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.
Starting today, generally unloved BlackBerry smartphone users can take advantage of the OnStar RemoteLink Mobile App, something that until now has been restricted to iOS and Android devices.
Good news Android users and Mazda owners – you can now download Mazda’s MyMazda app.
The MyMazda app had previously only been available for iPhone users, but now Android smartphone users can use this app to get real-time information about their vehicle. This free app updates you as to service offers personalized to your car, scheduled maintenance reminders, factory maintenance schedules and other information.
Using the MyMazda app, you’ll be able to scan vehicle identification numbers (VINs) when you want to add new vehicles to the application. You can also update your contact information and upload personal vehicle photos for each vehicle you register.
If you’ve forgotten where you’ve parked your car in a busy parking lot, use the vehicle locator feature – it uses GPS to find out when you left your vehicle. As well, the “MyMazda” app is linked with the “Mazda Assist” app, so you can get hooked up with immediate roadside assistance should you need it using only the app on your smartphone, no 911 call necessary.
The MyMazda app for Android is available for free download at the Google Play Store.
If you’ve got a BMW and an Android phone, you’ll be happy to hear that you’ve got access to the My BMW Remote app. Up until now, the app had only been available for the iPhone, but now the Android smartphone version has access to all the same nifty features.
The My BMW Remote app for Android will open and close your car, as well as control the Climate Control functions so you heat or cool your car before getting in. If you lose track of your BWM in a busy parking lot, just use the Flash Light or Horn Blow functions to be reunited again. And if it is way out of your line of sight or hearing, just use the Vehicle Finder function, which works within a up to 1,500 meters, and a map will pop up and get you to your car. It even comes with Google Local Search so you can use the search function or the smartphone’s address book to send Points of Interest (POIs) to your car’s navigation system.
Next year, the e-mobility-specific remote functions of the BMW ActiveE, which offers cool features such as battery charging from outside the car, will be available for Android phones, as will the Real-Time Traffic Information (RTTI) function upgrade.
If you’re tired of searching for your garage door remote at the bottom of your purse or in the bowels of your glove compartment, you need to get the Craftsman AssureLink.
An update on your regular garage door opener, the Craftsman AssureLink lets you open your garage door from your cell phone. Using the same technology you use to open car door locks and remote starting devices, this gadget is sure to be one you’ll wonder how you did without for so long. Once you download the handy app, you can monitor the garage door’s status, and if you’re the forgetful type, you can open and close it even when you’re not there. For added protection, it comes equipped with audio and visual warnings that work with the standard pressure clutch so there’s no way it will ever come down on an unsuspecting person.
The Craftsman AssureLink compatible opener sells for $275 while users must sign up for an annual $19.99 activation fee. Once you’ve signed up and paid, you’ll be able to control your garage door from any internet-enabled smartphone, computer or tablet. Watch a video of the Craftsman Assurelink in action after the jump.
It’s just your luck – no matter where you go, you seem to hit every red light on the way to your destination. It would be awesome if there was a way to avoid them, or at least, minimze your wait time. Your luck is about to change, thanks to the SignalGuru app.
Developed by the researchers at MIT and Princeton, this new smartphone app will tell you what legal speed you should be driving so you can avoid having to stop and wait at red lights. Using the camera on your dashboard mounted smartphone, the SignalGuru app is able to connect to a wireless network and share information with others using the app, keeping current on the signal light status on the particular road you are traveling.
The SignalGuru app is being tested in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where traffic lights run on a fixed schedule. So far, this app has been able to help reduce fuel consumption by an average of 20 percent. It’s also been tested in Singapore, a city where traffic light timing is adjusted based on traffic flow, and the results weren’t as positive as in Cambridge. Not to fear – once the app hits the mainstream market and more drivers in any given city start using it to share traffic light data, the results should improve. There’s no official word on when that will be, but we’ll keep our eyes open for more information regarding its development.
Do you miss your Nissan Leaf the moment you walk away from it? Now, you can stay in touch with your Leaf no matter where you are at any time, thanks to the new Nissan Leaf app.
Available for use on Blackberry and Android operating systems (the app has already been available on the iPhone since the car’s release in 2010), the Leaf app lets Leaf owners manage and control tons of vehicle features right from their smartphone. To get this app, all you need is a Leaf (of course) and an active CARWINGS subscription. Even if you don’t own a Leaf but want to know more about it, you can download the app. It’s a handy tool that lets you check the state of the battery charge or begin charging. With the app, you can check when battery charge is complete, see estimated driving range or turn the climate control system on or off.
