Tuesday, April 28, 2015

GM's Connected Goals Leads to Oshawa Engineering Centre Investment

The economic climate in Oshawa has been rather unsettled in recent years. The Canadian city's long-time main employer General Motors has been mum on their plans for the Oshawa Assembly Plant as future production remains uncertain. Providing some relief to Oshawa, General Motors Canada today announced a significant investment into their Engineering Centre.

Pledging a new mandate related to the development of connected car systems, environmental and urban mobility solutions, General Motors Canada formalized plans that will lead to more than 100 new jobs in the software and controls engineering sector. Choosing their Canadian Engineering Centre as a innovation hub for future technologies in the automotive industry, General Motors Canada also fortified their support for the cold-weather testing facility in Kapuskasing, Ontario (located approximately a hundred kilometers north of Timmins). The Canadian Engineering Centre was established by the auto company in 2001.

Providing clarity to the purpose of the GM Canada Engineering Centre in Oshawa, president and managing director for the country's operations Steve Carlisle explained intentions across sector automotive development sectors. "Today, “connected car” technologies are enabling an exciting range of new safety, environmental and infotainment applications. We will also build upon our Centre’s expertise in the use of alternative fuels, light-weight and advanced materials which help improve fuel economy and offer customers new and more sustainable technology solutions.  And importantly, we will support GM’s future thinking in the critical area of urban mobility solutions." The field of connected vehicles received the greatest emphasize in the announcement. high-speed data links between vehicles and mobile networks appear to be an immediate focus for their new investment.

An announcement made in the presence of Ontario's Minister of Economic Development, Employment and Infrastructure Brad Duguid as well as the research chair of the University of Waterloo Dr. Amir Khajepour. The province of Ontario gains the satisfaction of an additional commitment from General Motors Canada; the second since the Chevrolet Equinox production was secured for the Ingersoll manufacturing complex. General Motors Canada's relationship with universities in the development of new technologies gave Dr. Amir Khajepour a reason to celebrate today's news. “As a long-time partner in research with GM Canada, we are delighted with this new focus on connected car and green technologies at GM Canada’s Engineering Centre.  This will provide our students and graduates with even more opportunities to apply their knowledge in an important and growing field of study and commercialization.” said Khajepour. In recent years, General Motors partnered with McMaster University in studying the degradation in lithium-ion batteries seeking prolongation. Director of GM Canada’s Engineering Centre Brian Tossan says, “We’re excited to reach out to Canada’s best and brightest minds about the new work and job opportunities opening up with GM Canada.  We are creating the future as part of GM’s global development of tomorrow’s automobiles.”  

Sunday, April 26, 2015

2016 Corvette Z06 Celebrates Motorsport Pride with C7.R Edition

When an auto company goes racing, they are always quick to draw correlations with the vehicle on the track influencing the product for the street. Sometimes it seems to be purely a reach of reasoning when an stock version of an automobile differs so greatly from the race version. NASCAR is arguably one example of this when a front-wheel drive Ford Fusion powered by four-cylinder or six-cylinder powerplants is represented by a rear-wheel drive, V-8-powered stock car. Audi often touts the technology residing in their prototype sports car as transitioning to the production cars but the R18 e-tron quattro racing in the FIA World Endurance Challenge incorporates far-out mechanics such as a hybrid electric turbocharger. Thankfully for those motorsport purists who want to see race cars resemble their showroom stock counterparts, the GT classes of sports car racing can be trusted in providing a faithful mix of street and track performance.

Since 1999, Corvette Racing has been a concerted effort to display America's longest-running sports car as a motorsport powerhouse. Through three generations of the Chevrolet Corvette, its reputation amongst the likes of Porsche, Aston Martin and Ferrari has flourished. For 2015, the latest Corvette C7.R race car has been off to a rolling start. Corvette Racing captured class honours at both the Rolex 24 at Daytona and the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring. This past week, Chevrolet announced plans to celebrate their race car with a limited edition street version called the C7.R Edition.

