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The Latest News And Reviews
Throughout The Car Industry

Categories: Technology

Finally! An Auto Auction Lot That Comes With A Lifetime Mating-Prevention Guarantee!

On: Thu, Sep 6, 2012 at 11:49AM | By: Andrew W Davis

Photoillustration by Author test 2

Have a problem with getting too many women? I, being such a person, know what it’s like; they follow you everywhere, looking for any excuse to hop in your car and go…wherever.

This is why I’ve been considering replacing my eight-passenger 1989 Olds Custom Cruiser. If only I could find something that would not only seat one (and some groceries) and—most importantly—would instantly kill the mating instinct of the human female on sight.

As it turns out my ideal lust-killer’s been around since the 1980s: the Litestar Pulse. And if only I’d been at Auctions America’s Auburn Indiana sale last weekend—and been suffering from a tragic-yet-comical brain injury—I could’ve been the sad… I mean LUCKY guy who traded $22,000 actual American dollars for Lot 4052, a “1990 Reconstructed Pulse Litestar.”

Way to go, dude! No more girl-sourced cooties for you!

Nissan Launching Virtual Showroom With Microsoft Kinect Hardware

On: Fri, Aug 31, 2012 at 11:14AM | By: Chris Weiss

Nissan Launching Virtual Showroom With Microsoft Kinect Hardware test 2

Nissan recently revealed the 2013 Pathfinder on Facebook. While it chose not to use a hard auto show debut, it did show the new model at both the 2012 Chicago and New York auto shows. In the absence of a physical model, Nissan used a Microsoft Kinect for Windows-based interactive system to reveal the car at those shows. It's now bringing that system to select dealerships, allowing customers to take a tour before the actual model has even launched.

Nissan calls it the Pathfinder Kinect Experience. Each of 16 participating dealerships will use a Kinect for Windows-based kiosk to provide virtual tours. Instead of pointing and clicking like you would on a virtual Web tour, you use natural body motions to inspect the car. The Experience essentially mimics a physical "kicking the tires"-style inspection.

Chrysler Infotainment System To Connect Without Smartphone

On: Fri, Aug 17, 2012 at 2:36PM | By: Chris Weiss

Chrysler Infotainment System To Connect Without Smartphone test 2

Chrysler and Sprint announced a new partnership that will make in-vehicle infotainment a little more streamlined. The latest version of Chrysler's Uconnect system, Uconnect Access, will connect to the Internet without a smartphone. The new system will allow drivers to use Internet features like music streaming while passengers connect laptop or tablet computers via the wireless hot spot.

Many vehicle infotainment systems leverage smartphones for their Internet connectivity. With the help of Sprint, the new Uconnect will turn the car itself into a rolling Wi-Fi hot spot thanks to embedded wireless hardware.

Toyota Plans Fuel Cell Launch Within Three Years

On: Tue, Aug 14, 2012 at 11:47AM | By: Chris Weiss

Toyota Plans Fuel Cell Launch Within Three Years test 2

Despite the fact that only a handful of hydrogen fuel stations exist in the United States, automakers are slowly moving forward with fuel cell vehicles. Toyota has reiterated plans to launch a fuel cell vehicle in 2015.

Sort of a split between an electric vehicle and fuel vehicle, fuel cell models use an electrochemical reaction to create electricity for powering the motor from hydrogen. The hydrogen is purchased at fueling stations, similar to gas, and fuel cell vehicles can get several hundred miles per fill-up. Hydrogen and oxygen combine to create the electricity, and the only emissions come in the form of water vapor.


Carfax Releases Android App

On: Fri, Jul 27, 2012 at 12:47PM | By: Chris Weiss

Carfax Releases Android App test 2

As annoying and incessant as those Carfax commercials are, if there's one service they provide, it's in reminding you that you should do your research before putting that down payment toward a used car. And what easier way to do that than with a mobile app you can load up on the dealership floor? You don't even have to ask the dumbfounded yet deceitful dealer to "show you the Carfax."

Carfax released an app for iPhone users last year, and this week it's released the Android version. The app gives users on-the-spot access to Carfax Vehicle History Reports. All you have to do to access the report is enter information that's readily available at the dealer. You can enter the VIN or license plate number or scan the barcode to bring up the report.

New Study Reveals How Sensor Safety Systems Stack Up

On: Mon, Jul 23, 2012 at 4:08PM | By: Chris Weiss

New Study Reveals How Sensor Safety Systems Stack Up test 2

As the automotive industry slowly drifts toward a future in which human driving will be obsolete, sensor-based safety systems are reaching more and more drivers. These systems use advanced hardware, including radar, lasers and motion sensors, to monitor and react to the road around you. Because these systems are often sold as options, consumers have the right to know: do they work and are they worth the investment? A new study by the Highway Loss Data Institute provides some insight.

