It was encouraging to see that a number of the cars on display at this year’s New York Auto Show, which took place from April 10-19, were either electric, hybrid, or gasoline-powered vehicles specially modified to be more efficient on the road. And IT industry leaders including Intel, Microsoft and others have been busy developing platforms and microprocessors designed to bring everything from mobile devices to media-intensive entertainment options to these next-generation automobiles.
Some highlights from the show include the third-generation Prius, which will feature a full electronics suite including a voice-activated navigation system, backup camera, Bluetooth hands-free capability and integrated satellite radio. The new Karma utilizes Q-DRIVE plug-in hybrid technology developed exclusively for Fisker Automotive by Quantum Technologies. A fully-charged Karma uses its electric motor for the first 50 miles of driving and burns no fuel; once the 50-mile electric range has been exceeded, the car operates as a normal hybrid vehicle. It also uses regenerative brake technology to recapture braking energy with an optional full-length solar roof that can help charge the vehicle, as well as cool the interior cabin while parked. The Cadillac Converj concept car on display at the show featured a solar panel on its roof to help take some of the load off the car’s battery and includes several next-generation accessories, such as touch-screens to control music, and cameras in place of side- and rearview mirrors that feed into small screens above the speedometer. Good stuff!
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