Cars Stories July 31, 2015

BMW-i3

News first surfaced earlier this year that Apple and BMW had engaged in negotiations over the possibility of the Cupertino company using components from the carmaker for its own electric vehicle project. The negotiations reportedly fell through following a visit by Tim Cook and other Apple execs to BMW in Germany, but a report from Reuters today adds that talks between the two companies “may be revived at a later stage.”

The report also shares some more insight into Cook’s visit to BMW, noting that talks have stalled due to Apple wanting to “explore developing a passenger car on its own”: expand full story

Cars Stories May 27, 2015

bluelink

Meet BlueLink, a Hyundai cloud-connected service that provides cool remote access features for select vehicles. I recently had a chance to test BlueLink with the 2016 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid and Plug-In, and now I’m convinced that connected cars are the future.

BlueLink links up to your vehicle using its VIN number, using the Internet to relay information to and from the car, wherever you may be. Connected apps for cars, homes, and other smart accessories are cool and all, but what if you could start your car or unlock your doors from an Apple Watch, without taking a step? Welcome to what’s next…

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Cars Stories May 19, 2015

Automatic upgrades $100 Bluetooth car dongle, launches ‘app store for cars’

Automatic, a Bluetooth dongle that plugs into your car’s on-board diagnostic port to stream data to your iPhone, has been updated to a new version capable of streaming to two apps at the same time. The company has also launched an ‘app store for cars’ in the form of a webpage with download links to 22 apps that are compatible with the device.

We reviewed the original model back in 2013, when Zac Hall described it as smart, fun and interesting. At the time, it could only stream data to Automatic’s own companion app, but the latest version supports two simultaneous Bluetooth data streams, allowing both Automatic and a second app to receive data simultaneously.

Compatible apps include nine business-oriented apps, allowing things like automated mileage expense claims; convenience apps, like Nest, to pre-heat or cool your home while driving home; safety, like a driving coach to help new drivers; and performance, to provide real-time data to assist in car tuning.

The second-gen Automatic adapter also includes “built-in GPS, Made for iPhone (MFi) certification, and an improved connector to fit better in more cars” at the same $100 price.

Cars Stories April 29, 2015

promo_art

While self-driving cars may be the future of personal transportation, we’re still stuck driving the old-fashioned way for now, and a new iPhone game will show you why the future can’t come fast enough.

Watch the full video review now

Cars Stories March 2, 2015

V141003 iLX-007_AppleCarPlay-Dash-1

It was only a matter of time before executives from various automakers responded to news that Apple is looking into developing its own electric vehicle. The first responses come from CEOs of Volkswagen, Daimler and Nissan during interviews at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona and the Geneva car show this week. expand full story

Cars Stories February 23, 2015

Samsung just bought a rumored Apple Car partner’s battery unit

Samsung has acquired the battery pack business of leading automotive parts supplier Magna International. The move, according to a statement from the companies, will “enhance Samsung SDI’s capabilities in batteries for electric vehicles.”

While Samsung producing batteries and energy storage solutions for vehicles isn’t exactly new—it already supplies batteries for Tesla and others—there is an Apple Car connection in its latest acquisition…

Cars Stories February 13, 2015

Apple has hired former president and CEO of Mercedes-Benz Research & Development Johann Jungwirth to join the company as Director of Mac Systems Engineering. The hire was confirmed by Jungwirth’s LinkedIn page, and first noted by a report in the Financial Times detailing Apple’s recent hires in the automotive industry and secretive new automotive research lab.

The report claims Apple’s automotive hires are for a new research lab where “experienced managers from its iPhone unit, are researching automotive products.” expand full story

Cars Stories January 22, 2015

A former Apple engineer is heading Ford’s new Palo Alto research center

We learned today that Ford is staffing up a research and development center in Silicon Valley located in Palo Alto, California, and heading the automaker’s new R&D facility is a former Apple engineer.

Dragos Maciuca, who served as a senior controls systems engineer with mobile technologies at Apple since early 2013, will head the research center’s 125 scientists and researchers, Ford told CNBC.

Prior to his tenure at Apple, Maciuca worked in various technology and research roles including for automakers Nissan and BMW.

As for what the former Apple engineer will focus on at Ford, Reuters has this:

Cars Stories June 27, 2014

carplay

Audi today announced in a press release that it plans to integrate Apple’s CarPlay technology to its vehicles possibly as soon as next year. This makes Audi the first automobile company to join Apple’s initial list of committed partners since the Cupertino-company announced the feature’s roll out plans in detail earlier this year in March although Alpine and Pioneer have been added for announcing support for aftermarket solutions.

Audi has not yet been added to Apple’s CarPlay microsite which lists each car company with a commitment to support CarPlay, but Audi says that CarPlay integration with its vehicles “is taking place through intensive dialog between the Audi development lab in Silicon Valley and Apple.” While its unclear just how far along Audi’s partnership with Apple is since Apple hasn’t added Audi to its list of partners, for its part Audi says it plans to roll out the first models supporting CarPlay in 2015. expand full story

Cars Stories April 25, 2013

car-access

Patently Apple spotted two car-related Apple patent applications, one allowing an iPhone to act as a smart-key, the other helping you locate your car when parked in a large car-park.

The smart-key idea uses a Bluetooth connection from the phone to unlock the car, which could be done either manually or via a proximity rule, unlocking your car as you approach it … expand full story

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