100 Hot Cars

Just Car Blog

Video: Camaro Z/28 Aerodynamics Fine-tuned With Flowtie to Replace Restricting Bowtie 5
Mar
Posted by Malcolm Hogan in 2014 Camaro Z/28, Auto Addiction, Automotive, Chevrolet, Chevrolet Camaro, Chevrolet Camaro Z28, GM, Technical, video on 03 5th, 2014
chevrolet-camaro-z28-flowtie

chevrolet-camaro-z28-flowtie

Chevrolet has remarkably tuned the all-new Camaro Z/28 to be a marvel, which is why it can make record runs around the Nurburgring. Part of that remarkable tuning comes down to now only just the sheer power of its naturally aspirated 505-horsepower V8 engine, but engineers have replaced the traditional bowtie emblem on the front grill with a Flowtie. The new Flowtie design is a gutted or hollowed-out design with the boarder of the original Bowtie left in place.

chevrolet-camaro-z28-flowtie-diagram-airflow

The Flowtie design allows air to be channeled in a more direct nature to the radiator for better cooling. In tests the Flowtie design adds 3 cubic meters of air through the grill per minute. This keeps the engine coolant and oil temperatures down a full 2 degrees Fahrenheit on hard track runs when compared to having the original Bowtie up front. Talking about some serious engineering right?



Apple To Change Up the Car Game with CarPlay 3
Mar
Posted by Malcolm Hogan in Apple, Apple CarPlay, Apple iPad, Apple iPhone, Auto Addiction, Automotive, CarPlay, Geneva Auto Show, Geneva Motor Show, News, Technical on 03 3rd, 2014
CarPlay_Honda_Homescreen_PRINT-sm

CarPlay_Honda_Homescreen_PRINT-sm

For many years now we have always wondered what would be the infotainment or control system to dominate the automotive industry. Though we may not know any time soon, or in our lifetime for that matter, but what we do know is Apple is getting into the car game to stir things up a bit and it might work.

CarPlay_Honda_Map_PRINT-sm

Apple is poised to change up the car game with their new CarPlay system, which we will actually start seeing in select vehicles before this year is out. CarPlay promises to bring the iPhone/iPad experience to your car with an easy-to-use touch-screen interface that you may already be familiar with provided you already have experience using an iPhone or iPad.

It was only a matter of time before we saw some form of the Apple OS X in cars and that day is closer than ever as the likings of BMW, Ferrari, Ford, GM, Honda, Hyundai, Jaguar – Land Rover, Kia, Mercedes-Benz, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Subaru and Volvo are all signed up for this new tech. The first iteration of the Apple CarPlay will debut this week at the Geneva Auto Show where Ferrari, Benz, and Volvo will be the very first adopters.

CarPlay_Honda_Music_PRINT-sm

Of course with any Apple product the integration between other Apple devices will be seamless as the CarPlay system promises to link or sync up with your iPhone 5, 5C and 5S with virtually ease. Siri will also be a big part of the system for unsurpassed voice recognition and virtual controls for your vehicle. Additionally, CarPlay could potentially be one of several supported platforms on top of others that auto makers choose from.

Things are already in motion for CarPlay as the next iOS 7 update will come with in-car support as new models launch with the integration built in.

For more information on Apple CarPlay and updates, Apple has setup their own web portal about the new system at http://www.apple.com/ios/carplay/.

Apple Rolls Out CarPlay Giving Drivers a Smarter, Safer & More Fun Way to Use iPhone in the Car

CarPlay Premieres with Leading Auto Manufacturers at the Geneva International Motor Show

GENEVA―March 3, 2014―Apple® today announced that leading auto manufacturers are rolling out CarPlay, the smarter, safer and more fun way to use iPhone® in the car. CarPlay gives iPhone users an incredibly intuitive way to make calls, use Maps, listen to music and access messages with just a word or a touch. Users can easily control CarPlay from the car’s native interface or just push-and-hold the voice control button on the steering wheel to activate Siri® without distraction. Vehicles from Ferrari, Mercedes-Benz and Volvo will premiere CarPlay to their drivers this week, while additional auto manufacturers bringing CarPlay to their drivers down the road include BMW Group, Ford, General Motors, Honda, Hyundai Motor Company, Jaguar Land Rover, Kia Motors, Mitsubishi Motors, Nissan Motor Company, PSA Peugeot Citroën, Subaru, Suzuki and Toyota Motor Corp.

“CarPlay has been designed from the ground up to provide drivers with an incredible experience using their iPhone in the car,” said Greg Joswiak, Apple’s vice president of iPhone and iOS Product Marketing. “iPhone users always want their content at their fingertips and CarPlay lets drivers use their iPhone in the car with minimized distraction. We have an amazing lineup of auto partners rolling out CarPlay, and we’re thrilled it will make its debut this week in Geneva.”

Apple has led consumer technology integration in the car for more than a decade. CarPlay brings your car and iPhone together for a thoughtful experience that lets drivers focus on driving, while also tapping into everything they want to do with their iPhone.

Once iPhone is connected to a vehicle with CarPlay integration, Siri helps you easily access your contacts, make calls, return missed calls or listen to voicemails. When incoming messages or notifications arrive, Siri provides an eyes-free experience by responding to requests through voice commands, by reading drivers’ messages and letting them dictate responses or simply make a call.

CarPlay makes driving directions more intuitive by working with Maps to anticipate destinations based on recent trips via contacts, emails or texts, and provides routing instructions, traffic conditions and ETA. You can also simply ask Siri and receive spoken turn-by-turn directions, along with Maps, which will appear on your car’s built-in display.

CarPlay gives drivers access to all of their music, podcasts, audiobooks and iTunes Radio℠ with easy navigation through listening choices from the car’s built-in controls or simply by asking Siri to pull up what you’d like to hear. CarPlay also supports select third-party audio apps including Spotify and iHeartRadio, so you can listen to your favorite radio services or sports broadcast apps while driving.

Pricing & Availability
Apple CarPlay is available as an update to iOS 7 and works with Lightning-enabled iPhones, including iPhone 5s, iPhone 5c and iPhone 5. CarPlay will be available in select cars shipping in 2014.

