Archives For December 2012

SmartStartFeaturesSmartStartGPSCars incorporating smartphone technology into their infotainment systems are getting to be de rigueur.

It’s turning into a race to see who can be the fastest to turn an automobile into a phone on wheels.

GM recently announced that it would be integrating its MyLink system with Apple’s Siri.

(Gee, that sounds familiar — who was the first one to let you start your car with Siri, again? Make sure to check out that video again really fast, c’mon, you know that you want to …)

Perhaps that’s a faster way to get hands-free for automakers. Look for it in 2013 Spark and Sonic models.

What you’ll be able to do with voice commands in those vehicles should be impressive.

That is, as long as Siri cooperates …

What over connected car features and hot voice command controls can you think of for the cars of tomorrow? Feel free to sound off and let us know your thoughts and ideas in the comments section on this post.

Read the full story from AutoNet here.

Credit: Wikipedia.

Credit: Wikipedia.

It’s that time of year, Viper fans.

Time to check out the CNET on Cars list of top cars of the year!

When they start with the Porsche Panamera at number five, well, you know this is not going to be a very “relatable” list, if you will. But then they present the plug-in hybrid Prius.

OK, apparently these guys want to be deliberately provocative.

The next pick makes a lot more sense for a tech-oriented content site; it’s the Audi S5 with its built-in 3G connection, memory card slots and Bang & Olufsen sound system. But for a sporty vehicle it doesn’t rate that high, performance wise.

We assume the car makes third on this list more for the aforementioned features.

Watch the full episode to see their best choices from the 100 cars the crew reviewed.

2012-07-24 16.00.52-1Wow, talk about a business that’s on the move!!!!

Rich people like Paul Allen would have their Mercedes customized to have something of an office in the rear passenger seat area and we’ve seen some cool vans complete with computers, flat panel TVs and a wet bar, but they were fairly rare.

These days though car makers are building vehicles with WiFi, so adding the right hardware to allow businessman to do everything on the road is easier than ever.

This may be indeed the next niche for car audio dealers.

“We’re going to see more and more functionality out of vehicles. We’re a connected people now,” Jack Nerad, executive director of Kelly Blue Book, told NPR.

Check out the full story from CE Outlook here.

2012-07-24 16.00.56This covers some ground we’ve already covered, but seeing this list with all the different technologies together really made us stop and think about what it means to be a driver these days.

Never mind the future of the car; the car of today is already incredibly advanced, and to the point that it really takes away the steering wheel away from the person in the driver’s seat, if we can still call it that.

Adaptive cruise control, emergency braking, electronic stability control and parking assist systems, among others, are turning drivers into passengers.

It’s almost disturbing. But on the other hand, the improvements in terms of safety should not be dismissed.

After all, what’s the most dangerous thing in the car? The pink squishy thing in the driver’s seat, that’s what!

To quote the article from CarAdvice.com:

“Far and away the most dangerous part of any car is the pink squishy thing sitting behind the steering wheel. Human error is the cause of almost all vehicle crashes, which according to the World Health Organisation claim the lives of approximately 1.3 million people every year.

To help improve safety on our roads, the world’s automotive manufacturers have developed – and continue to develop – a range of advanced driver-assist technologies that are designed to prevent or correct driver errors and, in some cases, take the human factor out of the equation altogether.”

Read more of the article from CarAdvice.com here.

e-Bee_610x349

Credit: Visteon

If you’re at CES in January, one of the things you’ll have to see, aside from all the products at our booth of course (1514 North Hall, shout out!!!) — would have to be the Visteon e-Bee.

It’s a really early preview of a 2020 car. The vehicle is based on the Nissan Leaf electric and features you’d expect to see in a sci-fi auto.

When it actually gets made it may be able to recognize its owner and program automatically where you need to go and what you need to do while on the road.

Three screens provide all the information.

It may look a little dizzying, but not to worry, when a ride like this DOES roll off the production line it’ll probably have an option for a robot driving system as well.

We’ll see you at CES, and read more about the Visteon e-Bee from CNET here.