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Archive for the ‘Infotainment’ Category

Tesla Model 3 Not Faring Well in Media Spotlight

Consumer Reports, Edmunds point out problems with new sedan.

by on May.21, 2018

Tesla's Model 3 isn't getting the rave reviews from some media outlets the company would like.

Tesla’s Model 3 is slowly working its way on to the driveways of the tens of thousands of folks who ordered one — including Consumer Reports and Edmunds, and the results are not what the EV maker had hoped.

Consumer Reports said it “found plenty to like about the luxury compact sedan (which starts at $35,000 but goes all the way up to $78,000), including record-setting range as well as exhilarating acceleration and handling that could make it a healthy competitor to performance-oriented cars such as BMW’s 3 Series and the Audi A4.”

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However, it quickly pointed a few flaws in the new model, primarily long stopping distances in the magazine’s emergency braking test and difficult-to-use controls, that prevented it from earning a recommendation. (more…)

Ford Offers New Waze to Help Drivers Deal with Traffic

Traffic app being integrated into Sync 3

by on May.17, 2018

Ford Motor Co. now has Waze available for navigation for use through Sync 3.

Millions of Ford customers have purchased vehicles with built-in navigation technology, and the latest versions often come with the ability to show where traffic is backed up. But the Metro Detroit-based automaker plans to take things a step further.

Owners will now be able to access the Waze app through Ford’s Sync infotainment system. Waze, which was developed in Israel and then purchased by Google for $1.3 billion in 2013, goes beyond traditional navigation programs. It offers up routes that are designed to specifically avoid traffic, often detouring off clogged freeways and main arteries onto back roads and through residential neighborhoods.

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There is a caveat, however. First shown at the Consumer Electronics Show last winter, the feature will only be able to work on Ford vehicles with the carmaker’s latest infotainment system, Sync 3. And, at least initially, it will only be available for those with an Apple iPhone using a relatively recent operating system, iOS 11.3 or later. (more…)

War and Peace: The Two Stories of a Driver’s Daily Commute

Study shows commuters want a calm trek, but don't aways get it.

by on May.07, 2018

Drivers across the country view time spent commuting to and from work as "me time."

It seems that increasingly daily commuters climb into their cars, trucks or utility vehicles with one of two mindsets: War or peace.

A new survey by Cars.com shows that the average commuter is on the road 22 minutes and the vast majority, 79%, are looking to make their drive time more relaxed and focused on them.

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“With the vast majority of commuters traveling by car, it’s important to have a vehicle that’s not only safe and reliable but comfortable too,” said Jenni Newman, editor-in-chief of Cars.com.  (more…)

Study Shows Motorists Want Calmer, More Comfortable Commute

Better seats, audio systems and safety tech top list.

by on May.04, 2018

A study from Volvo Cars and Harris show that drivers want a calmer daily commute.

Commuting is stressful, and Americans are looking for relief and a lot of them are finding it in their cars. A new study from Volvo Cars and Harris indicates 75% of Americans are seeking more ways to find calm amid increasing stress levels.

Moreover, the respondents to the Volvo/Harris survey are also looking in surprising places to find it. In fact, more Americans find serenity on their daily drive, approximately 20% more than while doing yoga, which 14% respondents said helped them minimize the stress.

Volvo commission the study because it was seeking to better understand how commuting and traffic drive stress levels amongst Americans, and what factors might help drivers decompress and find their own personal sanctuary on the road.  (more…)

First Drive: 2019 Toyota Corolla Hatchback

Improved power, comfort and tech in an attractive package.

by on Apr.30, 2018

The 2019 Toyota Corolla Hatchback features more power and tech for the small hatch.

While sales of small cars have dwindled in recent years, hatchbacks have made a slow, steady of comeback of sorts.

Now Toyota, one of the largest and most versatile carmakers in the world, is adding a new hatchback to its popular Corolla family. The 2019 Corolla Hatchback arrives with new styling, a more powerful engine and clever technology that will help the car stand out in a crowded segment.

