Connectivity seems to be coming to everything nowadays, such as thermostats, refrigerators, watches — you name it. We’ve mentioned some of the ways connectivity has come to the automobile, but what about something a little more abstract: How can connectivity change the way we drive? Beyond autonomous cars (which are still a few years from prime time) we took a look at a few of the ways connectivity is changing the way we drive. Distracted driving is an issue with the rise of the connected life. Many automakers have given their infotainment systems the ability to interact with your smartphone’s technology. Some systems can read your text messages aloud and send a canned response, such as “I can’t talk right now, I’m driving” or “I’ll call you back.” Beyond the basic responses, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto both allow drivers to compose messages completely by voice command. Sure, on-board navigation has been around for … [Read more...] about How Connectivity Can Change the Way We Drive
Waze apple watch
Our long-term Chevrolet Colorado was due for a road trip, as it had proven itself well as a suburban tool. Commutes, weekend projects, and the occasional trip to Lowe’s were all dutifully handled. Now, though, it was time to drive it from Detroit to the Big Apple. If it can make it there … well, you know how the song ends. I didn’t find the 1,228-mile round-trip journey totally inspiring. Our Colorado crew cab came with the off-road Z71 package, meaning its big Goodyear All-Terrain Adventure tires might bounce me all the way across Ohio. I loaded up with beef jerky and coffee and headed out. Although the ride is softer than most sedans, I was pleasantly surprised how comfortable the Colorado was during the trip. Used Onstar to load directions for NYC. Go south to Toledo. Turn left. Drive till you smell pizza — good pizza. The seat holds you snugly in place, and the driving position is excellent for long hauls. There is a good ergonomic feel while driving, as … [Read more...] about 2015 Chevrolet Colorado Z71 Long-Term Update 1
Can I tell you something? I really like Toyota’s big SUVs. The Land Cruiser, first and foremost, has been my favorite for generations. Is there a better SUV? Not really. Even if I’m wrong, so what? I love the thing. I’m not alone in my thinking, either. Corner a Toyota employee long enough, and they’ll eventually admit that although they only sell about 3,000 of the $86,000 off-roaders per year, we can all rest sound in the knowledge that the Land Cruiser is seen as the heart and soul of the company’s efforts in North America. The big cruiser is important to them as a company, and despite the low sales, it’s not going away. Nor is its mechanical twin, the Lexus LX. The Lexus GX might be, however. Known in other parts of the world as the Toyota Prado, you can best think of the GX as Land Cruiser Junior. Sales of the GX are slow, and Lexus feels the need to have a more conventional three-row unibody luxury SUV to compete with the high-dollar and … [Read more...] about 2017 Toyota Sequoia 4×4 Platinum First Test: Size Matters
Driving the 2018 Hyundai Accent is proof that the idea of basic transportation has evolved. Like its sister vehicle, the 2018 Kia Rio, the 2018 Accent offers Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, two apps that are bringing new features and in-car connectivity to more consumers across a wide range of segments, including entry-level vehicles bought primarily by price-conscious customers.In addition to the 2018 Hyundai Accent and 2018 Kia Rio, a number of vehicles from other automakers have eschewed built-in navigation systems. Instead, they rely on Android Auto or Apple CarPlay as the center piece of the multimedia experience. Even if this is a cost-cutting measure, it’s one that doesn’t come with much repercussions because you gain access to a wide range of apps including Google Maps, Waze, and Spotify on the car’s main screen by merely having a compatible smartphone.Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are the democratization of features once unavailable to affordable vehicles. … [Read more...] about Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are Bringing More Features to the Masses
The advent of eight-track tape in the 1960s, followed by cassettes and later compact discs and even hard drives, brought the era of locally stored media to the car. But even as each new medium replaced the previous generation, radio frequency transmission has remained a constant and is likely to for many decades to come. Through the 20th and now into the 21st century, AM has been augmented by FM and, more recently, satellite radio.The common thread among all those radio technologies was that they only went in one direction: from a tower or satellite to your car. Now, thanks to wireless broadband technologies, our mobility platforms can send as well as receive radio signals. Outside the car, we increasingly get audio and video content streamed through our smartphones wherever we happen to be. We can use those mobile devices to select our content, set up playlists, or just consume content curated by someone else.“The digital revolution and content will change the car more in the … [Read more...] about The Internet Will Propel In-Car Entertainment FAR into the Future
Saturday morning, I’m at Ki’s with the fellow who hired me at my day job a couple of years ago. He’s in his early fifties, considerably taller and wider than I am, cheerful in his aggressive tan and studiously thrown-together beach-bum ensemble, yet menacing enough that when he veers in the direction of a particular table on the sunporch the other two groups of people who are also heading for the table magically decide to just stand and wait for the next one instead. We don’t work together any more; he hired me to turn an idea of his into aluminum-and-silicon reality then he departed for the next idea. The future is as real to him as the present; perhaps more so. He earns between three and four hundred dollars an hour as a consultant, imagining what technology might be able to do for medicine in the future. “You do this car thing,” he barks. “Something I’ve wondered. Bought that Rubicon outside. They wanted two thousand dollars for … [Read more...] about Avoidable Contact: Who’s afraid of a little integration?
As in all other areas of life, smartphone apps are proliferating for drivers and car owners. These nine are the ones we’ve found to be the most useful, be they for getting around, for nabbing the best deal on gas prices, for finding parking, and a lot more. Just please keep your eyes on the road—not your phone—while you’re driving. Google MapsIf you’ve been on Apple Maps for a while, or really any other mapping app, it’s time to come back to the Google mothership. It’s simply the best and it keeps getting better. This is particularly true if you use Gmail or are logged into other Google services on your computer. The places you search on you desktop seamlessly show up in the mobile app. And now that it integrates a lot of info from Waze (which Google bought) it’s even smarter about routing you around problems. http://www.google.com/maps/about/ WazeFor everyday use, Waze isn’t ideal. It’s still kind of buggy, it devours your … [Read more...] about The Best Smartphone Apps for Drivers