Apple’s CarPlay Has Just Been Released and Some People Are Disappointed

carplayFor years, companies have been falling over themselves trying to connect the growing technological world to the automotive world. There have been prototypes for autonomous cars that communicate amongst themselves on the road, there was the trial run of the infamous Google Glass (still in the works), and there has been endless chatter about bringing the web to vehicle dashboards. Well, Apple has finally released their latest answer to the technology/automotive question: CarPlay.

As many people already know, CarPlay has been one of the most talked about technological upgrades of the year; it is a gadget that creates connectivity between cars and a person’s iPhone. For ravenous onlookers, it’s been a long wait (9 months to be exact) since Apple’s original announcement of the gadget. This week at the Geneva Motor Show, the product was finally unveiled to the public.

And so far, it looks like there are mixed reviews on the device. But whether you like it or not may depend on if you are a “glass is half full” or “glass is half empty” type person.

On the bright side, CarPlay opens up a world that has never before been available, providing maps, messaging, music, and all of the best features of an iOS. Adding to the new plethora of functionality, CarPlay has also established a message control system that will be controlled by the driver’s voice. This feature will allow drivers to listen to their voicemails and go through texts with the help of Siri, the programs speech recognition “personal assistant.”

However, there is some grumbling about the current setup, including the voice activated system. One of the main questions is: why isn’t every app voice activated? Writer Jacob Kastrenakes is one of these critics; he says, “For some reason [messaging] is the only app shown for which Apple has made the interface almost entirely reliant on voice control…It’ll certainly prevent drivers from reading through their text message history when they shouldn’t, but it’s somewhat strange that this appears to be the sole app that Apple has designed this way.”

iphoneOf course, this isn’t the only criticism facing CarPlay. Many people are already complaining that the product does not move as fast as a smartphone or tablet. Then, others are wondering why there are no third party apps like Facebook and Twitter available. Really, all this sounds like is a bunch of nitpicking. And most people seem to be missing the point.

Today, people want their technology and their social media available to them 24-7 with no interruptions. If anything takes away from their full capacity to be plugged in, there is a infantile outcry. They don’t want their freedom to be limited! But what’s really bad about all of this is the fact that people are unwilling to admit that all of this technology may be dangerous. In a 2013 study released from Texas A&M, it was reported that the reaction times of drivers texting and/or using voice to text applications were twice as slow.  “The amount of time that drivers spent looking at the roadway ahead was significantly less when they were texting, no matter which texting method was used.”

The University of Utah released similar findings, too. In a study led by psychology professor David Strayer- who has worked closely with AAA over the years- driving is significantly impacted by hands free technology. He says,  “Our research shows that hands-free is not risk-free. These new, speech-based technologies in the car can overload the driver’s attention and impair their ability to drive safely. An unintended consequence of trying to make driving safer – by moving to speech-to-text, in-vehicle systems – may actually overload the driver and make them less safe.”

Unfortunately, consumers are paying very little attention to these findings. Being plugged in to the rapidly changing, high anxiety world is now what’s most important, and in a twist of irony, it’s the greedy, money driven companies that are showing some restraint.

The Lamborghini Huracan Is Making Believers Out of Us All

lambpFor Lamborghini, the Gallardo model was the brand’s top selling vehicle of all-time. During its decade long run, there were over 14,000 Gallardo’s produced, ranging in the $180-$210 thousand dollar range. It was a car that countless celebrities and big wig CEO’s wanted in on, and it was even featured on 60 Minutes. However, times have changed, and at this week’s Geneva Motor Show, Lamborghini showcased the Gallardo predecessor: the Huracan.

Leading up to its release, many critics were wondering if the Huracan could live up to the reputation of the Gallardo. USA Today writer, Chris Woodyard, says, “Huracan has big tires to fill: It is the replacement for the Lamborghini Gallardo, probably the best known supercar that brand has ever produced.” For Lamborghini, this type of pressure was no surprise. It only added to their determination to build an even better super car, which is exactly what they’ve done.

Amazingly at this week’s Geneva Motor Show, spectators were finally able to see the Huracan up close and in all its beauty. Immediately, the first thing that pops out is that the body of the Huracan features less sharp angles, providing a smoother, sleeker vehicle. Adding to the wave of change, this new ride will be powered by a 5.2-liter V-10 engine that fires up a superb 610 horsepower (this is an upgrade from the Gallardo’s 562 horsepower). Also, to build on the upgrades, the Huracan has both direct and indirect gas injection that is designed to provide better performance and fuel economy than the Gallardo.