“Nissan understands that telematics and other communication services are important for consumers,” said Trisha Jung, director, Vehicle Connected Services, Nissan North America. “By providing accessibility and functionality to the Nissan LEAF through all major smartphone platforms, we are truly delivering ‘Innovation for All.’”
Something to allow city-dwellers, sports car owners, or high-school principals to sleep easy at night: a new app for iPhones, Droids, and Blackberries will warn you when some @#%! is messing with your car, allowing you to dispense justice as you see fit.
Budding Charles Bronsons can take comfort in knowing that this is the first specific app designed for cars. Developed by Intel, it connects to your car’s existing security system and begins working when that is triggered. It can stream video (placed in and around the car, presumably) to a cloud server through WiFi, directly to your phone, or record it for World’s Wildest Police Videos.
Intel is also checking to see if the app can share data with carmakers, but that level of privacy intrusion may get messy. There’s no word on when the app will be finished, but for anyone who uses faculty parking, hopefully before the school year starts.
Sometimes you lose track of how fast you’re going. You’re wrapped up with stuff you’ve got to do, your favorite song is on the radio or you’re trying to follow directions. Now, there’s a speed monitoring app that encourages safe driving and protect your rights.
The My Max Speed for smartphones stays on top of how fast you’re going. Helping to keep you at a safe and legal limit, users can log their rates of speed every 5 seconds they’re driving. This information is stored on a spreadsheet, so you can review your speed at different intervals. When you’re reviewing the spreadsheet display in the app, users can tap one speed recording to display the exact physical location in a map format.
This app comes in handy if you get a speeding ticket. You can use it when you get pulled over to see if the speed matches that of what the law enforcement officer reports. This could save you some cash and points if the police officer’s radar gun settings aren’t calibrated. And if you get pulled over for speeding but get burned for something else along with it (like not wearing a seatbelt), having proof that you weren’t speeding may impact other citations that you could be charged with.
The My Max Speed has a large display area that makes it easy to see how fast you’re going, and stores speed snapshots in five minute segments for evidentiary purposes. The spreadsheets can be exported to Excel, Word, Power Point or other software, and the reports can be sent to an email address or can be shared on Facebook.
My Max Speed is available for free in an ad-supported version and for $4.99 in an ad-free version from the Android Market or http://iconosys.com/productlist.php?id=262.
Volvo has just released a fascinating new version of their OnCall app for iPhone and Android phones that provides the owner with a range of beneficial features. The features include a car locator, incase you forget where you parked, remote door lock or vehicle health check. This app works on 2012 Volvo models and can be downloaded for free.
The app’s features include:
Car locator: The location of the car is shown on the smartphone map
Remote door lock: The doors and windows can be opened and close via the phone.
Vehicle dashboard: This feature allows the driver to see vehicle information such as fuel level, average fuel consumption, average speed, odometer reading and trip reading.
Car Check: This impressive app allows the driver to check the “health” of the car, displaying bulb outages, brake fluid level, coolant level, engine oil level and engine oil pressure.
Theft Notification: If the Volvo alarm is triggered, a message will be sent to the phone
“We design cars around people’s needs and lifestyle. Creating an intuitive and ergonomically optimised driver’s environment is part of our aim to offer a feeling of relaxed control. It is only logical that you should feel in command of your vehicle, including after you have parked it,” says Stefan Jacoby, President and CEO at Volvo Car Corporation. “The new mobile applicationtransforms Volvo On Call from an emergency system to a useful convenience feature. It will help us boost sales of the system – and we are convinced that our ambitious plans in this connectivity field will help us attract more and more new customers in the future,” explained Stefan Jacoby.
[Source: Motor Ward]
Chevrolet’s Volt plug-in hybrid isn’t the only vehicle that will get its own smartphone app. The Chevrolet Cruze compact will also join the bandwagon with an OnStar-supported program that gives owners new access to various functions of their vehicle via a smartphone.
Owners using the Chevy Connect feature on their phones will be able to monitor the fuel guage, door locks, tire pressures and activate the horns, lights and alarm system.
GM also announced that many of its 2011 vehicles from across the brand spectrum would be able to utilizie the Connect system, which could easily become an attractive selling feature to technology-savvy customers.
Get more Chevy Cruze news and info at CruzeTalk.com
[Source: Inside Line]