Hyundai Expects Apple CarPlay, Android Auto Available by First Quarter's End

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Hyundai plans to roll out Apple CarPlay by the end of the first quarter, said Hyundai spokesman Jim Trainor. The technology was originally slated to debut in 2014. The Sonata midsize sedan will be the first model in the automaker's lineup to support CarPlay.

More 2015 Chicago Auto Show Coverage

In addition to CarPlay, Hyundai has designed its smartphone interface to support Android Auto, said Michael Evanoff, the automaker’s manager of product planning. Both systems mirror the look and feel of a driver's smartphone on the car's dashboard screen.

By Mike Hanley | February 17, 2015 | Comments (0)

Will Apple Build its Own Car?

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Your smartphone and your car could someday come from the same company. The Wall Street Journal reported Feb. 13 (subscription required) that Apple has assigned "several hundred employees" to work on an Apple-branded vehicle.g

Related: Should You Use the Apple Watch in Your Car?

The news comes less than a year after Apple unveiled its CarPlay automotive multimedia platform. One source told WSJ that the project, code-named "Titan," will result in a car that resembles a minivan. The newspaper notes that Apple often creates prototypes of new technologies and products without ever building them, but sources indicated that the project's scale and seniority suggest the company is serious about it.

Still, it could take years to bring such a car to market unless Apple is already far into development or has a deal with an established automaker to share parts or a platform. It often takes an automaker five years and more than $1 billion to develop and market a car from scratch; that's including everything from factory tooling to certifying through a swath of federal safety standards. That's before it's even crash-tested by third parties.

Apple has the money to do it, having reported $178 billion in cash as of late 2014, according to WSJ. An Apple car wouldn't be the first to emerge from California's Silicon Valley. Tesla is headquartered in Palo Alto, Calif., about 10 miles from Apple's Cupertino offices. It builds the Model S in Fremont, just across the San Francisco Bay. And Google, which introduced a small fleet of self-driving prototypes in 2014, is headquartered in Mountain View — just minutes from both companies.

Cars.com photo by Jenni Newman

By Kelsey Mays | February 16, 2015 | Comments (5)

Long-Term 2014 Jeep Cherokee: Life With the Uconnect System

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It's been nearly a year since Cars.com bought a long-term 2014 Jeep Cherokee, which gave us plenty of time to pit the vehicle against other small SUVs, observe real-world gas mileage and document long-term maintenance.

Related: Nine Things About the Jeep Cherokee's Nine-Speed Transmission

We also logged plenty of time with the Cherokee's 8.4-inch Uconnect touch-screen — specifically, the Uconnect 8.4AN. We came away generally impressed, though we had a few issues with the system too.

After 11 months, what's our verdict on Uconnect? Read on.

By Kelsey Mays | February 10, 2015 | Comments (0)

Report: Cars Vulnerable to Cyber Attacks

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A new report from Congress says the wireless technology in cars is vulnerable to hacking. The report, headed by Sen. Ed Markey, D-Mass., contends that wireless networks, Bluetooth, telematics systems like GM's OnStar and synced smartphones are all potential points of access for hackers.

Related: AAA Wants to Protect Personal Data With Connected-Car Bill of Rights

Beyond the implications for driver privacy, Markey's report says hackers could control your car's acceleration, braking and other major systems — an exercise CBS' 60 Minutes demonstrated in its Feb. 8 episode. This hasn't actually happened, The Detroit News points out, but wireless hacking means it could. Regulators, meanwhile, have been slow to step up their efforts on automotive cybersecurity.

Click here to read the full story from The Detroit News.

Cars.com photo by Evan Sears

By Kelsey Mays | February 9, 2015 | Comments (0)

Video: The In-Car Tablet Trend

Tablets are becoming a popular backseat entertainment choice in vehicles, and automakers are taking notice. Cars.com reviewer Joe Wiesenfelder explains the trend. Watch the video for more.

By Jennifer Geiger | January 30, 2015 | Comments (0)

Only One Editor Used Our Jeep Cherokee's CD Player

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Our long-term fleet cars get around. Almost everyone on our editorial staff gets behind the wheel at some point, and a lot of those excursions are of the road-trip variety. Most are regular commutes of course, but with a long-term car the stereo is probably used more often than cars in for shorter examinations.

Related: More on Our Long-Term Fleet

Our 2014 Jeep Cherokee came with an optional — yes optional at $195 — CD player, which is located in the center console cubby, not in the dash. Most of our test drivers plugged in their smart devices via USB or tethered wirelessly via Bluetooth during trips adding up to 15,000-plus miles. There were also options for terrestrial and satellite radio. Those seemed to be enough choices for hours upon hours of listening for our staff ... all except for one.

By David Thomas | January 21, 2015 | Comments (6)

Would You Choose Pay-as-You Drive Insurance?

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Pay-as-you-drive insurance programs appeal for their low price, but a new study suggests that many Americans would not consider enrolling in one due to privacy concerns. According to the study, 51 percent of people surveyed said they would never consider enrolling in a pay-as-you-drive insurance program, up from 37 percent last year.

Related: By-the-Mile Car Insurance Targets Urban Drivers

The programs, like Metromile, are designed for urban drivers who drive less than 10,000 miles a year and claim to offer a 10-30 percent discount off annual premiums compared with a traditional flat-rate policy. Mileage is tracked via a device that plugs into your car; it captures the data and transmits it to the insurance company for tracking. Most people, however, aren't willing to trade savings for privacy.

"It's still a very small percentage of consumers involved in pay-as-you-drive. I think there's still reluctance on the part of some drivers to have a GPS device installed in their cars that’s monitoring their driving habits," Mike Barry, spokesman for the Insurance Information Institute, said in a statement.

By Jennifer Geiger | January 19, 2015 | Comments (12)

Tablet-Addicted Kids Spawn Car Trend

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There's a trend we've been starting to pick up on recently, and it's more apparent than ever here at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit running through Sunday. Automotive manufacturers are starting to pick up on the fact that our kids, from toddlers to teens, are tablet addicted.

More 2015 Detroit Auto Show Coverage

Expensive entertainment systems built into cars' rear seats are being replaced by universal tablet holders like those in the Volvo XC90 and Kia Sedona. Rear-seat passengers can mount their own personal technology devises into these brackets, secured on the back of the front seats. Music, movies, games, apps and research for homework (as if) are just an arm's length away.

By Kristin Varela | January 19, 2015 | Comments (0)

2015 Consumer Electronics Show: What You Need to Know

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Amid the flurry of sales reports and state-of-the-industry analyses, automakers had plenty to say at an event that's becoming more intertwined with the auto industry each year: the 2015 International Consumer Electronics Show.

Related: Chrysler Debuts Updated Uconnect Access System

This year, autonomous cars and wearable technology were high on the docket. The show runs Jan. 6-9 in Las Vegas, but we pulled together all the news that should matter for car shoppers.

By Kelsey Mays | January 7, 2015 | Comments (0)

Chrysler Debuts Updated Uconnect Access System

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Detroit's North American International Auto Show may start next week, but there's another big show making news. Automakers are showing off their latest tech advances this week at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. Fiat Chrysler Automobiles unveiled the latest version of its Uconnect Access app-based connected-car system.

Related: More Chrysler News

New features include Vehicle Finder, Send Destination to Vehicle, Vehicle Health Report and Vehicle Health Alert. Aside from the added functionality, the app has been redesigned as well; FCA says that aside from a whole new look, the app is faster and more intuitive.

By Jennifer Geiger | January 6, 2015 | Comments (0)

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