When Apple released the first bits of information on the iOS in the Car system just yesterday, we saw a long list of premium automakers that have already signed up, like Mercedes and Jaguar. One that was not on the list that we figured was just hung up in the details was BMW. Well, a new report tells us that there was more to Bimmer not being on the list than meets the eye.
A BMW spokesperson said "The upshot is that as we have such an advanced multimedia offer that has been in vehicles in various guises for more than a decade, it would not be that straight forward to start changing all of the architecture of a car as has been implied [by Apple]." So, basically, the changes that BMW would have to make to crowbar in the new Apple system would be way too great to warrant installing the iOS in the Car system.
BMW and Apple have worked together in the past, so it comes as a bit of a surprise that the Bavarian automaker will not support the system for the foreseeable future. Fortunately for Bimmer drivers, BMW’s interfaces are plenty advanced and have a decade-long track record, so there is no worrying about sticking with an outdated or non-functional system. Additionally, BMW will support Apples new Siri Eyes Free system.
We wouldn’t be too surprised to see Apple work its way into BMW sometime in the next five years, or so, but that may take some massaging of the iOS system to appease BMW. Another good reason for BMW breaking down is if iOS in the Car becomes a smash hit, then it would be doing its buyers a disservice by leaving it out.
Stay tuned for more details…
As of 2012, for every six PCs sold one Macintosh (AKA “Mac” for you generation Y folks) computer leaves the shelves, not including iPads. While that may seem like a huge gap, that is actually a huge boost over the 56-to-1 ratio of PCs to Macs back in the early 2000s. This is mostly because Macintosh has been marketing to younger generations as the “hip” brand and only us geezers living in the Stone Age still use PCs. It is also partly due to strategic positioning in the market by Mac and hitting niches that PC manufacturers have overlooked.
In the automotive world, however, Mac and PC both have been relatively left out in the cold, as manufacturers have mostly opted for proprietary operating systems for their infotainment systems. This is all about to come to a head in the coming months, as Mac has just announced its new “iOS in the Car” to pair along with its new iOS 7.
The details are still very limited, but Apple has already contracted with list of heavy hitters that includes Mercedes-Benz, Ferrari, Acura, Volvo, Jaguar, Infiniti, Nissan, Chevy, Kia, Opel and Hyundai to roll this new system out. According to reports, this system will link with your iPhone and use a revised Siri system to control GPS, maps, the audio system, hands-free operation, talk-to-text, etc. This system will also use a screen that actually mimics you iPhone’s screen, meaning that the car’s entire OS very well may be a revised version of iOS and not just a simple integration.
This means that Apple will suddenly have a firm grasp on us geezer PC users that happen to buy top-line cars and even some of the entry-level cars, by offering a level of integration that is unseen to date. Additionally, Mac may find a way to integrate laptops and iPads to the system, enticing more premium car buyers to opt for a Mac computer instead of a PC.
The famed Halda Watch Company of Sweden is introducing a new convertible into the market for high-dollar racing watches. There’s a twist to this beauty’s black titanium frame: it accepts both a gorgeous mechanical movement as well as a high-tech digital chronometer for racing lap times and three-axis g-force readings.
The concept of two watches serving different purposes enhances the authenticity of the product for a realistic racing tie-in. The digital portion, or the Racing Module, is pre-loaded with full maps of the world’s 150 top racetracks, like Suzuka in Japan and Silverstone in England. The digital face is also perfectly useful in real life via reconfigurable display settings to deliver all the critical watch functions plus a few extra, like a super-loud alarm amplifier to be heard over racing engines.
Offered as a single watch or the pair of faces, the new Race Module also clips into Halda’s existing flagship watch, the Space Discovery.
Please click past the jump for the full gadget review of the Halda Race Pilot. Full story
Car insurance companies are always trying to find some way to better monitor your driving style and habits to help adjust their premiums accordingly. In fact, yours truly fell for the Progressive scam of plugging a small transmitter into the data port on my Mazdaspeed MX-5 with the promise that I could “save up to 30 percent.” Well, this little gadget sensed every time I tapped the brakes a little too hard or pushed my little turbocharged roadster into a corner just a little harder than usual, then it would beep and upload this information to the company.
Well, after noticing what this gizmo was up to, I quickly unplugged it and overnighted it to Progressive with a thanks-but-no-thanks letter. Well, now more insurance companies are getting into the tracking game with even more technology. In fact, State Farm has taken it a little further by installing an app on your Android 4.0 (or higher) smartphone. According to State Farm this app will collect “basic information about your driving,” but the insurance giant doesn’t offer a bit of info about what it will use this data for.
So, why would you allow your insurance company to track how, when and where you drive? Because they grease your palm, of course; State Farm is offering up a $50 gift card to the first 5,000 volunteers to give up their driving privacy and test the system. In fact, you don’t even have to be a State Farm customer to do this test and get the $50.
We say stay away from this deal and the insurance tracking devices altogether, regardless of how much they choose to offer you in return. Chances are that this information could potentially jack up your car insurance just because you park in a less-than-ideal area semi-frequently or brake a little harder than others. Plus, having your insurance company knowing what you’re up to at any given time is pretty dang scary.
What’s next, health insurance companies strapping devices on us to monitor our food intake and exercise?
