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Analysis and Comment (25)

Formula 1 driver Jules Bianchi remains in a critical condition after a serious crash earlier this month. Formula 1 driver Jules Bianchi remains in a critical condition after a serious crash earlier this month. EPA/Valdrin Xhemaj

Jules Bianchi and sharing the responsibility for catastrophe

As with most tragic events today, Formula One driver Jules Bianchi’s recent crash in the Japanese Grand Prix has raised the usual frenzy of questions surrounding who is to blame when things go wrong and…
Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore gives car-sharing a try. By 2016, one in ten of the city’s households will have joined a car-share scheme. Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore gives car-sharing a try. By 2016, one in ten of the city’s households will have joined a car-share scheme. AAP Image/Paul Miller

1,000 cars and no garage – why car-sharing works

Owning a car can be a hassle, especially if you live somewhere where driving is an occasional, rather than daily, necessity. This might help to explain why car-sharing schemes are going from strength to…
Tattooed car, tattooed owner – maybe not a coincidence. Tattooed car, tattooed owner – maybe not a coincidence. Jared Polin/Flickr

People and their pets look alike … and the same goes for their cars

It is common knowledge – at least to anyone who trawls the shallower reaches of the internet – that people resemble their pets. Sad-looking humans have melancholy animal companions and bright-eyed and…
Australia’s transport is among the least energy efficient, largely thanks to continuing investment in roads over rail. Australia’s transport is among the least energy efficient, largely thanks to continuing investment in roads over rail. Phillip Capper/Flickr

Australia’s transport is falling behind on energy efficiency

Australia has scored poorly in the energy efficiency of its land transport, and is well behind other major economies, a recent international scorecard has revealed. That means Australians are using more…
Rich or poor, being stuck in traffic is always annoying. Rich or poor, being stuck in traffic is always annoying. Shultz6/Wikimedia Commons

FactCheck: do poor people drive less?

“The people that actually pay the most are higher income people, with an increase in fuel excise… The poorest people either don’t have cars or actually don’t drive very far in many cases.” – Treasurer…
Heeding four key messages can make learning to drive a safe and happy experience. Heeding four key messages can make learning to drive a safe and happy experience. Bridie Scott-Parker

What parents need to know about learner drivers: four key lessons

Learner drivers and parents are often thrown in the deep end when it comes to learning to drive and recording hours in the logbook. As part of a unique approach to improving young driver road safety, I…
A tourist train from Sheringham to Holt steams past an offshore wind farm, one of many that have sprung up along the UK coast. A tourist train from Sheringham to Holt steams past an offshore wind farm, one of many that have sprung up along the UK coast. Gerry Balding/Flickr

UK shows how Australia can cut emissions without a carbon tax

Australia’s carbon price has gone – but a UK review released this week shows that to lay the foundations for a low-carbon economy, pricing carbon is far from the whole story. Over recent months, as Australia’s…
A cheap or costly drop? You might be surprised to find out how Australian taxes on petrol compare to overseas. A cheap or costly drop? You might be surprised to find out how Australian taxes on petrol compare to overseas. AAP/Andrew Brownbill

FactCheck: do Australians pay high petrol taxes?

UPDATED ON TUESDAY 22 JULY: See editor’s note below for details on the updates. In this year’s federal budget, the Abbott government moved to restart automatically increasing the fuel excise in line with…
In 1999, the Mini was voted the second most influential car of the 20th century. In 1999, the Mini was voted the second most influential car of the 20th century. Flickr

Sublime design: the Mini

Car enthusiasts say the Mini has endured because it is fun - fun to drive and fun to look at. However, as a design, the Mini endures because of how its designers worked within the constraints they were…
Listening to that questionable music is one of the reasons we’re still driving cars. Listening to that questionable music is one of the reasons we’re still driving cars. Rommel Canlas/Shutterstock

To get people out of cars we need to know why they drive

Cars are still the favoured mode of transport in Australia, despite their known environmental and health impacts. We know that alternatives exist — walking, riding, and public transport — that can get…
There are plenty of new cars on British roads, but few of them are made here. There are plenty of new cars on British roads, but few of them are made here. Martin Rickett/PA

Hard Evidence: is the UK car market booming?

