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.
Just one more reason why the iPhone is awesome – it doubles as a Ferrari. There’s a new app in town that turns your iPhone into a virtual Ferrari, complete with all the sounds and sights that come along with driving one.
The official Ferrari app gives you the opportunity to “drive” your dream Ferrari. You get the rev of their engines, all which were registered directly at the Fiorano track. You can clock your speed on the exact reproduction of the Ferrari California, F430, F430 Spider, 430 Scuderia, 599 GTB Fiorano and 612 Scaglietti speedometers. And to make this interactive experience amazing, just tilt your phone to speed up and slow down, and switch gears using on-screen controls.
There’s a lot of sound engineering brilliance used to ensure that the Ferrari app gives users an “I’m in the driver’s seat” experience, including loop sounds recorded at constant RPM, bi-cubic sample interpolation and RPM Parameter Scaling. You don’t have to know what those things mean – all you have to do is download the app and take it out for a test drive to get blown way by the attention to sound detail the smart folks at Ferrari have put into it to give fans an virtual ride they’ll never forget.
You can download the app for $1.99 at the iTunes store and we’d love to hear your thoughts on the Ferrari app.
Does the thought of going into a dealership to negotiate the price of a car send you into a panic? Be prepared with a new a smartphone app that helps you wrap your head around the numbers.
The latest in a growing list of car-buying apps, the Car Negotiator for iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad throws its hat into this ring. This handy app offers you the information you need when purchasing a vehicle without overwhelming users with too many fancy-schmancy add-ons.
It comes with a three-tab layout and intuitive user interface that makes it fairly simple to use. The three tabs – Calculator, My Cars and Game Plan – are found along the bottom of the screen.
The Calculator tab helps you figure out what you’re going to be paying, and this includes the sales tax for each state, destination charges and document and registration fees. There’s also an information button to help you out with the stuff you may not understand.
The Game Plan tab features a seven-step plan for purchasing a car. Just tap on a step and it gives you advice, goals and tips.
The My Cars tab keeps track of the vehicles you’re researching. There’s also an email icon so you can send the info to yourself or someone else if you think they would be interesting in it.
A great tool for car shoppers, the Car Negotiator app costs $1.99 and is available for download at the iTunes app store.
[Source: Edmunds Inside Line]
Hey buddy, going my way? Forget sticking out your thumb to hitch a ride. It’s 2011 and that’s not how we doing things in this social media and phone app world anymore. Give your thumb a rest a download Avego Driver, the first on-demand real-time ride-sharing application for iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad.
So how does this handy app work? After you download the app, you have to input your phone number and credit card. This is for two reasons: 1.) so Avego can verify you’re a real person; 2) so the driver gets some compensation for gas (and of course, a little something for Avego for setting up the whole deal). Once a driver uploads their route on Avego, you can request a ride if they are going your way, and the driver is notified of your interest.
There’s no need to pull out a calculator, as Avego Driver figures out how much you should be paying the driver. Once both driver and passenger agree on a price, the passenger is directed to an agreed upon pick-up location. They are also given a unique PIN number in order to verify identity. And just so passengers aren’t stuck on the corner wondering where their ride is, Avego Driver provides real-time info to determine arrival times.
Once the passenger is dropped off at their location, drivers and riders can rate each other. You can vote from one to five. This rating system allows you to pick exactly who you want to be matched up with (for example, women can ride with just women.)
Don’t get too excited – the app isn’t available for download just yet. The developers are testing it out in Seattle right now, so once we get word that it’s good to go, we’ll let you know.
[Source: Edmunds Inside Line]
It’s spring, and it’s time to do a little spring cleaning to your garage. You need to get rid of your old ride to make room for new toys. But you don’t want the hassle of putting up a listing, fielding calls all day from people who are looking for that type of vehicle, just in another color, and waiting around all day for interested buyers who never show. What are you going to do? For starters, you can download the new Copart app.
An online auction company, Copart sells over 1 million cars each year, and they are making it super easy to sell your vehicle with the Copart Sell My Car app for iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad. This free app lets you fill in contact and vehicle information details and upload photos. Once all those details are taken care of, a Copart rep will send you follow-up questions or even offer to purchase the vehicle right then and there.
Once all the details of the sale are finalized, you just drop off your car at one of the 100-plus Copart locations nationwide. This whole transaction can take place in just one day and you get your money instantly. For added convenience, they will even arrange to pick up your car from your house.
If you drive a hard bargain, sell your through the company’s Copart Direct division. This online auction can be accessed by a worldwide base of registered buyers, and it usually takes about a week to get offer on your vehicle.
