Driverless Cars on UK Roads by 2021 – CamTrak – Vehicle Camera

Driverless Cars on UK Roads by 2021 – CamTrak – Vehicle Camera

Driverless cars could be on UK roads within the next four years after the UK government announced plans to invest in the sector.

Chancellor Philip Hammond state the objective was to have “fully driverless cars” without a safety attendant on board in use by 2021.

Mr Hammond said, “Some would say that’s a bold move, but we have to embrace these technologies if we want the UK to lead the next industrial revolution,”.

However, the chancellor did admit that he was yet to use a driverless car himself.

When speaking on the Andrew Marr show he told the audience that he was promised to go in one this week, when he and Theresa May go to the West Midlands to announce an increase in budget for the transport industry.

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Mr Hammond is expected to announce regulation changes in this week’s Budget, which will allow developers to apply to test driverless vehicles on UK roads.

When questioned on the potential loss of jobs for drivers, he said the country can’t “hide from change”, and that it was up to the government to ensure people are equipped with the necessary skills “to take up new careers”.

The announcement comes after the UK’s biggest car manufacturer, Jaguar Land Rover, began testing driverless cars on public roads. The tests were conducted in Coventry over several weeks with a human on board to react to any emergencies.

It is predicted that by the year 2035, the industry will be worth up to £28bn to the UK economy and could have created 27,000 jobs

How far off are we? – CamTrak – Vehicle Camera

Critics have warned that the necessary technology for driverless cars is still a long way off from being ready.

Jeremy Clarkson, former Top Gear host said he was recently in a self-driving car which made two mistakes which could have killed him in just a 50-mile journey.

Writing in the Sunday Times magazine, Mr Clarkson said the incidents convinced him that the technology was still a very long way off, adding that “for now, we’re miles away from it.”

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Innovative Car Features of 2017 – CamTrak – Vehicle Cameras

Innovative Car Features of 2017 – CamTrak – Vehicle Cameras

New car technology is developing at a scary pace, with a number of innovative and exciting features coming to the marketing this year, we have a look at some the best driver, safety and infotainment aids that are on the market.

Vehicle 2 Vehicle or V2V – Mercedes- Benz

Mercedes-Benz is one of the true pioneers of in-car tech and its V2V communication systems are some of the most advanced on the market. Fitted as standard on the newest E-Class, the V2V system allows Mercedes cars to communicate with each other, gather vital information such as the latest traffic conditions and prevailing weather. But the system doesn’t stop there, it is also able to communicate with street lamps, traffic lights and other road functions.

Bluetooth Key – Volvo

Losing your car keys can be somewhat inconvenient. Luckily, Volvo has developed an advanced Bluetooth system which can be paired with up to three separate smartphones, allowing you to access and drive the car using a personalised app on their mobile phone. If the car knows the phone is on board it will allow the engine to be started and driven away even without the key. The app is password protected to avoid security risks.

Night Vision Assist – Audi

Audi’s Night Vision Assist is a great feature, especially for those who live in the countryside, as it uses a thermal imaging camera to project hidden potential hazards onto the head up display. On dark roads, it is great for spotting cyclists or animals that could be lurking on the road. It is one of the most innovative safety features in recent years, currently only on the Q7 SUV but will be available on all other Audi models from 2018

Autonomous Emergency Braking – Volkswagen

There are a number of car manufacturers that offer Autonomous Emergency Braking, while both Volvo and Volkswagen have standardised it for all their new vehicles. However, Volkswagen deserves special recognition for being the first company to make AEB standard on all of its commercial vehicles as well as cars.

Intelligent Drive – Mercedes-Benz

This is Mercedes-Benz’s new semi-autonomous drive system, which assists drivers in maintaining the correct distance from other vehicles. It is also able to apply and release the brakes in traffic, offering a stress-free, semi-autonomous driving experience. The feature is currently available on the new E-class but will be cascaded to other models in the near future.

