Sam says that the Ford F series is traditionally the top-selling brand in the US for over 40 decades. Ford builds one F150 every hour. This year, along with BMW, Ford is developing electronics that will enable over the air software updates, and at 200 teraflops, the F150 will be as powerful as a supercomputer. One upcoming feature will be the active driver system that's available on the Mustang Mach E. That will make Ford's F150 one of the first trucks with hands-free operability.
Sam Abuelsamid joins Leo to talk about the Mustang MachE, an electric SUV Crossover with the DNA of a Ford Mustang. It's the first EV from Ford designed from the ground up. Sam also says it signals where the industry of a whole is going, with software-defined features and functions that can be unlocked and upgraded once in the field and sold to customers. GM is also planning for over the air software updates with the same concept.
Sam joins Leo to talk about Ford's new Escape Plugin Hybrid, which charges batteries, as well as runs on gas. The Escape is a crossover hybrid that merges passenger cars and SUVs. The Escape Hybrid has 10 times the battery life as a standard hybrid with 14kw hours. The fuel economy estimates on the Ford Escape Plugin Hybrid came out this week. The Escape can go 37 miles before the engine kicks in to recharge the battery. That's the equivalent to 100 mpg. The Toyota Rav4 Hybrid will go even further at 40-42 miles before kicking in the gas engine.
Sam joins Leo this week to talk about Rivian's Electric Delivery Vans. Amazon has placed an order for 100,000 of them to round out their in house fleet of delivery vans. Amazon is going all-in with converting their delivery vehicles to electric, and Sam says it's going to explode over the next few years because it makes a great deal of sense. When you're putting 100,000 miles a year on a delivery van, the operating costs are flat out more affordable going with electric. And Sam says that companies like GM and Ford are building electric vans starting next year.
Sam joins Leo to talk about a new UV disinfectant you can get for your car that will sanitize the interior of your car after you get out of it. Currently in the testing phase, these units will start in rideshare, buses, and cabs, but could eventually make their way into everyone's car. Another solution, developed by Ford, uses existing hardware in the car that is controlled by software. The decontamination mode will run the engine at 2000 rpm for 15 minutes and turns up the heat to 133 degrees to kill any pathogens that have made their way into the car.
Sam says upcoming cars will require subscriptions for premium services like Autopilot. This is mainly due to having to maintain and support those premium services beyond the warranty period. Still, Sam says that car companies are becoming more interested in ongoing revenue streams, and it could be that in the future, you won't buy your car so much as pay to use one every time you drive.
Sam joins Leo to talk about storing cars for long periods. If you have to park your car, there are some things to do to protect them. First, get a car cover. This will at least protect a car from caked-on dust and dirt from long term storage. At the very least, you can get a roll of plastic wrap and wrap it up. If it's not going to move for longer than a few months, the best thing to do is fill it up to the top. That will minimize air and prevent fuel oxidation. There are also additives you can add to preserve the fuel.
Sam joins Leo to talk about an interesting car race called the Lemons Race. It's a take on the 24 hours of Lemans, but instead, users buy lemons and race them. You buy a car for $500 (not including safety equipment), and then race it in an endurance race. And if racers are proven to have spent too much, the race organizers can buy the car for $500. That prevents cheating. It's one of the craziest races out there.
Sam joins Leo to talk about the demise of AUTOMATIC, a telematics device that plugs into the OBD2 port on your car to let you keep up on the health of your vehicles. Sadly, Automatic called it quits this week due to the Covid19 pandemic. Leo says that there are plenty of other devices similar to Automatic that will work without connecting to a server. AT&T has one called the SPARK that includes a wifi hotspot and LTE service. Sam says that as time goes on, the third-party market is shrinking because new cars have these functions built-in.
Sam says that in light of the pandemic, ride-sharing has dropped to nothing, and the feeling is that a lot of people aren't likely to return to it, or public transit. We may see a shift back to personal use vehicles. This is a serious challenge for not only ride-sharing companies that would require sanitizing after every ride, to autonomous cabs. It's also moving autonomous vehicle developers to move towards goods delivery, not ride-sharing. So the future of driverless vehicles may be the transport of goods, not people.