Posts Tagged ‘Technology’

BMWs New microNavigation Technology

BMW develops microNavigation

BMW develops microNavigation

Many people rely on their in-dash navigation system for help when finding a destination in an unfamiliar area. Heading off to a new place can be confusing enough just to get there, but now where do you park? Current navigation systems, both in-dash and hand-held types, have limited databases of such detailed information.

To take care of this issue, BMW is developing a microNavigation system called Pathfinder to supplement the data stored onboard the car. Pathfinder allows you to download more detailed information about your destination in the form of a MicroMap to a memory card before you leave the house. When the card is inserted into the car, the data is added to the built-in navigation information. The more detailed information can even work with a camera used for lane departure warning to tell the driver which lane they should be in to catch ramps and entries to highways or parking structures.

Once the car is parked, the data can be transferred to a smartphone or other mobile device for the final leg of the trip. The phone can guide you directly to your destination and in can even remember where you parked. When more vehicles are offered with their own mobile data connections, this data could even be downloaded directly straight to the car on the fly. All of this will require the creation of far more detailed maps than exist today; also it’s not clear if current map data providers will produce these microMaps. Google is incorporating much of this information from its search index, however, its recent deals with Ford and General Motors’ OnStar, it could soon be the default provider for every automaker.

BMW develops microNavigation

BMW develops microNavigation

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So what the heck is a hybrid anyway?


For Earth Day, let’s break down what exactly makes a Hybrid vehicle.  Hybrid Cars offer drivers an innovative, efficient, and a fuel-saving option for consumers.

A hybrid car features a small fuel-efficient gas engine combined with an electric motor that assists the engine when accelerating. The electric motor is powered by batteries that recharge automatically while you drive. There are two types of gasoline-electric hybrid cars: the parallel hybrid and the series hybrid.

Parallel hybrid systems, which are most commonly produced at present, have both an internal combustion engine (ICE) and an electric motor connected to a mechanical transmission. The gasoline engine and the electric motor work together to move the car forward.

Series hybrids have also been referred to as a Range-Extended Electric Vehicle (REEV) in order to emphasis that they are electric vehicles with a combustion engine assist. In a series hybrid the gasoline engine either directly powers an electric motor that powers the vehicle or charges batteries that will power the motor.

Hybrid cars also gain efficiency from:

Smaller and more efficient engines.
Regenerative braking the electric motor that drives the hybrid can also slow the car. In this mode, the electric motor acts as a generator and charges the batteries while the car is slowing down.
Periodic engine shut off – when a hybrid car is stopped in traffic, the engine is temporarily shut off. It restarts automatically when put back into gear.
Advanced aerodynamics – to reduce drag
Low-rolling resistance (LLR) tires – narrow, stiffer tires have less drag
Lightweight materials increases the efficiency of hybrid cars.

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AOL Autos iPhone Application


Everyone knows that iPhone make things easier and more fun. Shopping for your next vehicle should be just as exciting and non stressful. The new AOL Autos iPhone application allows will help with that. With this new app you to research your vehicle while configuring your price at the dealership. The app even allows you to get specific with your search down to the make, model and trim, and to view pictures of the interior and exterior of the vehicle. With your handy app, you can make sure you’re prepared when you step into the showroom.

New features are already being built for this app, expected to debut within the next couple of months. Check out to download the app today!

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As if the iPhone doesn’t have enough apps, now you can use it to open your garage door? Seems impossible, and without extra software, it is. “My Door Opener” is new software created to be used with the iPhone to open your garage door! With some inexpensive and easy to setup hardware you will be securely opening, closing or monitoring your garage door directly from the palm of your hand.

Features include:

• The “MyDoorOpener” controller is a standalone and free standing application. The application does not require any computer to be turned ON at home for the “MyDoorOpener” iPhone application to be able to control your garage door.

• The “MyDoorOpener” iPhone application works both over GSM and WiFi when you are in proximity/reach of your house’s WiFi access point.

• All exchanges between the “MyDoorOpener” iPhone application and controller are encrypted using a password scheme which changes for every single operation. No two control operations will get encrypted using the same key, preventing signal theft and unauthorized entry.

• If your garage door is equipped with an open/close alarm contact, the “MyDoorOpener” iPhone application can leverage this by offering visual feedback of your door’s current state. If you don’t have such sensor installed, the “MyDoorOpener” iPhone application will still be able to control the door, but will not provide this additional feedback information.

• iPhone app supports operating up to 3 doors in the ‘Elite’ version, and a single door in the regular version.

• More to come, such as garage door watchdog, Twitter & email notifications, and much more.
Instructions and details are at and with a little bit of building and downloading, you can replace that remote in your car with the iPhone that you’ll already have on you.

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