Η Volkswagen δεν μπορούσε να μην συμμετέχει και αυτή στο πνεύμα της σημερινής ημέρας και έτσι ανακοίνωσε πως σε συνεργασία με την RSPCA δημιουργεί το πρόγραμμα paw-wheel-drive το οποίο βοηθά τα σκυλιά διάσωσης να μάθουν να οδηγούν αυτοκίνητο.
[Πηγή: Volkswagen, Skoda, Honda]
PAW-WHEEL-DRIVE: RSPCA PARTNERS WITH VOLKSWAGEN COMMERCIAL VEHICLES TO TEACH DOGS TO DRIVE
The RSPCA has partnered with Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles to teach rescue dogs to drive.
Over the past two months, three mixed-breed dogs, Tulip, Jacob and Harry, have been taught to drive a Volkswagen Amarok by the animal welfare charity. Amazingly the dogs, which were trained at the Southridge RSPCA centre in Hertfordshire, have learned to control the brakes, gears and even the steering wheel.
The dogs, who sit upright on their haunches, were initially taught to steer using a wooden trolley pulled along with string. Mock car controls were then introduced before the dogs were trained to wear specially adapted safety harnesses and put behind the wheel of a 180PS four-wheel-drive Volkswagen Amarok.
The animals then spent hours practising their driving skills while sitting alongside a human instructor with access to dual controls. To allow the dogs to drive the real Amarok pick-up, their front paws rest on the steering wheel and the gearstick while their rear paws rest on purpose-built extension levers which are then attached to the accelerator and brake pedals.
Understandably the speed of the rugged workhorse, known for its practical load space, smooth ride and off-road prowess has been limited for safety reasons.
Incredibly, this isn’t even the first time dogs have been taught to drive. Back in 2012 an animal trainer taught two dogs very similar skills in his native New Zealand.
People wanting to see, or steer clear of the dog-driven pick-up should look out for a Reflex Silver Amarok with the number plate FR5T APR.
Anna White, manager at the Southridge RSPCA centre, said: “We wanted to demonstrate how intelligent rescue animals can be.
“All we have essentially done here is to train the dogs to execute ten sequential behaviours, albeit fairly complicated behaviours! The past few months have been a lot of fun, but there is a serious reason behind the training.
“There is a real shortage of volunteer drivers to take rescue animals to centres with space to accommodate them. We wanted to find a novel way that would encourage more volunteers to help drive rescue animals around the country.”
For the latest updates, follow Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles on Twitter: @Volkswagen_CV or Facebook: www.facebook.com/volkswagencommercialvehiclesuk.
FUR YETI FANS EVERYWHERE – THE YETI ICE SPECIAL EDITION
Milton Keynes, 1 April 2014 – ŠKODA is celebrating the launch of its new Yeti range with a remarkable new special edition – the Yeti Ice. On sale today, the new model pioneers a radical new faux fur finish that has been developed by ŠKODA engineers working in the Himalayas.
The Yeti Ice’s faux fur has numerous advantages over traditional paint, as its inventor, Dr Yu Ciddingme explains: “The fur is so thick and luxurious that during our tests in the arctic circle, our test drivers didn’t need to use the heater.”
The new model is based on the new Yeti and Yeti Outdoor launched in January and was developed under the code number 010414. All models will be built to order with owners able to choose from a number of personalisation options, including side-partings and fur extensions.
Owners will find that maintaining the Yeti Ice’s fur is easy thanks to standard specification that includes a lifetime supply of ŠKODA-branded shampoo and conditioner, a comb and brush kit to preserve the well-groomed look.
Head of Special Developments, Prof Lukat Thedate said: “Everybody loves the new furry finish. People like to give it a hug and a tickle under the bumper.”
For those who would find the Yeti Ice’s faux fur to be impractical, models with more traditional paintwork finishes are available in ŠKODA retailers across the country with prices starting from £16,600
2015 FIT KIT BETA
In the spirit of handcrafted culture, the Fit Kit enables handcrafters to build the all-new 2015 Fit in their own home. Here is your chance to shape with your own two hands the most stunning hatchback yet.
With over 180,000 mechanical parts shipped to your door, the Honda Fit Kit is a challenge for the most talented and adroit of the handcrafted movement. A chance to assemble the revolutionary aerodynamic body or fuse together the 6-speed manual transmission piece by piece.
The Fit Kit owner should be a tinkerer par excellence with a solid understanding of electronics to power up the Bluetooth® connectivity  and leading industry safety features like LaneWatch™ . Ideally, someone with a knack for propulsion to build the i-VTEC® engine and strong sense of interior design to lay out the 52.7 cubic feet of cargo space  with the Honda-exclusive Magic Seat®.
Drawing on the thriving maker culture, we found two excellent testers to help build our first successful vehicle in the beta test. See their Honda Fit Kit story unfold in the Honda Fit Kit demo series.
If you’re up for the challenge, there is no better way to experience handling the fun-to-drive Honda Fit than to hand-build it piece by piece.
 Carrying too much cargo or improperly storing it can affect the handling, stability and operation of this vehicle. Follow applicable load limits and loading guidelines.
 The Bluetooth® word mark and logos are owned by the Bluetooth SIG, Inc., and any use of such marks by Honda Motor Co., Ltd., is under license.
 Display accuracy will vary based on weather, size of object and speed, and the display may not show all relevant traffic. The display is not a substitute for your own direct visual assessment of traffic conditions before changing lanes.