Automotive

Android Auto gets a fresh new look!

Accomplish more with fewer taps

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Aiming to help drivers and passengers alike to have better entertainment experience and accomplish tasks while on the road, Android Auto is now rolling out with a new interface in more than 36 countries.

The new update carries a fresh app launcher in which you can find all your favorite apps with fewer taps — really important for drivers as they can’t afford to look away from the road for a long time.

As a preview, the bottom left button opens the app launcher where you’ll find familiar app icons laid out with your most commonly used apps automatically featured in the top row.

There are also Google Assistant badges now that update you of your schedule, give you a weather report, or read the latest news all while you’re driving.

A big part of Android Auto is its ease of navigation. Whether it be Google Maps or Waze, you can still find the fastest route to your destination through voice commands. If you already have a route queued up on your phone, the system will automatically load the directions when you get to your vehicle. Pretty convenient!

Additionally, the new navigation bar sits at the bottom of your display and allows you to manage multiple apps easily. This ensures that even though you’re listening to music, you won’t miss your next turn; or if you’re following directions, you can still easily pause or skip a song.

On the bottom right corner, a new notification button houses all of your recent calls, messages, and alerts. You can also keep in touch with friends and family while keeping your eyes on the road. This is done by long-pressing the mic button on the steering wheel, tapping on the mic button on your display, or simply saying “Hey Google” to have the Google Assistant help make calls, send messages, and read your notifications.

Visibility and the way the UI is presented is also important if you’re just going to glance over the menu while driving. This is why the refreshed Android Auto has been designed to now be easier to read and has a new dark theme so it doesn’t get too bright at night.

If your car has Android Auto support, you’ll start to see the new design over the next few weeks. I personally use Android Auto as most navigation systems from car brands are finicky to use. With this update, driving experience should be a lot easier and safer.

Automotive

Save with Honda’s fuel-efficient vehicles, PMS

The Honda BR-V, City, and Brio

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With fuel prices skyrocketing lately in the Philippines, it makes sense to invest in a fuel-efficient car complemented by regular Periodic Maintenance Service (PMS) provided by its company.

And as Honda continues to improve its vehicles’ fuel economy in different driving condition, the manufacturer is offering the following models for customers to save more:

  • Honda BR-V: 22.58 kilometers/liter
  • Honda City: 25.17 kilometers/liter
  • Honda Brio: 24.39 kilometers/liter

The models underwent fuel economy runs organized by Honda Cars Philippines in partnership with the Automobile Association of the Philippines (AAP).

Among the parameters were cruising speeds of 60 to 80 kph at 1,500 to 2,000 rpm, aircon setting of 24 degrees, and blower fan speed of 1.

Periodic Maintenance Service

Aside from picking the right vehicle, Honda also recommends two maintenance visits a year at any of their authorized Honda dealers.

This way, cars will stay in shape with a good-tune up, and ensure better performance in the long run that saves owners more money.

Customers may also visit Honda’s Virtual Showroom for a more detailed guide on preventive maintenance, as well as their technologies like Honda SENSING and Honda’s driver assistance and collision avoidance.

Other tips

In addition to making the right choice and maintaining good use of one’s car, Honda suggests these following tips for a more fuel-efficient vehicle:

  • Plan and combine trips: Carpooling and using navigation apps reduces consumption and avoids rush-hour traffic
  • Drive smoothly, not aggressively: Hard breaks, sudden accelerations, and the like increase fuel consumptions and emissions
  • Minimize idling: Fuel is best consumed in motion; staying idle for too long burns fuel without getting anywhere
  • Get rid of all extra weight: The more weight the car needs to pull, the more effort the engine needs which leads to more fuel consumption

Keep tires properly inflated: A study suggested that as low as a 1 percent decrease in pressure can lead to a 0.3 percent reduction in fuel economy, so keep those tires checked

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News

VanMoof reveals next-gen S5 and A5 e-bikes

On sale worldwide for US$ 2,998

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VanMoof next-gen S5, A5

Urban e-bike developer VanMoof has announced its latest generation e-bikes: the VanMoof S5 and VanMoof A5.

