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Wednesday, 06 February 2013 14:57

How Bad is Detroit Traffic?

(NEW YORK) -- Detroit has been ranked among the nation's most congested cities in terms of traffic, according to a report by the Texas A&M Transportation Institute. The Urban Mobility Report (UMR) was released Tuesday, and states that the time required for a given trip has become more unpredictable. The report also introduces what's been titled the Planning Time Index, as a means of measuring that degree of unreliability. According to the UMR, Detroit is the 13th most congested city in the country, with Washington, D.C. topping the list. The UMR went on to state that congestion in cities across the United States has remained relatively stable in recent years and underscores the link between traffic and the economy. Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/02/05/detroit-traffic-congestion-worst_n_2622109.html?utm_hp_ref=detroit
Tuesday, 05 February 2013 16:26

Honda's 2013 Civic SI

Honda will bring its Xbox 360 and Forza Horizon to the Chicago Auto Show. Guests will have a chance to play the game with a new 2013 Honda Civic Si coupe, an original 1986 Civic Si and the Honda Performance Development B-Spec Rally Fit. Players will have a few more spectators to contend with than they would in their mom's basement. Forza Horizon came out in October of last year. The game play was a departure from the previous entries in the series in that it followed a narrative, rather than just lining up races. We checked out the game in the fall, and found its open world to be a nice break from the rigid race structure of some of the simulators. Check out our full review here. At the Chicago show, players can race virtually against Honda IndyCar driver Scott Dixon, and try to beat his fastest time in a 2013 Civic Si. The winner of the contest will get a chance to meet the Indy 500 winner and get a custom Civic Si-themed Xbox gaming console. After the show, starting Feb. 15, Forza Horizon will launch a photo contest online with the Honda Civic Si. Players will…
Monday, 04 February 2013 16:42

Super Bowl Ad Wars, Who Won?

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) While some automakers gambled on long, emotional or quirky Super Bowl ads, Hyundai's commercials were the most effective drivers of web traffic. The automotive websites Edmunds.com and AutoTrader.com analyzed Internet traffic during the Super Bowl to see which ads resulted in large traffic surges during the broadcast. The big winner -- at least in terms of immediate interest -- was Hyundai, which saw a 738% increase in traffic to Edmunds.com pages about its Santa Fe model after the company's ad hit the air. On AutoTrader.com, the increase was even bigger, with Web site interest rising over 1,000%One Santa Fe ad, featuring the recently re-designed seven-seat version of the SUV, depicted a young boy and his mother gathering a group of friends to confront a some bullies at a local park. Another ad, which aired just before the start of the game, depicted parents and kids on an outrageous outing in a Santa Fe. The Santa Fe spots far outstripped the next closest auto ad which, according to Edmunds.com was an Audi commercial featuring the S6 performance sedan. In that commercial, a young man who goes dateless to his high school prom ends up kissing the prom queen…
Friday, 01 February 2013 14:51

Siri Meets the 2013 Honda Accord

Honda said on Wednesday that it will integrate support for Apple's Siri personal assistant on the 2013 Honda Accord, Acura RDX and Acura ILX as a dealer installed option. The service, called Apple Siri Eyes Free, connects the disembodied female voice to your car's speakers and microphone via the Bluetooth function. The function will work with the vehicles steering wheel controls, and Honda says it will minimize distractions even further by keeping the screen of the iPhone from lighting up. "iPhone has become so integral to people's lives that they continue to use them in their vehicles," said Vicki Poponi, assistant vice president of automobile product planning, American Honda. "Offering Honda and Acura owners Siri and its Eyes Free mode via Bluetooth is an incredible opportunity to provide next-generation connectivity and meet our customer's ever-changing needs." Other automakers have also expressed interest in integrating Siri, including BMW, Audi, Chrysler, General Motors, Jaguar, Land Rover and Toyota. We say it's already taken too long. As some point, hopefully in the near future, we'll be able to get into a car using our linked phones as a key. It will start with a button after which we'll just slide a cell phone…
Wednesday, 30 January 2013 15:46

Big Profits, Big Checks

DEARBORN (WWJ) - Ford earned $5.7 billion dollars in 2012, with North American operations leading the way. The $8.2 billion in North American earnings mean profit sharing checks averaging $8300 for workers. "The Ford team delivered strong results once again, underscoring that our One Ford plan is working," said Alan Mulally, Ford president and CEO. "We are well positioned for another strong year in 2013, as we continue our plan to serve customers in all markets around the world with a full family of vehicles — small, medium and large; cars, utilities and trucks — with the very best quality, fuel efficiency, safety, smart design and value." Ford's North American operations had a profit margin of 10.4 perrcent, almost unheard of in the auto industry. "I think that's an outstanding result," said Ford CFO Bob Shanks. "It just shows the ongoing effects of the restructuring we did over the past several years. As we look ahead at 2013, we're still expecting a margin of 10 percent in North America, but we will have higher profits." Ford earned $1.7 billion in the fourth quarter as sales rose in every region outside Europe. Ford lost $1.7 billion in Europe for the full…
Monday, 28 January 2013 15:42

