We’d assume a sizable share of fans may consider themselves God’s gift to road navigation, but that hasn’t stopped TomTom launching a special edition Top Gear flavor of its GPS device. Navigation is narrated by the voice of Top Gear, Jeremy Clarkson, directing clueless drivers “with the aid of 32 satellites… and me.” The in-car navigation unit is priced at $269.95, including a one-year subscription to traffic updates and incident reports from TomTom. Alongside Clarkson’s familiar tones are some extra Top Gear car icons and Stig mode, where the GPS will remain entirely silent. It’ll also point out race tracks featured in the show, plus any nearby speed cameras. With its main man behind you, how could you possibly lose your way?


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Sure, we may not see flying cars in our lifetime, but a mainstream digital dash is a definite possibility. The all-glass vehicle dashboard has been conceptualized by other manufacturers in the past, but this year it’s Panasonic’s turn to try its hand at building a multi-display system. The electronics maker brought its Cockpit prototype to the CEATEC floor, causing quite a stir among passersby. The dash itself was little more than a semi-functional mockup, presenting recorded rendered video on the main 20-inch LCD and dual 10.4-inch secondary displays. The main display’s current objective appears to be improving safety, using a series of cameras to eliminate blind spots and alert drivers to other road hazards. Real-time driving stats are displayed atop a video feed, either from the rear camera (when in reverse), or one up front.

Behind the wheel of Panasonic’s mockup consisted only of a pair of (rather comfortable) leather seats, along with a trio of LCDs, which the company claims are currently based on panels used in other Panasonic products, but may eventually utilize custom displays. This wasn’t an actual vehicle prototype — only the “cockpit” was on hand. The main display will (hopefully) focus the driver’s attention away from distractions on those two smaller screens — the one in the center can be used to control standard vehicle settings like climate and entertainment, while a second display positioned directly in front of the passenger seat can play movies and other content.

Overall the setup looked like it could have potential, though Panasonic warned us not to expect anything final until the end of the decade (2018 at the earliest).


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The innovative Cadillac Converj Concept, a dramatic luxury coupe with extended-range electric vehicle technology, is moving forward as a production car that will be called the Cadillac ELR.

Development of the ELR is just underway, so details on performance, price and timing will be announced later. In the meantime, it is worth to note that the Converj is the Chevy Volt’s luxurious, cancelled cousin. The up-and-coming concept suffered an early death shortly after its debut at the 2009 Detroit auto show. Now it’s back, returning to development under the name Cadillac ELR. The new electric caddy is said to feature an updated version of the Voltec powertrain, complete with a Chevy Volt-like range-extending generator.


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Luca di Montezemelo

As saucy as some of them may be, today’s electric car is definitely a novelty. Still, it’s not too hard to imagine a future where the majority of autos run on electrons — whether they’re pushed from batteries or hydrogen fuel cells. Not everybody’s down with that idea, and one of those EV detractors is the incredibly suave Ferrari president Luca di Montezemelo. We recently had a chance to chat briefly with the man who said — in no unequivocal terms — that there is no electric Ferrari coming:

You will never see a Ferrari electric because I don’t believe in electric cars, because I don’t think they represent an important step forward for pollution or CO2 or the environment. But, we are working very, very hard on the hybrid Ferrari. This should be the future, and I hope in a couple of years you can see it.

So what’s next for the brand of the prancing horse? A hybrid, of course, which will be more Porsche 918 than Toyota Prius. Still, ruling out EVs in the future seems perhaps a bit… restricting, but keep in mind Luca did say this was only his policy.


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Everywhere we look we’re surrounded by “smart” technology embedded into everyday items. Refrigerators have built-in televisions and internet connections, while our phones contain more computing power than a NASA control room from the ’70s. Automakers are also ready to ride the tech-train to tomorrow, and Toyota has provided a glimpse of a new way to give passengers a window to the world.

A car already has such a window, but what if the glass was able to provide both information of the world outside and an interactive tool to view it. Engineers and designers from Toyota Motor Europe and the Copenhagen Instituted of Interaction Design have begun thinking about the future, and it could feature a rather unique option for the rear windows. Touch-screen glass would allow one to see how far objects lie in the distance, pinch to zoom on an area outside and to generally learn more about what’s going on outside.

It’s called the Window to the World concept, and you can experience it by watching the video inside.


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The new 2014 Porsche Panamera S is outfitted with something called ACC InnoDrive. Adaptive Cruise Control and Innovative Drive provide smart cruise control, having a fully mapped-out route and knowing not only the severity of upcoming turns but also elevation changes and posted speed limits. In other words: it figures out how fast it should be going and even stops when it should, letting you go the entire distance without having to apply loafer to pedal — assuming no intersections. Porsche isn’t saying when we might see this technology coming to a dearly expensive options package near you, but assures us its cars never completely drive themselves: “We will not touch the steering, trust us. That hands-on aspect is key to the Porsche experience.”


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Mimics Dash allows you to operate an iPhone via a touch screen monitor installed in your vehicle. After installing Mimics Dash, simply plug your iPhone in each time you enter your vehicle and enjoy the convenience of all of your iPhone’s apps, music, phone, and navigation features on a safe, easy-to-use touch screen monitor. By bridging the gap between your iPhone and your car, Mimics becomes the ultimate in-car entertainment system.