Their fully re-engineered features include an ultra-silent powerful motor, long-range battery, powerful boost, and the latest VanMoof anti-theft tech

Both e-bikes come in gray and are on sale worldwide starting from April 5, 2022 for US$ 2,998.

Deliveries will start from July 2022, while a range of accessories will become available in early summer of 2022.

To manage demand and delivery times, riders get access to purchase via waitlist. Sign up to the waitlist at vanmoof.com.

Easy, intuitive use

The VanMoof S5 and A5 have the industry-first Halo Ring Interface which is integrated into the e-bikes’ handlebars and shows speed, battery levels, and connectedness.

The VanMoof anti-theft technology has been improved with a revamped in-wheel kick lock, bigger pin, and new auto retract function.

The bike can secure itself with a tap, and is able to unlock automatically upon the rider’s return.

Both e-bikes also come with a new optional phone mount and USB-C charging port for riders to turn their phones into instant dashboards suitable for navigation or on-the-go charging.

Ultra-smooth riding experience

With a series of improvements and an award-winning design, the S5 and A5 are poised to have elevated stability, usability, and overall riding experience.

The ultra-silent Gen 5 motor, long-range battery, and powerful boost make up the bikes’ connected power system.

This system includes a complex network of intelligent sensors that are engineered to give riders an ultra-smooth riding experience.

Both the S5 and A5 respond to the rider’s pace and movement, thanks to upgraded electronics, rebooted torque sensor, and Gen 5 E-shifter.

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Automotive

Improved electric car Changan Eado EV460 available in PH

An alternative as fuel prices continue to soar

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Eado EV460

With vehicle fuel prices continuing to soar, car buyers might want to consider shifting to a more sustainable electric vehicle (EV).

One premium option is the Eado EV460 car from Chinese automobile manufacturer Changan.

The Eado EV460 was one of five offerings introduced to the Philippine market back in 2020.

The model was hailed as China’s greenest vehicle and Model of the Year at the China Green Car Annual Awards back in 2018.

Thanks to further research and development, the Eado EV460 now has three-in-one electric drive, which allows the more optimal usage of energy for every charge.

The car model takes about eight hours to fully charge, and only 30 minutes for a fast-charge of about 30 to 80 percent on quick charge stations.

Premium features

Eado EV460

Aside from the Eado EV460’s efficient power consumption, it also boasts more features that make the car keep in step with most fuel-powered sedans in the market, including:

  • A Permanent Magnet Synchronous Motor (PMSM), powered by a Ternary (lithium ion) battery that yields a maximum power of 136PS and maximum torque of 245NM
  • Estimated cruising range of 430-550 kilometers at 60 kilometers per hour
  • Sturdy, well-built, simple design; classy interiors with plush leather seats
  • Mono-digital display, 7-inch digital instrument cluster, and 10-inch high-definition touch screen
  • Cruise Control that lets driver lock on to their desired speed
  • Connectivity features like Bluetooth and Wi-Fi

Aside from that, safety wouldn’t be a problem either as the Eado EV460 has smart safety features, including:

  • Six airbags
  • Smart key with illuminated push start/stop button
  • Anti-lock Braking system
  • Electronic Stability Control
  • Brake Assist
  • Traction Control System
  • Hill Hold Control
  • Emergency Stop Signal
  • Reverse Camera
  • Rear Parking Sensors
  • ISOFIX
  • Child Safety Lock
  • Seatbelt Reminder
  • Tire Pressure Monitoring System

Price and availability

The Eado EV460, now available on order at PhP 1,828,000 at Changan dealerships nationwide.

Interested customers may also take a first-hand glimpse of the Eado EV 460 at the Changan Pavilion at the Manila International Auto Show on April 7 to 10, 2022 at the World Trade Center in Pasay City.

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