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New Way To Guide A Car: With Your Eyes, Not Hands

Another evolution in car technology – a group of researchers in Germany “have developed a new technology that lets drivers steer cars using only their eyes. ”  An article on NPR.com goes into more detail.

Associated Press photo - Spirit of Berlin

Scientist David Latotzky of Freie Universitaet Berlin sits on the passenger seat of a car turning the steering wheel with his eye movements in Berlin, Friday, April 23, 2010. The scientists developed the software "EyeDriver" to steer their car "Spirit of Berlin" just by movement of the eyes.

AP Photo from NPR - The Spirit of Berlin

Scientist David Latotzky of Freie Universitaet Berlin sits in a car turning the steering wheel with his eye movements in Berlin, Friday, April 23, 2010. The scientists developed the software “EyeDriver” to steer their car “Spirit of Berlin” just by the movement of the eyes.

“Raul Rojas, an artificial intelligence researcher at Berlin’s Free University, said Friday that the technology tracks a driver’s eye movement and, in turn, steers the car in whatever direction they’re looking.”

Pretty amazing.  But is this technology going to be commercially viable?

it remains unclear when — or if — the technology will be commercialized as questions about safety and practicability abound: What about looking at a cute girl next to the road for a few seconds? Not to mention taking phone calls or typing a text while driving.

But the researchers have an answer to distracted drivers: “The Spirit of Berlin” is also an autonomous car equipped with GPS navigation, scores of cameras, lasers and scanners that enable it to drive by itself.

Whether it’s commercially available to the general population, or just to people with certain physical disabilities, is yet to be seen.  But it could certainly have a profound impact (no pun intended) on certain people’s lives!

Stay tuned for more, or feel free to visit our showroom at Select Luxury Cars.

Categories: Car Tech, Industry News

Featured Vehicle: 2008 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 Cobra Convertible

April 30, 2010 1 comment

Here’s another beauty for you muscle car fanatics out there.  Far more than just the “average” Mustang, which I happen to like a lot anyway, this 2008 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 Cobra Convertible is a real stunner and won’t leave you disappointed. It’s in showroom condition inside and out, black with a charcoal interior, manual transmission with a 5.4L DOHC supercharged & intercooled V8 engine.  After the video slide show, there are lots more details below.

This beauty is currently at our Atlanta used sports car dealership at 985 Cobb Parkway South, Marietta, GA 30060, near Atlanta, GA.  To arrange a test drive, or to buy it and have it delivered to your door, call us at 770-421-0070 or toll free 1-800-283-7224.  Or you can email us at info@selectluxury.com.

  • Exterior: Black

    2008 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 Convertible front view closeup

    2008 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 Convertible front view closeup

  • Interior: Charcoal
  • Stock #: 10529A
  • Engine: 5.4L 32-valve DOHC supercharged & intercooled V8 engine
  • Carfax Highlights
    • No Accidents / Damage Reported to CARFAX
    • No Airbag Deployment Reported to CARFAX
    • Vehicle Qualifies for the CARFAX Buyback Guarantee
    • No Structural/Frame Damage Reported to CARFAX
    • No Manufacturer Recalls Reported to CARFAX
    • No Indication of an Odometer Rollback
    • CARFAX 1-Owner
    • No Total Loss Reported to CARFAX
  • VIN #: 1ZVHT89S085140364
  • Transmission: Manual
  • Mileage: 6,323

*CARFAX CERTIFIED!

*ONE PREVIOUS OWNER!

*MUSTANG SHELBY GT500 COBRA CONVERTIBLE!

*LOCAL TRADE IN!

*ALL SERVICE RECORDS!

*SHAKER 1000 SOUND SYSTEM!

2008 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 Convertible rear view

2008 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 Convertible rear view

*XM SATELLITE RADIO!

*IN-DASH 6-DISC CD CHANGER!

*REAR SPOILER!

*LEATHER SEATS!

*MUSTANG COBRA CAR COVER!

*SHOWROOM CONDITION INSIDE AND OUT!

