At this year's CES, Harman International's Aha announced a partnership with Honda. Today Honda hosted a conference showing how that partnership would play out with a new service called HondaLink. This new connected service will let drivers listen to a variety of Internet-based stations, featuring everything from Slacker radio to Yelp listings of nearby restaurants.… Read more
When we saw demonstrations of Chevy's MyLink system last year, it looked like the company finally had a solid competitor to Ford Sync. MyLink not only offered advanced voice command over phones and MP3 players, but also integrated smartphone apps.
However, as we saw in the 2013 Chevrolet Malibu, Chevy hadn't built a MyLink head unit that was compatible with a navigation system. The result: buyers had to choose between having advanced voice command or onboard navigation.
The 2013 Camaro seems to solve that little problem.… Read more
If you're driving around in a 2013 Ford Fusion and think to yourself, "My, but this seat is comfortable," there's a good chance you have RUTH the robot to thank.
Ford's Robotized Unit for Tactility and Haptics -- a modified consumer packaging arm that tests interiors for quality and comfort -- has crossed the Atlantic from Europe to bring her touchy-feely testing skills to North America.
The robot simulates human motor skills to measure parameters like roughness, hardness, and temperature on points such as the steering wheel, knobs, and armrests. RUTH has already been used for several years at the automaker's European Research Center in Aachen, Germany, to poke and prod European versions of the Focus and Fiesta.
RUTH 2.0, located at Ford's Product Development Center in Dearborn, Mich., measures seat comfort too. She has extended her six-jointed arm all over the seats of the 2013 Fusion, the first North American car headed to production that she's had a major hand (or arm, we should say) in testing. … Read more
Looking at the Stig Chair for the first time, you'd almost think this thing originated from Batman's flight simulator.
The exotic $11,000 seat by Veraseri Designs sits at 52x23x39 inches, and consists of stainless steel, yellow pine, and deer leather for the ultimate in "high-performance sport luxury furniture," according to designer Adam Krehbiel. Additionally, the supporting frame contains recycled steel pipe from the frames of previously crashed Nascar stock cars.
For protection, the Stig sports Line-X protective coating, somewhat similar to the type one would see in the bed of a pickup truck. Krehbiel notes that someone can "hose down" the coating if needed, and that it "resists 9mm small-arms fire." … Read more
SAN DIEGO -- To paraphrase Jack Nicholson's jealous Joker in the Tim Burton 1989 Batman flick, "Where does he get those wonderful cars?"
The answer, apparently, is: on the Warner Brothers studio lot.
To celebrate next week's release of the final Chris Nolan-helmed Batman movie, "The Dark Knight Rises," Warner put on display the six Batmobiles built for TV and film at the 2012 San Diego Comic-Con. From the iconic 1966 Batmobile used in the Adam West TV show to Christian Bale's tanklike Lambo-Humvee mashup "the Tumbler," fans could get up … Read more
Tesla's model ramp-up is looking rapid indeed, as Franz von Holzhausen, the electric vehicle maker's chief designer, talked to British publication Autocar of a new model planned for 2015 to compete with the BMW 3-series. Tesla's Model S, the first car it built from the ground up, began deliveries to customers just last month. Tesla also showed off a new concept, the Model X crossover, earlier this year, which enters production at the end of 2013.
Von Holzhausen said Tesla would target a price of $30,000 for the BMW 3 competitor, and would experiment with more-radical … Read more
Pride comes before a visit from the police.
An example of this socially-networked maxim comes from Japan, where a man decided to drive his car toward its maximum.
His car happened to be a Lamborghini Gallardo, which tends to go like dung off a shovel -- a phrase I've never understood, as I've never seen dung fly quickly off a shovel.
This man, whose name has been withheld -- perhaps to protect him from admirers -- took his Gallardo out for a spin and spun it along at around 156 kilometers an hour. This is a mere 97 … Read more
Somebody call the Hollywood producers, we've got a feel-good blockbuster on our hands. Here's the pitch -- man loses his love, never gives up hope, and finds her online 42 years later. Yes, it's a true story, and yes, I think Tom Hanks would be perfect for the lead. I'll have my people Skype your people.
There is one wrinkle in this real-life plot line, though -- the lost love is a 1967 Austin Healey 3000. According to the Associated Press, the slick British car was stolen from Bob Russell's apartment near Philadelphia after he … Read more
You only need to look at a smartphone to realize the usefulness of an Internet connection in a car. And the advent of smartphones is playing a big part in getting automakers to integrate connected features. People used to looking up an address on a smartphone can now do it right in their car's dashboard, and save that address to the navigation system. Other apps that can come in handy on the road, as deemed by these automakers, bring up Internet radio, social networking, and dinner reservations.… Read more
Driving around in a snowstorm or heavy rain often feels similar to the hyperspace travel effect seen in the various "Star Wars" movies, which can distract even the most seasoned driver (unless you can make the Kessel Run in 12 parsecs). A new smart headlight from Carnegie Mellon University could make distracting precipitation far less dangerous to drive through.… Read more