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We hope you enjoyed reading our blog on innovative car features. Here at CamTrak we believe innovation is vitally important, especially in vehicle cameras, which is why we work with leading manufacturers to design and develop technologically advanced video telematics solutions. For more information on vehicle cameras, get in touch with us today

Uber Appeal Against Loss of Licence – CamTrak – Vehicle Camera

Uber has lodged its legal appeal against Transport for London’s decision not to renew its private hire license after TfL ruled that it is not ‘fit and proper’ for the company to run taxi services in London. Uber London filed papers with Westminster magistrates court in an attempt to reverse the ruling.

The license Uber had expired on the 30th September, but Uber’s cars will remain available in London until the legal process is finished – which would potentially be a year or more. According to a judicial office spokesman, the first hearing is likely to take place on the 11th December.

Uber has indicated that it hoped it would resolve its issues with TfL without going further down legal avenues, although the appeal process was essential for its continued operations in the short term.

A New CEO – CamTrak – Vehicle Camera

A spokesman for Uber said: “While we have today filed our appeal so that Londoners can continue using our app, we hope to continue having constructive discussions with Transport for London. As our new CEO has said, we are determined to make things right.”

Uber’s new CEO Dara Khorowshahi, who took the reigns in September, has apologies for past actions and promised that Uber would change – a public statement that was welcomed by London mayor, Sadiq Khan.

Mr Khorowshahi visited London at the start of October to talk with the TfL commissioner which resulted in both side describing the visit as “constructive”.

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TfL had previously indicated that the “conduct and approach” of Uber had been the problem. The license decision had cited concerns including Uber’s approach to reporting criminal offences, how it conducted medical and criminal checks on their drivers and whether software employed to evade regulation was being used in London.

The debate over whether Uber should be allowed to operate in the future has divided Londoners, with more than 850,000 people signing a petition urging the mayor to revoke the decision. However, polls have indicated a small majority back the decision to stop Uber operating for now.

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The Future of Electric Cars

The Future of Electric Cars

The electric car industry is growing. Electric cars are powered by one or more electric motors that use the energy stored in lithium-ion batteries. They are generally quieter and have no emissions compared to cars with internal combustion engines.

Electric cars are showing glimpses of the future. For example, Nissan has launched a new version of its best-selling all battery ‘Leaf’ with the latest technology: a one-pedal driving system and self-parking technology. The Nissan Leaf has direction competition by other electric car models like Volkswagen’s e-Golf, BMW’s i3 and Hyundai’s Ioniq.

Just over 2 million electric vehicles were registered in the world last year in 2016, with Japan selling the most electric vehicles. This figure is rising, as manufacturers are dipping into this relatively small market with countries tightening on pollution. For example, China wants electric-cars and plug-in hybrids to represent at least one-fifth of all vehicles sold by 2025.

Earlier this year, Tesla became the most valuable US electric carmaker over General Motors and Ford. Tesla offers premium electric cars but has now released a cheaper model to appeal to the masses. Tesla have partnered with Panasonic to be able to produce lithium-ion batteries faster, which currently represent the average cost of half an electric car.

Recently, Jaguar Land Rover has stated they will have all all-electric or hybrid version of every car they produce from 2020. This news follows Chinese-owned Volvo who stated all new models will have an electric motor from 2019. The electric revolution appears to be happening in the very near-future.

The pro’s and con’s of electric cars

Electric cars have no emissions meaning they are better for the environment, they have low running costs as electricity is significantly cheaper than diesel and petrol, and without a bulky engine, they have more room. However, electric cars do have some big problems still that need to be addressed. Electric cars are typically more expensive which may price-out the majority of car users. The main issue is that for any significant journey you will need to plan where and how you will charge the car.

With electric cars, you cannot just refuel the car in minutes, which can be very inconvenient with electric charging stations irregular sites up and down the country. This may just be a current teething problem though, with charging stations becoming more common. For example, the energy company Ecotricity have developed an electric highway between London and Edinburgh that has charging stations that give 80% charge in just 20 minutes. And in Scotland, the use of electric charging points has doubled in the last year.

