‘Artificial Intelligence has to be more human’

January 02, 2020

Artificial Intelligence (AI) can break through if it consumes fewer data and can make connections like humans. That’s what Mieke De Ketelaere says in the weekly magazine Trends. De Ketelaere has been working with artificial intelligence for more than twenty years. Since May, she has been drawing up the strategy for artificial intelligence at IMEC. […]

Ghosn’s escape surprised everybody

January 02, 2020

The escape of former Alliance CEO, Carlos Ghosn, has surprised many people. He was under confinement in Japan attending his trial and wasn’t allowed to leave the country. Last Monday, he made a ‘James Bond’ escape to Libanon, apparently aided by a private company hired by his wife, Carole. His Japanese lawyer, Junichiro Hironaka, has […]

Soon speed cameras in Brussels ‘Zone 30’

December 29, 2017

The entire pentagon of the Brussels city centre has become a 30 kph traffic zone  in 2010. Eight years later speeding will finally be controlled and subsequently punished with speed cameras. During those years politicians pointed to each other when questions were asked about controlling this low speed zone. But now Alderwoman for Mobility Els […]

Truck cartel: 3.200 transport companies file €500 million claim

December 28, 2017

More than 3.200 carriers in 9 European countries have pressed charges against a trust of truck manufacturers in München (Germany). Together they claim a compensation of at least 500 million euro. 2,9 billion euro fine Last year truck manufacturers MAN, Volvo/Renault, Daimler, Iveco and DAF already were imposed a 2,9 billion euro fine by the […]

Uber and Lyft are causing more traffic jams in New York

December 28, 2017

A recent study states that the use of services like Uber or Lyft (online car hiring with driver) is causing more traffic jams in the city of New York because the number of cars is still increasing. The situation of traffic being constantly blocked in New York is still getting worse. Average speed during peak […]

Dutch state doesn’t have to remediate environmental shortcomings

December 28, 2017

A The Hague court judge in the Netherlands has ruled that the Dutch State didn’t comply with European and WHO criteria for clean air, but he can’t oblige the government to do so. The environmental organization Milieudefensie, the Adem Foundation and some 57 individual citizens didn’t obtain a confirmation in any of their claims. “There […]

Clean Air Act saves far more lives than previously thought

December 27, 2017

A study of researchers at MIT (Massachussets Institute of Technology) shows that the environmental measures included in the US Clean Air Act save far more lives than previously estimated. Small and ultra small particles in the air, due to combustion and other pollutants in the air, are responsible for premature death of 4,2 million inhabitants […]

‘Cashless parking meters are illegal’

December 22, 2017

In a letter to the Flemish Association of Communes (VVSG) the Minister of Consumer Affairs Kris Peeters (CD&V) indicates that parking meters without any possibility to pay cash are illegal. Radio listener The whole consumer trade is more and more dominated by paying with credit card or smartphone. Nevertheless it’s illegal for sellers of goods […]

Soon 130 kph speed limit on Belgian motorways?

December 22, 2017

Federal Minister of Mobility François Bellot (MR) is thinking of changing the speed limits and including a new maximum speed on highways in his new road code, due in the first half of 2018. On certain parts of the highways were traffic isn’t too dense, the maximum speed of 130 kph could be allowed instead […]

Europe jams on the breaks: ‘Uber is transport company’

December 21, 2017

“Uber is a transport company and has to apply with local legislation in the member states”, the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg ruled on Wednesday. This means in most European countries Uber will be considered a taxi service, needing a licence. Professional drivers In many European countries where Uber is present in larger cities […]

Belgium to lift ban for overtaking trucks on 2×2 highways

December 20, 2017

Belgium will abolish the general ban for heavy trucks of +7,5 tons to overtake on 2×2 lane highways in the first half of 2018, federal Minister for Mobility François Bellot (MR) confirmed this week. Overhauling will still be forbidden when it’s raining, as it is today. For the first time in three years the minister […]

Judge asks advice EU Court in Brussels’ air pollution case

December 20, 2017

The Belgian judge looking into the complaint filed by five Brussels’ citizens and Belgian NGO Client Earth against the Brussels Region for not doing enough to comply with EU regulations on air pollution, has asked the European Court of Justice for an advice, before ruling. Air Quality Directive The citizens and Client Earth sued Brussels […]

