Ford and Spotify have announced a partnership that sees the popular streaming music service make an appearance in Ford vehicles. Spotify is now compatible with Ford SYNC AppLink, streaming its catalog of over 20 million tracks over the car radio. You'll need to download the new iOS or Android Spotify apps to take advantage of the new hotness. You be able to access your songs, playlists, and custom stations, and can even control things with voice commands. Aside from Spotify, Ford SYNC AppLink allows you to access other service, like Pandora, Amazon Cloud Player, MOG, Slacker, and Rhapsody.
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SideCar, our favorite on-demand ride-sharing service, has just launched in three new cities. If you're in Los Angeles, Austin (right in time for SXSW!), or Philadelphia, grab the SideCar Ride app to grab a ride. The launching cities will have active SideCars from 5:00pm on Friday until 3:00am on the weekend days. Once demand goes up, they'll move to weekday service as well. Chicago, Boston, New York, and Washington, D.C. are up next. Read more about how SideCar works.
By the way, if you enter promo code 4r34r in the app, you'll get a free $10 credit!
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Ford and Amazon have announced that Amazon MP3 for Android has been updated with Ford SYNC support, which means that you can use your Android device with Ford's admittedly awesome infotainment system to access all your tracks stored in your Amazon Cloud Player. As is typical with SYNC, you can even control playback with voice commands. Amazon MP3 2.8 for Android also includes the typical bug fixes, and the store has been redesigned to show more search results.
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The 2012 Ford Focus Electric is the very first all-electric car released by the company, and is marketed as America's most fuel-efficient five-passenger vehicle, what with it's 110 MPGe city rating (99 MPGe highway) and up to 76 mile range on a single charge. We were able to spend a week with the 2012 Ford Focus Electric, and we're here to report back with our thoughts. Is it a worthy contender in the electric car movement? Read on.
General Motors unveiled the long-awaited 2014 Cadillac ELR this week, the first plug-in extended range EV hybrid for the brand. For all intents and purposes, the ELR is a Chevy Volt that's been souped up with Cadillac luxury touches. Originally revealed as the Cadillac Converj, the ELR will feature a redesigned interior cabin that will supposedly define future Cadillac models, with features like Regen on Demand buttons on the steering wheel that let the driver capture the energy generated by the vehicle's momentum, conserving it for a bit more battery juice. The ELR also packs in the awesome Cadillac CUE infotainment dashboard system. The vehicle puts out 207hp, more than 25% more than the Chevy Volt. No final word yet on EV range, though, but the Volt gets about 35 miles before gasoline kicks in, and the ELR is a bit heavier. GM says that production on the ELR is set to begin later this year in preparation for a 2014 North American launch.
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GM is the first to announce Siri integration with two new car models: the Chevrolet Spark and the Sonic Drive. The feature was dubbed "Eyes Free" and was announced at Apple's World Wide Developers Conference (WWDC) in June by former iOS chief, Scott Forstall. Basically, "Eyes Free" will be integrated via the car's Bluetooth functionality and the iPhone itself. The user can then initiate Siri's voice command by tapping a button on the steering wheel, and Siri's responses will be played over the car's audio system. Other car manufacturers such as Chrysler, Honda, Toyota, Jaguar, Audi, Land rover, GM, BMW and Mercedes are slated to incorporate Siri's "Eyes Free" as well. Check out the full press release after the break.
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Yesterday we told you about SideCar, the community-powered ride-sharing service that's available in both San Francisco and Seattle. Today, the company sent out an update to its userbase announcing that all proceeds earned this weekend (November 9-11) will be donated to the American Red Cross to help with Hurricane Sandy relief efforts. If you're a driver, you'll still get to keep your 80% portion of the fare, so it's SideCar’s 20% split that goes toward charity. So if you're in Seattle or San Francisco and need a ride this weekend, keep SideCar in mind!
SideCar, the popular ride-sharing service out of San Francisco, has made it's way up the West Coast and has launched here in Seattle. Curious about what a ride-sharing service even is? Well, the easiest way we can explain it is to have you imagine a taxi service. Now, instead of a professional taxi driver in a cab picking you up, it's someone who's been vetted by SideCar, driving their own vehicle.
Lexus calls it CinePrint, we call it brilliant. The luxury auto maker has created a very nifty interactive marketing ad, which utilizes a user's iPad to bring a 2013 Lexus ES to life in a magazine. From a marketing standpoint, the illustration is very impressive and gets the reader involved in the process of merging print and video. This is surely lacking when just reading a static page or watching a traditional car commercial on TV, at which point we usually just turn the page or tune out. It's still an ad, but it's pretty freaking cool. Check out the video after the break.
Remember our 2012 Chevy Volt that failed while driving and almost got me in an accident? We updated the story with the details about trying to work with Chevy and GM to get a replacement Volt since we no longer felt safe driving the one we had. After all, it had been in the shop for repairs every two weeks since we had picked it up the first time. Well, we are please to report that Chevrolet and General Motors did right by us, and agreed to replace our 2012 Volt with a newer, similarly-equipped 2013 model. Since this was a lease, it was a bit more complicated than a simple trade. Instead, we did what's called a VIN swap. The result? We keep the same lease terms and paperwork, with the VIN being the only change on the documents. It took a while since the 2013 Chevy Volt wasn't available until very recently, and once it arrived, we needed to wait for all the paperwork to be completed. Still, it was worth the wait. Stay tuned for our 2013 Chevy Volt review.