It has been found that drivers prefer to use rapid charge points that can charge electric cars up to 80% in half an hour. Standard charging points, the majority, were used less as they take four to eight hours to get a car to full charge. This shows the desire for fast-charging stations that would increase the amount of electric cars on the road.

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Will we see electric vehicles in the haulage industry?

The future

The National Grid says there is enough electricity for the masses to have electric cars, but the practicality issues may need to change. Charging time can be cut using larger chargers, however, such chargers are not suitable for public homes. The National Grid has stated that ‘superchargers’ of 350kW could charge the average electric car today in under 5 minutes, however, the current batteries used in today’s cars cannot support this level of charging.

Electric cars may not be perfect yet, but great progress is being made and it is not long before electric cars are a regular sight on the road.


Thank you for reading the latest news from CamTrak. We work with leading manufacturers to design and develop technologically advanced video telematics solutions, for more information on our accident cameras, get in touch with us today.

The Importance of Having an Accident Camera

The Importance of Having an Accident Camera

A dashboard camera or an accident camera, commonly known as a ‘dash cam’ is a camcorder you have in your car that mounts onto the windscreen. The dash cam can capture almost everything in the view of the front of the car. Accident can improve your driving experience by recording a part of your drive, and their most important use comes from how they can protect you on the road by recording footage of any circumstance that puts you, or others, in danger.

Police and the general public are turning to accident camera footage to arrest people who have committed crimes. Accident cameras can easily be fitted into most motor-vehicles and can play a huge part in crimes and insurance claims.

What is better… someone’s word or actual footage?

In the past, CCTV footage has been relied on for video evidence of what has happened. Unfortunately, there are not CCTV cameras everywhere to cover every angle of the road to be used in support of claims. CCTV cameras are usually only fitted in public places like shops, restaurants and car parks, and are only purchased if the owner of the land chooses to place importance on security and safety.

On the road, vehicles are weapons. Every time you go on the road your life could be at risk. You have to be so careful with your own concentration when driving, and you have to pay an equal amount of attention to what is going around you. You cannot control how other driver’s concentrate, how fast they go, or the decisions they make.
This shows the importance of a dash cam. An accident camera can provide crucial footage to get somebody off the road who is being irresponsible. An accident camera also helps put those behind bars who have committed a crime and would get away with it without footage. They allow you to take control in situations where CCTV is not available.

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Accident cameras are so important for insurance claims as, without the evidence of other people, it can be your word against somebody else’s. If somebody was in the wrong, the chances are they won’t admit being so. This is where video footage can save you a lot of money and reward you for being safe on the road.

If more motor vehicles were fitted with accident cameras, then it is likely that we would see a reduction in the level of dangerous driving account from drink-driving and general irresponsible road-use. This is because the people committing the offences will know they have a higher risk of being caught.

There are so many benefits to an accident camera, if you are interested in the safety of those in your vehicle and other’s on the road, do not hesitate to get in touch with us today. We have an extensive range of the latest technology video telematics solutions and aim to, with your help, make the road a safer place.

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At Camtrak, we aim to provide the transport industry and road users with the best camera technology to provide security and safety, for more information on our accident cameras, get in touch with us today.

New Car Sales Fall… Again – CamTrak – Accident Camera

New Car Sales Fall… Again – CamTrak – Accident Camera

The number of new cars sold in the UK fell for the fifth month in a row during August, with demand for diesel cars plunging by more than a fifth.

The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) announced that there were 76,433 new car registrations last month. Which is 6.4% less than August 2016, while diesel sales fell by 21.3%.

A number of car manufacturers, including Ford, Vauxhall, Toyota, Volkswagen and Renault, have recently launched scrappage schemes, where you would trade in your old car for money off a new, cleaner car, which could result in a bump in sales in September.

On the whole, the SMMT said around 1.64 million new cars have been sold so far in 2017, down 2.4% when compared to the previous year.

