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New Lamborghini Laptops from Asus

Collaboration between cars’ and computers’ manufacturers has lately become sort of a tradition, all with the objective to create new technology devices and innovating systems.

Into this category of coalitions can be integrated the Asus and Lamborghini team too, with their new round of computer products. Consequently, for the past few year, various Asus laptops have suffered some design touches under the influence of the Italian car producer. This time, the result is a VX7 gaming laptop model, inspired by the Murcielago LP640 car, and which features premium leather-lined palm-rest, some taillights out back after the Lamborghini style and the sports car manufacturer’s logo; it also comes in two colors, orange and carbon fiber.

Technically speaking, the laptop is based on Intel’s Huron River platform, and it boasts, among many other things, 16GB of RAM, up to 1.5TB of storage space, a Blu-ray combo drive, a 2.0 megapixel webcam and an 8-in-1 card reader. The Lamborghini VX7 comes with a pre-installed Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit and is currently up for pre-order at €1,995.

[Source: Tcmagazine, Photo]

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Men Disobeying the GPS Given Directions – Study

Orientation in space is a natural problem for women (as they can’t really figure out where to go or how to get to a specific location) and a matter of pride for men (as they hardly ask for indications when they don’t find a place). So, both situations actually generate passengers’ disputes and, if necessary, GPS-related disputes.

According to a study made by the UK insurance retailer Swinton, when it comes to using the navigation system and orientation in space, men are more likely than women to disobey the directions given by their car GPS, as a conformation of the fact that men hate recognizing they are lost and asking for directions. 83 percent of men from the 3,000 polled users of navigation systems declared to have ignored the nav system’s indications at least once, compared to less than 75 percent for women.

The study also revealed the fact that one-third of all participants surveyed consider their navigation system had led them between one and five kilometres astray, which caused different types and levels of fight with the passengers in the car.

“A sat nav should aid your own navigational abilities rather than replace them”

said Steve Chelton, Insurance Development Manager at Swinton. She also considers perfectly motivated the drivers’ mistrust to the global positioning systems. Drivers’ solution to that: almost two-thirds keep an old paper map in the car too, just in case.

Do you think this survey really reflects the actual situation of drivers’ attitude and habit while being behind the wheel?

[Source: Nationalpost]

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Hotel-like Parking Lot Etiquette from KindOfRude.com

We all have seen lots of drivers parking their cars in a totally inappropriate way, covering two parking spaces instead of one or leaving too little space for other cars to park.

So, for you not to use any brutal and violent form to show your dissatisfaction or disagreement, KindOfRude.com has created a etiquette, like hotel Do Not Disturb-flyers, that you can leave on the door handle of the car that you consider to have violated the parking rules. Actually, it’s an angry and patronizing instruction manual of proper parking that can be bought on $9 for an eight-pack.

What do you think: does this method will actually solve the problem of violated parking rules or it’s just a no-effect and not so cheap passive-aggressive manifestation?

[Source: KindOfRude]

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Slim Stow Seats from Johnson Controls

Well, pick-up trucks are big cars, not huge, just big. And so are their seats, especially the rear seats: bulky and very unpractical for the driver, as the rear view is sometimes totally blocked by the passengers. The situation should be solved somehow, for this problem to stop causing accidents and passengers’ injuries.

This time, the solution has come from Johnson Controls, a global leader in automotive seating, overhead systems, door and instrument panels, and interior electronics, which has introduced a new design for second row seats in pickup trucks (Slim Stow Seat). The new seats are slimmer, taking up 33 percent less space, maximizing seating comfort and being lighter weight compared to traditional rear truck seats (which reduces fuel consumption). And, as this would not be enough, they also improve visibility for the driver (seat back is lowered 100 millimeter) and passenger safety and comfort (the seat pad features 50 percent more foam than usual in the relevant areas).

