We've gathered photos from our Car Tech reviews of every major automaker's software interface. These interfaces are what you see on a car's LCD, and we've covered manufacturers from Mercedes-Benz to GM. Many of the interfaces are poorly designed, probably taken straight from the original equipment manufacturer who built the car's navigation system and stereo interface. For our comparison, we concentrated on music screens, as these show on-screen buttons and fonts. Take a look and tell us which company you think offers the best and worst interface.
It's Valentine's Day and the GSMA World Congress is coming to a close. It's been a busy few days for the CNET team. Bonnie Cha and I journeyed from San Francisco with CNET TV's Ariel Nunez, CNET UK's Andrew Lim flew in from London, and John Chan of CNET Asia came all the way from Singapore. As one of the biggest mobile shows on the planet with more than 55,000 attendees, GSMA produced a lot of interesting news, from new smartphones to the first prototypes of the Android platform. Barcelona was a good host, … Read more
Many in the auto industry are touting ethanol as the solution to the challenge of post-petroleum transportation. Major carmakers advertise many new cars can run on E85--a mixture of 85 percent ethanol and 15 percent gasoline--and they trumpet the fuels environmental benefits relative to gasoline. But the ethanol story is not as straightforward as it sounds. Aside from the lack of infrastructure--only around 1,400 out of 170,000 U.S. filling stations have ethanol available--the production of ethanol from corn has drawn criticism for its cost (in terms of food-stocks and land usage) and the relative inefficiency of the … Read more
Following the buzz from last week's Detroit auto show at which many major automakers underscored their commitments to alternative-fuel cars, General Motors has announced that it is setting up a new engineering organization dedicated to the development of hybrids, extended range electric vehicles, and advanced battery technology. The new division will focus on developing production vehicles based on GM's E-Flex gasoline-electric hybrid system--including, presumably, the Chevy Volt, which is scheduled for production in 2010--as well as vehicles based on GM's 2-Mode gasoline-electric hybrid architecture.
To date, GM has unveiled several concept cars based on the E-Flex system, … Read more
The Chevrolet Volt has some high standards to live up to: In conversations with Wired News at this week's North American International Auto Show (aka the Detroit auto show), General Motors Vice Chairman Bob Lutz said that a successful launch of Chevy's plug-in hybrid could have "the same sort of symbolism" for GM and the U.S. auto industry as the Apollo missions and the moon landings did for NASA and American scientific endeavors. (He also talks price, batteries, and looks.)
Hummer doesn't embody environmentalism, but that's the spin GM CEO Rick Wagoner gave when he introduced the Hummer HX concept at the 2008 Detroit auto show. The Hummer HX is smaller and lighter than Hummer's other three models, but, more importantly, uses an E85-capable 3.6-liter V-6 engine. Wagoner extolled the virtues of ethanol as fuel during the press conference, punctuating the point by announcing a partnership between GM and Coskota Inc. to produce ethanol fuel using a new, cost-effective process.
As for the Hummer HX, it is a rugged-looking concept that brings Hummer design cues into … Read more
Underlining the ever-converging automotive and electronic worlds, GM's boss Rick Wagoner arrived on stage here at the 2008 Consumer Electronics Show in GM's electric-powered Chevy Volt to deliver his keynote speech, marking the first time in the show's history that a leading automaker had addressed the convention. "If the automobile were invented today, I'm pretty sure it would debut here at CES," said Wagoner before launching into an overview of GM's technology, including details of the carmaker's alternative-fuel, telematics, and autonomous vehicle programs, and finally unveiling the latest concept vehicle in GM'… Read more
LAS VEGAS--One of the big complaints from consumers who buy General Motors cars that run on E85 ethanol is the lack of places to fill up.
GM CEO Rick Wagoner, in a meeting with reporters at the Consumer Electronics Show taking place in Las Vegas this week, says he has received hundreds of e-mails from customers who have bought such cars and are frustrated they can't find ethanol stations.
When GM started selling its flex-fuel cars, there were about 600 stations that sold ethanol in the U.S. Now there are about 1,400 stations.
But there are 170,… Read more
General Motors is unveiling new models that use both of its hybrid-car technologies at this year's Los Angeles Auto Show. The all-new Chevy Malibu gets the hybrid-lite treatment with the same Belt Alternator Starter system that we've seen in both the Saturn Vue and Saturn Aura Green Lines. GM saves its more sophisticated 2-Mode hybrid technology for its thirstiest full sized trucks as both the Silverado pick-up and the Cadillac Escalade (yes, that's right, the Escalade) make their hybrid debuts this week. Check out our photos here.
Honda is upping its production of gas-electric hybrid cars, but has no immediate plans to develop the kind of hybrid that would recharge from an electrical outlet, the company announced Tuesday.
Honda CEO Takeo Fukui also publicly criticized General Motors for its pursuit of the Chevy Volt at a press conference on Tuesday in Japan.
If that kind of high-performance battery power is possible then carmakers would be better served making a completely electric vehicle from an environmental standpoint, said Fukui, according to the The Wall Street Journal (subscription required).