Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : January 7th 2016 Contents A34
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Thursday, January 7, 2016
There are plenty of vehicle manu-
facturers at this year s Consumer Elec-
tronics Show, and they all have rough-
ly the same message---it is time to
shake up the industry.
No one took that message more seri-
ously than Volkswagen, a company
mired in scandal over how it measured
its emissions, and, when he took the
stage at CES, chief executive Dr Herbert
Diess was keen to apologise once again.
He said a new and better Volkswagen
was being built that would concentrate
on creating a future without noise, con-
gestion, emissions or accidents.
He wanted to build cars that "make
people happy," which is perhaps unsur-
prising given recent events.
Key to that would be electric, con-
nected vehicles, Dr Diess said, showing
off a concept van that harked back to
the glory days of VW s iconic Camper,
which he described as "the embodiment
of peace, hope and happiness."
The BUDD-e four-wheel drive elec-
tric minivan could go into production
within the next decade, Dr Diess said.
But it has been designed to show off
a range of technologies:
• The doors open by gesture or voice
• A funky infotainment dashboard
allows motorists to, among more obvi-
ous functions, connect to their home
turning on the lights and even letting
friends in if they arrive before them;
• E-mirrors with digital displays fed
from external cameras replace tradi-
tional wing mirrors
• A drawer built in beneath the boot
offers a place for online deliveries to
The Verge described it as a "groovy,
far-out vision of the future."
But CNet asked who would want a
car that could "open the front door of
your house, spy on your kids and poten-
tially accept packages."
Apple for cars
Car manufacturers have been exhibit-
ing at CES since 2007---but, this year,
there seems to be a fresh determination
to merge automotive and technology.
The event launching the much-
hyped car from mysterious Chinese-
backed Faraday Future was one of CES s
most anticipated and best attended.
In a hard-to-find car park off the
Las Vegas strip, the Batmobile-like
vehicle was unveiled in a manner pre-
viously reserved for shiny gadgets.
"We want to be a technology com-
pany rather than an automotive com-
pany," senior vice-president Nick
Sampson told the audience.
"Apple transformed the phone indus-
try nine years ago, and that is what we
at Faraday Future are seeking to do---
to redefine the world of mobility."
That is a lofty ambition, and many
doubt whether the company can
achieve it. But it has had rapid growth
since it launched 18 months ago.
It already employs 750 people and
intends to add 4,500 more when it
builds its first manufacturing plant in
Las Vegas later this year.
But it was strange that, in a launch
claiming to be about redefining mobility,
the car remained static throughout.
In his keynote speech at CES, Ford
chief executive Mark Fields said megac-
ities with populations of ten million or
more, and a growing global middle
class, were also contributing to the need
to drastically rethink mobility "to make
people s lives better."
There were some 800 million parking
spaces in the US---but, in cities such
as San Francisco, only 14 per cent of
people searching for a spot found one
And those cars driving around slowly
looking for parking spaces accounted
for 30 per cent of urban congestion.
But Ford is not being entirely altru-
istic---it is keen to grab a share of the
US$5.4 trillion transportation service
industry, with its own car-sharing and
Ford was the first automotive com-
pany to take to the CES stage, in 2007,
when it joined Microsoft for a keynote.
This year, there was speculation it
would announce a tie-up with Google.
But that did not happen---perhaps it
plans to reverse roles and invite Google
to the Detroit motor show later this
month, where some experts predict it
will announce the partnership.
Latest car tech
on show at CES
Herbert Diess, chairman of the board of Volkswagen Brand, unveils the BUDD-e
electric and connected car during a keynote address at CES International on
Tuesday in Las Vegas. AP PHOTO
The Road I Once Walked
Adult Literacy Tutors Associ-
ation (Alta) volunteers are not
paid---yes, but for me payment is
seeing the students eagerness to
learn. One individual attending
an Alta class can positively
impact an entire family---by pass-
ing on what was learnt or obtain-
ing a better job.
When I was at school, my
mother helped me learn spelling
and long division, but I was
unsuccessful at Common
Entrance. I went to Post Primary,
leaving school without so much
as a School Leaving Certificate.
This brought an end to my edu-
cation---or so it seemed.
In the back of my mind, there
was that determination to further
my education, even though it was
felt that I would not do well at
secondary school. For young adults
unable to cope in the school sys-
tem, the next option was com-
mercial school, so that is where I
My typewriting speed was hin-
dered by my inability to spell accu-
rately so unable to find a job, I
worked with my uncle in his ice
cream parlour. My motivation to
continue seeking employment
came from the clerks at the Service
Commissions department, whom
I thank for not giving up on me.
It took a number of visits to the
Commission before I became
employed in the Public Service as
a Clerk Typist and closed that
chapter of my life.
I continued my ambitious plan
and discovered my full potential.
I obtained CXC subjects, while
perfecting my shorthand and
typewriting skills. I worked hard.
It was tough because my spelling,
reading and writing were not up
to the challenge I now faced. In
my day there was no Alta.
While it was embarrassing, I
persevered. This saw me through
studies at John S Donaldson, UWI
and Arthur Lok Jack Graduate
School of Business.
With this history, my desire to
join Alta grew. I was hesitant to
join Alta, for I thought, "What do
I know about tutoring?" But I
pushed that thought aside and
joined, for I remembered when I
needed an institution like Alta
there was none.
I am happy that I took up the
challenge to become a tutor at
Alta. I got the opportunity to help
those students who are now walk-
ing the road I once walked. What
I have come to realise in the five
years I have been tutoring is this:
while teaching the skills is impor-
tant, it is equally important to
reach out to students on a personal
level. I am still growing at Alta.
The syllable and suffixing rules
come in handy, especially as a sec-
retary. There is knowledge in Alta
for both students and tutors. If
you believe that you are strong in
any of the areas needed to be an
Alta tutor, do not sit on that talent.
Join Alta and share your talent.
Alta Belmont Tutor
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