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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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.
We reported on the RelayRides OnStar partnership back at CES, with RelayRides using the OnStar API to broaden its network of available vehicles. RelayRides allows its members to rent cars on a short-term basis directly from the car owners. It's a peer-to-peer car-sharing network. The partnership with OnStar will allow owners of cars equipped with the OnStar service to add their vehicles to RelayRides, giving them the opportunity to rent out their vehicles for cash. Locking, unlocking, and starting the vehicle can all be performed using the RelayRides smartphone app, and OnStar has made it easy for owners to add their vehicles to the service.
It may seem a bit unorthodox to make your personal vehicle available for rental to strangers, but RelayRides does have protections in place as they look to compete with the likes of Zipcar. What do you think? Would you use a service like this?
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In case you missed it, earlier this week we detailed how the Chevy Volt malfunctioned and nearly caused a high-speed collission while we were driving it. We've had plenty of readers writing in to ask for an update on the Chevy Volt fisaco that we've found ourselves embroiled in. We definitely planned on hitting you guys with an update on how Chevrolet and General Motors address the situation that we're facing once all was said and done, but since it's taking a bit longer than we'd hoped, and since there have been a couple of new developments, we figured we'd do an interim report.
Before we get into some of the good, we've gotta say right up front that dealing with Chevy/GM as a corporate entity has been frustrating. It seems that it's goal is to tell us that there is nothing they can do, with the hope that this will just go away, rather than doing whatever it can to ease the concerns of a customer who's done nothing but praise it's flagship product all the way up until it put us in harms way. More on that later.
Update 1: We're trying to deal with Chevy to get resolution that both us and the dealer believes to be the best option. GM would rather us forget about everything, it seems.
We've been keeping tabs on the Chevy Volt ever since the electric vehicle was unveiled in September 2008. We covered the 230 MPG announcement, and were on-hand for the introduction of the OnStar Mobile Integration announcement which showed how you would be able to send commands from your smartphone directly to your Volt (and other OnStar-equipped vehicles) remotely. While there were other pure EVs out there, the maximum range would leave some stranded without any other option but getting towed while the Volt had a gas tank that could run a generator to continue creating electric power even when the pure electric battery ran out. The Volt, in our minds, was the car of the near-future. Until EV range is bumped high enough to never cause charge anxiety, Chevy's flagship EV provided the best trade-off. So we leased one. That's where things started to go very wrong.
See that guy up there? His name is Noble, and the last time he filled up his gas tank was 4,000 miles ago. How can that be? He drives a Chevy Volt, which he calls "the best vehicle he's ever driven." A fully charged Volt can drive for about 35-40 miles before switching over to a gas-powered electric engine (similar to a hybrid vehicle.) So if you rarely (or never) run out of electric power, you'll never touch the gas in the tank. Check out the video below for more from Noble himself.
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Drag racing seems like a simple sport, but that’s far from the truth. Sure, you hit the right pedal as hard as you can and hope to cross the quarter-mile before your opponent does, but there's more to it than that. The fact is that at any given moment the world of drag racing can turn into a one-vehicle-demolition-derby bent on self-destruction.
Here’s a clip rarely seen from both angles of cockpit and sidelines view. Watch as the 1968 Camaro gets ready to launch, only to have its left axle disintegrate followed by the tire tearing the left-rear-quarter panel to shreds.
Here’s a look at the top 10 vehicles with a high male ownership. We’re not all too surprised with the list of cars, minus a couple of choices.
The Ferrari 458 Italia finds itself on the top of the list with 95.3% of its owners bring men.
After you’re done thinking about who might own the other 4.7% of the 458, the list continues with the BMW 1 Series M taking second followed by Audi R8, Mercedes SLS AMG, and the Ferrari California. We’re not surprised to see all these high-performance, lead-footed fun cars hitting the list. I know that most these cars are on my list of must drive cars before I die.
Number six goes to the Porsche 911, a classic, if you ask us, followed by the Nissan GT-R with 87.9% male ownership. Number eight is were the list take a turn for the worst, the all-ever, cookie-cutter-remixed-Chevy Silverado, GMC Sierra pickup trucks; following closely behind it the Ford F-Series. Number ten goes to the ever-classic, mid-life crisis Chevy Corvette.
What leaves us bogged are the number eight and nine slots, is there really nothing better out there other than pick-up trucks?
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So what's there to do when one turn 60? Well, if you're Chevy, make produce one more model before your next anticipated seventh-generation Corvette and series of YouTube videos to match. Check this one out as the 60th Anniversary Corvette 427 Convertible blows out some candles. Let's hope one of those wishes was for a better interior!
As the NHTSA conducts its investigation, Chevrolet will provide any current owner with a loaner vehicle until the agency concludes its investigation, the automaker said. Those who want a loaner can contact their Volt advisor to arrange for a trade-in.
"A vehicle loan program of this nature is well beyond the norm for a preliminary investigation, and it underlines our commitment to the vehicle and its owners," Mark Reuss, president of GM North America, said in a statement. "These steps are the right ones to take regardless of any immediate impact on our operations."
The Chevrolet Volt has been perhaps the most highly publicized effort by an American carmaker to develop a hybrid vehicle. The Volt's appeal, in hands-on tests, is that the car can go a rated 35 miles on electricity alone before shifting to a gas-powered electric generator that can add hundreds of miles to its range. The Volt uses lithium-ion batteries to store a charge. It qualifies as a low-emissions vehicle that will be able to drive in California's HOV lanes, even with just the driver in the car.