OnStar + Relay Rides
THE LOWDOWN: Backed by technology (and start-up funding) from GM’s OnStar division; Relay Rides is a new app that turns your car into a money making machine. The premise is that you can hire out your own vehicle to others in the area using the pre-existing network of OnStar connected cars. The service allows those without a car to search online for rental listings, or through your car if you feel like a swap. Starting at $5 an hour, this service definitely breaks boundaries when it comes to rentals.
GET IT: Online now for potential renters, or through your OnStar connected GM vehicle.
TIDBIT: Includes a $1 million comprehensive insurance policy...now go find that Corvette down the street.
LEARN MORE: https://relayrides.com/
Mercedes-Benz mbrace 2
THE LOWDOWN: MB’s next generation of in-car consumer software is far more than your average radio tuner or GPS system. Marketed as potentially having “the most comprehensive capabilities of any telematics system on the road,” the mbrace 2 brings full-access internet into the auto like never before. With popular apps including Facebook and Google Search offered, you’re never going to feel disconnected on the go. Other features such as remote access, vehicle diagnostics, and concierge service keep you connected to your car via smartphone whenever you need it.
GET IT: 2013 Mercedes-Benz models starting with the new SL series this spring.
TIDBIT: Try Hide-and-Go-Seek with your car using Facebook’s usually creepy Geo-location software!
LEARN MORE: http://www.mbusa.com/mercedes/mbrace2
Escort Radar Live!
THE LOWDOWN: The Escort Radar Live! uses a plug-in radar detector that broadcasts police presence or speed traps to other users over its social media application. By taking this data and utilizing your smartphones mapping software, this app tells you just how much you need to slow down to avoid getting taken down for reckless driving. This app won this year's Innovation Design and Engineering Awardat the Consumer Electronics Show!
GET IT: On the web, $79.95 (iPhone or Android).
TIDBIT: Avoids radar detection laws for all the drivers behind you, just watch out for those laws about using your phone while driving...
LEARN MORE: www.escortradar.com/escort-live
ELEKTROBIT Street Director
THE LOWDOWN: Street Director is a customized navigation system developed as a smart add-on to factory-supplied car systems. Categorized as “Infotainment," it works by combining standard map data with “smart traffic” information from provider INRIX, which allows it to offer cool features such as 3-D map displays, traffic-jam information, speed alerts, and intersection warnings.
GET IT: Currently shipping with Audi (A1, A6, A7), Mercedes (SLK, C Class), and Smart (Smart fortwo). While limited for now, Elektrobit expects to have about 30% of the market by 2015.
TIDBIT: Route Optimization Planning based on Traffic, Weather, and Construction = unfair street race advantage.
THE LOWDOWN: Combining a small hockey puck looking device and a phone app; the ASP is designed to keep you awake (and alive) on the road. After giving you a quick questionnaire to learn your car and lifestyle habits, the ASP monitors you on the go through a series of beeping tests when it predicts you might be drifting off. If your reaction time isn’t up to par, the device will start screeching at you to take a predetermined break until it's safe for you to get back on the road.
GET IT: On the web, $179.
TIDBIT: Makes staying alive a game of whack-a-mole.
LEARN MORE: www.antisleeppilot.com/
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