The system is available now for pre-order at $630 for the full version, $530 for people who have standard double DIN-sized radio openings in their cars, and $205 for hobbyists who want to put the thing together themselves. So far mp3Car offers this setup exclusively for iPhone, but we’re all hoping that the same technology will soon be available for android market as well.


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This has to be one of the most innovative concept cars ever. Recently at the Shanghai Auto Show, Geely, the Chinese manufacturer and owner of Volvo, exhibited the McCar, a unique hybrid car that comes with a folding three-wheeled electric in the rear. The ultra compact, two-door, four-seater Geely McCar makes sure that the electric scooter is being charged while docked in the rear of the car. This tiny urban car comes with a choice of battery or hybrid power.


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Traffic alerts on GPS devices may be old hat at this point, but there’s obviously still plenty of room for improvement, and IBM now says it’s managed to do just that with its new “Smarter Traveler” traffic prediction tool. Developed with the help of UC Berkeley’s transportation group and the California Department of Transportation, the tool relies on predictive analytics software, GPS monitoring and sensors already on the roads to not only offer alerts, but build a model of each person’s usual commuter route. Once the system is trained a bit, commuters are able to check out what’s effectively a forecast of their entire route before they even leave the house, rather than simply be alerted to traffic problems before it’s too late to avoid them. The quick video below explans how it works.


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This office on wheels is the second-generation business class creation from Brabus tuning studio. The new S600 iBusiness 2.0 is bloated with the latest technology. It offers two iPad2 tablets with built-in WiFi connection and a special iPad app that allows you to easily manage a proprietary COMAND system from Mercedes-Benz, including navigation, music, telephone and options to control the passenger’s comfort.

Small tables are situated right underneath the tablets for your bluetooth keyboards. On top of everything else (literally!), there is a 15.2-inch LCD screen, which hides in the roof.

As for the car specs, Brabus iBusiness 2,0 stands up to its name with 800hp and 1047Nm of torque from a twin-turbocharged V12, accelerating this piece of real estate from 0 to 60 in 3.9 seconds (with a limiter set to 350 km/h). Brabus also offers a full iBusiness 2.0 package for any S-class – from a modest S350 to S65.


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Fisker Karma

Business partners Henrik Fisker and Bernhard Koehler are visibly on edge. While they want to dedicate every ounce of their focus on this all-important launch of their first baby, the 2012 Fisker Karma, their attentions are being constantly pulled away from it by big conference calls regarding the money and logistics of launching the whole Fisker Automotive franchise. Are they really and truly answering a $95,900-$108,900 question with this bold effort that enough people are asking? It’s clear they just want us to fall in love with their lux’d up plug-in extended-range electric sedan.

The Autoblog concluded “the Fisker Karma is a rolling dream machine for anyone who wants something very different that works and drives exceptionally well.” For the rest of the impressions on this $100k plug-in hybrid that offers a combined 657hp and 981lb-ft of torque from three motors and will go 50 miles on batteries alone you’ll need to click on through the source link below.

Source: Autoblog


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Some boring people say that the standard in-car stereo is more than enough for their needs. Those people are probably not considering driving as an art, or enjoyment, or relaxation and most certainly not as an adrenaline rush; but rather as a simple “getting from point A to point B” type of deal. I don’t judge. But those of us who do find it exhilarating and the best event of the day, know that to accommodate those expectations, would not only require a kick-ass car, but also a best entertainment system money can buy.


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Drift – an adrenaline punch!

Drifting refers to a driving technique and to a motorsport where the driver intentionally over steers, causing loss of traction in the rear wheels through turns, while maintaining vehicle control and a high exit speed. A car is drifting when the rear slip angle is greater than the front slip angle prior to the corner apex, and the front wheels are pointing in the opposite direction to the turn (e.g. car is turning left, wheels are pointed right or vice versa), and the driver is controlling these factors. As a motor sport, professional drifting competitions are held worldwide. Drift racing challenges drivers to navigate a course in a sustained sideslip by exploiting coupled nonlinearities in the tire force response.

This post is made up of the drifting history, reasons for such an insane popularity demonstrating some of the greatest drift moves ever recorded on video; and revealing some of the biggest names in this unique sport.


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Anyone who has ever tramped through a dim, Escher-esque parking garage in search of a “lost” automobile might welcome an abracadabra technology that could help locate it. But what if that magic involved an array of 24/7 surveillance cameras and was also available to police and auto repossessers? What if it could be tapped by jilted lovers, or that angry guy you accidentally cut off in traffic? Would the convenience be worth the loss of privacy? Those are some of the questions civil libertarians and others are asking as technology capable of spying on motorists and pedestrians is converted to widespread commercial use.

Santa Monica Place recently unveiled the nation’s first camera-based “Find Your Car” system. Shoppers who have lost track of their vehicle amid a maze of concrete ramps and angled stripes can simply punch their license plate number into a kiosk touch screen, which then displays a photo of the car and its location. Developed by New York-based Park Assist, the Santa Monica Place system goes beyond programs found at the Grove and Westfield Century City shopping centers, where electronic billboards alert shoppers to packed parking aisles and shepherd them to vacant spaces.


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