When Ford announced earlier this year that it had gotten beyond its embarrassing lack of wireless connectivity with a partnership with Microsoft, the usual jokes abounded. “Oh no!” so many automotive journalists moaned. “Now even my car’s going to get viruses.” I myself thought this would replace carjackers with carhackers. I’ll admit, I was one of the many who thought Ford and Microsoft, and their new hands-free, voice-activated initiative called Sync, had a better chance of being a bust, than a breakthrough. Then I got a closeup look at Sync at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas. It’s user interface or UI, is sophisticated and intuitive, and pretty enough to remind me of Microsoft’s media [...]
On Monday, February 19, 2007 XM Satellite Radio and Sirius Satellite Radio made the long expected announcement that they were merging. While this is not yet a done deal because of potential regulatory hurdles it is good news for folks who have become addicted to satellite radio.
BMW was one of the more fascinating exhibitors at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit this month, mainly because of it’s schizophrenic display. In one section, lined up in all their Teutonic beauty, were the M models. Few cars go faster and with more muscular style than BMW’s Motorsport line. And in another section of the booth, BMW’s breakthrough Hydrogen 7 – truly a great advancement in alternative drivetrains. So, in one moment, you’re looking at nothing but raw speed – MPG be damned – and the next, you’re contemplating hydrogen fuel stations and water vapor emissions. Only BMW could make both ends of the spectrum look so good. In this podcast, David Barrett starts [...]
Ford has given us a glimpse of the cadence of future features that American car buyers can expect to see from the Company in the coming years. In Ford's case, they conducted the research and have been closely evaluating what their competition is doing. Derrick Kuzak, Ford's new head of worldwide product development, states that, "Ford will offer a new feature when it appears that two of our major competitors have offered or appear to be ready to offer a new feature."
At the L.A. Auto Show in November, Honda introduced the next step in their fuel cell, hydrogen-powered vehicle development. The FCX Concept is a four-door sedan and previews the car that will be on sale in 2008 (2009MY), albeit with a limited roll out.
One thing is for certain: millions upon millions of people in the US are making purchase decisions based on lifestyle and "coolness" and based on that alone, VW is using the web, music, streaming video, and TV to collaborate with young people to create a lifestyle purchase opportunity.
Television commercials are designed to grab our attention - to motivate us to take some action, based on the emotion created. As such, national TV spots are often expensive (as in millions of dollars for a 30 second spot), and in some cases risky, too. Thanks to some new automotive technology, at least one part of the formula is about to change.