The news lately is that electric vehicles have a hard time in extreme cold weather. Sam says it's because a lot of its power is being used to heat the cabin and that dramatically cuts into your driving range. Sam says the best option is to preheat your car overnight during an overnight charge. That'll cut down on the amount of battery life you lose on a cold day.
This past week, Elon Musk said that the current version of Tesla autopilot can do fully self-driving on the high ways. But Sam says there isn't a single car on the road, with the exception of test vehicles that are fully self-driving. The technology simply isn't reliable enough without a safety driver. Leo says he can't wait for it to happen because he would like to never have to drive again. Sam says that people's perceptions of loving to drive are changing, preferring to have someone else do the driving. That's why Uber and Lyft are becoming so successful.
Sam is back to talk about the difference between auto pilot driver assist and self driving calls. It's fool hardy to assume that you can climb in the back to take a nap while your car drives itself. Cars aren't completely automated yet and mostly, the self driving car needs human input from time to time. Most cars are a level 1 system which detects cars in front of you slowing down and slowing down your cruise control. A level 2 system has an auto pilot, but the driver needs to be engaged to take over control at any moment, and the system is designed to rely on that.
Sam says that shared scooters are popping up all over the city, but he says we don't know what shape they are in, or if they have enough juice to get us where we need to go. They are a good alternative when you have to get somewhere within 10-12 blocks, though. The problem, however, is that those shared scooters don't come with protective headgear.
Sam is back from CES and he says that while more companies are featuring technology for cars, it is by no means a huge car show. That's the domain of the Detroit Auto Show. But Sam says that doesn't mean that there wasn't some cool car tech there. Alexa for Auto is becominng a thing. Sam says that cars are becoming far more computerized. Chips have been in cars since the 70s, but most cars now have about 75-100 separate computers built into them. We're starting to see a trend towards fewer, more powerful computers that will run your car for you.
Sam Abuelsamid is a former auto engineer and he joins the Tech Guy show for a regularly weekly feature. Welcome Aboard, Sam!