The Velar SUV is among the list of wi-fi enabled JLR cars that will benefit from this new over-the-air software upgrade function. Picture: SUPPLIED
The Velar SUV is among the list of wi-fi enabled JLR cars that will benefit from this new over-the-air software upgrade function. Picture: SUPPLIED

New Jaguar and Land Rover models bought in SA from now on will be available with Software-over-the-air capability (Sota) as standard.

This new technology means owners of the brand’s vehicles will now be able to receive future software updates to their vehicle without visiting a dealer. Apart from the usual software updates on navigation and infotainment systems, Jaguar in Europe has offered customers of its I-Pace electric car more power from its electric motors and a reconfiguration of the all-wheel drive system — all of this through the air.

Existing customers will get a complimentary upgrade to enable this capability on their vehicles too, together with the latest updates for their Touch Pro and Touch Pro Duo infotainment systems, said Nick Rogers, Director Product Engineering, Jaguar Land Rover.

The infotainment updates will see changes in enhanced Bluetooth connectivity, on-board media players and new graphics on climate control screens upgraded as part of Sota functionality.

The complimentary upgrade is available on vehicles built with Touch Pro and Touch Pro Duo infotainment from 2016 model year onwards, and include Jaguar XE, XF, XJ, E-Pace, F-Pace, I-Pace and F-Type; as well as Land Rover Discovery and Discovery Sport; Range Rover, Range Rover Sport, Velar and Evoque.

Customers with 2019-2020 model year vehicles will already have Sota functionality integrated into their infotainment systems.

 

Kia donates donates bakkie in the fight against rape, alcoholism, drugs and abuse

Kia Motors SA, a subsidiary of Motus Corporation, has donated a Kia K2700 bakkie to nonprofit organisation RADA (rape, alcohol, drug, abuse) to assist it in delivering food and other essentials to RADA Care Homes during the Covid-19 lockdown.

Kia Motors SA has donated a K2700 bakkie to RADA (rapa, alcohol, drug, abuse) to assist during the Covid-19 lockdown. Picture: SUPPLIED
Kia Motors SA has donated a K2700 bakkie to RADA (rapa, alcohol, drug, abuse) to assist during the Covid-19 lockdown. Picture: SUPPLIED

The K2700’s lockable canopy is sponsored by Beekman Canopies, another Motus subsidiary.

“Kia Motors has a long-standing association of support with RADA and their approach to healing the broken for a better future,” says Gary Scott, CEO of Kia Motors SA. “While we have generally been able to help RADA in the past with ad hoc use of our demo vehicles, the lockdown restrictions have impacted their ability to keep their care homes stocked up during the lockdown. This donation will help them to overcome that challenge.”

RADA operates a number of initiatives including the “Adopt-a-Home” project that provides assistance to existing homes of safety for abused and abandoned children, people with disabilities, the elderly and the homeless through the provision of food, clothing, bedding, books and other basic necessities.

For more information on how you can donate or support, visit www.rada.co.za       

 

Ford dealers and partners donate R1.9m to Face Shields Project

Ford dealers in SA is supporting Ford Motor Company of Southern Africa’s initiative to produce Covid-19 face shields, with the Ford National Dealer Council announcing a R1m contribution to the project.

Ford suppliers and business partners have donated an additional R900,000 to the scheme, which includes R600,000 from Absa with which Ford has a joint venture in Ford Credit.

To date, 100,000 face shields have been produced at Ford’s Silverton Assembly Plant in Pretoria, primarily for donation to the department of health’s centralised distribution centre in Centurion.

Ward Huxtable, chairman of the Ford National Dealer Council, said: "The coronavirus has had a dramatic impact on the country as a whole, and has severely affected the local motor industry. However, the Ford dealers recognise the need to stand together with all South Africans in fighting this common enemy."

A total of 85 Ford employees and supplier company volunteers are involved in the production of the face shields, with Ford covering the cost of the labour for assembling the kits and the packaging process. All funds raised are used to purchase the face shield materials.

