Words by Leslie Sy
Last January 31, 2012, the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) Chairman Francis N. Tolentino asked the help of five award-winning Filipino inventors to develop “robots” that can be used to help the MMDA police traffic violators the metro. The advantages of a robotic MMDA officer are quite obvious. Above being bribe-proof, it will also tirelessly do its duty all day long. But will the idea of having a “RoboMMDA” really work in the real world?
Digesting this news, visions from the movie RoboCop comes to mind, but it's not the part-man part-machine hero. Instead, it’s his adversary - the flawed artificial intelligent robot called ED-209 that pops into my head as MMDA head Tolentino's inspiration. It's either a brilliant idea or he's just too engrossed in a RoboCop rerun marathon.
Words by Jade Lu
Hyundai certainly gave their pampered patrons a taste of the good life at the “One Hyundai Club: Life in Style” event last January 14, 2012 at the Glorietta Activity Center in Makati. It was a fair of fashion, style, food, and wellness and a celebration of being a proud Hyundai owner.
The festivities included food tasting, a candy buffet, a fashion show, on-the-spot makeovers, and wall climbing, just to name a few. But if those weren’t enough to rouse the crowd, Hyundai raffled off prizes by the hour. And to make thing even better, the grand prizes of a trip for two to South Korea and a Special Edition i10 were up for grabs in the raffle. The event also highlighted the launch of the special One Hyundai Club Life in Style 2012 Journal, which not only features chronicles by renowned journalists and editors but also serves as a log for the experiences that a One Hyundai Club (OHC) member would expect.
Red Rock Travel (RRT), the Philippines' F1 tour authority, is giving thrill seekers a once-in-a-lifetime chance to take the ultimate taxi ride at the 2012 Malaysian Grand Prix. Ride shotgun behind a modern two-seater Formula 1 car as you whiz around the Sepang Circuit at break-neck speeds. Think you've got what it takes to become a future Formula 1 star? Well, try lasting last three laps in the back seat first.
The Malaysian GP F1x2 experience will go out on track for its flying laps from March 30 to 31, 2011 - a week after the Grand Prix. Suit up and put your gear on for a breath-taking three lap taxi ride in a 2001-spec Minardi Formula 1 car, priced at RM 18,000 per person or RM 480,000 for groups of 30.
Words by Niky Tamayo | Photos courtesy of Sony Computer Entertainment Inc.
Despite a troubled launch, Gran Turismo 5 still remains one of the best-selling console racing games out today. But fans of the series have expressed their disappointment over its unfinished nature. Although the game shipped with over 1,000 cars and 26 track locations, many of the cars are merely direct, low-resolution ports from older games in the series, whereas there is always room for new tracks.
The game's developer, Polyphony Digital, however has been working hard to close the perception gap with constant gameplay and graphics updates and a number of downloadable cars, tracks, and paints. The latest update v2.03 helps clean up certain aspects of the game, such as tire issues in remote racing and fuel consumption for electric cars, and is downloadable starting January 17, 2012.
The kingdom of Makati is once again holding its annual New Year's Eve Countdown party. This year, it's taking up an entire city block with it. Starting as early as 12:01am of December 29, 2011, both directions of Ayala Avenue and Makati Avenue (from Parkway Drive to Paseo de Roxas) will be closed to vehicular traffic until January 1, 2012 to facilitate stage construction, equipment placement, and fireworks display preparation. So if you work, live, or pass through the area, you might want to take note of the traffic rerouting advisory from the MMDA (see map for reference):
  • Buses from EDSA take Sen. Gil Puyat Ave. (Buendia) going toward SSHW or Pasay City and vice versa. 
  • Light vehicles from EDSA and McKinley Road going toward Gil Puyat Ave. or Legaspi Village area take Arnaiz Avenue, right at Paseo de Roxas and vice-versa.
  • Light vehicles going toward Salcedo Village area take Ayala Ave., turn right at Apartment Ridge, left at Sta. Potenciana St., left at Paseo de Roxas.
  • Vehicles along Makati Ave., from Gil Puyat Ave. going toward Ayala Center, turn right at Paseo de Roxas and turn left at Esperanza Street or Arnaiz Ave. (Pasay Rd.) and vice versa. 
  • Private vehicles from Glorietta going towards Gil Puyat Ave. may turn right from Parkway Drive to the opposite lane of Makati Ave. (short counter-flow), right at Dela Rosa St., right at Paseo de Roxas, left at Ayala Ave.
  • Vehicles going to and from Tower One and Exchange Plaza (TOEP), take Paseo de Roxas Entrance and Exit, while those going to Makati Stock Exchange (MSE) or GASI Car Park take Apartment Ridge, left at Sto. Tomas St. and left at Makati Ave.
Words by Christopher Kho | Photos courtesy of HPI Racing
If you've been longing to become a World Rally Championship (WRC) driver someday, you can now live the dream in 1/8th scale with the WR8 3.0 from HPI Racing. This radio-controlled rally car takes shape as the 2011 Ford Fiesta RS WRC and is powered by a two-stroke G3.0 nitro engine with full-time 4WD. Boxed up complete with a 2.4GHz radio system and tarmac tires, this miniature racer is ready to hit stages on tarmac, gravel, or snow. 
Drive Mikko Hirvonen's Fiesta RS WRC draped in the official Ford Abu Dhabi World Rally Team livery. And to complete the scale realism, the WR8 rolls on licensed miniature Michelin Latitude Cross S1 gravel tires used in the WRC, mounted on white OZ rims.
Words and photos by Christopher Kho
Suzuki Philippines Inc., the only integrated automobile and motorcycle manufacturer in the country, is showing off their best on both two and four wheels at the Suzuki AutoMoto Grand Invasion happening on December 15 to 18, 2011 at the SM Mall of Asia Music Hall. Peer into the entire Suzuki line-up (including a sneak-preview of five new motorcycles for 2012), get FREE service check-ups, and have a blast at the AutoMoto's daily activities. 
Four-wheeled fanatics will not only get to feast their eyes on but also test drive the Suzuki APV, Swift, and the newly-launched Alto K10. Riders on two-wheels, on the other hand, can bask in the complete array of Suzuki motorcycles with several custom bikes on display. But don't dare miss the show's main attraction, Suzuki's fresh bikes for 2012.
Scoring top marks the European New Car Assessment Program's (Euro ENCAP) safety tests, the three-pointed star's freshly-baked coupe is now available in the Philippines. Officially distributed by CATS Motors Inc., be sporty and safe in the new Mercedes-Benz C-Class Coupé.
With its array of safety features, this luxury coupé passed with flying colors and received an exceptional 90% on its adult occupant rating, which involves front, side, and rear impact tests. Results also show that the level of protection is not that much affected by occupant size and should keep passengers safe even at different speeds and impact severities. Adding to its high level of safety standards are Mercedes-Benz innovations such as PRE-SAFE, a system that senses when an accident is about to occur and initiate additional passenger protection, and active head restraints that provides added support during a rear impact.
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