Sam joins Leo from home to talk about the toughest part of the driving test. Leo says that the written test was pretty easy, but when during the driving test, parallel parking was the toughest. Sam agrees because it's tough to learn to maneuver slowly around tight spaces. That's why manufacturers have been working on self-parking sensors on cars so that the car can park itself, even in parallel parking. But the sensors also help drivers by telling you how close you are. Ford was one of the first to launch it in 2009, and since have added automatic perpendicular parking to the function.
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.
Matt has a brand new Ford Pickup and it's causing his air conditioner to stop working when he uses Ford Sync. Leo says that sounds like a bug or a wiring issue. Matt needs to go back to the dealer and have that fixed. One thing to try is to update the system - https://owner.ford.com/support/how-tos/sync/sync/downloads-and-updates/how-to-use-usb-to-update-sync.html
CJ wants to know if she can download Apple Car play and install it into 2014 Lincoln. Leo says that the only way CJ could do it is to "put a new head into it." I.E., you could install a new car stereo that has Apple Play. Sam Abuelsamid says that infotainment systems are so integrated now, that you can't really replace the head at all. You can put it into an older car that can take an aftermarket stereo, but cars within the last few years are tough. Sam says that there are apps that work with her car over Bluetooth using Applink. But CJ says that Lincoln no longer supports it.
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.
Rich wants to know if connected cars that have internet can be hacked. Leo says they can indeed, but the hacker needs to be pretty close to the car to make that happen. Car companies also need to put forth more effort to make the car's computer more secure.
Sam is back from CES and he says that while more companies are featuring technology for cars, it is by no means a huge car show. That's the domain of the Detroit Auto Show. But Sam says that doesn't mean that there wasn't some cool car tech there. Alexa for Auto is becominng a thing. Sam says that cars are becoming far more computerized. Chips have been in cars since the 70s, but most cars now have about 75-100 separate computers built into them. We're starting to see a trend towards fewer, more powerful computers that will run your car for you.
Mike had issues with his Subaru and his iPhone not reading text messages. He finally got a notification that the issue is with Subaru's Sync and it needs to be updated. So at least the mystery is solved!
Melissa is in the market for a new car and wants to sync her phone to it. Leo says that the trend for modern car design is that auto manufacturers are designing their entertainment systems around the phone, creating a portal, rather than a standard stereo system. That way, when she gets a newer phone, she'll get an upgrade of her system. Navigation from the phone also syncs into the car. Apple's CarPlay is available in over 100 different car models now.
Mike says it's ironic that cars with computer touch screens make it impossible to keep our eyes off the screen when adjusting the radio. They want us to keep our eyes on the road, but they include touch screens and that's nuts. Leo agrees with Mike. Leo says that car companies, and even Apple and Google are looking for hands free solutions including voice operated directions, which work with a smartphone. But Leo doesn't know if that will make things better or worse.