Apple designs Macs, the best personal computers in the world, along with OS X, iLife, iWork and professional software. Apple leads the digital music revolution with its iPods and iTunes online store. Apple has reinvented the mobile phone with its revolutionary iPhone and App Store, and is defining the future of mobile media and computing devices with iPad.



Video: Chevrolet Camaro Z/28 Gets Flying Car Mode – Disables Traction Control When Airborne 25
Feb
Posted by Malcolm Hogan in 2014 Camaro Z/28, Auto Addiction, Automotive, Chevrolet, Chevrolet Camaro Z28, News, Technical, video on 02 25th, 2014
camaro-z28-flying-car-mode-1

camaro-z28-flying-car-mode-1

“Do you even lift bro?” – That is pretty much the air of what this video is all about, pun intended. It seems Chevrolet has many things up their sleeves when it comes to laying down the best track time on the Nurburgring. Chevrolet is slowly releasing details on the ingenuity that went into the new 2014 Camaro Z/28 to help it shave seconds off of lap times, even when the vehicle is airborne.

camaro-z28-flying-car-mode

A system called “Flying Car Mode” enables the traction control to temporarily disable when ride-height sensors detect the vehicle being airborne. This in itself allows full throttle to be applied so when the vehicle lands it does not suffer from an negative torque or slow-down due to a conventional traction control system slowing the spin of the wheels from detecting an abrupt acceleration while off of the pavement. It is pretty ingenious if you think about it. Check out the video below for the demonstration and explanation.



How To Create a Toyota FT-1 Concept TRD Race Car in Photoshop: Video 21
Feb
Posted by Malcolm Hogan in Auto Addiction, Automotive, Automotive Help, Photoshop, Technical, TOYOTA, Toyota FT-1 Concept, TRD, video on 02 21st, 2014
toyota-ft-1-concept-trd-racecar-photoshop

toyota-ft-1-concept-trd-racecar-photoshop

I always wanted to be a car designer but I instead took up an initial career working with computer technology and software internet marketing until I ventured back into my heart-felt passion of doing something with cars. Have you ever wanted to tinker around with photoshop to the point that you feel like a car designer? I know I have many times and have failed miserably with only a few successful attempts, which I still care not to share with the hundreds of thousands of visitors to AutomotiveAddicts.com. The guys at Autobytel have taken on the time consuming task of sharing their exquisite photoshop skills in the creation of a Toyota FT-1 Concept TRD racecar.

No doubt that the Toyota FT-1 Concept is one of the hottest vehicles to be showcased on an auto show floor in decades. Taking such an already-stunning design and doing anything apart from changing the color via photoshop is a serious feat. Somehow, Autobytel does it justice in the creation of a TRD racecar variation as demonstrated in the exclusive photoshop time-lapse video below. Enjoy!



Infiniti Q50 Eau Rouge Concept Sounds Like a Nissan GT-R: Video 19
Feb
Posted by Malcolm Hogan in Auto Addiction, Automotive, Infiniti, infiniti q50, Infiniti Q50 Eau Rouge, nissan, nissan gt-r, Technical, video on 02 19th, 2014
infiniti-q50-eau-rouge-concept

infiniti-q50-eau-rouge-concept

When the Infiniti Q50 Eau Rouge Concept went on display at the Detroit Auto Show this year we were instantly enthused with the possibility that Nissan’s luxury and ‘inspired performance” brand could really pull off an excellent performance-oriented vehicle to compete with the likings of AMG, BMW Motorsport and even Cadillac’s V series. Today, those hopes are reiterated with a preview video of the new Q50 Eau Rouge sounding similar to that of a Nissan GT-R. Additionally, you can hear a serious blow-off valve from the potential twin-turbo setup.

Not only did I notice the sound from my extensive time spent with many Nissan GT-Rs over the past couple of years, but the brand’s president Johan de Nysschen making the statement that “If we built this car I would expect it to feature over 500 horsepower and 600 lb-ft of torque” kind of supports my thought process here. Now to me, that sounds like them using the Nissan GT-R’s powerplant or a derivative of it. You take a listen below and let us know what you think. Enjoy!



2014 J.D. Power Vehicle Dependability Study Released – Cars Getting Less Reliable? 13
Feb
Posted by Malcolm Hogan in An Addictive Take On Cars, Auto Addiction, Automotive, Automotive Help, J.D. Power and Associates, JD POwer, News, Technical, Vehicle Dependability Study on 02 13th, 2014
2013-lexus-rx350-f-sport

2013-lexus-rx350-f-sport

Each year we take pleasure in reviewing the J.D. Power Vehicle Dependability Study and examining which automakers make the top of the list and which ones falter. This year, for the first time since 1998, the overall dependability declined when compared to previous years.

The 2014 study is significant more so in its demonstration of over-all dependability, all according to problems per 100 vehicles reported, due to a decline throughout the entire automotive landscape. One could conclude that today’s cars are a bit less reliable than the outgoing few years. Though, this is not to say some of your favorite brands have not improved. Considering how Lexus has remained to stay at the very top of the list demonstrates how there pursuit for perfection is paying off. Additionally, their margin over the next best automaker is astonishing, scoring only 68 problems per 100 vehicles while Mercedes-Benz takes second place with 104 PP100.

2014-jdpower-vehicle-dependability-study-1

 

2014-jdpower-vehicle-dependability-study-1
2014-jdpower-vehicle-dependability-study-2
2014-jdpower-vehicle-dependability-study-3

You may view additional data on the 2014 J.D. Power Vehicle Dependability Study on their site here.



2014 J.D. Power Vehicle Dependability Study Released – Cars Getting Less Reliable? 13
Feb
Posted by Malcolm Hogan in Auto Addiction, Automotive, Automotive Help, J.D. Power and Associates, JD POwer, News, Technical, Vehicle Dependability Study on 02 13th, 2014
2013-lexus-rx350-f-sport

2013-lexus-rx350-f-sport

Each year we take pleasure in reviewing the J.D. Power Vehicle Dependability Study and examining which automakers make the top of the list and which ones falter. This year, for the first time since 1998, the overall dependability declined when compared to previous years.