Ford has partnered with the Gift of the Givers Foundation. Any queries regarding making donations can be e-mailed to: socialme@ford.com, using the reference: Ford SA Covid-19.

 

Ford fixes bonnet boo-boo

Ford SA has fixed a security problem on its Ranger bakkie that allows criminals to gain access to the cables that open the bonnet while the vehicles are locked.

Ford SA has fixed a security issue that allowed criminals to open the bonnets of locked Rangers.
Ford SA has fixed a security issue that allowed criminals to open the bonnets of locked Rangers.
Image: Supplied

This allowed criminals to steal the battery or other engine components on certain Ranger models built between October 2015 and March 2020, though the the alarm still sounds as soon as the bonnet is opened.

Ford SA has solved the issue by rerouting the cables on all Rangers leaving its Silverton production plant from March 17, while existing customers will be able to have their Rangers fixed at Ford dealers as soon as the Covid-19 lockdown allows.

Customers can direct queries to Ford Customer Service at 086 001 1022.

 

VW to convert automotive plant into medical facility

To assist government in providing care to Covid-19 patients in Nelson Mandela Bay, Volkswagen Group South Africa (VWSA) has made one of its Port Elizabeth manufacturing plants available as a temporary medical facility.

VW will convert its unused PE automotive plant into a medical facility that could accommodate up to 4,000 coronavirus patients. Picture: SUPPLIED
VW will convert its unused PE automotive plant into a medical facility that could accommodate up to 4,000 coronavirus patients. Picture: SUPPLIED

Located near VWSA’s main car-production factory, the vacant plant was previously used to produce components and also served as Volkswagen SA’s Motorsport headquarters. It will be converted and made available to the department of health until March 2021.  

Once fully operational, the facility could accommodate up to 4,000 beds for patients diagnosed with the coronavirus. The planned conversion of the 66,000m² building is the result of collaboration formed between VWSA, the Nelson Mandela Bay Business Chamber, the Nelson Mandela Bay municipality and the Eastern Cape department of health.

The German federal ministry for economic co-operation and development (BMZ) will provide funding of €5.2m (roughly R104m) to support the conversion of the plant as well as the procurement of personal protective equipment (PPE) for staff at regional tertiary hospitals, regional primary care clinics and 49 Covid-19 test centres. VWSA will contribute R28m to the project.

This commitment is VW's latest move in the fight against the global Covid-19 crisis. The company has also been working on the manufacture of ventilators, respirators and masks in partnership with other local businesses.

 

Volvo readies autonomous cars for 2022 introduction

Self-driving Volvos came a step closer with Volvo Cars announcing it has partnered with tech firm Luminar to provide LiDAR (Light detection and range).

Fully self-driving Volvos are a step closer to reality. Pictured is the Swedish brand’s 360c autonomous concept car shown in 2018. Picture: REUTERS
Fully self-driving Volvos are a step closer to reality. Pictured is the Swedish brand’s 360c autonomous concept car shown in 2018. Picture: REUTERS

The technology works by measuring distances by illuminating the target with laser light and measuring the reflection with a sensor. The Swedish vehicle company is using LiDar in its objectives of realising the first fully self-driving cars.

Arriving in 2022, the cars will have seamless integration of LiDar technology with over-the-air software updates functions. To enable the Highway Pilot feature, Luminar’s perception technology will be combined with autonomous drive software and the cameras, radars and back-up systems for functions such as steering, braking and battery power installed on forthcoming Volvo cars equipped for self-driving.

Put together, this gives Volvo users who want it access to a safe, fully self-driving feature for use on highways.

“Autonomous drive has the potential to be one of the most lifesaving technologies in history, if introduced responsibly and safely,” said Henrik Green, chief technology officer at Volvo Cars. “Providing our future cars with the vision they require to make safe decisions is an important step in that direction.”

"The cars will be produced 'hardware-ready' for autonomous drive. This means that the car can become autonomous when SA legislation is ready,” says Greg Maruszewski, MD of Volvo Car SA.