Ford Heightens Media Blitz With Automated Driving

On: Thu, Jun 28, 2012 at 11:44AM | By: Chris Salamone

Traffic Jam Assist test 2

We’ve seen a lot of fireworks shooting from the Ford media engine lately – which seems appropriate with the Fourth of July looming – especially with regards to new vehicle technologies. But apparently the movers and shakers at Ford have been up to more than just EcoTech engines, KeyFree, and improvements to the company’s lagging MyFord Touch.

Ford is in the midst of developing two next-generation systems that could improve or eliminate some of the most despised driving obstacles: traffic jams and reverse perpendicular parking.

Ford Still Getting Dragged Down By MyFord Touch

On: Fri, Jun 22, 2012 at 1:04PM | By: Chris Weiss

Ford Still Getting Dragged Down By MyFord Touch test 2

If you're wondering why nearly every automaker in the industry is turning to the Apple iPhone for its in-vehicle electronics, it could have something to do with the fact that developing car electronics in house is a thankless task. The MyFord Touch system is one of the more advanced systems out there, but it seems to be getting nothing but complaints. Last year, Ford's slide in major studies like the J.D. Power Initial Quality Study and Consumer Reports Reliability Study were largely attributed to MyFord Touch and Sync problems. Despite issuing an update that was supposed to solve those woes, Ford is still feeling the effects.

Ford customers continue to complain about infotainment complications in this year's Initial Quality Study. Before the study was released on Wednesday, Ford said that it anticipated performing about as poorly as last summer, when it fell from 5th to 23rd, dropping below the industry average. That drop was attributed nearly exclusively to hiccups with the infotainment technology.

Chevy Sonic And Chevy Spark To Be First Cars With Apple Siri Tech

On: Fri, Jun 22, 2012 at 12:17PM | By: Chris Weiss

Chevy Sonic And Chevy Spark To Be First Cars With Apple Siri Tech test 2

At its World Wide Developers Conference last week, Apple teased the upcoming Siri Eyes Free integration for automobiles. The tech giant didn't go into much detail about the system or when it will appear, but it did provide a list of nine automakers that will integrate it. That left us wondering: What car will get it first? If a new report is to be believed, the answer may be the Chevy Spark and/or Chevy Sonic.

GM Authority reports that the Spark and Sonic will be the first GM vehicles to integrate the new technology. The timing of the release is still unclear, but the blog cites a GM media representative in stating that an announcement should come within the next year, which leads us to believe that the technology will be part of 2014 models.

Ford KeyFree Lightens Password Log-on Load

On: Thu, Jun 21, 2012 at 5:11PM | By: Chris Salamone

Ford KeyFree test 2

The rumor mill is turning once more, spinning a sci-fi thriller which might affect the very fabric of our everyday lives. Ford’s KeyFree technology, commonly known for automatic door locking/unlocking and – everyone’s favorite gimmick – push-to-start ignitions, has popped up on a French Vimeo site with an altogether new software update.

So far, all we know is that a new version of Ford’s KeyFree system is coming soon. And this time, multiple password storage and automatic log-on will be the name of the game.

Users of the Ford KeyFree app will be able to save usernames and passwords for social media, email, internet shopping, and the like. Upon entering a device’s Bluetooth range, connected computers will automatically log on to each individual account.

Nissan Gets Down With The Juke Box

On: Wed, Jun 20, 2012 at 2:23PM | By: Chris Weiss

The Juke Box test 2

Nissan sure knows how to have some fun with its strangest car. We thought the production Juke Nismo would be the only new Juke we'd see at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, but Nissan had other ideas. It introduced the whimsical 'Juke Box' at the event. If you thought that bass-thumping audio system you had in high school was the shiznit, you were sadly mistaken.

The Juke Box isn't just a special edition Juke, it's a sound system that Nissan claims is the "world's ultimate mobile sound system." Given that Nissan's not really an audio company, it teamed up with the Ministry of Sound, a global entertainment group whose 'Box' nightclub sound system design inspired a miniature version. Audio expertise was provided by Martin Audio, the same outfit that designed Ministry of Sound's Box.

Nissan explains in its announcement: "In 1991 Justin Berkmann, one of the clubs founders, alongside James Palumbo and Humphrey Waterhouse, created a club never seen before in Europe; where the music and sound system came first. The pair created the ultimate club sound system - 'The Box' - a five-sided room within a room that was acoustically perfect, and is still considered today to be one of the best sound systems in the world."