Toyota surprised us with a plug-in hybrid Prius on the floor at the 2008 Detroit auto show. The company has resisted the plug-in hybrid movement previously, citing the fact that you don't need to plug in the Prius as a virtue. But there has been quite a bit of interest in plug-in hybrids from individuals and even power companies. Plug-in proponents claim to get 100 mpg by modifying Priuses and recharging the batteries when the cars aren't being used. Toyota seems to have finally given into the plug-in pressure, starting up its own plug-in program and handing over … Read more
Just a taste of what cars can do when you give them cell phones. We take a first look from the 2008 Detroit auto show.
The new F-150 is nothing less than the future of Ford Motor Co. We take a first look from the 2008 Detroit auto show.
We previously blogged about Ford's partnership with Gracenote to get album cover art for its in-dash music server, but that's just part of this new navigation and entertainment center. Sirius Travel Link provides a range of data services integrated with the navigation system for traffic, weather, and other useful information. Ford will roll out this new navigation system initially on the Ford F-150 and the Lincoln MKS. We got to try the system out at the 2008 Detroit auto show.
Ford's new Explorer concept, unveiled at the 2008 Detroit auto show, is designed less to show the future direction of the Explorer model and more to showcase Ford's new fuel-saving technologies. But most of these technologies are merely new to Ford and have already been used by other automakers.
We've been overwhelmed by all the automotive tech announcements and new products at CES. During our first day, we've seen new car stereos and GPS devices, new services from both XM and Sirius satellite radio, and Ford's play to be the carmaker most talked about at the show. Here are a sampling of blogs we've posted from 2008 CES:
New Garmin Nuvi 800 series features voice commands A new trend in GPS devices lets you enter destinations with spoken commands. The Garmin Nuvi 800 is one of the first to offer this capability.
A major part of Ford's new hard-drive-based navigation system and music server will be Sirius Travel Link, a set of services that bring new, live data into the car. Travel Link features live traffic reporting, which shows traffic flow and incidents overlaid on the navigation maps. The data is integrated such that, if your route goes through a congested area, the navigation system will offer to reroute you. Next up is weather information--you can get a variety of different weather displays, from a weather map to temperature and conditions, complete with a forecast. The system lets you see weather … Read more
This year, Ford cars will come with Sony-branded audio systems. Car makers have been scrambling to get name-brand audio systems in their cars for a number of years now, but Ford scored a real coup by getting one of the biggest names in consumer electronics on board. Initially, Sony will supply amps and speakers to Ford. At 2008 CES, Sony had one of its OEM amps on display that will go into Ford cars, a 10-channel amp with 8 35 watt powered channels and the capability to do 5.1 surround sound. This amp uses flash memory to store acoustic … Read more
Ford made a splash at CES last year with its new Sync system, developed on Microsoft's automotive software. This year, Ford continues its push into CES with an announcement about the next generation of Sync, along with demonstrations of its new navigation system. The new Sync sports two key features: 911 Assist and Vehicle Health Reports. With 911 Assist, Sync can detect when airbags are deployed, in which case it will use a Bluetooth-connected cell phone to automatically place a 911 call. When it makes the call, it plays a brief, prerecorded message, after which the occupants can give … Read more
At CES and the 2008 Detroit Auto Show, Ford will show off its next generation navigation system, initially to be made available on the all-new Lincoln MKS. The system's 40GB hard drive will include the Gracenote database, which will automatically tag any CDs ripped to the drive, something Gracenote already does in the Cadillac CTS and Lexus LS 600h. But Gracenote goes an extra mile with Ford, providing cover art for music playing in the system. Users will be treated to a scan of the album cover art while tracks from the album play. Further, the system incorporates Gracenote'… Read more