Archive for June 2014

Google Reveals Android-Operated Mobile Interface for New Vehicles

With all the advanced technology we’re seeing in the automotive industry these days, it’s no wonder Google wants to jump on board and outfit cars with something spectacular. At Google’s annual I/O developer’s conference this week, the tech giant revealed its new mobile interface, named Android Auto, which will turn your car into an extension of your Android-operated mobile device.

Android Auto will serve as an in-dash control system for your smartphone. Once drivers plug in their Android device, their dashboard replicates the display screen of their smartphone. The Android operating system will be able to do anything your phone can do. Voice-activated technology will allow drivers to make calls, dictate text messages and use Google Play Music. In addition, Google Maps will serve as the vehicles’ in-dash navigational system.

According to Google, this will diminish the amount of distracted drivers on the road.

“Android Auto is completely voice-enabled, so that you can keep your hands on the wheel and your eyes on the road,” said Patrick Brady, director of engineering for Android.

Major automakers, including Hyundai, Nissan and Honda, have already committed to installing Android Auto in future vehicles, with models having the in-dash control system by the end of 2014. While it’s unknown which automaker will be the first to release a model featuring Android Auto, Hyundai has confirmed the mobile interface will be included in the 2015 Sonata. Car buyers still have a few months to wait before the completely redesigned 2015 Sonata is available for purchase, but we have an expansive selection of other forward-thinking Hyundai models available at our Hyundai dealership in Algonquin.

Go Park Yourself: Honda Redefines Remote-Controlled Cars

When you were a child, do you remember playing with a remote-controlled car? These classic toys have been popular for decades among children, who light up when their cars spark to life just by pushing a button on the remote control. As a child, there’s something about being able to control your very own car that seems so cool.

Honda engineers in Japan have been hard at work developing the technology for an adult-sized remote-controlled car. You can’t go crashing these cars into walls, though, because they are fully functioning electric models. The prototype for the project can drive itself into a home carport and even recharge its own battery, all from the push of a button on a smartphone.

The video above shows a demonstration that took place just outside Tokyo earlier this month. When the driver exits the vehicle, he or she simply uses his or her smartphone to instruct the Honda to park itself. A computer inside the vehicle containing data about the house and garage utilizes cameras installed in the garage to prevent the car from hitting obstacles. Then, the Honda drives itself into the carport and parks over a no-contact wireless charging station. With another push of a button on the driver’s smartphone, the electric vehicle can also charge itself.

This demonstration follows a test Honda did last year, during which researchers experimented with a driverless valet parking system. The goal behind this test was that the driver would be able to pull up in front of a destination, such as a store, get out of the car and use his or her smartphone to instruct the vehicle to park itself. Then, when the driver was ready to leave, he or she could simply press another button, and the car would arrive for pickup.

According to the chief researcher on the project, his team hopes this cutting-edge technology will be ready for use in the near future. Until the day arrives where remote-control cars are commonplace in everyday life, check out the eco-friendly models with advanced technology Honda is currently offering at our Honda dealership in Gurnee.

Honda, Mazda, Nissan Dominate the Edmunds.com and Parents magazine Top 10 Family Vehicles for 2014 List

2014 Mazda3 Helps Mazda Win KBB.com 5-Year Cost to Own Award

There is no single group of characteristics a vehicle must have in order to accommodate families, nor are there only a couple segments that excellent family vehicles fall under.

This was the mindset of the editors of Edmunds.com and Parents magazine since, after all, the “needs of a single mom parenting an only child in the city will be vastly different from those of a suburban couple raising a brood of five kids.” When editors from the auto review website and magazine teamed up to create their list of Top 10 Family Vehicles for 2014, there was only one actual requirement: excellent crash-test scores. The rest of the decision-making came down to a wide range of factors, from fuel economy to interior technology.

At the end of the day, 60% of the list was comprised of cars, SUVs and minivans that we sell at the Rosen Motors Group, while the 2014 Honda CR-V, Kia Soul, and Nissan Altima and Pathfinder were named honorable mentions. Let’s take a look at those six vehicles and what helped them earn praise from Edmunds.com-Parents magazine:

Mazda3 and Mazda6:
The Mazda6 continues to be lauded as “one of the most well-rounded family sedans on the market,” combining “keen handling,” impressive interior and exterior styling, and advanced technological features with an EPA-estimated 40 mpg on the highway. Meanwhile, the 2014 Mazda3was recognized for being one of the two Best Budget Cars out there, earning praise for its optional safety features, intuitive controls and ability to deliver up to 41 mpg on the highway.

2014 Honda OdysseyHonda Accord and Odyssey:
Perhaps the least surprising inclusion on the list has to be the Honda Odyssey, named the Best Minivan on the market for 2014. Spaciousness is only part of the reason for the Odyssey’s designation, though. The editors pointed out its “surprisingly nimble handling,” EPA-estimated 28 mpg on the highway and multitude of safety features.

The Honda Accord’s inclusion was a bit more surprising, although maybe not for people who follow auto news closely, as the all-new Accord has raked in award after award since its introduction. Its spacious cabin, fuel efficiency and advanced technology earned the 2014 Accord a spot on the Top 10 Family Vehicles list as one of the Best Sedans.

Nissan Rogue:
Simply put, the redesigned Nissan Rogue crossover is “affordably priced but doesn’t look it.” In addition to having the look and feel of a high-end crossover, the 2014 Rogue offers the space you need – especially with the available cargo-dividing system – while delivering up to 33 mpg on the highway. Safety technologies are available in abundance, too, like forward collision and blind spot warning and a 360-degree view camera system.

Hyundai Santa Fe:
Being able to comfortably fit seven passengers is just one of many reasons the new Hyundai Santa Fe made the list. This SUV blends optional safety features (blind spot monitoring system and rear parking sensors) with standard comfort features (heated front seats and Bluetooth connectivity), all at an affordable price.