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In fact, Toyota is describing the Corolla Hatchback as the most “technologically advanced” small car it has ever built, which is saying something for a company that has more or less dominated the small car market around the world for past 50 years. (more…)

Lexus Betting Big on All-New ES

Gen-7 sedan expected to remain key model in luxury line-up.

by on Apr.25, 2018

The seventh-generation 2019 Lexus ES.

For those who haven’t been watching, the 2019 Lexus line-up won’t have much in common with the model mix of just five years ago. Where sedans once dominated the brand’s product portfolio, crossovers like the new UX and NX, as well as the long-popular RX, have overwhelmed traditional Lexus sedans such as the LS and GS.

So, it might come as a surprise to see the big deal Lexus is making over the launch of the all-new 2019 ES sedan, going so far as to stage simultaneous previews in both Los Angeles and the Beijing Motor Show.

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“We’re acutely aware there’s a robust SUV market in the U.S., and Lexus is playing a part in that,” said Cooper Ericksen, the brand’s U.S. marketing chief, said during the L.A. ES unveiling. “We understand the importance of SUVs, but we also understand the importance of great sedans.”

(more…)

2019 Lexus ES Sedan Breaks Cover in Beijing

Point-counterpoint, as Lexus adds F Sport, as well as hybrid versions.

by on Apr.24, 2018

Lexus aimed to put more "passion" into the design and performance of the 2019 ES.

After a series of fan dance teases, Lexus has finally pulled the wraps off its seventh-generation in a dual presentation at the Beijing Motor Show and near its old U.S. corporate headquarters in Los Angeles.

One of the first models ever introduced by the Japanese automaker, the ES has long been known for its comfort, reliability and value, though it has also helped Lexus earn a reputation for plain vanilla design and performance. The luxury arm of Toyota Motor Corp. is determined not to let that happen again.

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“The ES has always been an elegant luxury sedan,” said Yasuo Kojino, the 2019 model’s chief designer. “For this generation, we have added daring design elements that challenge the traditional expectations of buyers.”

(more…)

Amazon Will Now Deliver Packages to Your Car, as Well as Your Home

New program available to millions of GM and Volvo owners.

by on Apr.24, 2018

An Amazon driver uses a smartphone app to open the trunk on a Chevrolet Bolt EV.

More than 100 million people, half of them in the U.S., now subscribe to online retail giant Amazon Prime. The $99-a-year service not only offers free delivery on most packages to a customer’s home but is now adding a new twist: customers can have packages delivered to the trunk of their vehicles.

The In-Car Delivery program will be available, starting today, to millions of owners of General Motors and Volvo vehicles in 37 U.S. cities. To use the service, a customer will simply choose “in-car delivery” among the various options Amazon offers.

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“At Amazon, we are always working to make our customers’ lives easier and starting today….Prime members now have another way to ensure their packages are safe and secure—all for no additional cost,” said Peter Larsen, Vice President of Delivery Technology, Amazon.

(more…)

Volvo Bringing Ambience to its Newest Beijing Concept

Company's latest concept builds off S90 Excellence.

by on Apr.23, 2018

Volvo's newest debut, the S90 Ambience Concept, is based off last year's S90 Excellence.

Volvo newest concept for the Beijing Auto Show continues to show the company’s focus on the wants, needs and desires of the world’s largest luxury vehicle market: China. The S90 Ambience Concept is based on the S90 Excellence from last year.

The company describes the Ambience Concept as “an industry-first sensory experience that synchronizes visuals, sound and scent to redefine in-car luxury.”

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In short, that means passengers can personalize the Ambience Concept’s interior atmosphere or feel using a smartphone app. Users can choose from one of seven visual theme that are linked to audio and scents. (more…)

Lexus Offers Full Look at New ES Before Beijing Debut

Shares the same architecture at new Avalon.

by on Apr.20, 2018

Lexus provided an early look at the new ES ahead of its Beijing debut.

As its debut creeps closer, Lexus elected to reveal an early look at the new ES in advance of its premier next week in Beijing.

Expected to borrow heavily from the Avalon, the first photo reveals a similar design aestetic when it comes to the grille. The front grille on the Avalon is massive and on the ES it sticks to the traditional spindle grille, but it’s much larger than on past editions.

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The brand offered a new pic and short film of the vehicle and said even less. (more…)