The 2014 study is significant more so in its demonstration of over-all dependability, all according to problems per 100 vehicles reported, due to a decline throughout the entire automotive landscape. One could conclude that today’s cars are a bit less reliable than the outgoing few years. Though, this is not to say some of your favorite brands have not improved. Considering how Lexus has remained to stay at the very top of the list demonstrates how there pursuit for perfection is paying off. Additionally, their margin over the next best automaker is astonishing, scoring only 68 problems per 100 vehicles while Mercedes-Benz takes second place with 104 PP100.

2014-jdpower-vehicle-dependability-study-1

 

2014-jdpower-vehicle-dependability-study-1
2014-jdpower-vehicle-dependability-study-2
2014-jdpower-vehicle-dependability-study-3

You may view additional data on the 2014 J.D. Power Vehicle Dependability Study on their site here.



Effective Tools to Keep Your Teen Safe on the Roads 6
Feb
Posted by Darryl in Automotive, Automotive Help, Car Safety, safety, Technical, texting, texting while driving, Vehicle Safety on 02 6th, 2014
teen-car-safety-texting-driving

teen-car-safety-texting-driving

According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, teens are four times more likely to crash than adult drivers. Car crashes also are the leading cause of death for those between age 16 and 20, killing more than 5,600 teenagers every year. While there is no fail-proof way to ensure safety on the road, there are ways to keep your teenager aware and accountable while driving. Help your teen focus on safety with these gadgets and resources aimed with distracted drivers in mind.

From One Second to the Next

Real-life consequences from distracted driving may drive the message home for teen drivers. Legendary filmmaker Werner Herzog made the sobering documentary, “From One Second to the Next” in partnership with AT&T, Verizon, Sprint and T-Mobile. The film is part of AT&T’s It Can Wait campaign and follows real-life accounts of drivers who text while driving and the serious accidents that ensue. One texting driver killed three kids riding in an Amish buggy, while another disabled a young child who was walking home from school with his sister. The texting drivers, and suffering families, all make pleas to put down your smartphones while driving.

Get a Safe Driving App

Teens are tethered to their friends and peers and want to stay in constant contact. Eliminate the temptation to text and drive while still keeping in touch. An app like Safe Driving Text Machine can automatically send a message of your choice in response to an incoming text. The app can detect driving mode, but also respond to all text messages even if you’re not behind the wheel. Use a text like, “Hi, this is a safe text app I’m using. It’s letting you know I’m driving right now and will text you when it’s safe. See you!”

TextArrest takes safety on the road a step further. It completely disables texting and email on smartphones by sensing when a car is traveling faster than 5 mph. It also can track the movement and location of mobile phones in transit, providing you some peace of mind as your teen heads to and from somewhere.

Get Rewarded for Safe Driving

Set consequences for your teen and his driving behavior. Take away driving privileges and ask him to contribute to the cost of car insurance for each text or distraction. But don’t forget to reward him with good driving behavior with a gas card or extra car time.

An app like DriveScribe also can help you monitor your teen’s driving behavior and establish reward incentives. The app awards points for good driving and can be cashed in for gift cards at participating retailers. Driving behavior is monitored in real-time and can also give auditory alerts when speeding or approaching stop signs. It also is able to auto-respond to incoming texts and records violations for parents to review.

Hyundai’s Blue Link System

Hyundai’s Blue Link interface will call for help after a crash, but also alert parents when their teenagers are distracted behind the wheel. A handy curfew alert feature automatically calls, texts or emails parents if a car is driven after a predetermined time. Parents also can set speed limits for teens and receive messages if their teen breaks that rule. The idea is if your teen knows you’re monitoring his driving behavior, he will engage in less risky behaviors or suffer the consequences. Chapman Hyundai‘s Facebook page recently posted stats about Blue Link’s Info system search, in which your teen can also do everything from remotely starting their engine and honking their horn, to searching for and sending points of interest to the vehicle. Convenience and safety in one package is a nice benefit.

Lead by Example

Remember that kids grow up watching their parents drive. Wrestling with the music controls, digging through the glove box, putting on makeup or snacking with one hand on the wheel are all bad habits teens learn from their parents. If you’ve always been a distracted driver, there’s never been a better time to turn over a new leaf. Tell your teen you want to work on focused driving together and share info about the classes and gadgets you’re learning about for safe driving.



Snow-Savvy Vehicles: Get the Best Bang for Your Buck 9
Jan
Posted by Darryl in Auto Addiction, Automotive, Automotive Help, Snow, Technical on 01 9th, 2014
nissan-pathfinder

Wanted: safe, reliable, affordable, stylish winter transportation. Must like long drives on snow-covered roads and must handle well in all weather conditions. Must sweep me off my feet and over snow drifts. Must warm my hands with a heated steering wheel and warm my heart with good gas mileage.

Okay, so a personal ad may not be a great way to find the best car for snow-bound drivers, but this list will help you on your search. Keeping the budget and cool factors in mind, here are a few good snow-worthy options starting around $30,000 or less for you to consider. Take these new models out for a spin. Or, for additional cost savings, try a late model vehicle. Savvy buyers can get a terrific price for a winter-ready car through private sellers or they can get a great deal at DriveTime or other used auto dealerships.

The Subaru Family (Outback, XV Crosstrek, Legacy, Impreza)

Subaru offers four affordable snow-worthy vehicles: the Outback, SV Crosstrek, Legacy, and Impreza. Subaru touts its symmetrical all-wheel drive (AWD)—standard on most Subaru models—as providing top traction, stability and control. In addition to AWD, these Subarus offer drivers standard anti-lock brakes (ABS), brake assist (to control the force and speed of braking) and tire pressure monitoring (to make sure your tires are in great condition to hit the icy roads). Some Subaru models also have an option for traction control, driver assistance technology (lane departure warnings), remote start capabilities (to warm the engine and the cabin before you get in), heated mirrors and windshield wiper de-icers. These safety and comfort features are conveniently complemented by optional ski and snowboard carriers!

Photo of the Subaru Outback by David Villarreal Fernandez via Flickr

This collection of Subarus gets between 30 and 36 highway mpg. Vehicles in the collection run on regular gasoline (or the Crosstrek has a hybrid option) and are both under $24,000 for base models. Based on these features, Car and Driver calls the Outback “excellent both on and off pavement” and highlights the Impreza’s noteworthy “forget-the-weather, four-wheel-drive system,” while Autoweek calls the Legacy a “solid value” and the Crosstrek “a good, inexpensive little car.”