Consisting of a total of 500 cars, the 2016 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 C7.R Edition strongly resembles its competitive sibling with its special graphic package. Offered as a coupe or convertible, the Corvette Z06 C7.R Edition will be available in an all-new Corvette Racing Yellow Tintcoat or Black colouring. Carbon fiber hood section and a Spectra Gray Metallic colour is also applied to the front of the vehicle for appearance effect. Black-painted wheels with yellow accent strip and the Corvette Racing logo are found at the center of Michelin PS Cup 2 tires.

The two-passenger interior of the C7.R Edition Chevrolet Corvette Z06 employs the use of Jet Black leather, carbon fiber and sueded microfiber surfaces. Competition Sport Seats and Corvette Racing sill plates are also included. Each one of the 500 C7.R Edition Corvette Z06 will bear a numbered interior plaque wearing the vehicle's identification. VIN 700001 will indicate the start of the limited edition sports car line (Obviously, this seems to indicate the 2016 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 C7.R Edition could become the next Barrett-Jackson charity auction list). Another unique add-on for the C7.R Edition is an indoor car cover wearing C7.R graphics.

Aside from the special C7.R Edition treatment, the vehicle is the highly-equipped, high-powered 650-horsepower Corvette Z06. Propelled by a supercharged LT4 engine, the 2016 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 C7.R model features the go-fast technology of Performance Traction Management, electronic limited slip differential and the handling responsiveness of Magnetic Ride Control. The before-mentioned Michelin PS Cup 2 tires and Brembo carbon ceramic brakes are elements of the Z07 Performance Package.

This year will mark the 15th anniversary of Corvette Racing's first win. The maiden GTS class victory in September's Grand Prix of Texas as part of the 2000 American Le Mans Series (ALMS) has been the launching pad for the Chevrolet Corvette's notoriety as a sports car backed with a modern racing pedigree. As of the 2015 Grand Prix of Long Beach, Corvette Racing has captured a total of 88 class wins between ALMS and the Tudor United Sports Car Championship. Seven wins at the 24 Hours of Le Mans as well as an overall victory in the Rolex 24 at Daytona cements the purpose of celebrating the Chevrolet Corvette's racing history with the 2016 C7.R Edition.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Virtually Stunning: The McLaren 570S Sport Series App

With every generation, we find new ways to channel our love. From letters to telegrams to emails to social media, the methods of connection to objects of affection has changed but the emotions behind them remains a romance. Ever since the creation of the automobile, devotion to the vehicles has definitely adjusted to the growth of media technologies.

Earlier this month, supercar builder McLaren Automotive's debut of the 570S at the 2015 New York International Auto Show was accompanied by a free mobile application. For those unable to see the stunning 3.8-liter twin-turbocharged V-8 powered McLaren 650S in person, the app allows the 562-horsepower vehicle to literally leap off the page.

Added to Google Play marketplace on April 7th, the McLaren 570S Sport Series App allows Android smartphones and tablets allows supercar lovers the chance to explore the new vehicle in a unique, interactive way. The latest app is the third one created by McLaren to showcase their vehicles. Previously released on Google Play is programs for the McLaren P1 supercar as well as the 650S. I

Intrigued by the McLaren 570S Sport Series app, I have to confess it initially failed to deliver on its promise. Through the app, the McLaren 570S is profiled through two modes, 3D and AR (Augmented Reality). The 3D mode providing a rotating representation of the 570S supercar configurable immediately worked. By tapping the McLaren logo at the left-bottom of the touchscreen, the user can see the car in a variety of available colours (including a camouflage scheme), with the cabin doors open or with an X-Ray view. An airflow animation displays the McLaren 570S' aerodynamic profile at work. You can even change the colour of the brake calipers selecting between five options.

Components of the vehicle are highlighted as the McLaren 570S is moved around in the 3D view. Tapping on the sections provide relevant information on the 570S supercar providing details such as the engine used to propel the vehicle to a 204-mile per hour top speed potential.

