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AA patrol's potato repair

Here at Autoweb.co.uk, we’re big fans of AA patrols. Whenever we’ve needed them they turn up: friendly, reassuring and surprisingly adept at coaxing motors back into life.

However, the ingenuity of one, 59yo Mario Papademetriou, takes the biscuit, the cake and most of the baker’s shop, too. Here’s what he did.

On arriving at a call to a farm in Potters Bar, Hertfordshire, he discovered a 1960s-era Land Rover with sorry electricals. He diagnosed a faulty condenser and attempted a repair using tinfoil and sticky tape. That failed.

Knowing that potatoes conduct electricity he used one to fashion a temporary repair, using two screws pushed into its centre as electrical terminals and a zip-tie to keep it in place.

That fixed lasted admirably during a 12-mile trip to the nearest garage,  while the Landie’s owner said he was impressed by how well his vehicle ran. Now the AA has awarded Essex man Mario by awarding him a prize for his smart thinking.

Too lazy to scrape?

Ok. So we all hope that we’ve seen the last of the snow for a while. But, just in case that we’re wrong, from Russia here’s a handy way of clearing the flakes from your car without the need to get handy with a scraper.

Just crank up the volume of your vehicle’s music system and let the vibration from the bass notes shake the windows clear. While we can’t tell you the specifics of this driver’s on-board stereo, it’s a bet that it isn’t factory-standard. We can say, however, that choice of tune is key: here we’re enjoying ‘Turn Down for What’ by DJ Snake and Lil John.

While impressive, though, two things concern us about what you see here. First, towards the end of the film the camera pans to reveal a child in the car, controlling the volume – which surely can’t be good for his hearing. Second, the bass vibrates so much that the car’s tailgate can be seen to be moving by some millimetres.

Apple's mystery bus

This one’s a mystery. We know that Apple is planning to venture into the arena of driverless cars. But is this van with all its high-tech equipment part of the plan? Although it’s unmarked it has confirmed as a vehicle leased by the giant electronics corporation and is here filming as it drives around California. Clearly, as you’ll see from the footage, the driver appears none too pleased to be filmed and drives off sharp-ish. Apple isn’t saying for now what it’s about.

Could be research into self-driving cars and the sensors they’ll need. Or equally, it could be for further research into mapping software. Apple has, of course, its own map system but the general view is that, while improved since launch, it doesn’t yet match the standards set by Google.

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