When Don Butler made the decision to leave his post as Cadillac's VP of global strategic development, it was a surprise. Citing a desire to "recalibrate, reassess my priorities" in that August announcement, it wasn't entirely clear where Butler – a virtual General Motors lifer after spending nearly 30 years with the company – would end up. Turns out he took a trip to Dearborn.
The Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas is rapidly becoming a major stage on which automakers show off their latest and greatest goodies designed to make the lives of drivers easier and more colorful. For Chevrolet, that means it is unveiling a bunch of new smartphone-like technologies for its cars.
Let's just say the smart money's on smart transportation. A recent study by MarketsAndMarkets found that global spending on so-called smart-transportation initiatives will quadruple to more than $102 billion in 2018 from almost $27 billion this year. Spending on communication systems that do everything from conveying local traffic levels to providing parking and traffic-ticketing information, all of which will be designed to make the roads safer and more efficient, will jump by about 24 percent
Organizers for the Tokyo Motor Show have a problem on their hands. Ever since the financial crisis, the biannual auto show has been enduring a downturn. Though 2011's attendance of 842,600 visitors was an improvement of 37 percent over 2009, the overall trend is downward from 1.43 million visitors in 2007. The height of attendance for the show was in 1991 when the 15-day exhibition ushered in 2.02 million patrons. The show later shrunk to 13 days, then to ten, in response to shrinking demand.
Do you love your car? Like, really love your car? How about your iPhone? According to Forbes, a group called New Media Metrics has a way to quantify just how much you adore your devices, and how that emotional connection determines your purchasing behavior.
Nearly the entire auto industry has finally caught up with the world of consumer electronics, offering a way to connect the iPod/iPhone – be it via USB, Bluetooth or official Apple connector – in most new cars. The 30-pin Apple connector was first incorporated in a car by BMW in 2004 and was significant because it meant inclusion of a connector that only works for a single brand's products.
BMW claims to have been the first carmaker to offer an in-dash navigation system all the way back in 1994 on its 7 Series. It was also arguably the first automaker to experience the backlash that comes with poor user interface design when it introduced the iDrive system in 2001. Nav systems today have trickled down to cars costing a fraction of the 7 Series these days, and iDrive has matured to become a competitive infotainment platform among the luxury set. This week, BMW is unveiling the lates
We can't see any way for Mr. LaHood and his crusaders against distracted driving to win; consumers want access to their connected lives even while behind the wheel and they're going to find a way to get it. Even if it means not being able to actually use a cellphone, manufacturers are right now working on ways to further integrate the app-sphere into their infotainment systems, and a Michigan company called Livio would like to help them.
Audi has dropped the details on seven new technologies it is working on, some of which are still in early development, while others will be on the road within the next few years. They span the spectrum from furthering Audi's commitment to lightening its vehicles through the extensive use of aluminum and carbon fiber composite to new infotainment concepts and its continued push for electrification through its e-tron program.
When Mercedes-Benz rolls with DICE (Dynamic & Intuitive Control Experience), many of the clumsy controls that drivers have to fumble over will be a thing of the past. At CES 2012, luxury automakers like Mercedes and Audi (more on that in next week's episode) have envisioned gesture-based controls to be the future of in-car tech.
Subaru and Honda have shacked up with Aha Radio to bring streaming Internet tunes to your vehicle's cabin. According to Engadget, the system is expected to show up as an option on the 2013 Subaru BRZ. Users will need to have the Aha Radio app installed on their iOS or Android smartphone. The system then uses the device's data connection to stream the application straight into the head unit via Bluetooth or a USB connection. Information like pre-selected favorites and station preferences will be
Audi has tripled the size of its booth here at CES, and contained within is a mockup of the next A3's interior. Well, half of it. But the functional display was designed to showcase the latest generation of Audi Connect, the automaker's reworked infotainment system that's set to debut on the 2013 Audi A3.
Here's another first for Ford after the revelation of its motion-capturing software: The Blue Oval will be the first to offer iTunes tagging through iPods on SYNC-equipped vehicles. Right behind the announcement of mobile Internet connectivity being added to SYNC, this will go along with the package of mobile apps the carmaker will reveal at CES next month.