Photo of the Subaru Crosstrek by lotprocars via Flickr

Ford Fusion

The Ford Fusion, especially the Titanium model with available AWD, offers a sporty option for trekking through icy city streets or across the snowy countryside. The Fusion is available in regular gasoline and hybrid models; the standard Fusion Titanium model starts around $30,500 and gets up to 31 mpg (highway), while the hybrid Titanium starts around $32,500 and gets an average 47 mpg.

Photo by IFCAR via Wikimedia Commons

Both gas and hybrid models offer snow safety through standard ABS, electronic stability control (which senses and corrects for skidding) and Ford’s SOS Post Crash Alert system, which alerts emergency personnel by automatically turning on the car’s emergency flashers and horn after an accident when the airbags are deployed. The Titanium Fusion also offers comforting cold-weather conveniences, like standard heated seats and optional heated steering wheel, and comes with standard remote start.

Nissan Pathfinder

If you are looking for a slightly larger vehicle, check out the Nissan Pathfinder, which Autoweek calls a “nice-driving three-row crossover.” This seven-passenger vehicle comes standard with 2WD, but offers drivers additional drive settings with optional 4WD and Auto Mode settings to self-regulate 2WD or 4WD needs, while balancing road safety and gas mileage. Pathfinders do well on snowy roads with their standard ABS and brake assist, which manage braking in emergencies, and their traction control system, which helps drivers control braking and steering.

Photo by IFCAR via Wikimedia Commons

In addition to road safety features, Pathfinder options include cold-weather conveniences, like remote start; however, base model Pathfinders lack some of the other cold weather comforts, like heated seats and heated steering wheels, which are not available in entry-level models.

MINI Cooper S Countryman All4

If you prefer a more compact ride, look to the MINI Cooper S Countryman All4. This smaller sport utility vehicle (SUV) with seating for five is packed with safety and snow-worthy features. It comes standard with all-season tires, ABS and MINI’s Dynamic Stability Control and Dynamic Traction Control, which improve handling in adverse weather conditions.

mini-cooper-s-countryman-all4_engine_3

Photo by M 93 via Wikimedia Commons

Additionally, the MINI has an available optional cold weather package, which includes heated mirrors and heated front seats. In case you get stuck in the winter weather, MINI includes Roadside Assistance for the first four years of MINI ownership. These attributes earn the MINI Countryman praise from US News, which calls the Countryman “a compelling choice.”



Audi Unleashes Information-Overload Dashboard at CES 2014 8
Jan
Posted by Malcolm Hogan in audi, Audi TT, Auto Addiction, Automotive, Consumer Electronics Show, Events, Technical on 01 8th, 2014
audi-ces-lcd-dashboard

audi-ces-lcd-dashboard

In the quest to give consumers the most advanced and forward-thinking technology available, things tend to get a bit fffffreaky! Audi has really taken the cake at the Consumer Electronics Show this year unveiling a dashboard that looks to be a big overwhelming in the amount of information it throws up on a high-resolution LCD screen as demonstrated in the image above. It will be a reality as they have mentioned showing up in the upcoming Audi TT.

audi-ces-climate-controls-in-vents

Audi also added a nice touch to the ac/heater controls by placing the temp knob and read-out on the corresponding vent for supplying that set temperature. It is all genius but how do you expect someone to focus on the road with a screen that busy in the dashboard?



CES 2014: BMW ActiveAssist Takes Safety to new Heights and Can Drift Autonomously 8
Jan
Posted by Malcolm Hogan in 2014 BMW M235i, Auto Addiction, Automotive, BMW, BMW M235i, Car Safety, Consumer Electronics Show, Events, News, Technical, Vehicle Safety, video on 01 8th, 2014
BMW-CES-automated-driving

BMW-CES-automated-driving

The Consumer Electronics Show (CES) always has some new gadgets that catch my eye and it sometimes put it on my wish list considering how the price of the item will come down considerable by time I even think about saving my coins. BMW has trumped the CES show this year with their new ActiveAssist technology enabling the ‘system’ to perform automated drifts.

That is right, your BMW could one day be a virtual Ken Block or just take over driving duties in heavy traffic or stop you in time before you plow into the nearest object in front of you. Sure, these technologies are really nothing new, but BMW has taken them all to a new height to combine an integrated system like no other.

Hit up the full release below for the full details and explanations of each individual system and watch the video on how it can “Assist” your new Bimmer.

1.     Camera-based assistance systems bring enhanced safety into new vehicle classes.
Advances in camera and video technology have allowed visual detection to serve as a basis for modern assistance systems for some time now. For example, series-produced cars are already available with a camera (mounted in the centre of the windscreen in the base of the rear-view mirror) which delivers data for the Lane Departure Warning and traffic sign recognition systems. The Collision Warning system and Pedestrian Warning with city braking function, Traffic Jam Assistant and camera-based Active Cruise Control with Stop & Go function work exclusively on the basis of visual detection. They dispense with additional and costly radar technology, but offer similar functions. These safety systems can therefore also be extended to vehicle classes where demand for sophisticated systems has traditionally been low.

Modern camera-based systems have advantages over purely radar-based applications when it comes to recognition of stationary obstacles. A wide camera angle, moreover, enables reliable detection of objects pulling in or out at the edge of the driver’s field of vision. At the same time, however, camera-based systems do require certain light conditions. These systems are already enhancing safety in the innovative BMW i3, for example.

New Parking Assistant with longitudinal and lateral guidance.
The new Parking Assistant with longitudinal and lateral guidance offers customers significantly greater comfort and safety. Not only – as with existing systems – does it use ultrasound sensors to find parking spaces parallel to the road and take over the parking of the car via the electronically controlled steering (lateral guidance); the assistance system now also switches between the forward and reverse gears of the automatic gearbox and allows the car to pull away and brake automatically (longitudinal guidance). These functions are underpinned by an interface to the gearbox and the electronically controlled accelerator and brake pedal. All the driver has to do is hold down the button activating the new assistance system and monitor the automatic parking procedure.

The functions of systems like the new Parking Assistant with longitudinal and lateral guidance and the Traffic Jam Assistant go much further than existing assistance functions designed to ease the strain on drivers at the wheel. With their range of part-automated functions, they already lighten the driver’s workload much more significantly than conventional systems. Highly automated vehicles, meanwhile, can take over more of the driver’s tasks at a given time. All the systems performing these partly automated and highly automated roles are grouped under the BMW ActiveAssist banner and form a new branch of technology within BMW ConnectedDrive.