2008 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 Convertible passenger front view

2008 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 Convertible passenger front view

Included Optional Equipment

  • SHAKER 1000 AUDIO SYSTEM[918]
    • Original Price:$1295.00
    • AM/FM Stereo
    • CD Changer
    • CD Player
    • MP3 Player
    • Premium Sound System
  • 6-SPEED TREMEC MANUAL TRANSMISSION[44E]
    • 6-Speed M/T
  • SIRIUS SATELLITE RADIO[50S]
    • Original Price:$195.00
    • Satellite Radio

Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 Convertible Standard Equipment

EPA FUEL ECONOMY RATINGS

  • City 15/hwy 21 (5.4L supercharged engine/6-speed manual trans) (2007)
  • City 14/hwy 20 (5.4L supercharged engine/6-speed manual trans)

    2008 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 Convertible steering wheel and dash view

    2008 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 Convertible steering wheel and dash view

EXTERIOR

  • Unique aluminum hood w/functional air vents
  • Black cloth convertible top
  • Unique color-keyed front/rear fascia
  • Unique rear spoiler
  • GT500 side stripes
  • Unique upper & lower grilles
  • Complex reflector halogen headlamps
  • Front fog lamps
  • Dual power exterior mirrors
  • Variable intermittent windshield wipers

INTERIOR

  • Unique leather sport bucket seats w/cobra logo-inc: 6-way power adjustable driver seat w/power lumbar, increased lateral support

    2008 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 Convertible trunk lock cobra closeup

    2008 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 Convertible trunk lock cobra closeup

  • Center console-inc: armrest, storage bin
  • Front color-keyed floor mats w/driver retention hook
  • Leather-wrapped tilt steering wheel w/red stitching, unique thumb pads
  • Brushed-aluminum accented (6) gauge instrument cluster-inc: boost gauge, message center, SVT graphics
  • My Color customizable 125-color interior lighting system
  • Power windows
  • Power door locks
  • Remote keyless entry
  • Speed control
  • Active anti-theft system-inc: perimeter/intrusion alarms
  • Air conditioning
  • Rear window defroster
  • Shaker 500 audio system-inc: AM/FM stereo w/6-disc in-dash CD changer, MP3 player, (6) speakers
  • Aluminum accented air register vents
  • (2) cupholders
  • (2) power points
  • Front door map pockets
  • Soft vinyl door trim inserts
  • Scuff plate w/bright “SVT” insert
  • Header-mounted dome lamp
  • Illuminated entry
  • Unique shift knob w/leather shift boot & parking brake handle
  • Tire pressure monitoring system
2008 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 Convertible engine closeup

2008 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 Convertible engine closeup

MECHANICAL

  • 5.4L 32-valve DOHC supercharged & intercooled V8 engine
  • 6-speed Tremec manual transmission
  • Limited slip differential
  • Traction control
  • Rear wheel drive
  • SVT-tuned MacPherson strut front suspension w/unique dampers & coil springs
  • SVT-tuned live-axle rear suspension w/unique dampers & coil springs
  • P255/45ZR18 performance front tires & P285/40ZR18 performance rear tires
  • 18″ x 9.5″ GT500 unique bright machined wheels w/SVT center caps
  • Wheel locking kits
  • “Fix a flat” flat tire inflation kit
  • Pwr rack & pinion steering
  • Pwr vented 4-wheel disc brakes w/Brembo front rotors & calipers
  • 4-wheel anti-lock braking system (ABS)
  • Stainless steel tuned X-pipe design dual exhaust

NOTE

  • **ALL STANDARDS ARE 2008 UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED**

SAFETY

  • 4-wheel anti-lock braking system (ABS) w/electronic brake force distribution (EBD)
  • Second generation front air bag system for driver & front passenger
  • Seat mounted side-impact airbags for driver & front passenger
  • 3-point active safety belts in all seating positions
  • Front seat Belt-Minder
  • LATCH (lower anchors & tethers for children) system on rear outboard seats
Or visit our eBay Motors site.

Will the iPad Kill In-Car Entertainment Systems?

Apple takes a swing at car manufacturers now, whether they intended to or not.  With the base cost for an iPad costing so much less than most of the auto makers’ DVD options, will we see fewer sales of vehicles with DVD systems included, or will the automakers partner up with Apple and others to offer the iPad (or a competing product) as the in-car entertainment system of choice?   And could this expand to airlines, trains, subways and more?

Apple iPad front and back

Apple iPad front and back - image from ZDNet.com

In an article in the Chicago Tribune, David Thomas of Cars.com says, the iPad “could prove to be a serious problem for automakers that charge a ransom for rear entertainment systems.”  It costs much less than most of the DVD in-car entertainment center options that most car manufacturers are currently offering. Ford‘s Flex crossover has an option for their Dual INViSiON (TM) DVD Headrests that sells for $1,995, while the Land Rover‘s RES (Rear Seat Entertainment) option is $2,500 and the Acura’s DVD Rear Entertainment System with a 9-inch screen and three wireless headsets goes for about $1,900.