How do you protect your supercar’s paintwork from stone chips? Two possible answers: Either never, ever drive it, or pay thousands to have clear films mounted to protect the trouble spots: nose, hood, rockers and wheel wells. An exciting new product called 3M Paint Defender offers all the benefits of permanent shields in an easy-to-use, crystal-clear spray-on film.
3M invited some auto journalists up to their Minnesota headquarters last week to unveil their latest innovation: a spray-on Paint Defender film that’s perfect for DIY car guys.
Keeping a supercar showroom fresh is a constant struggle, and the exterior paintwork is the hardest piece of the puzzle, right behind the engine and electronics. Buyers will walk right past a supercar with purring mechanicals if it has bad paint. Any visible paint scars from stone chips can be a deal-breaker and can easily knock 15 percent off the car’s total value.
Bad on a $10,000 Toyota but utterly devastating on a $200,000 Carrera GT.
Making things worse, low-slung supercars pick up more road scars and any other type of vehicle.
Click past the jump for the full review and the tech that makes this product one-of-a-kind. Full story
We’ve all been there and done that; you’re cruising down the road and the “Check Engine” light pops on. Then you have three choices. Choice No. 1 is simply ignoring the light and risking damaging important components on your car. Choice No. 2 is taking the car to the shop and pay upward of $100 just to have the light diagnosed. Choice No. 3 is to buy your own scanner for $50-plus and hope that you can sort out the problem.
Well, now there is a product named Automatic Link that takes the place of the standard OBD-II scanner and spits out the code that the check engine light was caused by and a general summary of the code right on your Bluetooth-compatible smartphone.
On top of being a rolling and wireless scanner, it also keeps tab on your driving style, mpg and so much more.
Click past the just to read our review on the Automatic Link Full story
Magna Steyr, the same company that gave us the 3-in-1 MILA Coupic Concept last year, is coming back to the Geneva Motor Show and it appears that it’s bringing a modified Peugeot RCZ with it that it apparently has turned into an "exciting coupe concept.”
No details were given on exactly what kind of model this is going to be - no name even - but according to a company press release, the entire objective is to present the RCZ Coupe Concept with what the company calls View Top, an innovative sliding folding roof with integrated glass elements that creates a unique open-air feeling.
The inspiration behind the concept, it appears, is the aforementioned MILA Coupic Concept, a vehicle that turned heads last year for its innovative approach to multi-functionality.
“The inspiration for this concept car stems from Magna Steyr’s MILA concept series, which demonstrates the unique product design and engineering capabilities that we can deliver to customers,” explains Magna Steyr president Günther Apfalter.
“We are excited to take our original View Top design concept and bring it closer to reality by showcasing it as a concept on a sports car production vehicle.”
Suffice to say, we’re more than interested to see what Magna Steyr has up its sleeve. We’re still not quite sure what the concept is going to look like, which makes the whole thing even more interesting.
*Note: Photo is of the Peugeot RCZ R Concept
The future looks quite promising for Audi and at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, the German company unveiled a variety of new technologies, including a new adaptive light for the xenon plus headlights. The new Matrix LED headlights will have small diodes that can be dimmed or individually switched on and off to provide optimal illumination.
The small individual diodes, backed by lenses or reflectors, always provide excellent illumination without needing a swiveling mechanism. This new system will obtain the information they need from a camera, the navigation system or additional sensors. If the camera detects other vehicles, these innovative headlights fade out the appropriate area of the high-beam headlights, which contain various light-source sectors.
The headlights can also illuminate the areas between several vehicles in complex situations. Based on navigation data, the high-beam headlight anticipates the bend and swivels to illuminate the road before the driver has even turned the wheel.
Audi also presented new laser taillights generated by a laser diode that provides drivers behind with a bright, clear signal and a new OLED technology made from an organic material.
Hit the jump to see the new technologies in video. Full story
More often than not, videos that last over four minutes are probably 30 seconds to a minute too long, but not this one. In this case, four minutes just isn’t enough.
German automaker, Porsche, engaged in the concept of "motionless driving" by taking us on a unique and visceral experience that highlights the almighty Porsche 911. Porsche accomplished this through projection-mapping technology, a concept that highlights the emotions of driving a 911, all while doing it with a unique platform at the company’s Porsche Center Padova at an event where the 911 served as a projection screen for this rather amazing presentation.
This video is certainly worth your four minutes. Heck, after watching it, you might just ask for more time from Porsche. We won’t blame you because we feel the exact same way.
In any case, give it a watch and you’ll understand exactly what we’re talking about.
The current Audi TT-RS is powered by a 2.5-liter, 5-cylinder engine that delivers a total of 360 horsepower at 5,500 rpm and 343 pound-feet of torque at a super-low 1,650 rpm. Impressive results for such a tiny sports car, but not impressive enough considering that Mercedes obtained an almost similar output from an even slower engine: the 330 HP 2.0-liter four-cylinder set to be used in the A45 AMG.
As a result, Audi decided its time to update this famous engine. The timing’s right, too, because by September 2014, the German automaker will have to comply to EU 6 regulations. In order to achieve this update, Audi will be working on the engine’s combustion processes, while also working on the catalysts and "from there it’s just geometry", according to quattro development boss Stephan Reil, who also added that the "air coming in to the cylinder in rolling waves to produce as little pollution as possible."
During the entire process, Audi will also be working on improving the engine’s performance numbers, especially if you consider that Tobias Moers from AMG claims that the A45 AMG is around six seconds faster around the Nurburgring Nordschleife than the RS3 - which is also using the five-cylinder engine.