The possibilities that begin to form through ideas of technology such as Android Auto And Apple CarPlay are limitless.
Technology updates are a large part of the refreshed 2016 Volkswagen Passat (full review), and perhaps the boldest change to this historically sedate midsize sedan is seen in its CarNet infotainment platform, which receives Apple AAPL -3.45% CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integrations.
When using CarPlay or Android Auto, the smartphone is displayed in the in-dash display instead of the vehicle’s infotainment system. However, don’t expect to see a mirror image of your home screen–the smartphone integrations use a “vehicle mode,” which contains a subset of approved media and navigation apps on the device’s phone, including the native Apple Maps and Google GOOGL +0.59% Maps. These apps have been optimized (and in some ways restricted) for use in the car and integrated with the vehicle controls to provide a seamless and theoretically safer way to use your smartphone.
Volkswagen Electronic Strategy Specialist Thanh Uy Phan Tan demonstrated Apple CarPlay and Android Auto to highlight its features and differences between the two integrations.
It is said that for every 1000 miles that you drive you should change your oil. By doing so regularly it can extend the life of your engine to get twice the mileage out of it before it needs to be changed too.
American drivers are accustomed to paying somebody to change the oil in their vehicles — but it’s an expense they can reduce, if not soon eliminate altogether.
Some 87% of U.S. vehicle owners pay for oil changes, according to a Charles Schwab survey — and those oil changes cost anywhere from $20 to $55 a pop, according to consumer information website CostHelper.com.
With about 210 million drivers on the road — and motorists averaging 13,476 miles driven per year, according to the Federal Highway Administration — it’s not a stretch to estimate that Americans are spending billions every year on oil changes.
But — like other services that Americans used to pay regularly for, such as milk delivery — paying for oil changes soon could become a thing of the past.
Motor-oil maker Castrol, a division of BP, recently claimed its technicians have achieved a breakthrough in engine-lubrication design that makes it easy to change the oil in a vehicle in as little as 90 seconds.
The cleaner and quicker system, called Nexcel, must be integrated into vehicle engines at the design stage. That means it won’t hit mainstream cars for another five years — about the length of time between major model changes for many automakers.
But at 90 seconds, the cost of an oil change may become negligible if the Castrol system is widely adopted. Or the expense may even disappear altogether for vehicle owners who find it easier and cleaner to do it themselves.
How to you get to work everyday? Do you take the train, subway, drive or walk to work. The way people get to where they want to go has changed recently with new car sharing apps.
Jack DeManche’s commute to work was like many in the Boston area — long. But that was before Mr. DeManche, a digital strategist for an advertising agency, began sharing a ride with other commuters with the service Bridj.
Now, the hourlong trip from his home in Brookline to his office at the Boston seaport has been cut in half. And at $70 a month, he estimates that the trip costs less than using the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority.
“The ability to book a week in advance is a time-saver,” he said. He is guaranteed a seat, he can use Wi-Fi on board and the van drops him off a block from his office.
Bridj is just one of the new services that are helping to redefine car-pooling.
Long the province of shift workers headed to the same factory and suburban parents who drove children to after-school activities, car-pooling is getting an urban makeover as technology becomes more prevalent and a younger work force relies on mobile devices.
When you are no longer the driver, but the car is do the rules still apply the same way, and do you suffer the consequences of driving in one.
For example when the Florida Highway Patrol pulled him over this month for driving too fast, Brooks Weisblat didn’t bother telling the officer that his Tesla Model S had been driving itself.
“That would have definitely got me a ticket,” said Weisblat, who got a warning notice instead.
Florida doesn’t have a driver’s handbook dictating robot rules of the road. No state does, but California could become the global model next year when it publishes first-in-the-world consumer rules for self-driving cars.
Those regulations are already a year behind schedule. Among the problems vexing officials with the Department of Motor Vehicles is how to handle not just the machines but their over trusting owners.
