Managing a navigation device or a music player in a car by voice while driving is an essential safety feature, and helps the driver to relax on long road trips in unfamiliar territories. Apple CarPlay is one of these systems that let you talk to your dashboard and listen to messages from your phone and responses to your questions from the system. The CarPlay is already available in more than 200 car models, and now it is also available for the Honda Gold Wing motorbike.
Travelers who are making long road trips don’t think much about the availability of petrol stations because they are everywhere. If you are planning to make a long tour on an electric car, careful planning is required today. Ionity, a joint venture of German automakers, aims to change that. The new company is going to build a network of charging stations along major route across Europe.
Everyone who has been on a road trip in Germany has experienced autobahns where the only speed limit is the driver’s belief in his or her driving skills. In a Bavarian small town of Bad Birnach, however, the new shuttle bus has a speed limit of 15 kmh / 9 mph. The reason is that the small bus is fully autonomous, driven by a computer.
Even if your car or campervan doesn’t have a shining new entertainment system with a myriad of external connectors, you can add voice control to your car. Most importantly, you can easily add speech-enabled navigation (you don’t need a dedicated GPS device), access to news, and music. The small gadget that does all this is the Garmin Speak.
Electric cars, scooters and bicycles are here already, but conducting a long road trip on a fully electric car has a problem: range. For instance, manufacturers of compact electric cars may specify a 200 mile / 350 km range for their vehicles, but in reality, the range can be one-fourth or one-third shorter than that. Toshiba’s solution to the problem is the SCIB vehicle battery that fully charges in six minutes.
I became concerned about the possibility of being cheated after one of my colleagues wrote about her horrible experience in a flat she had rented in Portugal from Airbnb. The flat itself was as advertised, but the ghetto-like neighborhood wasn’t safe for foreigners.
Volkswagen has introduced the campervan California XXL to trade show audiences in Germany, and people are really loving the large recreational vehicle. As its name implies, the California XXL is a large campervan that has everything a road traveler could ever wish for, plus a roof that lets you view the stars or perhaps the Northern Lights from the bed.
Many cities around the world have bicycles available for visitors and locals for short term use. In some cases, these city bikes are free to loan, but many cities charge a fee for the loan period. Startup companies in Paris and Nice have developed the concept further, and introduced electric scooters that can be booked and paid for with a mobile app.
Electric vehicles are arriving on the roads faster than most drivers anticipated: Tesla is a household name in many countries, VW has announced an electric campervan, and Detleffs has a prototype for a solar-powered motorhome. If you want to go for, say, a tour of France on an electric compact car, is it really conceivable today?
Andorra is a small, beautiful country on the Pyrenees Mountains. The capital Andorra la Vella is located in a valley at about 1000 meters / 3280 feet, but there are higher mountains around the city as well as valleys at lower altitude than the capital. If you approach Andorra from France and drive from the border along the main road to the Spanish border, you will cover 50 km / 31 miles fabulous scenery in Andorra.