13 year-old me is psyched right now. Terrafugia Inc, a company based in Woburn, Massachusetts, has received specific exemptions from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration allowing them to continue to develop their “Transition” vehicle, which (appropriately) transitions from plane to car and back again. Continue reading “Want a flying car? The Future is getting closer.”
This is a continuation of my day-long excursion at Raceway Park in Englishtown, NJ (turn your volume down before you click that one) with the SRT Track Experience. If you haven’t read part 1, you should read that first. This time we cover both of the road course modules and the Head-to-Head Challenge. Fun Fact: There used to be a drag race module as part of the experience, but it was taken out because none of the men liked it. The reason the men didn’t like it is because the women almost always beat them. That has nothing to do with anything in the article, I just thought it was funny when they told us so I figured you might as well. Let’s get into the article, shall we? ALLONS-Y!Continue reading “My SRT Track Experience: Part 2”
Who knew that a legal system could move so quickly? After hearing just last month that Google was lobbying the state of Nevada for legislation that would make self-driving cars legal, Nevada goes and does it! Sort of.
Initially when I was invited to take a trip out to Englishtown NJ for the SRT Track Experience, I figured that I would write an article about how much fun I had driving someone else’s car like I had stolen it. I’d have a few pictures sprinkled in there, and maybe some video clips that I managed to grab while I was waiting my turn to drive. I’ve driven cars before, and I have even driven at triple-digit speeds. No big deal, right? Fortunately for me, I was wrong. There’s no way to describe exactly what goes on during the Track Experience in just a few short paragraphs. Anyone that tries to condense the experience into X number of words or pages simply isn’t doing it justice. Over the next few days I am going to try to explain what it feels like to drive some of the worlds best performing production vehicles as hard as you possibly can only to be shown at the end of the day that they were capable of even more. Spoiler alert: you’ve never had this much fun in your life. Continue reading “My SRT Track Experience: Part 1”
The Nissan Leaf boasts a battery that can store 24 kilowatt hours – enough to power a typical US home for about a day. After the catastrophic Tsunami and resulting earthquakes that have rocked Japan since March and have left many Japanese citizens dealing with periodic blackouts. Now there is growing interest from both consumers and Nissan’s Hideaki Watanabe to find a way to tap … Continue reading Nissan’s Leaf may one day power your home
If you’re under 50 years of age, you’d be forgiven for thinking that interstate highways and city roads that can take you to every nook and cranny of a 50-mile wide city have always existed. However, around the beginning of the 20th century, when mass-production of cars was as relatively new of an idea as smartphones are today, getting around wasn’t remotely the straight-forward affair … Continue reading This Is What A GPS Looked Like In 1909
Yes. Toyota is launching a “social network” for its customers, who really want to get into the culture of Toyota. The network, “Toyota Friend” is not an independent social network, but combines the functionality of Twitter and Facebook to let you know when your car needs care, as in the case of the demo unit, that reminded the owner that his Plug-In EV needed to be charged. Once the vehicle is plugged it, you can be notified when it will be completely charged. These exchanges can be made private, or spread all over your (real) social networks.
The network also allows you to befriend other Toyotas and their owners, as well as keep tabs on your car. Don’t get too excited, however. The service isn’t set to be released until 2012, and that’s only for Japanese Hybrid and EV owners.
You can find these attributes in any vehicle on the road. You can have luxury, comfort, and beauty in a Bently, but performance, muscle, and affordability are out. You want muscle and performance? You could take a peek at a Corvette, but then luxury and comfort are going to take a hit. If you want all of them together, there’s only one place to go. Say hello to the new Chrysler 300. Continue reading “NYIAS: The New Chrysler 300 Series”
I must be missing something here. I’m going to need someone to help me out on this one because no matter how many times I go over it in my head it just doesn’t make any sense. Automotive manufacturers are making moves toward increased connectivity and boundary-pushing tech in their vehicles which any geek will agree is a good thing. Chrysler Group is pushing out the new Uconnect system, GM has their IntelliLink, Ford is connecting users with Microsoft SYNC, and everyone else either has a system already in place or they are working on one and plan to release it soon. While some companies “get it” when it comes to smartphone connectivity, there are others that seem to be a bit short-sighted in that they keep ignoring everything that isn’t iOS based.
I’ve already ranted about cars and technology making it unsafe for all of you to drive around me, but I fear I must take it further. Car hacking isn’t totally new, but with the advances in wireless communications, we all knew this was coming.
Car Shark software has been used in the past to disrupt communications on the CAN (Controller Area Network) via the OBD-II diagnostic port and the brief wireless communications between air pressure sensors in the tires. The OBD-II connections are fairly safe for hacking, because it requires direct access to the interior of the car. You might notice that. The wireless pressure sensors just proved that injected signals can mess with the car. Now we have the mix of both. Continue reading “Car Tech – Part Deux: The Hacking”
I love cars. I love the freedom they bring, I love the arguing about almost every aspect of cars. I like getting dirty and working on cars, sometimes I do them both at the same time. But there’s one thing I’m really on the fence about: Technology in cars. Sure, there’s some definite good, but there’s some definite dumb. This isn’t limited to just technophobes trying to get acquainted with a new phone at 70mph, this is regarding everyone and their ability to keep their damn cars on the road. It is almost explicitly aimed at anyone who started driving in the past 5 years. You are about to witness what is essentially me arguing with myself via keyboard. Grab some popcorn, hombres. Continue reading “Technology in Cars”
Up until Ford’s MyFord Touch, integrating your cell phone with your car was terrible. Although the concept isn’t new (it’s been in use for about a decade), automakers implemented half-assed integration systems in their cars that cost a fortune did not integrate well at all with your phone. What’s worse is that those systems loathed change more than the average human being, so if you were to purchase a new phone you had to make sure that the phone was compatible with your car’s system otherwise you would have a $1000 dead weight addon. And all to often did automakers push out a total of one firmware update to that system over the course of one year before scrapping any further updates in order to focus their funds on a completely new system. The root of this suckage? The development process lay in the hands of the automakers. Blue&Me fixes all of that. Continue reading “How I fell in love with Blue&Me”
There are many factors to consider when buying a car: gas mileage, size, color, transmission, etc. Two of the most important factors are comfort and ease of use because those indirectly go hand in hand with safety. However Ford is encountering a weird anomaly in its customers’ purchasing process where people who are not comfortable with or have no experience with new technologies that operate by touch and voice are purchasing cars such as the Ford Edge and adding on the MyFord Touch option, which operates completely on those two technologies. As a result, many Ford dealers are bringing in tech gurus to give a minimum 45 minute crash course to customers who are unfamiliar with the technology in their new car purchase. Continue reading “Ford offering MyFord Touch lessons on new purchases”
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