Sam joins Leo to talk about Ford's on and off manufacturing of the Ford F150, which is caused by a chip shortage. During the pandemic, Ford closed manufacturing for several months and canceled chip orders. This caused factories to shift to other chip designs that were in demand. Now that things are opening up, Ford is stuck without parts, and they have to wait for manufactures to get back to it.
There were some big announcements in the Electric Vehicle battery world this week, where GM announced a partnership with a Lithium Metal battery startup. VW is investing in Quantum Scape batteries. So Sam wants to talk about batteries that power our EVs. How much energy an EV battery holds is its main challenge, and with every generation, the capacity or energy density doubles. But that capacity comes with a weight penalty. EV batteries weigh about 700 pounds. So everyone is working on how to increase battery storage while lowering the weight of the battery.
Sam joins Leo to talk about updates to Android Auto, which are coming to fix a bug that would put Android phones into a "boot loop." The problem stems from the Sync 4 standard that Ford uses for over the air updates. The fix is coming in the next few weeks. Leo says that Tesla was the first to do over the air updates since they treat their cars more as a computer than an automobile. But OTA updates have been happening with telematics in cars for years. Tesla was the first to actually update a car's firmware.
Sam joins Leo to talk about Tesla's new design, which includes a "flight yoke" style steering wheel. Sam says it's almost certainly a problematic design that favors form over function. It forces drivers to abandoned 10 and 2 positions in favor of 9 and 3. And if you get into a sudden situation, there's nothing for you to grab for hand over hand steering. And that could cause an accident. There's also no steering stalk for turn signals or transmission. It's in favor of the car deciding what gear selection is. You can use a button on the touch screen to go in reverse.
Sam joins Leo to talk about the latest car news. Lately, Sam drove Hyundai's Premium e-Vehicle, the Genesis GV70. It uses biometrics to authenticate payments for gas, keyless entry, and even the expansion of ultra-wideband wifi. Biometrics can also be used to watch the driver in order to make sure they are paying attention to the road. Sensors will monitor driver behavior with infrared cameras and alert the driver to keep watch of the road. It's possible that in the future, drivers will need face ID to start the car, an ideal security measure.
Sam joins Leo to highlight BMWs latest electronic vehicle: the iX. Launching in early 2022, it's an SUV crossover that has a questionable design. Sam says that BMW has gotten a bit "off the rails" with their design recently. It'll also be cellular-connected to allow for vehicle-to-vehicle infrastructure communications, and also be equipped with LIDAR sensors.
Sam joins Leo to talk about a new kind of heads up display that uses augmented reality to give the driver more information. The new generation hud will be hitting the market in the coming months (2021). HUDs have become fairly common since it's debut in 1988. It projects light through an LCD in your dashboard onto the windshield. HUDs make the information look like it's hovering about 3-4 away above your hood.
Sam Abuelsamid joins Leo to talk about the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and their research towards reducing fatalities on the highways. There's a sister organization in Britain that does the same thing. They do independent crash testing of new cars to see what impacts affect drivers and passengers. The current research is on driver-assist systems. But instead of crashing into another car, they test with inflatable cars towed behind another car in order to test the reaction time of driver-assist systems, which they grade on a 0-100 score.
Sam joins Leo to talk about the new electric Jeep Wrangler. Leo says that the Jeep Wrangler is extremely popular. People just love them. So an electric version makes sense. Chrysler is also offering for 4 wheelers, solar-powered charging stations at popular off-roading locations. Users will be able to stop and plug in to recharge emissions-free. One of the first locations will be the Rubicon.
In other EV news, Ford Mustang Mach E buyers can now use an app to customize their Mach E before taking delivery.
Sam joins Leo to talk about the Michigan Connected Corridor. An initiative designed to create transportation infrastructure driven by data from drivers as they travel. The initiative will create a 40-mile corridor between Detroit and Anarbor, which will offer an affordable roadway for autonomous connected vehicles. The infrastructure will also have sensors and internet connectivity, assigning lanes to autonomous vehicles based on capacity. Other vehicles will have access who pay a toll.