ..." -- 'European summer temperatures since Roman times,' J. Luterbacher et al, Env. Res. Lett., 11(2), e024001, 2016 [www]. (Also see 21 Jan. below.)

29 January 2016 (Fri.): The end of production of the Land-Rover Defender (H166 HUE, the 2,016,933rd) at Solihull, LR [www]. Also see The G. [www].

28 Jan Thu Melb ULP avg au$1.02/l; min $0.99 ([Perth] avg $1.19/l, min $1.08); oil us$32/b; au$1.00=us$0.70, £0.49, €0.65, ¥84

28 January 2016: Bonhams Scottsdale Auction [www], including lot 12 a 2015 McLaren P1, vinSBM12ABA1FW000371 (sold us$2,945,139); lot 21 a 1962 Mercedes 300-SL roadster (ST), chassis #198.042.10.003091, engine #198.982.10.000052 (sold us$1,485,000); lot 98 a 1980 BMW M1 3.5 6-cyl, chassis #4301096, engine #M88-212; lot 108 a 1964 Aston Martin DB5 hard-top, chassis #DB5/1759/R, engine #400/1807 (sold us$781,000).

27 January 2016: "A new conservation program inviting couples to sign up for a month-long, live-in stay at a central Queensland nature reserve [Goonderoo Reserve] is proving to be incredibly popular with both tourists and everyday Australians. ..." -- [abc].

26 January 2016: Australia Day.

21 Jan Thu Melb ULP avg au$1.07/l; min $1.00 ([Perth] avg $1.21/l, min $1.06); oil us$27/b; au$1.00=us$0.69, £0.49, €0.63, ¥81

21 January 2016: "The globally averaged temperature over land and ocean surfaces for 2015 was the highest among all years since record keeping began in 1880. ... the average temperature across global land and ocean surfaces was 1.62°F (0.90°C) above the 20th century average. This was the highest among all 136 years in the 1880-2015 record, surpassing the previous record set last year by 0.29°F (0.16°C) and marking the fourth time a global temperature record has been set this century. This is also the largest margin by which the annual global temperature record has been broken. ..." -- NOAA [www].

20 January 2016: "Brembo brake-by-wire will be production-ready before 2020 ... Brake pedal just a sensor ... a pump/motor assembly to produce a hydraulic output to the front caliper, a six-piston unit. ... [but] an all-electric system could be produced for small cars, such as the Renault Twingo ..." -- SAE [www].

20 January 2016: "Renault has recalled more than 15,000 diesel cars after an admission that its emissions filtering system does not work in all temperatures. ..." -- The G. [www]. Also see 14 Jan. below.

19 January 2016, .au: "Highway cattle collisions increase in Kimberley ... a problem in the Kimberley, highlighting statistics from the 250km of highway, between Derby and Broome. 'In the last 12 months we've had 89 dead beasts on that road,' Mr Sewell said. 'That's a concern to us, in fact it's probably tripled since 2013.' ..." -- [abc].

18 January 2016, .au: "The Federal Government has released a list of more than 60 federal, state and local government agencies that have applied to access metadata. ... Aus. Postal Corp., ATO, ..., DHS, DSS, ... " -- [abc].

18 January 2016: "62 people own the same as half the world ... The Oxfam report 'An Economy for the 1%,' shows that the wealth of the poorest half of the world's population has fallen by a trillion dollars since 2010, a drop of 41%. This has occurred despite the global population increasing by around 400 million people during that period. Meanwhile, the wealth of the richest 62 has increased by more than half a trillion dollars to us$1.76tr. ..." -- Oxfam [www].

17 January 2016, the Dakar: Bikes 1. Toby Price (.au), #3, KTM; quads 1. Marcos Petronelli, #252, Yamaha; cars 1. Stephane Peterhansel & Jean Paul Cottret, #302 Peugeot; trucks 1. Gerard de Rooy, Moises Torrallardona & Darek Rodewald, #501, Iveco -- [www].

16 Jan Sat Melb ULP avg au$1.12/l; min $1.06 ([Perth] avg $1.18/l, min $1.10); oil us$31/b
15 Jan 2015 Fri au$1.00=us$0.69, £0.48, €0.64, ¥82

14-17 January 2016: Autosport International, NEC, Birmingham, uk, trade 14-15, public 16-17 [www].

14 January 2016, Renault: "Following public disclosure by the EPA - US Environmental Protection Agency - of the existence of a Defeat Device software used by [VW], an independent technical commission was created by the French Government. ... the DGCCRF decided to carry out additional on-site and material investigations, in order to definitively confirm the first findings resulting from the analysis of the independent technical commission. The DGCCRF went to the Headquaters, the Renault Technical Centre in Lardy and the Technocentre in Guyancourt. Renault's teams are fully cooperating with the independent technical commission and the additional investigations decided by the Ministry of Economy. ..." -- Renault [www]. Also see 20 Jan. above.

12 January 2016: "An emergency fire warning has been issued for Leneva in Victoria's north-east near the NSW border. ..." -- [abc]. Also see the [cfa].