“The technology is ready. I’m not sure the people are ready,” said Weisblat, who along with his Model S and its new Autopilot feature didn’t notice the sign warning that the freeway speed limit had dropped by 10 miles per hour as it approached Miami. “You still need to pay attention.”
Google has for years been testing vehicles near its Mountain View headquarters that are meant to be fully autonomous, requiring no human intervention except a rider’s voice saying “Take me to the supermarket.” But most carmakers developing self-driving technology are working on tools that relieve but don’t entirely replace human drivers.
Which path is going to lead the final result of a fully green vehicle the one Toyota is taking or Nissans? Which path will be quicker and have a better result?
Within the span of a month, Toyota Motor Corp. and Nissan Motor Corp. have doubled down on starkly divergent strategies for hybrid and electric vehicles.
While other global automakers hedge their bets on alternative powertrain technologies, Nissan and Toyota are placing risky wagers that each knows exactly which powertrain will dominate among next-generation green vehicles.
Nissan aims to be the global leader in EVs. Toyota wants to expand its lead as the world’s top maker of gasoline-electric hybrids.
On June 9, Nissan released the second of four promised EVs, its e-NV200 battery-powered van.
Just weeks earlier, Toyota pulled the plug on its own EV program by ending a two-year deal to build electric Toyota RAV4 crossovers with Tesla Motors Inc. When the last RAV-4 rolls off the line later this year, the world’s largest automaker will no longer be producing electric cars.
No other major automakers are as zealous about their chosen path.
“When it comes to zero emissions, we’re absolutely religious,” Andy Palmer, Nissan’s chief planning officer, said at the launch of the e-NV200, Nissan’s second EV after the Leaf. “We’ll be the absolute, No. 1 leader in zero emissions. No doubt. That’s our positioning.”
Publicly, both companies say they see a need for a range of alternative powertrains to meet different driving conditions. But their product plans clearly show where each is plowing the big bucks: Nissan into EVs, while Toyota shuns them for hybrids.
Each gambit is risky. EVs are still hobbled by high costs and range limitations. Hybrids, also still pricey, face tougher competition from improved internal-combustion engines.
Ever enjoyed driving down a steep hill or winding through the never ending bends well then these top roads across the globe may be perfect for you.
A great road challenges everyday notions, replacing the familiar–the dull grind of everyday commuting–with the epic: turns, terrain and landscape that adjust our perception of the world. But most of all, it elicits a thrill. These 20 mythic highways inspire us to hit the road.
Highway 1, aka “Big Sur”
This stretch of Highway 1 chases the ragged central California coastline through Big Sur, which runs from San Simeon to Carmel. This drive is renowned for its staggering views over perilous cliffs, revealing the Pacific Ocean’s whitecaps as they rush past immense dark rocks.
During peak traffic hours, lumbering rental cars and motorhomes dampen the pace. If you’re stuck in slow motion, we suggest a detour through the nearby but less-traveled Nacimiento-Fergusson Road, which cuts east and offers an amazing bird’s-eye view of the coast below.
Deals Gap, aka “Tail of The Dragon”
This stretch of U.S. Route 129 offers some of the sweetest curves outside of the Atlantic coast, with no fewer than 318 turns in the course of 11 miles. No driveways or intersections interrupt this forest-lined thoroughfare, though there are plenty of peg-scraping cruisers who knock down the average speed. While you’re there, be sure to visit the Tree of Shame, where crashed motorcycle bits adorn the tree and dangle from its branches as a reminder of the road’s dangers.
Arguably the most notorious racetrack in the world, this 12.93-mile loop of tarmac also happens to be a toll road that anyone with 24 euros and a need for speed can drive on non-race days. Racer Jackie Stewart once called the Nurburgring “the green hell,” and it features treacherous landmarks, including the Caracciola Karussell (the Carousel) and Flugplatz (also known as “the Airport,” for its tendency to launch vehicles airborne). But keep your inner Michael Schumacher in check: This series of 154 turns has a nasty reputation for humbling even the most seasoned drivers.
