Tag Archives: road

Jeep Cherokee tackles the trail like no competitor but stumbles on the road (CNET On Cars, Episode 39)

Jeep Cherokee tackles the trail like no competitor but stumbles on the road; we explain CarPlay and look ahead to its challengers; and Top 5 American-made cars.

CNET Car Tech

Volvo cars become road maintenance probes

Traction control hardware in Volvo cars includes sensor data that can be useful to other cars approaching a slippery section of road.

(Credit: Volvo)

Many automakers and governments are developing vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) communication, which let cars instantly communicate safety information to traffic in the immediate vicinity, but Volvo puts a uniquely Swedish spin on the tech with a new pilot project. Its cars will communicate data from wheel slip sensors to not only alert other cars to icy road conditions, but also to road maintenance authorities.

Volvo announced that 50 cars would participate in the pilot program, and that the “fleet would grow considerably” for next winter. The program is being run in conjunction with the Swedish Transport Administration and the Norwegian Public Roads Administration.

The cars in the program will need to be fitted with a data transceiver, which includes hardware to read sensor information from the vehicle. According to the Volvo’s press release, the cars will communicate over cell towers, sending their data and location to a Volvo data center. That same data center can send alerts to cars in the immediate vicinity warning them about slippery conditions.

This strategy varies from that being [Read more]


Car Tech: An automotive blog from CNET

Road tripping in a Mini JCW Hatch: Lisbon to London in 24 hours

Mini Adventure

In a break from our usual programming, Nick and I went on something of a road trip in the old Mini JCW hatchback. It’s a truly great car — fun, fast and good looking — but is it suitable for a 1,000 mile drive in less than 24 hours? We found out.

[Read more]


Car Tech: An automotive blog from CNET

Arrow: A four-wheeled ‘fighter jet’ for the road (Q&A)

Charles Bombardier’s Arrow is a concept design for weekend escapes.

(Credit: Charles Bombardier)

What if your main occupation was dreaming up fanciful, futuristic concept vehicles? If your name is Charles Bombardier, that’s exactly what you do.

The scion of Canada’s Bombardier, which manufactures planes and trains, Charles Bombardier recently showed off designs for his Arrow concept car, an electric two-seater that looks like a retro racing car.

It’s designed with a torpedo-shaped body and “a cockpit that opens up like a fighter jet to reveal tandem seats.”

Bombardier came up with the Arrow concept as a cool commuter vehicle that can also be used for weekend escapes.

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A 30-kilowatt, liquid-cooled, double-sided synchronous … [Read more]


Car Tech: An automotive blog from CNET

BMW’s short, innovative road to the i3 electric car

This sketch, released in 2010, was our first look at BMW's ideas around the i3 electric vehicle.

(Credit: BMW)

Back in 2010, BMW began talking up what it called a Megacity Vehicle, a new electric car it would develop for the cities of the future. Not taking any half-measures, the company would run a test fleet of converted electric vehicles, come up with new carbon fiber manufacturing processes, launch a whole new brand, and design a car from a clean sheet.

The result of this intensive effort, the production version of the i3 electric car, will be unveiled Monday in New York, London, and Beijing.

Although BMW likely began plans for what would become the i3 electric car before 2010, the amount of time between concepts and prototype testing to the production release on Monday represents lightning speed for a new model launch in the automotive industry. Other automakers have shown relatively quick electric drivetrain development, but BMW also had to come up with a new design, innovate manufacturing processes, and ink deals for new carbon fiber factories along the way.

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Street-legal bumper car makes the road your carnival

Get ready for the ride of your life.

(Credit: bumpercarguy)

I’ve seen street-legal bumper cars made out of vehicles from vintage amusement park rides, but this is the first time I’ve seen a real full-size car transformed into a giant bumper car. The well-named seller, bumpercarguy, is parting with his sweet wheels on eBay. There are only a handful of hours left for you to get your bid in.

The base of the unusual vehicle is a 1984 Dodge Colt 1.6-liter turbo. Yep, a turbo bumper car. What could possibly go wrong? The exterior has been customized from fiberglass to make it look like the outside of a big red bumper car. It even has the pole sticking out the back that would make the electrical connection in a real bumper car.

The unique vehicle features a cold air conditioner, two new front tires, and a $ 1,500 stereo for listening to calliope music. So far, bidding has reached $ 2,020, but the reserve hasn’t been met.

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On the road with Samsung’s S-Voice Drive mode

We get behind the wheel to see how Samsung's S-Voice Drive performs on the road.

(Credit: Antuan Goodwin/CNET)

Aside from sounding like it received its moniker from BMW’s product department, the S-Voice Drive driving mode is an extension of the Samsung Galaxy S4‘s S-Voice voice command app that adjusts the system in a few very important ways for drivers.

Firstly, it allows the driver’s interactions to be mostly hands-free. When in this driving mode, S-Voice Drive is able to be activated with a spoken command, rather than pushing a button. This allows drivers to keep both hands on the wheel. Simply say, “Hi Galaxy” and the device springs to attention, ready to accept your voice commands.

Next, Driving Mode simplifies the onscreen interface, presenting the driver with a mostly blank screen with large text prompts instructing the driver that S-Voice Drive is ready to accept commands and displaying a few examples of what sort of commands can be accepted. No app icons are present and there’s nothing too distracting to the driver.

Drive mode also makes voice command a persistent part of the UI, even when you’re doing something else. Start navigating and you’ll see a black bar along the bottom edge of the screen with a microphone icon indicating that, even outside of the S-Voice in… [Read more]


Car Tech: An automotive blog from CNET