Did you make a wrong turn? D-oh! Now that Homer will be your navigator, thanks to the new TomTom GPS iPhone app, you’ll never get lost on your way to pick up donuts again (woo hoo!).
Homer Simpson, aka Dan Castellaneta, of The Simpsons fame, is the new voice of this TomTom app that’s available for download for $5.99 – that’s more than the price of a dozen donuts (mmmmmmmm, donuts!). You’ll need the 1.7 version on the TomTom app, and that will cost you $49.99 to get it installed.
“Homer’s skills will help keep drivers and fans entertained in a light-hearted and familiar way. It’s exciting to have him onboard!” said Alain Pakiry, senior vice president of marketing at TomTom.
If you live in the following countries, you can download the Homer Simpson voice for the TomTom App now: U.S., Australia, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Ireland, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, South Africa, and Sweden.
Volvo is sponsoring baseball coverage for MLB.TV for the month of April, providing free streaming baseball coverage to fans as long as they can sit through some ads for the new S60 sedan.
Volvo, whose baseball presence includes a massive billboard at Fenway Park’s Green Monster, is making out-of-market baseball games available through the iPhone app “At Bat,” which costs $14.99 through Apple’s App Store. Regular coverage of MLB.com costs $25 for a monthly premium package otherwise.
The company’s previous sports sponsorship efforts include sponsoring Big East NCAA basketball for the past two years, and this time they’re reaching out to baseball fans with the new S60 sedan, the “naughty” Volvo. Before Volvo, what was even naughtier than that? Re-broadcasting Major League Baseball with implied oral consent, not express written consent—or so the legend goes.
[Source: New York Times]
Read AuoGuide’s 2011 Volvo S60 Review here
You need to run errands, or visit a friend, or meet a client, but the thought of find a parking spot gives you a great reason to procrastinate. There’s no need to fear the uncertainty of parking space scarcity anymore, thanks to the Navigon Help2Park app.
The free smartphone application works for iPhone and Android operating systems and helps you find a place to park in most U.S. cities. With the Help2Park app, you can choose from private and public parking areas, as well as the radius size near your destination (depending upon how far you want to walk).
It also comes with a list of options to choose from and displays them on a map. If you’ve already shelled out some cash for Navigon’s MobileNavigator navigation app, Help2Park can work with it to provide turn-by turn directions.
[Source: Consumer Reports]
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]
GALLERY: iSupercar Sounds App
When you’re out for a long drive in your electric car, you’ll never have to worry about where you’ll find the next charging station, thanks to the PlugShare iPhone app.
If you own an electric vehicle, you know the stress that comes along with planning a trip according to where you can charge up. The PlugShare app lets you or anyone else sign up to turn their house until an electric vehicle charging station. Since it can be difficult to find a charging station, this is the ideal compromise. Private residences can offer their outlets and extension cords to keep EVs on the move. If you wanted to drop by and power up, you would use the app to call or text to ask permission.
If you want to help out and be a part of the electric solution, you can sign up a house or business address to give EVs a boost. You can download for free at the iTunes store.
[Source: Oh Gizmo!]
We spend a lot of time in our cars, so it makes sense that there should be a social media site that gives us the chance to socialize while sitting in traffic. Now you can meet and chat with other drivers using Bump.com.
Let’s just say you see a cutie in the next car over and you want to connect. Or the guy driving the SUV just cut you off and you want him to know just how you feel. If you’re registered with Bump.com and have downloaded the Bump iPhone app, all you have to do is take a picture of that person’s license plate. Then, you add a message to go along with the picture, like “You’re my soul mate, marry me” or “Dude, way to check your blind spot.”
However, the person you want to send the message to will only get it if they have claimed their license plate on the site and verified they are the car’s owner. A test message or email is sent to them and they can look up your identity page (anonymous messages aren’t allowed) and respond to your message.
Now, we know you’re thinking to yourself” “But isn’t texting and driving illegal and dangerous?” The folks at Bump have that all figured out. Using your iPhone’s built-in accelerometer, if Bump sees that you are moving more than five miles per hour, it won’t let you send a text message. But don’t worry, you can use a voice interface to speak the license plate and message instead.
You roll down the window to let some cold air in, you take swigs from your extra-large coffee and you have the radio on full blast. This was the old way of keeping your eyes open when you were feeling a little sleepy behind the wheel. But surprise – now, there’s a new app that’s designed to keep you alert while driving.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), almost 20% of all car crashes and 12% of near crashes are caused by fatigue or sleeping behind the wheel (that comes out to 100,000 deaths or injuries each year). The Anti Sleep Pilot ($20), a new iPhone app, is designed to calculate your fatigue levels and tells you if you’re fit enough to drive.