2.     BMW ActiveAssist and new control systems revolutionize Sheer Driving Pleasure.

The BMW Group uses its ConnectedDrive banner to group together unique and innovative functions which link the driver, vehicle and outside world intelligently with one another. These functions enhance comfort, allow customers to experience a new dimension in infotainment and significantly improve the safety of BMW Group vehicles. To this end, BMW ActiveAssist – the package of partially and highly automated driving technology developed by BMW – will make a significant contribution to bringing the vision of safe and accident-free mobility another step closer to reality. The BMW Group has been conducting research into the various expressions of this idea for many years with this goal in mind. BMW ActiveAssist, as part of BMW ConnectedDrive, pools all the technological developments in this area.

The BMW Group is using the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2014 in Las Vegas to present a new element of BMW ActiveAssist: a safety assistance system which brings the vehicle back into line in demanding driving situations without any input from the driver.

Precise and reliable vehicle control at the dynamic limit is a central building block in the development of highly automated driving. Only a system that can safely master all dynamic situations up to the vehicle’s dynamic limit will be able to generate trust and provide sustained and secure relief for the driver in tiring situations. The experts at BMW Group Research and Technology have built a research prototype with perfected control technology in pursuit of this goal. The prototype can pilot its way at high speeds and with exceptional precision on a slalom run between cones, adheres to a marked out circular course regardless of the friction coefficient of the road surface, and executes an obstacle-evading lane change to perfection. It makes optimum use of the potential of both engine and chassis. Even when deliberately provoked into oversteer – the clearest way of highlighting a vehicle’s dynamic limit – the highly automated prototype follows its path safely and along almost identical lines time after time.

While the control systems fitted to today’s vehicles restore stability by braking individual wheels, this new function introduces active and precisely calculated steering inputs into the mix. The research prototype reacts to fluctuating grip levels – the kind experienced in sudden hydroplaning – with the precision of an expert driver. The car continues along the predetermined target line, but does not attempt to maintain a preset speed under all circumstances. Instead, it constantly factors in the condition of the road surface and responds intelligently as required. The sensors delivering the necessary information are the same as those fitted as standard on today’s vehicles and also send data to the DSC system, for example. Understeer – where the car turns less than the driver intended – is dialled out by opening the steering. And a sliding rear end (oversteer) is caught using a carefully gauged combination of countersteering and brake inputs. The programmable electronic steering required to make this possible carries out carefully targeted, rapid and flawless adjustments, and is fitted as standard on all current BMW cars. The prototype illustrates the BMW Group’s aspiration to offer its customers a highly automated driving experience exuding emotional appeal – even at the car’s dynamic limit.

Many years of experience in vehicle automation.
With BMW ActiveAssist, the BMW Group is once again leading the way worldwide in the implementation of safety-enhancing and highly automated systems. Back in October 2009 the BMW Group rolled out its BMW Track Trainer research project to showcase highly automated driving on the ideal line around the Nürburgring-Nordschleife, the world’s most demanding race track. Developed by engineers at BMW Group Research and Technology, the BMW Track Trainer later demonstrated its effectiveness on the Laguna Seca, Zandvoort, Valencia, Hockenheimring and Lausitzring circuits. Here the research engineers collected important practical experience regarding vehicle control and position location in extreme conditions. The BMW Emergency Stop Assistant research project added further important insights to the knowledge pool. If the driver is incapacitated – e.g. by a medical emergency such as a heart attack – this function can switch the vehicle into highly automated driving mode, steer it safely to the side of the road and automatically activate an emergency call.

These developments paved the way in 2011 for a test vehicle to drive on a multilane highway in highly automated mode. The research prototype covered 65 kilometres (40 miles) between Munich and Nuremberg, accelerating, braking and overtaking other cars along the way without any driver intervention. It did so while observing the traffic laws at all times and kept pace with the traffic at speeds of up to 130 km/h (81 mph). The prototype has since covered approximately 15,000 kilometres (9,300 miles), over which the development engineers have gained important insights into the behaviour and response strategies of their highly automated vehicles.

The starting point for the development of this driving strategy is the secure location of the vehicle within its lane and, above all, the reliable recognition of all vehicles and objects in the immediate vicinity. A key role is played by the fusion of data from various mutually complementary sensor technologies – such as lidar, radar, ultrasound and camera detection – fitted on all the test vehicles. Despite this 360° detection capability, there is little on the outside to tell the vehicle apart from a series-produced model.
The next step in the development of highly automated driving functions came in June 2013. The research vehicles not only made highly automated progress along the highway, they also completed complex changeovers from one highway to another at intersections fully automatically.

Highly automated driving in a 2015 fleet trial.
Since February 2013 the BMW Group and international automotive supplier Continental have been working together to take the next concrete steps towards the implementation of highly automated driving functions. This research partnership will run until the end of 2014 and involve the introduction of several test vehicles with close-to-production technology. The BMW Group’s next major goal as part of this cooperation is to introduce highly automated driving on European highways and tackle the challenges that this will bring – such as crossing national borders and negotiating road construction.

BMW conducted fleet trials as part of its research activities into electric mobility, collecting valuable experience with the MINI E and BMW ActiveE. These trials produced important pointers for the ongoing development of electric mobility, and the new BMW i3 is the first model to benefit from these findings. This successful testing principle will also underpin a fleet trial for highly automated driving in 2015, which will see the BMW Group once again assume a leading role in the development of highly automated driving functions. By 2020, the technical foundations should be in place for a highway-based system that will allow highly automated driving in series-produced vehicles.

3.     Samsung Galaxy Gear with BMW i Remote App functions.

The BMW i3 – with its integrated SIM card – is the world’s first fully connected electrically powered car; in no other model will you find such a high level of interaction between the driver, vehicle and outside world. The presentation of the BMW i3 brought with it the debut appearance of the BMW i Remote App, which allows drivers to share information with the vehicle at any time via their smartphone. They can check whether the windows are shut, for example, or lock the car remotely. And now BMW is using the CES to present a new research prototype – the Samsung Galaxy Gear™ with BMW i Remote App functions.

