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Show-goers Find Plenty Cool Tech at 2014 Auto Show

Motorists find ways to stay connected, improve safety, boost mileage.

by on Jan.24, 2014

The latest Honda Link not only accesses smartphone music apps, but even displays a new navi app on the LCD screen of the new 2015 Honda Fit.

This year’s North American International Auto Show is flirting with record attendance levels despite the intense cold that has settled over the Motor City – and that may be because show-goers have plenty of cool stuff to check out into Detroit’s sprawling Cobo Center convention hall.

There are 100s of new cars, trucks, crossovers and concept vehicles on display – including more than 50 vehicles making their debut at the 2014 NAIAS.  But for many of the visitors who’ve slogged through snow and temperatures dipping at times below zero, the big draw are the new performance, safety and infotainment features rapidly transforming the automobile into a technological showcase.

Keep on Truckin'!

This year’s Detroit auto show follows the big Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, and there are some notable similarities – no surprise, suggests Art St. Cyr, the head of American Honda’s automotive operations, since for many buyers, “the single most-important technology is their cellphone. They don’t want to be disconnected.”

That’s an observation more and more automakers are taking to heart.  Among the coolest new automotive technologies, many allow motorists to pair the car with their smartphones, tablets, laptop computers and other digital devices.

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Ford Sets up Shop in Silicon Valley

New R&D center part of shift in thinking about car as mobile “platform.”

by on Jan.06, 2012

Ford's new Silicon Valley center will be located near key tech giants like HP, Microsoft and Google - as well as Stanford University.

Ford Motor Co. is setting up a new research lab in California’s fabled Silicon Valley, underscoring the Detroit maker’s efforts to turn the car into a mobile “platform,” rather than just a mechanical conveyance.

The new facility will help Ford develop a variety of new features and apps for its future products, from high-tech safety systems to advanced infotainment systems, company officials note.  It will be used to develop partnerships with both established technology firms – such as Microsoft, which developed the underlying software behind Ford’s popular Sync system – and start-ups.

The lab, which will be located near Stanford University, in Palo Alto, will help by “ushering in a new era of collaboration and finding new partners to help us transform what it means to be an automaker,” explained Ford’s Chief Technical Officer Paul Mascarenas, who suggested the move is “a very natural extension” for the second-largest of the U.S. makers.

Your Inside Source!

Ford has put a heavy emphasis on technology in recent years – as have many of its competitors.  Mark Fields, Ford’s President of the Americas, frequently talks about “democratizing technology,” by taking high-tech systems previously found in limited use on luxury products and putting it into high-volume production on mainstream models like the new Ford Fusion.

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