The New 67 Plate

Mike Hates, SMMT chief executive said: August is typically a quiet month for the new car market as consumers and businesses delay purchases until the arrival of the new number plate in September.

“With the new 67-plate now available and a range of new models in showrooms, we anticipate the continuation of what are historically high levels of demand.”

The number of sales to private buyers was down 9.9% in August compared to last year, while fleet sales dropped 3.2%.

“August’s sharp fall in private registrations shows why dealers have suddenly launched scrappage schemes, ” said Samuel Tombs of Pantheon Microeconomics.

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However, he went on to say how he was sceptical to whether the scrappage schemes would have any lasting impact in the long run.

“In theory, these financial incentives could stem the downward trend in sales. But in many cases, the scrappage schemes replace discounts that were available to all buyers, and many owners of old cars might not be able to afford the monthly repayments for a new vehicle.

“Scrappage schemes might turbocharge sales for a few months, but low consumer confidence and deteriorating affordability due to the weak pound suggest that the mid-2010s boom in car sales has run out of mileage.”

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Operation Snap Goes Wales-wide – CamTrak – Dash Cams

Operation Snap Goes Wales-wide – CamTrak – Dash Cams

All four police forces in Wales will start using dash cam footage recorded by the public to investigate driving offences following a successful pilot scheme carried out by North Wales Police.

‘Operation Snap’ was started towards the end of 2016 in north Wales, encouraging drivers to upload and dash cam footage that could be used as evidence to the police website.

So far, North Wales Police has dealt with 129 cases as a result of dash cam footage submitted by the public.

Operation Snap will link up with the Go Safe partnership to operate across the whole of Wales.

Inspector Dave Cust, of North Wales Police Roads Policing Unit, said Operation Snap had saved around 12 hours of police work per case, therefore in total saving around two months of police time, as investigating an allegation of bad driving can potentially take up a lot of resources.

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He also added that footage can be used to prove innocence as well as guilt. “There was a woman who went through a green light and hit a car. Two members of the public said she went through a red light and she was going too fast. The camera proved differently,” he said.

“It’s proper, reliable evidence.”

Footage has to be unedited and includes the whole journey, not just the incident. You are also told to not post it on social media or to remove it if it has already been posted.

Operation Stack could soon become a worldwide operation as police forces in other parts of the UK, Australia and Hong Kong have been in touch about the scheme.

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Thank you for reading the latest news from CamTrak. We work with leading manufacturers to design and develop technologically advanced video telematics solutions. For more information on our dash cams, get in touch with us today.

Cleaner Cars Rather Than Fewer Cars – CamTrak – Vehicle Camera

Cleaner Cars Rather Than Fewer Cars – CamTrak – Vehicle Camera

According to a leading government advisor, the plans to promote electric vehicles in the UK do not go far enough to tackle air pollution.

Professor Frank Kelly has said that the key to tackling the air pollution problem in the UK is having fewer cars on the roads, not just cleaner cars and that London should lead the way in promoting non-polluting transport policies.

Currently, electric cars produce particulates from their tyres and brakes which are linked to serious health problems.

Last week, the government unveiled its strategy for tackling illegal levels of nitrogen dioxide in the air. With the key element of the strategy being a promise to end the sale of all new diesel and petrol cars by the year 2040.

The government also said there would be a number of significant investments in ultra-low emission vehicles, with some £600m going into the development and manufacture of such vehicles by 2020.

But according to Frank Kelly, who is a professor of environmental health a Kings College London and chair of the government advisory committee on the medical effects of air pollutants, the governments’ strategy does not go far enough.

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According to the Royal College of Physicians the premature deaths of around 29,000 people in the UK each year, are linked to particle pollution, which is more than the 23,500 early deaths attributed to nitrogen dioxide. The combined total is expected to be around 40,000 as some people are harmed by both pollutants.

Professor Frank Kelly believes that attitudes towards cars are changing, with young people living in London opting for a car club membership and ride-sharing apps instead of buying a car.