“The Slim Stow Seat sets new standards in all categories tested, which included cargo capacity, user friendliness, seating comfort, material compression and ease of assembly”

said Dr. Andreas Eppinger, Vice President Technology Management at Johnson Controls Automotive Experience.

So, all those being said, would you change your traditional row seats with Johnson Controls’ Slim Stow Seats at your pick-up truck?

[Source: Autoblog]

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Ford’s Digital Child Crash Dummies

No matter how safe the car manufacturers try to build their car models, the reality is that accidents still occur, involving both adults and children passengers. This is why automotive companies do their best to reduce the impact and to limit the effect of a car crash on human body. As we all imagine, our body reacts different on different age, so that the protective measures in case of accidents must be distinctive.

According to this idea, Ford Motor Company have officially announced that they had started building a digital human child, as they did the adult version too. This new digital child crash dummy would have all the characteristics of a human body in childhood, complete with its internal organs, skeleton structure and brain, all as a part of their safety research. By this, Ford hopes to find out how things differ, and what they can do to make things better.

For building the digital model, the researchers started from monitoring and studying injury patterns for children, who are generally much more vulnerable in car crashes. To this, Ford will add the date medical scans (children’s MRIs and CAT scans) provided by volunteers and anatomical texts in order to generate information about child geometry and body, so they to understand how crash forces affect children and to come with ideas to prevent them.

This kind of research from Ford is admirable, because it helps car tests to become more accurate, and hopefully the future cars will be as safe for kids as they try to be for adults.

[Source: Coolest-gadgets, Photo: Facebook Ford]

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Meters for Thai Motorcycle Taxis

Starting tomorrow, the Thai motorcycle taxis will use a new device for the first time ever: a meter. In Thailand, motorcycle taxi is the most used form of transportation, but despite this any of them didn’t had a meter to measure the driven distance. Before this device to be created, almost every moto-taxi journey ended in lost fares or confrontations or with the feeling that either driver or passenger was cheated.

“Most every driver and passenger we’ve spoken with or surveyed dislikes negotiating the fare. It’s the number one complaint.”

Who had the inspired idea of solving this problem? Paul Giles, an American entrepreneur who was doing business in Thailand and who, eight years ago wondered why nobody ever thought about equipping the bikes known as moto-taxis with meters, and, consequently, in 2011, after eight years of research and development, build one himself and sold it to moto-taxi drivers.

So, as a result to all this, April will be the month for Thai government and a motorcycle taxi association to begin a pilot program to test Moto-Metered taxis on the streets of Bangkok. In addition to standard speed sensors found on all meters, the device has a GPS and inertial navigation system and standard speed sensors.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JV8NYx-aJiM[/youtube]

Apparently, the moto-drivers’ reaction to this device is extremely positive.

“There’s a lot of buzz among drivers that this is a defining moment for their industry, that the Moto-Meter will bring long-sought-after legitimacy to their profession, and that this advancement will improve their lives”.

(Paul Giles)

The prognosis of the success: 50,000 Moto-Meters sold in the first year, with eventual market penetration of 10 percent of the world’s motorcycle taxi drivers.

To what other purpose do you think this meter device can be used?

[Source: Fastcompany]

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Audi Connect System with Google Earth Navigation

Voice activated technology or real-time information while being in the car is no longer something to be seen only in James Bond movies. It’s reality. Audi Connect provides those and even more, just to give drivers and passengers the most enjoyable experience and access to the most current information.

For all this boom of technology and devices for Advanced Audi Connect Systems in the U.S., T-Mobile is the Wireless Carrier. This allows customers to Tap Voice-activated Google Earth (first-to-market), Obtain Real-time Traffic information (by combining Sirius and Google Earth), Fuel Price and Weather Information, search for information about travel destinations by using Google Local search, and Access Mobile Wi-Fi HotSpot.

If we made you curious about Audi Connect System and you want to see how it looks and works, watch the video below:
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t_YlOMrSm2I[/youtube]

For further details and technical specifications, you can access Audi news site.