This marvel uses its own algorithms, along with the iPhone’s GPS and accelerometer, to figure out if you should keep on hauling or pull over for a snooze. First, it asks you to take a short test to learn if there are any personal risks. Once you’ve completed the test and are driving, the app monitors your potential for fatigue, based off duration, your risk profile and driving data.
Along the way as a way of keeping you on your toes, the Anti Sleep Pilot asks you to complete simple tasks, like pushing a button on your phone’s screen. If your fatigue hits a certain level, you’ll be told to pull over and take a nap.
If you don’t have an iPhone, you can also preorder the non-phone version (a small button that performs the same tasks).
[Source: Kicking Tires]
SpeedWeekly Magazine has developed an app which will give you information such as start times, location, which network is broadcasting the race and eventually the winner of the race through your handy iPhone.
This app will cover the eight major racing series from around the world, such as Formula 1, NASCAR, ARCA, Grand Am, American Le Mans, IndyCar, Nationwide and Camping World Truck Series, and the Daytona 500.
“This new SpeedWeekly App is a major advancement for race fans on the go,” said Rick Bradham, Publisher of SpeedWeekly Magazine. “Other Apps may offer TV information about a specific network or racing series, but ours is the first to cover all nationally-televised races for eight of the world’s most popular auto racing series.”
So no matter where you’re traveling to, this app will give you all the racing information that you’d want to keep yourself connected with your favorite racing series.
We can’t say how your spouse will feel about this app on a vacation though.
Will the snow ever stop? Until it does (and even when it’s not falling), at least there’s the new Waze app that works with your iPhone to alert drivers to what hazards are awaiting for you on the road.
The waze app is the first real-time voice-based hazard reporting feature for GPS commuters and travelers worldwide that lets iPhone users stay alert and get to their destinations safely. If a user sees any number of road hazards, weather conditions, and potentially dangerous obstacles, they can report it by using the app. You can record a brief voice-description and let others in the area know what’s going on, who will be warned by fellow wazers’ voice-alert beforehand. Think of it as “Paying it forward” and sending some good driving karma your way.
Some of the hazardous conditions you can report on include traffic and accidents ahead, as well as dangerous weather conditions such as ice, heavy snow and flooding.
“Everyday, drivers are faced with any number of dangers on the road including ice, accidents, and flooding for example. The unpredictable nature of these hazards and lack of immediate road data leaves drivers vulnerable to the conditions ahead,” said Noam Bardin, CEO of waze. “The only way this information can be collected and distributed in real-time is by the initiative of group-minded individuals and a means to warn their fellow drivers.”
You can get the waze app at the Apple AppStore and Android Market Place. It can also be downloaded from the waze website for Symbian and Windows Mobile devices.
Among the list of cool things Nissan’s R35 GT-R has to offer, its in-depth monitoring computer is near the top. Spitting out all sorts of data, it was inevitable that eventually someone would mimic the GT-R’s readouts. Enter Zilla, an app with a name that clearly pays homage to the GT-R’s ‘Godzilla’ nickname.
Developed by BonoboLabs, the iPhone app replicates all the readouts the GT-R has for the low price of $2.99. From g-forces to speed to weight transfer and air temperature, the app clearly uses the iPhone’s gyrometer in order to compute data. We’re curious to just how accurate it is, but not a bad way to have a portable way to get some data out of your car’s performance while on the track!
Check out the video of the app after the break.
[Source: DUB Daily]
You won’t want to take a bathroom break during this commercial. Honda has revolutionized the way we watch commercials, whether they be on TV, mobile phone or the Internet by combining iPhone Apps and traditional advertisements.
To help launch the revised Honda Jazz (Fit in the U.S.), the automaker has created a new interactive app allows iPhone users to virtually catch animated characters as they appear on screen in their new TV advert “This Unpredictable Life”. Once the character has been captured, just drop them into your phone (pretty much how you’d use a PS3 Move or Nintendo wii motion-controller).
This is the first time screen-hopping technology is being used in a commercial. To play along, you can download the app, called “Honda Jazz – This Unpredictable Life” for free from Apple’s iTunes Store. After you’ve downloaded the app, just watch the commercial on your TV, PC or another iPhone. With it, you can collect up to four characters and three mystery objects. You can even interact with the animated stars of the film and bring them to life on your cell phone.
