Home' Motoring Plus : August 13th 2014 Contents 8 —THE NELSON MAIL Wednesday, August 13, 2014
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Testing course’s reverse message
. . . around the mushroom, and on to victory.
Photos: ROB MAETZIG/FAIRFAX NZ
Reverse challenge: Rally driver Hayden Paddon
takes off on the reversing obstacle course . . .
. . . throughthebigwhitepots...
How difficult is it to
reverse a blacked-out
vehicle? Very difficult,
reports Rob Maetzig
after going head-to-head
against Kiwi rally star
HERE was the challenge:
negotiate my way past a couch,
around a clothes dryer, through
two big white pots, past a pair of
logs, around a mushroom, and
through two giant martini
In reverse. With the rear
window blacked out and the side
mirrors folded away. Which
meant the only way it could be
done was by using the vehicle’s
on-board reversing camera.
That was the challenge set up
by Hyundai New Zealand
recently as a way of celebrating
the fact it is the first vehicle
distributor in the country to
install reversing cameras as
standard across its entire range of
13 different passenger car and
commercial van models.
At the event, HNZ general
manager Andy Sinclair said
introducing the new technology
would make it easier and less
stressful for thousands of drivers
to operate vehicles.
That comment was ironic –
because he then invited attending
journalists to up their stress
levels by using the reversing
camera in a specially blacked-out
Santa Fe to negotiate their way
around an obstacle course, in a
timed contest against none other
then New Zealand rally star
Paddon is a member of the
Hyundai Motorsport team
competing in this year’s World
Rally Championship and he was
in New Zealand last week for a
break and to meet various
including the backwards-driving
contest against the country’s
The journalists went first and I
thought I did rather well by
creeping around the obstacle
course without hitting anything
in a time of two minutes and 11
seconds, which put me into a
solid second place.
But then young Paddon hopped
behind the wheel and zoomed
around the course in 48 seconds
flat. This led me to suggest that as
a rally driver he must have had
plenty of experience going
backwards at speed.
‘‘Yeah, but when we go
backwards we normally hit
something!’’, was his reply.
The little exercise was a fun
way of recording the fact that all
Hyundais now have this feature.
The move, says Sinclair, is in line
with his company’s commitment
to establishing a higher level of
specification as standard in all
Hyundai models sold here. In 2007
the marque was also the first to
introduce electronic stability
control as standard for all
vehicles, he added.
But at the media function he
also went to great pains to make
it clear that although reversing
cameras dramatically improve
visibility in a common vehicle
blind spot, they have not been
installed in the Hyundais purely
‘‘We do not talk of their safety.
We talk of innovation, usefulness
and convenience,’’ he said.
‘‘We don’t believe a camera in
itself will necessarily makes
things safer for, for instance, a
child who walks into the path of a
vehicle on a driveway.
‘‘If the child is run over, there
can be many other contributing
factors. So it would be
irresponsible for us to push the
installation of reversing cameras
purely for their safety.’’
Reversing a vehicle could be
one of the most difficult
manoeuvres a driver undertakes.
Obscured vision was a common
cause of collision in parking
buildings, malls and driveways.
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