How our roads are leading to a safer destination

As a fuel card user, we’re sure you’re aware that the road can be a dangerous office. Sadly as someone who must drive professionally, you probably have little choice about your workplace set-up. With an element of risk constantly lurking on the other side of the windscreen, you need all the help you can get to stay out of harm’s way. Luckily, our manufacturers as well as our government have recognised this, and are taking measures to make your work environment a safe place – showing that they take your safety as seriously as we do.

Euro NCAP Test Scores

Since 1997 Euro NCAP have been testing all new vehicles as they enter the market, giving drivers the low-down on their most important piece of work equipment. As the years have gone on, Euro NCAP have gotten tougher and tougher in their safety assessments, as manufacturers work harder and harder to meet the demands of such scrutiny and achieve a glowing five-star result – the pinnacle of vehicle safety. Due to the authority and credibility of these tests, manufacturers very rarely produce anything that’s less than four stars nowadays, making for safer roads and better protection for drivers. It’s definitely worth checking out their website for more detailed info on specific vehicles’ ratings.

Self-Driving Cars

Sadly, the safety of the car alone cannot guarantee your protection; bad drivers are always a threat. Consequently, there are a number of projects going on in several locations – Google head-quarters being one of them – focused on coming up with software that can take to the helm and drive your fleet vehicle for you. Using their knowledge and experience gained from working in the realms of Sat Nav and mapping, they have created some driverless cars that, even after 300,000 miles, have remained crash, bump and accident free – apart from one incident which happened to be caused by one of us mere mortal drivers. We’re only human after all. We’re still dreaming about the day our fuel cards will be able to automate the process of filling up our cars too…

Driver Aids

A motorway of cars driving around with no one at the wheel isn’t going to be a picture we’ll see anywhere but our TV screens for a while. However, there may not be a need to get rid of real drivers all together – just help manage their human flaws, such as tiredness. Modern technology may hold the key to this also, with equipment that can be installed in any vehicle to alert drivers when fatigue starts to set in, escalating their risk of danger. A less-controlling version of self-driving technology is also being developed alongside this, to provide help with navigational safety and even step in where necessary – to apply the brakes, for example. This will help without making drivers feel like robots are stealing their jobs in a plan to eventually take over the world.

So, with NCAP making sure we get the protection we deserve from our vehicle should anything happen, and clever techno-whizzes working on software that’ll prevent collisions and accidents occurring in the first place, drivers can look forward to being far more safe at work. Don’t forget to equip them with another important driver tool – our money-saving fuel cards – so you, as an employer are also protected against incidences of a more fraudulent and financial nature.

 


September 19th, 2013
Shelved in the Driving category
No comments are allowed on this one ... sorry

Bluetooth Car Kit Direct Top Tip

If you have a Bury CC9060 and the output volume seems low, change the AUX plug on the kits ISO harness from the current 3.5mm socket to the vacant 3.5mm socket. Volume should be increased by at least two fold.


March 24th, 2011
Shelved in the Bluetooth, Bluetooth Car Kits, Bluetooth Kits, Bury THD category
No comments are allowed on this one ... sorry

Parrot Bluetooth Rival

In recent years, the bluetooth market has exploded with all sorts of solutions to pair your phone with your vehicle. The most recognised of these solutions is the Parrot Bluetooth range, offering a comprehensive collection of devices suited to everybody.

Although the Parrot kits are value for money, a rival system is becoming increasingly popular and unless Parrot are careful, the Bury CC9060 may steal the number one top spot on today’s market.

The Bury CC9060 offers the user full voice activated calling, answering and phone book navigation. What this means is that the user does not have to even use the touch screen display available, as all functions can be accessed by spoken voice. With the ability to pair with up to 10 phones and store 1000 contacts on the kits internal memory, the Bury gives the Parrot Mki9200 a run for its money.

For more information and video demonstration please click here.


March 24th, 2011
Shelved in the Bluetooth, Bluetooth Car Kits, Bluetooth Kits, Bury THD, Hands Free, Parrot category
No comments are allowed on this one ... sorry

Which Parrot Bluetooth product to choose?

