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Palo Alto to require electric car charger pre-wiring in new homes

Palo Alto to require electric car charger pre-wiring in new homes

The city of Palo Alto, in the heart of California’s Silicon Valley, is already on the cutting edge of modern technology, as the home of Tesla Motors, Hewlett-Packard and Stanford University. It also has large facilities run by Facebook, Apple, Google and PayPal. Outside of the private sector, though, there’s not a lot to distinguish Palo Alta from other very wealthy ZIP codes.

A move is in the works to change that, though. According to both the San Jose Mercury News and Green Car Reports, all nine members of the Palo Alto City Council voted to change the city’s building code, requiring new homes to feature pre-wiring for 240-volt, level two, in-home chargers. It tacks on about $200 to the overall cost of a new home, which as Green Car Reports notes, is a mere fraction of what retrofitting would cost.

The city council also voted to streamline the process of obtaining a permit to install a fast charger. “It is important that we create the infrastructure necessary to allow [electric cars to catch on]. In Palo Alto, of all places, we should absolutely do that,” Council Member Marc Berman told the San Jose Mercury News.

[Source: AutoBlog.com]

 

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GeneralIndustry News

Apple iTunes Radio Chooses Nissan as Exclusive Automotive Launch Partner

Apple iTunes Radio Chooses Nissan as Exclusive Automotive Launch Partner

Apple, Inc. recently launched the iOS7, which is an enhanced version of the original iPhone operating system and can now interface not only with iPhones, iPads and iPods, but the new Apple iTunes Radio as well. The iTunes Radio functions in the same manner as Spotify and Pandora; it is a free radio that lets users choose their own stations and create personal playlists of their favorite genres and songs. Additionally, iTunes Radio listeners have the ability to purchase any song they listen to since the songs are linked to the iTunes store.

To help launch iTunes Radio, Apple chose Nissan as its first automobile launch partner. Just as the free versions of other Internet radio stations contain advertisements, iTunes Radio will also have advertised content and much of it will be Nissan-specific. New models will be featured and Nissan will use iAd, a marketing ploy that allows advertisements to be directly inserted into various apps. The exclusive partnership also means that users will be privy to unique video as well as audio content on all of their Apple devices: the iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Apple TV and Mac.

Nissan, now partnered with Renault, is the sixth largest automobile manufacturer in the world. Its original vehicles were called Datsuns, which enjoyed huge popularity, particularly their line of trucks. Today they have a wide variety of car models, including a luxury model line called Infiniti and an electric model called LEAF. The new exclusive partnership with Apple’s iTunes Radio is bound to exponentially raise awareness for the Nissan brand even without the exclusive and targeted Nissan ads on the radio stations. Apple, Inc., after all, is one of the most recognized brand names in the world with millions of customers who already have intense brand loyalty to all things Apple.

The new iOS7 technology that fuels the iPhone Radio will initially be available in the 2014 Nissan Rogue compact SUV, the all-new 2014 Nissan Versa Note and the hot-selling Nissan LEAF electric vehicle. These are currently the only vehicles in the world that will play iTunes Radio in the car.

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GeneralIndustry News

Nismo Smartwatch Concept Tracks Both Car and Driver

Nismo

While Samsung is out touting its wares in the smartwatch category, an unlikely colleague is sharing the attention in the emerging market. Nismo, Nissan’s racing development team, has taken the idea of a smartphone watch and fine-tuned the technology to aid and improve the driving experience. The challenges that face Nismo in this concept watch are instantly clear. In a vehicle, the real estate to house any technology — no matter how complex — is readily available somewhere in the car. Can Nismo really pack impressive and useful features into a wristwatch?

Staying “Connected” … to the Road

The language of connectivity has infiltrated our lives. It is only natural that developers of technology proceed down the path of increasing connectivity. So how can this smartwatch improve on the driving experience through enhanced “connectivity”? The press release shows the screen of the watch alerting the driver to icy conditions in the road. Will the driver need to take their eyes off the road and a hand off the wheel to read that warning?

Luckily, no. The watch is able to connect via Bluetooth. However, reading the press release, it is hard to find a feature in this watch that is not already available in most new cars. The only feature the watch can possibly offer that is unique is a reading of the driver’s heart rate. While that is a fun feature to show your friends, it is not something that any driver will rely on. The unimpressive list of features for the watch include reading and displaying fuel consumption, average speed and performance data.

Nissan invented a system to monitor and display that — and much more — when they released the GTR. That system, modeled after features from the best-selling video game franchise “Gran Tourismo,” is still revolutionary. It is also displayed right in front of the driver on a beautiful touchscreen. Why wouldn’t Nissan just redesign a slightly less expensive central display that utilized that technology? That system recorded everything from g-force to tire pressure. It literally is the epitome of keeping the driver connected to the road.

Funding Wearable Technology the Enzo Ferrari Way

“Wearable Technology” is a broad category that has been around a long time. It’s also the only category that is perpetually experimental. Nissan’s marketing director Gareth Dunsmore says that wearable technology is growing fast and they want in. Great, but then the three key technologies they point to for further development are all geared towards improving Nissan’s racing team. Dunsmore claims this watch was created to “enhance” the experience of “Nismo ownership.” But it’s reminiscent of Enzo Ferrari’s motivation to sell road cars; he did it only to fund his race team. Since the Nismo driving team stands to gain the most, the motivation may not be far off.

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