Sam joins Leo to talk about GM's new Sierra truck that has supercruise that's a little bit too much like Ford's Blue Cruise. So much so that Ford is suing them for trademark infringement. One of the key features of the hands-free system is that it will only operate on a mapped highway, while Tesla's will work on any road. Sam says that a more conservative approach is the right move, saying you don't want to make your customers beta testers for a self-driving system that may not work as expected.
Sam joins Leo to talk about Formula E racing, the electric car version of Formula 1. In its seventh season, the cars are completely electric, with drivers having to swap cars when making a pit stop. Sam says it's really cool, as the cars sound more like TIE fighters from Star Wars than race cars. Sam says this weekend is the Formula E Championship taking place in the streets of New York. The cars are second generation and have gotten pretty large. Gen 3 will be coming out next year, promising smaller cars to make passing easier and more exciting.
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.
Sam says that computer processors have been in cars since the late 70s, as manufacturers have sought to improve the efficiency of car engines. But with each new feature, Sam says it seems that another processor gets added to the overall car design. Now just about everything in your car is controlled by a processor, and they're getting more and more powerful. The more advanced a car is, the more code to control it. Some cars have over 100 million lines of computer code. So they are quite complicated and powerful. But with the rise in power, comes a rise in price.
Sam joins Leo to talk about the Lexus 500H, a hybrid that will have the Toytota Team system, the brand's first hands-free driving system. It will also use LIDAR, which is different from the RADAR found in most cars with hands-free driving options. It's chiefly interactive, sending out a laser to read the 3D space around the car, but it falls short in measuring distance and speed. But its higher resolution can see through the 3d space to pick up details RADAR may not see.
Sam joins Leo to talk about cars. This weekend is the Indy 500 and Leo says it's a lot different from Formula 1, which he thinks is more exciting, especially when you go to Monaco. Sam says that in the last 25 years, the technology transfer from racing to consumer-driven cars has been greatly diminished due to regulations. But there are still some advancements that influence car design, even if it's not noticeable.
Sam is back to talk about hands-free driving technology and the regulations that may be in the way of its development. The process of creating an autopilot has been an evolution as car manufacturers and government regulators seek to figure out the safest way to do it. Elon Musk complains that regulations are in the way, but they are there for safety purposes. But now Europe has put forth regulations for level 3 systems designed to make the development of hands-free steering more harmonious.
Scott joins Leo to talk about Citroen's new car subscription service called "Free2Move." It's a car-sharing subscription service that's ideal for people living in the city. Great for people who may have a need for a car from time to time, but don't really want the expense that comes with parking spots and insurance. The Citroen Ami cars are electric and have a top speed of about 28 mph and a range of about 200 miles on a single charge.
Sam joins Leo to talk about the extreme shortage of rental cars right now, as rental agencies sold over half their fleets during the pandemic, and now they can get new cars to replace them.
Sam joins Leo to talk about the news that Tesla data indicates the car that crashed in Houston may not have been on autopilot at the time of the crash that killed two people. Sam says that doesn't mean it wasn't on autopilot before the crash though, and Tesla hasn't responded to when exactly the autopilot disengaged. If it disengaged a few seconds before the crash, and with the driver foolishly sitting in the back seat, there would be no way to regain control of the vehicle. So the point is rather moot.