Belgian court admits class action against Volkswagen

December 20, 2017

A Brussels civilian court decreed the class action demand against Volkswagen and Volkswagen importer D’Ieteren, emitted by consumer organization Test Aankoop/Test Achats, receivable. In 2016 the consumer organization started a class action against Volkswagen and D’Ieteren as a result of the revelations in ‘Dieselgate’, where VW has admitted using software in his cars (11 million […]

‘Lending car to drunken driver is loosing it’

December 19, 2017

Lending your car to a drunken driver or a driver without a valid driver’s licence may in the near future mean that you loose your car. Authorities are working on a law giving police judges the right to confiscate the car. Third’s party property Reason for this was the case of Miguel V., guilty of […]

Old European diesels are polluting Africa

December 18, 2017

According to the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) 90% of the air pollution in cities that are in full demographic expansion, especially in Africa, are caused by road traffic. The UN organization is based in Nairobi, Kenya, one of the most affected African cities. According to a report in The Lancet (October) air pollution caused […]

Saudi women allowed to drive motorbikes and trucks

December 18, 2017

Three months after the announcement Ryad made about the suspension of the law banning women to drive a car, Saudi women now also are allowed to drive motorbikes and trucks. In September the international community had welcomed the ‘historical’ decision of the Saudi kingdom, which was the only country in the world still to forbid […]

French environmental minister assures ‘driving 95% electric’

December 18, 2017

The French Environmental Minister Nicolas Hulot, who declared to own nine vehicles in total, assures that “95% of his driving is done electric”. Hulot came under fire after all members of the government made their private patrimony public. Hairsplitting no ! He calls the numerous public comments ‘absurd’. “Transparency yes, voyeurism and hairsplitting no !”, […]

First mobile average speed check on A12

December 18, 2017

Flemish Minister of Mobility Ben Weyts (N-VA) inaugurated this weekend the first ‘mobile’ average speed check on a stretch of one and a half kilometer on the A12 between Londerzeel and Willebroek. More systems will be deployed soon. In Flanders 12 fixed average speed checks are already in use, 45 more are planned for in […]

Higher tax on private use of diesel company car

December 18, 2017

From January 1st on the Belgian tax on private use of a diesel company car will be raised slightly in 2018, due to the CO2 threshold being lowered from 87 gram per km to 86 gram. For cars on petrol or LPG nothing changes, as the threshold remains 105 g/km. Company cars, that can be […]

Speed pedelecs exempted from social security contribution

December 15, 2017

On Thursday the Council of Ministers decided that the compensation employees get from their employer for using a speed pedelec for their home-work traffic, will be free of social security contributions. The possibility of 120% fiscal deduction for the speed pedelec was arranged by the Belgian Parliament in October. Speed pedelecs are electric bicycles able […]

Dutch to ban polluting mopeds from bicycle paths

December 14, 2017

Several of the biggest cities in The Netherlands, considering to ban mopeds – besides motorbikes – from the bicycle paths, are allowed to do so. This was decided by a majority in the Dutch parliament. Until now mopeds had to ride on the bicycle paths at a maximum speed of 25 km/hour. Now cities have […]

Netherlands to EU Court against German highway toll

December 14, 2017

Dutch minister of Infrastructure Cora van Nieuwenhuizen (VVD) goes to the European Court of Justice to protest against the German plans to levy a toll for passenger cars on highways from 2019 on. A recent study has shown that the tax plans would cost the Dutch car drivers 60 to 100 million euro a year. […]

Scania appeals against EU penalty of 880 million euro

December 14, 2017

On Tuesday the Swedish truck manufacturer Scania announced to lodge appeal against the 880 million euro fine the company is expected to pay for cartel agreements with five other European truck builders. Scania is the only of the five to contest the verdict. Price-fixing The five charged companies – Scania, Daimler, DAF, Volvo-Renault Trucks en […]

France considers 80 kph on national and secondary roads

December 12, 2017

France’s Prime Minister Edouard Philippe is determined to do something about the numerous fatal accidents on the French roads. On Monday he declared to be prepared to bring back speed limits to 80 km/hour on certain bidirectional national and regional roads. They seem to be the most dangerous and the most fatal: two third of […]