2008 Land Rover Range Rover Sport Rear Entertainment System

2008 Land Rover Range Rover Sport Rear Entertainment System

Compare this to $500-$600 or so for an Apple iPad, and you can get two of those for far less than the manufacturer-installed (or even dealer-installed) entertainment center package.

They both have their advantages: the in-car entertainment systems are weather-tested to work from -5 to 160 degrees Fahrenheit and being less prone to breakage.  Plus you don’t have to install software to convert DVDs to iTunes then be able to watch them, and iPads in plain view in a car would be a tempting target for thieves.  The iPad is cheaper, portable, and has more functionality including email, office applications, and more.

What do you think?  Which would you choose and why?  Feel free to express your opinion in the comments section below.

Speeding Tickets from Space?

April 22, 2010 1 comment

Another new technology is being tested to reduce speeding.  For those of us who have a heavy foot and tend to drive fast, this isn’t good news.  Radar detectors and other such devices may become obsolete if the “Speedspike” system takes off.   The good news is that it doesn’t seem to be able to handle short bursts of speed (at least not yet), but can measure accurate speeds over long distances.  So if you’re planning on driving that BMW Convertible or Maserati convertible on your next road trip, enjoy the speed while  you can.

From a post on Slashdot and an article on the UK news site The Telegraph, here are some more details:

Satellites being used to catch speeders as a test in the UK

Satellites being used to catch speeders as a test in the UK - image from Telegraph.co.uk

A new kind of speed camera that uses satellites to measure average speed over long distances is being tested in Britain. The “Speedspike” system combines plate reading technology with a global positioning satellite receiver to calculate average speed between any two points in the area being monitored. From the article: “Details of the trials are contained in a House of Commons report. The company said in its evidence that the cameras enabled ‘number plate capture in all weather conditions, 24 hours a day.’ It also referred to the system’s ‘low cost’ and ease of installation.” I can’t wait to see the episode of MythBusters where they try to avoid getting a speeding ticket from a satellite.

At millions of dollars a pop, satellites aren’t exactly “affordable” but I suppose that the increased revenue from all the new speeding tickets, without the costs of adding more policemen, could make this pay for itself pretty quickly.

License number plate capture regardless of weather conditi0ns…wow. That’s pretty amazing.

Happy and safe driving!

Select Luxury Cars 985 Cobb Parkway Marietta, GA 30060 770-421-0070

Comic Relief for Friday: Mercedes-Benz E-Class Commercial

April 16, 2010 1 comment

I’m not sure where or when this originally aired, but here’s a funny commercial on YouTube for the Mercedes-Benz E-Class.  We have 4 beautiful pre-owned Mercedes E-Class cars in stock, by the way!

“Beauty is nothing without brains”

Used Mercedes-Benz cars are consistently among our top sellers here at Select Luxury Cars.  Our dealership in Marietta, GA currently has about 30 different preowned Mercedes-Benz in stock.  For inquiries or to purchase, visit us at 985 Cobb Parkway South, Marietta, GA 30060, call 770-421-0070 or email info@selectluxury.com

We look forward to helping you.

Toward a New Land Speed Record: the North American Eagle “Turbojet Car”

We found a really interesting article on XConomy Seattle and just had to share it with you.  Ed Shadle, 68, and Keith Zanghi, 55, partners and co-owners of the North American Eagle, are nearing the end of “a more than 11-year journey to build the fastest land vehicle in the world. The goal: 800 miles per hour.”  That’s faster than the speed of sound.  According to Wikipedia, “In dry air at 20 °C (68 °F), the speed of sound is 343 meters per second (1,125 ft/s). This equates to 1,236 kilometers per hour (768 mph), or about one kilometer in three seconds and about one mile in five seconds.”

There are a number of competitors to break the current world record for land speed of 763.1 mph, held by Great Britain’s Richard Noble and Andy Green since 1997 with their ThrustSSC.  To set the new record and beat its competitors,

the North American Eagle will have to beat the previous record holders by one percent, meaning that it will need to be clocked at a speed of 770.7 mph for a distance of one mile, twice within a 60-minute time period (going in opposite directions). The two measurements, taken to ensure there is no tailwind advantage, are averaged to give a final speed. In order to push the Eagle even harder, the team has made a number of additions to the engine, including switching from a two-line to a four-line burner, allowing twice as much fuel to be pumped into the afterburner in the same amount of time, and adding about 2,000 more horsepower to the engine.

That, my friends, is FAST and POWERFUL.  Take a look at the North American Eagle:

The North American Eagle: Future World Land Speed Record Holder?

The North American Eagle: Future World Land Speed Record Holder?

