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The Latest News And Reviews
Throughout The Car Industry

Categories: Technology

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."

Ford Launches MyFord Mobile App For Focus Electric

On: Mon, Jun 18, 2012 at 2:22PM | By: Chris Weiss

Ford Launches MyFord Mobile App For Focus Electric test 2

It's not really an electric car unless it comes with a smartphone app for battery charging. Ford launched the MyFord Mobile app earlier this week, offering Focus Electric owners a mobile platform for monitoring and controlling battery charging.

Focus Electric deliveries started a couple of weeks ago, and the first owners can now download the mobile app from the iTunes store. The app connects with the car via an AT&T wireless module and allows remote access to battery charge information and other features. When the Focus Electric is plugged in, value-mode charging works with the Microsoft cloud to check local utility rates and activate charging when prices drop, helping to save owners money. Ford calls the technology an industry first.

A123 Systems Announces New Lithium Ion Technology

On: Mon, Jun 18, 2012 at 11:28AM | By: Chris Weiss

A123 Systems Announces New Lithium Ion Technology test 2

It seems advisable for A123 Systems to focus on fine-tuning its current generation battery technology (read: make sure it works), but it's already looking ahead to the next generation of lithium-ion technology. The battery company that supplies packs to automakers including Fisker and Chevy says that its Nanophosphate EXT will improve operation in extreme temperature ranges.

Outside of more electric range, one of the first 'must haves' for electric vehicle and plug-in hybrid consumers would certainly have to be lower prices. A123 Systems implies that Nanophosphate EXT can give them just that by eliminating expensive thermal management hardware.

Innovative Rear-View Mirror Eliminates Blind Spots

On: Fri, Jun 15, 2012 at 3:11PM | By: Chris Weiss

Innovative Rear-View Mirror Eliminates Blind Spots test 2

Mathematics professor Dr. R. Andrew Hicks of Philadelphia's Drexel University has designed a solution to a nagging problem. His specially designed rear-view mirror eliminates blind spots, a hazard that has plagued drivers for as long as cars have had mirrors and roads have had lanes. His solution doesn't use any fancy sensor technology, but mathematical-based design.

Hicks recently received a US patent for his mirror design, which greatly increases the field of view displayed in the mirror while keeping distortion to a minimum. The result is that you can clearly see what's behind you, without a blind spot.


Apple Extends Siri To 'Eyes Free' Vehicle System

On: Thu, Jun 14, 2012 at 1:09PM | By: Chris Weiss

Apple Extends Siri To 'Eyes Free' Vehicle System test 2

Whether you're an Apple owner or not, you're probably familiar with Siri, the tinny, feminine voice inside the latest iPhone. It's difficult to turn on the television without seeing one of those Siri-celeb commercials that paints Siri out as a sort of robo-butler-extraordinaire. Turns out, this butler will be able to chaffeur you around as well as help you navigate the Web and create reminders.

At its World Wide Developers Conference this week, Apple introduced what it calls Eyes Free. The system integrates Siri technology into a variety of vehicles.

Ford Rivals P.T. Barnum's Marketing Prowess, Via F-150 SSV Package

On: Mon, Jun 11, 2012 at 5:14PM | By: Chris Salamone

Ford F-150 Fire Rescue test 2

References to mid-19th Century circus advocates aside, Ford is a company known for relentless self-promotion. Perhaps surprisingly then, in many cases Ford’s colorful advertising is backed by products which command the respect and credibility so boldly called for. But, on the flip side, the company’s crackshot public relations team occasionally over fires the marketing cannon. Ford’s recent F-150 Special Services Vehicle Package press release falls into category two.

Pictured in the press release are two images of Ford F-150s, presumably equipped with the Special Service Vehicle Package, themed appropriately for Fire Rescue and Police. And a quick scan of the release’s headlines suggests that the optional package will come at “no-charge” to fleet customers.

Of course that doesn’t mean fleet customers will get Fire Rescue or Police equipped vehicles at no charge. That would make far too much sense. In this instance, what you see…is not what you get.

