Voice-command systems in cars let you make phone calls, enter an address into navigation, and even request music by an artist or album name, all without taking your eyes off the road or your hands off the wheel. Voice command over music usually works with an iPhone or iPod cabled to the car, or a thumbdrive plugged into the USB port. Most of the cars below rely on Gracenote's music database to translate artist and album names into phonetics understandable by a voice recognition system. This database includes nicknames, so instead of saying "play Bruce Springsteen," you can say "play The Boss."
Here are five cars waiting to take your musical requests. … Read more
Depending on who you believe, the Volt is either alive and kickin' or in its death throes.
The most recent news about GM's plug-in hybrid gives fodder to both sides. On the upside, GM said on Wednesday that it already has sold more than 2,500 Volts this month. That would be a monthly record, bringing the global total this year to about 13,000, according to reports.
But critics quickly jumped on another piece of news: GM's suspension of Volt production for four weeks.
That shutdown is attributed to a retooling of the Detroit-Hamtramck assembly plant where … Read more
One of the greatest automotive rivalries exists between the Chevy Camaro and Ford Mustang. Although it lay dormant when the Camaro ceased production, the 2010 model reignited the rivalry. However, when it comes to discussions of horsepower, Ford could hold the Mustang-based Shelby up as having no competition among Camaros. Until now.
The 2012 Camaro ZL1 adds a supercharger to a big V-8, the same strategy as the Shelby, to produce massive horsepower. And while the Shelby is still the power king, Chevy can boast other tech tricks that help give the Camaro ZL1 the edge at the track.
Foremost … Read more
With its Spark model, Chevrolet is exploring new ground for the century-old company. The Spark is the smallest car in its lineup, and is being marketed for the urban jungle. With a combined economy of 34 mpg, it is also Chevy's second most fuel-efficient car, behind the Volt.
And two years ago, I drove one through the Swiss Alps. Although the car is just being released in this country, Chevy has sold this generation of the Spark in Europe for a few years. The European version of the car I drove came with a 1.2-liter engine that made … Read more
Few countries can boast as vibrant an auto industry as the United States of America. Our Henry Ford revolutionized how cars are built, while quite a few other start-ups participated in the early days of this industry. For decades, the industry was dominated by the Big 3: Ford, Chrysler, and GM. Now, of course, the story is a bit more complicated, with U.S. companies building some cars abroad and some foreign companies running plants here, employing thousands. But this selection of cars represents the most historic United States marques, and one all-American newcomer.… Read more
It used to be that people went to restaurants so they could disconnect from their smartphones. But increasingly, eateries are introducing table-top technology that lets you order, pay the check, play games, and scan news headlines.
Chevy's Fresh Mex restaurants, for example, have installed "Ziosks" at about a dozen locations. Ziosks are interactive computer screens where diners can see pictures of entrees, order items, and pay the bill, all sans waiter.
There is a gee-whiz factor about these gadgety dinner guests, but during a recent lunch rush at a San Francisco-based Chevy's, many customers were reluctant … Read more
In each of the three years of EcoCar2 Challenge, General Motors will give away approximately $100,000 in prizes to the students participating in the alternative fuels vehicle competition. But for some students, the real prize will be a steady paycheck.
Headliners GM and the Department of Energy, along with 25 suppliers, sponsor EcoCar2, a three-year alternative fuels vehicle competition, as a way to encourage college students to enter the automotive industry. It provides a chance for young engineers to apply the theoretical education they gain in the classroom in the lab, giving them an advantage when it comes to … Read more
The Chevy Volt will restart production "earlier than previously planned" due to an uptick in demand, General Motors announced earlier this week, but will this help to quiet critics?
The plug-in hybrid electric vehicle had been slated for a five-week production suspension, but that will be cut to four weeks, according to a report in the Detroit Free Press.
This is "due to increased Volt sales since January and the need to meet demand in our strong markets, including California," GM said in a statement, according to the Free Press.
I went to the New York International Auto Show with just one thing on my mind: car audio. Like many New Yorkers, I don't own a car, so this was my chance to sample a wide range of premium car audio systems in everything from Smart cars to Rolls-Royces. For the most part, generic car audio or famous name-brand systems like Bose and Mark Levinson sounded thick and muddy. Not one was up to the standards of a decent home hi-fi system. They played loud and had lots of bass, but even the most expensive car systems at the … Read more