AutoGuide News Blog
The AutoGuide News Blog is your source for breaking stories from the auto industry. Delivering news immediately, the AutoGuide Blog is constantly updated with the latest information, photos and video from manufacturers, auto shows, the aftermarket and professional racing.
A free parking app is now available for the Apple iPhone to help users find where they parked their vehicle.
Xatori Inc., the same company that created PlugShare, has released their second iOS application called GreenCharge. Building off the success of PlugCharge, which is the nation’s largest electric vehicle charging network, GreenCharge allows owners of electric vehicles to view real time battery data and to see and share the environmental and monetary benefits of owning their EV.
The app is currently only available on Apple devices for $9.99 and can sync directly with eligible electric vehicles such as the Nissan Leaf or Chevrolet Volt. It is also the first and only app that connects driving data with local energy pricing to give the user their costs of operating their electric car. And for those that are really green, the app will let them know the carbon offset from their driving.
Those that don’t yet own an electric vehicle but are considering one can also use the app on a demo car to simulate driving and cost information to see if an EV would be worth the investment. Lastly, no app would be welcomed in 2012 without the ease of sharing your info on Twitter and Facebook.
“I’ve talked to too many people who have been confused about the benefits and operating costs of an electric vehicle” said Forrest North, CEO of Xatori Inc. “We built GreenCharge to let EV owners understand their cars and educate others on the true environmental and monetary benefits of driving an electric vehicle.”
Check out a video highlighting the app’s functionality after the break.
Buick has launched an app for iOS and Android smartphones to help raise MPG awareness. A trio of eAssist Fuel Efficiency smartphone games are packaged into a single app that’s now available to download for free and offers a fun way to hone your driving techniques in order to maximize fuel economy.
The three games are titled “Regeneration Road”, “Roll and Boost”, and “Wind Tunnel Tester.” Regeneration Road focuses on the regenerative braking featured found on Buick eAssist vehicles which helps capture and store energy when a vehicle is braking in order to recharge the lithium-ion battery. Players must make it through the town without running out of fuel while avoiding pedestrians along the way.
The second game, Roll and Boost, has a focus of distance and not speed with battery management being the main priority. By using the energy stored from braking strategically, an emissions-free boost of acceleration can be had and using that energy at optimal times is key to Roll and Boost.
Lastly, Wind Tunnel Tester allows players to put on their automotive engineering hat. Sit there and tweak the vehicle’s length and width on the screen, understanding how the sleek and modern shapes of Buick vehicles help maximize aerodynamics and ultimately fuel efficiency.
eAssist can be found on the Buick LaCrosse and Regal models and aids the performance of a fuel-efficient 2.4L gas engine to achieve 36-mpg. eAssist also allows the gas engine to turn off completely while the car is sitting idle.
“The driving force behind eAssist’s development was to make great vehicles like the LaCrosse and Regal even better,” said Dan Cottrell, General Motors assistant chief engineer for the eAssist powertrain. “With eAssist we can improve both vehicle performance as well as fuel economy.”
With the Volkswagen Golf R hitting US dealerships this month, the German automaker has decided to release the “Golf R Drivers Forever” app to bring Golf R information to the masses.
The iPad app will provide access to everything anyone would ever want to know about the iconic performance model and features stories told through the perspective of VW enthusiasts and drivers that helped bring the coveted variant to America. It’ll include a mini-documentary about the world of Volkswagen, an exclusive interview with designer Chip Foose and accounts from key members of the Volkswagen of America Product Marketing team.
“The Golf R app was created to celebrate and thank the Volkswagen brand’s community of enthusiasts because they represent what makes the Golf R special,” said Jon Browning, President and CEO, Volkswagen Group of America. “The app will help build awareness around the Volkswagen brand heritage and we are excited to offer this innovative approach that illustrates the performance of the Golf R.”
The 2012 Golf R is the most powerful Volkswagen sports performance vehicle ever sold on American soil. It packs 256-hp and 243 lb-ft of torque through a 2.0L TSI engine. The app is free to download.
Check out a video after the break highlighting what the app is all about.
GALLERY: Volkswagen Golf R Drivers Forever App
There’s nothing entirely revolutionary about an app that reminds you where you parked your car, but the guys looking to finish their “Find My Car Smart” app wants to revolutionize the process involved.
