TECHNOLOGY

The 2017 Audi Q7 is an IIHS Top Safety Pick.

For 2017, five Audi vehicles have earned 2017 Top Safety Pick awards from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). The 2017 Audi A3 and Q7 models and the A6 with available driver assistance package earned a Top Safety Pick rating. The 2017 Audi A4 earns a Top Safety Pick+ rating for the second consecutive year, when equipped with optional LED headlights with high beam assist (2.0T Prestige models only), as do Q5 with available adaptive cruise control and adaptive Xenon headlights (3.0T Prestige models only). The A3, A4 and the Q7 all earned a “superior” rating for front crash prevention.


For both awards, models must earn “good” ratings in the Institute’s small overlap front, moderate overlap front, side roof strength and head restraint tests, as well as an “advanced” or “superior” rating for front crash prevention with standard or optional automatic braking. New for 2017, vehicles must also receive no less than an “acceptable” rating for headlight visibility and illumination in order to receive a Top Safety Pick+.

"This year’s Top Safety Picks for A3, A4, A6, Q5 and Q7 models speaks to our brand’s commitment to make  driver assistance and other innovative technologies available to all customers, from luxury SUVs to entry-level sedans,” said Scott Keogh, President Audi of America. “We understand that safety and technical innovations are top considerations in a new vehicle purchase and we are proud to have so many of our models recognized with these prestigious awards.”  

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The 2017 Volkswagen Jetta GLI is pictured. Several VW vehicles earned top safety ratings for 2017.

The 2017 TOP SAFETY PICK award is issued to vehicles that have earned good ratings in IIHS tests evaluated in five categories: frontal impact moderate overlap; frontal impact small overlap; side impact; roof strength; and head restraints. It must also offer an autonomous emergency braking system (AEB) that earns at least an advanced rating for front crash prevention.

The 2017 TOP SAFETY PICK+ rating is issued to vehicles that have met all of the TOP SAFETY PICK criteria and must offer headlights that earn at least an acceptable rating for visibility and lack of excessive glare.

“At Volkswagen, we strongly believe that the latest advanced driver assist technologies can be delivered without being in the premium segment,” said Hendrik Muth, Senior Vice President, Product Marketing and Strategy. ”The IIHS TOP SAFETY PICK and TOP SAFETY PICK+ ratings awarded to a variety of Volkswagen models compliments our ongoing commitment to offering these features .”

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Automatic braking will be a standard feature on almost all Toyota and Lexus vehicles by the end of 2017

Advanced automatic safety technology that was once available on only the most expensive new vehicles is about to be included as standard equipment on almost every Lexus and Toyota model and trim level in the United States. Announced today at the New York Auto Show, Toyota will begin to include the and Lexus Safety System+™ and Toyota Safety Sense™ packages, anchored by automatic emergency braking (AEB), on almost every new vehicle by the end of 2017.

The announcement marks a major commitment by Toyota to help save lives and reduce highway injuries. Making Lexus Safety System+ and Toyota Safety Sense standard equipment on almost every model by the end of 2017 will make AEB technology widely available four years ahead of the 2022 industry target announced last week by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).

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Samsung Galaxy S7

AT&T is expanding its selection of Samsung devices with the addition of the Samsung Galaxy S7, Galaxy S7 edge, and Gear S2 classic, and adding a bonus for DIRECTV subscribers.

The latest devices from Samsung deliver a high quality camera, refined design, water resistance, enhanced performance, and connectivity to a wide range of experiences. All 3 devices are now available for pre-order at www.att.com and in AT&T retail stores. The Galaxy S7, Galaxy S7 edge, and Gear S2 classic will be available in stores starting on Mar. 11.

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RHA’s T10i headphones offer bold design, stellar sonic experience

On the one hand, headphones are a pretty simple thing; you plug them in your ears and listen to music. Not too complicated.

But the reason there are hundreds of sets of headphones made by a variety of manufacturers at a variety of prices is that not everyone does it the same way. And some companies do a better job than others and getting you the quality sound you are seeking.

One brand whose stature is rising is Scotland-based RHA, and they’ve ventured boldly into high-end headphone territory with the T10i offering, which sell for about $200.

The question, of course, is whether they merit that price, and after some time testing out a set of RHA T10i headphones I’m here with the full details of my experience.

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The Block Rocker Splash boasts an 8-inch 2-way speaker system powered by a 100-watt dynamic power amplifier.

ION Audio has announced the introduction of three new water-resistant outdoor speakers, all with wireless Bluetooth streaming capability. Recognizing an ever-growing demand for wireless outdoor entertainment solutions, these three new ION speakers give customers the ability to choose their speaker’s size and loudness capability to perfectly match their requirements, with the added bonus of being IPX4 water-resistant. That means whether a quick spring shower pops up or someone wants to use their speaker near children splashing in a pool, any of these new ION speakers is ideal.

The Block Rocker Splash boasts an impressive 8-inch 2-way speaker system powered by a 100-watt dynamic power amplifier. Its rechargeable battery lasts for 100 hours, so the fun keeps going without missing a beat. It streams music wirelessly from any Bluetooth device and also has a built-in AM/FM radio, plus it comes with a microphone and cable so users can be the MC at their own event or even have Karaoke parties in the rain!

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Use of drones prohibited on national forest lands

Do you own a drone? If so, there are important restrictions in federal law that you should know.

Unmanned aircraft systems, popularly called drones, have become increasingly popular and less expensive in recent years. However, many people may not be aware that they are regulated by the Federal Aviation Administration, which also controls private and commercial aircraft. FAA regulations restrict drone use within areas where they may interfere with other air traffic, such as an FAA rules also prohibit drone use over most federal land, such as national forests and parks.

A drone can annoy visitors to these public places, typically seeking peace and quiet. A drone may disturb, or even harass, wildlife. Drones may also interfere with other aerial activity such as wildfire detection and suppression. There have been several incidents in recent years in which firefighters have had to suspend the use of aircraft in fighting wildfires because of the presence of private drones.


Recent FAA regulations require the registration of drones above a certain weight or face civil and criminal penalties. The Huron-Manistee National Forests encourage the public to be aware of these regulations and the responsibility involved in flying a drone by visiting their website at: https://www.faa.gov/uas/registration/faqs/


-- Press release courtesy of Huron-Manistee National Forests

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Photo courtesy of FCA

Already unique among V-6 engines for its refinement, power, efficiency and adaptability, the formidable 3.6-liter Pentastar is remade for model-year 2016. 


Depending on the application, the redesigned V-6 delivers fuel-economy improvements of more than six percent while increasing torque more than 14.9 percent. This occurs at engine speeds below 3,000 rpm, where elevated torque has its most profound impact on the driving experience.


Enhancements such as two-step variable valve lift (VVL), cooled exhaust-gas recirculation (EGR) and innovative weight-reduction strategies boost the engine’s efficiency and performance, all while preserving the smoothness that remains a hallmark of the Pentastar brand.

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