[Source:AudiUSANews]

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Sprint’s DriveFirst app – a Safe-driving Solution

The usage of mobile data is growing in popularity and increasingly more people use different type of gadgets and devices even while driving. The effect: the also growing rate of accidents caused by driver’s lack of attention.

This is why, at the International CTIA WIRELESS 2011 Show, Sprint has announced its new Android application which reduces distracted driving by limiting the functionality of your smartphone, an app to be launched later this year. This news is just in time for April, the National Distracted Driving Awareness Month.

For your safety while being behind the wheel, the application locks your phone’s screen while your car is in motion, it redirects calls to voicemail, it doesn’t allow text messaging and text message alerts and sends back automated response message saying that you are not available. If you are tempted to believe this app leaves nothing else to do with your phone, you should know that it gives access to three key contacts and three mobile applications, such as GPS navigation.

Sprint’s CEO, Dan Hesse declared:

“As mobile data usage continues to grow in popularity, Sprint wants to ensure its wireless consumers engage in safe behavior for themselves and others.”

What is more useful, in our opinion, is the fact that DriveFirst application give parents and business administrators Web portal access to configure DriveFirst for their teens’ or employees’ mobile devices, who are sometimes tempted to break the rules and might need this kind of mobile usage limitation.

Sprint says the app will be available in the third quarter of this year and will require a $2-per-month charge for each device that utilizes its features. Meanwhile, it can be tested with other distracted driving solutions at the “Sprint Innovation Station”, in the exhibitor hall from the International CTIA WIRELESS 2011 Show.

Share your opinion: would you personal use this application while driving or would you keep it only for your teen children?

[Source: Autoblog]

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NHTSA’s New Child Seat Guidelines

Choosing the right car seat for your child is often a challenge for many parents. This is why The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has issued some guidelines to help consumers keep their child safe by using the child seat in the appropriate manner. Those guidelines are based on the latest scientific and medical research and the development of new child restraint technologies.

So, the novelty is that they advise parents or caregivers to install the seat rear-facing until the child is two years old, or reaches the height and weight limits advised by the seat’s manufacturer. Even if they get to meet one of these two conditions, it’s better for a child to continue to use a special car seat, and until they hit 13 years, they should only ride in the back seat.

As an extra precaution, HTSA recommends young children to ride in the back seat, and if there is no other solution than sitting in the front seat, the passenger air bags should be turned off.

To complete this set of advice, Administrator Strickland declared that when selecting the child seat, parents should take into account other factors too, such as their child’s weight, height, physical development and behavioral needs, as well the family’s economics and type of vehicle.

“Safety is our highest priority”

said Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood.

“The ‘best’ car seat is the one that fits your child, fits your vehicle and one you will use every time your child is in the car.”

So, how do you keep your child safe while being in the car?

[Source: Autoblog]

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Connectivity of Ford Focus Electric

Many car manufacturers have tried lately to make consumers’ lives easier by announcing different types of applications for smartphones, as a way to blend their new car models with the latest technological devices. In the same direction goes Ford too, one of its latest measure being the partnership with AT&T to provide connectivity for the 2012 Ford Electric.

Apparently, the partnership involves an embedded wireless connection and helps the drivers that already use MyFord Mobile app to supervise and schedule the charging, to receive notifications about battery status and about maintenance checks. In addition, MapQuest provides the near locations of charging stations, alerts, trip planning and the location of your vehicle. All those are completed by the possibility to remotely lock and unlock doors, to heat and cool the car interior and to download system data, offered by the MyFord app or, if this missing, by HTML5-based or WAP 2.0-supported browser.

So, do you think this app will help you in some way?

[Source: Autoblog]

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About Being a Female Engineer in the Automotive Industry

We all have the impression that the automotive industry is dedicated only to men, and women wouldn’t fit into the car manufacturers’ world. Well, this is not actually true, and this seems to have tried Chevrolet to prove by hosting the web chat from March 22 between four women with important positions in the automotive field and involved in the design, development, manufacturing and marketing of the Chevrolet Volt, the world’s first electric vehicle with extended-range capability.

