Rear-mounted camera systems for automobiles are nothing new, but there's only so much they can show: what's behind the vehicle. Now there's word that Nissan Motor Co. is developing a camera system that will project an all-sides view of the vehicle, using front, rear and side cameras. The system is designed to help drivers ease into a tight parking space by displaying anything in the vicinity. Insiders say the technology is likely to appear first on an Infiniti, Nissan's luxury brand.
HIGH ON HYDROGEN -- There was a time when the creation of a congressional caucus signaled an issue's importance. Like-minded lawmakers formed caucuses to help the steel industry, the auto industry and the Northeast-Midwest region, to name a few. But the groups have proliferated; there now are caucuses supporting the interests of bicyclists, horse owners, skiers and snowboarders. So it's not yet clear how significant it is that four lawmakers recently launched the House Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Caucus. Says Rep. Charles Dent, R-Pa.: "The transition to hydrogen can happen faster than we think." Adds Rep. John Larson, D-Conn.: "If we can fly to the moon, then we can use hydrogen to get people back and forth to work." One thing is certain: Hydrogen is an essential ingredient in hot air, something for which Congress is famous.
73-STORY BILLBOARD -- General Motors isn't going to let anyone forget that Chevrolet is the exclusive automotive sponsor of Major League Baseball's All-Star Game, scheduled in Detroit on Tuesday, July 12. Last week GM hung a massive banner on its world headquarters at the Renaissance Center -- visible from Comerica Park, site of the game -- showing a four-story-tall baseball smashing through the windows. The number below the baseball, 4,612, refers to the number of feet from the Ren Cen to home plate -- beyond the reach of even the most muscular home run hitter.
HERE COME THE HYBRIDS -- Cars.com, the online classified service, is capitalizing on the increasing interest in hybrid vehicles by adding an area to its site called the Hybrid Vehicle Buying Guide. The Chicago company lists cars and light trucks available with gasoline-electric hybrids and offers information on hybrid vehicle maintenance, advances in hybrid technology and similar topics. Cars.com says it noticed that consumer searches for hybrid vehicles tripled in February when gas prices hit $2 a gallon, and that searches have remained steady.