Recalls are frustrating drivers due the inconvenience, as well as the danger they put their families in.
The 2015 American Consumer Satisfaction Index, an annual survey that involved 4,300 consumers, found that satisfaction with automobiles dropped for the third straight year to the lowest level since 2004. High new-car prices also were a factor.
“While it is true that all cars are now much better than they were 10 to 20 years ago, it is alarming that so many of them have quality problems,” said Claes Fornell, chairman and founder of the survey.
Honda records 20 per cent rise in profit despite massive recalls Last year automakers recalled a record 64 million vehicles for problems such as exploding air bags and ignition switches that can unexpectedly cause engines to stall. The problems can be deadly. So far General Motors has agreed to compensate families of 124 people who died in crashes caused by the faulty switches. Eight more people have died worldwide after being cut by shrapnel from exploding Takata air bag inflators.
Rising prices also contributed to the consumer frustration. Car prices are up 11 per cent since 2010 and hit records all year, rising to an average $32,932 in July, according to the Edmunds.com auto website.
Apple taking precautions to keep their progress secret as they test their autonomous vehicles.
Apple is looking into using a former military base northeast of San Francisco as a high-security proving ground for autonomous vehicles it is developing, according to an online report by British newspaper The Guardian.
Engineers from the technology giant’s Special Projects group have been in contact with representatives of GoMentum Station, a 2,100-acre facility on the site of what used to be the Concord Naval Weapons Station, in Concord, Calif.
Correspondence obtained by The Guardian through public records requests shows Apple is interested in using the sprawling sites, which has more than 20 miles of paved roads, city streets, railroad crossings and tunnels, to test self-driving vehicles.
Both Honda and Mercedes-Benz have been using GoMentum Station for testing their own autonomous cars.
News of Apple’s interest in the former base is the latest glimpse into Apple’s secretive autonomous-car program. The maker of iPhones and MacBooks had said little publicly about its vehicle-development efforts, but in recent months it has hired some well-known executives from automakers.
One of the most dangerous offences is taking your eyes off the road to send a quick text to friends. Do you text while driving?
Teenagers calling themselves safe motorists overwhelmingly admit to checking phones when behind the wheel, and those who text while driving say they are often distracted by parents who expect immediate responses, a survey found.
More than half of the teens confessed to texting while driving to update their parents, and 19 per cent said moms and dads expected a response within one minute, according to a study issued Tuesday by Boston-based Liberty Mutual Holding Co. and Students Against Destructive Decisions.
“We have a generation of parents that are used to being very connected with their children,” Stephen Wallace, chief executive officer of SADD, said in an interview. “They’re looking for that constant communication.”
Of the almost 3,000 fatal crashes in 2013 caused by distracted drivers, 10 per cent of those deaths were teens, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation. Auto insurers including Allstate Corp. and State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co. have publicized the risks of distracted motorists.
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Not only do you have to worry about car thieves braking into your vehicle, now we also have the possibility of hackers taking over it.
The idea that someone could remotely take over your car and cause it to behave erratically has been talked about for several years — though typically dismissed by auto companies as an irrational fear.
But it all got real on Tuesday after Andy Greenberg, a former FORBES writer now at Wired.com, posted a chilling story about how two hackers sitting on their living room couch managed to remotely take control of the Jeep Cherokee he was driving on a busy freeway in St. Louis. The car’s air conditioner suddenly cranked up to full blast, the radio started blasting hip-hop music and the windshield wipers kicked on. Then it got really dangerous as the hackers remotely turned off the car’s engine.
It was all part of an experiment to draw attention to the cyber-security risks in today’s cars which have morphed into rolling computers. The hackers, Charlie Miller and Chris Valasek, were able to exploit a weak spot in the Jeep’s Uconnect system, which links the vehicle to the Internet. It turns out as many as 471,000 Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep and Ram vehicles equipped with the 8.4-inch U-Connect touchscreen system could be vulnerable. All are made by Fiat Chrysler Automobiles.