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Cool Interiors: The History of Car Air Conditioning

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As with many new technology, there was a time when air conditioning in vehicles was “the newest thing,” an atypical automotive accessory. In fact, did you know that it wasn’t until 1954 that an affordable air conditioning unit could be mass-produced by the auto industry? Let’s hop into the time machine and take a cool trip down memory lane.

The came from New York City in the 1930s. The systems, as a 1933 Popular Science article puts it, were custom-installed by a third party and utilized a big compressor mounted under the floorboards, as seen in . These early automotive air conditioning systems were pricey and, as a result, only outfitted in limousines and luxury cars.

The first company to offer AC as a factory-installed option was Packard, advertising the mechanical marvel with the tagline As you would expect, the company’s system was primitive and, unlike the dash-mounted units of today, had its cooling coil (evaporator) mounted in the trunk, with a fan blowing cold air into the passenger’s compartment.

These early commercialized AC systems were very clunky to use. In order to turn them off, you needed to remove the drive belt from the A/C compressor, and the single on-off switch was on the fan. Worst yet, they were very expensive — purchasing a Packard with AC cost an extra $274 when the average yearly income back in those days was $1,368!

General Motors was next to follow suite with a system of their own, offering 300 Cadillacs with AC in 1941. The system was designed and worked in much the same way as Packard’s but could be operated with controls. Unfortunately, those controls were mounted on the shelf behind the rear seats, forcing the driver to climb to the back to operate the AC.

Chrysler offered air conditioning as a factory installed option in 1942. Called “,” its system was similar to the Packard design and — some would say — better than anything on the market at the time. It ran quieter than GM’s units and had flat ducts behind the rear seat that directed cool air toward the car’s ceiling, preventing it from blowing directly at passengers like other systems did.

It wouldn’t be until 1954 that the auto industry would produce an affordable air conditioning unit. GM introduced a new system in its 1954 Pontiacs, becoming the first to offer a magnetic clutch on the compressor that cut off power when the system is not in use.

Ford’s air conditioning development is not as well documented as its Detroit rivals, but the Dearborn automaker was offering AC on many of its vehicles by the late 1950. In fact, its “Select-Aire” system was the first to direct air through the vents below the windshield.

Today, automotive AC systems are a mature, mainstay technology that can be found in over 90 percent of new vehicles sold around the world. They are usually integrated into cabin temperature control systems, efficiently working as part of the cabin’s heating system. On the majority of automobiles, you can set a desired temperature for the cabin and the system will act accordingly by either turning on the AC or the heater depending on the temperature outside.

We would like to thank the Service Management team at for their help with this article. Reedman-Toll sells Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep RAM, FIAT, Chevrolet and Subaru vehicles.

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Auto Tech

2020 Corvette C8 Has Most Powerful Bose Sound System Ever

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An unforgettable audio experience is likely part of the new Corvette C8 Stingray’s incredible value proposition.

Audiophiles are in for a treat with the 2020 Corvette C8, and that’s because it is available with the loudest, most powerful car audio system Bose has ever put in a two-seat sports car.

The optional Bose Performance system features a whopping 14 speakers, the most speakers the audio company has ever put into a two-seat car. It includes 1-inch tweeters in each upper door panel, 2.5- and 3.25-inch ‘twiddlers’, 4.0-inch midrange drivers, and a 10-inch subwoofer situated in each door.

In addition to pumping out sound with extreme fever, the system also comes with microphones built into the cabin that reduce the effects of external sound, including those from the Corvette’s throaty V8 engine, which sits right behind the driver.

“From the beginning, we knew we had to have an audio system that carefully balanced the need to isolate the occupants from the engine compartment in the rear, while providing live performance-like audio clarity,” said Corvette executive chief engineer Tadge Juechter. “The Bose system technology in the 2020 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray delivers that careful balance.”

Bose has been the official audio partner of Chevrolet since the fourth-generation of the Corvette, which debuted in 1984 with a much more modest sound system than the 14-speaker package of the C8 Corvette.

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Acura, Honda Vehicles Get ‘Key by Amazon’ In-Car Delivery

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Key by Amazon In Car Delivery Acura RDX SUV

It’s now easier than ever for owners of Acura RDX and Honda vehicles to get their Amazon packages delivered.

Following in Ford’s footsteps, Honda and it’s luxury division Acura have announced support for Amazon Key in-car deliveries for select 2019 and 2020 model year vehicles.

Key by Amazon In-Car Delivery is available at no additional cost to owners of the Accord, Accord Hybrid, Insight, Passport, Pilot, and Odyssey models equipped with the HondaLink Remote Package subscription. In the case of Acura, it is only available on the new RDX crossover with an active AcuraLink service.

