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Presentation Video of BMW’s ConnectedDrive Technology

Here it is the presentation video of BMW’s ConnectedDrive Technology, featuring a beautiful brunette and a jewelry theft. It kind of sends you into a James Bond movie, with luxury cars, gadgets and high-technology.

So, we have a man with a BMW Vision ConnectedDrive Concept car, stealing some jewelry for a sexy lady with the help of its on-board communication system. It’s definitely a great association of interesting details, enough to attract car passionate and James Bond type of adrenaline lovers.

The production is great, the car is wonderful and the technology, let’s admit it, is at least useful.

So, we leave you to enjoy the presentation video and the car:

What do you think about the video?

[Source: Worldcarfans]

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Road Safety Rules for Your Kid

As a parent, you are definitely concerned about your kids walking on the streets with so many lunatic drivers around. So, here there are some rules you should teach your kid to follow:

1. Cross the street in steps, not running:
Teach him to stop before crossing the street and to look both ways to see if any car is coming, no matter what the traffic signals say. As seldom you repeat this to them, the sooner it will become a habit for them.

2. Show the how the traffic lights and signals work:
So, whenever your kids will be near an intersection, they will know when to stop, when to go. Try to explain them even how to look for potential dangers, by letting them know even the way complicated intersection work.

3. Be aware all the time:
When walking near roads, when crossing the street, even on green signal, when passing through a parking lot. Kids should always be careful when it comes to cars. They should make eye contact with drivers when crossing the street, in order to make sure they were seen. Plus, it should be avoided to walk while listening to music on the headphones, as this decreases children’s attention to traffic or cars.

4. Warn kids about parked cars:
Many kids don’t realize how dangerous parked cars can become if the driver is into that car and he starts moving it, without noticing kid’s presence. The situation can become ugly and unfortunate, especially if your kid is too small to be seen in rear view mirrors. Better teach them how to avoid parked cars.

5. Teach your kids about bicycles:

Kids jus love to ride their bicycles, but let’s admit it, this can be dangerous for them, especially if your kids don’t know some basic rules about riding a bicycle or traffic. Make sure they wear a helmet, that you tell them how to signal the change of direction and that they know they have to ride the same direction as traffic and towards the sidewalk. Plus to avoid busy roads.

What other road rules do you have for your kids?

[Source: Carwoo, Photo]

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Anne Hathaway Riding a Bat-Pod for the Next Dark Knight Movie

In the next Dark Night film, “The Dark Knight Rises”, Anne Hathaway is the one playing the Catwoman part. We don’t really know if she is producers’ best choice for playing such a part, but she definitely looks hot in the poster released by Warner Bros for promoting the next movie. We cannot really figure it out whether it’s her who makes this image interesting or the Bat-Pad motorcycle that she rides.

So, let’s talk a little bit about the motorcycle. It first debuted in the 2008 movie. Since then it was constantly updated and improved, for a meaner look and including a better technology. In the movie, the Bat-Pod motorcycle will be accompanied by the creation of Gordon Murray, a green carbon fiber Batmobile and by a Lamborghini Aventador, driven by Christian Bale (Bruce Wayne).

Apparently, the estimated budget for the next Dark Knight movie is of $250 million and the movie is currently filmed in Bucharest, Romania. If you wonder about the official debut, you will have to wait until July 2012.

What do you think about these images with Anne Hathaway riding a Bat-Pod motorcycle?

[Source: Topspeed, Photos]

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BMW’s Ultimate Drive Mobile App Provides World’s Best Roads

Driving has become an experience that causes headaches whenever our GPS indicates us bad roads or when the alternative routes to avoid congested areas are in the works. BMW has tried to solve problems generated by bad roads by creating an app for iPhone and Android devices, which successfully blends technology with driver engagement.

The app is called The Ultimate Drive and it provides the nearest best roads for driving, also allowing drivers to add routes to a database, to which any user of the app has access. A brief tutorial explains you when you open the app how the app works, how to find or add routes. It also alerts you whenever a new drive is added in you are and it features the option to send you favorite routes to an email address or to Facebook, to port the maps to another GPS devices or app.

The Ultimate Drive can be downloaded from the Apple App Store or Android Marketplace.

So, what do you think about BMW’s app?

[Source: Autoblog, Photo]

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The “Safe” Way to Check Your Phone While Driving

We all know that using mobile devices while being behind the wheel encourages distracted driving. It has already statistically being proven by the increasing number of accidents due to this habit. This is the reason why all over the world governments try to reduce or forbid drivers to use gadgets while driving. On the other hand, there are also initiatives that actually encourage the use of mobile phones while driving a car, by offering some so-called “safe” alternatives. This is also the case of Sameer Desai, one of the persons who had the idea of creating Steer Safe.