The arrival of smartphones has changed our everyday lives for the long term, with internet and digital services now something we take for granted. Wearable devices like the Samsung Galaxy Gear can further boost this trend and fundamentally change the way we use mobile devices all over again. The Galaxy Gear is worn on the wrist and cleverly complements the linked smartphone. Users can view important information on the Gear without having to take their smartphone out of their pocket, unlock a screen or enter a code.

The BMW i Remote App research application developed by BMW greets the Samsung Galaxy Gear user’s first glance with not just the time, but also the BMW i3’s range on electric power, battery charge available and any inputted departure times. Using the Galaxy Gear’s touch display to click on the figures sent by the application opens a sub-menu containing more detailed information, which is presented in the hallmark classy colours and style of BMW i. Another sub-menu informs the user of the vehicle’s current status, such as if any of the doors, windows or the sunroof are open – data which is also offered by the BMW i Remote App. The research application additionally enables users to send navigation destinations to their vehicle and to regulate the climate on board – all of which provides a fine complement to the Gear’s ability to deliver information quickly, directly and in real time.

The Samsung Galaxy Gear with BMW i Remote App functions research prototype represents an excellent smartphone add-on for linking customers seamlessly with their BMW mobility ecosystem. At the same time, the application is proof of how quickly BMW ConnectedDrive can and will react to the rapid pace of innovation in the entertainment and infotainment sectors through the introduction of clever solutions.

4.     New assistance systems enhance comfort and safety.

The BMW Group has taken advantage of advances in camera technology to develop a generation of assistance systems based exclusively on vision-based sensing. These systems use information acquired by a mono camera mounted in the base of the rear-view mirror. Such data has long been used by systems like Speed Limit Info, which combines camera and navigation data to keep the driver informed at all times about fixed and variable speed limits. Camera-based applications offer similar functionality to radar-based technology, but are better at detecting stationary obstacles. Although they have certain requirements in terms of light conditions, such systems have a wide vision angle which makes it possible to detect vehicles that are pulling out or cutting in in front of the driver’s vehicle, even if they are right at the edges of the driver’s field of vision. Camera-based systems can therefore help to improve safety in market segments where there has previously been no demand for expensive radar-based applications. The camera-based systems Cruise Control with Stop & Go function, Collision Warning and Pedestrian Warning with City Braking function, and Traffic Jam Assist are all already available in the innovative BMW i3 in many markets.

The new Parking Assistant, meanwhile, is based on ultrasound sensors. The system can provide both lateral control – i.e. steering – and longitudinal control, comprising braking, acceleration and switching between forward and reverse gears. The system sets new benchmarks in the field of automated parallel parking technology.

Collision Warning and Pedestrian Warning with City Braking function.
The new BMW assistance system Pedestrian Warning with City Braking function significantly improves pedestrian safety in urban environments. The movement patterns of pedestrians in urban traffic environments vary greatly, with frequent sudden stops or changes in direction. Monitoring pedestrians’ movements therefore poses a considerably greater challenge for assistance systems than monitoring preceding vehicles.

Collision Warning and Pedestrian Warning with City Braking function operate in the typical city speed range between 10 and 60 km/h (6 and 37 mph). If the system detects a pedestrian or a stationary vehicle, it emits an audible and visible signal to warn the driver, and primes the brakes. If the driver fails to react by stepping on the brake or by steering away from the hazard, the system acts autonomously to reduce vehicle speed. This will ideally prevent, or at least mitigate the severity of, a collision with a pedestrian or vehicle. With the mono camera, Collision Warning and Pedestrian Warning with City Braking function use the same proven basic technology as other assistance systems such as Lane Departure Warning.

Camera-based Cruise Control with Stop & Go function.
The camera-based Cruise Control with Stop & Go function eliminates the need for drivers to constantly make minor corrections to their following distance and speed when driving in heavy traffic on highways, on dual carriageways and, especially, in urban environments. With its ability to detect vehicles up to a distance of 120 metres (nearly 400 feet) ahead, the cruise control system is able to respond proactively. Operating at speeds between 0 and 140 km/h (87 mph), it maintains a preselected speed and a preselected following distance from traffic in front. These functions – including brief stops – are performed via the electronic engine and braking control systems. The system can also reliably detect if another vehicle has come to a sudden stop.

In free-flowing traffic, automatic deceleration by the camera-based Cruise Control with Stop & Go function is confined to gentle braking. If the situation demands more vigorous braking, the system issues visual and audible warnings to prompt the driver himself to intervene.

In comparison, in heavy, stop-go traffic, the automatic deceleration also includes more vigorous braking, for maximum driver comfort. This ensures that system functionality is matched to the special demands of such situations with their constant fluctuations in speed.

The system settings chosen by the driver are displayed in the instrument cluster, and can be quickly scanned at a glance. Drivers can intervene in the operation of the camera-based Cruise Control with Stop & Go function at any time, and remain responsible for the safe control of the vehicle at all times.

Traffic Jam Assistant
The Traffic Jam Assistant operates at speeds from 0 to 40 km/h (25 mph) and offers optimal support in dense highway traffic. Just like the camera-based Cruise Control with Stop & Go function, this system – which does not deactivate after a brief stop – maintains a given following distance and relative speed to traffic in front. Along with longitudinal control, the Traffic Jam Assistant also provides lateral control. That is to say, it steers the car as well, via the electronic steering system, keeping the vehicle precisely in its lane and providing an exceptional level of driver comfort.

The Traffic Jam Assistant only functions in conjunction with the camera-based Cruise Control with Stop & Go function, which operates over a speed range from 0 to 140 km/h (87 mph). The two systems, which are finely dovetailed, support the driver all the way from standstill up to speeds of 140 km/h (87 mph). The Traffic Jam Assistant, too, is a solely vision-based system, which uses data supplied by the mono camera on the front windscreen.

The Traffic Jam Assistant begins operating when a preceding vehicle is detected. A further requirement is a pair of lane markings to allow the vehicle to identify its own traffic lane. Once the system has been activated, the Traffic Jam Assistant begins functioning any time the vehicle slows to a speed within the system’s operating range, for example due to road congestion. Once the traffic has cleared, the driver must first authorize higher speeds either by operating the accelerator or by pressing the RES button on the multifunction steering wheel, which hands over control to the camera-based Cruise Control with Stop & Go function.

