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8 posts from September 2013

September 27, 2013

Are you Celebrating National Plug In Day on September 29?

NATIONAL-PLUG-IN-DAYDid you know?  3rd Annual National Plug In Day is this weekend, and green car enthusiasts across the nation will be celebrating the electrification of the automobile with special events in their area, as well as at a main event that will be happening in the nation’s capital.

National Plug In day is celebrated this year on Saturday, September 29th, and is intended to introduce people to the benefits of driving electric vehicles; highlighting the fun, clean-air benefits, and cost-savings of electric cars with ride and drives, rallies, tailgate parties, charging-infrastructure demos, EV-readiness awards, and more.

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September 24, 2013

Car Games: Volkswagen replaces Punch Buggy with SmileDrive

Volkswagen-smiledrive-app-smilescoreIf you would prefer NOT to be punched in the arm by passengers in the car whenever they spy a Beetle on the road, then you might prefer the modern, high-tech version of the game -- called SmileDrive -- playable on your smart phone. (Sorry Apple fans, the game is not yet available for iPhone users.)

Whether you call it “Slug Bug,” “Punch Buggy,” or “Slug Dub,” the free app from Volkswagen and powered by Google has re-imagined the classic car game, automatically allowing people to collect “punches” each time they encounter another Volkswagen also using the app. But the app also does much more than that!

Aside from preventing bruises, SmileDrive is designed to maximize fun on every trip, by connecting to a user’s car—any kind of car—through Bluetooth® wireless technology, to run in the background and track data for both everyday commutes and road trips. (Drivers cannot interact with the app, nor receive any notifications, while the car is in motion.) Then, after a drive is complete, the app uses factors like location, distance, time, and weather to deliver users their Smile Score and awards them with virtual bumper “stickers” for unique accomplishments earned while out and about.  (I wish I had installed the app for my 3400-mile summertime roadtrip across the southwest United States!)

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September 20, 2013

Donate $10 to Blind Zone Education before September 26 and Groupon Grassroots will add $20

Kidsandcars-backovers-62-children-behind-chevrolet-suburbanMost of us love to score a good Groupon deal, and now there's a great reason to love Groupon even more: Make a donation to through the Groupon website before Wednesday September 26, 2013, and for every $10 tax-deductible donation, will receive an additional $20 from matching sponsors.

That means each $10 Groupon purchased actually equals a $30 donation to!!
Donate now at: 

Every year, thousands of children are hurt or die because a driver moving very slowly in reverse did not see them. The dollars raised by will be used to provide safety professionals with BlindZone Education Kits that help drivers become aware of exactly how large and dangerous the blindzone behind their vehicle is and what they can do to eliminate this danger. 

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September 17, 2013

It Is NEVER Okay To Drive With An Unbuckled Child!

General_Motors-CarSeat-CheckIt’s National Child Passenger Safety Week (September 15-21), and Safe Kids Worldwide has revealed that one in four parents have driven without buckling up their children. 

WHAT? The national survey, funded as part of a $2 million grant from the General Motors Foundation, asked more than a thousand parents and caregivers of children ages 10 and under if it was acceptable for a child to ride unrestrained in a vehicle in certain circumstances. Examples given included driving a short distance, if the car or booster seat was missing, during overnight travel, as a reward for the child, or if they chose to hold the child in their lap. 

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September 12, 2013

“RUSH” and “Snake and Mongoose” -- Finally: Realistic Racing Movies

Erin-Evernham-headshotBy Erin Evernham

“RUSH” and “Snake and Mongoose” are two upcoming racing related movies that are definitely worth seeing. It seems Hollywood has finally shown our sport in a realistic light.

“Days of Thunder” may be one of my all-time favorite movies but, goodness, its racing scenes lacked a lot of credibility. “Talladega Nights,” which did make me laugh a few times, did absolutely no justice to our sport and “Driven”... well, that movie was just way too farfetched for my taste. 

So these two movies, which I have had the privilege of seeing already at advanced screenings, make my racing heart smile. They may not be 100% accurate but the racing scenes were very believable to me. Both movies told great stories about athletes facing rivalry, fear, fame, competition, and personal battles.

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September 10, 2013

Automotive Icon, Cal Worthington, Passes at 92

Cal-worthington-remembering-from-the-archivesCal Worthington, the quintessential car salesman best remembered for television commercials starring his “dog” Spot, has passed away at the age of 92. Worthington died Sunday after watching football with family at his ranch north of Sacramento.

While I can’t say that he did anything to encourage my career as an automotive journalist, I can say that Cal Worthington and his “dog” Spot were frequent guests in our livingroom, as his commercials ran frequently on local channels when I was growing up in Southern California in the 1970s and 1980s.  His “dog” Spot was never a dog; every commercial featured a different animal, from lions, tigers, and bears (oh my!) to skunks, octopi, and pigs.

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September 04, 2013

Top Tips for Tailgating

Thinkstock-tailgating-200361156-00sLabor Day has passed, summer vacations are over, and the kids are back in school; while it might seem that all the fun is behind us, football fans welcome a new season of their favorite sport, celebrating many weekend games in the parking lot of their team’s arena.

Whether you're a superfan or just love one, the start of the season means it's time for tailgating. And for those who love to entertain, tailgating is almost as much a sport as the game itself. 

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September 02, 2013

BMW i3: Sustainability Can Be Sexy

Alternative transportation
BMW i3: The new reality

BMW chose New York City for the world debut of their visionary vehicle, the i3. With 8,175,13 citizens, NYC fits the profile of a densely populated urban metropolis where electric cars are ideal for short commutes.

Worldwide studies carried out as part of BMW’s Project i involved more than a thousand participants travelling by car over 12.5 million miles. Results showed that the average daily distance covered was around 30 miles.

“In 2025, 8 billion people will live on the planet; 4.5 billion will live in cities. There will be 1.8 billion cars on the roads.  In order to address the personal mobility needs of people living within the world’s most densely populated urban city centers, BMW created BMW i – the sustainable new sub-brand whose mission is to develop visionary vehicles and mobility services.” 
~ BMW Project i


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