Episode 17 : No budget for litigation - US Gov suing VW, Tesla Autopilot, Fisker vs Aston Martin, homemade self-driving, cars as white goods, Ferrari, GM invests in Lyft, Top Gear presenters rumours

Back to the news show after the end of the year recap in Episode 16. Andrew is recovering from man flu, a near death experience as all men will attest, so apologises for his sound this week.

During the Christmas break Alan read a book and so gives us an impromptu review of the Richard Porter's book, And on that Bombshell. He likes it. Andrew is yet to read it, so Alan didn't give any spoilers.

Also, whilst away from the podcast Alan was driven around in a new Renault Espace. He likes it. Sounds like it's a shame that it isn't coming to the UK. Andrew still doesn't like MPVs.

Moving on to the news, as they finished last year the begin this, with discussing Volkswagen and #dieselgate. The US government announced it was taking VW to court and the maximum fine could run as high as $61 billion.

Alan came across an interesting article, where Stephen Boulter, from Jaguar, talked about Tesla's Autopilot and if it goes wrong it will set back autonomous driving 10 years.

Henrik Fisker is suing Aston Martin, for £68 million. This article from Car Magazine, by Lewis Kingston, explains the messy details. Expect plenty of daftness in court.

George Hotz, who is credited with being the first to hack an iPhone, has built his own autonomous driving car with the help of an Acura and Linux. That's one man, in his garage, has done what all the manufacturers are scrambling around to try and achieve.

The UK, according to this Autocar article, is the fourth highest for motoring taxes in the EU. Go check the comment on this as when looked at per head, the UK is one of the lowest. That's not what we want to see. Such figures go against our bias that we ARE taxed to ridiculous levels.

Alan asked an interesting question, where is the line between consumer electronics and cars is. Alan is unsure. Andrew is very sure. As is his wont. Andrew believes cars are white goods, to the vast majority of people in the UK.

Ferrari finally splits from the FCA group. The chaps still don't understand why this is happening.

GM are investing $500 million in ride-sharing service Lyft. Some see this as a step by traditional manufacturers to claw back the 'new' landscape from start ups. Andrew and Alan are looking forward to seeing what will be the outcome of this step.

Over Christmas rumors were abound that Sabine Schmidt and Chris Harris were joining Chris Evans and David Coulthard on the new Top Gear. Until the official line up is announced then we will get more of such speculation.