London’s Mayor, Sadie Khan, has already committed the city to a future of fewer car journeys, aiming to cut the number by three million per day from In his draft strategy, which was unveiled in June, he proposed making the entire transport system in London free of emissions by 2050.

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‘Do Not Disturb While Driving’ mode on new iPhones – CamTrak – Accident Cameras

‘Do Not Disturb While Driving’ mode on new iPhones – CamTrak – Accident Cameras

It’s fair to say that we don’t normally pay a lot of attention the Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference. The conference is held every year and Apple uses it to announce new products and new features. This year we’ve paid slightly closer attention as there’s some good news regarding road safety from Apple.

Apple has announced that there will be a new big update to their iOS software, which is the software that will be present in the new iPhone 8’s, but the software is also downloadable on most other iPhones. The new iOS11 will include a ‘do not disturb while driving’ feature that will be a safety benefit for all road users.

The new feature extends the use of the current ‘do not disturb’ feature, that can be turned on and off in the settings screen. Impressively, the new feature will be able to detect when you are driving and disable your phone from use, according to Apple.

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It is able to do this by using a number of already built-in features on the iPhone, such as Bluetooth connectivity, wifi doppler effects (for cars with wifi) and accelerometers.

Once the phone has detected that you are driving the screen will blank and divert all incoming calls, messages and any other notifications, in an attempt to eliminate as much phone distraction as possible.

The feature will also send a message on your behalf, letting those who are trying contact you know that you are driving and not ignoring them for no reason. The feature will still allow you to use your sat nav on your phone if you need to.

What if I am a passenger? – CamTrak – Accident Cameras

Passengers and those on public transport are obviously able to disable this feature, as can the driver (as it is a selective option) though it is a little trickier than just pressing a button.

Obviously this isn’t ground breaking technology and unfortunately, many people will choose not to use this new feature but it is a step in the right direction.

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Thank you for reading the latest news from CamTrak. We work with leading manufacturers to design and develop technologically advanced video telematics solutions. For more information on our accident cameras, get in contact with us today

Electric Black Cabs – CamTrak – Accident Camera

Electric Black Cabs – CamTrak – Accident Camera

Transport for London (TfL) is spending £18 million on upgrading the capital’s power grids to charge the first generation of battery-powered black cabs.

As of the 1st January 2017, all new black cabs will have to be battery-powered electric models by law as part of the TfL’s effort to reduce toxic pollution from Diesel engines.

The cash will pay for network reinforcements to enable British Gas owner Centrica and other energy companies to install 300 rapid electric-car charging stations by 2020.

The rapid charging point can top up a car’s battery within minutes, rather than the hours it takes for conventional chargers that are currently dotted around the capital.

An initial 75 rapid chargers are due to be operational by the end of this year. While some of the sites will be exclusively for black cabs, the network will also be open to increasing the number of owners of Nissan Leafs, electric BMWs and Teslas in London.

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TfL’s director of surface strategy and planning, Ben Plowden, said: “An extensive, rapid charging network is fundamental in helping drivers make the shift from fossil fuels to electric.”

The cost of installing the chargers will fall on the companies that won a TfL tender: Bluepoint London, Centrica, Chargemasters, Ireland’s Electricity Supply Board and Fastned from the Netherlands.

Pricing has not been announced but the main existing network in the capital, Source London, would cost a Nissan Leaf driver £10.80 to fully top up with a rapid charger, plus a monthly subscription fee of £4. TfL have said that the costs to drivers would be capped for the first two years.

The Licensed Taxi Drivers’ Association expects the first electric black cabs in the capital to be on the roads by this September.

If a taxi driver currently owns a taxi that is older than 10 years old, they will be able to claim a payment from TfL of up to £5,000 later this year, towards the cost of a new zero-emissions taxi, which are currently being built in Coventry.

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Thank you for reading the latest news from CamTrak. Are you in need of an accident camera? Here at CamTrak, we work with leading manufacturers to design and develop technologically advanced video telematics solutions, for more information on any of our products, contact us today.