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6th July 1985, Page 40
6th July 1985
Page 40
Page 40, 6th July 1985 — BIRD'S-EYE VIEW
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Which of the following most accurately describes the problem?

Nobody could complain that the gross weight of 230 tonnes of a Volvo N12 tractor, trailer and windtunnel section damaged the road. It was spread over 202 wheels. And to prevent the chaos that an outfit 41 metres long, 13 metres wide and 141/2 metres high would otherwise cause, the movement through Gothenburg was conducted in the dead of night.

The wind tunnel, to be completed in a year's time, will enable Volvo to do all its aerodynamic tests in Sweden, whereas at present full-scale models have to be tested elsewhere.

Serendipity was the name of the game for a 35-year-old Oxford woman whose burning ambition was to drive a really large vehicle. According to her husband, in a begging letters to Daf, "the sight of a 3300 with Space Cab sends her into paroxysms of delight." As Frankie Howerd might have said, what a funny woman!

Be that as it may, collusion between Daf and her family and friends lured her on her birthday to an airfield at High Wycombe where a 3300 with 40ft semi-trailer awaited her pleasure. You could have knocked her down with a Volvo.

After an impressive drive she rounded off a "perfect birthday" with a perfect birthday cake and champagne buffet lunch, and went home with a framed picture of the vehicle to keep her in a state of permanent excitement.

Amobile hoarding for which Sub Officer Tommy Thomson, of Strathclyde Fire Brigade, is seeking sponsors in support of the Fire Services National Benevolent Fund, is to visit each of the 61 Eire authorities on the United Kingdom mainland between July 1 and August 5. The aim is to raise 00,000 by appearances at fire-brigade public events.

Sponsors' messages will be plastered over a MAN-Crane Fruehauf articulated boxvan and will be seen in places as far apart as Inverness and Torpoint, Cornwall, and Hull and Carmarthen. A 3ft x lft space costs £65.

israel claims to have beaten Japan in producing a highly sophisticated battery-operated device to warn drivers when they are becoming drowsy and should rest. According to Britain Israel Public Affairs Committee, a Japanese attempt to develop microelectrodes to detect fatigue failed.

The Israeli device, called Onguard, "when properly used, responds to the relative reflectiveness of the eyelid and the eyeball." It is encased in black plastic — these black boxes get everywhere — and attached to spectacles. Drivers who don't wear glasses have holes bored in their heads.

If the eyelids close for more than half a second a buzzer sounds. BIPAC warns that Onguard "must be switched off when not in use, because, after focusing on the void when not being worn and then suddenly being bombarded with signals when in use, the device simply becomes overloaded, sounding a frustrated alarm." The thing is almost human.

Although not strictly a variety show, the Royal Tournament at Earl's Court, London, from July 10-27, will provide ample variety and the first act, which has the normally unwelcome job of warming up a theatre audience, will apply heat literally and


By courtesy of Pickfords, St George will gallop into the arena to fight a 65ft fire-breathing dragon — a moving episode, to be sure. As Henry V would have said: "Cry 'God for Pickfords, England and St George'."

The monster slain (I hope), the audience will be able to enjoy among other things an RAF motorcycle competition sponsored by Hartwell's Garages in which the performers will ride over two aircraft. These are the magnificent men on their flying machines.

Attempts by scientists at the Robotics Institute in Pittsburg USA, to produce a driverless sixwheeler have not been altogether successful. When set loose on a woodland path the Terregator, as it i: called, did reasonably well until it reached a sharp bend, when it went r and tried to climb a tree.

I think I know the reason. The vela uses stereo television to see the way ahead, acoustic soundings to determir the kind of terrain and a computer memory bank to store images and instructions on how to respond to tht The Terregator suddenly had a television image of Dallas and, like many of the people whom the machit is intended ultimately to replace, responded naturally by going berserk

Members are advised by RAC World how to deal with van. alarming situations on the road. One if the steering wheel comes off in yot hand.

The answer: "Put it back . . . by sliding it gently into the splined end c the steering column. Then brake gent before stopping." At 70mph this is a true test of savoir-faire which should entitle one to free life membership of club.

Bill Cotton, a former technical edit. of Commercial Motor, had this expendr with a Thornycroft rigid eight-wheek while making an emergency stop. Th: was the only time he ever had one ov the eight.

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