Ford’s global strategy is to introduce 13 electrified vehicles within the next 5 years as part of a £3.7 billion investment in electrification. The first vehicle from this ambitious project will be the Ford Transit plug-in hybrid (PHEV) for sale in 2019 in Europe. The company’s innovative solutions will help tackle the challenges of inner city air quality and congestion.
The plug-in hybrid electric (PHEV) Transit Custom vans is currently participating in customer trials in London, which is exploring how the hybrid vans can contribute to cleaner air targets and enhanced productivity in urban use.
The PHEV Transit has an advanced hybrid system that targets a zero-emission range exceeding 50 kilometres (31 miles), and features the multi-award winning Ford EcoBoost 1.0-litre petrol engine as a range extender. The test vehicle features an advanced telematics system that is delivering real-time data on the van’s performance.
The PHEV will also feature geofencing technology, which is capable of automatically modifying vehicle settings based on each van’s current location. This could be used to ensure the hybrid system is switched to electric-only mode when a vehicle enters a low-emission zone within an inner-city area.
Ford is the first volume manufacturer to offer PHEV technology in this segment of the van market. The technology enables the vehicle to be charged with mains electricity for zero-emission journeys, while the compact and fuel-efficient EcoBoost engine generates additional charge for the batteries when required. The Transit Custom PHEV uses a series-hybrid driveline configuration, with the vehicle’s wheels driven exclusively by an electric motor, rather than by the combustion engine.
The battery pack is a compact liquid-cooled lithium-ion design located under the load floor, preserving the full cargo volume offered by the standard Transit Custom van.
The Transit Custom PHEV uses petrol fuel to extend the total range to more than 500 kilometres (310 miles). The PHEV also has an increased payload capacity compared with battery-only electric vehicles, and the ability to offer quick and easy recharging from a standard electricity supply.
Drivers on Demand look forward to training its drivers for this innovative and exciting development.
General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) came into effect from 25th May 2018 and more than two million drivers will be required to give their fleet operator permission to check their driving licence. DVLA is giving fleet operators a three month transition period, until 25th August to comply with the rules. Employers and Fleet managers of private and public sector organisations will be under enormous pressure to meet the August deadline.
Ruth Wallace from Drivers on Demand says that as a good practice we check the drivers’ licences every six months hence we already comply with the DVLA requirements. However, to meet the GDPR requirements we still have to get drivers permission and we are well on the way to meeting the August deadline. We must satisfy ourselves that the new fair processing declaration complies with the new data protection legislation and is permitted by the driver.
From a technical and compliance perspective, all employers and third parties who are responsible for licence checking will need to be able to demonstrate that the new fair processing declaration has been signed by the driver. This will need to be stored in a way that can be audited by the DVLA to ensure compliance with the new GDPR legislation.
The new Data Processing Declarations will continue to remain valid for 3 years from the date permission is granted.
The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) has published their digital strategy for 2018 to 2022, which sets out how they are going to become a digitally enabled organisation.
DVSA's digital, data and technology objectives are split into 3 main areas:
- transform - which is about creating and running more great digital services for drivers, vehicles and enforcement
- enable - which is about improving the way people work through better digital services, technology and data sharing
- deliver - which is about delivering end-to-end services, backed up by plans, principles and the right technology
Using tablets during the driving test
As part of this, DVSA are transforming services for driving tests and motorcycle tests, including allowing driving examiners to record test results directly onto a tablet, rather than on paper, by the end of the 2018.
During a driving test, the examiner is observing and assessing the learner’s skills (regulation 16 of the Motor Vehicles (Driving Licences) Regulations 1999). During the test, the tablet screen won't be visible to the learner driver, and the rest of the tablets functions will be turned off. Look out for more information from DVSA soon.
Using a tablet while practising
It is the driving instructor’s responsibility to supervise a learner driver at all times. You should not use a tablet or mobile device while the vehicle's engine is switched on.