When evaluating the app, the tricky part in the beginning was using the AR mode. To begin, you print out a sheet of paper from the McLaren website of the 570S. Once created, the intention is to point your Android mobile device's camera over the printed sheet. Expecting to see something amazing, I was originally disappointed when nothing happened. Fortunately, after contacting McLaren Automotive regarding the issue, I was informed a fix was provided to the app. As you can judge by the pictures in this article, the AR function of the McLaren 570S Sport Series app now works.

Admittedly being one of the first experiences personally to see a car in augmented reality, it was fun to pan around the McLaren 570S. The detail of the augmented reality was impressive with the McLaren nameplate on the front being clearly visible. Using the same configuration options provided in the 3D Mode, the augmented reality view on the McLaren 570S Sport Series app dramatically embellishes the cool factor. Opening the doors, it almost feels like you can step into the virtual 570S.
Let's face it, for most of us the McLaren 570S is a dream car that can not come reality on our driveway. Augmented reality this app given us a reasonable alternative to our imaginations.

While the AR Mode worked, the McLaren 570S Sport Series app lacked functionally of its camera button on my device. I needed to photograph the screen of my tablet in order to create the images for this post.

Overall, the test drive of the McLaren 570S Sport Series app has been a fulfilling experience. While it's no replacement to taking the wheel of the supercar and allowing it to soar from 0 to 62 miles per hour in 3.2 seconds, the app provided a memorable couple moments where a mere mortal could capture the beauty of this latest road car.

The McLaren 570S Sport Series app is available for download on Android devices through Google Play.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

First 2016 Cadillac CT6 Sale Happening at 2015 Barrett-Jackson Palm Beach Auction

Starting this Friday, the 2015 Barrett-Jackson auction in Palm Beach will move a host of classic, custom and rare vehicles. While the Palm Beach is not as glitzy and record-setting as the sale in Scottsdale, Barrett-Jackson's second auction in their yearly calendar does feature a docket of automobiles enthusiasts would crave. 1930s street rods, extravagant machines from the 1950s, muscle cars of the 1960s and the amusingly sought-after Volkswagen 21-window bus is represented at the exciting car sale held within the South Florida Fairgrounds.

As is customary with most Barrett-Jackson auctions, the Palm Beach event occurring between April 17th and the 19th will also feature a handful of purchasable items that will benefit more than the buyer and seller. Six charity listings will be part of the 2015 edition of the auction. Topping the charity auction list for Barrett-Jackson Palm Beach is the chance to purchase the first retail example of Cadillac's new flagship sedan, the 2016 CT6.

Registered as Lot #3001, the 2016 Cadillac CT6 luxury car is being auctioned-off to benefit the Karmanos Cancer Institute (a Detroit-based organization devoted to cancer research, care and education). Cadillac CT6 sale is will be the latest case of a new trend where General Motors has given first crack at their newest, hottest products. Early examples of Chevrolet Corvettes, Chevrolet Camaros and most recently a 2016 Cadillac CTS-V Sedan has been sold with proceeds going to charities. In January, the new CTS-V garnered $170,000 for the College of Creative Studies. The sale of the 2016 Cadillac CT6 will be interesting to note since the manufacturer retail price for the super luxury sedan has not been released. While the sedan itself is likely to be valued in the six-figure price range, charity auctions at Barrett-Jackson have always obtained higher than retail sale prices. The time of sale for the 2016 CT6 at Barrett-Jackson Palm Beach is slated for 4PM on Friday.

Other charity listings set for the 2015 Barrett-Jackson Palm Beach auction includes a 2015 Chevrolet Camaro COPO racecar being sold to support the Achilles Freedom Team, a Tony Stewart "Smoke" edition custom Chevelle helping the Darrell Gwynn Foundation, a custom 1996 GMC Sierra pickup truck benefiting the Boy Scouts of America, a 1969 Camaro Z/28 Retro-mod for the SPO Foundation For Hope and a pair of boats for the Foundation for Exceptional Warriors.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Toyota Announces Corolla Exodus from Cambridge to Mexico for 2019

2014 Toyota Corolla at 2014 Georgian College Auto Show

This year marks the 50th year that Toyota has operated in the Canadian marketplace. In the decades that followed the introduction of the Crown and Land Cruiser, the auto brand's line-up has become a common sight on Canadian roads. Since 1988, the Toyota corporate entity has been greatly integrated with Canada when they commenced production in Cambridge, Ontario of their popular Corolla. Today, it has been announced a new direction for their North American manufacturing that involves removing production of the Corolla from Canada by 2019.