ANPR cameras to catch lorries overtaking in rain or snow

December 12, 2017

Belgian federal Minister of Mobility François Bellot (MR) wants to tackle the problem of truck drivers ignoring the ban on overhauling in rain or snow with ANPR cameras that can recognize number plates. An amendment of the law to make this possible, will become active in 2018, says Bellot. On Monday with half of Belgium […]

Tax benefits for reinvesting in more sustainable trucks

December 11, 2017

The Belgian government has agreed to extend beyond 2020 the measure to exempt companies which sell their older diesel trucks to invest in more sustainable replacements, from taxes on the surplus value made on the sale. The inner cabinet followed a proposal on this from Minister of Economics Kris Peeters (CD&V). Surplus value The measure […]

Brussels adopts legal frame for free floating shared bikes

December 11, 2017

Brussels has adopted a legal frame to regulate the growing problem of free floating shared bicycles. Suppliers of these bikes will be responsible for removing left behind bikes and will have to comply with a set of safety and comfort standards to get a permit. A European first. Mudguard Every bike will need to have […]

Mayors want also a roof on Brussels ring road

December 08, 2017

8 mayors have joined thoughts and forces to ask for a roof or a tunnel on part of the Brussels ring road (approximately 15 km). It’s the part that crosses the “Zoniënwoud” wood, declared world heritage by Unesco and in danger because of the pollution of thousands of cars per day crossing right through it. […]

Wallonia becoming ‘de facto’ Low Emission Zone from 2020 on

December 08, 2017

The Walloon government (MR-cdH) has agreed on the legal framework to start phasing out polluting cars from 2020 on, becoming a ‘de facto’ Low Emission Zone (LEZ) on the entire territory. Every car, van or minibus entering will need to have an eco-sticker on the windscreen, comparable with the Crit’Air system in France. Like Antwerp, […]

EU agrees on stringent homologation: fines up to 30.000 euro per car

December 07, 2017

On Thursday negotiators from the European Parliament and the European Council of 28 have reached an agreement on sharpening the car homologation procedures in the future to avoid another dieselgate scandal. Car makers can be fined up to 30.000 euro per car, if caught cheating with emission standards. The text is yet to be voted […]

Death toll down on Belgian roads

December 07, 2017

According to the latest figures of Vias, the Belgian institute for traffic safety and mobility (formerly called BIVV/IBSR) the death toll on Belgian roads (first three quarters) has lowered from 407 to 363 casualties. Minister Weyts is happy that his latest measures are having results. “These figures show a world of difference with those assembled […]

Cities ask EU to enforce lower cabs and bigger windscreens on trucks

December 07, 2017

Nineteen cities, among which Brussels, Amsterdam, Paris and London, are asking the EU Commission to issue new standards for lorries used in cities to improve visibility for the driver and protect weak road users like cyclists. Seeing other road users In order to better see the other road users, the cities want the lorries to […]

Dieselgate: senior exec Volkswagen US jailed for seven years

December 07, 2017

A Detroit judge has convicted ex Volkswagen US executive Oliver Schmidt to seven years imprisonment and a fine of 400.000 dollar for his role in the dieselgate affaire. Schmidt, who pleaded guilty to get a lesser punishment, was in charge of VW’s environmental and engineering office in Michigan in 2014-2015. Cheating software The court found […]

Insurers and car makers quarrel over your driving data

December 05, 2017

Cars are becoming driving computers in the future, sending out massive data over the internet. But who owns this data? Insurance companies want the car makers to open up this data to every service provider, but the latter are reluctant ‘for safety reasons’. Breakdown assistance via a remote connection to the computer or car insurance […]

BMW saw plug-in hybrid sales collapse in Netherlands

December 05, 2017

“Plug-in hybrid sales has seen a drastic collapse in the Netherlands after government abolished subsidies”, BMW CEO Harold Krüger told the Frankfurter Allgemeine on Monday. A BMW spokesman in the Netherlands confirms: a fall back of 90%. From 3.556 to 150 cars Models concerned are the 330e, 225xe and 740e. “In 2016 we sold 3.556 […]

Parking stress, now also for bikers

December 05, 2017

Sharing/Renting bikes can be very handy in city centres. But they are getting very popular and that creates a new problem: where to leave the bike at peak hours when you don’t need him any more? It’s five o’clock in the afternoon, with your Velo city-bike you’re racing towards the train station with a few […]