Lamborghini CEO, Stephen Winklemann, says, “We wanted a redefinition of the supercar. We wanted a car that was easy and comfortable to drive on the roads and absolutely the highest performance on the tracks. And we wanted to bring innovative technology and absolute performance. It will be a milestone within Lamborghini’s history.” So far, it seems that Lamborghini has done just that. Reportedly, there are already over 1000 orders for the new car.

Across the web, writers and bloggers have been clamoring about the new technology that Lamborghini promised and delivered on. This car’s seven-speed dual-clutch transmission has clocked in at a top speed of 202 mph and a 0-62 speed of 3.2 seconds. Adding to the innovation is Lamborghini’s attempt to improve fuel efficiency- a long time criticism of the car. To do this, the Huracan has implemented a start-stop technology that automatically shuts off the car’s engine at stop lights.

Already, in the early hours after its release, the critics have all been silenced, and the Gallardo has seemed to fade off into our distant memories. Instead, all people can talk about is how great the Lamborghini Huracan is.

The Geneva Motor Show Facilitates Uninhabited Innovation at This Year’s Show

genevaOriginally held in 1905, the Geneva Motor Show is the premier international auto show. Much of this has to do with the beautiful setting of the show. If you’ve never seen pictures or been there in person, it’s worth checking out. Geneva is undoubtedly one of the most gorgeous cities in the entire world, laden with beautiful architecture and paradisiacal weather. Also adding to the locale’s appeal is the fact that Geneva ranks as one of the top ten richest cities in the world with a social scene that is rich with high end culture.

However, there is something else about the city that has led writer Paul Eisenstein to declare it as the perfect place for an auto show. He says, “In a word ‘neutrality’…Other major shows, however hard they try, typically lean a little bit backwards for their local manufacturers, or at least those who dominate the local market, whether Paris, Frankfurt, Tokyo, Detroit, or LA. Not in Geneva, where space and position are not influenced by national identity.”

This national nepotism has certainly played a role in this year’s award season. Back in January, there was a ton of criticism and backlash when the Detroit Auto Show ended up naming two GM vehicles as the car and truck of the year. Of course, it didn’t help that the awards led to a major media whirlwind and public statements of praise from high government officials (people that are criticism magnets).

Refreshingly, these problems have fallen by the wayside at this week’s Geneva Motor Show. Nobody is talking politics and bailouts. Nobody is questioning motives for positive reviews and winning vehicles. Instead, everybody is enjoying the show and focusing on the innovation. Some of this year’s most talked about vehicles include:

porsche911

1. The Porsche 911 RSR- this car has already gained a huge following, reaching near mythic proportions when it finished in both 1st and 2nd place at last year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans.

 

 

 

 

rollsroyce2. The 2015 Rolls Royce Ghost Series II- this larger than life luxury car is equipped with twin turbocharged V-12 engines, which soup up an amazing 565 horsepower. This engine allows it to go from 0-60 in just 4.8 seconds: pretty impressive for a luxury car. Adding to its appeal are the classic stage coach doors.

 

 

 

 

ferrari3. The Ferrari California T- making its official debut at this week’s show, the new stylish Ferrari is already turning heads. This car comes equipped with a canvas roof and carbon fiber rollover bars and clocks in at an astonishing 155 mph.

 

 

 

 

erminiseittosei4. The Ermini Seittosei- this extremely lightweight (only 1500 pounds!) 2 seater is turning heads with its amazing power to weight ratio of 4.7 lb/hp. But don’t expect to see too many of these out on the streets. Reportedly, production will be limited to just 30 cars per year.

 

 

 

 

Lambo5. Lamborghini Huracan- Replacing last year’s all-time high selling Gallardo, the Huracan already has rich folks lining up to order the vehicle (700 have been requested so far). This year’s Lambo has new aluminum and carbon fiber components and can reach 202 mph! It is being priced at $233,000.

 

 

 

vwsubaru6. The Volkswagen Giugiaro Clipper and the Subaru Viziv 2- I am grouping these two cars together because they represent a new alternative door agenda in Geneva. With their vehicle, the Volkswagen has broken form tradition and has a door that opens upward. The Subaru, on the other hand, has a completely wild sliding door design. Very nice and very futuristic!