John BrandonTechHive

John Brandon is a technology writer and car enthusiast. After leaving the corporate world in 2001, he embarked on a solo writing career and never looked back (except for that one time). He's tested thousands of products and reported on everything from 50 Cent starting a headphone company to BMW building a data center in Iceland. He lives outside of Minneapolis.

Ooh that smell: Mercedes-Benz S550 debuts with custom scents and hot-stone massage

Is this a car or a fast-moving spa? The S550’s new technologies include a scent-control system, passenger massage, and oh yeah, some things that improve the safety and driving experience as well.

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Live-human concierge is the best tech in Mercedes-Benz mbrace2 connected-car service

We test the mbrace2 connected-car service on the 2014 Mercedes-Benz E550. Its yearly subscription almost seems like a small price to pay for the convenience of talking to a real, live person who will conduct Google searches for you and even make doctor appointments. But no homework help, kid. Sorry.

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If you can’t do it, the car will: Ford showcases advances in parking assistance and obstacle avoidance

At an event in Belgium, Ford showed off future driving aids that inch us ever closer to the autonomous car.

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Five lasers and five cameras help Nissan LEAF drive itself into demo at CEATEC in Japan

This very special Nissan LEAF is a poster car for the company’s pledge to bring autonomous vehicles to market by 2020.

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Volkswagen EOS Komfort launches with tell-all Car-Net remote monitoring app

VW’s new Car-Net service debuts on select 2014 models including the EOS Komfort. Car-Net provides vehicle status, remote control and monitoring, and safety features, with an iPhone app now and an Android app on the way.

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Please let me give you my money: mobile app eases fragmented payment system for public EV charging

A new partnership between SemaConnect and Recargo aims to fix one big hassle of using public charging stations: figuring out how to pay. A new mobile app lets your phone be the authenticator, rather than a payment card or a bothersome phone call.

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National Plug-In-Day gathers electric-car faithful, but infrastructure remains sparse

The third annual celebration of all cars electric included events in about 100 cities, a few international.

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The same augmented reality that makes games more immersive will make in-car navigation more vivid

Mercedes-Benz is showing an augmented-reality concept for in-car navigation where street names, house numbers, and points of interest will pop up on a live feed.

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