Belgium not eager yet to ban Coyote radar detector

December 05, 2017

It was Flemish Minister for Mobility Ben Weyts (N-VA) who belled the cat with his federal and two regional colleagues in the executive committee to propose a ban on radar detectors like the popular Coyote. But his French speaking colleagues have not really warmed to that plan. Radar zone Weyts was willing to compromise and […]

‘Stubborn left- or middle lane drivers have to be fined double’

December 04, 2017

“Stubborn keeping on driving on the left- or middle lane while the right lane is free, should to be fined 118 euro instead of 58 in the future”, the Belgian institute for road safety Vias proposes. By doing this, they are endangering other road users that are tempted to overhaul on the right side. The […]

‘Cash for car won’t make it before January 1st’

December 04, 2017

The mobility budget, the so called ‘cash for car’ to replace the ‘salary car’ in Belgium, won’t make it for the beginning of 2018 as planned. Government sources admit it will be impossible to imply in time with the remarks State’s Council made and a number of the 50 measures proposed in the ‘summer agreement’ […]

Government adopts minimum service for TEC public transport

December 01, 2017

Right under the noses of CGSP and CSC union protestors on the pavement in front of the Walloon parliament in Namur, the latter adopted a first draft of law to enforce a minimum service during strikes. The proposal, being discussed for months and partially adopted by the PS party which no longer sits in the […]

Flashed at 252 kph and getting away scot-free before judge

November 30, 2017

A 45 year old man on a motorbike was flashed at 252 kph but got away scot-free before the judge in Tournai. His lawyer advised the man to stay away from his trial and let the case become prescribed by the lapse of time. Speeding infringements are prescribed after one year in Belgium. In November […]

PSA reclaiming money from GM on Opel-deal

November 30, 2017

In the beginning of this year PSA bought Opel from GM for 1,3 billion €. The French manufacturer now wants half of this money back because GM has failed to give all available information when the transaction was finalised. CO2 emissions The claim is due to the fact that GM has omitted to inform PSA […]

Wallonia: anti-pollution sticker for every car in 2020

November 29, 2017

Walloon Minister for Environment Carlo Di Antonio (cdH) is working on a law proposal to allow every city and municipality in the region to install Low Emission Zones (LEZ) and enforce car drivers to have a sticker on every car, indicating the pollution-level. By 2023 Wallonia wants to forbid all cars – diesel and petrol […]

Final rush on ‘fake’ plug-in hybrids

November 27, 2017

Premium brands of plug-in hybrids are overwhelmed these days with ‘last minute’ orders for luxury plug-in hybrids before the end of the year. These cars, combining a fat combustion engine with a small battery driven electro-motor with an average range of 40 km, are targeted by Belgian federal government as ‘fake hybrids’ and will lose […]

Dutch plug-in car fleet crumbles

November 24, 2017

More and more second had plug-in hybrids are leaving the Netherlands because demand has dropped to nearly zero nationally. By abolishing the fiscal benefits, the government made the plug-in hybrids to expensive for the average Dutch driver, says the knowledge centre for the automotive branch Aumacon. According to figures of the Ministery of Infrastructure and […]

Antwerp LEZ fines: Dutch and French will have to pay

November 24, 2017

Dutch and French driving a polluting car will be fined 123 euro when entering the Antwerp Low Emission Zone (LEZ) in the near future. ANPR cameras are registering violators, but until now the city of Anwerp didn’t have access to the personal data to identify them. This will change before the end of this year. […]

Pickup sales doubles in Belgium

November 24, 2017

Last year sales of heavy pickup trucks, combining a passenger cab with an open loading platform doubled compared to 2009 to 5.700. This year almost as much pickups were sold in ten months time, according to figures of sector federation FEBIAC. Huge fiscal benefits – that are questioned more and more – are at the […]

Norway drops plans for ‘Tesla-tax’

November 24, 2017

Norway drops the so called ‘Tesla-tax’, the proposition to abolish the generous exemptions for electric cars if they weight more than two tons. The measure, that would become active in January 2018 was scrapped after a budgetary agreement between the right wing government and its centre-right allies. Tesla X more expensive The fiercely contested proposal […]

