A free parking app is now available for the Apple iPhone to help users find where they parked their vehicle.
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Run-of-the-mill Jaguar XJ not good enough for you? Not even the $111,000 Supersport version? Better dig deep into your pockets for the XJ Ultimate Edition.
Last year Range Rover introduced its Autobiography Ultimate Edition which became the most expensive Land Rover made. Even though official pricing hasn’t been announced, we expect the XJ Ultimate Edition to follow a similar path, possibly boasting a price tag upwards of $175,000.
Despite the Land Rover boasting such an exorbitant price tag, it quickly sold out and clearly the success has allowed the British automaker to do the same with its XJ model. Among the car’s luxury features, there are two separate, fully-reclining seats in the rear along with aluminum folding tables and space to serve your favorite champagne.
Embedded behind the seats are built-in Apple iPads, similar to what was in the Range Rover Ultimate, to provide entertainment. If Apple’s tablet isn’t good enough, passengers can also watch entertainment on the TVs in the headrests. Since the XJ Ultimate Edition is clearly intended for transporting passengers, the suspension has been modified to give a more comfortable, softer ride. Engine choices will, however, be the same as the standard XJ model.
GALLERY: Jaguar XJ Ultimate Edition
While this move may come under scrutiny as Ford promoting the usage of tablets while driving, the American automaker is just hoping to take a preventive approach believing that consumers are bringing those devices into their vehicles with them regardless. ”Drivers are bringing these devices into the car already,” said Ford spokesman Alan Hall. “We’re allowing them to access the content in a safer way.”
The tablet compatibility will allow drivers to control devices such as an Apple iPad, Kindle Fire, HP Touchpad, Nook Color, and Sony Tablet S – a variety of different tablet devices – through their voice. Ford hopes that this will allow drivers to keep their eyes on the road when they inevitably have the urge to do something on their tablet.
Now we totally get the people that sit there and try to text on their cellphones while driving, but who seriously tries to access their 7-inch or 10-inch tablet while driving? Either way, at least Ford is taking a proactive approach in trying to develop technology that will make the roads safer, but maybe we just need to expedite the whole autonomous car thing if people really can’t wait to access their tablets.
[Source: Huffington Post]
With the iPad 3 announcement scheduled for next week, the rumor mills are churning on what Apple has up their sleeves next. As with everything Cupertino-related, nothing will ever be confirmed until it comes out of Tim Cook’s mouth.
The newest rumor has Apple China posting a job listing on LinkedIn for a “SQE/NPI with over 4 years Mechanical engineering background familiar with CNC/die casting/stamping/plastic injection, can use APQP/PPAP/SPC to control product quality.” Now while seeking an employee isn’t exactly groundbreaking news or entirely revealing of the company’s intentions, there’s reason to believe that Apple could finally be looking at their own infotainment system.
It makes sense considering Brabus has already outfitted their Mercedes iBusiness S-Class with Apple products and aspiring entrepreneurs are taking matters into their own hands by developing their own in-dash head unit replacement to use with an iPhone. With how abundant iPhones are in this world and how many vehicles are on the road, it almost makes sense that Apple would somehow integrate an infotainment system to work with its devices.
Systems such as the Ford SYNC (which is now standard in the new Fusion and Flex) is powered by a Microsoft Windows-based system, Apple’s infamous rival in the marketplace. Other manufacturers such as Kia and Toyota also employ Microsoft’s services but we feel it’s the threat of Google’s Android into the marketplace that has Apple interested.
Sure Microsoft has almost a 10-year head start in the auto infotainment industry, but it’s Google’s Android and Apple’s iOS that rules the world now. Both mobile operating systems have already been used to seamlessly sync into vehicles and they have the most accessibility to functional apps. In addition, app developers around the world have already embraced what Google and Apple have to offer.
So what is it Apple could be making? Based on the job listing, it seems that they could be looking into manufacturing a device that will integrate into a car’s dashboard. Our guess is that it’ll be a very plain-looking, but sleek head unit that will wirelessly sync with your Apple device to stream music, movies, app data, and more to your vehicle.
[Source: Car News China]
There’s nothing the iPad can’t do. In fact, it’s so ambitious, it’s even selling Mercedes-Benz vehicles.
