Sam joins Leo to talk about another Tesla that crashed due to overreliance on Tesla's autopilot. Two people died. The facts of the accident are that both people climbed into the back seat while the car was navigating itself. With no one to take control when the autopilot failed, the car went off the road while going around a curve, hit a tree, and caught fire. Sam says that in spite of the hype, there is no car with a so-called autopilot feature, that is truly self-driving.
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 NVidia's developer's conference, which is coming up. It's free this year, and Sam says it will highlight the latest in video gaming technology and what they are doing in the Automotive space.
Meanwhile, electric vehicles are going off-road, with EVs taking on desert racing. EVs are just as fast as gas-powered cars, and the challenge is keeping the batteries in good shape during the sandy desert conditions.
Sam joins Leo to talk about the Netflix series: Drive to Survive, about Formula 1 racing. Leo says it's gotten him to start watching the actual races. Sam says that Formula 1 racing has been traditionally expensive, with companies spending nearly a half-billion a year on the effort. There is technology transfer between racing and actual car manufacturing. And companies like Ferrari have their entire reputation built on racing performance and success.
Sam joins Leo to talk about the challenges that are ahead producing enough batteries for widely adapting electric vehicles and making them more affordable. One of the big challenges will be the recycling of depleted car batteries. VW has opened a recycling plant and they believe they could recover up to 95% of the battery components and reuse them in new batteries. That would definitely make it easier to reach the goals of making EVs dominant in the car industry.
Check out the video of the process here -
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 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.
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.