 You’ve done a little research into bluetooth kits and come to the conclusion that your probably going to choose parrot. They have the brand name and reputation for producing good reliable products. The problem is which parrot bluetooth kit to choose? With more than six integrated solutions on the market, which product will be the most suitable for you?

 

Let us help you split them down a little. Firstly they can be split into two groups the CK range and the MK range, the latter is the most recently launched. The CK Range are still the most popular bluetooth products on the market. Mainly due to the price however reliability is also a good factor especially with the parrot CK3000.

 

The MK range are the newest products launched onto the market and perhaps haven’t had the time to overtake the CK range in terms of popularity just yet. The main difference between the CK & MK range is the music functionality. The MKI range have an integrated solution which is compatible with iPod & iPhone and is controllable through the parrot remote control.

 

Each product in the range has a superior leading upwards in price, which offers an “upgrade” feature. For example the MKI9000 offers Bluetooth and Music, The MKI9100 offers the same functionality however with a upgrade small screen so you can see who’s calling & what music is playing. The MKI9200 offers an improved screen with more clarity & the ability to pull pictures from the phone. So you can see a face as well as the number. Being the newest products to market the MKI range are still more expensive than the CK range.

 

The main choice when choosing which parrot bluetooth option to go for is to first select your range first then choose which feature’s are most desired for you.  


November 4th, 2010
Shelved in the Bluetooth Car Kits, Parrot, Parrot Car Kits category
No comments are allowed on this one ... sorry

Win the New Parrot AR Drone this Christmas with Bluetooth Car Kit Direct

Parrot have been making bluetooth kits for years, and have gained a reputation that dwarfs all competitors. When most people think of bluetooth they will always think parrot bluetooth.

 

However, the latest release from the acclaimed manufacturer, has nothing to do with bluetooth technology, but it still does relate to your mobile; well if you have an iPhone at least.

 

There are speculations circling to why they decided to make their latest product, but all of those aside, we think they just wanted to have some fun, and if it strengthens the brands reputation at the same time, then why not.

 

What the brainiacs in France decided to do, was create a helicopter that could be controlled from an iPhone, and if that wasn’t cool enough, they fitted forward facing and ground facing cameras that can be viewed from the phones screen. Combined with accelerometer based controls (tilting the iPhone) and a clever autopilot program, the helicopter can be flown with pinpoint accuracy by the most novice of pilots.

 

The AR Drone, which the helicopter is known by, uses wifi technology to connect to your iPhone, and because of this, it can also connect to an iTouch or iPad. Using a high output Li Poly battery you get up to 15 minutes fly time, which is more than enough time to exhaust your mind keeping the agile “eye in the sky” away from obstacles. The best is still to come however.

 

So you have a helicopter that flies by wifi from your mobile, how about you send it into battle with another drone controlled by your friend, shooting it down with missiles and other ordinance. Well obviously the average civilian cannot be trusted with real missiles, so its all virtual. Parrot call it augmented reality, as it combines virtual simulation and actual flight, the camera feed on the screen will show simulated target boxes and ordinance projected, along with tracking the enemy using colour recognition. The drone still flies around, so you need to ensure you don’t crash, unless you are out off ammo and feeling a touch suicidal…

 

Bluetooth Car Kit Direct are giving an AR Drone away in their Christmas competition. Anyone who purchases an integrated bluetooth system from the web site from now until the 20th of December will automatically be entered into a prize draw. The winner will be picked at random on the 21st, and the Drone will be delivered in time for Christmas.

 

 


October 26th, 2010
Shelved in the Bluetooth Car Kits, Bluetooth Kits, Bury THD, Dension Gateway, Hands Free, Parrot, Parrot Car Kits, iPhone, iPod category
No comments are allowed on this one ... sorry

New Bluetooth Integration systems

Bluetooth Integration is becoming big business for many manufacturers, Partly due to government regulations introduced in the early 2000’s and secondly due to the increasing emphasis on safety. The recent surge in bluetooth car kit sales has allowed manufacturers to develop new systems designed to make these systems much more use-able and integrate into the vehicles stereo & entertainment systems too provide greater control.