Starting this month, if you go into a Mercedes-Benz dealership, you’ll be greeted by a salesperson armed with an Apple iPad. And on that iPad, they will be giving you a virtual tour, showing you vehicle customization options and giving you a demo of the vehicle’s latest features, all thanks to the CLS-Class iPad app.
The CLS-Class iPad app was developed by All Things Media for Mercedes-Benz USA, and it’s a sneak peek as to what to expect in the future in the way of sales materials. The app gives dealers a media-rich, eco-friendly approach that they can share with their customers. And the best part about the app is that salespeople can customize the sales experience to meet what their customers are looking for.
But the CLS-Class iPad app works for more than just salespeople – customers can use it as well. The smart, user-friendly experience is made possible by logical placement and smart navigation, and it’s easy for customers to take a virtual tour of the interior and exterior of the vehicle. There’s also an “Explore” section where you can customize your new 2012 CLS-Class, as well as a range of videos that take you through technical innovations of Mercedes-Benz.
Taking a page from Hyundai’s playbook, customers who pre-order a Saab 9-4X crossover will get an iPad courtesy of Saab – sort of.
After contacting a Saab retailer, the customer will place an order for both the 9-4X, and the iPad. The iPad will set you back $500, but the cost will be refunded upon taking delivery of the vehicle.
If you don’t want an iPad, you can just order the car, and if you cancel the order, you’re still on the hook for the cost of an iPad – which makes this exercise pretty pointless, if you ask us. The promotion runs from January 15th until February 28th.
Not to be outdone by fellow luxury sedan manufacturer BMW, or aftermarket manufacturer, Brabus and their iBusiness, Mercedes-Benz has decided to outfit their line of luxury sedans with an iPad integration conveniently located on the headrests for passenger use.
The headrest-mounted iPad dock is similar to BMW’s offering and will allow rear seat passengers to comfortably use and charge their iPads. We’re guessing this is perfect for those busy businessmen traveling on the run, being driven around by their chauffeur to their next meeting. But we have to question, again, how comfortable using an iPad from the headrest of a vehicle really is.
And with the incoming surge of tablets from Apple competitors (powered by Android), are we going to be seeing a new generation of tablet integration in vehicles of the future?
Mercedes-Benz Financial, in a move designed to quicken credit approval and allow sales personnel to check available promotions without leaving the showroom floor, will be equipping 40 select dealers with Apple iPads. It will then make the necessary changes to the mobile device before potentially switching over all dealerships to the system later this year.
A first in the industry, the iPad announcement should come as no surprise given Mercedes-Benz’s highly successful introduction of their iPhone app, which lets customers make car payments via their mobile phone. Since its introduction last October, this iPhone app has been downloaded over 13,000 times.
As for Mercedes-Benz’s new iPad program, the company says the use of this highly versatile new device will also cut the amount of time it takes to process a returned lease vehicle by allowing the task to be done wirelessly in front of the customer without leaving the parking lot or showroom floor.
“We see the iPad providing wireless mobility, information and flexibility on the showroom floor. The iPad will provide a competitive advantage to our dealers by increasing their service levels through a more flexible financing process,” said Andreas Hinrichs, vice president of marketing for Mercedes-Benz Financial.
Having sold over 2 million iPads since its launch on April 3rd, the consumer and corporate interest in Apple’s latest and greatest device appears to know no bounds at the moment. If we were the gambling types ($20 on Lewis Hamilton to win the Formula 1 Canadian Grand Prix!), we’d wager good money that the iPad will soon be making similar appearances in other luxury brand showrooms, if for no other reason than to appear as hip and tech-savvy as the early adopters from Stuttgart.
[Source: Inside Line]
While technically not about Cadillac themselves, it is about the future of where the company wants to take the brand. In order to appeal to more tech-savvy (read: younger) buyers, the automaker has partnered with Cool Hunting to deliver a feature and style-rich application for the Apple iPad.
Other than the fact we’re in love with the music over the demonstration — 1901 by Phoenix — and the overall impression is of a slick, easy-to-use application that dovetails perfectly with where Cadillac sees their future buyers.
If you’re into this sort of thing, check out the post regarding the challenges design house BBH Labs faced when developing the app.