The guests of Chevrolet’s chat were: Pam Fletcher (Chief Engineer for Volt and Plug-In Hybrid Propulsion Systems), Teri Quigley (Plant Manager at Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly), Britta Gross (Director of Global Energy Systems and Infrastructure Commercialization) and Cristi Landy (Product Marketing Manager, Chevrolet Volt). During this meeting, they answered some interesting questions about career, family and about how they succeeded in mixing them, about what made them choose the engineering and the automotive industry as a career and which are the challenges / opportunities in this filed for a woman. Definitely, those questions will help us better understand what it means to be female engineers in today’s fast-paced environment and about how the diversity of perspectives brings technology breakthroughs like the Volt to market.

What do you think: does a regular woman have a chance to succeed in this industry?

[Source: Press Release Volt Women Web Chat Advisory]

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How to Keep our Teen Drivers Safe

Relationship with a teenager is always difficult and complex, even more when you are the parent and the teenager is your birth child. This could be caused by your overprotecting attitude or by his generalized tendency to disobey you and whoever who tries to set rules. This is why the moment when your teen starts to drive the car needs to be treated with huge responsibility and with patience, because ignoring any way of getting involved into this or supervising the entire process isn’t a proper solution.

This is why any advice about how to keep your teen driver safe is useful:
- a teen child should not be allowed to drive with other teenagers in the car until he doesn’t have enough experience in driving: in the company of other teenagers, young children take unconsciously risks.
- a teenager shouldn’t use any type of mobile phone while driving, because this may distract him too much from driving. Reasons: his distributive attention isn’t fully developed and he doesn’t have enough experience.
- try to reduce situations of night or in bad weather driving for your teenager child, because, as you already know, many experienced drivers have difficulties into such situations, not to mention your unskilled child.
- try to explain to your teenager child that driving is a privilege that could be easily suspended if not follow the rules, yours or traffic rules, it doesn’t really matter.
- set yourself as an example of safe driving for your child, because this will give him an useful standard about what is good and what is bad about driving.

How do you choose to protect your teenager child on the wheel? Share some tips and help others to keep their children safe too.

[Source: Edmunds]

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Lincoln Ad for Free Access to NYTimes.com for the Rest of 2011

Lincoln has embraced the strategy of making its cars more visible, so it decided to make a partnership with The New York Times to offer to a selected group of persons free unlimited access to NYTimes.com, that normally will need payment starting March 28th. The value of this offer is close to $150 and the motivation for this kind of marketing exercise could be the number of about 200,000 of the Times’s heaviest online readers who aren’t home delivery subscribers.

So, Lincoln’s expectations are quite optimistic: they estimate that about 100,000 people will actually activate the offer. This could be a shy and not very creative attempt of this car producer to change its old town car’s image by engaging the exactly people it should be telling its story to, also considered to be, in some ways, the leaders and highly active and engaged with the site. In addition, the program is technologically up to date too, offering free access to the Times’ smartphone applications. However, Lincoln’s strategy could be considered suitable if we take into account the fact that experienced internet users are more likely to be impressed by SYNC and MyLincoln Touch than any other old user or fan of Lincoln’s cars.

This is how the text of the ad sounds like: “Beginning March 28. The New York Times will charge for unlimited access to its Web site. Experience all that NYTimes.com has to offer you for the rest of 2011 at no charge, courtesy of Lincoln. This extraordinary invitation is being extended to an exclusive group of visitor to NYTimes.com”.

On the other hand, The Times has not yet decided whether to make similar programs available to other marketers too, declaring: “We will evaluate it and see how it worked and consider it, certainly.”

