Eight years ago, Circuit City closed its remaining stores, Michael Jackson died, and Barack Obama became the 44th President of the United States. Eight years ago was also the last time Google's Street View cameras got a major upgrade. According to Wired, the company has started rolling out updated cameras to its fleet of picture-snapping cars.
The new rig now features just seven cameras, down from the 15 mounted on the old version. Each camera has a 20MP sensor, and two 'cans' on the front and back for laser radar. All these upgrades will make for higher-resolution pictures with enhanced image clarity. Read More
It's 2017, and we still don't have commercial flying cars, affordable jet-packs, or even automated package delivery. But thanks to HUDWAY, at least one sci-fi mainstay has made its way into the consumer market. Today the company launched a Kickstarter for its newest product, an affordable heads-up display called the HUDWAY Cast. Read More
If you are in the market for an inexpensive phone mount, right now over at Amazon you can pick one up for $4 with promo code HM6MF7KT. It's regularly $8, which makes that a 50% savings. Make a bold note, though, that it will only work if you've got a phone on the smaller side, between 4 and 5.2" in screen size (or 55mm-85mm in width). Read More
At the moment there are two approaches to staying connected to your digital world while driving: a dedicated vehicle system with a permanent screen, or a phone in a car dock. (Or you could just be a dangerous jerk and use your phone in your hands while you're driving, I suppose.) JBL would like to offer a more elegant alternative: the Smartbase. This gadget combines a phone dock, wireless charger, and an external speaker for hands-free calls. Even better, it works with existing voice control and safety services - Google Now on Android and Siri on iOS. Read More
If you've been reading anything about traffic fatalities in the United States in the last year or so, you've probably heard that we're in the midst of a rather alarming increase in the number of people dying on American roads. In 2015, over 38,000 people were killed in vehicular incidents (this includes pedestrians, cyclists, solo crashes, and multi-vehicle accidents). That was an increase of 7.2% over 2014. 2016 is looking much worse yet, seeing a surge of around 10% over the already grim 2015 numbers. For comparison, the traffic death rate per 100 million vehicle miles is also way up, the worst it's been in seven years (i.e., this is not a simple result of more miles being driven). Read More
Car trips can turn from fun to annoying fast, especially if your little ones in the back can't get their fill of Disney Channel shows on Netflix. T-Mobile aims to solve this (and other predicaments caused by lack of Wi-Fi in your car) with the T-Mobile SyncUp DRIVE. Read More
Honda offers Android Auto on the 2016 Civic and Accord, but the 2017 NSX will be the first vehicle from Honda's luxury brand, Acura. Read More
If you've read any of my articles on Android Auto, you'll know that my thoughts - for the sake of brevity - are that it's just kind of OK. This is because Android Auto's philosophy of projection via smartphone over USB and Bluetooth is inherently limited in what it can actually do with a vehicle. And so, many of you have asked on Auto articles I've written in the past: "Why doesn't Google just build an Android Car OS?" While Google may not have been listening per se, they definitely had the same idea, and have created just that. You can also check out our video quickly going over the concept below. Read More
One of the biggest challenges to creating good apps for Android Auto has been actually testing the experience. Many independent developers can't afford to purchase brand new cars with Auto built-in, and aftermarket head units won't fit in most recently manufactured cars without heavy modification, and most of those units aren't very good anyway. When the Auto SDK came out, it included simulators that could be used for basic testing of just the messaging and media browser interfaces, but even these weren't good substitutes for the real thing. Today, Google released the Android Auto Desktop Head Unit, a functioning implementation of the Android Auto platform that runs right on a desktop or laptop. Read More
Are all the newer cars on the street making your ride jealous? Okay, your car doesn't have to be old to lack the OnStar functionality that some vehicles offer, allowing owners to track stolen vehicles or determine why their Check Engine light is on. Regardless, there are ways to give your car these features, and one of them now comes from Verizon.
Today the carrier has announced Hum. For $15 a month (and $13 for any additional vehicles), Verizon will send you a two-piece kit with built-in GPS that can help law enforcement find your stolen vehicle or point you towards your last parking spot. Read More