Week in Review: Relocations and Restrictions

The month of April has come and gone, and another week of news leaves with it. There was so much happening this week that it was hard to narrow down each day. Monday's announcement from Toyota made waves in the automotive industry, while Tuesday showed us that self-driving technology is a thing of the near future. Wednesday showed us that GM is going to make it extremely difficult to replicate the limited Camaro Z/28, while we learned on Thursday that there's now an app that's been dubbed the "Shazam of car noises." Friday finished out the week with the best-selling vehicles by segment for the month of April. Read the stories below to catch up on everything you may have missed this week while you were out enjoying the summer weather.

Monday, April 28

Kicking off the week, Toyota made some big news waves by announcing that the company will be moving its headquarters from here in California to Texas. This move will help the Japanese automaker to consolidate all its operations into one location, including manufacturing, sales, marketing, corporate, and financial operations. Around 4,000 Toyota employees from around the country will be making the move from California, Kentucky, and New York to Plano, Texas. Although it will not be an immediate move, Toyota hopes to have everything completed within the next few years. Even with all these changes, the automaker's 10 car factories across the nation will not be affected by the move. Jim Lentz, CEO of Toyota North America, commented on the move. "This…will strengthen our ability to put customers first and to continue making great products that exceed their expectations."

Tuesday, April 29

If you thought the idea of self-driving technology was at least another decade out before it was implemented, think again. Goggle and Volvo have both been testing the new technology on busy city roads. Google has previously limited its real-world testing to the freeways, but now it has stepped up and decided to take its autonomous driving technology to the city streets. Volvo has also been testing its own version of the technology on the streets of Gothenburg, Sweden. Right now, Volvo's test cars are keeping to a 31-mile stretch of city street, but the automaker hopes that as the technology progresses, the test car will be able to drive the entire route by itself, managing all driving functions without the aid of a human driver.

Wednesday, April 30

If you want a Camaro Z/28 but can't fork out $75,000-plus for the car, you may think about just buying the parts and creating your own replica. As the current model will have a limited production run before the new model year, many customers can't get their hands on the extremely collectible model. To remedy this potential problem, General Motors has announced that it will restrict the sale of specific Z/28 parts to prevent replication. These include brakes, wheels, differentials, seats, grilles, spoilers, fascias, and more. However, customers who actually own a Z/28 will be able to purchase these parts when they need replacing. While what GM has instituted will do wonders on preventing replications, we have a feeling that someone may find a way to get past these restrictions.

Thursday, May 1

We've all been in a car at some point when we hear a strange noise. Wouldn't it be helpful if you could identify the sound before heading to your local mechanic? Well, Noise Tech, LLC thought so. They've come out with a new app called ClingClanger--available for iPhone and Android--that lets the customer search through its database of recorded sounds to match it up with what they're hearing from their own cars. But Noise Tech isn't stopping there. Already, the team is figuring out ways to improve the app and customer service and satisfaction. The team of mechanics and engineers are taking steps to convert the sounds into digital fingerprints to upload directly into the app and create in-app recognition, making the app essentially the Shazam of car noises. But how did the Noise Tech team create the sounds in their library? By systematically destroying specific mechanical systems and recording the noises. While this may sound like a revolutionary app, we'd still recommend heading to your local shop for a professional evaluation.

Friday, May 2

Rounding out our week is the month's top selling vehicles by segment. For the month of April, we've seen repeat winners and some newcomers. Thanks to the passing of winter storms revealing sunny skies, more customers have been heading to dealerships to buy new cars. So what were the top sellers in each segment? The Nissan Versa grabbed the title for the subcompact segment, while Toyota snatched up the compact and midsize sedan segments with the Corolla and Camry, respectively. Next up was the minivan segment, which crowned the Dodge Grand Caravan. At no surprise, Ford's F-Series was the winner in the truck segment, while Honda's CR-V was crowned top of the two-row crossover segment. Ford also took home the title of the top three-row crossover with the help of its Explorer, while the Lexus RX was crowned top luxury crossover. BMW's 3/4 series was the clear victor in the luxury sedan segment. Last but not least, the Chevrolet Camaro just surpassed the Ford Mustang for the top sports car of the month.