2012 Tesla Model S Our choice for CNET Tech Car of the Year goes to the 2012 Tesla Model S, a car that shows superb technology throughout while also challenging our conceptions of how a car should work. Most people know the Model S for its electric drivetrain, which not only gives it tremendous acceleration, but also the best range among current production electric cars. Compared with an internal combustion engine, the Tesla's electric motor delivers magnitudes of better energy efficiency. The EPA estimates the cost of electricity for a year of driving at $700, about 25 percent of the cost for gasoline in an equivalent luxury sedan.
Beyond its efficiency, the Model S modernizes the whole idea of a car's cabin. Tesla streamlined the entire process of getting into the car and setting off, taking out steps that have become anachronistic. A big touch screen handles all in-cabin functions, eliminating the need for an array of buttons across the dashboard. A 3G data connection feeds the infotainment functions, providing maps, destination search, and music, similar to what we have become used to with our personal electronics.
The Model S went up against the Audi S5, BMW 640i Gran Coupe, Ford Focus Electric, and Toyota Prius C, a formidable field nominated for technical excellence in drivetrain and cabin. The BMW proved popular with our jury, and we liked how the Focus Electric drove, but the Model S trumped the others with its innovative approach and capabilities.
It's been called the Internet of Things, the connected future, the post-PC and even, in our minds, the post-mobile world: however you want to refer to it, the trend toward ubiquitously connected devices and people is inescapable and poised to change everything about the consumer electronics world.
At CNET, we're calling it the post-mobile future: mapping the next frontier of consumer electronics. Because let's be blunt: consumer electronics has been kind of a boring world for the past couple of years. It seems like all we talk about is smartphones and tablets, tablets and smartphones. Last year'… Read more
The holidays have arrived. I'm sure with the launch of the new iPads, many young ones may find them, or possibly iTunes gift cards, in their stockings. In light of this, I bring good tidings.
Starting December 21 and running through January 2, Disney Publishing has specially priced some of its more popular titles, including Tangled: Storybook Deluxe; Brave: Storybook Deluxe; Finding Nemo: Storybook Deluxe; and Cars 2: Storybook Deluxe. Normally retailing for $6.99 with the exception of Cars 2 at $5.99 in the iTunes App Store, they will all be reduced to $2.99. … Read more
My first Android phone, the original Motorola Droid, was one of the first phones to debut Google Maps Navigation. Now, Google knew that this feature would get drivers interested in using their Android phones in the car and that the tiny virtual buttons and shortcuts that worked well when the device was handheld wouldn't cut it behind the wheel. So, when users popped their Droids into their car docks, they were presented with a simplified interface with large shortcut buttons to car-centric apps, designed for safer use while driving.
Smartphones have come a long way since I retired my … Read more
As a CNET reader who's addicted to tech, you likely already know why a phone and the apps therein can be useful in the car. Your phone is a hub for your music and entertainment, GPS navigation, and communications with your friends, family, and social circles. You've got your apps for streaming music and podcasts from the Web, apps for picking a place to eat or finding the lowest fuel prices around, and your hands-free calls of course. Or, because phones are such personal devices, your handset can bring only a few of these things to your driving … Read more
New York City's Taxi and Limousine Commission voted today in favor of a one-year test program that would let people use a smartphone app to hail a taxicab.
And that was sweet news for startup Uber. The private-car service had begun offering its app to cab users in September but stopped the effort a little more than a month later when the commission raised concerns over a long-standing agreement between the taxicab and for-hire vehicle industries.
That arrangement prohibits prearranged rides in New York's iconic yellow cabs, and members of the for-hire industry had said apps like Uber'… Read more
Self-driving cars have long been the dream of futurists, but they came one huge step closer to reality this year, as California became the third state to legalize autonomous vehicles, and Nevada issued the first license for testing on public streets and highways. Google released a demo video of one of its autonomous vehicles carting a blind man around town in May.
How realistic is it that you'll soon spot a driverless car in the next lane over? Probably not very. But testing will certainly continue in 2013, and Google's Sergey Brin is optimistic, predicting that consumers will … Read more
Some 15 years after its introduction, the Toyota Prius still defines the hybrid car business. It's an amazing dominance, comparable with the iPod's position in the portable media player market. Prius models outsell all other hybrids combined in the U.S. but that doesn't mean they always will. Enter the Ford C-Max. The name is about as goofy as "Prius," but the mission is serious: to give the Prius some real competition and perhaps push it … Read more
Do you feel like you're not quite getting the gas mileage out of your car that you should be? Tracking your fuel economy can provide you with some hard evidence to determine whether something is wrong. Some cars have built-in computers that can calculate your mileage, but they don't offer much in the way of customization or provide other useful stats.
FuelLog is an Android app that can help you easily track your gas mileage and offers a lot of statistics to help you get a better picture of your car's fuel consumption. You can track things … Read more