 

Previously, integrated Bluetooth car kits consisted of a stereo mute function that auto-mutes any sound being played through the stereo at the time of a call. These kits don’t actually integrate into the stereo system they just override it when a call is made or received. New systems being introduced into the market from Dension allows complete integration into the stereo system. So you can control your phone through the steering wheel controls to browse phonebook & recent calls, and also make and answer calls. Information is displayed on the cluster screen (near the rev gauge & speed gauge) or on the stereo in some occasions.

 

The New Kits show how far the technology is developed in recent years as it was previously thought too difficult to create a system that integrates as all vehicles software and hardware are different. Creating a dilemma, either produce one product which is universal, and installs via a unique vehicle specific lead (SOT Leads) or create multiple product SKU’s (Stock keeping Units) of the same kit for compatibility into each different vehicle manufacturer, and sometimes models.

 

However Dension acquired good knowledge of vehicle hardware & software systems from creating iPod integration kits. The same or similar technology is used for Bluetooth which also include iPod connectivity as well. Setting them in good stead to compete with Parrot bluetooth systems for dominance over the market.

 

One problem with the integrated kits from Dension, called the Gateway five or Gateway 5 is that they are vehicle specific and not available for every vehicle as of yet. The vehicles must Run CAN Bus system in the vehicle to work, so older vehicles (except some BMW’s) will not be capable of using them.

 

One thing is for sure, the Dension Bluetooth kits offer much better integration and quality over other kits currently available on the market and although they don’t offer any voice control commands like the bury and parrot bluetooth kits, they are easy to use & functional. Making them to kit to compete with over the coming years.


September 22nd, 2010
Shelved in the Uncategorized category
No comments are allowed on this one ... sorry

Dice Media Bridge – The Ultimate iPod and Bluetooth Integration for BMW

For years, Parrot bluetooth kits have dominated the market, building up a brand so strong that anyone looking for a bluetooth kit will automatically think Parrot. Although Parrot do have an excellent product range, their kits use telemute leads that bypass and mute the vehicles radio, which means they have several disadvantages. The main disadvantage being the kit cannot be controlled by the factory fitted stereo so a separate display and controller is required.

For a lot of people, having after market units present in the vehicle is an eye sore, and many seek a solution that works with what is already fitted, especially when steering wheel controls are present.

Dice have always offered the very best in vehicle integration for BMW, their simple connection utilises the BMW pre wired CD changer lead that was fitted as standard to most vehicles (3 and 6 Pin connectors). The interface effectively emulates a CD changer, showing the iPod text as CD MP3 information. Their last kit, the Silverline Pro, allows you to search your iPod from the stereo by album, artist, track and play-list, as well as also giving you the ability to control the iPod from the mp3 player itself.

Dice step up to rival manufacturers by incorporating iPod integration systems with hands free calling with their new Media Bridge MB1500.

The MB1500 is essentially the Dice Silverline kit with and integrated bluetooth chip. The kit can support music playback from iPod, Auxiliary and USB, giving the user a wide range of options to listen to their MP3’s, the kits text display ensures all iPod and USB information is clearly shown on the vehicles display.

In terms of bluetooth, the kit will connect to 99% of phones on the market today, displaying who’s calling, along with all of your phone book contacts. When a call is received, the music playback is muted, and the sound from the call is played through the vehicles speakers. The MB1500 microphone provides the audio input for the call, which is also cable of handling voice dialling, all at the touch of a button.

Dice did have an issue a few years back when Apple changed the way their iPods received charge. Millions of consumers were effected when iPods moved from 12V to 5V charge, and Dice shared some of the issues with their kits. Thankfully this issue has been addressed and all of their kits, including the MB1500, now fully support 5V charging. On the same note, both the iPhone 3GS and iPhone 4G are fully supported by the Media Bridge.

Currently the MB1500 is only available for BMWs built up to 2006. From 2007 onwards, BMW use the fibreoptic MOST system and you need a Dension Gateway MOST product to connect your devices.