The North American Eagle is a 56-foot-long tubular car built from the fuselage of a Lockheed F-104 Starfighter. Shadle and his crew are all based in Washington state.

For both Shadle and Zanghi, the thirst for speed was born out of a love of drag racing at an early age. And naturally, like any “typical teenager of that era,” as Shadle calls himself, drag racing led to more racing at higher speeds, and eventually, flight.

“For me, it started back when I was just a kid back in the late ‘40s, early ‘50s. My uncles were all back from World War II and they got into stock car racing—the old jalopies running on dirt tracks. And of course we used to go to the races, so I’d hang out in the pits and watch my hero uncles,” Shadle said. “My first drag race on a real strip was at an airport. We raced on Friday nights for 50 cents and you could race all night.” Later, in his 20s, Shadle joined the Air Force and developed his career as a pilot.

“Just like Ed, we all grew up with the space program. The Mercury astronauts were my heroes—the Gemini and Apollo [as well]. All I did was build model airplanes when I was a kid,” Zanghi said.

Ed Shadle in the cockpit of the North American Eagle, a contender for the world land speed record

Ed Shadle in the cockpit of the North American Eagle, a contender for the world land speed record

Wish them luck, success, and safety as they speed towards and through the sound barrier!  I wonder if they’ll play Coldplay’s “Speed of Sound” at the victory celebration party?  I think it’s appropriate.

We’ve got some fast exotic sports cars here at Select Luxury Cars in Marietta, GA (just Northwest of Atlanta), but nothing quite like this!  Still, you can call us at 770-421-0070 or visit our Atlanta luxury car showroom at 985 Cobb Parkway South, Marietta, GA 30060.  Or email us at info@selectluxury.com.

The Great Customer Reviews Keep on Coming

We’ve shared how one of the best parts of selling beautiful used luxury cars is hearing great feedback from happy clients.  This includes referrals, repeat customers, and sharing their experience with us on review sites and directories.  Here’s one that one of our clients posted on the Select Luxury Cars page on Bing Local:

Select Luxury Cars atlanta car dealership review on bing

Actual customer review on Bing for Select Luxury Cars

Doug really helped me throughout the sales process. I felt like I was helped into buying, not pushed into buying. All of my questions were answered, even a couple of questions I had after I bought my car. I’ve already sent a few friends here when they were looking for a quality used car at a fair price.

CarAficionadoMarch 8, 2010

And here’s one that another customer posted about us on the Select Luxury Cars profile page on CitySearch:

Luxury and cars at its BEST

by carguy5oh at Citysearch

Select Luxury Cars is a first class dealership. I have never been able to say about another dealership, that my entire experience was memorable and completely positive, but at select luxury cars I was welcomed and treated with respect and professionalism. All the staff were very friendly and accomodating. Finance was prearranged and a breeze. Car was an absolute dream and looked better in person then on any of the 30 plus photos. I felt as though I was a priority guest and not just another car being rotated off the lot. I highly recommend Select Luxury to ALL. They are a great organization and a fabulous group of people. They definately know their stuff and have it down to a T.

  • Pros: personal service and high standard of excellence
  • Cons: none

(he gave us a 5-star rating – thank you!)

If you’ve done business with us, would you mind taking a couple of minutes to help us help more people get their dream cars?  We’d certainly appreciate it!   Just visit the pages above and write an honest review about your experience with our luxury car dealership in Marietta, GA.  Or if you prefer to write a review on another site, we’d appreciate that too. Here are a couple to make it easy for you:

Select Luxury Cars on Yahoo! Local

Select Luxury Cars on Yelp

Select Luxury Cars on MerchantCircle

Select Luxury Cars on Kudzu.com

Or if you have another favorite, feel free to share your experience there.

We know that these days, people do their homework online before buying a used car, getting a car loan, or any other major purchase.  Having a number of customer reviews on several sites helps customers make a more educated decision about the company they’re about to do business with, and that also helps us keep our marketing and advertising costs down so we can keep our prices competitive.  It’s a win-win for everyone, so we thank you in advance for your time !

Or if you’d like to contact us directly, feel free to visit our Atlanta used luxury car dealership at 985 Cobb Parkway South. Marietta, GA 30060, mail us at P.O. Box 6397, Marietta, GA 30065-0397, call us at 770-421-0070 or toll free at 1-800-283-7224, or email info@selectluxury.com.

Like the guys at Bartle’s & Jayme’s used to say in their 1980’s ads, thanks for your support.  (Just don’t mix wine coolers or other alcohol with driving!)