Steer Safe is a cradle for your mobile phone that can be mounted on your steering wheel and which makes the use of your mobile devices easier while you are driving. Its producers claim that any phone can fit the Steer Safe and that it can be mounted on any type of steering wheels. Moreover, they claim this is legal, as its use should be limited to when vehicles are parked or stationary. The contradictory part comes when watching the presentation video, in which the device is used, guess how, while driving.

We don’t really know how safe this is. It’s true that looking for a map or watching the navigation device can become easier this way, but who guarantees that each of us will use their mobile phones while driving only for checking a map. Secondly, if even the producers sustain that this cradle should be used only while being parked, while should we need it on our steering wheel in the first place. But maybe this is only our opinion and some of us still find this product useful and, first of all, safe.

What is your opinion about Steer Safe?

[Source: Kickstarter]

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OnStar’s Family Link – for Concerned Parents about their Teen Drivers

Being a parent has never been easy, but nowadays the situation seems to be even more complicated because of the developing society and children’s access to all sort of things, more or less dangerous for them. Undoubtedly, parents’ concern stays the same, if not even increases. Their kid driving is one of their main worries. This is why OnStar has created a system through which parents can check if their teen driver has arrived safely to the destination.

We are talking about a pilot program called The Family Link, which allows OnStar subscribers to be constantly informed about the location of a car equipped with the subscription-based communication system. In this way, any parent can log in to the Family Link website and check the car’s position on the map in any moment. In addition, it can also be activated a vehicle location alert, meaning that an email or a text message with the exact car location can be sent to parents, according to the time and frequency set by the user for receiving the messages.

According to OnStar, the entire system is currently just in the state of testing, which allows it to get some improvements, so that to include data about speed, boundary and arrival / departure alerts. In the near future, 10.000 OnStar subscribers will receive invitation to the pilot program, but no price has yet been announced.

We think this Family Link is useful for parents and helps them maintain their calm while waiting at home for their teen driver to call and say he reached the destination without any problem.

Do you think is this enough for you to stay calm about your kid while he is on the roads driving?

[Source: Motherproof, Photo]

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Ford Combines Driving with Video Gaming

Many car passionate people enjoy also video gaming. So a combination of these two elements seems to have been the key to a successful Ford campaign. How did they manage this? By organizing a test drive in which car shoppers not only got the chance to drive a Ford, but had also been involved into the production of a real-life video game. Sounds fun so far. But let’s see how Ford has succeeded into implementing this creative idea.

Test driving and simultaneously producing a video game needed the use of a special technology. This is why the engineers from Ford have equipped a couple of 2012 Ford cars with telemetry equipment, have commandeered a parking lot and created a car track with obstacles. Then, all the data produced during the test drive was gathered together through a recording device and, in this way, a video game was produced.

The entire test drive was going as a game, in which players had points to score depending on how they navigate the course, with time lapse being taken into account.

In the video below you can see the presentation of the concept for Ford’s test drive.

What do you think about Ford’s idea: would you like to participate to such a test drive?

[Source: Autoblog]

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[press release] Nissan’s QR Code Campaign

Quick Response (QR) Code Window Sticker Added to All Vehicles, Providing Enhanced Interactive Customer Shopping Experience –

Nissan today announced that it is the first Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) to offer Quick Response (QR) codes on individual vehicle window stickers across its entire lineup, beginning with 2012 models. Rolled out in June with the launch of the 2012 Nissan Altima and Sentra, the QR codes link consumers to additional vehicle information, providing a free, enhanced interactive shopping experience via the most popular web-enabled iPhone, Android and Blackberry devices.

“Nissan’s new QR code program puts important decision-making information at shoppers’ fingertips while on dealership lots, helping sales personnel make a more effective presentation, as well as providing customers with a ‘silent salesperson’ if they are shopping the lot after hours,” said Jon Brancheau, vice president, Marketing, Nissan North America, Inc. “It’s a true mass market effort across all products and all Nissan dealerships nationwide – part of our pledge to bring innovation to every aspect of the vehicle design, buying and ownership experience.”

The Nissan “On Vehicle Graphics” system utilizes QR code technology, which is easily accessed by a large group of customers through a wide array of QR code readers.

Key information available through the QR codes includes:
• Specific vehicle information, including grade walk, key features and available accessories
• Video based product overviews
• Image gallery
• Incentive offers
• Dealer inventory
• Request a quote capability
• Join mailing list request
• Dealer location support

“Initial consumer response, based on early 2012 Altima QR code availability, has been extremely encouraging, with consumers viewing multiple pages and requesting follow-up information regarding current offers and inventory,” said Brancheau. “It’s one more way Nissan helps the consumer by delivering content on their terms.”