Described corporately as a realignment of North American manufacturing, Toyota's movement of vehicle production will send production of the Corolla to a plant in Mexico. Part of a billion-dollar investment the Mexican state of Guanajuato, Toyota's commitment for producing the Corolla in the country follows a late-2012 decision to co-produce the Canada's Yaris and the United State's iA in Mexico on a platform shared with the Mazda's subcompact car, the Mazda2. The temptation of lower labour costs has led to many auto companies seeking to increase their profit margin in the country south of the United States.

The Toyota Corolla is currently produced in the North Plant facility part of the company's Cambridge manufacturing operations. While there will be not Corolla production after 2018 (concluding after what will be 30 years built in Canada), Toyota has no plans to completely forsake their Canadian workforce; in fact, the automaker has new plans for the Cambridge plant. Starting in 2019, the Cambridge plant will be focused in the production of a mid-sized high-value vehicle. The question is, for whom will these future vehicles be presenting a higher value?

Higher value likely means more expensive Toyota products from the Lexus line. Featuring similar engineering and technology as the Toyota brand vehicles, cars and crossovers of Lexus can sell for thousands more based greatly on the nameplate. In recent years, Toyota Motor Corporation has drawn production of some Lexus vehicles out its traditional base in Japan. In 2003, the RX premium crossover utility was first built in Cambridge's South Plant (the first time a Lexus product was assembled outside of Japan). Crossover vehicles have also been favoured for automotive production in Canada for the 21st century. In the past two years, production of the Ford Edge and the Chevrolet Equinox has been re-upped inside the province of Ontario.

Toyota's operations at the South Cambridge plant and the facility in Woodstock will continue as usual. South Cambridge currently devoted to the Lexus RX 350 and RX 450h while the Woodstock plant is building the popular Toyota RAV4.

Though Toyota has reaffirmed their commitment to producing vehicles in Canada, the automaker's decision is the second time in less than a year Canadian vehicle production appears directly affected by the emerging threat Mexico is in luring auto manufacturing. In October, Ford chose to invest $2-billion in Mexico as opposed to their Windsor Assembly Plant.

Shelby Turns SVT Raptor into Ferocious Baja 700

How many off-road adventurers have been waiting for the 2017 model year vehicles to roll onto dealership lots? The impending arrival the EcoBoost powered next-generation version of the F-150 based Ford Raptor the probably fueled the dreams of many who are attracted to the roads less traveled (or do not exist at all). The 2017 Raptor will be Ford's attempt to better its 411-horsepower off-roading pickup truck. Though Ford decided to create an all-new vehicle, Shelby American's Baja 700 conversion awakens the 2011 to 2014 model year 6.2-liter V-8 engined vehicle.

In addition to the purchase of a 2011 to 2014 model year Ford SVT Raptor, Shelby's Baja 700 equipment package equates to a $45,000 investment. Not the first Ford SVT Raptor given the Shelby treatment, the respected Las Vegas based company enters a bold new performance realm. Exhibiting the same tenacious quest sports car excellence as the AC Cobra and GT350 version of the Ford Mustang, the limited edition Baja 700 is the Super Snake equivalent to the SVT Raptor.

The centerpiece to the Shelby Baja 700 is a 2.9-liter Whippie supercharger bolted to the Ford 6.2-liter V-8 powerplant. Combined with enlarged throttle bodies and injectors, upgraded heat exchanger plus a Borla brand exhaust system, the Baja 700's name meaning becomes evident. Shelby opens up 700 horsepower from the eight-cylinder engine.