Chevy Rolls Out A Social Network For Car Fans

On: Mon, Jun 11, 2012 at 10:53AM | By: Chris Weiss

Chevy Rolls Out A Social Network For Car Fans test 2

GM may or may not be all that savvy at navigating social media advertising, but that doesn't mean that it doesn't embrace the social format. Chevy has launched its own social network called The Block, which it describes as "social media for gearheads."

The Block, which is still in beta form, is sort of like an online car club, where enthusiasts can chat, share pictures and talk about projects. Expect to find all kinds of pictures, stories and enthusiasm involving cars of all kinds.

Google Uses Toyota iQ For Street View On Narrow Belgian Roads

On: Thu, Jun 7, 2012 at 1:20PM | By: Chris Weiss

Google Uses Toyota iQ For Street View On Narrow Belgian Roads test 2

It's been a good couple of days for mini cars. Around the same time the Mini was setting world records, the Toyota iQ was doing work for one of the pillars of the tech industry. Google turned to the iQ in taking footage for its StreetView service, when its usual fleet cars couldn't quite get into the small nooks and crannies of Belgian roadways.

For about five years, Google has been using a fleet of all types of vehicles - cars, bikes, boats, snowmobiles, etc. - to bring us on-demand panoramic photo access to streets around the world, mountains, rivers, ski resorts, and other attractions and destinations. According to the company, it started rolling its street footage in an SUV, later moved to a van and then refined its operation to a fleet of specially equipped cars.

General Electric Opens EV Comparison Center In Minnesota

On: Thu, Jun 7, 2012 at 9:26AM | By: Chris Weiss

General Electric Opens EV Comparison Center In Minnesota test 2

While the most visible work in terms of electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids comes from automotive manufacturers, there are many other players doing research, development and testing behind the scenes. One player that has stepped into a more visible role is General Electric, which has announced the opening of its Vehicle Innovation Center. The new center at GE's fleet management business headquarters in Eden Prairie, Minnesota allows GE customers to research, test and compare various green vehicles.

The new facility was opened by GE Capital Fleet Services as a means for GE employees and fleet customers to test drive and compare the various alternative-fuel vehicles on the market. The center, which GE calls the first of its kind, has alternative-fuel vehicles from 20 different manufacturers, including staples like the Nissan Leaf and Chevy Volt. It gives businesses, researchers and industry groups a one-stop destination for comparing the broadening number of green vehicles with help and insight from GE’s fleet, transportation, energy and advanced technology experts.

Nissan To Debut 'Easy Fill Tire Alert' System

On: Fri, May 25, 2012 at 4:51PM | By: Chris Weiss

Nissan To Debut 'Easy Fill Tire Alert' System test 2

Nissan will debut a simple new technology it calls Easy Fill Tire Alert on the 2013 Altima. The new tire fill system automatically lets you know when you've reached proper pressure without the need for those annoying gauges.

We've already seen the 2013 Altima and its 38 mpg at the New York Auto Show. This week, Nissan details one more feature of the car. The Easy Fill Tire Alert system is an intuitive feature that lets you know when your tires are below pressure and when they're back to normal.

Cadillac XTS To Offer Concierge Experience And iPad

On: Thu, May 17, 2012 at 9:09AM | By: Chris Weiss

Cadillac XTS To Offer Concierge Experience And iPad test 2

Cadillac isn't really leading the pack when it comes to US luxury sales, so it's doing what any good, determined company looking for new customers would do - buttering them up with free schwag. The 2013 XTS will come with a free iPad and some A-list-level technical support.

In what sounds like an effort to avoid some of the problems Ford has experienced with the end user experience of its Sync system, Cadillac is offering a hands-on approach with the CUE system, which launches on the 2013 XTS. Each Cadillac dealership across the nation will have technology experts to assist customers, and Cadillac will even come to customers' homes to help with CUE questions. Customers will be able to reach Cadillac reps via toll-free number and push-button OnStar communication.