On the eve of CES 2008, Sony Electronics added two new portable navigation systems to its lineup: the Sony NV-U73T and the Sony NV-U83T. Both models focus on safety and have text-to-speech technology, nearly 5 million points of interest with branded icons, and preloaded maps of the United States and Canada. They're equipped with SiRF StarIII GPS chips, but the units also have a feature called Position Plus that includes pressure, gyro, and acceleration sensors, which should provide for more accurate positioning even when driving through tunnels and in between tall buildings. In addition, you can perform certain functions … Read more
You too can own your own pair of free-standing speakers that look just like the kind we used to wedge into the fog-shrouded windows oif our misspent youth. All that's missing are the beat-up station wagon, decaying intermission hot dogs, and a cheap date.
I hope and expect that the majority of dash-top GPS products for cars that are released in 2008 will have one new feature that's missing from most 2007 and earlier models: A way to preprogram waypoints and routes via a Web site, and then send that information to the device. From Google Maps you can already send locations to certain BMW and Mercedes cars and some TomTom navigation units, and this is one of the cool new features we're anticipating in the upcoming Dash Navigation product.
But let's hope that other GPS manufacturers don't follow the … Read more
Greater availability of silicon germanium chips and better reliability in bad weather will make radar technology favored over other automotive obstacle detection technologies, according to an ABI Research report released Wednesday.
There are four major types of obstacle detection technologies currently used in vehicles for applications like blind spot detection and parking assistance. Radar will probably win out over sonar, lidar, and cameras, said David Alexander, principle analyst at ABI Research, who specializes in telematics and automotive research .
When we first spied the "Mini Solar Racer" last summer, it seemed like a neat little toy that would make a nice novelty gift for our greener acquaintances. Little did we know that it could be a miniature prototype for an actual car.
That, at least, appeared to be the case with the equally unattractive Taiwanese solar-powered car that Gizmodo rightly likens to a golf cart. Even if it does make good on its claims of reaching 44 mph during three-hour jaunts between charges, something tells us that this design won't have droves of customers jamming showrooms. … Read more
In order to get its electric sports car to owners sooner, Tesla Motors plans to deliver cars with a temporary transmission that falls short of its originally promised performance.
The news was distributed to the wide world on Thursday in a blog post from Ze'ev Drori, Tesla's new president and CEO.
The post is a reprint of a letter that was sent to Tesla purchasers on December 21, as a follow-up to a town hall meeting for Tesla owners that took place on December 12. About 100 people, including those who called in, participated in the meeting, according … Read more
If you're a regular Cheapskate visitor (and my deep thanks if you are), you may recall the $99 GPS from earlier this month. It sold out fast, but now you have a second chance: The Holux GPSmile 52 Plus (known in some quarters as the GPSmile 53A) is available now from eCost for $99 (after a $35 mail-in rebate).
The GPSmile 52 Plus includes a 3.5-inch touchscreen, preloaded maps, a SirfstarIII chipset, and a windshield mount. You can even use it as an MP3 and video player (though I have to ask: Does anyone actually use those features?). … Read more
Your car may already be able to tell you if the tire pressure is too low. Now researchers at Purdue University say they can make a tire into one big sensor that will also tell you things like how the treads are wearing, whether the tires are balanced, and where that little nail has slipped into the rubber. It works because of the materials used throughout the tire, as well as a chip that monitors the status and relays the information to the driver. But before you go looking for this at your local Sears auto center, you might first … Read more
The 2008 International Consumer Electronics Show is the first one to dedicate an entire hall to automotive-related tech. The convergence of in-car entertainment, communications, and information promises to continue in 2008 with the release of whole range of in-dash and portable device capable of providing GPS navigation and playing multiple media formats.
For portable navigation systems, the market is as hot as ever, helped in part by dropping prices and increasingly feature-rich devices. We reviewed quite a number of handheld navigation devices in 2007, and we've found that when it comes to the core navigation functions they all offer … Read more
It's been well over a year since Dash Navigation unveiled its Internet-connected GPS device, and after months of beta testing, we're finally one step closer to actually seeing the Dash Express navigation system hit the streets. Today, the company announced that it's taking preorders for the Dash Express from its Web site, carrying a price tag of $599.99 that includes a complimentary three-month subscription to the Dash Service. Afterward you can choose from several plans to continue the service: two-year plan at $9.99 per month; one-year plan at $10.99 per month; or month-to-month at $… Read more