Flemish government gives ‘greener’ transport sector financial leg-up

November 23, 2017

Transport companies willing to invest in sustainable technology and road safety can get a 100.000 euro financial leg-up from the Flemish government from this week on. Condition is that the investment goes further than the strict legally obligation. SCR-systems The subsidies – up to 80% of the investment and limited to 100.000 every three years […]

EU-Commissioner Bienkowska: ‘I wouldn’t buy a Volkswagen anymore’

November 21, 2017

Three years after dieselgate burst out, what has really changed? “I wouldn’t buy a Volkswagen anymore”, says EU Commissioner for Industry Elzbieta Bienkowska (53) in an interview with Dutch newspaper Algemeen Dagblad. She grew up in communist Poland, being the daughter of a car technician. And it was she who got to deal with the […]

Paris adopts 500-measures climate plan

November 21, 2017

The French capital of Paris has adopted on Monday its climate plan for 2024. The plan, counting some 500 different measures to be issued, was voted by all political parties of the city government and will be presented to the Paris Council beginning 2018. The plan is to be submitted for eventual amending to the […]

London prepares for fully autonomous cars by 2021

November 20, 2017

London is preparing for the first level 4 autonomous cars – where human driver attention is no longer needed – on British roads by 2021. This is one of the elements of the financial budget that will be presented on Wednesday by the Chancellor of the Exchequer (Minister of Finance) Philip Hammond. The budget foresees […]

Brussels citizens panel votes resolution on future mobility

November 20, 2017

On Sunday the ‘citizens panel on mobility’, installed by the Brussels’ regional government, has voted a resolution on future mobility, that it hopes will be the basis for the government’s ‘Good Move’ mobility plan to be laid out next year. The members of the citizens panel have been drawn initially by lot out of 8.000 […]

Belgian government’s ‘cash-for-car’ bogged down

November 17, 2017

The new ‘cash for car’ regulation that the Belgian government has developed as an alternative to so called ‘salary cars’ is not yet in place. The Council of State has serious reservations about the proposal. In the proposal now on the table, workers can trade in their company car for more net pay (‘cash for […]

Touring wants ‘rescue track’ for emergency services

November 16, 2017

Many motorists still don’t know how to react when they suddenly see an ambulance with blaring sirens suddenly appear in their rear-view mirror. Mobility organization Touring therefore proposes to modify the Belgian road code. For the new proposal Touring has been inspired by the ‘Rettungsgasse’, a principle that is obliged for some time in countries […]

‘Middle-lane driver public enemy no 1’

November 16, 2017

Guess what is the biggest annoyance of motorists on the highway? Indeed: the persisting middle-lane driver. This is shown by a poll by Vias Institute, the Belgian road safety institute. Staying in the middle lane is annoying, but is it also dangerous. “Other road users are forced to pass by left,’ says Stef Willems, Vias’ […]

’30 kph in cities, 90 on motorways to improve air quality’

November 15, 2017

Traffic experts see only one solution for the problem of the ever worsening air quality in Flanders: the speed limits must be reduced. Minister of Transport Ben Weyts (N-VA) is not convinced. “These results are worrying,” says bio-engineer Roeland Samson (University of Antwerp) about the air pollution in East Flanders and by extension throughout Flanders. […]

300 fines a day for using smartphone while driving

November 15, 2017

According to figures given by Jan Jambon (N-VA), Minister of the Interior, in 2016, a total of 108.500 fines were issued for using smartphones at the steering wheel, which means 300 infringements a day. MP Jef Van Den Bergh (CD&V) asked for these figures. Also cyclists are involved Of the total number of fines issued, more […]

30-zone: number of accidents increased by 21%

November 15, 2017

In two years, the number of accidents in 30-zones has increased by 21%. Admittedly the number of zones has increase too, but the major part of drivers is still driving too fast. The Walloon government is working on installing “intelligent 30-zone” active only during school periods. 283 is the number of accidents recorded in 30-zones […]

Elia: ‘Gas needed for electricity to replace nuclear’

November 15, 2017

In a report, unveiled on Wednesday, Belgian national grid managing company Elia, states that in spite of renewable energy sources, new gas powerhouses will need to be build to replace nuclear power after 2025. Elia sees three possible scenarios. And it urges the government to act fast. Basis scenario The basic scenario starts from the […]