Petrol (95 unleaded) now costs R16.67 a litre inland, the second highest fuel price on record. Picture: REUTERS
Petrol (95 unleaded) now costs R16.67 a litre inland, the second highest fuel price on record. Picture: REUTERS

The price of a litre of unleaded 95 octane petrol in SA increased by 54c on Wednesday, after the Central Energy Fund said higher international fuel prices countered gains by the rand in the review period.

Crude oil reached its highest level since November after the US decided to end a sanctions waiver on Iranian oil imports. The price rose to more than $70 a barrel compared with $54.11 at the start of the year.

The inland price of 95 unleaded petrol is now R16.67 and 93 unleaded is R16.50. At the coast the prices are R16.03 for 95 unleaded and R16.07 for 93 unleaded.

It’s the fifth straight increase in fuel prices in 2019 and the second-highest fuel price on record, after prices peaked at R17.08 in October 2018.

Analysts have warned that the rising price of Brent crude oil and the weaker exchange rate will lead to further fuel price increases in coming months.

The wholesale price of 500ppm sulphur diesel has increased 1c a litre while 50ppm stays the same.

The answer to a parent’s nightmare: Anti-crash trolleys

For children who use supermarket aisles as racetracks, Ford presents the self-braking trolley. Picture: SUPPLIED
For children who use supermarket aisles as racetracks, Ford presents the self-braking trolley.  Picture: SUPPLIED

Anti-collision systems have been available in cars for a while, and now they’re coming to a different kind of wheeled conveyance: shopping trolleys.

Ford is experimenting with a concept trolley that automatically brakes when it senses it’s about to hit another object inside the supermarket or the parking lot — a situation that is especially likely to occur when a child is pushing the trolley.

“When it comes to raising the blood pressure, for parents, the weekly shopping is right up there with getting the kids to bed and meal times. And while toddler meltdowns and trips to the sweet aisle are trying, few moments can be more worrying than seeing your child careen off at high speed on a supermarket trolley,” says Ford.

Now the Blue Oval has come up with a way of taking the stress out of that situation — taking inspiration from the means by which new car technology helps drivers to avoid accidents on the road. 

Available in a number of vehicles today, including many Fords, pre-collision assist technology uses cameras and radars to detect vehicles, pedestrians and cyclists in the road, and automatically applies the brakes if the driver doesn’t respond to warnings.

The Self-Braking Trolley uses a sensor to achieve a similar outcome — to scan ahead for people and objects, and automatically apply the brakes when a potential collision is detected.

Jaguar Land Rover will reward drivers with cryptocurrency

Jaguar Land Rover, Britain’s largest vehicle manufacturer, said on Monday it is testing software that will allow drivers of its cars to earn the IOTA cryptocurrency as a reward for sharing data.

The company is developing what it calls “smart wallet” technology to be installed in its vehicles. This would reward Jaguar and Land Rover drivers with IOTA coins for actions such as enabling their vehicles to automatically report useful data, such as traffic congestion or potholes to navigation providers or local authorities.

Drivers could also earn rewards if the car participates in a ride-sharing programme, Jaguar said. The tokens earned could be used to pay for tolls, parking and charging for electric cars.

The overall goal was to “achieve zero emissions, zero accidents and zero congestion”, the company said.

Global car companies are exploring blockchain applications, figuring out different ways in which they can leverage the technology to suit their different needs. Blockchain, the system powering cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin, is a shared database that is maintained by a network of computers connected to the internet.

The British car company is testing the technology at the new Jaguar Land Rover software engineering base in Shannon, Ireland, where engineers have already equipped several vehicles, including the Jaguar F-Pace and Range Rover Velar, with “smart wallet” features, the company said.

It does not yet have a timetable for when it will be commercially available.

The “smart wallet” technology is not just for Jaguars and Land Rovers, it can be easily adapted into all new vehicles, said IOTA.