12 January 2016: "Oil price forecast to fall to us$20 a barrel, predicts Morgan Stanley ... if China's currency continues to decline against the US dollar ..." -- The G. [www].

11-24 January 2016: Detroit Motor Show, NAIAS, press 11-12, industry 13-14, charity 15, public 16-24, [www], including Audi (see VW) 'A4 allroad quattro' and 'h-tron quattro' concept [www]; BMW 'M2'; Ford 'F-150 Raptor' crew cab [www]; GM Buick 'Avista' concept [www], Chevrolet 2017 'Bolt' EV [www]; Kia 'Telluride' SUV; Mercedes next 'E-class'; Nissan Infiniti 'Q60'; Toyota Lexus 'LC500' coupe (2017+) [www]; VW (what NOx scandal?) 'Tiguan GTE Active' concept [www]; also see (& The G [www]).

11 Jan Mon Melb ULP avg au$1.17/l; min $1.07 ([Perth] avg $1.12/l, min $1.07); oil us$33/b; au$1.00=us$0.70, £0.48, €0.64, ¥82

9 January 2016, WA: "Bushfire evacuees tell harrowing stories about 'devastating' blaze ... destroyed 121 homes and other structures in the historic mill town of Yarloop ..." -- [abc], and [10/1]. Also see [dfes].

7-10 January 2016: Summernats, Canberra [www].

7 January 2016, WA: "An emergency warning has been issued for the towns of Waroona and Preston Beach ..." -- [abc].

7 January 2016, .uk: "Record year for new car market as registrations hit 2.6 million in 2015 ... Overall, the market rose 6.3% in 2015 to 2,633,503 units - exceeding forecast and outperforming the last record year in 2003 when 2,579,050 new cars left the UK's showrooms. ..." -- SMMT [www].

7 January 2016: "Oil has continued its rollercoaster ride into the new year, with Brent crude falling below us$35 a barrel for the first time in 11 years. ... The price of US crude dropped 3.3% to us$34.77 a barrel. ..." -- [bbc].

7 January 2016: "Illicit drugs are now causing the same number of fatalities and serious injury on Victoria's roads as alcohol, new police figures have revealed. ..." -- [abc].

6 January 2016: "Victoria's Great Ocean Road will be fully reopened at 8:00am today, after being closed because of the bushfires around Lorne on Christmas Day. ..." -- [abc].

6 January 2016: "Bureau confirms 2015 was Australia's fifth-warmest year on record ... 'The national mean temperature was 0.83°C above average, with a number of notable heatwaves during the year and record-breaking temperatures from October to December'. ..." -- [bom] and report [www].

6 Jan Wed Melb ULP avg au$1.21/l; min $1.08 ([Perth] avg $1.26/l, min $1.13); oil us$37/b; au$1.00=us$0.71, £0.49, €0.66, ¥85

6 January 2016: "Australia has a new car sales record ... 1,155,408 new passenger cars, SUVs and commercial vehicles in 2015. ... SUV sales in particular continued to boom in 2015 ... now accounting for around 35.4% of the market, up from 31.7% in 2014. Toyota was the top selling brand with 17.8% of the market. ... followed by Mazda with 9.9%, Holden with 8.9%, Hyundai with 8.8% and Mitsubishi with 6.2%. Australia's best-selling car in 2015 was the Toyota Corolla with 42,073 sales ... followed by the Mazda3 (38,644), the Toyota Hilux (35,161), the Hyundai i30 (32,306) and the Ford Ranger (29,185)." -- FCAI [www].

4 January 2016: "The Department of Justice, on behalf of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), today filed a civil complaint in federal court in Detroit, Michigan, against Volkswagen AG, Audi AG, Volkswagen Group of America Inc., Volkswagen Group of America Chattanooga Operations LLC, Porsche AG and Porsche Cars North America Inc. (collectively referred to as Volkswagen). The complaint alleges that nearly 600,000 diesel engine vehicles had illegal defeat devices installed that impair their emission control systems and cause emissions to exceed EPA's standards, resulting in harmful air pollution. ..." -- US Dept of Justice [www]. (Also see the VW scandal, 18 Sept. 2015.)

2-16 January 2016: The Dakar, Argentina and Bolivia [www], start Buenos Aires, Argentina, and finish Rosario. (For results, see 17 Jan. above.)

2 January 2016: "Recent rainfall in South Australia's far north has started to fill Kati-Thanda Lake Eyre ... a number of roads closed, including parts of the Birdsville and Strzelecki Tracks. ..." -- [abc].

1 Jan Fri Melb ULP avg au$1.24/l; min $1.08 ([Perth] avg $1.20/l, min $1.14); oil us$37/b
31 Dec 2015 Thu au$1.00=us$0.73, £0.49, €0.67, ¥88

1 January 2016: "The number of people killed on Victoria's roads [257 last year] has increased [+8] for a second year in a row. ... 186 [men] compared with 71 women. ..." -- [abc].

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