Although drivers must keep their hands on the steering wheel even when the Traffic Jam Assistant is in operation, they are nevertheless free, in these relatively non-challenging situations, to devote their attention to monitoring and navigating the traffic around them. In situations where the requirements for safe operation of the Traffic Jam Assistant are not met – for example when negotiating narrow lanes through construction, or if the driver does not have his hands on the steering wheel – the Assistant prompts the driver to take over control again.

The Traffic Jam Assistant is designed to improve driver comfort and convenience on freeways. It can only be specified in conjunction with a Business or Professional navigation system, which is required in order to identify this category of road. The Traffic Jam Assistant is not available in the US market.

BMW Parking Assistant with longitudinal and lateral guidance.
The new BMW Parking Assistant with longitudinal and lateral guidance improves parking comfort and safety. As a first step, it assists the driver in the search for suitable parallel parking spaces using ultrasound sensors located on the left and right-hand sides of the vehicle. When a suitable space has been found and the parking manoeuvre has been activated, the system then steers the vehicle impeccably into the space. During this manoeuvre, the system is guided by the same parking sensors used by the static PDC system. The steering function (lateral guidance function) is also supplemented by a new longitudinal guidance function. This function offers unprecedented standards of automated longitudinal control. It switches between forward and reverse gear via an interface with the automatic transmission, and brakes or accelerates via the electronically controlled accelerator and brake pedal. All the driver needs to do is to press and hold the parking button on the center console, while at the same time continuously monitoring the manoeuvre. Even if the parking manoeuvre has to be interrupted – for example because pedestrians are crossing the vehicle’s path, or due to manual intervention in the steering or braking – it can easily be resumed at any time.

The new Parking Assistant eases pressure on the driver even in particularly difficult parking situations, the assistance beginning even before the driver presses the button to confirm that he wants to park. When the car is travelling at speeds below 35 km/h (22 mph), the Parking Assistant continuously measures possible parallel parking spaces, both to the left and to the right of the vehicle’s current lane. These are immediately displayed when the parking button is pressed. The system even shows parking spaces which are no more than 55 centimetres (about 22 inches) longer than the vehicle itself. Once the driver has stopped and activated the turn signal to show the system which side of the car the desired space is on, they can then concentrate fully on monitoring the parking manoeuvre, which the system performs automatically and precisely. Once the vehicle reaches its final parking position, the Assistant shifts the automatic transmission to position “P”.

All parking information, including the images supplied by the rear-view camera, can be scanned at a glance in the central Control Display, which offers the driver an optimal overview at all times.

BMW ActiveAssist – for highest levels of stress relief.
Both the Parking Assistant with lateral and longitudinal guidance and the Traffic Jam Assistant offer significantly more extensive functionality than other assistance systems of their kind available today. They provide partial automation and offer far greater assistance in the performance of driving tasks than was ever possible before. Such systems differ, however, from what are known as “highly automated” systems. The latter are capable of relieving the driver of all driving tasks for limited periods. At BMW such technologies, which feature a very high level of automation that provides a significant further boost to comfort and safety, are being developed under the umbrella of BMW ActiveAssist.



The Most Expensive Car Garages in the World: Infographic 2
Jan
Posted by Malcolm Hogan in Auto Addiction, Automotive, Garages, infographic, Jay Leno's Garage, News, Technical on 01 2nd, 2014
car-garages-jay-leno

car-garages-jay-leno

Here at AutomotiveAddicts.com we take natural delight in visiting or viewing a garage full of exotic or sports cars just like any other automotive enthusiast. Today a garage door company based in Australia sent us an interesting infographic highlighting the most expensive car garages in the world starting with the famous Hamilton Scott En-Suite Sky Garage Apartment that you may have seen where his ‘car elevator’ is stuffed with a new Lamborghini Aventador. The infographic ends with Jay Leno’s Big Dog Garage, which we cannot even fathom or guess a price tag when you add up all of the vehicles he has stashed inside. View the full infographic below of the most expensive car garages in the world.

Also see: The World’s Most Beautiful Garages & Exotics

most-expensive-car-garages-in-world-infographic



Top Ten Things I Learned Reviewing Automobiles in 2013 27
Dec
Posted by Chris Brewer in 2013 Porsche 911 Carrera 4 S, 2014 Chevrolet Corvette, 2014 Corvette Stingray, Auto Addiction, Automotive, BMW M3, BMW M3 Lime Rock Park Edition, Cadillac CTS, Chevrolet Volt, convertible, Corvette Stingray, Porsche-911, Scion FR-S, Scion tC, Stingray, Technical, Toyota Avalon, Toyota Avalon Hybrid, Toyota Sienna, Volt on 12 27th, 2013
2014-chevy-corvette-c7-stingray-z51

 

1. Although a few buttons on the steering wheel are convenient, more than six is confusing and makes you feel like you are riding around in one of those hover chairs in the second half of Wall-E.

2014-cadillac-cts-36-performance-collection-dashboard

2014 Cadillac CTS 3.6L Performance Collection Review and Test Drive

 

 

2. Speaking of…a contrasting-color-stitched-leather-wrapped-ergonomic-racing-inspired steering wheel may not make the car drive any faster or handle any better, but it sure feels like it does.

2014 Scion tC

Toyota Returns to the Spirit of the 70′s Import Sports Car: The 2014 Scion tC

 

 

3. While illuminated shift knobs look cool, they are not a necessary upgrade. On the other hand, radar or assisted cruise control is totally worth the extra cash.

2013-toyota-avalon-hybrid-feature

2013 Toyota Avalon Limited Hybrid Review and Test Drive

 

 

4. Nobody cares about gas mileage on the first day of a week-long car review. Everybody cares about gas mileage on the sixth day.

2013-chevrolet-volt-badge

2013 Chevy Volt Quick Driving Impressions

 

 

5. You do not always get what you pay for. There are cars that cost less than $30k that I would rather own and drive than many that I have driven that cost $60k plus. 