About Nissan North America
In North America, Nissan’s operations include automotive styling, design, engineering, consumer and corporate financing, sales and marketing, distribution and manufacturing. Nissan is dedicated to improving the environment under the Nissan Green Program 2010 and has been recognized as a 2010 and 2011 ENERGY STAR® Partner of the Year by the U.S Environmental Protection Agency. More information about Nissan in North America and the complete line of Nissan and Infiniti vehicles can be found online at www.NissanUSA.com and www.Infiniti.com.

About Nissan
Nissan Motor Co., Ltd., Japan’s second largest Japanese automotive company by volume, is headquartered in Yokohama, Japan and is an integral pillar of the Renault-Nissan Alliance. Operating with more than 150,000 employees globally, Nissan provided customers with more than 4 million vehicles in 2010.

With a strong commitment to developing exciting and innovative products for all, Nissan delivers a comprehensive range of fuel-efficient and low-emissions vehicles under the Nissan and Infiniti brands. A pioneer in zero emission mobility, Nissan made history with the introduction of the Nissan LEAF, the first affordable, mass-market, pure-electric vehicle and winner of numerous international accolades including the prestigious 2011 European Car of the Year award.

For more information on our products, services and commitment to Sustainable Mobility, visit our website at http://www.nissan-global.com/EN/.

[Source: Nissan]

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[Study] Speeding is the Most Common Cause of In-Car Arguments among Couples

Road trips with your wife or girlfriend are now statistically confirmed that cause couple problems. The most common cause seems to be you driving too fast, that your lady does not agree with (in 22.72% of cases this was given as a reason for fighting). Whether you drive so fast that you miss the exit or the entry on a street (18.01%), whether you don’t keep the right distance from the car in front of you (13%) or your parking skills (5%): these are all enough reasons to destroy your journey and in-car arguments to start.

At least this is what a study made in the UK by Tesco Cars, an online used car channel, has shown.

The surprising thing is that kids fighting in the back seat of the car do not cause problems to couples (only 3.9% of in-car arguments were indicated as being caused by kids).

So, if you want to enjoy a great car ride with your lady, you should think about not making the mistakes mentioned above. Or you should take a journey by yourself.

What is in your case the most frequent reason to get into a fight with your partner while being in the car?

[Source: Carscoop, Photo]

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The toxicity of your child’s car seat

Car seats are essential for a safe drive with your child. So, whenever you buy a car seat you buy it in order to keep your child safe, not to expose him to other problems. Apparently, those problems do exists: according to HealthyStuff.org and its nonprofit Ecology Center, over half (60%) car seats contain at least one of the chemicals tested for, from hazardous flame retardants to chemical additives.

The conclusion: the car seats have components made of toxic chemicals. Bromine, chlorine and lead are some of them, also linked to allergies, birth defects, impaired learning, liver toxicity and even cancer.

“Car seats save lives. It’s absolutely essential that parents put their children in them while driving, regardless of the rating a particular seat received at HealthyStuff.org. (…) However, our research shows that some car seats contain more harmful chemicals than others.” said Jeff Gearhart, the Ecology Center’s Research Director.

There is also a toxicity list of best and worst car seat producers, although the tests do not indicate the exact level of toxicity for the detected chemicals. Graco Turbo Booster (in Anders) is the best overall child car seat, Pro Booster (in Blue Opal) – the worst. The rest of the list can be found on the website www.HealthyStuff.org.

Besides all these, the average car seat rankings have improved by 64% in 3 years (since 2008). This is good news, although we cannot say that it makes the problem less important.

So, is the producer of the child car seat that you use on the “black” list?

[Source: HealthyStuff, Photo]

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RFID Tag System for Parking

Parking and paying for a parking lot have the gift to give us headaches almost every time when we get the car out of the garage. This is why engineers from the German Fraunhofer Institute for Material Flow and Logistics have come with the idea of creating a RFID (radio-frequency identification) tag system, which to make parking easier and with fewer problems.

This system actually allows drivers to pay their parking fees automatically, by deducting the amounts of money from an online account.

This specific system isn’t the only one of this type: in Singapore already exists an “AutoPass” card, which is inserted into a card reader placed on the windscreen of the car. The card is working easily, by only being scanned whenever you reach a parking lot. In addition, the card can also be used outside the parking lot, in different stores.

As about RFID, the technology is mounted in the inside of the windshield, without intruding your view. The entire device is known as VIATAG and is already in use in Essen, Duisburg and Munich.

What do you think about this RFID tag system: is it safe, is it useful?