Receiving a Shelby paint scheme accented with the trademark contrasting racing stripes, the Baja 700's new high-performance image is enhanced by optional bumpers furnished by Rogue Racing. Fitted with 18-inch custom wheels, the Shelby Baja 700 gains BF Goodrich K02 all-terrain tires. Additional traits to the performance off-road truck includes special badging and markings.

Explaining Shelby's motivation for creating the Baja 700, the company's co-CEO of Shelby International and the CEO of Shelby American Joe Conway recalls the founder's heritage. “Carroll had a love for trucks and brought his high performance, ‘Texas style’ to the drawing board when he envisioned the Shelby Raptor. This special edition Shelby Baja 700 builds on that vision, as it was created to conquer any terrain.” said Conway.

When Shelby declares a vehicle as 'limited edition', they mean it. Only 50 Ford Raptor SVTs will be permitted to serve as donors to the Shelby Baja 700 modifications.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Primetime for Cadillac: 2016 CT6 Flagship Sedan is New Plateau for American Luxury

It has probably been decades since the Cadillac nameplate's presence on a large sedan meant world-class luxury. The large luxury sport utility Escalade allowed Cadillac to once again be seen as a mammoth showcase of the brand's premium taste but their flagship business has not seen the same level of enthusiasm. Part of complete revitalization of their business that included a brand-new line-up of vehicles and a new corporate headquarters located within New York City, Cadillac pledged to define the upper echelons of motoring with an all-new sedan for 2016. At the 2015 New York International Auto Show, the CT6's introduction is a big and bold presentation to the world that Cadillac is ready to take back its luxury crown with force.

The Cadillac CT6 had been billed as a six-digit priced super luxury sedan. From what is visible with its introduction at the 2015 New York International Auto Show, the car seems like a replacement to the XTS. Observing the recent moves by the General Motors luxury marque, the latest-generation Cadillac CTS grew in size and premium provenance and the ATS gained the entry-level market that the CTS had owned. Cadillac has pledged to keep producing the XTS until 2019 but appears to be uncomfortably inserted tightly between two higher promoted vehicles.

The 2016 CT6 is only two inches longer in overall length than the XTS but rests on a wheelbase that is 10.7 inches farther apart. Based on what Cadillac describes as an Omega platform, CT6's exterior shape is crafted by a series high-pressure aluminum castings. Resulting in a light but strong frame, the body structure has also been engineered with 50 million hours of computational analysis. Operating with rear-wheel drive or as an all-wheel drive sedan, the CT6 rides on a responsive suspension consisting a high-arm multilink short-long arm front suspension and a five-link independent rear suspension. Magnetic Ride Control will provide rapid adaptation to conditions to insure optimized control and comfort. Active Chassis System and active rear steering could also be equipped on the Cadillac CT6 delivering a new level of American luxury motoring.

Clearly influenced by the CTS sedan, the Cadillac CT6 employs a sharper approach at the luxury car brand's current design DNA. Featuring a ground-hugging appearance, elements of sportiness is infused with the vehicle's long hood and short deck lid. At the front, high-fashion, high-performance illumination provided by LED light blades are accompanied by Indirect Fire LED headlights is standard on the sedan. Welcoming riders, large passenger entry doors unveil themselves at the side of the CT6. Power hands-free operation is provided for the rear trunk lid.

While iconic Cadillac luxury vehicles have relied on the gallop of big V-8 engine, 21st century sophistication dictates a new wave of thinking in the way a 2016 model year premium vehicle carries itself. For the Cadillac CT6, a family of direct-injected powerplants is led by turbocharged four-cylinder engine.

The base 2.0-liter turbo engine generates 265 horsepower and arrives with standard rear-wheel drive. More potent than the four-cylinder, a naturally-aspirated 3.6-liter V-6 engine provides 335 horsepower to the luxury sedan's drive wheels. The 2016 Cadillac CT6 engine range will also debut a twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter V-6 estimated to produce 400 horsepower. Both six-cylinder engines propelling the 2016 CT6 are paired with an Active-on-demand all-wheel drive system. An eight-speed automatic transmission mates to the entire Cadillac CT6 engine line-up.

