Posts from ‘General Motors’
Bob Lutz has accomplished more in his golden years than most auto execs do in a lifetime. At age 69, Lutz became General Motors’ Vice Chairman of Product Development and helped create cars such as the Cadillac CTS, Cadillac SRX, Chevrolet Malibu, Buick Enclave, Buick LaCrosse, and Pontiac Solstice. He also championed the electric/gas Chevrolet Volt before withdrawing from an active roll at GM in 2009. Now at age 81, Lutz is launching a high-performance sedan, the VL Destino.
Gilbert Villarreal, a self-made millionaire in the auto components industry, decided that replacing the hybrid powertrain of a Fisker Karma with a Chevrolet Corvette engine was a great idea. Villareal turned to friend and business partner in VL (Villareal Lutz) watches, Bob Lutz, to make it happen. Lutz says he starts with a well-engineered car and adds a well-engineered drivetrain. The German engineering firm that helped bring about the Fisker Karma (as well as the Porsche Panamera) is engineering the changes needed for the engine transplant.
Apple recently announced that its voice-recognition application for iPhone, known as Siri, will be integrated into the cars of at least seven major manufacturers.
Siri lets a user control many of the iPhone’s functions simply by speaking the request into the phone in normal, colloquial language. Such functions include making calls, playing music, hearing and writing text messages, finding directions, and various other features, including the ability to ask a question and receive a relevant answer.
So far, BMW, Chrysler, GM, Honda, Jaguar, Land Rover, and Mercedes-Benz have confirmed that they’ll incorporate Siri into their infotainment systems, and Audi and Toyota are said to be working with Apple, as well. According to an article in trade publication Automotive News, the 2013 Chevrolet Spark and Sonic will have this feature.
A new Apple iPhone application called Eyes Free makes it possible. Eyes Free will link the iPhone to a compatible car’s voice-recognition system. It will use the existing voice button on the car’s steering wheel and the car’s built-in microphone to access the Siri app. The user won’t have to handle the phone while driving, which is considered distracting. Additionally, the iPhone’s screen will remain off during the interaction to curb visual distractions. Eyes Free will debut as part of the company’s reveal of iOS 6, the new operating system for Apple mobile devices, including iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad.