Archives For November 2012

The Bugatti Veyron EB 16.4 — nice and pricey.
Credit: Wikipedia.

We suppose some people wouldn’t mind spending a small fortune for a factory option, especially when they can afford an even greater fortune for the car itself, but $50,000 for brakes?

OK, it’s for the R35 Spec-V, but still, that’s a lot of loot.

By comparison the $6,300 for the Bang & Olufsen speakers on the Audi seem really cheap. Likewise for the $2,900 leather door sills on the Panamera.

You have to have that on the Porsche, don’t you?

But none of this, or the rest of the items on Jalopnik’s list approach the breathtaking cost for a carbon finish on a Bugatti Veyron: $300,000.

Eh, but then again, it’s only slightly over 10 percent of the vehicle’s MSRP.

We say nevermind these ridiculous factory options!

Get an aftermarket one that is absolutely essential. Give your car a few IQ points by adding SmartStart.

Seriously. And it won’t shrink your wallet either.

Aaaaaand, if you missed the link above, make sure to check out the full post on ridiculously expensive factory car options here.

We’ve covered quite a few “connected car” stories recently.

And collectively you can really see where the automotive future is going. It’s all about high efficiency with more and better features.

As you saw with our recent post about smart roads, connectivity knows no bounds. It’s your device, your car, your world!

Sanjay Poonen, president of SAP Global Solutions and head of its Mobile Division, recently told Forbes that he believes the auto industry is moving away from closed systems to open standards-based platforms. It may be that the car turns into merely a method for delivering apps to users, if you will.

Some brainiacs at MIT wrote about it the reinvention of the automobile in 2010. Check out a preview of the book here. One of their big ideas for transforming the industry has to do with utilizing wireless communications for car-related uses.

Connectivity in general opens all kinds of opportunities to create not only more efficient vehicles but more efficient overall systems. That means for example improved car security wherever you might be, less traffic, better communication between cars and the passengers inside them.

At Viper we’ve been on the leading edge of a critical aspect of the connected car of the future.

Not to toot our horn too much, but we’ve made some futuristic-type features a reality today. And as other technologies evolve, Viper SmartStart evolves with them.

Who knows, maybe one day we’ll all be able to remote control our rides via our phones. They’ll make an app for that, we’re sure. Until then we can at least start our engines by voice command. And there IS an app for that. See what’s new in Viper SmartStart 3.0.1 (and more coming soon, shhhhh) here or check out the video here.

Read more full coverage on the connected car from Forbes here.

Consumers may be complaining about the MyFord Touch system, but that hasn’t dissuaded CEO Alan Mulally from continuing to focus on in-vehicle electronics as a key way to connect with buyers.

The CEO conceded that Ford might have overlooked voice controls and depended far too much on touch-screen technology — but still firmly advocated investing in the developing technologies that are bringing the connected car to today’s consumer.

As he told Automotive News, “We want to move to the place where you have this enduring relationship with your Ford store just like your Apple store.”

Sounds like the car company wants to sell you the hardware and a lot of software that goes with it in the future. That being said, on the Sync side, Ford announced it sold over 5 million vehicles with that system in the last five years.

Echoing the CEO, Chief Technology Officer Paul Mascarenas noted, “The car is a rich source of real-time data and when combined with the processing power available in the cloud, it could become the smartest device you will ever own.”

Check out more full coverage, read the Automotive News article for more from Alan Mulally here and see the CE Outlook story with quotes from Ford CTO Paul Mascarenas here.

Credit: Heijmans Infrastructure

Where you’re going, who needs those old roads????!??

Have you ever heard of the “smart” highway? Well, buckle up.

If designers and engineers want to turn our roads into something from video games, we have no problem with that!

Daan Roosegaarde from the Netherlands wants to make our highways smarter, if you will. (Well smarter or crazier in a TRON sort of way — we’ll definitely let you be the judge.)

Look for features like Dynamic Paint, glow-in-the-dark road markers and charge while you drive for electric vehicles in the near and not so near future.

While some of this is sort of sci-fi, and perhaps a little gimmicky, if executed properly, it could improve highway safety and overall efficiency for travel by car.

Read full coverage on the sci-fi shift for highway safety from CNET below here:

Take a Drive Down the ‘Route 66 of the Future’

The editors of Edmunds’ InsideLine surveyed tech-related features for 2013 vehicles — and picked their top nine.

As noted in the piece, some of the innovations shown may only be in a few models, but you can expect them to be offered in more cars over time, e.g. park assist.

Automatic seat temperature control isn’t exactly a heart-grabber but other items like the tablet-style center stack control interface, as found in the Tesla Model S, will have your salivary glands working.

In the “about time” category, you have the foot-operated, touchless liftgate which the Ford Escape shows prominently in its TV ads. But our favorites have to be the back-up collision intervention system and passenger-side mirror-mounted blind-spot camera.

Of course, this article falls a little short when it comes to mentioning the connected car and features like those offered by the Viper SmartStart. But, keep in mind, this article is mainly excluding aftermarket mods, etc.

Read full coverage on the upcoming 2013 feature from below here:

Best New Car Features for 2013