Sam says that tires are really the key component of any car, much less an electric car. Toyota had a prototype car in the 24 hours of LaMan's and there was a flat tire that caused a car to lose, because the pit crew changed the wrong tire due to a sensor reading attributed to the wrong wheel. Sam says that keeping our tires healthy and properly inflated is the best thing to do for your car after changing the oil. Michelin is also working on an airless tire, that won't need to be inflated from time to time and will eliminate the worry of a blow out.
Sam was in Manhattan NY this week and he didn't do any driving while there because of all the traffic. So he took the subway. Sam says that in Manhattan, Autonomous Vehicles are a prime application to better the flow of traffic. But he also says it would be a terrible thing in a lot of ways. One company could dominate, but that would be a monopoly and a bad thing. Imagine bad actors infiltrating a single company's AV fleet. That would be disastrous. Several different car companies with diverse technologies would be safer, cheaper, and likely more efficient.
Sam joins Leo to talk about how the electrical architecture of E Vehicles is evolving. The wiring of modern electric vehicles can have as much as 2 miles of copper wire built into them. Hundreds of sensors. Connectors, and more. Manufacturers are trying to simplify it. Now they're starting to use CanBus, which is essentially like Ethernet, that allows computers in your car to talk to each other. So the modern electric vehicle is essentially a computer network.
Sam recently completed his test drive of the Audi eTron, a mid-size electric crossover vehicle. It's Audi's first all-electric vehicle. Audi expects by 2025, that 30% of all sales will be electric vehicles. Sam says that it also charges about 30% faster using an Electrify America charger, vs. a standard charger. Very fast charging. Up to 80% in 30 minutes. The eTron drives very well, smooth ride with almost no wind noise. Exceptionally quiet. If you love driving Audi's this car is for you.
Sam joins to talk about a new product that plugs into your car's OBD2 diagnostic port and can tell you what's wrong with your car. It uses Bluetooth and an app that reads the code and tells you what is wrong. But there are also other uses like monitoring your driving for a better insurance rate. It can also read all the messages the car shares with the manufacturer, or other devices in the car.
Sam is going to be driving Audi's first electric vehicle this week. Sam is also looking at Amazon's secure delivery service, which is being tested. Through a special lock, Amazon delivery will be able to deliver your packages when no one is home, by placing the package in the garage or into a locked car. Amazon will send a signal, that can open the garage or car door, and then drop off the package, locking it automatically behind them. Leo says that the next thing will be drone delivery, where it'll just drop the package into your yard.
Sam wants to talk about bringing digital voice assistants, like Amazon Echo, into your car. The idea here is to further the hands off experience to keep your hands on the wheel and not trying to do anything else. Sam says until recently, car computers have had weak processors, that caused having voice regognition a challenge. But now most cars have embedded voice assistants with limited vocabularies, and Amazon and Google are moving into the space, as is Apple with Apple CarPlay.
Leo rented a car with Android Auto while on vacation and he wasn't impressed. Sam test-drove a Ford EDGE with What Three Words navigation and said that the real key is to remember the words you need. But the system allows you to save your favourites. Leo wonders why What Three Words are so cryptic. Sam says it's because navigation can be specific to ten feet, not just a basic general location.
Sam joins Rich to talk about music factor interfaces for Android Auto and Apple Carplay. Rich got Apple Carplay updated in his car overnight and was thrilled. Sam says that Carplay and Android Auto are the best factory-based music systems. Rich said he had a check engine light go on in his car and he got an email from OnStar telling him what was wrong. Sam says that telemetry data is one of the cool things about the connected car experience, and it can even be predictive, where it warns you of a pending failure before it happens.
The newest TESLA coming is the TESLA Model Y. The plan will be that it available in about 18 months, in 2020, You can put down $2500 fully refundable deposit to reserve it when it launches. Sam says it's not really worth putting a deposit down becauase it really doesn't give you an advantage over anyone else to get the car when it comes out. The Model Y is a hatchback version of the Tesla Model 3, sharing about 70% of the same components.