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2012 Buick LaCrosse Gets Better Fuel Economy with eAssist

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As the Buick LaCrosse hits dealerships, Buick is releasing their new ad campaign that focuses on the vehicle’s updated fuel economy.  To emphasize the logic of their stop-start technology, their TV ad, which aired this weekend, shows people running in place at the street corner, at breakfast, in the elevator – even at a wedding.  The idea behind the ad is that you don’t run in place when you’re standing, so why should your car run while standing?

The ad highlights one of the basic features of the 2012 Lacrosse: better fuel economy with the start-stop system.  With eAssist, drivers can expect to get 36 mpg on the highway and 25 in the city.  Compared to the 2011 LaCrosse, which got 30 mpg on the highway and 19 in the city, this is about a 25 and 30 percent upgrade respectively.

 

The start-stop technology is part of eAssist, Buick’s updated version of their Belt Alternator Starter system.  When a driver stops at a light, the engine shuts down.  When the light turns green and the driver accelerates, the engine starts back up again.  Reviews by test drivers say they could not perceive the engine switching back and forth, and that the “mild hybrid” still retains the luxury that Buick is known for – smooth, quiet comfort.

 

Starting at $30,820, the 2012 LaCrosse uses a 2.4L four-cylinder engine, lithium ion battery, and a 15-kilowatt electric-motor-generator.

 

With the Buick Lacrosse, drivers can expect the luxury Buick is known for while also getting the better fuel economy of hybrid technology.  Such systems are anticipated to appear in future cars across all brands, with Buick leading the way. Whether or not you want a “green” hybrid vehicle, with gas prices these days, better fuel economy is something that everyone can agree is desirable.

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General

Volvo’s New Concept You Utilizes Innovative Touch Pad Technology

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Volvo revealed their Concept You at start of the Frankfurt Motor Show, and the new design has raised eyebrows – and questions – among auto enthusiasts and everyday drivers alike.

The goal of Volvo’s Concept You is to simplify the car’s interior, and dashboard in particular, while developing a sleek, clean design. In doing so, they have developed a car that leaps forward and introduces the next step in automobile evolution by utilizing smart pad technology and connecting drivers with the Internet.

The technology certainly is innovative. In Concept You, Volvo has wiped away the traditional car interior and replaced it with their control center, which consists of four interfaces throughout the cabin, one of which can be found right behind the steering wheel. Eye sensors detect when the driver looks down at the display, and the screen lights up, allowing drivers to see a variety of necessary information, like fuel, speed, etc, and also other helpful things, like a navigation map.

The control center interfaces are all touch screen; nowhere in this console will you find any knobs or buttons. Many have already raised the point that while those knobs and buttons might not look so pretty, they serve an important tactile function that allows drivers to press buttons while keeping their eyes on the road. With no tactile interface, will drivers be able to stay safe on the road? And while we’re on the subject, more questions can be asked about whether a driver should be fiddling with his car’s console if he should be focused on the road.

With that in mind, it is important to remember that the Concept You is just that – a concept car. It is a design meant to inspire future models, and in fact has no engine itself as it’s just an idea, and not in production.

The screen behind the dashboard is a needed improvement and helps keeps drivers focused forwards, instead of constantly turning their heads to see their GPS. Furthermore, only passengers will be able to use most of the extra connectivity features while the car is in motion.

The Concept You’s fascinating new features offer an exciting look at what cars of the future might look like. The integration of the Internet with touch screen technology is a bold move. Should we be connected to the Internet in our car? What are your thoughts?

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Top iPhone Apps For Drivers

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We all know that using your phone while driving is dangerous, but there are a handful of iPhone Apps that are designed for keeping motor vehicles in perspective. Many iPhone Apps can be very helpful and optimize your car and overall driving experience. To download the applications mentioned, be sure to visit the iTunes store.

Parking Valet

Have you ever forgotten where you parked your car? All of us have. In order to ovoid pricy fines for expired parking meters, download Parking Meter application, and you will never have to worry about that again. It allows you to note the surroundings and even take a picture. The app has a link with the map/location so you can track your car if you cannot recall where you parked it. It also allows you to set a reminder for yourself before your meter runs out.

Trapster

As more cameras are popping up at every intersection and street corner, this app informs you all camera locations on the road. Warning the driver against speed cameras can be very helpful, especially on those freeways where there is a drastic drop in the speed limit. The best part of this app is that users are free to report new cameras as soon as they have seen one. It definitely saves you money on the street, and the best part is, this app is free!

Dragon Dictation

This easy to use (and free) app helps drivers stay safe when on the go. The voice recognition software is one of the most precise apps out there. Speak into your phone and let Dragon Dictation relay your message into text. It allows you to post the text in an SMS, Email or even to social networks like Facebook® and Twitter®. It is close to being the most perfect app ever…

iGasUp

Owning a car in today’s economy with the expensive gas prices can be much. With iGasUp, you can use your iPhone to save money! It collects your data regarding gas stations, their prices around your home or where you may be, providing cost and distance. If you don’t know how to get to the gas station, it provides you with directions.

iLeaseMyCar

Your iPhone can become your advisor on the finances associated with purchasing a new car or leasing one. While it doesn’t shortlist the best loan options, it does give you the optimum interest rates available in the market. Next time, utilize the savings calculate to make the next well-informed decision when it is time to purchase or lease a vehicle!

Note: We do not encourage speeding and we suggest not using your phone while driving.

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General

Can Our Cars Sell Information?

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These days science and technology-oriented advancements are paving the way for the future…is it in a good or way way? 

General Motors’ popular service OnStar,prior to the change,  would only collect your data under limited circumstances, such as if you were in an accident or if your vehicle was reported stolen. This was one of the reasons OnStar is so great.

Does the new terms and conditions give OnStar the contractual right to, “share or sell any anonymized data (including location, speed, and safety belt usage) with third parties for any purpose, which may prove useful for such things as research relating to public safety or traffic services?” As John Quain, of the New York Times’ Wheels blog notes, “the open-ended language in the terms suggests that OnStar could, without reproach, sell the information to local governments, to companies offering location-based services and to marketers interested in directing messages to specific groups of drivers.”

What do you think? Will it come a point in the future of automotive information systems to collect and report all data?

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