Category: Hands Free

Apple Carplay Gives A New Meaning To Hands-Free

The number of people using their phones while driving is ever increasing, whether it’s taking calls, sending a Whatsapp or even recording a Snapchat. This is not good, but unfortunately, it will never be completely stopped. Since we use our devices all the time, when we step into our cars, it has become second nature to carry on using our phones for whatever reason. Cars have also become easier to drive nowadays and in a sense require less attention from the driver, due to various driver aids. These factors make using a device while driving something more difficult stop. We have all heard the saying,“If you can’t beat them, join them”. Apple has adopted this phrase with their new CarPlay feature in IOS 9. Apple says that Car-Play is a smarter and safer way to use your iPhone in the car. How so?

How does Apple CarPlay work?

Apple CarPlay takes the features you want to use while driving and puts them into your car display. Not every app is supported, but things like Maps, Phone, Messages and Music are all available in an IOS Style layout. CarPlay even allows you to use the knobs, dials and buttons in your vehicle for ease of use of the application. Siri is also available to control functions, so you don’t need to take your eyes off the road. You can even have your messages read out aloud, and you can reply using your voice.

Other available apps included in CarPlay are podcasts, audio books, Spotify and other internet radio applications. Social media apps are not currently supported, maybe they will introduce Facebook and Twitter updates through Siri at some point, but we can’t imagine Instagram ever getting compatibility. The whole point here is to help you keep your eyes on the road, and since Instagram is an image-based app, it’s probably not going to happen.

Well done to Apple for trying to come up with a solution for a problem that causes many unneeded deaths every year. Obviously, the best option is to have no phone at all while driving but that unlikely for many. This system merges the two worlds between your phone and your infotainment system, which is better than a simple hands-free system because it stops you from looking down and engaging with your cell phone.

How to connect with Apple CarPlay?

The connection is very easy, simply plug in your iPhone to the USB port or connect via Bluetooth. Head over to “Settings” – “General” and press the “CarPlay” option, and voila, your car and IOS are now one flesh. So how do you know if your car is supported? See the image below to see if your vehicle is part of the supported list.  If it’s not, you may also have support if you use an Alpine, Kenwood or Pioneer after-market System.

Remember guys as handy as these systems are, the best distraction is no distraction. Situations on the road can change in a split second, so keeping your phone off and keeping your eyes where they belong is always the best option. Travel safe and Happy Tech Tuesday.

Connect, Stow and Drive.

Is a Tweet, Text or Instagram post worth it?

Cell phones are a part of our lives, they are like a vital organ that we can’t do without. When we work, socialize, gym, go to bed and wake up, our phones are with us. There are also with us when we drive unfortunately. Using a phone whilst driving has been illegal for as long as we can remember, but it doesn’t stop the vast majority of us from texting, Whatsapping, calling or emailing while operating a vehicle. We have all been guilty of this offence at some point.

The chances of a person being caught using a cell phone while driving is very slim and similarly, we may think the chances of a serious accident are also pretty slim. What we may not realize is that 1 out of every 4 accidents are caused because of mobile phone usage. Take note of the true story below:

A delivery worker was driving on a busy highway called the A500 ,which is located in the Midlands area of the UK. While he was travelling in the outside lane at a speed of 60 mph (around 120 kph), the driver failed to notice the traffic ahead slowing down and stopping. Why? He was using his mobile phone. The Outcome? Sadly the delivery van ploughed full speed into a BMW 5 Series that was stopped in the traffic. This then started a “domino effect” and caused the BMW to hit the car in front and the forces killed the driver. The driver was not the only one affected, though, his wife of twenty-four years lost her husband and their two children lost their father.

The driver of the van didn’t wake up that day thinking he would ruin not only his own life but also the life of four other people. All this happened from a simple “mistake”. The van driver was not an evil person, he did not mean to kill anyone but he broke the law, and he had to face the consequences. A split second can change lives on the road and by using your mobile phone whilst driving, you are putting not only yourself but others in danger too.

If you have a Bluetooth system, which is very common in new vehicles today, then please set it up before you start to drive and stow your phone in a place out of sight. This will ensure that you’re not tempted to use it. Emails and messages can wait until you finish your journey and if it’s very urgent, you have the hands free system available to communicate. On long distance journeys, you can make regular stops at a fuel station if you feel the need to check your phone.

Why take the chance of ruining multiples lives for a message, a tweet or an Instagram post? You could be that driver that we spoke about in that story. Nobody wants an outcome like that weighing on their mind for the rest of their life. So please, connect it, stow it and drive safe Motorists

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Opel Corsa Sport: Baby boy racer.

We wish Opel’s reasoning as to why the Corsa Sport has wind-up windows in the rear was because of weight saving. That’s the only logical explanation we can think of, even if we know it’s not true. At least with that explanation, boy racers can use it as a bragging tool at meet-ups when the topic comes up.

It was a very annoying thing to realise, mainly because by the time we realised it, we had talked up the Corsa Sport so much to our peers. How great it drives, how economical it is and how well built it is are but a few of the praises we gave it until someone piped up and said “why doesn’t it have electric windows in the back?”. Then silence occurred, “your face has no electric windows in the back!” we wanted to say, but that wouldn’t have worked, so we had no come back.

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That’s the thing about the new Corsa’s, they’re very good so you end up growing too attached to them. Maybe it’s the looks, maybe it’s the comfortable hugging seats or maybe it’s because as a normal day to day car, it does such a fine job even when you’re driving like a civilised person. The Corsa Sport is not the fastest thing to come out of the brand and competitors like the Suzuki Swift Sport provide a better cheap thrill. But, thrills only last so long, as long as you have an empty road which isn’t often nowadays.

So it’s when you’re doing everyday things that you come to really appreciate the Corsa Sport. It’s when you need to overtake, or when that more luxurious German brand tries to move you off the right lane, but you decide to show him/her that you too can keep up. It’s also when you look at it, and those Bi-Xenon light’s give you a wink and that front end smiles at you. It’s then that you appreciate that this is a good all round package, the same feeling we had with Sunny, the Sport’s 1.0-litre sibling.

Maybe that’s why Opel didn’t bother with the rear electric windows and instead gave us PDC, reverse camera, City Steering and touch screen infotainment as standard. They knew that as irritating as it will be, it won’t be a make or break factor. Maybe it will be for non-boy-racers who knows? But for those that enjoy some fun behind the wheel, they can just say it’s for “weight saving”. So if you’re into a little excitement but at the same time want a good looking, quality car, then perhaps the 110 kW from the Sport’s 1.4-litre turbo is for you. At just under R260 000, it’s well priced for a junior hot(ish) hatch.

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