Sam joins Leo to talk about a new safety feature for cars that uses an IR emitter to scan your face, looking for fatigue while driving. If you start nodding while driving, the device sees it and gives you an audio warning to pull over.
Sam is back from CES and joins Leo to talk about what he saw. What surprised Sam was the Sony Vision S Concept Car. A 4 door electric sedan, it looks a lot like a Tesla. The car was built by Magna International, which creates a lot of the parts that come in today's cars. They also build cars in Europe for Toyota, Jaguar, and others. This doesn't mean that Sony is getting into the car manufacturing business, but was meant to showcase all the electronics that they make for the Car industry.
Sam joins Leo to talk about CES and what we can expect to see with car technology. Automakers and suppliers have been coming to CES since 2007 when Ford Sync was announced during the Microsoft Keynote. Then GM did a Keynote the year after.
This week's car segment talks about active noise control (or noise cancellation) in today's automobiles. Sam says that Active noise cancellation in cars is similar to that in headphones, which uses noise cancellation to dampen out ambient noise. It was first used in 1993 in Audis. Sam also says that active noise control can help your fuel economy as well. It enables you to drop minimum engine speed at idle to 600 RPM, giving you an extra 1 MPG. It's also being used in hybrids for the same reasons.
Sam joins Leo to talk about shock absorbers, also known as dampeners today. Cars use hydraulic pistons to absorb the shock and movement of driving down the car, and they work in concert with springs to smooth out your drive. GM invented a process called MagnaRide Dampers, which are very popular now, and use magnetic particles suspended in oil, which alters the viscosity when needed. This means you can computer control and adjust the amount of shock the damper absorbs, improving your control — very cool technology. Many dealers offer them as an option.
Sam joins Leo to talk about something a bit different, but still an electric "vehicle." It's an electric skateboard. It was a GM concept from 2001, and it used hydrogen fuel cells. The concept has been adapted over the last 20 years to just about all dedicated electric vehicles. Leo wonders if Detroit is working to make car manufacturing more modular, so you can mix and match components for different electric models. Sam agrees.
Sam joins Leo to talk about electric vehicle news. The news from the Ford Mustang E is that Ford has sold out of their preorders.
Sam joins Leo to talk about the new Ford Mustang Mach E, Ford's first dedicated electric vehicle. Leo says he's pretty excited about this one. Sam said Ford didn't want to create a "compliance car" to meet regulatory requirements. They wanted to create a car people would talk about. So they called it a Mustang and got designers to create something in the Spirit of Tesla, that's fast, has the Mustang DNA, and gets people excited. Sam says he thinks the Mach E is going to be a winner. It may not look like a Mustang, but Sam says that the performance will rival a gas-powered Mustang.
Sam joins Leo to talk about tire pressure. When the weather turns colder, tire pressure will drop. Warm air expands, while cold air contracts. So you may find in the wintertime that your tires are under-inflated. If your tires are too low or too high, it can affect the wear of your tire, as well as the handling. It can also cause tire failure as well. So it pays to make sure your tires are properly inflated, be it in hot or cold weather.
There has been a question lately if Google and Apple collected data from a smart connected car. Sam says that to date, they don't, other than the location history from your phone unless you turn it off. Also, if you connect your phone to the car, your car GPS is more accurate than your phone, and depending on the manufacturer, that car may provide location data to your maps app.