Category Archives: cars

Uber Launches In Southern Connecticut

by Categorized: Apps, cars Date:

Uber, the ride sharing company, has expanded service to New Haven and Fairfield counties according to the company’s blog.

Uber Backseat

Handout Photo Courtesy Uber

The company which started in California, connects riders with drivers for hire through a mobile app. Drivers use their own vehicle, and are sent information to pick up passengers. The company says their rates are less expensive than a taxi. Uber takes a percentage of the fare which is processed electronically.

The company is offering five free rides up to $30 through May 11th to kick off the service. The rides must begin and end in the state. Availability may be limited.

Uber has faced strong opposition from established taxi cab companies and livery services in Chicago, New York, and Washington D.C. among other cities.



Senate Committee Vote In Favor Of Automotive “Black Box” Privacy

by Categorized: cars, Government Date:

Your car collects data all the time. Speed, braking, seat belt use are only part of the information recorded and stored in the event of an accident. Who owns that data and what it can be used for is a question that experts have debated.

1X00099_9The U.S. Senate Commerce Committee approved legislation on Wednesday which would limit access to data to the vehicle owner or lessee, unless there is a court order. (Laws in Connecticut protect the data.)

From The Detroit News: “There is no limitation on what additional personal information could be tracked or recorded, an individual’s location or travel habits without consent. The proposal raised widespread questions and concerns regarding the ownership of the data,” the senators said in a statement unveiling the bill in October.

Data can still be retrieved without owner consent if authorized by a court of law or the information is retrieved pursuant to a NHTSA recall and all personally identifiable information is not disclosed. The information could also be used without consent for determining the need for emergency medical response following a motor vehicle crash (used in vehicles equipped with Advanced Automatic Crash Notification systems).

According to the story, the bill has the support of several automobile manufacturers, and the American Automobile Association among others.

UPDATE: Wisconsin Owner Sues Tesla, Saying His Car Is A Lemon

by Categorized: cars, Uncategorized Date:

UPDATE: Tesla says there are some things that aren’t quite right with the claims.

A Milwaukee man is suing electric car maker Tesla after a series of problems his lawyer said make the car a lemon under the law.

The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reports:

Robert Montgomery paid more than $95,000 to have his white Tesla S delivered to his home from Palo Alto, Calif., in March 2013, but according to his lawsuit, the car has had major troubles — like not starting. He had it towed to service centers in Chicago four times. In all, in was out of service 66 days in the first year.

No shrinking flower, Montgomery’s lawyer, lemon law expert Vince Megna, uploaded a video highlighting some of the problems with the car.

A provision in the sales agreement requires any disputes to be settled by an arbitrator.  Megna said that Wisconsin law makes that provision moot by voiding any waiver of rights by a car buyer.

According to the article, problems with the car include, “not starting, not going into drive, recessed door handles that do not emerge when touched, faulty battery coolant pumps, faulty steering wheel controls and several electrical problems.


New App To Vent About Your Commute To Your Elected Representatives

by Categorized: Apps, cars, Government Date:

If you are stuck in traffic, you could take to Twitter or Facebook, but will anyone besides your friends and followers read it?

21265_10151640998621171_1521854591_nWired reports on a way to get attention in higher places. Called the I’m Stuck App, it notifies your elected representatives when you are stuck in transit. The idea being that tie ups and delays may be part of larger problems in America’s infrastructure, and by contacting  representatives in Congress action may result.

The app was developed by the bi partisan infrastructure advocacy group Building America’s Future.


Tesla’s Tech Gets Even Cooler

by Categorized: Apps, cars Tagged: , Date:

Electric tesla

As if the completely electric, technology filled Teslas weren’t cool enough, the new cars now have Google Glass integration.

GlassTesla” lets users remotely access and manage their Tesla remotely using the Google Glass’ internet connection. Accessible features include climate control, the ability to lock and unlock the car, and even allows use of the GPS.

According to the LA Times, the app was developed by Sashas Katta. Katta, who at 24 has already founded two tech companies, developed the app in just a few days.

Although only a lucky few possess both a Tesla and Google Glass (just 25 people activated the app with their vehicle), 300,000 people viewed the website in just 24 hours, according to an interview with Katta in the LA Times.

2013 Google Developer Conference Continues In San Francisco

Additionally, Katta said that the high barrier for entry won’t last long. As the technology gets cheaper, these new products will enter the mainstream and will be widely accessible, much like the iPhone.