The Cadillac CT6 greets the motorist with royal-like intent at the moment concierge welcome lighting illuminates outside. Opening up the sedan's large entrance doors, the spacious sedan's interior is richly decorated by high-end materials. Leather, woods and carbon fiber is used to sculpt the cabin surroundings of the CT6. A Quadzone climate system equipped with an ionizing air purification system achieves the ideal riding environment for passengers while Cadillac's first application of the Bose Panaray audio system funnels stereo sound through 34 speakers. The CT6's audio system also blends elements and technologies from home as well as professional sound hardware. A 10.2-inch capacitive touch screen is located within the dash panel using Cadillac's CUE interface. Wireless phone charging and OnStar 4G LTE with Wi-Fi hotspot is also incorporated into the 2016 Cadillac CT6.

While the front passengers of vehicles usually receives the pampering of luxury comfort, high-end premium market cars like the 2015 Cadillac CT6 understands all passengers deserve optimized relaxation on the road. With 40.4 inches of rear legroom, second-row seating inside the CT6 offers an Articulating Rear Seat package. Providing adjustability with 3.3 inches of travel, lumbar adjustment, message and a heating/cooling feature, backseat of the Cadillac luxury sedan does not take a backseat in comfort. Retractable 10-inch diagonal screens is also integrated into the back portion of the front seats serving as the basis for a rear seat infotainment system.

While the CT6 is projecting an all-new image of Cadillac's luxury in the second decade of the 21st century, the sedan's interior features also integrates technology the luxury brand had abandoned after introducing it to automobiles. Night vision was originally offered on the 2000 Cadillac DeVille but was dropped several years later due to lack of popularity. Today, the amount of high-tech active safety technologies has indicated that Cadillac was perhaps so-far ahead of current automobile culture. Enhanced Night Vision incorporated on the 2016 Cadillac CT6 sedan detects heat signatures in low light environments and displays them in the drive information center.

Additional safety innovations available on the Cadillac CT6 includes a true 360-degree camera view, rear camera mirror, Advanced Park Assist and Pedestrian Collision Mitigation technology designed to greatly reduce the chance of an accident. A driver-selectable Auto Vehicle Hold system part of the CT6 sedan prevents vehicle creeping when the driver's foot is removed from the brake pedal at a stop. Finally, the Cadillac CT6 will offer an on-board video recording system that can operate to capture all 360 degrees around the vehicle.

Production of the Cadillac CT6 sedan at the Detroit-Hamtramck is slated to begin at the end of 2015. With Lincoln introducing their Continental Concept car at the New York International Auto Show with immediate plans to sell a new high-tech sedan by 2016, Cadillac will not be alone for long in the American super-luxury sedan category.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

My Personal Observation of World Autism Awareness Day

Being April 2nd, today is World Autism Awareness Day. There are probably two questions you are waiting to ask as to why am I writing about this day. First of all, you may be wondering what is Autism? To describe it most accurately would require way too much time. However, putting it in the simplest explanation, it’s a situation or condition where social interaction and communications is hindered. Triangulating the cause of Autism has resulted in several possible root causes (including the preposterous and discredited vaccine avenue). Now for the second question. Why am I sharing this information? Because I can despite the fact I was diagnosed with Autism.

If you have been Carfyi.ca, xslspeedreporter.com and what has been several other I have written for, you'll understand in how much high regard I hold automobiles but have no idea I practically starting a race 10 laps down. It was my interest in automobiles that served as my initial guiding light out of darkness. It was also assuring to interact with a complex being without the fear of judgement.

Despite my desires to use a car analogy, I think of people operating like a computer system. Ideally, we are born with the essential hardware interfaces and software that can be easily programmed to the life we live. In my opinion, Autism is a situation where some of the software is either missing or contains computation errors preventing programming to be entered in the traditional sense. Sometimes through intervention at the right time, the software in the Autistic brain can be patched or reprogrammed to somewhat comprehend input information. However, the likely truth is that differences in the software of the Autistic mind will always result on at least subtle nuances where information is uniquely processed.