Detroit Auto Show a Success

The North American International Auto wrapped up yesterday with its highest attendance numbers since 2004. 795,000 general attendees and 55,000 journalists from over 60 countries showed up to make the NAIAS a success. Those numbers are up 25,000 from last year. The American people or at the very least Mid-westerners can take this a sign that economy is creeping back. More Americans are willing and able to spend money on non-essentials. In an interview with WWJ, Jim Seavitt and this year's show chairman sited more reasons why attendance was so high. "I think the economy is back, number one. Number two, every manufacturer is down here and they all brought their A-game; with the enthusiasm of manufacturers that spread to the journalists, but then spread to a lot of the TV and radio stations – I think excited the public to come down here." The public had a lot to be excited about. The technological advances being made in car engineering are astounding. The Auto Industry really showed out, debuting cars with vehicle to vehicle communication, night vision driving, massaging seats and let's not forget, sleek exteriors. The biggest draw: the 2014 Corvette Stingray. The North American International Auto Show…
Friday, 25 January 2013 13:07

Detroit Auto Show's Most Expensive Car

DETROIT (WWJ) - You can look, but you can't touch. A souped up version of the Bentley Mulsanne has the distinction of being the most expensive car on the floor at this year's North American International Auto Show In Detroit. Bentley spokesperson Kristen Thompson said the hand-crafted Mulsanne is the ultimate in luxury, with a price tag of $368,000.Thompson said it takes over 500 hours to complete just one Mulsanne. "It actually takes about 15 hours to stitch the steering wheel and there are only four people in our factory in England who know how to do it. They are just masters at their craft," Thompson told WWJ's Sandra McNeill. "One of the women who works on the steering wheel actually has a fork that she uses to puncture the holes in the steering wheel so that they can hand-stitch it." Thompson said the car's interior is completely decked out with some of the world's finest leather. "They actually source the leather only from Scandinavian regions because the cooler temperatures ensures the fewest imperfections in the hide," she said. And then, there's an exclusive clock. "Breitling is a high-end watch company and we have a specific partnership with them and…
Wednesday, 23 January 2013 16:35

New 'Talking Car'?

SOUTHFIELD (WWJ) – They're working on developing a talking car and Tuesday the auto supplier DENSO Corporation donated their technology to students at over a dozen local schools. Southfield High School is one of 17 schools to get the advanced technology. DENSO Senior V.P. of Engineering Doug Patten tells WWJ's Sandra McNeill it's not exactly the Knight Rider; it's one car talking to another. "... So you can understand what's going on, what conditions did the car coming in your direction just see? He can tell your car what he just saw so you can be prepared for whatever that condition may be ..." "It's not really talking to you – it's talking to your car," said Patten. It will display a warning on your car's dashboard. DENSO Corporation is looking to get feedback and insight from bright young students to improve the technology. Pioneer high school junior Michael Schilling says he can't wait to get his hands "This is an opportunity we didn't think we'd get, now we get to try out technology that hasn't even hit the street – so, it's cool," he said. Denso hopes to get this technology into cars by 2019. http://detroit.cbslocal.com/2013/01/22/high-school-students-test-new-talking-car-technology/
Monday, 21 January 2013 15:47

What Not To Miss At The Detroit Auto Show

DETROIT (WWJ) - The North American International Auto Showopens to the public Saturday in Detroit. WWJ Newsradio 950′s Kathryn Larson spoke with spokesman Joe Rohatynski who said show-goers should show up in comfortable shoes with about four hours to spend at Cobo Center. "One thing I really want everybody to remember is how special this show is," said Rohatynski. The NAIAS is one of the top 5 shows in the world and that, according to Rohatynski, says a lot when Detroit is compared to Geneva, Paris, Shanghai, and Frankfort. "In the last 25 years, we've really reached that level of success with those shows and now we unveil as many vehicles as them. We bring 5,000 [media members] to Detroit," said Rohatynski. Rohatynski pointed out a few things you won't want to miss at this year's show — including the new Corvette and Chrysler's Viper SRT, which is tough to miss, right in the middle of the show floor The show will feature actors playing some of the early ancestors of the Ford Motor Company — which means you could meet Henry Ford strolling across the floor. Also from Ford,"They've brought back their Model-T from the 1940s, kind of showing…
Thursday, 17 January 2013 15:55

