Sam was at the Formula E electric car races today. He said they sound a lot like TIE Fighters when they race. The races can be viewed on YouTube. Sam also got to test drive Porche new secret electric vehicle. Leo calls it his dream car.
Sam is back to talk about whether car screens would start pushing ads to your car's infotainment computer screen. Soon, you'll be able to add apps to your car's computer interface, and that could lead to ads. Already, Starbucks and Dominos have deals with Ford and other manufacturers to include their apps on their infotainment systems. But car companies say they have no plans to do it, even though it's can be done. Leo says what's cool is two-way communication between, say parking lots and the car, enabling the driver to know if there are parking spots available.
Sam joins Leo to talk about HD Maps and how they triangulate your position with not just satellites, but also maps generated from radar and lidar in your car. Accuracy is to the centimetre that way. It's the future of navigation. Mobile Eye is one such company that is working to put HD Maps in cars. Nissan's ProPilot will also have it this fall. Cars are also going to be getting ground penetrating radar to add to the accuracy to the navigation by identifying the location of what's underground as well. All that data is collated and adds to HD Maps.
Sam says that tires are really the key component of any car, much less an electric car. Toyota had a prototype car in the 24 hours of LaMan's and there was a flat tire that caused a car to lose, because the pit crew changed the wrong tire due to a sensor reading attributed to the wrong wheel. Sam says that keeping our tires healthy and properly inflated is the best thing to do for your car after changing the oil. Michelin is also working on an airless tire, that won't need to be inflated from time to time and will eliminate the worry of a blow out.
Sam was in Manhattan NY this week and he didn't do any driving while there because of all the traffic. So he took the subway. Sam says that in Manhattan, Autonomous Vehicles are a prime application to better the flow of traffic. But he also says it would be a terrible thing in a lot of ways. One company could dominate, but that would be a monopoly and a bad thing. Imagine bad actors infiltrating a single company's AV fleet. That would be disastrous. Several different car companies with diverse technologies would be safer, cheaper, and likely more efficient.
Sam joins Leo to talk about how the electrical architecture of E Vehicles is evolving. The wiring of modern electric vehicles can have as much as 2 miles of copper wire built into them. Hundreds of sensors. Connectors, and more. Manufacturers are trying to simplify it. Now they're starting to use CanBus, which is essentially like Ethernet, that allows computers in your car to talk to each other. So the modern electric vehicle is essentially a computer network.
Sam recently completed his test drive of the Audi eTron, a mid-size electric crossover vehicle. It's Audi's first all-electric vehicle. Audi expects by 2025, that 30% of all sales will be electric vehicles. Sam says that it also charges about 30% faster using an Electrify America charger, vs. a standard charger. Very fast charging. Up to 80% in 30 minutes. The eTron drives very well, smooth ride with almost no wind noise. Exceptionally quiet. If you love driving Audi's this car is for you.
Sam joins to talk about a new product that plugs into your car's OBD2 diagnostic port and can tell you what's wrong with your car. It uses Bluetooth and an app that reads the code and tells you what is wrong. But there are also other uses like monitoring your driving for a better insurance rate. It can also read all the messages the car shares with the manufacturer, or other devices in the car.
Sam is going to be driving Audi's first electric vehicle this week. Sam is also looking at Amazon's secure delivery service, which is being tested. Through a special lock, Amazon delivery will be able to deliver your packages when no one is home, by placing the package in the garage or into a locked car. Amazon will send a signal, that can open the garage or car door, and then drop off the package, locking it automatically behind them. Leo says that the next thing will be drone delivery, where it'll just drop the package into your yard.
Sam wants to talk about bringing digital voice assistants, like Amazon Echo, into your car. The idea here is to further the hands off experience to keep your hands on the wheel and not trying to do anything else. Sam says until recently, car computers have had weak processors, that caused having voice regognition a challenge. But now most cars have embedded voice assistants with limited vocabularies, and Amazon and Google are moving into the space, as is Apple with Apple CarPlay.