When describing my attempts to communicate with others today, I can use an automotive analogy. Often, I feel like I'm running with a transmission with an extremely tall first gear. It's just so much of an effort to generate enough momentum to approach anybody. I recall moments in my teens the problem was so severe I wasn't even comfortable walking up to a checkout at a store in order to buy something. With some time, I overcome that difficulty as I had to comfort largely unwarranted fears.

Part of a grade 9 shop class was to creative a small propeller-driven vehicle that was to race along a guide cable. The class was divided into group and it was one of many cases in school I was assigned to a group. Sometimes it worked and other things I was placed among others who rarely listens or, in some cases, demean me. Conceiving the design of the vehicle, I observed a potential advantage with the placement of the propeller-driven engine. Applying some of the expertise I picked up from NHRA top fuel cars and on open wheel race cars, I measured the engine and wanted to place the mounting bracket as far forward within the chassis as possible for weight balance as well as stability. When I tried to present my findings, I was ignored and ridiculed. They probably heard the underdeveloped voice of a shy young man but I insisted in presenting my design suggestion. Knowing I could not share my idea, I proceeded to build my vehicle using my principles. Once my creation was built, it arguably zipped along the cable among the best of all the vehicles created. At one point, it even self-corrected when placed crookedly on the cable. While my peers may not have been patient or receptive, I also feel bother myself I could not have effectively communicated my ideas for a mutual benefit.

Maybe I was born in an era prior to Autism awareness but I thankfully exist in a period where technology can bridge communication gaps. Recent years, Twitter has allowed me to share my thoughts and most importantly realize insights in others. For an Autistic person, the subtle behaviours associated with general face-to-face communications is not always clear. With Twitter, a treasured tool has provided a chance to share words with some wonderful and brilliant people I would have otherwise been deprived. I thank everyone who has made the experience on social media meaningful. While it may have been a retweet, mention or response using less than 140 characters, it has given me greater confidence I've needed to emerge as a better, more understanding person. 

It has been my quest every day since being told of my Autism to find my voice. One thing I struggle with is trying to infuse a personality in my articles. By no means would I ever amount to a Jeremy Clarkson, a person who compels through a highly creative yet polarizing presentation style. I was brought up under the belief that treating everyone in a respectful fashion would garner the most welcome from others. However, since I have attended school, I know how much attention mean and bully-like behaviour can attract; in most cases I was the recipient of the daily attacks of personalities adhering to belittling. When I watch television, I saw figures such as Kevin O'Leary and Simon Cowell building a career of going out of their way to be mean to relative strangers. There is a line between criticism and being just outright nasty. Unfortunately, this bullying behaviour has manifested online. When it becomes entertainment to tease or berate another person, online social media has painted a picture of how some misunderstand the nature of criticism replacing it with bullying. Criticism would be used sparingly and with compassion towards another human being. In the time when it is necessary to voice, it should be done in a means to guide and lift that other person into becoming a better person they are more than capable of being. Maybe this is a message I wish everyone takes to heart from my experiences. Autism should also be a lesson to everyone wanting a world where our understanding of each other broadens. It has been my privilege to grow up in Canada and exist in a relatively accepting culture.

Writing this, I am not trying to become famous nor do I want you to expect less from me since I share something with one of what is roughly 68 births in the United States. The objective is in allowing you to better understand the person who has been attempting to draw your attention by writing hundreds of articles. What I have written is an ingredient of who I am and I should not be too disappointed by it. As any growing human being, I plan to built a much grander structure. Thank you.


Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Car FYI Car of the Month for March 2015: CBRT's #RaceCarByAva Ford Fusion Race Car

Automobiles are an emotional expression of what harbours inside us. While this moth's scene at the 2015 Geneva Motor Show was full industry-driven passion, no amount of marketing or focus groups can capture how a customer falls in love with their vehicle. Sometimes it is through understanding the feelings of a vehicle's designer when we can grasp what makes us love our beloved. Car FYI's Car of the Month award recognises this heartfelt connection residing in this culture.

