In addition to improving safety, Mercedes Benz‘s new active seatbelt buckle also eliminates the annoying practice of trying to buckle up when the connecting clips have fallen between or been pushed down the cars seats.
The seat belt buckle doesn’t only come with bright glowing LEDs to easily secure yourself, particularly in the dark, but also comes equipped with a motorized system that extends the buckles upwards as much as 2.8-inches, so they’re hard to miss and easier to use. For enhanced safety in the event of a crash, the active seat belt buckle also works in reverse, slightly retracting after impact so it holds the passenger more securely.
The new system will be implemented in Mercedes Benz’s more luxury models in the near future but will hopefully be available for Daimler’s more affordable models so the general public can also benefit from this great innovation.
The Click Car Mouse and USB Stick range that has recently launched in South Africa lets you hold the car of your dreams from a Maserati GranTursimo to a pearl white Fiat 500 in the palm of your hand.
Licensed by the car manufacturers, the Click Car Mouse is a miniature near perfect replica of the real cars they’re modelled on. They are designed to a very high technical standard using only the highest quality materials. Most models are available in both wired and wireless versions.
CarBlog received the Range Rover Evoque Mouse and Mercedes Benz 300 SL USB Stick to test out. The Wireless Optical Evoque Mouse comes packaged with a nano receiver and battery. Once setup, the mouse can either be turned on (either with or without rear and headlights depending on how much battery you’re willing to use up) or off when not in use. It has a 10 metre range and adjustable high-res optical for 800dpi and 1600dpi.
After using it for a couple of hours, the Mouse slowly began to feel uncomfortable with the angled lines of the Range Rover not exactly conducive for the natural round shape of my palm. Sometimes, my finger would even get caught underneath the right hand side mirror. As a result, I would prefer a car with smoother contours – an Aston Martin DBS perhaps. However, it is important to be aware that my hands are smaller than most and may result in a different experience for someone else. The mouse works optimally on a pad as wheels, unfortunately, do not move.
Ford is teasing its 2013 Fusion via mobile apps which fans can download for iPhone or Android by pointing the camera of the device at the Ford logo either from a car, online or an image in a magazine. Once the the app has read the logo, it activates a 360 degree version of the new model, which users can use for a virtual driving course.
The app will offer new courses and video clips featuring interviews from the creators of the car every day from Wednesday until the hybrid vehicle is revealed at the 2012 Detroit Auto Show. As expected, Users can also share photos from the app via Twitter and Facebook.
Ford’s goal is to keep enthusiasts and fans engaged, active and creating a buzz on social networks as part of the build up to the car’s launch while still maintaining some secrecy of the car’s look and design details.
Since its release last year, MyFord Touch has taken a fair amount of criticism from both consumers and critics for its cluttered user interface and capacitive controls for the climate control system. A far too complex system with a number of occasional glitches triggered negative publicity for the sophisticated and ambitious system. Ford is now planning to rectify some of these issues with an updated system for 2013 models, with existing Ford owners benefiting from the changes as well.
To begin with, Ford has expanded the features of MyFord Touch to include Apple iPad connectivity and access to Audible.com audiobooks through either voice commands or the touchscreen. A range of improvements are also being implemented for better Bluetooth telephone connectivity and an updated map experience from TeleNav and Navteq will also take shape.
After leading the way in bringing iPod integration and iPhone connectivity to its vehicles, BMW has now brought the same functionality to Android with the soon to be released remote app for Google’s open-source OS.
As with Apple’s OS, the app will allow drivers to remotely lock, unlock and locate their vehicles. In addition, the driver will be able to access the Climate Control function to activate the vehicle’s auxiliary ventilation or heating and a Flash Light or Horn Blow function can be used to gain a visible or audible reminder of the car’s location. If the car is out of sight or earshot, the Vehicle Finder function can locate it within a radius of up to 1,500 metres.
BMW will be releasing the app later this year and will also include real-time traffic information.
Way back in 2007, there were reports that Apple and Mercedes Benz had signed a deal whereby Apple was to design an in-car maintenance, communication and navigation system for inclusion in Mercedes Benz vehicles. It’s all coming true. The iCar is what you get when you combine a Mercedes-Benz S Class car and the latest Apple devices.
Most of us know exactly why a GPS device is an important part of our safe travel in unknown areas…but why do we buy a specific make or model? We have raised this with one of the top SA accident investigators and received this response:
“ The more important question is – and remains – do you want to use it primarily in the City, cross-country, between cities on National Roads, Off-road, etc.? Before choosing a GPS, establish YOUR needs, then shop after getting the best “pound-for-your-buck.” Also keep in mind that – with all the building going on for 2010, you will invariably get out-of-date routing errors. We have been using GPS for about 6 years now, on a daily basis. Like a computer, the user can also influence the effectiveness of the device.. So, FIRST your needs, THEN your wants (bluetooth, etc), THEN price, THEN “coolness.” My 10c worth…”
This is a concise but rather accurate summary of some of the aspects to consider when buying a GPS device.
The Arrive Alive website will assist our drivers further with a guide titled “GPS Navigation Technology and Buying a GPS Device”
Research was commissioned by TomTom and conducted recently in the UK, Germany, France, Spain, Italy and the US and provides valuable insight on the importance of GPS for road safety.
The key findings of the research were as follows:
• The use of satellite navigation devices heightens awareness and reduces the stress levels of the driver
• The use of navigation devices reduces the driver’s workload*
• The use of a satellite navigation device improves the driver’s behaviour when driving through an unknown area to an unknown destination
• The use of a satellite navigation device reduces the number of miles driven when driving through an unknown area to an unknown destination
• The use of satellite navigation devices reduces travel time when driving through an unknown area to an unknown destination
“TomTom has consistently led the market with innovative safety features such as hands-free calling, the Help Me! emergency menu and clear spoken instructions in our navigation devices,” said Harold Goddijn, CEO of TomTom. “We are pleased to see objective research further validate the fact that navigation contributes to driving safety and efficiency. Furthermore, the study shows that using a navigation device – compared to navigation by conventional means – reduces the number of miles that people drive when travelling through an unknown area to an unknown destination, which in turn has a positive effect on the environment and fuel costs.”
The Arrive Alive road safety website has included these findings in a section titled “GPS and road safety”. These findings are of special importance as South Africa gears up for the 2010 World Cup. Many foreigners will travel across South Africa for the first time – and GPS devices could enhance the safety of their travels!