In summary, if you are looking to integrate your iPod and phone into your BMW, the Dice Media Bridge will offer you the most effective solution, with the least amount of fuss and clutter. It takes no more than an hour to fit, and with its competitive price, it easily runs circles around its competitors.

 


August 27th, 2010
Shelved in the Bluetooth, Bluetooth Car Kits, Hands Free, iPhone, iPod category
No comments are allowed on this one ... sorry

10 reasons to not phone when driving.

 There are a lot more than 10 reasons why not to use a mobile phone when driving, however i’ll keep it short and snappy. After all i’m sure you will all agree with most of what i’m about to say, and if you only take just one point away with you. Think about it, think about why your thinking about it. Then do something about it.

 

Reason number One: Points on your licence.

 

Quite a shallow reason to start with but a valid one non the less. Nobody wants points because it ultimately results in a ban. You get points because its considered dangerous driving. Think About it.

 

Reason number Two: Penalty Fine.

 

Again a fairly shallow reason, however who enjoys getting a fine? I don’t know anybody. The fine can be especially difficult to swallow as many handsfree kits that cost half the amount of the fine given. It doesn’t take a genius to realise what people should be doing.

 

Reason number Three: Suspended Licence.

 

You don’t have to do it all the time, Its only takes one second for it to happen. If a police officer spots you it and you already have points could mean the end of your driving licence for 12 months. What does that mean for you? No transport, social life or job? Think, is it worth it?

 

Reason number Four: Reduced awareness.

 

If you text when driving its the equivalent of being three times over the alcohol limit. We don’t tolerate drink drivers so why texters?

 

Reason number Five: Reduced ability.

 

If you don’t have a bluetooth car kit you have to physically hold the phone to talk. If you do this you break contact with the vehicles controls reducing the ability to drive it. Even an idiot can see the potential consequences of these actions. If you are an idiot and can’t work it out, Its DEATH.

 

Reason number Six: Concentration.

 

Its easy to loose concentration when talking or texting, especially if its something your passionate about. Combine it with point 4 & 5 and you have a recipe for disaster.

 

Reason number Seven: Prison sentence.

 

If your convicted of dangerous driving you could get jail time, especially if you cause a major accident. Just think 12 months in jail for one text or call that could be sent in 10 minutes time?

 

Reason number Eight: Your Family.

 

Its strange that most of us don’t think about what were doing when we drive & how dangerous it actually is. I mean, we drive a 3 tonne lump of metal around at 70mph and higher relatively close to somebody in front and behind, and people coming in the opposite direction. Do you really need an excuse to not drive responsibly? Just think of your family before the inevitable happens.

 

Reason number Nine: Somebody else’s family.

 

If your serial texter who doesn’t use a bluetooth car kit when doing so. Think the next time you do it, it might be your last. Or the family driving towards you. Could you live with that on your conscience? I doubt it.

 

Reason number Ten: Time.

 

I seriously doubt that a text or call is so important that you have to answer it immediately. I mean, what is that important? With the possible exception of your wife going into labour i’m fresh out of ideas. You have all the time in the world to call or text back later.

 

There you go, ten reasons not to use your phone when driving. The other exception to all the above points is to use a bluetooth car kit. Fair enough it wont guarantee all the above will not happen, but if at least you do choose to phone and drive you will be much safer doing so with bluetooth car kits.


August 27th, 2010
Shelved in the Bluetooth Car Kits category
No comments are allowed on this one ... sorry

Does Parrots Dominance result in better quality?

 When you think of bluetooth car kits you automatically think of parrot bluetooth. Parrot have a dominance over the market in terms of brand recognition and selling power, however does this mean they produce the better products?

 

There is a lot of competition in the bluetooth market, with the majority of manufacturers producing very similar kits, in both style and design. Its an important element when designing products. After all it does have to sit & integrate into your vehicle. However the one thing you cant replicate is the functionality and usability. Each brand operates slightly differently from others and has different compatibility with phone sets and how you can interact with them when paired.

