The connected car got a little more connected today as USTelematics, maker of the Voyager in-car IPTV/ media player/ web browser/ mobile wifi router, announced that it had signed up Sirius as a content partner. The deal means that owners of the Voyager will be able to access Sirius channels through a subscription, even if their car stereo is not equipped with a satellite radio receiver. (They will, of course, have had to invest the $800-$2100 for a Voyager system in the first place.) For Sirius, which has been struggling to get approval for its proposed merger with XM … Read more
You've got to wonder what Burt Reynolds would think about a Bluetooth CB radio if he were still around. Oh, that's right--he is still around. Well, we're sure that old Smokey would have welcomed the new-fangled technology because he could have used it to rally other cars for the chase scenes.
Cobra Electronics has brought the iconic CB into the 21st century with a radio that can receive mobile phone calls and includes a noise-canceling microphone to boot. It's even safer to operate, at least theoretically, because it has controls that can indicate the dial's … Read more
A company named Zero Pollution Motors says it plans to bring a car powered by air to the U.S. sometime in 2009 or 2010. The six pistons in the Air Car's engine are pushed by compressed air rather than gasoline combustion, an idea developed by F1 race car engineer Guy Negre. The car carries a compressor, making it possible to fill its compressed air tank by plugging it into an electrical outlet. At low speeds, the engine is cranked solely by air from the tank. At high speeds, it uses gasoline to heat a chamber, giving the air … Read more
Apparently there's some worthwhile science in those Soap Box Derby cars we had to make in the Cub Scouts after all. North Carolina-based Joe Harmon Design has created "the world's first wooden supercar," which can reportedly reach speeds of 240 miles per hour.
The 15-foot-long "Splinter" has a 4.6-liter V8 engine and is made from maple, plywood, and fiberboard, according to Fareastgizmos. The the key to its speed advantage over metal cars is weight, according to its owners: It tips the scales at 2,500 pounds, they say, nearly 530 pounds less than … Read more
Of all the odd combo devices on the road today, this one actually seems to make some sense. Portugal-based NDrive has developed what it calls "the world's first GPS navigation system with a breathalyzer," according to NaviGadget.
There are other car breathalyzers that have been developed, of course, including some that prevent the engine from starting if the driver is past the legal limit. But the built-in GPS system might provide additional incentive for motorists to buy one of these portable devices, which appear to be destined for the European market for 200 euros, or about $297. … Read more
The 2008 Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid gave us a strong sense of d?j? vu. We read the accolades accorded to the gas-only version, the 2008 Chevrolet Malibu, after its launch late last year, which reminded us of the good press received by the Saturn Aura the year before. And the Malibu Hybrid, with its belt alternator starter (BAS) hybrid system, reminded us of the mild hybrid system of the Saturn Aura Green Line. It seems that GM pioneered a good car launch story with the Aura, and chose to repeat it with the Malibu this year. We've started taking … Read more
We have Lincoln and THX, Acura and ELS, Lexus and Mark Levinson, and now, Bentley and Naim. Even automakers in the stratosphere of luxury brands feel the need to partner with an established audio company. Naim, a name you probably haven't heard if you aren't a hard-core audiophile, is a British manufacturer of very high-end handmade stereo equipment. Bentley's press release claims this system is the "world's best", but we would like to be the judge of that. All we need is for Bentley to send us a car.
To design the systems, Naim … Read more
You just don't expect snow in San Diego, but that's what we got last week at a launch event for the 2009 Acura TSX. Due to the terms of an embargo, we have to hold off on giving you any information on our driving experiences from the event, but we can tell you that, thanks to a freak snowstorm, we ended up stuck on a mountainside for the better part of three hours, much of it waiting for a snowplow to come and clear us a path to safety. Usually, this would have been a tedious wait, but … Read more
ANNAPOLIS, Md.--Hybrid cars may be on every environmentalist-cum-trend setter's hot list, but their surging popularity is raising alarms among the blind and their advocates, who fear the near-silent vehicles could endanger lives.
In recent months, the National Federation of the Blind has launched what is becoming an international lobbying campaign for legislation that encourages--or flat-out requires--automakers to install noisemaking technology to address those potential perils.
Top NFB leaders focused their efforts Tuesday on this quaint state capital on the Chesapeake Bay, where legislation creating a state "Quiet Vehicles and Pedestrian Safety Task Force" is pending. If … Read more
Knight Rider returned last weekend in a made-for-TV movie/pilot with a new car, the Knight Industries Three Thousand (still K.I.T.T.), and a new, young driver. Of course we watched it, and would like to say we learned a lot about the world and ourselves. But the lessons we took away from the new Knight Rider were more specific to driving a high-tech car while fighting crime, something we do at CNET Car Tech almost every day (except for the fighting crime part).
If you owe a gangster $90,000, it's a good idea to get … Read more