[Source: Gadgetizer, Photo]

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Women Like Trucks Too

Apparently, according to statistics on buying habits, women are a segment of truck buyers which grows faster than any other type of buyers. They are the one who purchase the biggest number of trucks nowadays, so this is why we launch the hypothesis that they actually love those cars.

Our colleagues from Carwoo have made a list of possible reasons why a truck is a perfect car for women too:

1. Women love powerful cars, and trucks are powerful cars. Maybe this is their way to compensate their physical shortcomings in power. Plus that they probably get others attention in an easier way, by simply cranking up the engine. And consequently, they are taken into account.

2. Women love independence: huge space for huge luggage – this is every woman wants, and trucks don’t have any problem from this perspective. They can handle themselves easily, with no man around to say what a bad decision they have made by buying such a big piece of furniture or by taking so many clothes in their voyage to the seaside.

3. Women love to show the’re tough: especially those who love hiking. Owning and driving a truck is their way to say they have these kinds of habits and connects them to a community of passionate about the same things. Nice way to make a preliminary selection and then pick a guy with similar hobbies, we’d say.

What other reasons do you think a woman could have for loving trucks?

[Source: Carwoo, Photo]

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Mercedes-Benz Work at Building the Future of Multimedia

Mercedes-Benz are known for their investment in innovation and technology. After many work to get where they are, internet access on-board Mercedes-Benz vehicles was introduced this year. But this was not the moment for them to stop developing their cars. So they’ve came with the idea of holistic and natural interaction. The company has showed at the TecTalk “@ your command” how their engineers think multimedia future would look like in telematics and infotainment.

The result of their vision: a COMAND infotainment with apps, search and advanced navigation incorporated, which offers to the driver the possibility to interact with the system.

How they are going to do that: by expanding voice commands with natural language dictation for different options, such as emailing, text messaging, internet browsing. By simply asking a question, the device tells you exactly what you are looking for. Additionally, the user interface will feature fluid transitions and displays which can be customized for navigation, climate, media control and others.

The surprise comes from the fact that Mercedes-Benz also works on a technology based on handwriting recognition and gesture controls for interior lighting. Cool, uh?

As about the applications, Mercedes intends to introduce Twitter and Facebook into COMAND system too, along with Stitcher radio and Pandora. It will even use Google Street View technology and Panoramio, in order to help drivers find the exactly destination of their journeys.

All these by the end of the year in Europe and probably in 2012 in USA, on SLK, C-Class, E-Class, CLS and M-Class models.

What do you think about these innovations?

[Source: Autoblog, Photo]

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“Putin’s Army” of Sexy Women

We don’t know what Putin does in Russia so that to enjoy such support, but he probably does it right. So, a group of self-proclaimed “young and beautiful” female activists are decided to do their best to get Vladimir Putin back to Kremlin in 2012.

Their first step: they have created “Putin’s Army”, a so-called patriotic group which offers to wash only the Russian cars (such as Ladas and Volgas) passing by Moscow’s State University building.

“Putin’s Army is here to stay… Putin’s Army washes you away…”

The interesting part for men is that they will do this dressed only in bikinis and wearing eight-inch heels. Hot, we’d say!

This is not their first initiative: they have also used social networks to get“young, smart and beautiful girls” to join their group and manifest their support for Putin by tearing up their shirts.

So, how about taking your Russian car to “Putin’s Army” car wash in Kremlin?

[Source: Carscoop, Photo]

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Porsche Guides Your Way with Compass Watch

If you ever felt lost (literally) while driving your Porsche, it means that you need the compass watch that Porsche has specially designed in order to guide your way. It indicates time and direction mechanically and is a two-in-one useful accessory. Actually, the current compass watch is a modernized re-issue of the one created by the designer Professor Ferdinand Alexander Porsche back in 1978.

The P’6520 Compass Watch is crafted from black PVD-coated titanium and features an automatic three-hand watch face: it has the date function, luminescent hands and the liquid compass. In order to find one’s bearings with this instrument, a scratch-resistant mirror has been installed on the rear of the watch part and on top of the compass. Above all these, it is water resistant to a depth of up to 50 meters too and its bracelet has a PVD coating (Physical Vapour Deposition).

What it’s new to the 2011 compass watch compared to the 1978 edition? A fashionably oversize of 42 mm in diameter (increased by three millimeters than the elder one) and the light non-allergenic titanium (which has replaced the aluminum construction). The titanium also helps the magnetic needle of the compass not to be affected, as titanium is a non magnetic material.

And, not to forget, the entire accessory is designed in the traditionally economical Porsche Design color scheme. Apparently, Porsche Design was the first company in the watch industry to have ever used the color black on a watch back in 1972.

The production of P’6520 Compass Watch is limited to 911 pieces, so you would better hurry up if you want this cool piece of compass watch.

[Source: Autoblog]

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