Currently the vast majority (all) of the apps require you to launch the app after you park your car, mark it on your map and is entirely dependent on how strong your GPS signal is. Find My Car Smart on the other hand will integrate the new Bluetooth 4.0 technology found in Apple’s iPhone 4S in order to track where your parked your car.
The project is looking for funding in order to acquire and program a large order of Bluetooth Smart Devices so that they can be offered at an affordable price. Essentially, the Bluetooth Smart device is a USB-powered Bluetooth adapter and when your vehicle is shutoff, the app will detect the Bluetooth device powering down and automatically start the GPS and save your car’s location. From there, you only need to fire up the app to find your car.
Even though the app is up on the iOS App Store, it doesn’t do much without the Bluetooth Smart device and the programming it needs. So pledge today and help get this off the ground if you’re one of those people always wandering the mall parking lot looking for your car.
BMW Financial Services has jumped on the social media bandwagon with both feet and has introduced a new social navigation mobile app called “The Ultimate Drive.” Created to give drivers a unique mobile and social experience, this app lets users submit their favorite routes and have them shared via other social platforms.
The idea of The Ultimate Drive is that drivers in over 50 countries can rank, comment and share roads and routes on Facebook, email and other GPS devices. Already thinking ahead, you’ll be able to use the app in the future, if you’re a BMW Financial Service customer, to access your points and garner high rankings.
“A social app succeeds when it forms a community of users with similar interests. A mobile app succeeds when it shrinks that large community into something local and familiar,” said Pawan Murthy, General Manager of Online Business for BMW Group Financial Services. “Within a few seconds of opening the app, ‘The Ultimate Drive’ connects you to driving enthusiasts who have discovered great roads in your neighborhood – roads you may have overlooked. Sharing that joy of discovery is why we are eager to launch this app to everyone.”
The Ultimate Drive prides itself in being simple to use – just download it, find your location and poof… you’ll get the stretches of road that others have rated as the best ones in the area. If you want to contribute your own opinions on a road, just tap three times to share it via email or Facebook or send to your GPS device or app.
You can down The Ultimate Drive on iOS and Android devices for free from Apple’s App Store and the Android Marketplace.
Zipcar’s interesting business model has inspired others to think outside the box when it comes to car rentals and now Getaround is looking to add technology to the mix in coming up with a very interesting solution.
Essentially Getaround is looking to unleash a viable way of peer-to-peer car rentals, where those offering the rental cars would be everyday people like yourself and those looking to rent the cars would be the same everyday person. Getaround would provide the infrastructure and marketing/advertising while you provide the vehicle for rental and the result is a 60/40 split, in Getaround’s favor of course.
Essentially the success of this program lies on how many people are willing to let anyone and everyone access to their vehicle. But as Getaround co-founder states, the average vehicle in the United States sits for 22 hours – that’s a lot of hours you’re paying to not use the vehicle. So why not rent it out?
Cautious ones can be reassured that Getaround has full coverage and an insurance backer, though they didn’t disclose who is underwriting them. The rates seem reasonable per hour, with a Mini Cooper running around $5.50, a BMW Z4 for $15.00, and a Tesla Roadster for a nice $50. Whether or not your share of the profit really covers the depreciation that’s going on with your vehicle as its being driven for those hours can still be debated, but those that really don’t sit there and put mathematical sense to everything could easily have their lease payment covered if they just watch the mileage.
Getaround is currently offering beta testing of the program in San Francisco and San Diego, California. The network of available vehicles is obtained through an iPhone app and those wishing to rent out their vehicles will receive a car kit that sits on the dash. Once someone has decided which car they wish to rent, the app will let them know the location and they’ll be able to unlock the vehicle at which point they’ll have to find the key that’s hidden somewhere in the inside.
GALLERY: Getaround Car Rental System
iSupercar Sounds has developed an app for various Apple iOS products featuring sound clips and high resolution wallpapers for various luxury and exotic cars out there. From Ferrari to Lexus, iSupercar Sounds has you covered if listening to supercars is your source of pleasure. Hey, we’re not judging.
Currently there’s a free version of the app up on the store, featuring 30 minutes of ad-supported sound clips. Those that have $0.99 to spend can grab the full version which comes with 30 additional sounds. iSupercar Sounds is also promising weekly updates with additional cars. Not too shabby for under a buck, save yourself a trip to McDonald’s and you can stop using that juvenile fart app. OK who are we kidding, fart sounds are still hilarious.
[Source: DUB Daily]