The Future of Energy Efficient Cars and Trucks

The Detroit auto show is rife with attention-grabbing displays, but they rarely involve time travel.   "Now it's your turn to share the light," the projected electric light-bulb pioneer told Mr. Lutz in an exchange that preluded the unveiling of VIA's latest line of converted-electric trucks, vans and SUVs. The stunt underscored the automakers' panache for head-turning displays, and hinted at the less-flashy innovations taking place under the hoods. The heart of the Detroit auto show may be automotive eye-candy, but some automakers highlighted new approaches to energy use in an industry that consumes a lot of it. For VIA, fleet vehicles – those used as taxis, buses, and by large companies – were a target of energy savings. The company has developed an extended-range electric cargo van that it expects will achieve 100 miles per gallon with near zero emissions. "By demonstrating that going green can also be good business, large fleets like Verizon's can have a significant influence on the direction of the auto industry and help accelerate the adoption of clean vehicles like VIA's electric work vans," said Lutz, who is also a VIA board member, in a statement. Verizon Communications Inc., a New York-based company, collaborated…
DETROIT — (WWJ) General Motors has taken the wraps off of the long awaited seventh generation Corvette. "We changed everything," said Corvette chief engineer Tadge Jeuchter. "We redesigned pretty much every part on the car to make it better." GM says the new Corvette will have 450 horsepower, with better fuel economy than the current sixth generation version. It will also carry the classic Stingray name, for the first time in fifty years. "Like the '63 Sting Ray, the best Corvettes embodied performance leadership, delivering cutting-edge technologies, breathtaking design and awe-inspiring driving experiences," said General Motors North America President Mark Reuss. "The all-new Corvette goes farther than ever, thanks to today's advancements in design, technology and engineering." But, Reuss, who has owned many Corvettes over his life, says this is about a lot more than sheet metal. "What you see here today is spiritual and emotional for the whole company." Reuss says the Corvette was a vehicle that GM workers could rally around as they moved from bankruptcy to a newly profitable company. "A lot of people needed something to really believe in here," he said. "This car is something that all of us in the company believe in." Chevrolet…
It's that time of the year again. Whether you're an auto 'enthusiast' or simply looking to check out the latest 'four wheeled' fantasies, Detroit's North American International Auto Show has something for everyone. Closing out a year of repeatedly 'bad' news marked by corrupted officials, diminished politics, and an egregious murder rate, it is refreshing to find that Detroit will be in the media for a positive reason. The Auto Show has been and continues to be a silver lining for the city where automakers, journalists, other professionals, and the public descend upon Cobo Hall to recognize on an international stage the finest in the world of cars. The show kicks off next week, and judging its latest press, is slated to be the best yet. 2012 witnessed the most successful auto sales jump of the past five years. Such a recovery is sure to encourage auto makers to bring out the best to grace the road this upcoming year. As car companies continue to gain ground in the economy, experts predict that 2013 will usher in even stronger numbers. What a way to kick off a year that is sure to solidify the auto industry's return to glory. Press…
Wednesday, 09 January 2013 14:56

GM to open the dashboard to developers

At last year's Autoweek Design Forum, father of the iPod and Nest Labs co-founder Tony Fadell suggested that automakers concentrate on designing and building cars, leaving handset makers to handle infotainment. The latest announcements from Ford and GM -- in conjunction with the International CES -- suggest that automakers would rather treat the dashboard space as a handset. Yesterday, Dearborn, Mich., announced the Ford Developer Program, which opens up Sync to outside application development; now General Motors has announced a similar initiative. While GM has allowed a few developers access to an Application Programming Interface that works through OnStar, this is the company's first shot at allowing outside code monkeys into the dashboard itself. This won't, however, be a retroactive initiative. The new framework will be available on a few 2014 vehicles in the U.S., with an eye toward global expansion and localized app development. The company's also launching an online portal to submit apps built with the new software development kit, including a support forum and a blog to keep coders apprised of the most current news regarding the framework. At the launch, GM demoed programs from radio agglomerators iHeart Radio and TuneIn, internet radio service Slacker and The…
Thursday, 03 January 2013 19:07

Top 10 All-New Cars For 2013

DETROIT (WWJ) - The 2013 model year is shaping up to be a pivotal moment for the automotive industry. With over 30 all-new vehicles arriving in showrooms, Total Car Score announced what it considers to be the Top 10 New Cars for 2013. The top 10 list includes vehicles that are either all-new nameplates or existing models that have been completely redesigned for the 2013 model year. "The average American consumer is driving an 11-year-old car. A huge slice of the public has held off on replacing their vehicles because of economic uncertainty. That means an unprecedented level of pent-up demand," Karl Brauer, Editor in Chief of Total Car Score, said in a statement. "This will eventually lead to a flurry of sales as consumers replace their worn-out cars with new ones." Brauer added, "Automakers are well aware of this situation, and know the rising pressure on consumers will inevitably break loose with a flurry of buying activity. When this happens, every carmaker wants to be positioned to capture new vehicle shoppers with enticing cars, trucks and SUVs." The 2013 model year marks a significant effort by automakers to reinvent volume products, as well as introduce all-new cars, in a…
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