Sam joins Leo to talk about a new safety feature for cars that uses an IR emitter to scan your face, looking for fatigue while driving. If you start nodding while driving, the device sees it and gives you an audio warning to pull over.
This week's car segment talks about active noise control (or noise cancellation) in today's automobiles. Sam says that Active noise cancellation in cars is similar to that in headphones, which uses noise cancellation to dampen out ambient noise. It was first used in 1993 in Audis. Sam also says that active noise control can help your fuel economy as well. It enables you to drop minimum engine speed at idle to 600 RPM, giving you an extra 1 MPG. It's also being used in hybrids for the same reasons.
Sam joins Leo to talk about shock absorbers, also known as dampeners today. Cars use hydraulic pistons to absorb the shock and movement of driving down the car, and they work in concert with springs to smooth out your drive. GM invented a process called MagnaRide Dampers, which are very popular now, and use magnetic particles suspended in oil, which alters the viscosity when needed. This means you can computer control and adjust the amount of shock the damper absorbs, improving your control — very cool technology. Many dealers offer them as an option.
Sam joins Leo to talk about the new Ford Mustang Mach E, Ford's first dedicated electric vehicle. Leo says he's pretty excited about this one. Sam said Ford didn't want to create a "compliance car" to meet regulatory requirements. They wanted to create a car people would talk about. So they called it a Mustang and got designers to create something in the Spirit of Tesla, that's fast, has the Mustang DNA, and gets people excited. Sam says he thinks the Mach E is going to be a winner. It may not look like a Mustang, but Sam says that the performance will rival a gas-powered Mustang.
There has been a question lately if Google and Apple collected data from a smart connected car. Sam says that to date, they don't, other than the location history from your phone unless you turn it off. Also, if you connect your phone to the car, your car GPS is more accurate than your phone, and depending on the manufacturer, that car may provide location data to your maps app.
Sam joins Rich to talk about how modern cars are connected, and as such, users can get over the air updates, much like their cell phones. Ford's next-gen infotainment system, called Ford Sync 4, will have some interesting new features including over the air software updates. Tesla was the first to do it in the Model S in 2012, and Tesla owners love it. Sam says that manufacturers are also going to ethernet connected systems since today's cars have multiple computers in them. But Rich worries that updates could break your car, or you may have to pay for updates if you want new features.
Sam Abuelsamid came onto the show to talk about exciting ways car manufacturers are using cameras in new cars. He also mentions how, since 2016, it's been mandatory for manufacturers to include backup cameras in their vehicles.
Sam joins Leo to talk about Ultra Wide Band (UWB) which is coming to mobile phones and cars. The iPhone 11 has UWB, but it's not turned on yet. It's wireless band technology that operates within 6-8 GHz. Google's Pixel 4 will probably have a UWB chip as well. The benefit is going to be that you can directionally connect with devices. It can work with IoT devices, and carmakers will shift to it for keyless entry. It's not uncommon for manufacturers to put hardware into a device even when the software isn't ready, and then turn it on with a firmware update.
Sam Abuelsamid joins Leo to talk about digital voice assistants in our cars. Systems get smarter by listening to samples of recordings and learning the context. So putting a DVA into your car would mean that it would be listening to you as you drive. That's how the AI gets trained.
Matt has a brand new Ford Pickup and it's causing his air conditioner to stop working when he uses Ford Sync. Leo says that sounds like a bug or a wiring issue. Matt needs to go back to the dealer and have that fixed. One thing to try is to update the system - https://owner.ford.com/support/how-tos/sync/sync/downloads-and-updates/how-to-use-usb-to-update-sync.html