Archives For June 2012

Wow, I hope they didn’t eat anything recently if they’re riding in style like THIS!

Here’s a good one for just before the Friday slide, a YouTube video “They See Me Rollin’ They Hatin'” shows a car’s dashboard cam capturing one seriously tricked out yellow van hopin’ and bopin’ back and forth and partying like “it’s your birthday.”

The video, posted on June 5, went viral and ended up tallying well above 1 million hits.

Watch as other drivers break and swerve in fear trying to stay out of the crazy party van’s way.

Man, if I caught a ride like that, I think I’d probably lose my cookies for sure. It looks more like catching a ride on choppy seas than on the road.

Check out the whole video below:

Hit the brakes! My car at a sudden, violent stop. (See the time captured on the dash!)


That was me this morning, in my 2009 Toyota Camry.

After violently slamming on the breaks, I rolled my eyes at my own stupidity because I could feel the back of my HP laptop come smashing into the back of my seat. The laptop was still in its bag, but I hadn’t secured it well enough, knowing that I’d have to be periodically braking sharply. Stupid, stupid, stupid.

Why was I slamming on the breaks and forcing my car to a violent stop?

Well, because my car is spying on me, that’s why.

Have you ever heard of vehicle telematics? The Europeans sure have, and if you haven’t, you will soon.

Basically, telematics is the technology that enables your car to monitor all of those naughty driving behaviors: Whether you’re speeding, if you brake suddenly, and whether you’re in an accident.

Now why would anyone want their car doing that? Long story short, they probably don’t — but guess who does? Insurance companies, that’s who. With telematics, insurance companies can generate their own little “risk portfolio” on all of the drivers that they insure.

And if you’re naughty, they can make you pay. If you’re good, theoretically you can pay less (or at least NOT more, which depending on how you look at it, is less.)

Now again, why will anyone want this technology? Well, probably no one will, but it will eventually be forced on drivers to some extent by insurance companies.

Back to the original question: Why was I slamming on the breaks in my car constantly while on the way to work?

Well, the crazy guy at my office is the one developing our telematics project — and he installed the device on my car to use me as a guinea pig help with testing and to get the tech to work.

Sssoooooooooo, I have to speed over 80 miles an hour on the highway, and slam on the brakes suddenly on back roads — and keep an “event log” for him.

So far my event log reads (oh god, I can’t believe I’m doing this, please avert your eyes, San Diego Police Department):

Speeding over 80mph on the 5 at 8:50pm PT Friday

Slammed on the brakes at 8:13am PT Tuesday morning on the way to work (and snapped a photo)

Slammed on the brakes again at 8:12am PT Wednesday morning (and also snapped a photo)

Slammed on the brakes again at 7:42am PT Thursday morning (either that or at 7:46am PT)

He’s poring over the data so that he can refine how well my car spies on me! Yaaaaaay!!!!

Isn’t that great???!?!?#@%## Or so not great?

I dunno, it’s a brave new world headed our way. Let us know your thoughts in comments.

The Viper techs here at our headquarters in Vista, Calif., recently installed Viper Window Film on a cute, shiny little Mini Cooper.

Enjoy, and check out those fun little wheels!

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[Check out all of the photos on our Facebook page:]

A closely-watched new report by J.D. Power and Associates says that even though the quality of new vehicles has hit an all-time high, consumers are growing extremely aggravated by confusing in-car tech and “infotainment” products.

Ugh, it’s fine to complain about the tech, but how scarey is it that we’re complaining about the TVs in our cars?

— Get’s full report here or MSN Auto Blog’s here.

The J.D. Power study emphasized that “there are year-over-year gains in most areas of initial quality, with one notable exception — audio, entertainment and navigation problems have increased by 8 percent from 2011.” It said: “This continues a recent trend, as problems in this category have increased by 45 percent since 2006 while other categories have improved by 24 percent, on average.”

Hands-free phone systems ranked very high among complaints from drivers — with voice recognition problems getting the lion’s share of the gripes, according to the report.

A lot of those problems are just consumers figuring our what the heck is going on.

The mind-boggling (and once rare) hands-free systems are suddenly growing to be very common in new vehicles and buyers are just thrown into the deep end when it comes to figuring out the new tech, according to Dave Sargent, J.D. Power’s VP of Vehicle Research in the Global Auto Ops Division.

No matter what led to the disconnect — drivers seem to be screaming in the survey: Educate me better on my in-car tech, or take a different direction!

Read the full results of the report here.

Here’s a fun one, for all Viper fans!

And it’s also super-artsy! As any Instagram-related post would have to be, of course ;).

Searching around on the super-hot mobile app, we found that there’s a hidden treasure trove of fan photos and artsy tributes from some of our loyal fans and customers who tagged #vipersmartstart on Instagram!

Some of the pics are also quite nostalgic, so you can also join us in a little tour down memory lane.

Follow us on Instagram for more behind-the-scenes photos by searching our username: @vipersmartstart

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[Check out all of the photos on our Facebook page:]