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The Latest News And Reviews
Throughout The Car Industry

Categories: Technology

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.

TechShop Fuels Ford IP Folio

On: Fri, May 11, 2012 at 11:42AM | By: Chris Salamone

TechShop Detroit test 2

Sometimes US automakers get it right. TechShop Detroit, a recent addition to Ford’s Dearborn product development campus, is the perfect example. Although originally from California, TechShop is a DIY workshop business which offers a wide array of cutting edge (pun intended) tools to paying members. And the best part: Ford is working closely with TechShop to incentivize employee inventions to bolster the automaker’s patent portfolio.

Ford already has about 17,000 pending and issued patents, but expect that number to skyrocket in the coming years. Ford Global Technologies now offers a free three-month membership to TechShop Detroit for potentially patentable ideas. The company projects that 2,000 incentive memberships will be awarded this year…and more to come in the future.

Will The Car Of The Future Hover?

On: Thu, May 10, 2012 at 3:09PM | By: Chris Weiss

Will The Car Of The Future Hover? test 2

Though its definition may be disguised to those that don't speak German, the Volkswagen is, quite literally, the 'people's car'. Last year, the German automaker put a whole new emphasis on this definition by launching the People's Car Project in China, a Web-based collaborative platform for new product and technology ideas. At the Beijing Motor Show this month, Volkswagen showed the first three concepts to come out of the project.

Volkswagen is quite happy with the success that the People's Car Project (we feel bad calling it "PCP") has had over its first 11 months. The website has attracted 33 million visitors and inspired about 119,000 unique ideas. It's been so successful, in fact, Volkswagen is extending its run indefinitely (it was originally planned for a single year).

Google-Equipped Toyota Prius Is First Car With Driver's License

On: Thu, May 10, 2012 at 10:44AM | By: Chris Weiss

Google-Equipped Toyota Prius Is First Car With Driver's License test 2

After passing a law opening the door for self-driven cars, the state of Nevada is following with the bureaucratic actions necessary to put those cars on the road. The state's Department of Motor Vehicles has approved the very first autonomous vehicle license. And the Google Toyota Prius in question is not happy with how its picture turned out.

In last year's bill, the Nevada legislature authorized the Department of Transportation to devise rules and regulations for autonomous vehicles. Google was one of the strongest supporters of the bills, as it sought to use Nevada roadways to test its fleet of self-driving Toyota Prii.


OnStar Offers Promotion On Its Successful FMV System

On: Tue, May 8, 2012 at 2:36PM | By: Chris Weiss

OnStar Offers Promotion test 2

It used to be that you had to buy a GM vehicle to enjoy OnStar, GM's navigation and roadside assistance interface. Then last year, GM launched OnStar 'For My Vehicle' (FMV), an aftermarket kit that makes OnStar available on all types of cars. So far, people have responded to the over-the-counter approach.

In a recent press release, GM details that OnStar has been particularly popular with owners of newer vehicles, particularly 2011 models. Of its OnStar FMV buyers, 15.6 percent are Toyota owners and 12.3 percent are Ford owners. Significantly, nearly a third of those Ford buyers own models that offered Ford's Sync system at time of purchase, showing clearly that they had some preference for OnStar's features over Sync's.

Ford Considers Making Car Components Out Of Recycled Money

On: Tue, May 8, 2012 at 12:35PM | By: Chris Weiss

Ford Considers Making Car Components Out Of Recycled Money test 2

Cars made out of money may sound too ostentatious for even a rap video, but Ford has some truer intentions than first impressions may give. The automaker said this month that it's looking into using recycled US currency in certain vehicle components.

Why recycled money? We conclude mostly because it makes a helluva publicity stunt. Not only can Ford play the green (in more ways than one) card, but it gets a rather unique, headline-making story that's about quirky enough for the front page of Yahoo! News.

Dodge Dart Aero To Hit 40 MPG

On: Thu, May 3, 2012 at 12:20PM | By: Chris Weiss

Dodge Dart Aero To Hit 40 MPG test 2

Most media attention when it comes to greener vehicles is on powertrains - electric motors, alternative fuels, smaller gas engines, turbocharging, etc. But that's only one of the ways to make a car that's lighter on the pump and wallet. Another way is by going aero. Dodge shows us what that strategy has to offer with the new Dart Aero compact four-door.