2013 Scion FR-S 10 Series

First Drive: 2013 Scion FR-S Review – Hype Approved

 

 

6. The more fun a car is to drive, the less chance you have of getting a ticket for being on your smart phone.

2013-bmw-m3-lime-rock-park-edition-front-22013 BMW M3 Lime Rock Park Edition Review and Test Drive

 

7. Although I am a standard transmission kind of guy, many of the new automatics are simply amazing. I do not care if you are a professional rally driver, no one can shift as quickly and efficiently as the PDK automated manual transmission in the 2013 Porsche 911 Carrera S.

2013-porsche-911-c4s-dashboard2013 Porche 911 Carrera 4s Cabriolet Driving Impressions

 

8. Even though it probably will not get any thumbs up at the traffic light, the Toyota Sienna mini-van is a nice way to drive your entire family around town or on long trips.

 

9. Driving the new 2014 Corvette Stingray makes you proud to be an American.

2014-chevy-corvette-c7-stingray-z51-feature
2014 Chevrolet Corvette C7 Stingray Quick Spin & First Impressions

 

10. If your ten-year-old daughter tells you that there is no back seat, it does not matter what the manufacturer claims, those seat belts are simply there to hold groceries in place under hard braking.

2013-porsche-911-c4s-interior2013 Porche 911 Carrera 4s Cabriolet Driving Impressions



4 DIY Car Repairs You Can Learn on YouTube 26
Dec
Posted by Darryl in Automotive, Automotive Help, Automotive Repair, Car Repair, Repair Shops, Technical on 12 26th, 2013
diy-car-repair-tips

diy-car-repair-tips

Apps help consumers estimate car repairs and locate trustworthy mechanics, but let’s face it—car repairs are still expensive and intimidating. Turn on YouTube though, and you’ll find videos by cost-conscious DIY pros providing detailed tutorials on how to perform complicated and expensive repairs at home. You’ll be amazed by how simple these repairs seem after you watch a tutorial and how much you can save.

Cracked Bumper

CarMD estimates that car repair costs increased by 10 percent last year, returning to pre-recession levels. That means everything costs more, even a simple fix like replacing a bumper.

Replace a bumper by removing it and unscrewing the connecting screws underneath. Sand and coat the cracked area with fiberglass resin or Bondo. After it dries overnight, sand, prime and paint your restored bumper.

Total cost is around $60. That price beats buying a new bumper and having it replaced by a repair garage, which would run you anywhere from $300 to $1,000, depending on the make and model of your car.

Alternator Repair

Since alternators last around 10 years, any older car will eventually need a new one. Exposure to extreme temperatures, damage, overloads and short circuits can wear on your alternator.

To replace the alternator, remove the belt by loosening the tension and sliding it off. Then remove the bolts on the alternator, remove the alternator and reverse your steps. This type of replacement may vary based on your particular car, so search YouTube for videos featuring your specific make and model.

The replacement takes an hour or two and costs between $150 and $175, depending on your vehicle. A garage charges anywhere from $308 to $488 for the same job on a Chevy pickup.

Catalytic Converter Replacement

Replacing a catalytic converter costs big bucks, between $788 and $1,527 on average depending on your car. But, catalytic converters only cost around $140. With the magic of the Web you can do this repair yourself and only pay for parts. Your savings — more than $1,400.

You will need an O2 sensor wrench, and a lift would help. This repair isn’t extremely difficult if you have experience working under a vehicle and can safely jack up your car. First remove the O2 sensor and then unscrew the bolts connecting the converter. Reverse your steps to complete the repair.

Tire Patching

If you just bought a new set of tires and then proceeded to drive over a nail, bummer—but don’t worry.

The repair requires a tire plug kit, which costs around $5 compared to $35 or more to have this done at a tire shop. Remove the tire, pull out the nail with pliers, ream the hole and push the plug into the tire with the needle-like plug tool. Remove the tool and trim the repair.



When To Buy an Extended Car Warranty 6
Dec
Posted by Darryl in Automotive, extended warranty, Technical, Warranty on 12 6th, 2013
automotive-warranty

automotive-warrantyAuto site Edmunds.com calls it “the toughest sell in the room,” the point when you’re just about done with your car purchase and the finance person asks you the equivalent of “Are you feeling lucky?” It’s the question that precedes a long list of extra protective products and services designed to support you not if, but WHEN something goes badly wrong with your new ride.

At the center of the sale is the extended warranty, which provides additional coverage for some mechanical problems that may come up after your car’s factory warranty expires.

It sure makes sense, at least when the person on the other side of the desk explains the level of coverage to you. It will hopefully minimize or eliminate a nasty repair bill in the future, and provide you with that most important thing: peace of mind.

So are extended warranties worth it? The established answer seems to be a firm “maybe.” Or perhaps “it depends.” Or more like “probably.” Financial experts say you can be optimistic, forgo the warranty and hope that nothing severe happens, or you can feel good about having its protection, just in case.

How then do you make this decision, especially when you’re being told to sign on the dotted line with little time to think?

  • Do your homework. In a perfect world, you should do your warranty research when you’re doing your car research, long before you start walking around the lot. Learn about the different costs, types of coverage and providers. You can always buy a warranty later—sometimes even after your manufacturer warranty expires. It just may cost you more the longer you wait, according to HowStuffWorks.com.
  • Estimate how long you’ll keep your car. Though mechanical problems can happen anytime, they do tend to increase as cars get older. If you usually upgrade your car every three years, this might be the length of time for your manufacturer’s warranty so an extended warranty won’t apply. On the other hand, DMV.org suggests that if you’re someone who enjoys a longer relationship with their car, an extended warranty might be a smart idea.
  • Consider how much work your car needs. This depends on variables like the condition of your region’s roads and the amount of driving you do on a regular basis. But the more you drive, the more you may need repair service. If you are angling toward a warranty, look for something that covers a lot of contingencies, not just major work. A full coverage warranty, for example, covers more than a powertrain warranty that mainly covers major engine work. Consumer Reports doesn’t necessarily recommend extended warranties as a general practice, but suggests there are circumstances where they can come in handy, such as if the car is a model that’s known to be unreliable.
  • Understand the options. Some warranty providers, like Carchex, can offer other useful features including roadside assistance rental option. Select plans include helpful extras like wear-and-tear coverage and tire coverage. Carchex services include a list of recommended licensed ASE service providers but also allow you to choose if you’ve already found someone reliable in your community. In addition, some extended warranties can be transferred easily if you sell one car and buy another.






 Category



 Blogroll