Laws on the books to stop texting or talking on a cell phone while driving are nothing new, in fact I know a guy who just got slammed with five points on his license for doing it. But laws regarding cell phone use while driving leave a gray area, GPS and map aids, programs not within the spirit of the laws when they were made and an uncertainty for courts.
The government is looking to change that.
The Transportation Department has asked congress to give them the ability to regulate map aids and devices as part of their ongoing battle with 'distracted driving.' The measure is part of the GROW AMERICA proposed transportation bill, and would give the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration free reign to set restriction and limits on apps and down the line demand changed to any it deems dangerous.
What does this mean in a practical sense? Apps for maps might start to look like the built in GPS system in your car, where some models make you press a button acknowledging that you will not set the device while the car is moving. It might mean that telling the court you were just checking your map won't get you off.
The measure has support from automakers who have already built those safeguards into their GPS devices. Regulatory agencies maintain that they already have the authority to regulate these apps as vehicle equipment, and only want it written into law.
That means they don't have the authority or they would not be demanding it from congress.
Everyone knows at least one guy who uses Linux. I don't use it myself, but I knew that one guy. He built all his PCs from spart parts, he knew the ins and outs of programming, he was a little bit of an anarchist (ok, more than a little). He fits the bill of the Linux user stereotype-- the young hobbyist and hacker.
But now Linux has a new user. The United States military. Oddly, if I were to describe the military in a few words, hobbyist and hacker would be the dead last words I picked.
Raytheon makes drone and missile systems for the United States. These systems used to run on the Solaris operating system, but the Navy has asked Raytheon to help make some code switches so that they can use Linux for their upcoming unmanned helicopter project, the Mq-8B Fire Scout.
The move is expected to create more intuitive controls for the new unarmed aerial vehicles and save money in the long run. The military originally held that open source software presented too great a security risk for defense applications. It seems that Linux has changed minds.
How do you feel about the Navy's choice to go open source? Chime in in the comments to let us know.
As a brand, the Chevy Volt is well-known in the electric vehicle market. That said, mind-share doesn't equal sales, and GM is set to step up its efforts to make the Volt the car that EV buyers end up choosing when it's time to buy. To fix this, GM is planning on bringing down the entry-level price of the 2016 Volt, and then offering tiered upgrades, similar to the way Tesla sells the Model S.
At the low end, the 2016 Chevy Volt should cost just over $30,000, which is about $5,000 less than it currently costs now, bringing it closer in line with competing vehicles like the Honda Accord plug-in and Ford C-Max Energi. Total range of the entry-level Volt should be under 300 miles, and won't be as heavy on the upgraded feel of the car--but if those options aren't your jam anyway, then you can save yourself some money.
Earlier today Apple released iOS 7.1, an update for the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch that brings with it several major features and improvements. Some of the more notable additions include CarPlay, Siri enhancements, iTunes Radio improvements, and overall stability improvements for iOS 7 on the iPhone 4. If you're unfamiliar, CarPlay was unveiled last week at the Geneva Motor Show, and will be available in some 2014 model vehicles, bringing iOS 7-style functionality to the center console dashboard, allowing users to control things like Maps, Music, Messages, and other apps.
You can download iOS 7.1 now, and we've got the full list of all the changes, according to Apple, after the jump.
Bandit9's Eve is a super-stylized bike. What sets it apart is the chrome unibody build with custom handlebars and exhaust, alongside the cattle skin leather seat. It's available in the pictured chrome finish, as well as a bronze look as well. You can pre-order the Bandit9 Eve now starting at $4600 USD, with a choice between 90cc and 125cc engines.
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BMW has announced a new four-door to its lineup in the BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe. What you have here is what amounts to a 3 series BMW that has a tailgate rather than a proper trunk. The 4 Series Gran Coup is also half an inch longer and wider than the 3 series, and also and inch-and-a-half lower to the ground. Prospective buyers in the US can choose between the 428i GC model, which has a 2-liter 240hp turbo engine that can go from 0-to-60 in 5.7 seconds, or the 435i GC with a 300hp 3-liter inline-six that goes from 0-to-60 in 4.9 seconds. Pricing starts at $41,225.
Read More | BMW
Look, we realize that some people prefer not to wear motorcycle helmets because they'd rather not look like a doofus (although, that has the opposite effect!), but now you can cruise in style with the Dark Motorcycle Helmet from Helmet Dawg. I mean, look at it. You basically look like Batman, riding through your city in style as children stare in awe at the sight of The Dark Knight passing them by. Comfort features are built in, what with removable liners, multiple adjustable vents, and interchangeable clear and tinted visors. If that's not cool enough, the two points are even flexible as well, so you can manage just how menacing you want to look to the evil-doers around you. You can pick up the Helmet Dawg HD100 helmet now for $325. Having a woman in a cat suit riding with you is completely optional.
Read More | Helmet Dawg HD100BLK
What's so impressive about the 2014 Chevy Camaro Z28? Well, for starters, it can beat the lap times of the Lamborghini Murcielago LP640 and the 911 Carrera S, with credit going to the 7-liter LS7 V8 engine. For real, that bad boy throws 505 horsepower with 481 pound feet of torque. More interesting might be the front tires. They're Pirelli P Zero Torfeo R series, and are the wides of any car in production, anywhere. Now if only the center console didn't look like it was pulled out of 1997.
Read More | GearCulture
The next big thing from Cadillac will be the release of its ELR, and it looks like Saks Fifth Avenue of all companies gets the first crack at selling a limited edition model of the new electric vehicle. The Saks version of the Cadillac ELR is so limited that there will only be 100 of them made. For the privilege of being 1 of 100, you get the Cadillac ELR in White Diamond with your choice of Light Cashmere or Jet Black interior. You also get a premium 240V charging station and included installation service.
Wanna get your hands on one? You'll have to pick up the phone and dial 855-SAKS-CAD to place a special order. The dedicated order line is open now, and will stay open through January 10th. No word on if the limited model will see a price increase from the standard starting Cadillac ELR MSRP of $75,000. All special edition vehicles will be available for delivery in March 2014.
The Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT Final Edition will be the swan song for the iconic line. If you want one, make sure you've got the money in the bank (we're guessing it'll run near $250,000) and get in line--there'll just be 350 units produced for the last of the SLS AMG vehicles, each rocking a 6.3-liter V8 engine with 591-horsepower. You can feast your eyes on one, with its red and black two-tone paint job, at the Los Angeles Auto Show and Tokyo Motor Show.
Read More | Mercedes-Benz