 

Parrot are no different from other manufacturers when it come to this. They have some good points and some bad ones too. However on the whole parrot offer a good package, as you would expect from a market leader. This doesn’t they lead the field in each area of bluetooth and phone integration. Infact you could probably choose a hand full of products and pick a feature which performs better that the parrot counterpart. For example when it comes to music the parrot offers iPod integration. Although its only through the front two speakers of the vehicle in most cases. The Bury Music kits offer the same iPod integration however you can control & navigate choices by voice commands (which stops when you get to the music) however this is especially useful when your driving. So you can concentrate fully on the road and not the iPod / iPhone.

 

Other brands like the Novero range of products also offer full music streaming via A2DP bluetooth protocol. Something that parrot does not support fully. However its the handsfree element that is ultimately the most important feature, and something in which neither of the three manufacturers mentioned previously fail. Each has different quirks and slightly different way of navigation and phone book browsing which ultimately results in the same thing. If you choose Bury, Parrot Or Novero you should be happy with your choice. After bluetooth car kits make the roads a safer place.      


August 26th, 2010
Shelved in the Uncategorized category
No comments are allowed on this one ... sorry

How to install a bluetooth car kit. Do things the easy way.

There are two ways bluetooth car kits can be installed, one is the difficult way, the other is easier (however can still be fairly difficult dependant on vehicle). The problem is, Bluetooth kits are made with ISO connections as standard. ISO is an older industry standard which determins the locations of various wires (which perform different functions) For example, the front left and right speakers, back left and right, power, mute and ignition. If your vehicle is ISO, then the kits will install fairly easily.

 

The problem is, the ISO standard is now fairly old. More modern vehicles utilise systems such as CAN bus & fibre Optic MOST systems which do not use conventional wires. If this is the case you will either need to splice into the wires (where possible) or use a mute cable, ISO2CAR, Drive&Mute or Audio2Car. They all perform the same task, however each has a slightly different compatibility. For example Audio2Car work particularly well with amplified systems.

 

The only other difficult task when installing the bluetooth kit is to route the microphone into position. This routes from the back of the bluetooth unit. Usually installed behind the car stereo. From here its usually best to route the opposite direction from the driver. Remove the glovebox where ever possible (Different for each vehicle, but usually fairly pain free when the screws are found).

 

Remove the fascia from the A pillar in the vehicle, they usually un-clip, however sometimes they are screwed in, if so you should be able to pull out the airbag clip plate (a little plastic clip showing where the air bag is) a screw is usually found beneath this. There may be a couple more hidden screws to remove before the fascia can be removed. A little pull on the rear-view mirror fascia should allow you to install and route wire through the lining of the roof. (Dont pull too hard as you may pull the mirror off, and they can be a pain to reinstall) a metal coat hanger will do nicely when pushing it through. From here wire down the A pillar, avoid the air bags at all costs and do not tangle the wire around them. And route behind the glove box to the bluetooth unit.

 

After this do done double check you have the Power, Ground (when required) & Ignition wires are active. The Ignition is a must to check, the kits will not work with out it. In fact thid is the number one cause for people thinking they have a faulty unit. If your harness doesn’t have an ignition (not all do) the best point is either the fusebox, or the Cigarette lighter wire. A simple way of testing is by turning the ignition on when the wires are connected. The unit should power up.

 

Assuming the kit is working tidy up behind the stereo and re connect the dashboard & fascias and position the microphone to exactly where you want it near the mirror (make sure is doesn’t obstruct it). Pair your phone using the manufacturers instructions and you will have a fully working Bluetooth car kit at your disposal. (If you choose well, you’ll wonder how you ever lived with out one).

 

All in all the job shouldn’t take longer than an hour of your time, unless you have a particulatly difficult vehicle such as a BMW X5 (Due to the location of the unit) or most Porsche’s (Because of the firewall).

 

Bluetooth Car Kits are known to improve driver safety when using the mobile phone, if you dont have one installed in your vehicle. Don’t use your phone. If you think this is too difficult contact In Car Installer for advice.


August 18th, 2010
Shelved in the Uncategorized category
No comments are allowed on this one ... sorry

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