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Penalty increased to £100 for holding a mobile phone when driving

The fixed penalty for using a hand-held mobile phone when driving in the UK has increased from £60 to £100 today. As before, there’ll also be three points added to the driver’s licence.

This follows a consultation in June last year and a government announcement about the changes two months ago.

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Cars are expected to have 4.3 billion installed apps by the end of 2018

ABI Research expects a dramatic increase in the number of automotive apps downloaded in cars during the next five years.

It forecasts a jump from around 12 million at the end of last year to 4.3 billion at the end of 2018, with revenue of $1.67 billion (£1.08 billion) being generated worldwide.

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European Commission moves to make 'eCall' car emergency system mandatory from 2015

The European Commission has adopted two proposals that would ensure cars could automatically call the emergency services after a serious accident.

Its ‘eCall’ system automatically calls the 112 emergency number via a mobile connection and passes the vehicle’s location to the emergency services, potentially saving up to 2,500 lives a year and cutting response times by up to 50%.

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BlackBerry announces new M2M service to update vehicle software

BlackBerry has demonstrated a new ‘over the air’ service that would allow car and commercial vehicle manufacturers to update vehicle software remotely.

The machine-to-machine (M2M) ‘Software Update Management for Automotive’ service takes advantage of the secure infrastructure that delivers software updates to BlackBerry devices.

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Mercedes-Benz introduces QR codes that could save lives after car accidents

Mercedes-Benz says it’ll be adding a QR code to its vehicles, making it easier for the emergency services to help injured occupants.

The barcode, which can be read by most smartphones and tablets, will provide a ‘rescue map’ that shows important information about the specific vehicle.

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