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Photo Credit: JanMagnussen.dk LONG BEACH, Calif. (April 18, 2015) – It was a good day Saturday at Long Beach for Chevrolet and the Corvette Racing programs. Antonio Garcia and Jan Magnussen raced their way to a third-place GT Le Mans (GTLM) finish in Corvette Racing’s No. 3 Chevrolet Corvette C7.R. The 2014 Long Beach class [...]

Mini Augmented Vision

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There’s much hemming and hawing in automaker and supplier circles about the future of infotainment. Proof of that is the unending stream of press releases we receive from app developers, OEMs, mobile carriers, aspiring technology consultants, and various conferences all relating to in-cabin technology. But the fact of the matter is, unless it works easily, intuitively, and consistently on the go, it’s next to worthless to you as a driver. Despite the premium pricing of its products, Mini has historically lagged in the segment, until recently relying on a woefully inferior interface derived from parent BMW’s iDrive system. Now Mini is hoping to leap ahead with the aid of a prototype augmented-reality system unveiled today at the Shanghai auto show. Last week, the company invited us to San Francisco for a demonstration.

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Mini Augmented Vision

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Undeterred by the cratering of Google’s Glass project and bullish on the future of face-mounted wearables, Mini’s Augmented Vision relies on a pair of glasses that turn the wearer into a caricature of an Elvis/Bono hybrid—as if that particular mix weren’t caricature enough. Stand in front of a wall-mounted sign, and by moving one’s head just so, closing one eye, then the other, and taking steps forward and back, the glasses’ 720p stereoscopic screens should be aligned and primed to deliver a seamless AR experience.

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Mini Augmented Vision

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Mini had three pairs of glasses to choose from, in various color combos. We chose the pair that made us look the most Dangeresque. Once we had them configured, BMW had us eye a couple of posters. The system asked us if we wanted to attend the event that wasn’t sold out. Upon answering in the affirmative, we were presented with the time to walk to our vehicle, the drive time to a parking spot, and finally, the time it would take to walk to our final destination from the car.

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Mini Augmented Vision

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All well and good, pretty sci-fi, and rather useful. Then we got in the car, the screen in front of us began moving, driving directions appeared, and we instinctively tilted our head back slightly to get our eyes up and on the road. At which point the bottom half of the display was cut off. An ironic flaw given that Mini’s parent company also builds motorcycles.

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Mini Augmented Vision

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During our simulated drive, we received a simulated text from a simulated friend. A punch of the steering-wheel-mounted “OK” button confirmed that we were interested in listening to it. Simple, effective, and easy. Meanwhile, the bulky glasses were already starting to weigh rather heavily on our skull.

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Mini Augmented Vision

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The most beneficial part of the whole exercise came upon arrival at our “destination.” While virtually parallel-parking, a glance toward the passenger doorsill showed a view of the wheel in relation to the curb, which should save owners plenty of coin in rim repair/replacement. Mini, exhibiting typical cloying Mini-ness, calls this “X-Ray view.” It can also highlight potentially invisible objects the driver would do well to avoid during traffic maneuvers, such as loose pets, errant basketballs, and drunk college kids rolling in the gutter.

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Mini Augmented Vision

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When we asked about regulatory issues, noting that people had been cited for wearing Google Glass while driving, Mini’s reps shrugged it off and suggested that as an automaker, regulatory quagmires were one of their core competencies and that they’ll sell it on the safety benefits.

--- 2014 Mini Cooper S Hardtop Automatic – Instrumented Test -Comparison Test: Ford Fiesta ST vs. Fiat 500 Abarth, Mini Cooper S Hardtop-Mini Full Coverage: News, Photos, Specs, Reviews, and More---

While some of the AR stuff is legitimately of use, we feel that adding car-specific glasses to an infotainment system adds another failure point in the chain. The potential benefits of AR in keeping the driver’s eyes on the road ahead are very real, but our gut sense is that it won’t find mass acceptance until smart glasses become nearly as entrenched in our daily lives the way our smartphones have. In the interim, we’d be pleased if Mini saw fit to plug the X-Ray view system into the dash-mounted screen.

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Each week, Criswell Chevrolet’s Mike Furman delivers new Corvette Stingrays and Z06s to his customers who come from all parts of the country to work with the nation’s top Corvette seller. In this week’s dispatch, pictures of Corvette Z06s and Stingrays sold by Mike are shared by their new owners. A Canadian couple makes a [...]

Mercedes-Benz GLC coupe concept
-Mercedes-Benz is calling the Concept GLC Coupe a “near-production standard study,” but you can call it the GLC Coupe with snazzy wheels. Just as Mercedes debuted the fastback “coupe” version of the bigger GLE-class before the square-back SUV model, Mercedes is previewing its GLK-class replacement in a sexier body style before showing us the SUV model. And as with the GLE Coupe, which translated nearly verbatim from concept to production, this car is will be produced much as you see it here. (The SUV version won’t look much different, either, so long as you can envision a squared-of rump.) READ MORE ››

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Free Review:

If you are looking to increase your insurance coverage on your vehicle, the insurance company may require you to obtain a certified auto appraisal.   If you have a custom car, truck or motorcycle, the insurance company won't pay you more than book value. Get a stated value appraisal to cover money spent customizing your vehicle.  Have a collector or exotic vehicle?  Book value does not justify the vehicle value  In case you are in an accident, have a certified auto appraisal done.  Contact us today for a Free Evaluation!

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Pinnacle Auto Appraisers Will Professionally Evaluate Your Vehicle!

FLEET VEHICLES:

Pinnacle Auto Appraisers prides itself on quickly handling large amounts of vehicles. We routinely handle fleets for: vans, trucking, limousine, shuttle, buses, SUV, corporate, taxi, dealership, clubs, rental, and delivery companies. We handle large national chains, small family businesses, and car club appraisal(s).

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Pinnacle Auto Appraisers Offers Quality Fleet Appraisals!

Accident:

If you were involved in an accident and the insurance company deemed your vehicle a total loss, we can help.  If you don't agree with the insurance company's offer, you have the right to hire an independent certified appraiser to determine the actual cash value of your vehicle.  Our certified appraiser will go to the vehicle location, conduct the inspection and complete a certified total loss appraisal on your vehicle.  Total loss claims do require a negotiation phase which we will take care of for you at no additional charge!

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Let Pinnacle Auto Appraisers Help After A Crash!

CAR CLUBS & REPAIR SHOPS:

Our Appraisers are repair shop and car club fanatics! We enjoy when local and national clubs invite us out to their local gatherings. We recently offered an appraisal discount that lasted all month. We love everything that has an engine and drives on the road. We do our best to help everyone in need of an appraisal!

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Pinnacle Auto Appraisers - We Value Car Clubs and Repair Shops!