To be fair, the bulk of the Dart Aero's environmental ambitions are reached by way of an efficient 1.4-liter MultiAir turbo four-cylinder from Fiat. That engine delivers 27/39 mpg city/highway when equipped to the standard Dodge Dart with a six-speed manual transmission. But because it's painfully close to the alluring 40 mpg mark achieved by some competitors, Dodge decided to develop an Aero package that will push the model's fuel efficiency to "at least 41 mpg."

IBM's 500-Mile EV Lithium Air Technology (Video)

On: Wed, May 2, 2012 at 10:00AM | By: Chris Weiss

IBM's 500-Mile EV Lithium Air Technology test 2

Imagine a world where an electric vehicle could travel just as far as a gas vehicle. There'd be no more range anxiety, no more excuses for right wing talk show hosts to knock the electric vehicle industry, and no more reason to ever pay another dime for a tank of gas, assuming that such an EV was affordable. The player that produces battery technology capable of giving the EV that type of range is going to be quite wealthy and popular. Could it be IBM? The once-household name in technology shows its lithium-air technology.

IBM began its research in 2009 and recently demonstrated the charge and recharge chemistry of its lithium-air technology in the lab. The technology replaces the heavy metal oxides used in current generation batteries with oxygen pulled from the air. This makes the batteries much lighter and delivers a high energy density, according to the company. IBM believes that the technology could produce a family sized car capable of traveling 500 miles per charge - that's an electric vehicle that drives way past range anxiety.

Toyota RAV4 EV To Debut At EV Symposium In May

On: Tue, May 1, 2012 at 10:01AM | By: Chris Weiss

Toyota RAV4 EV To Debut At EV Symposium In May test 2

In a short media advisory this week, Toyota announced that it will debut the 2013 RAV4 EV at the 2012 Electric Vehicle Symposium next week. The RAV4 EV will add a bit more size and utility to the fledgling EV market.

The new RAV4 EV will look much different from the original RAV4 EV, which Toyota launched all the way back in 1997. Toyota received help from Tesla with the powertrain underpinning the upcoming RAV4 electric. Toyota says that powertrain offers about 100 miles of range and acceleration comparable to the V-6 RAV4. The RAV4 EV is supposed to hit the market sometime this year, and we expect Toyota should give more details during next week's press conference.

GM Debunks Diesel Myths

On: Mon, Apr 30, 2012 at 3:14PM | By: Chris Weiss

Diesel Myths test 2

Despite the pressure for more fuel efficient, clean-burning cars, and despite a strong presence in Europe, diesel engines are virtually non-existent in North America. Diesel cars just aren't all that available in the US, and Americans don't seem all that interested anyway. Diesels smell weird, are more difficult to fuel up due to lack of diesel pumps when compared with gas, tend to cost more per gallon because of taxation (though can save money in the long run due to better efficiency), and are really just for truckers. Right? Wrong, says GM with a new list of myths and truths.

According to a 2009 article on PopularMechanics.com, diesels make up about 50 percent of the European automotive market. Over here in the US, on the other hand, they're in the single digits. GM puts diesel sales at a mere 3 percent of the market. That really doesn't make a whole lot of sense, seeing as how Americans are very motivated to find cars that are cheaper to fuel. Still, diesel options are slim, and Americans believe that diesels are noisy, dirty and rough. They also see higher diesel prices at the pump, if they see diesel prices at all.

Incredible Rimac Electric Supercar Now Available

On: Mon, Apr 30, 2012 at 11:57AM | By: Chris Weiss

Rimac Electric Supercar test 2

When we first saw the Rimac Concept One electric supercar at last year's Frankfurt Motor Show, we weren't necessarily expecting to see it hit the market. Ever. But it actually took less than a year for Rimac to go from debut to order books. That still doesn't mean it'll be produced right away, but things appear to be moving along swiftly.

There are several things about the Rimac Concept One that made me cough-blurt "vaporware" from my desk chair the minute I saw it. It's from Croatia, and nothing against the people or country, but we just don't see many cars, let alone electric supercar masterpieces, coming out of Croatia. It's a 1,088-hp supercar that's quicker to 62 mph than a Lamborghini Aventador, and when you let your eyes wander farther down the spec sheet, you'll see that it has a battery big enough to provide up to 373 miles of range yet still manages to weigh in at a pretty light 3,700 lbs. It's the type of vehicle that demands skepticism.