Exclusive to Amazon Prime members, the delivery service allows a delivery driver to remotely unlock the vehicle and place a package inside it when the owner isn’t around.

On delivery day, the car must be parked within two blocks of the selected delivery address. Packages are dropped off sometime during a four-hour window, with the owner receiving an “arriving now” notification when the delivery driver reaches the vehicle, as well as a notification confirming that he or she has locked the vehicle after the package is delivered,.

All users have to do is download the Key by Amazon app to their smartphone, log-in with their credentials, and enter the year, make, and model of their vehicle. After the account is authorized, the setup is complete and a delivery location is registered, you can select the “In-Car” delivery option at checkout when shopping on Amazon.com.

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8 Of The Best ‘Old’ And New Car Features Of 2019

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The future in auto tech is already here, and it’s very exciting.

As cars become safer, more fuel-efficient, and more comfortable, it’s harder and harder for the average motorist to imagine how they can be even better. However, for car manufacturers, there seems to be endless possibilities everywhere.

Be it improvements in autonomous tech, electric drivetrains and heads up displays, or upping a car’s luxury, the automotive industry is bringing us many exciting things. Here are eight of the best ‘old’ and new car features of 2019.

1. Blind Spot Sensors

Many of the features in cars focus on driving safety. Blind spot sensors detect when cars are out of the typical range of mirrors and alert you of their presence. This doesn’t remove the importance of taking a quick glance over your shoulder before changing lanes, but it will definitely help reduce the number of accidents caused by blind spots.

2. Phone Starter

Imagine a blistering cold morning, One where the ground is covered by snow and you’re frantically scraping your windshield clean of ice while you bitterly await the car’s heater to put out its end of the bargain. Well, situations like this are a problem of the past as of 2019.

New vehicles can connect to your wireless device and power on remotely, allowing to take on the cold winter months with confidence knowing you will have a heated car waiting for you. In addition to the climate control system, your car’s door locks, alarm, interior and exterior lighting, and liftgate or trunk can also be operated remotely.

3. Heads Up Display

Touch screen menus now have a second cousin. Heads up displays (HUD, for short) are the hip new feature in today’s cars. They are usually in the form of a small display on the front windshield above the steering wheel and below your eyes’ normal field of vision that shows speed, gas levels, and even directions to minimize any reason for you to take your hands of the steering wheel and/or look away from the road.

4. Automatic Parallel Parking

For those of you who have visited small beach towns in Florida or driven through the crowded, narrow streets of San Francisco, you know that parallel parking is a must-have skill. But parallel parking is difficult, and car manufacturers seem to agree, explaining why many 2019 vehicles now come equipped with automatic parking assist systems.

If you’ve been thinking of moving to that bustling Florida town, you can take comfort in knowing there will be a car to handle the tight street parking for you anytime and anywhere, be that car be from a near Coral Springs or a Honda dealer in Seattle.

5. 360 Cameras

You know those rear-end cameras that help with reversing? Those are so 2018. Now you can expect full 360-degree cameras to cover all four sides of your car. This comes in handy in many situations and can prevent unforeseen scratches or .

6. Individual Climate Zones

Thanks to advancements in auto tech, the driver and the passengers can now c inside a of car. By giving each person the power to set his or her own temperature, there will be less bickering over the AC dial.

Many new cars offer dual-zone climate controls for the driver and front passenger, and some can even be equipped with “tri-zone” or “quad-zone” climate control so that rear passengers aren’t left in the cold, so to speak.

7. Pre-Safe Pulse

For those who want to take safety to the next level, the is a new crash safety measure for side impacts. When the car senses an imminent crash about to take place, the driver and passenger seats automatically move closer to the center of the vehicle. For side accidents, even a minimal five-centimeter difference can reduce the impact felt to passengers by one-third.

8. Mirrors with Auto-dim

If you drive a lot at night, you’ve probably noticed that headlights have gotten much more powerful over the years. In some ways, this is tremendously beneficial. Being able to see further and with more clarity is important. However, being on the receiving end of these lights is not only annoying, but it can be dangerous.

Drivers are less inclined to check their mirrors if they get blinded every time they try. For this reason, newer vehicles have equipped mirrors with auto-dimming. These reduce the glare caused by headlights behind you and keep your focus on the road.

Cars Are Getting Smarter

The results of these new features are that cars are getting smarter and drivers now have the tools they need to make better decisions. This combination of factors will surely decrease the number of car accidents and make driving a safer, more efficient and reliable method of transportation.

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