Behold Ford's Futuristic Shopping Cart
This author absolutely loves Ford Europe’s extracurricular mobility projects, in the same way someone might enjoy Tommy Wiseau’s The Room or watching Orson Welles’ drunken wine advertisements for Paul Masson.
While certainly not as good as the automaker’s noise-canceling doghouse, lane-keeping bed or slow-moving Carr-E puck (my all-time favorite “mobility innovation”), Ford’s new shopping cart isn’t far behind in terms of accidental amusement. It just happens to have enough practical applications to avoid being hysterical.
Truro Nissan Is Why People Should Love Car Dealers
There are certain inescapable truths in this world: bacon is delicious, man buns should be outlawed, and car dealerships endure a reputation of being a refuge for the ethically bankrupt.
I — like many others around here — am no stranger to witnessing the unscrupulous debauchery occurring on some showroom floors. However, there are exceptions to every rule, and a fledgling dealer in small-market rural Canada puts the lie to the claim that backwards thinking is a trait of all car dealerships. There are bright spots out there, as proven by the team at Truro Nissan.
Vellum Venom Vignette: Innovation, Planned Obsolescence and Fisher Body
Sorry, Sergio - Google Has No Plans to Expand the Relationship
It looks like the fling between Google and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles will end up being a brief affair.
Despite partnering with FCA to test autonomous technology on a fleet of Chrysler Pacifica Hybrids, the tech giant says it has no plans to take it further with the automaker, according to Reuters.
Really, it doesn’t mean anything, Google wants other companies to know. Just two self-driving Pacificas passing in the night.
Formula 1 Claws Its Way Back to Roadgoing Relevancy
The complaint most often tossed at Formula 1 is that despite being the (alleged) pinnacle of motorsports, its relevancy to road cars has disappeared.
That same feeling is what brought us to the current formula of tiny 1.6-liter turbocharged six-cylinder engines, all coupled to a complex hybrid system. Since that move, the racing series has focused more on engine development that in almost any era before, and with that comes a breakthrough in the way we look at thermal efficiency.
Open-Minded Sergio Willing to Stick With Tech Partner; Could Play the Field, Though
Fiat-Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne can see a beautiful future with partner Google, but there’s plenty of fish in the sea, you know.
Speaking in Windsor, Ontario, where Chrysler Pacifica minivan production recently kicked off, Marchionne called FCA’s Google fling the “first phase” of their relationship, but admits to wanting to keep his options open, Automotive News reports.
The Future of Batteries is a Far-Out Trip, Man
Besides making steaks seem fancy and sending rebellious teens to the furthest reaches of the galaxy, it turns out mushrooms have another use.
Fibers from a type of wild mushroom outperformed graphite anodes on lithium-ion batteries, Wards Auto reports, a finding that surprised researchers at Purdue University.
As electric cars slowly proliferate, the knowledge could revolutionize the future of high-capacity batteries.
An Innovative Car Dealer Is a Future Car Dealer
I worked at a Ford dealer in Silicon Valley from 1994 to 1999. It was a transitional time in the car business; a time when old-school car guys told war stories about back-lot portables stocked with sales incentives, while young consumers arrived with astonishingly accurate invoice and holdback information. We packed payments, sold $79 undercoat for $1,500, and occasionally found customers smarter than us.
By 1999, more than 40 percent of Americans were online and the Internet was democratizing information everywhere. If someone asked me then if the retail auto environment would be different 17 years hence, I would have emphatically responded yes.
I would have been wrong.
The car business and the customer experience are all but identical. The biggest change is perhaps the relocation of the smoking area.
Toyota Embraces Big Data (Science), Spins Off a Company
Your vehicle’s technology is enslaving you, and Toyota wants to help you break free.
Today, Toyota has become the latest automaker to create a subsidiary tasked with generating new technology and innovation for its parent company.
Called Toyota Connected Inc., the venture is a collaboration with Microsoft that will serve as a data science and mobile technology hob for the world’s largest automaker. The plan is to use Microsoft’s Azure cloud technology to “humanize” the driving experience and make vehicles’ high-tech abilities less intrusive and more useful.
GM is Spending a Lot of Cash so You Don't Have to Drive
General Motors wants you to have more texting time in your car, and it’s dropping a lot of cash to see that it happens.
The company announced Friday that it will purchase San Francisco-based Cruise Automation in order to access and advance its self-driving vehicle technology, a buy worth upwards of $1 billion, Fortune reports.
The three-year-old startup has been busy gathering investor capital to develop and push aftermarket kits designed to turn regular vehicles into autonomous cars.
Section 1201 and Automotive DRM: The Future is Locked
This is the Renault Zoe. It’s like most EVs on the road, with its limited range, limited power, and limited usability.
Unlike the other EVs, however, the Zoe comes with DRM attached to its battery pack. In short: If you value your ability to drive the Zoe at all, then you will submit to a rental contract with the pack’s manufacturer. Should you fail to pay the rent or your lease term expires, Renault can and will turn your Zoe into an expensive, useless paperweight by preventing the pack’s ability to be recharged, consequences be damned.