Photo Courtesy of The Hartford Courant and Getty Images

Garmin’s Futuristic GPS Is Safer

by Categorized: cars, mobile phones Tagged: Date:

Garmin HUD Dash

Garmin unveiled “HUD,” a new GPS system Monday. The device projects navigation information onto car windshields to provide accessible data without having to glance away from the road.

“HUD,” which stands for heads-up display, seeks to make navigation safer for drivers. By connecting the device with smartphones and cars, the device allows users to focus on the road rather than on gadgets.

According to Garmin, “HUD offers more navigation detail than other portable head-up displays, yet presents them in a simplified way that doesn’t avert the driver’s attention from the road. The directions are easy to follow and allow drivers to navigate even the most challenging interchanges and traffic situations with ease.”

Additionally, the HUD has the ability to reroute drivers based on traffic information, and can alert users of upcoming traffic safety cameras.

The device uses Bluetooth technology to connect with both smartphones and car’s stereo systems. The HUD also automatically adjusts settings such as brightness to further ease usage.

garmin HUD model

“HUD redefines the navigation experience by allowing drivers to find their way without taking their eyes off the road,” said Dan Bartel, Garmin vice president of worldwide sales, in a blog post on Garmin’s website. “Head-up displays currently have their place in select high-end cars, but HUD makes this technology available as an aftermarket accessory for any vehicle, at an affordable price.”

The HUD will cost $129.99 and will be available soon.

Photos courtesy of Garmin

Hyundai Readying An Electric Vehicle?

by Categorized: cars, Energy Date:

Speculation is ramping up that Hyundai will be selling an electric vehicle sooner rather than later on these shores.

The Detroit Bureau reports that rather than going route of Fuel Cells in the United States as they are in Europe, Hyundai is looking to bring it’s home market BlueOn vehicle to the market.

The BlueOn is sold in South Korea and might be what the company needs to comply with emissions regulations in California which are more stringent than in other parts of the country.


Companies To Meet And Talk Future Of Cars And Tech

by Categorized: cars Date:

google self drivingThis coming November, automotive and technology companies will meet as part of the Los Angeles Auto Show with the goal of discussing new technologies in the auto industry and developing ideas on the future of the connected car space.

The Connected Car Expo , created by the LA Auto Expo organizers, is designed to be a place where experts from the automobiles and technology industries can meet to discuss and develop ideas that will change the automobile industry.

The expo which has representatives from many different auto and technology companies such as BMW, Audi, Apple and Facebook, will not only meet to discuss the future of in-car technologies, but will also discuss the future of transportation.

According to CEE’s website, “In response to the rapid changes that new technologies such as driver assist and cloud-based infotainment are fueling in the automotive industry, the LA Auto Show organizers have created the Connected Car Expo.”

Organizers hope that automakers and tech companies will be able to collaborate on new technologies in order to improve their products.

The CEE organizers have decided to take a different approach when creating the structure of the conference.
“The traditional trade conference is typically heavy on panel discussions and any networking is usually an informal part of the event,” said Lisa Kaz, President of ANSA Productions, producers of the Los Angeles Auto Show and the Connected Car Expo. “The CCE will ensure the conference delivers the coveted one-to-one relationships that are so valuable in today’s fast-paced business environment.”

Attendees of the CCE will also have the opportunity to discuss ideas in small break-out groups and even be able to pitch ideas to Venture Capitalists at the show. Additionally, they will have the chance to meet industry leaders from both sectors and further discuss the future of the auto industry.

UPDATED: Tesla Plans More Charging Stations

by Categorized: cars Date:

Electric luxury car maker Tesla is planning to roll out more super charging stations like the one in Milford.

Bloomberg reports that the automaker will add the charging stations in hopes the car will appeal to more customers outside the Northeast and California.

Elon Musk, Tesla’s chief executive officer and biggest shareholder, has said he will make a “big supercharger” announcement this week. The Palo Alto, California-based company operates nine stations that provide free electric power for owners of high-end versions of the Model S and has said it will have at least 100 along U.S. and Canadian highways by 2015.

On a purely anecdotal basis, I’ve seen five Tesla Model S vehicles in the last month on the road between Boston and New York City, including two in Manchester.

Here is the video announcement.