What is your opinion: is this a good marketing exercise for Lincoln? Did The Times take the right decision by getting involved into this or would it have its reputation and budgets affected by this as soon as the 2011 year ends?

[Source: Autoblog, Photo: Talkingnewmedia]

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Citroen Divas’ Rally

Creativity of marketers in communication strategies for car brands is continually diversifying and is taking everyone by surprise, even if it is about technology and new devices created to improve customers experience with the car, or just new concepts of special events that try to develop a personal relationship between the cars and brand’s consumers. So, as an example, this year Citroen Romania has decided to organize the first edition of Divas’ Rally, a lifestyle event dedicated exclusively to women, which tries to combine driving pleasure with adventure.

The first edition happened on 19 and 20 of March and gathered nine women, Romanian VIPs – Dana Rogoz, Maria Dinulescu, Simona Gheorghe, Mihaela Radulescu, Daiana Anghel, Roxana Ionescu, Paraschiv Oana, Andreea Patrascu, and Laura Cosoi -, nine journalists as co-pilots, and nine Citroën DS3 cars. The nine crews drove on a 156 kilometers route, even if this wasn’t a rally in the true sense of the word, but more a regularity rally, held on public roads and in normal traffic conditions. So, even if the event missed the spectacular of the world competitions in which Citroen has already won seven world championship titles at pilots’ category, with Sebastien Loeb, the initiative could be useful as a marketing exercise.

Even if on this edition have participated only Citroen DS3 cars, according to the organizers, the next edition will allow in competition any Citroen models, including historic vehicles.

In addition, dear ladies, if you are upset and worried about that fact that you could not participate to the rally unless you’re VIP’s, you should stay calm: Divas’ Rally 2011 edition with VIPs was actually only the prologue to the event dedicated to ALL Citroen owners that will take place every year from now on.

”The idea of this event is to find new routes to explore in Romania, by driving Citroen cars. Divas’ Rally will be from now on the perfect opportunity for every woman who owns a Citroen to discover her passion for driving, to test her limits and to visit the most chic places in Romania”

said Didier Gerard, Director of Citroen Romania.

So, what do you think about that? Would you be interested to participate to such “ladies” rally in your country if possible?

[Source: C-vedete, Photos: Facebook Citroen]

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Brabus “iBusiness 2.0”

Whoever was skeptical about how is even possible to do business without an office, only by being in a car, has to review his opinion: nowadays, technology makes everything possible, even to have a some kind of a “rolling” office, a.k.a. a Mercedes Benz S-Class equipped with all the devices a businessman should need while being on the road. The conversion result: a Brabus “iBusiness 2.0″.

The entire multimedia system is based on the new Apple iPad 2. The tablet computer, integrated into the rear compartment of the Mercedes S-Class, controls on-board entertainment and the high-speed Internet connection. In addition, Brabus have developed an application that integrates the iPad2 into the on-board electronics system and enables it to control all functions of the S-Class comand system from the rear seats. The car has also cameras integrated, which make the “iBusiness 2.0″ system suited for video conferencing too.

Well, a Mac Mini is mounted inside the trunk, connected with a 15.2-inch TFT display that can be used too as auxiliary display for the two iPad 2s mounted in the tables from behind the two front seats. Apple Bluetooths keyboard, WiFi network, a 64-gig Apple iPod Touch in the rear center console, Sennheiser Noise Gard headphones and hundred of channels provided by the wireless DVBT television receiver – are just some of the options available on the standard Mercedes S-Class.

To get the perfect business car in your mind, to all those technological features you should add a 800 horsepower and 1,047 pound-feet of torque pulled from the twin-turbocharged V12, shuttling the S to 60 mph in 3.9 seconds and on to an electronically-limited top speed of 219 mph.

We think this car is likely to leave any businessman speechless with its features and technical devices that offer a solution to any professional necessity, which is absolutely great.

Do you think there are some others necessary options that this car is missing? Is it really totally useful to businessmen?

[Source: Autoblog]

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