Registrations in the UK new car market rose 10.8% to 2.26 million units in 2013, the highest point for six years. But let’s not get too carried away: while last year’s figures may be exceptional, they…
The right policy settings will drive Australia toward a creative economy that produces knowledge and information. The right policy settings will drive Australia toward a creative economy that produces knowledge and information. Paul Gorbould

From manufacturing’s ashes a creative economy could rise

General Motors Holden’s decision to pull the pin on its Melbourne manufacturing plant spurred renewed debate around government-subsidised industry sectors. But instead of throwing money into a flailing…
Car Free Day - every Sunday in Jakarta. Car Free Day - every Sunday in Jakarta. Gunawan Kartapranata

How cities of the future could see cars parked for good

Is a car-free city possible? In many European cities walking and cycling already account for more than half of all journeys. In Britain, the Sustainable Travel Demonstration Towns project between 2004-08…
Holdens – such as this FJ model – defined a national culture of mobility and masculinity in 20th century Australia. Holdens – such as this FJ model – defined a national culture of mobility and masculinity in 20th century Australia. Wikimedia Commons

An end to Australia’s auto dream: why we loved Holden

Yesterday we learned that our collective support for Holden is coming to an end. The demise of “Australia’s Own” has been on the cards for years. After all, this country is one of the most expensive places…
The 2011 Tesla Roadster Sports could hit 100 km/h in less than four seconds and be charged from a standard power point. The 2011 Tesla Roadster Sports could hit 100 km/h in less than four seconds and be charged from a standard power point. AAP Image/Tesla

Will electricity save the car?

Cars defined the 20th century … [They] shaped the wars that were fought, the way cities developed and how people and goods were moved around … [As] we look to alternative technologies to fuel more than…
If cars aren’t the way to go in manufacturing, maybe we should look to green technology. If cars aren’t the way to go in manufacturing, maybe we should look to green technology. Flickr/Michael Caven

Can Kevin Rudd revive the green manufacturing dream?

Australia’s ailing car manufacturing industry will receive a A$200m funding boost. And all cars in Commonwealth fleets will have to be Australian-made. The policy was announced today by Kim Carr, Minister…
The Rudd government’s changes to fringe benefit tax concessions on cars is good environmental policy, but bad news for the manufacturing sector. The Rudd government’s changes to fringe benefit tax concessions on cars is good environmental policy, but bad news for the manufacturing sector. AAP

Manufacturing threatened by Rudd’s changes to car tax deductions

The decision to terminate the statutory formula method under the fringe benefits tax regime will have significant ramifications on the car industry, the local car manufacturing industry and employment…
BBC presenter Quentin Willson fills up at Nottingham’s hydrogen station. BBC presenter Quentin Willson fills up at Nottingham’s hydrogen station. Nottingham University

Hydrogen car progress hasn’t stalled yet

The promise that hydrogen cars would help reduce carbon dioxide emissions from the transport sector has been with us for a couple of decades. Readers may well have wondered what, like hoverboards, has…
Beautiful machines? Or deadly waste of time? Beautiful machines? Or deadly waste of time? Flickr/RMhowie

The dream of the car is over

I had always been obsessed with cars. To me, cars represented freedom, engineering excellence, modernity, technological brilliance, speed, fun and excitement. I still love cars but not like I used to…
Would a price-per-kilometre rate change your driving habits? Would a price-per-kilometre rate change your driving habits? Matthew Saunders/Flickr

To reduce congestion, imagine the government charged by the kilometre

The hip pocket must be where road pricing reform commences. The call for a congestion charge is getting louder and more frequent in many countries, as major metropolitan areas experience increasing levels…
Australia’s film industry, much like the automotive industry, depends on subsidies to survive. Australia’s film industry, much like the automotive industry, depends on subsidies to survive. phill.d

Protectionism: a matter of national pride

In Australia’s political history, elements of both Coalition and Labor governments have used arguments of cultural identity and national pride to justify policies of economic protectionism. The practice…

Research Briefs (3)

Buzz kills

No amount of alcohol seems to be safe for driving, according to a University of California, San Diego study. The study found…