Sam joins Leo fresh from his trip to Austin, Tx., his first trip in 18 months. But he can't talk about that this week (the Ford E-Bronco), so we're talking about the Luminar LIDAR Sensor, which will be coming to new Volvo cars in the future. The interesting trend is to put new technology in cars and then offer to unlock that technology for an extra fee down the proverbial road. So users will have the option to activate the LIDAR sensor and use it for more accurate scanning for the traffic ahead.
Ross has ripped all his CDs so he can enjoy the mp3s in his car with an external hard drive. Leo says that is cool, but hard drives have the same problem as a record player; they will skip when jostled. So if you hit a bump, the hard drive could skip, and that could damage your hard drive. Leo recommends a solid-state solution like a thumb drive or SSD drive in an external enclosure. Or you can put the music up in the cloud and just stream it from your mobile phone through the car's Bluetooth connection.
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.
Sam joins Leo to talk about the new Cadillac Escalade and its Augmented Reality instrument cluster display. It's 37" wide and has an OLED screen. It's great for navigation since it projects directions floating above the image coming from the front-facing camera. The next generation will have a multi-plane heads-up display that can be projected on the windshield. That's going to be really cool, as well as safe.
Sam joins Leo to talk about the All Wheel Drive option people can choose when buying a car. It manages to provide extra torque to the rear wheel when the car starts to slip. It's a part-time system that engages automatically. This is different than 4 wheel drive that evenly distributes the torque to all four wheels all the time. It's ideal in extreme conditions. It also requires locking your differential, and the four-wheel drive can be turned on and off manually by engaging/disengaging the differential lock.
Sam joins Leo to talk about Leo's new Mustang Mach E, which he finally got this week. Leo says it's the best car he's ever owned. Leo got the First Edition model with a great sound system, driver-assist/adaptive cruise control, and pony logos everywhere. Leo says that driver-assist makes driving a breeze.
Adam is considering buying a Ford Mustang Mach E. He's come to the realization that they are just computers on wheels. He's leery of promised future OTA updates that companies are promising as a sales benefit. Leo says that the development time of cars has dropped from five years to three years on the Mach E, which Ford rushed to get to market. Leo says that the problem with software development in a car is that bugs can crop up and updates can happen on almost a weekly basis.
Today, Sam joins Leo to talk about the coming snowfall as we head into the winter months. And that means preparing your car for the winter. Some things you can do:
Sam joins Leo to talk about an advanced driver-assist system from Ford called Mobile Eye. The system has advanced collision alert, driver monitoring, driver-assist, autopilot, and more. The system uses powerful Mobile Eye ARM chips. Leo says that will make cars smarter and as such, safer.
Sam also says that Nvidia is poised to buy ARM.
Sam joins Leo to talk about how regular auto companies cannot sell direct to customers without independent dealers. Tesla has no dealerships, so they can sell direct. Sam says it was a good deal in the early days because auto companies didn't have to sit on inventory and dealerships were local businesses offering services. But now, it's more of a challenge because the market has changed, leaving the traditional business model is in flux.