Comfort in new car interiors makes traffic easier to bear

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORECoach Doc Rivers a “fan” from way back of Jazz’s Jordan Clarkson “When you’re in a city like Los Angeles and stuck in gridlock, these are the features that are attractive,” said Paul McGrath, a product specialist for Audi. “It’s demand – people are demanding it,” he said. “You’re going to have a lot of amenities in your car that you have in your house.” Many features are standard on luxury vehicles that sell for about $50,000. Others can be had for a price. For instance, Audi charges $2,400 for a technology package that includes the satellite radio, a side-assist mirror that alerts you to a car in your blind spot and a camera that displays what’s behind as you reverse. But some features aren’t just for Cadillacs any more. If you’ve been driving around town in one of those decade-old beaters, the new models at the annual auto show in the Los Angeles Convention Center offer a glimpse of how the other half lives – and drives. There are personal DVD players for just about every passenger, as well as colorful dashboard computers to direct the driver to a specific destination – whether it’s the nearest gas station or a sports stadium across town. For a little more cash, you can get real-time road reports from an orbiting satellite that knows your whereabouts and alerts you to the traffic jam up ahead – after it turns down your radio. Then there are the creature comforts to make it easier to tolerate L.A.’s traffic-choked freeways. Heated steering wheels for those chilly mornings. Seat coolers to freshen the leather broiled by the hot Southern California sun. And puddle lamps to help you avoid the messy gutter when you step out of your sport utility vehicle. The Hyundai Sonata, at under $23,000, comes with seat warmers. The manufacturer’s high-end Azera, new this year, comes with buttons that allow the mirror, pedal and seat positions to be set for each driver. “We continue to push the bounds of what people perceive as the necessary levels of luxury,” said Hyundai spokesman Kevin Oates. “Manufacturers keep trying to infuse cars with more and more comfort, and consumers love it.” The list goes on: The smart key that unlocks the door without having to insert it in the lock. Remote-access controls to warm or cool the car interior before you climb in. Charcoal filters purify the air inside. The $60,000 Cadillac Escalade squirts hot water to wash the more stubborn gunk off the windshield. In the new Subaru Tribeca, soccer moms can let the kids plug in iPods or PlayStations in the “way-back” – the third row of seats. Wireless headsets keep the car quiet so “if mom’s stuck in traffic and she’s stressing in traffic, she doesn’t even have to listen,” said Subaru product specialist Neechy Dumas. But while being stuck in Los Angeles congestion may have never been so nice, Honda spokesman Sage Marie notes that another kind of nice can be found behind the wheel of the new 2006 Civic – the ever-popular but affordable sedan – which is getting 40 highway mpg. “For somebody who spends a lot of time on the road, that translates to a lot of money.” Lisa Mascaro, (818) 713-3761 [email protected] 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

Have my eyes on 2020 Olympic medal, says heptathlete Swapna

first_imgKolkata, Oct 5 (IANS) Her coach might not think it’s a realistic target, but Asian Games gold medallist Swapna Barman on Friday said she is targeting a podium finish at the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo and will train rigorously for that.”It motivates me that all of India is rooting for me now. Yes at the same time, it adds extra pressure. But my sir (Subhas Sarkar) is there with me. He will make me train harder than ever for the 2020 Olympics which is my target,” Barman said during the India Today Conclave East 2018 here.Sarkar had said that it would be wise to keep her eyes on defending her Asian Games gold.At the Asian Games in Indonesia a month ago, Swapna became the first Indian athlete to win a gold medal in women’s heptathlon.Battling poverty and having to do it all with12 toes – six on each foot – Barman achieved the rare feat with pain due to a toothache during the finals.The 21-year-old logged 6026 points from the seven events competed for two days. En route the title, she won the high jump (1003 points) and javelin throw (872 points) events and finished second-best in shot put (707 points) and long jump (865 points).”I have not changed since winning gold at the Asian Games. But the sudden attention from every corner of the country does make me feel special. I sometimes feel I am dreaming,” Barman said.Asked about the video going viral where her mother Basana Barman, who worked as a maid and also plucked leaves in tea gardens, is seen crying profusely after the victory, Swapna said,” I asked my mother why was she crying? I could not watch the video in full as I did not like her crying so much. It was an emotional moment but she should have been smiling.”Barman is yet to receiveadvertisementa proper pair of shoes in order to compete in the upcoming competitions.Earlier this month, SAI Director General Neelam Kapur had said that they had taken up the matter of Barman’s specialised shoes with Adidas and they had agreed to get customised shoes for her.”I will get customised shoes very soon and I am hopeful. My team is taking care of that. I cannot explain what I suffered with every landing during the Asian Games,” Barman added.Along with her was former India women’s team cricket captain Jhulan Goswami and India women’s hockey team skipper Rani Rampal.”Since the World Cup in England last year, the situation has changed and we are followed more keenly now. The BCCI and ICC are taking care of women’s cricket very nicely,” said Goswami who recently called time on her T20 career.India eves reached the final of the Women’s World Cup last year, losing to hosts England in the summit clash by nine runs.”Now a country like Thailand is participating in the ICC qualifiers for the T20 World Cup. So things have changed globally and I believe women’s cricket is the fastest growing sport in the world,” Goswami added, wishing luck to the Indian team ahead of the T20 World Cup to be held in the West Indies from November 9-24.Rampal, who led the India eves to an Asian Games silver after they lost to formidable Japan 0-1, said she is proud of the youngsters in her side as they fashioned a comeback after the World Cup setback.”We lost on penalties for the first time and the team was shattered. From there, to pick ourselves up and put out a good show at the Asian Games is commendable and I am really proud of the youngsters in the side.”India lost to Ireland on penalties in the quarter-finals to crash out of the World Cup earlier this year.–IANSdm/gau/bglast_img read more