Ford, GM Rev Up Rivalry With Apps

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Ford Motor Co. and General Motors Co., longtime rivals for control of the road, are now beginning a battle to find the right “app.”

Both auto makers announced Monday they are inviting anyone from software geeks to the everyday driver to develop applications that can be used in their respective vehicles. There are no plans between the two auto makers to share.

Ford said it is opening up access to a specialized application connection software, called AppLink, so it can expand its current crop of 13 programs that connect to its vehicles.

Toyota, Audi Prep Self-Driving Cars

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Toyota Motor Corp. and Audi AG are throwing their hats into the ring of potential suppliers of self-driving vehicles.

Both auto makers confirmed on Thursday that they will be demonstrating autonomous-driving features at the Consumer Electronics Show in the coming week, signaling a new effort to raise the technology’s profile among consumers.

In a preview video posted to its website on Thursday, Toyota showed a five-second clip of one of its Lexus brand cars outfitted with various sensors and the caption, “Lexus advanced active safety research vehicle is leading the industry into a new automated era.”

Apple Makes a Wrong Turn as Users Blast Map Switch

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Apple Inc.’s move to replace Google Inc.’s mapping software with its own on its mobile devices sparked a world-wide consumer backlash, marking a rare strategic blunder by a company more accustomed to rave reviews from users.

As Apple prepped its stores for the first sales of the iPhone 5 on Friday, the company faced vociferous complaints from consumers over the mapping application it released this week, which replaces the Google maps that have been part of the iPhone since the device’s initial 2007 release. The new maps come installed on the iPhone 5 and will be seen by other users who upgrade their iPhones and iPads to the company’s latest iOS 6 mobile operating system.

Cars Pump Up IQ to Get Edge

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LAS VEGAS—Auto makers want their cars to be able to drive into the cloud.

Manufacturers like General Motors Co., Ford Motor Co. and Daimler AG’s Mercedes-Benz Cars division are using the Consumer Electronics Show here to show off a set of computer services that operate online, or through the “cloud,” and allow customers to remotely track their cars, diagnose what’s wrong with them and potentially avoid collisions.