On Gear Live: ZTE Tempo X Smartphone Giveaway!

Latest Gear Live Videos

Mercedes-Benz introduces DICE concept for in-vehicle gesture controls

Posted by Andrey Malskiy Categories: CES, CES 2012, Transportation, Videos,

 

By now you're all familiar with Kinect for Xbox 360. Kinect allows users to interact with the video game using hand and body gestures, as well as through voice commands. Though it’s still a relatively new concept, the same technology is slowly migrating into vehicles.

Mercedes-Benz debuted its gesture controls, known as Dynamic and Intuitive Control Experience or DICE, at CES 2012. DICE functions by using proximity sensors located within the interior of a vehicle, allowing the user to scroll and select a variety of functions. A highlight of DICE is the ability to select locations on the map instead of searching for them by name. DICE also always users to connect with friends, find information on local business around you, read text messages and control all your basic functions from car temperature to rocking beats.

The main issue with the system, as seen in the video, is the location of the driver. Though there are proximity sensors in the car, there is no set location of where the driver needs to be; often this creates issues for the system recognizing your gesture. Furthermore, there is an issue with safety. Driving is not a controlled environment—yet. There are too many ‘eyes on the road’ scenarios using DICE, often distracting drivers from focusing on the task at hand. Though this is only a concept idea, Mercedes-Benz says it’ll be another 20 years before the production version hits the streets, giving Mercedes-Benz plenty of time to work out the kinks.

Read More | Autoblog

Advertisement

Toyota Prius camper conversion

Posted by Andrey Malskiy Categories: Mods / Hacks, Transportation,

prius camper conversion

The Toyota Prius has become an icon in the hybrid world. From celebrities praising the second generation Prius, to Toyota growing a single car into a family of vehicles, the Prius has come a long way. Though, for some, it hasn’t come far enough. The Japanese conversion company Campinn has decided to take the Prius down the Frankenstein route.

The Prius Camper debuted at the Tokyo Auto Salon, consisting of one part Toyota Prius hatchback and one part truck camper. Made of fiber-reinforced plastic that extends the car’s length to 196 inches and its height to about 82 inches, it makes the Prius look as if it has a cancerous lump growing on it. The interior amenities are limited to a skylight, a sleeping area up top, and a convertible sofa bed on the bottom. Though I’m not sure how useful and versatile this thing is, people will now have the option of camping in a hybrid. However, the most convenient feature of the Prius camper is its back door, allowing the owner an escape while people laugh at the monstrosity.

Read More | Autoblog

5 reasons you should buy the Escort Passport 8500 X50

Escort Passport 8500 X50

Yesterday we hit you with our Escort Passport 8500 X50 review, and today we're back to give you our top five reasons why you should purchose this radar and laser detector. This list will cover things like price and sensitivity of the device, but also gives a nod to the smart features that make owning it a joy, like Escort Live social integration and the functionality of the smart cord. Click on through for our full list, and if your convinced, you can pick one up on Amazon.

Click to continue reading 5 reasons you should buy the Escort Passport 8500 X50


Video: Motorcycle vs. Car drift battle shot with RC car-mounted cameras

Posted by Andrey Malskiy Categories: Cameras, Transportation, Videos,

Where else but on YouTube will you see a high-speed case that’s not VGA dash-cam quality, featuring shots taken using a Traxxas Slash VXL Ultimate R/C car-mounted GoPro Hero, a Canon 5D MKII, strapped to a helicopter, a Panasonic AF100, and a hacked Panasonic GH1? This video features something for all likes, but will definitely be appreciated by those who like a little speed, creative shots, and a little humor. Take a look at what the folks from Icon Motosports have been up to on their spare time.


Escort Passport 8500 X50 review

Escort Passport 8500 X50 review

With the Detroit Auto Show buzzing with new models, many faster, leaner and meaner than their predecessors it’s only a matter of time before the new vehichles hit the road.

There are two types of drivers in this world—those that ride in their cars and those that drive their cars. In many cases, those that drive their cars tend to have a heavier right foot. Like rain on a sunny day, blue and red lights can ruin anyone’s drive.

Over Labor Day weekend, I went on a road trip to California. Knowing that I’d be spending nearly 26+ hours on the road (Seattle to Sacramento and back), it was inevitable that I’d run into the boys in blue. Not wanting to ruin my weekend trip, I decided to invest in a radar detector.

In the world of radar detectors, promises of a ticket free trip are a dime a dozen. Being a natural born skeptic, I dug around and did some research before buying. I looked for a company that had a proven track record of producing products that worked and stood behind its gear. After searching and reading various reviews and websites, I landed on purchasing the Escort Passport 8500 X50 (Black). Read on for our full review of the radar detector.

Click to continue reading Escort Passport 8500 X50 review


Maserati Kubang concept is what a luxury crossover SUV should be

Posted by Andrey Malskiy Categories: Design, Transportation,

Maserati KuBang

In the world of luxury SUV's, buyers are limited to their choices of flavors—vanilla, Rocky Road, chocolate, and strawberry. There’s the usual German engineered and slightly over-engineered variant; leaving the buyer faced with purchasing a Benz, BMW, or anything from VW’s automotive family (vanilla.) Or there’s the ever classic, “I can do anything and go anywhere, but I rather just stay on the streets” Land Rover/Range Rover as a plausible option (Rocky Road.) Skim across the pond and you’re faced with rugged, bloated “luxury” SUVs; more fitting for cattle herding, rather than a night on the town (chocolate.) Finally there’s the likes of Lexus and Acura, which over-saturate suburban streets on any given day (strawberry.) This puts a potential buyer in conundrum if they want something different than their neighbors. What if the buyer wants a little Cold Stone Creamery action, rather than the usual everyone else seems to get? Enter the Maserati Kubang.

