Hyundai Announces Voice-Activated Features Through Google Home

The option to remotely start a car with the push of a button has long been a reality. But thanks to a new partnership between Hyundai and Google Home, Hyundai owners will soon be able to send commands to their vehicles without lifting a finger. The new feature allows all functions available through the car company’s Blue Link service to be activated with voice control, The Verge reports.

The collaboration was announced at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Nevada. Hyundai owners with Blue Link are already able to start their engines and unlock their doors using an Apple or Android device. When Hyundai launches their Google Home feature, users will be able to control their cars by talking into the voice-activated speaker inside their homes. Google Home can also send directions directly to your car from indoors. Just ask Google to search for a location and Blue Link’s Google Maps-powered Destination Search service will find the ideal route.

Voice-controlled virtual assistants are slowly expanding their reach beyond just our phones and laptops. Last month, Microsoft revealed that they were developing Cortana software for toasters, thermostats, and fridges. This latest project between Hyundai and Google Home marks one of the first occasions a digital home assistant will be used to control the vehicles parked in our driveways. Hyundai didn’t say when to expect the feature, but they plan to announce more capabilities before its release.

[h/t The Verge]

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The Best Way to Fight Sky-High Gas Prices This Summer
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Thanks to crude oil prices and increasing demand, it's getting very expensive to operate a motor vehicle in the U.S. In Connecticut and New York, gas prices have hit over $3 a gallon. According to AAA, the national average—which fluctuates on a daily basis—is hovering around $2.90. As a result, motorists might spend up to $200 more fueling up in 2018.

Whether that will translate into fewer people taking road trips this summer remains to be seen. But you don't necessarily have to be at the total mercy of Big Oil every time you pull up to the pump. While credit card programs and other discount offers can shave pennies off a refuel, it's what you do once you leave the station that has the greatest impact on fuel economy.

Automotive expert Ron Montoya of Edmunds, an online automotive information hub, spoke with NBC News recently and suggested that drivers can anticipate significant savings based on one simple rule: drive less aggressively.

Depending on the model, cars tend to maximize fuel economy around 50 miles per hour (mph). When a car joins the racing flow of traffic on a highway, accelerating from 55 mph to 75 mph, fuel consumption speeds up right along with it, shaving up to 15 miles per gallon (mpg) off the vehicle's fuel efficiency. Even going 65 mph will eat up four to eight mpg more. Overall, the act of threading through traffic by speeding, braking, and rapidly accelerating is responsible for a 15 to 30 percent reduction in gas mileage. It's like paying 20 cents more per gallon for every 5 mph driven over a cruising speed of 50 mph.

In addition to maintaining a moderate speed, road trippers may also want to consider leaving cargo off the roof—it increases drag—and sticking with regular unleaded. Most cars don't need premium, even if it's "recommended" on car doors. Only use more expensive fuel if the manufacturer labels it "required."

As for those credit card deals? They vary by issuer, but paying cash usually results in a 10 to 15 cent savings per gallon because gas stations don't have to cover transaction fees. If you don't normally carry a lot of cash, consider paying with a debit card—but make sure the station will treat it as cash, not credit.

[h/t NBC News]

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LinkedIn Now Lets You Search for Jobs by Commute Time
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A long commute can have a major effect on your health and happiness. Studies regularly find that the longer it takes for people to get to work, especially if they’re driving, the less satisfied they are with their lives in general, and polls suggest that many people would happily take a lower salary in exchange for a shorter ride to work. You can put that latter theory to the test with LinkedIn’s new job search tool, which lets you look for open positions based on potential commute times, according to Lifehacker.

The new “See Your Commute” feature on LinkedIn will let you enter your address to see how long it would take to get to the office in a particular job listing by car, public transit, or walking. It will also let you set your preferred commute time as a preference so that when you’re searching for openings, the results won’t include companies that would require a longer commute than you’re willing to undertake. You can set your commute preferences for between 15 and 120 minutes and factor in traffic based on what time you typically start your commute.

Screenshots of LinkedIn's mobile commute-search function
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How you get to the office every day (and how long it takes you) may be as relevant to your happiness at work as the job requirements or the size of the company. If a terrible commute can make you feel worse about your job, it makes sense to hunt for your new workplace based in part on how long it will take you to get there every day.

The feature seems to only be available on the LinkedIn mobile app for now. Test the feature yourself within LinkedIn’s job search portal here.

[h/t Lifehacker]

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