Everyone agrees that it’s bad to surf the web while driving, but what if a car happens to double as a giant smartphone? Verizon is taking some steps toward making this happen as it has formed an industry group called the 4G Venture Forum for Connected Cars that includes several major auto manufacturers interested in bringing LTE connectivity to cars. BMW, Honda, Hyundai, Kia and Toyota are joining Verizon as the group’s initial members. The forum has also snagged Massachusetts Institute of Technology mechanical engineering professor Sanjay Sarma to provide guidance on academic technology research relevant to wireless tech and the auto industry. Hit the jump for the full release. More →
Nevada is the first state to grant Google a U.S. license to test driverless cars. The Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles confirmed on Monday that it had approved the company’s application to test autonomous vehicles on public streets. Google will be required to have at least two people in the vehicle while testing it, however, including one in the driver’s seat. Prior to being approved, the Mountain View-based company had been testing the car on freeways in neighborhoods around Carson City and Las Vegas, according to Fox News. The tests showed the car was just as safe, if not safer, than cars operated by human drivers. “It gets honked at more often because it’s being safe,” said Nevada DMV Director Bruce Breslow. The driverless vehicles will be required to wear red license plates that contain an infinity symbol, which the DMV says represents their status as “the car of the future.” If testing goes as planned and the vehicles are ever used by the general public, the license plates will be green. “They’re designed to avoid distracted driving,” Breslow said. “When you’re on the Strip and there’s a huge truck with a three scantily clad women on the side, the car only sees a box.” More →
A new study from J.D. Power and Associates has revealed U.S. drivers are interested in adding one of the newest and most expensive technologies to their next vehicle — autonomous driving. The feature allows the vehicle to take control of acceleration, braking, and steering without any human interaction. While the technology is still being developed and tested, 20% of all car owners in the U.S. said they “definitely would” or “probably would” include the technology in their next vehicle, even after learning the estimated market price of $3,000. Prior to learning the price, however, a whopping 37% of people were interested in the feature. More →
Chrysler’s Mopar division plans to become the first car manufacturer to eliminate power cords from cars. The company on Monday announced its new in-vehicle wireless charging technology, which will be available in the 2013 Dodge Dart. “At Mopar, we look for every single opportunity to make our customers’ lives easier,”said Pietro Gorlier, President and CEO of Mopar, Chrysler Group LLC’s service, parts and customer-care brand. Our industry-first in-vehicle wireless charging system is the perfect solution for those connected customers who are always on the go.” The wireless charging system is installed just below the center stack and in front of the center console. The unit features a built-in charging grid that is activated when a user places their iPhone, BlackBerry, Android, or compatible MP3 player on it, and will begin to charge when the vehicle is started. As with other wireless charging options, a separate phone case will be required. The in-vehicle wireless charging system will be available for $199.99 plus installation, and the 2013 Dodge Dart is scheduled to be available in the second quarter of 2012. Read on for Chrysler’s press release. More →
New York’s Auto Show is always packed with debuts, and this year wasn’t any different. From the 2013 BMW X1 and Mercedes-Benz’s 2013 CL-Class and GL-Class, to the 2013 Ford Explorer Sport, 2013 SRT Viper and many more, I took a spin through the show to check out some of the newest cars that will soon hit the market — and of course, look at a bunch of my favorite rides as well. The show-stopper for me? The matte blue Audi R8 GT, though I loved the Ford Explorer Sport, too. Catch all the McLarens, Aston Martins, Rolls Royces, BMWs, Bentleys, Mercedes-Benzes and more in our 2012 New York Auto Show photo gallery, which is linked below.
Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom, who was recently arrested and charged with racketeering, copyright infringement and money laundering, may be able to reclaim his seized assets due to a botched court order, according to a report from the New Zealand Herald. Police raided Dotcom’s home on January 19th and seized, among other valuable assets, his cash, cars and mansion. New Zealand police have admitted to making a “procedural error” when filing documents to seize Dotcom’s property, however. A court has ruled that the incorrect restraining order is “null and void” and has “no legal effect.” The publication states there is no guarantee Dotcom will get his assets back though, as his lawyers must first prove a lack of good faith when the procedural error was made. More →
Mercedes-Benz has unveiled plans to integrate Apple’s Siri voice assistant into its A-Class vehicles, according to a report from PSFK. The integration would allow drivers to access their iPhone apps using voice commands. The feature is being called the Drive Kit Plus program and will work in conjunction with Mercedes-Benz’ Digital DriveStyle app to translate the iPhone’s screen onto the in-car display. The program will feature compatibility with popular apps such as Twitter and Facebook pre-installed, and drivers will be able to listen to music, change radio stations, update their status on social networks and send text messages using voice commands as well. According to the report, the car’s integrated Garmin navigation system will be also compatible with Siri commands. Mercedes-Benz is the first car maker to integrate Apple’s voice assistant into a vehicle, with the feature reportedly set to debut at the 2012 Geneva auto show next month and a rollout to all A-Class vehicles scheduled to begin this fall. More →
One of the most impressive uses for a device like an iPhone or iPad is that it can give potential customers access and capabilities that were previously impossible. In the case of the Rolls-Royce iOS app for iOS, car lovers can now build their own Rolls-Royce Phantom, Ghost, or any other vehicle in the lineup right from their home; And they can do so in a way that we haven’t seen before in an iOS app. For starters, the 3D modeling and views are beautiful — so good that if you connect your iPad to your TV over HDMI, it still looks smooth and crisp — and besides having the ability to build your car from the ground up, you can even pick a custom paint job by taking or using a photo of something on your device and matching the paint swatch to any color in that photograph. While the percentage of iOS users that can afford a Rolls-Royce is another story, it’s a smart move from a company that will do whatever the customer wants, and it lets potential customers explore Rolls-Royce in any setting they choose. More →
These days when we think of wireless charging we think about using an accessory for our cell phones. Not long from now we may be using the same tech to power our electric vehicles. According to CNET, Toyota has invested in a company called WiTricity that, until now, has developed wireless charging solutions specifically for portable electronics. In a recent statement Toyota said that it “believes that resonance wireless charging is suitable for automobiles and aims for its early practical use.” Using magnetic near-field, WiTricity could potentially offer a wireless charging solution for cars, too. We’re imagining a future where, instead of pulling up to the pump, or plugging your electric car into an outlet, you simply need to drive into your garage to begin charging. “WiTricity power sources and capture devices are specially designed magnetic resonators that efficiently transfer power over large distances via the magnetic near-field. These proprietary source and device designs and the electronic systems that control them support efficient energy transfer over distances that are many times the size of the sources/devices themselves,” the firm said. Other companies, like HaloIPT, also offer wireless car-charging solutions, but this is the first we’ve heard of a major car manufacturer getting on board. More →
As of yesterday, no American car company had gone public since Henry Ford put his family business on the on the U.S. stock exchange back in 1956. Today, Tesla Motors (TSLA) — in an IPO — sold over 13.3 million shares of stock on the NASDAQ exchange totaling $226.1 million. The all-electric car maker’s mission is simply to “sell high performance, super efficient electric cars.” Tesla uses some pretty impressive technology to manage, store and harness the electric charge stored in the cars batteries. The company should have their first mass production model — The Model S — rolling off the assembly line this year. The company’s stock closed just south of $24. More →
We wanted to do something fun with car technology for the 2010 New York Auto Show… a little change of pace for BGR. This year, we’re doing some segments on all the different technology that goes into the latest and greatest vehicles currently available, and those that are about to hit the market. Buick has graciously sponsored our New York Auto Show coverage this year — they’ve even dropped off a Buick LaCrosse so we could see what kind of tech it’s pushin’. Look for our Auto Show coverage segments coming real soon, but for now, here’s a quick look at the 2010 Buick LaCrosse from a technology perspective.
This post is part of our “Live Like A Genius” content series sponsored by Buick and the all-new 2010 LaCrosse.