Archives For carmakers

2012-07-24 16.00.52-1An interesting article about the future of car manufacturing and production following the Chicago Auto Show.

We may all soon be driving cars that are increasingly built on shared platforms.

This revolution of the car business is being spear-headed by Volkswagen — which invested some $70 billion in its MQB program.

Other automakers are studying this and may follow suit. That’s because of the cost savings and increased profits are too much to ignore.

For instance, VW is expected to report a record profit of $30 billion from last year in part as a result of their new mega-platform strategy. This is great news for all the major automotive companies — but there is a huge potential downside if/when there’s a vehicle recall.

And what about consumers buying various models of cars and basically getting the same one their neighbor got but with a different badge and perhaps a wildly higher price tag?

Read more about Volkswagen’s “Holy Grail” from the Chicago Tribune here.

Siri on the iPhone 4S.Credit: Wikipedia.

Siri on the iPhone 4S.
Credit: Wikipedia.

This is pretty cool news for Apple and Honda fans.

The latter’s 2013 vehicles will provide support for Siri Eyes Free.

Engadget reports that it will be a dealer-installed feature for the Accord, and the Acura RDX and ILX.

According to the carmaker this will enhance hands-free functionality while reducing driver distraction. Let’s hope Siri’s listening ability continues to improve.

It’s one thing for Siri to misunderstand you when you’re sitting at your desk or couch and quite another when you’re behind the wheel of a moving car.

Now if you wanted to start your car with Siri, that’s another matter. (For that, you’d probably want to look up this Viper SmartStart thing …)

Read more about Siri Eyes Free from Engadget here.

Title screen from British TV show Downton Abbey.Credit: Wikipedia.

Title screen from British TV show Downton Abbey.
Credit: Wikipedia.

One of the more interesting ideas we’ve encountered recently as relates to the car of the future.

It may resemble one from the past.

That is, as carmakers were once divided into engine/chassis builders and coachwork companies, they may well find themselves in a similar situation years from now.

According to a writer from Jalopnik, “massive platform simplification by automobile companies, the widespread adoption of full drive-by-wire systems, and the rise of large-scale rapid-prototyping technology” will provide the impetus for the birth of new coachwork enterprises. Or maybe it’s more likely that the big OEs will simply have new coachwork subsidiaries.

Of course, if this were to occur then you may see other automotive-related companies, perhaps even one like Directed or any other number of similarly positioned entities, launching their own cabin specialists with their specific technologies already embedded.

It would revolutionize the aftermarket.

A tantalizing thought!

Read more about the Downton Abbey-style predictions from Jalopnik here.

The Hyundai Genesis, named the 2009 North American Car of the Year.Credit: Wikipedia.

The Hyundai Genesis, named the 2009 North American Car of the Year.
Credit: Wikipedia.

This is a pretty cool video demonstration.

Not that we haven’t seen this technology, but it’s the context that is intriguing.

Video games have been using gesture technology for a while, and Hyundai is incorporating that into cars.

Nevermind smudging touchscreens, pushing buttons or turning dials. Soon that will be a thing of the past.

If carmakers have their way, we’ll be twisting our wrists, waving our hands and pointing fingers so that 3D motion sensors can decipher what our movements are indicating.

Thanks in part to the technology developed by Tobii, we’re all going to look like third base coaches in baseball, making funny signs as we drive — or rather, conduct our automobiles.

Check out full coverage on the crazy hand-gesture driving from Jalopnik here.