The commercial will be playing in the UK, so If you’ve downloaded the app, let us know how you like it in the comment section below and see
You know that guy who just cut you off? Would it be great to tattle on him? That would really show him. Well, guess what? Now there’s an app for that. Yep, the DriveMeCrazy app let you report bad drivers and will make you feel like you’ve done your part to make roads a little bit safer.
Developed by Shazam co-founder Philip Inghelbrecht, DriveMeCrazy is an iPhone voice-activated app that encourages drivers to report bad behavior by reciting the offender’s license plate into your phone. The bad driver gets “flagged” and receives a virtual “ticket.” Sure, this might not sound very intimidating… until you find out all that info (which includes time, date and location) is sent to the DMV and insurance companies.
Even if you’re not on the road, you can still write drivers tickets – that means pedestrians and cyclists can get in on the fun. The program went live last week and drivers can’t opt out of being flagged – no one is safe from being tattled on. In regards to privacy issues, Inghelbrecht is emphatic insists the end of road-going anonymity can only improve safety.
“People think they can do bad things on the road because they think they can get away with it,” he said. “I believe that driving is one of the most public acts that you could ever do. One small mistake can impact the lives of those around you.”
Do you think the app will actually improve things on the road or can you see it causing problems for innocent drivers? Let us know in the comments section below.
Speeding is easy to do – sometimes you don’t even realize you’re doing it until the cop pulls you over. You know how it happens… a good song comes on, you get caught up in the music, singing along, while you’re unaware that the speedometer is creeping up. Well, now there’s an app for that too.
The Slow Down app is the product of Belgian organization OVK, Parents of Children Killed in Road Accidents. It works on a pretty simple idea: if you drive too fast it slows down your music (watch the video below to see it in action).
When you’re driving and you’ve got the tunes blaring from your Apple iPhone, the app will keep an eye on the local speed limits. As soon as you go over the posted limit, the music will slow down. If your ignore that and keep going faster (more than 10 miles per hour over the limit), the tunes will go mute. To keep the music going, you just have to slow down.
Watch the video after the jump.
Mix in a little social networking, add a tiny pinch of road rage and a healthy helping of auto-fixation, and you’ve got the latest iPhone app for motorheads – Plateside.
Think of it as Facebook for your car. This free iPhone app lets you tell other car enthusiasts about that sweet ride that you saw drive by you, or how much the guy who just cut you off sucks. This social network also collects license plate info, so if you see a cool car, cute driver or a vanity plate you can’t decipher, you can send a message to the owner using the license plate as the address.
The down side of this app is that the driver of the other car won’t get the message unless they use the Plateside app, so it needs to gain some popularity (like the developer making it available for more than just the iPhone). But it would be cool to see what others are saying about your car and your driving skills
And in an effort to control your road rage, the app can be used to cuss out other drivers or to tell someone to get out of your parking space. Plus, Plateside lets you send status updates to Facebook and Twitter from within the app.
Even though it’s a car-centric app, the developer warns that it’s not safe to use a mobile device behind the wheel, and even states that its “business plan depends, in large part, on our members staying alive.” Good advice.
[Source: Edmunds Inside Line]
If you’ve got room on your cell phone for another app, we’ve got a suggestion for you – download the HD Radio app. This handy app is for drivers who appreciate great sound in their car.
For those of you who don’t want to shell out the extra cash for an HD entertainment system in your car, HD Radio is a great alternative. HD Radio offers better sound quality, extra programming options and new features like iTunes Tagging. But even though the app is free, to use it, you’ll need to pick yourself up a receiver, sold exclusively at RadioShack.
When you combine this app with the Gigaware Navigation Controller, you have the ability to listen to HD Radio FM broadcasting on your iPhone and iPod Touch. The app lets you listen to your favorite radio stations, and offers PSD that lets your know the name of the artist, the song title and other relevant information.
Another great feature is its HD2 and HD3 channels, which are extra FM channels you can only tune into with an HD Radio receiver and well as iTunes Tagging that enables you to tag a song for purchase and download from the iTunes Store.
Initial reviews for thearen’t that glowing. They say that the combination isn’t well designed for behind the wheel, on the fly operation. Some reports says that the controls on both the app and receiver are small and can be dangerous to operate while driving. But if you’ve got a passenger in the car who can operate it why you’re driving, it promises to give you a richer sound experience for your commute.
If you’re interested, you can download it for free here.
[Source: Edmunds Inside Line]
Do you have room on your iPhone for more app? You’ll want to make room for the AAA TripTik Mobile, a free app that offers small-screen navigation.