Like Cold Stone Creamery, the Maserati Kubang, has a bit of everything mixed into one glorious package. Maserati took bits and pieces from others and remixed into their own, dare I say, delicious concoction. Ever since Fiat Group acquired Chrysler Automotive (back during the Big Three’s financial meltdown,) Fiat has gained access to Chrysler’s resources and technologies. Fiat has been slowly marrying the two. Maserati, being apart of Fiat, has long been working on producing a luxury SUV for quite sometime and finally the Kubang has been born; well at least in the concept stage.

The Kubang is said to have a heart of a Ferrari. Boosting V8 designed by none other than Paolo Martinelli. Though you maybe thinking fast, sleek, and sexy after reading that Ferrari has their fingers in the project, Maserati’s “implication has been that the Kubang will be more SUV than sport,” reports Joel Johnson of Jalopnik. Furthermore, the SUV is based on Chrysler’s Jeep Grand Cherokee platform. The Maserati Kubang will be built alongside its cousins the Jeep Grand Cherokee and Dodge Durango. The price is still to be announced by Maserati.

Read More | Jalopnik

Hyundai to provide lifetime guarantee on Sonata Hybrid battery

Posted by Andrey Malskiy Categories: Corporate News, Transportation,

John Krafcik HyundaiHyundai CEO John Krafcik announced that the company will be offering a lifetime guarantee on the Hyundai Sonata Hybrid battery pack. For many new car buyers who are seeking more miles per gallon, hybrids are the best option. However, the daunting thought of battery replacement--often after 90,000 plus miles--would turn many buyers away. With an average battery replacement costing over $6,000, the money on fuel saved over the years would be cancelled out in just one repair bill.

The Hyundai Sonata will be equipped with a lithium polymer battery, “which are lasting in the range of 275,000 miles in the company's tests,” reports Nathan Bomey of Annarbor.com. The car itself comes with a 10 year/100,000 mile warranty, and with the added lifetime battery guarantee, Hyundai is sure to attract new buyer to their brand. 

"Hyundai got where we are by being an outstanding value brand," Krafcik said. "Today we’re becoming something more in the eyes of our customers: a valuable brand."

Be on the look out as Hyundai releases its new models (Veloster) and redesigns (Genesis) for 2012.

Read More | AnnArbor

Smart For-us concept hybrid pickup leaves us confused

Posted by Andrey Malskiy Categories: Design, Transportation,

Smart For-Us concept

Smart recently showed off its new hybrid pickup truck. Yup, you read right, a pickup truck from the company that makes the tiny ForTwo vehicle. The Smart For-us aims to recast the vision of the pickup as green and urban friendly. We’re not too sure how that will pan out, as most pickups are used as utility vehicles or off-road beasts. By the looks of the Smart For-us, it looks like it would be afraid to tread on grass, let alone the American roads. Though a concept idea, this “truck” would be powered 55-kilowatt magnetoelectric motor, achieving about 80 MPG. Though great on gas mileage, the Smart For-us leaves much to be desired by the average truck buyer. 

Read More | Jalopnik

Ford opening Silicon Valley research lab in 2012

Posted by Andrey Malskiy Categories: Corporate News, Transportation,

Ford silicon valley

Living in the northwest, the weather can make of break your day. From sun, to snow, to rain, it can all be seen in one day, depending on the season. So as any Northwesty, I'm constantly checking my iPhone for updated weather conditions. But alas, no two weather apps, let alone forecasters, can agree on Seattle weather.

Ford has announced that they will be neighboring next to Intel, Google, and other Silicon Valley giants. Other automotive giants such as Volkswagen, Mercedes-Benz, and BMW have already moved into the Valley, and Ford will be moving its Research and Innovations (R&I) Unit into the neighborhood. The question you might be asking is, "what does Ford and Northwest weather have to do with each other?" The answer is real-time data. Ford is aiming to utilize the sensors in its vehicles to transfer data to the client services we use.

Put it this way, when you're driving down the highway and it begins to rain, the sensors on the wipers transmit a signal to a client service; say a weather app you might use on your phone. The more vehicles equipped with this technology, the more accurate our weather forecasting becomes. Furthermore, I can see this technology also providing real-time traffic congestion info. In conjunction with a solid GPS, your commuting time could be reduced.

Read More | Autoblog

Acura NSX concept brings hope for the return of a classic

Posted by Andrey Malskiy Categories: Corporate News, Transportation,

Acura NSX concept car

The death of a legend left many asking "Why?" Honda has always been pushing the envelope in reliability and fuel efficiency, from the days it rocked Detroit with its Civic CRX HF, a car which was fun to drive, yet provided the fuel efficiency people wanted; to its current line-up which holds true to that same spirit. However, the lack of a true sports car has haunted Honda's line-up from they day they killed the NSX. While Detroit pushed ahead with its pony cars, Honda was left in the dust put-putting along. 

Well those days are hopefully soon to be over. The rebirth of its sports car, the Acura NSX will push the industry and consumer standard of what we expect a sports car should be. As we all fight for greater fuel efficiency and alternative fuels, that leaves the word of sports cars a thing of the past. Or does it?

Click to continue reading Acura NSX concept brings hope for the return of a classic

Read More | Autoblog

Advertisement