Fly a little higher, Carwings. Nissan has been using the communication system as a way for drivers of the battery-electric Leaf to do things like use a smartphone start the charging process remotely, check the charging status or find nearby charging stations. The service was one of the tools Nissan was offering to newbie drivers of the first US mass-produced electric vehicle to better familiarize themselves with ideas like recharging your car from miles away.
Like the Volar-E and E-Born3 concepts before it, the new iShare EV from Applus IDIADA makes you stop and look twice. Looking like the strange child of a Smart Fortwo and a flat-nose semi tractor, the iShare is a purpose-designed little car (technically, a heavy quadricycle) that Applus has prepped for carsharing duty in European cities. There are no key holes in the doors, but the designers didn't forget them. Instead, they rethought how a car like this should be locked and unlocked.
Toyota is looking to meld the smartphones with the television in a new ad campaign. The automaker is giving fans a chance to win two Camrys in new promotion that uses the Shazam mobile app in conjunction with a TV spot. When the commercial airs, viewers simply fire up Shazam and enter the giveaway. (They can also enter the sweepstakes online.) Toyota says the program is the first and largest of its kind to use Shazam.
General Motors is working on a new vehicle communications system that could help avert up to 81 percent of crashes, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The system uses small mobile devices, like smart phone applications, to gather information about the vehicle's surroundings. The system could alert the driver of stalled vehicles on the side of the road, drivers who are abruptly stopping, averse road conditions and even stop signs and stop lights before the hazards co
The all-electric Smart EDs may not be here yet, but a companion app for the little city cars is already available in the iTunes App Store [$9.99 for the U.S version, $11.99 for the EU version]. Called Smart Drive, the app is one half of the Smart Drive Kit (the other is a holder that connects your iPhone to the dashboard and to the Fortwo's entertainment system) and is suitable for use in non-electric Fortwos as well. Heck, you could probably use this app in any car you wanted with limited funct