You don’t have to be an AAA member to get it (but being a member gets you access to some extra features of the app), the AAA TripTik Mobile gets you where you need to go while letting you know what you’ll find along the route. There’s a scrolling list of Point of Interest (POI) icons for AAA approved hotels, restaurants, attractions, car garages and gas stations.
If you want to stop at one of these POI, just tap on pinpointed icon to get more information, such as address, phone number and AAA reviews and diamond ratings. If you need to stop for gas, the gas station icon shows the brand and price of unleaded and premium fuel.
Right below the POI icons are the Explore and Navigate buttons. The Explore function lets you type a destination in a search box, while the Navigate functions allows typing in a route after hitting a Directions icon. This app also remembers previous routes you’ve typed in.
After your course has been set, the TripTik gives you a turn list, and you can use the Edit icon to change your route. You can use the Co-pilot function to get spoken directions or shake the phone for the next set of directions. For turn-by-turn directions, just hit the arrow under the top border with the Edit, Co-Pilot and Directions button.
There are plenty of icons to play with on this app, including a target that zooms in on your current location and one that opens a screen for your AAA number and phone number, as well as call for roadside assistance, join AAA and give the organization feedback via email.
[Source: Edmunds Inside Line]
Think of the Klutch22 iPhone app as social media for your car.
This cool new app hooks you up to a web community via the iPhone that lets you search and find your favorite rides close to you. You can also log in your ride so others can find you. It’s a real-time car positioning system that shows you who’s driving what in your area. Users can create a ‘krew’ with others who share the same auto passion or simply search your dream cars around town.
It seems a little auto-stalkerish, but it you just have to know who is driving what at all times, this may be the app for you. You have to register before you can let others know what kind of car you’re riding around in, and you can even “like” other members’ rides. It is a great way to meet other car enthusiasts who share you passion for a particular car, but if you owned a really expensive ride, would you want everyone to know where it was at all times?
You can buy the app at iTunes or check out the Klutch22 site here.
Yes we know, there seems to be an app for everything these days, but TyreSafe’s contribution to the ever-growing iPhone App Store is a nice freebie. You can simply install the app to your phone, enter in your vehicle’s information and it’ll let you know the vehicle manufacturer’s recommended tire settings in both psi and bar.
It’s one of those things almost everyone neglects. We just assume our tire pressures are good to go and off we drive. Even worse, many owners just notoriously toss in 38-42 psi and think it’s fine for their tires without ever checking what’s recommended for their vehicle. So kudos to TyreSafe for coming out with a handy little app that’s free for iPhone users to download and use.
And for those without an iPhone, TyreSafe offers all their data on their website. You can never be too safe with your rubber you know.
The Fiat 500 is coming soon to the U.S., and to celebrate, they’re giving you a cool app for free.
The Talking Italian Phrasebook app by Coolgorilla can now be downloaded for free in iTunes, courtesy of the FIAT 500. Offering over 500 professionally translated words and phrases in both text and audio, the Talking Italian Phrasebook give you the Italian basics, making it easy to get around on vacation or impress your date at that little Italian restaurant.
This app doesn’t need an Internet connect to work, which comes in handy if you’re overseas and don’t want to pay those pesky roaming data charges. It also means it will work in those off-the-beaten- path areas that aren’t listed in the tour books.
You can choose from 40 different categories, which include travel, food, shopping and romance. It also comes with an easy to navigate menu system and search facility. You can download the app here.
Get more Fiat 500 news and info at Fiat500Owners.com
Mercedes-Benz has just released the updated version of its mbrace app for the iPhone, which gives you your own personal concierge service.
Partnering up with Hughes Telematics to bring you this app, Mercedes’ mbrace comes with the same host of safety and convenience features – finding your car in a parking lot, locking and unlocking the doors – as well as the Mercedes-Benz Concierge service, which lets you take their mbrace services with you when you leave your vehicle.
The Concierge service does so much so you don’t have to. It can access your location information to provide you with relevant entertainment recommendations, restaurant locations, directions, traffic updates and more. This destination information can then be sent directly from the concierge to an in-vehicle navigation system. It also lets you save multiple accounts in the log-in screen and assign nicknames. This makes it easy and quick to access multiple mbrace accounts from one device.
The mbrace also comes with enhanced Roadside Assistance. When you make the call to Roadside Assistance, your location information is transmitted to the Mercedes-Benz Roadside Assistance Center. This provides a more efficient and accurate service when you need it most. For those times when the vehicle may not be accessible, doesn’t have power, or is in an unknown location, the mobile application allows Mercedes-Benz to pinpoint exactly where to send assistance.