Sam joined Leo to talk about cars. This week, he drove the Mustang MachE GT, which has more power (480hp) and up to 630 footpoints of torque. Meaning it can run as fast as a Shelby GT but quieter. Sam also went to GM this week to cover a bunch of announcements during Investor Day. GM will be revealing the upcoming Silverado Electric with a range of over 400 miles per charge. Leo says the competition in the truck market is really heating up for electric.
Sam joins Leo to talk about local races designed to let people play with their cars and explore their limits. It's basic slalom racing, where you're racing a course against the clock. Sam ran his Mazda Miata recently and did quite well. The fun thing about it is, you don't have to have a race car or anything custom. You can bring any car you have. The racing is usually done in a mall or stadium parking lot and can be a fun way to spend a weekend. It's also an excellent way to teach your teen to do advanced driving techniques like skid recovery.
Sam joins Leo to talk about Tesla's new beta self-driving program that you can buy for $10,000. But when you buy it, the car will monitor your driving for a week and then decide whether you deserve the upgrade. It's looking for risky behavior and has to do with insurance and sharing driving data. Sam doesn't think anyone should rely on self-driving software. It's nowhere near ready for the average driver.
Sam joins Leo to talk about a new RoboTaxi service called Moovit being tested in Munich, GER using an auto-driven taxi by Neo called the ES8. Sam says that what's interesting is that the ES8 has "battery swapping," where the car's battery would be able to be swapped out by simply pulling into a station. The swap takes about three minutes and is fully automated. So EV drivers won't have to wait an hour to charge their battery. Sam says commercial fleets and taxis; battery swapping makes a lot of sense. But for a regular consumer, it's isn't really that practical.
Sam joins us today to talk about the new electric Cadillac Lyric. Sam says that it's built on the same platform as the Hummer RV and that GM wants to make all Cadillac models electric within the next few years. It'll have at least a 300-mile range and a 33" LCD screen that runs from the driver side, past the center console - one continuous screen. The Lyric is expected to go into production February of 2022.
Check out Sam's WheelBearings podcast here.
Sam joins Leo to talk about Ford's second-generation driving assist software called "Blue Cruise." Level 2 means the system is capable of performing steering and speed control, but the driver still must be alert to take over should the need develop. So no crawling in the back seat. Blue Cruise is a hands-off system, like Chevy's Super Cruise, but they are limited to divided highways. Ford has about 130,000 miles of divided highways mapped, while GM has around 200,000. No stop signs or traffic lights. That also means no cruising on city streets.
Sam joins Leo to talk about the recent Chevy Bolt recall. This isn't the first recall that Chevy has faced of the Bolt's battery having the potential to catch fire. Seven fires triggered the recall. Sam says there are suggested settings to prevent your car battery from overcharging. Including not charging it over 90% or deep discharging it. Read the recall notice for details. Also, GM recommends parking your car away from your house just in case.
Sam joins Leo to talk about the upcoming CVX cellular vehicle to vehicle communications system that will soon be added to all new cars. The system will enable cars to communicate with each other or with traffic control systems to advise on road conditions and events that occur while you're driving. First-generation will work with LTE networks but will transition to 5G as the coverage grows. The result will be ultra-low latency peer-to-peer networks that can react as road conditions and other issues change. The system will be rolled out in the third quarter of 2022.
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.