Earlier this month, I had the privilege of attending a feast of automotive expression at Toronto's International Centre. The 2015 Motorama Custom Car & Motorsport Expo featured the coming together of expression and speed. Familiarized with the new car world where automotive creativity is defined by items manufactured in hundreds of thousands in some cases, the show was a chance to witness some rare and one of a kind vehicles. For this article, I must single-out one creation that made its global debut.

A highlight of Friday attendance at the 2015 Motorama Custom Car & Motorsport Expo was a special unveiling at a display showcasing the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series. CBRT (Canada’s Best Racing Team) prepared surprised a six-year-old fan of series driver Erica Thiering with a unique vehicle. A month prior to the car show, a girl named Ava wanted to create a special colour scheme for Thiering’s car. With the aid of her father, Andrew Warrington, a bright pink vehicle with blue stars came to life on a computer screen. With the blessing of Ava, the design was posted on Twitter capturing the attention of CRBT. To the surprise of the young girl, the design came to life in Toronto. Using a body wrap (basically a large decal applied over the race car’s fiberglass shell), the #87 #RaceCarByAva Ford Fusion was presented on the floor of the Motorama Custom Car & Motorsport Expo.

In what must have been a whirlwind experience, the six-year-old Ava handled the attention during the March 13th unveiling rather well. Posing beside the vehicle and spending time with her role model Erica Thiering in front of the event’s media gathering, it was a great reminder of how heartfelt and emotionally driven the whole automobile culture is in Canada. Later on Friday, Ava also mingled with other headline guests at the 2015 Motorama Custom Car & Motorsport Expo. Her time at the show also reportedly included meeting former NASCAR Camping World Series champion Todd Bodine and Courtney Hansen, model television and television personality for shows including Powerblock TV.

Seeing a six-year-old having the one of the more memorable days in her young life was definitely meaningful enough to honour with March’s Car FYI Car of the Month Award.

Honda Begins Beta-Testing of 2016 HR-V SLF "Selfie Edition"

The Japanese have long been a driver for the implementation of new technology. Transistor radios and CD players are just a few items immediately coming to mind when thinking of Japan's push to make certain technology's a part of our everyday life. Today, Honda has unveiled a special version of their HR-V compact crossover provides greater integration into lifestyles where we enjoy sharing our use of technology.

Entering into a "beta-test" stage, the Honda HR-V SLF is designed to allow self-portrait making (better known as selfies) to be snapped. A hands-free system using 10 different cameras positioned around Honda crossover's interior and exterior, the SLF edition model was created recognizing research indicating one-third of all images taken by people between the ages of 18 and 24 are selfies. Responding to the technology, the HR-V's brand manager Gazo Enijinia says, “Honda is embracing the selfie phenomenon and the creative, artistic sensibilities of millennials with this versatile, youthful trim model,”

To test the selfie-taking technology, Honda enlisted self-proclaimed selfie fanatic Ashley H. to develop the Honda HR-V SLF edition trial vehicle. A hands-free system, the selfie camera utilizes the vehicle's already-existing cameras that operates with the multi-angle rearview camera and the Honda LaneWatch technology. Insuring the system does not become a driving distraction, selfie-taking can only taken when the vehicle is safely at a stop.

To sum up this news story, it's evident April Fool's Day has started. The use of the phrase "best-test" appears to me to be a giveaway. While the release was issued late Tuesday night in North America, keep in mind it was already April 1st in Japan. Although the reality of the HR-V SLF edition's selfie-taking capabilities is perhaps laughably unlikely, Honda artfully engineered it to promote the vehicle's currently available accident avoidance technology.

Years ago, I personally used to hate the idea of legitimate automotive news sources being used to tease readers. However, I have grown to enjoy the cleverness of April 1st activity and admit to finding some of the "announcements" funny. I look forward to seeing what else will be produced by the end of this day.

Honda has released the following video to reveal the HR-V SLF's selfie-shooting abilities: