Ep. 136: Welcome to 'Car Tech Live'!All the droolworthy stuff from Frankfurt, what it will *really* take to sell the Chevy Volt, Toyota's gonna' call everything a Prius, and this is our first episode of 'Car Tech Live', the new live video edition of the CNET Car Tech Podcast.
[ Music ] >> Brian: We've got all the drool worthy stuff from the Frankfort Motor Show. We're going to find out from GM what it's really going to take to sell the Chevy Volt, they've actually been kind of truthful on that. And why Toyota wants to call everything a Prius if they had their way about it. And you are here for the inaugural Car Tech Live. We've taken the old audio pod cast and as of this week we're making it a video live pod cast like Buzz Out Loud for example or the Gadgets or some of our other shows that have gone to the live platform. So, that's what you're seeing here is the first of the Car Tech pod cast going to the new live and video format. And in case you're wondering, you probably already know this now if you're a audio only listener, yes we make an audio version of this still. So it's not just a video presentation. I'm Brian Cooley and we've also got Antoine Goodwin here, our associate editor for CNET Car Tech. He'll be chatting with us about some GPS issues and also some thoughts on the Frankfort Motor Show and we will have Wayne Cunningham in the seat. Next week Wayne's actually on assignment at the Frankfort Show if you're wondering where he is. He'll be back in with us, so it'll normally be the three of us, me, Antoine, Wayne, occasionally special guests. We'll have Mike Markavich in here once in a while just because he drinks really well and so that's always good to have him around. So that's going to be our crew from time to time. And as we do our shows and do our stories, we're going to be adding more and more elements all the time. We'll start bringing in clips from our CNET Car Tech videos. We're going to be obviously bringing up the sites we're talking about. We're going to show you images of some new concept cars all the time, each and every week. And later down the road, we're going to be taking your live calls, but that's going to be a few weeks in as we work the show into its full, its full bloom if you will. So let's get into the news now and get you up to speed on what's going on in car technology. And of course the biggest story is definitely the Frankfort Motor Show which by the way is the largest automotive show anywhere in the world every year. Tokyo is big, Detroit's a big show, LA's getting bigger, Paris and Geneva are big, but Frankfort is the big show. There are a lot of cars there that had to, had to go to an electric or a green direction as we've seen a lot in recent years. If you're not doing that, you're kind of looking dorky at the car shows these days. I want to bring in Antoine now because he and I have been watching the coverage, coming from Wayne, coming from Mitch Chang who's our producer of the Car Tech videos. They were there. Mitch is actually back here in the studio now, over here on the side, trying to figure out what time zone he's in. But Antoine what were some cars, if I hit you right off the top of your head, that you thought were the real stand outs from this show? >> Antoine: The real stand outs are going to be the cars that I think did a good job of blending the, well the two big things were green and super cars. And I think the ones that. >> Brian: Which is a strange combination. >> Antoine: Yeah, it's really odd. But then like BMW did a very good job of making a green super car. Their. >> Brian: Yeah. >> Antoine: Their BMW, their, what is it? >> Brian: The Vision? >> Antoine: The Vision concept. >> Brian: The Vision. >> Antoine: Dynamics concept. >> Brian: Yeah, Vision Efficient Dynamics Concept. >> Antoine: Yeah. And that was a, a completely like pie in the sky, made out of clear composite you know kind of a concept, but then they were saying it was going to offer in car performance with hybrid and very efficient fuel economy. And they're doing it with a very small diesel engine and making up for it with the electric. >> Brian: Yeah, a three cylinder diesel, turbo diesel. >> Antoine: Three cylinder, turbo diesel. >> Brian: Electric motor. >> Antoine: At each end. >> Brian: That's right, there's one in the front, one in the back. >> Antoine: Yep. And so we're talking about. >> Brian: The one in the front is between the engine and the transmission. The one in the back I think sits on the axel somewhere. >> Antoine: It does, it should fit on the axel and it can, it can either run under all electric for when you're putting around town. >> Brian: Yeah. >> Antoine: Taking advantage of either one of those engines or both of them for all wheel drive. And then when you really, when you get up to highway speed, that's when it's going to switch over to that very efficient diesel. Diesels really do well on the highway cruising. >> Brian: Yeah, they're great for cruising, very efficient. I think the numbers they quoted that we found were 356 horsepower and 590 foot pounds of torque, 0 to 60 in under 5 seconds. So yes, M car performance. >> Antoine: Yeah. >> Brian: But with incredible efficiency. I'm not sure they're quoting and MPG though, yeah they're quoting something north of 60 miles per gallon. It's believable. >> Antoine: Yeah. I mean if the Prius can get 50, I'm fairly certain that. >> Brian: Yeah. >> Antoine: I'm surprised that more auto makers are pushing towards the, the diesel electric hybrid. Because it seems like it blends what the two kinds of power trains do well. Diesels do very well like I said with cruising and the electric because they have the small batteries. They're really good for the, the start, stop of city traffic. >> Brian: Yeah, getting off the line. >> Antoine: Take advantage of that regenerative braking to keep the battery kind of topped off. >> Brian: Yeah. >> Antoine: I'm surprised more auto makers haven't looked in that direction instead of pushing towards the gas electric. >> Brian: I think a lot of it is because they know they eventually have to sell them in the US to amortize the cost and they know that we're just prejudiced against diesels here still. >> Antoine: We're getting some good diesels. I think people's. >> Brian: We are. >> Antoine: Opinions are going to start changing. I think people's opinions are already starting to change. >> Brian: Because I'm such a big fan, probably an unabashed fan of the turbo diesels we're getting here. I just love them. >> Antoine: Yeah, really good engines. >> Brian: I mean they are just, great torque. You know you and I are both torque addicts. >> Antoine: Yeah. >> Brian: So it's just like we just love it, get in there and just have that grunt available. >> Antoine: Yeah, it's a good compromise. But actually there aren't very many compromises actually. The big compromises used to be the exhaust was city. >> Brian: Yeah. >> Antoine: And they were loud. And they don't do that anymore. >> Brian: Yeah, they have a little bit of clatter, not much and they've got a deaden the sound in the engine bay. >> Antoine: You're direct injection these days are more clattery than diesel. >> Brian: More clattery than the diesels, yeah. With those little Piaso injectors. The other car that I thought was interesting, not in a realistic way that anyone's every going to buy, knowing who is less than a multi gagillionaire was that Mercedes SLS AMG. You either think it's hideous or beautiful. Where do you come down? >> Antoine: I think it's a great looking car. >> Brian: Ok, I think it's kind of ugly. >> Antoine: Really the proportions. >> Brian: Proportions are good. >> Antoine: Really good and I think that they've done a good job of bringing that, that long hood, you know almost sitting on the rear axle kind of you know sports car look into the, the current generation. >> Brian: Yeah. >> Antoine: I think that the. >> Brian: Long hood has got the 300 SL DNA and that's what they were trying to capture. They were trying to say look, this is a throwback to the old original gull wing, which was such an iconic car. Then the mouth kind of looks like it. And the proportion, you know short butt, long hood like you say looks like it. >> Antoine: I think the mouth kind of looks like a Dodge Viper. >> Brian: Which is interesting because it's a squared off Viper. Viper's a little more round, a little more of a pursed lips thing. >> Antoine: Little bit. >> Brian: Yeah. What about a quarter million? 260000 dollars? You know it's one of those cars. It replaces the McLaren SLR. >> Antoine: Well we have to lust after something. >> Brian: Exactly, we lust after everything around here if it's on wheels. They also have the electronic, or the electric Audi Etron which is an electric version concept of the R8, but the R8 Spider I thought was the car that no one can disagree, or if you do I will banish you. Anyone that thinks that that car is not beautiful. Right? >> Antoine: I think the thing about the R8 is. >> Brian: There you go. >> Antoine: Here it is. It's the side blades. The side blades, like. >> Brian: You miss them from the coupe? >> Antoine: I miss the side blades. I feel like the R8 and I wrote about this, R8 convertible looks like a R8 of spider. >> Brian: Yeah, really close. >> Antoine: And if you're going to get an R8 convertible, why not just go with the whole nine yards and get the Italian super car? >> Brian: There's a matter of about 90000 dollars. >> Antoine: Well, I mean you're already spending 250000 dollars, so. >> Brian: Oh, is that what that Spider is going to be? >> Antoine: It's 150, well the V10 is 150000 dollars. >> Brian: Yeah. >> Antoine: So I'm sure the Spider's going to be between 1500000, 200000 dollars. >> Brian: It's way up there. I thought it was a gorgeous car. But yeah, it loses the distinctiveness of the blades. I think the R8 is kind of an R8. It's like you know that car anywhere from 1000 yards. >> Antoine: I think their roof mechanism is actually very clever. I've seen it move. >> Brian: Yeah. >> Antoine: And I really like the way they've got those kind of flying buttresses coming off of the. >> Brian: Oh yeah. >> Antoine: And they kind of fold out like spider legs and then flop down. >> Brian: And it's really quick too. >> Antoine: It's very quick. >> Brian: It's like 19 seconds they say, but it looks even faster than that. I mean the way it moves, it looks like it's really hauling as it folds itself up. And it's like you say, it's a cloth top. I think. >> Antoine: I also like you can put the top up while the car is moving. So I think. >> Brian: Oh yeah, because normally they many you into they don't let you do that. You got to park and pull the brake up on some cars, like an idiot. You know it's like those GPS systems that lock you out from doing anything when you're above a crawl. Alright, so we've got those cars and all the rest of them are over at Cars.CNET.com. So you've got the Frankfort coverage right off the front door of CNET Car Tech. If you just want to get right to the videos, you can go over to CNETTV.com. We're going to be putting those out. We've got about a handful of them out now. And we've got more coming out on top of next week as these keep getting digested and moved through our system. And of course the show is just starting. We're just getting in there early as we do on the press coverage. So that's just some of the stuff awaiting you in our Frankfort Motor Show coverage. Over at Cars.CNET or at CNETTV.com. We're going to come back to Antoine in a few minutes, we've got a GPS issues we're going to take up with him. But let's get to some of the news going on this week. It was interesting. Bob Lutz who's the head of design at General Motors and a legend in the automotive business, kind of was doing his usual over share or over frankness this week saying you know the Chevy Volt, which is made by his company, isn't really going to sell worth a damn unless gas gets up to 5 or 6 dollars a gallon. May I point out gas is at 257 this week around the nation and it's been real stable for a long time. So we're nowhere near 5 or 6. Doesn't look good. Right. The Volt arrives late next year. Again, it's going to be maybe around 100 mile per gallon, no one knows yet because the EPA hasn't rated it yet. Have a 40 mile range on battery alone, but cost as much as 40000 dollars, say the rumors, we don't know that. Baring any federal subsidies. So it would seem that as Lutz was talking, he's being a little too frank about the fact that the Volt may be arriving before gas prices really make it a economical slam dunk. And we had some new research also from the Boston Consulting Group this week which does market research. And they said that by 2020, 11 years from now, electric vehicles will have only 3% market share and by the same year 20% market share for hybrid electrics, which is what the Volt is, it's a plug in hybrid. It's a strong hybrid with a plug in technology on it. So somewhere in there would be the projected market share for all cars of the Chevy Volt type. So a lot of things indicating that yeah, that the Chevy Volt is not going to become parked in every garage in the next couple of years after its introduction. It's going to be an oddity by may indications that we have here. An important one, but still a very rare car you would expect. Toyota knows that the hottest brand name in technology in the car space is Prius. When you see the Prius badge on a car, that says oh wow, that's that really cool technology that everyone knows about and allowed Toyota to capture the hybrid market pretty much to the exclusion of any other car in meaningful numbers. So they are thinking about putting the name Prius on more and more cars. Turning it into a sub brand, a sub family if you will of the Toyota brand. Not quite like Cion which a whole separate car brand, but making the Prius a portfolio of vehicles inside the Toyota brand. We're not sure how they're going to do this. Will they call it the Camry Prius as opposed to the Camry Hybrid? That's one way to go after it. They apparently have internally have realized what they should have realized a long time ago that hybrid synergy drive doesn't mean anything to consumers. Too many words, too weird, just bulky. But Prius really prints. So you'll be seeing branding by Toyota in the next couple of model years apparently of a lot of cars being called Prius. And at the same time, Toyota has been talking a lot about battery technology and apparently going two different ways. At the Frankfort Show, they showed off a plug in Prius Hybrid using lithium ion batteries. And then at the same time, they were giving interviews saying we don't think lithium ion batteries are anywhere near being cost effective for cars for several years because they just finished a 3 year survey where they had a test fleet of 126 Prius' with lithium ion batteries which they don't normally use in production. And they came out realizing that you know what? They're too expensive right now. And we're concerned about long term durability and charging cycle behaviors. So Toyota's saying both good and bad things about lithium ion technology, whether you look at their concept cars that use them or their real world market plans where they apparently will not. And if you're wondering why and if a plug in hybrid and the additional cost of it makes sense for you, an interesting calculator went live on the web this week. This was put out by the Rocky Mountain Institute, which is one of those research and think tank places that's an online calculator with a lot of factors you can plug in to decide when and if a plug in hybrid is going to make sense as a purchase. So you can punch in, you punch in data like the cost of gasoline where you see it now and where it's going. If you're going to lease or buy a car, that changes a lot of the numbers on the value. How many miles you drive a year. How many years you think you'll keep the car. What does electricity cost in your area per kilowatt hour? That's an important thing that doesn't often get factored in. Most of us don't know how to calculate that for a plug in hybrid calculation. You put that all in and it'll tell you, alright, here's where you're going to hit break, make or break on the investment versus buying a less expensive car that's conventional and just efficient. Our reporter Martin Lamonico from CNET News tried it out and he found that for example, guessing on the cost of a Chevy Volt and the efficiency of it, which of course is electric and gasoline, that you would spend about 2500 dollars less on fuel over 6 years compared to even a Honda Insight Hybrid, so that's pretty impressive. But does it justify a sticker price that well yeah, rumors tell us might be about 14000 dollars, or 40000 dollars, or as much as 13, 15, 20000 dollars more than that competing Honda Insight Hybrid. So a lot to be noodled with there if you want to punch up that calculator and play with that. Now there's a bill moving through the legislature in California where a lot of trends often start that almost nobody has heard of and I think it's an interesting one. It's Senate Bill 17, that's waiting for the governor's signature that would deploy and require a lot of efforts toward a smart grid, which would support electric vehicles. If you're interested in this kind of thing, go look up SB17 in the California Legislature. But one of the more interesting things it does is it would require that there be detailed efforts to analyze smart grid deployment and turn it into a electrical Internet if you will. So the grid can be smart enough to figure out where there's load from lots of people charging their cars and doing other things. And get the power there from other parts of the grid or to tell cars that have connected chargers, ok, you shouldn't charge right now because the load's really high in your area. Let's wait till overnight and then I'll let you have electricity. So a whole lot of smart Internet like routing on the electrical system would be, would be mandated or at least encouraged by this bill in California. Speaking of connected, Garmin this week announced finally the formal availability of their Garmin New V1690 Connected portable nav device. While I've got Antoine here, Mister GPS, let's talk about that. The New V1690 is Garmin's first connected GPS device, right? >> Antoine: Not necessarily. Their previous, I think the 880. >> Brian: Oh, was that connected? >> Antoine: Was also connected. That used MSN Direct. >> Brian: Oh, ok. >> Antoine: Now the new 1690 is unique because it's using instead of a third party service, it's using Garmin's own service, New Link. >> Brian: Oh that's right, yeah. >> Antoine: Their first device to use their New Link and I think they're getting their, their data off of AT and T's network. >> Brian: That's not good. >> Antoine: Well, no, but. >> Brian: Ok, we'll stop, we do enough of that on Buzz Out Loud. 500 bucks I understand is the list price on this thing. >> Antoine: Right and you get two years of that New Link service for free. >> Brian: Ok. >> Antoine: So you don't have to worry about like for example with Tom Tom you pay about 10 bucks a month for their Tom Tom Live service. >> Brian: Yeah. >> Antoine: But Garmin is free. >> Brian: That's on the Tom Tom Go 740. >> Antoine: The 740 Live, yeah. >> Brian: And then I guess the Garmin one is 5 bucks a month after your two years of free service. So you're looking at 60 bucks a year after that, which seems pretty reasonable especially if you're saying Tom Tom is 10 bucks a month. >> Antoine: Yeah, it's fairly reasonable. >> Brian: Pretty good price. Local search, traffic, weather, fuel prices, movie listings, flight status, local events, white page phone listings. I don't always see that in every connected thing. So this is what? One of maybe three connected GPS units on the market now? >> Antoine: If you consider, if you don't count like I guess a couple of like UMPCs that also have GPS. >> Brian: Yeah. >> Antoine: Yeah, there are only about maybe three. >> Brian: Yeah. >> Antoine: Maybe four. >> Brian: If you don't count Dash which came and went. >> Antoine: Or if you don't count. >> Brian: The smart phones of course are a whole separate thing. Yeah, they could all be. >> Antoine: It's not a very crowded market. >> Brian: Yeah, very few. >> Antoine: Really kind of the last stand. I'm thinking if these devices don't really catch on, then smart phones will probably. >> Brian: Yeah. >> Antoine: Go ahead and just win that battle and the PND will go the way of the Dodo. >> Brian: And look at this, 500 bucks for this, I'm sure it'll be lower on the street. But compare that to even a 99 dollar Tom Tom app for your iPhone and that's expensive. Or just using the Google Maps app and doing it kind of you know the poor man's way. Just kind of watching and following it. It doesn't give you all the prompts and all that, but you know what? It's free. >> Antoine: Exactly. >> Brian: And it works pretty well. So, alright, interesting stuff. And also we had some, some news this week that Tom Tom and Sanyo are connecting to do future head units together. Of course Tom Tom known for navigation, Sanyo known for pretty sure every thing else electronics, consumer electronics of all kinds. They want to start doing what looks to be an effort to make more and more in car audio head units that will have a dockable navigation solution in there because they realize that except for Japan most markets, Europe and North America, are not that crazy about the in dash solution, we're more interested in the portable nav devices, the Garmins and Tom Toms and Magellans. In this case, they're saying well how do we combine those together and create more dockable units? So Sanyo technology, a Tom Tom branded or interface unit that clicks into it. And again, Sanyo you don't see on the actual brand of in car audio systems. But they make a lot of OEM gear that goes into cars that is just branded whatever car maker it is. I don't know off hand which car makers have Sanyo making their head units, their audio systems and nav units. But they do make a number of those. So this is perhaps another indication of trend we've talked about that dockable PNDs in cars might be a happier medium than buying these 2000 dollars and stubbornly expensive in dash units. Speaking of the nav thing, going to the rental car space, if you've ever used Hertz Never Lost and you're sitting there with that weird interface they have to enter destinations and look up POIs? They've added a new wrinkle to that. You can now go to NeverLost.com, a free website that goes with that system, enter all your destinations that you want to go to, either make a route or just make it a list of destinations and POIs and then stick your own thumb drive into your computer and say save this from the Never Lost website to my thumb drive and when I go pick up my Hertz car that has Never Lost in it, I'll punch this thing in and all my data, all my destinations, all my research gets loaded in there. No screwing around pushing those little buttons and figuring out the Never Lost interface, which is kind of a weird one. That's free to use the USB download. It's 13 bucks a day of course, it remains that, to use Never Lost in a Hertz car. Another navigation story, Nav Tech has acquired a company called Equity Mobile, I just bring this up because another step toward the map data companies. There's Nav Tech and Tele Atlas are the big two. Getting into the area of placing advertising that's geo sensitive. That's what this Equity Mobile company does and now Nav Tech has acquired them. So clearly they want to get in the business beyond map data and get into the space of allowing ads to be linked to map coordinates based on where you are. So it can be based on your, your time. It can be based on relevance of an offer in real time or the preferences you've put into a system. Or the location that you're at. All those can be blended together in different layers and really start to hit you with ads based on where you are, where you're going, if you're stuck in traffic. Maybe someone wants to hit you at that moment because they know you're in a certain frame of mind and they can tell that by map data and two way connected systems. So, heads up on that. Harmon International, the Harmon Carton people, they just announced that they've been I think reupped with Daimler, Mercedes fame to engineer the next generation command head units, that's, that's Mercedes code name for their head unit interface, for the new S class and C class cars for future model years. And part of the code that they put out here in their press release is a sophisticated set of features including 3D navigation, we've seen that before, brilliant graphics, blah, blah, blah, Internet access. Hmm, that's interesting. And wired or wireless connectivity. So the part that gets my attention there is talking about Internet access and wireless connectivity. The wireless Internet to the car to start to make more and more functions IP based as you drive and not based on data held in the car. And the wired and wireless connectivity clearly is referring to peripherals being used in the car. So I take that as more Bluetooth, A2DP, the stereo streaming Bluetooth and probably more Wi Fi in cars because there's a lot of Wi Fi devices out there. Also they're talking about yes, more and more hard disk technology because that's becoming defacto in head units. So just a Harmon and Mercedes marriage there. Audiovox which makes a pretty good number of affordable automotive head units and Flow TV, a part of Qualcomm which does the streaming television over cellular networks announced their formal offering of an in car television product this year, just this week I should say. 12000 new car dealers will have it as a dealer installed option, a DIO piece. So when you go buy a car, just like when you can say you know what? I want you guys to add head rest monitors and source them from wherever you have to. I want to make that part of my car purchase, you'll be able to say I want this Flow TV thing built in to those monitors. And you'll get CNBC, Comedy Central, MSNBC, MTV, NBC, NBC Sports, Nickelodeon, there's a couple other networks that are in there. So it's a lot of channels from traditional cable television that will come down over cellular transmission but on a little different frequency, but the user doesn't need to know about that. And this stuff looks really good on cell phones. I haven't seen it on the larger screens in cars. They say it's compatible up to 10 and half inches of display size. So they've got some decent resolution in there. And from what I've seen on smart phones, they can back it up. I don't know the price on the hardware. The dealers are going to set that. I'm guessing somewhere in the 4 to 500 dollar range. And they're pricing it out as little as about 9 dollars a month for the service if you sign up for a long term contract of a couple of years. So that would get you all those cable channels on the monitors in your car. So it's another way to get TV in the car, aside from AT and T Cruise Cast, which we've shown you and talked about and Sirius back seat TV and of course the DVD players that are ubiquitous in everyone's family van. Now, what's Nissan going to do to make their quiet cars louder? You've heard about this whole battle about hybrids and electric cars are too quiet? And people who've got visual impairment or who are blind often don't know that there's a car creeping up around them as they navigate city streets and that can be really dangerous. So what do you do about it to make noise with the car? Well Nissan has been working with some of their engineers, ironically engineers that spent years of their career making cars quieter are now being asked to make certain cars like the upcoming Leaf electric car from Nissan, louder. So that they don't run into problems with legislators saying you know what? You guys are going to be told now by law to go make your cars noisy. They're trying to get out in front of this thing. And what they've done is they've come up with working with some composers from the film world interestingly enough, sounds that are going to be somewhat like those that you would've seen in, in the, what was the movie Antoine? >> Antoine: Blade Runner. >> Brian: Blade Runner, [inaudible] this story. So they, they've tried not to make synthetic engine sounds. >> Antoine: No. >> Brian: But to make Blade Runner flying car sounds. >> Antoine: Yeah. I guess a futuristic kind of just high pitched, almost like a squealy whir kind of thing. >> Brian: Sounds good. >> Antoine: Yeah. Well I mean, it kind of, it, I'm thinking that a better sound would probably be the car from the Jetson's. >> Brian: That's exactly what I thought of when I was reading this. You know? >> Antoine: Yeah, just like a little, like a, yeah. >> Brian: Yeah. >> Antoine: Pulsing kind of sound, but no, instead they've kind of, it's like, I've got a, there's a clip on the, on the Car Tech Blog. It's like a You Tube clip. >> Brian: Ok. Go to Cars.CNET.com and we got a clip in the blog that Antoine put up. >> Antoine: Exactly and it's kind of, it kind of sounds a little bit like a jet engine, just kind of like a high pitched noise. Fortunately, it'll cut off at about 12 miles per hour. >> Brian: Fortunately, yes. >> Antoine: Basically what they've decided is and what they've figured out is that below 12 miles per hour, the car, electric cars and hybrids, they don't make that much noise. But then above 12 miles per hour, in a hybrid usually your gasoline engine will have cut on and in an electric car at least you've got noise from wind, noise from tires. >> Brian: Tires friction. >> Antoine: Yes, so you'll, it'll make enough noise that you won't need the auxiliary system. So it'll turn off. >> Brian: Interesting. >> Antoine: So you won't. >> Brian: Ok. >> Antoine: Be polluting the environment with noise. >> Brian: Right, because imagine all these cars running around making noise they don't have to make. It's a shame we can't cut down noise pollution. But obviously if it cuts off at 12 miles an hour, you got cars making noise just when they have to. >> Antoine: Exactly. >> Brian: And then muting themselves. It's a, it's a bizarre thing. Everyone kind of cocks their head when we tell these stories about these, you know, efforts to make quiet cars make noise. But for people that are either blind or have very poor eyesight, you know it's like, wait a minute, and it's happened to me. >> Antoine: It's happened to me once. >> Brian: Right. >> Antoine: I spent a lot of time saying that oh, I always can, I can always hear a Prius coming. And then one day I was in a parking garage. >> Brian: Yeah. >> Antoine: And I was crossing the walkway and a Prius came around the corner, the driver wasn't paying attention to where they were going and almost hit me. And I didn't see them until it was the last moment. >> Brian: I did the exact same thing. I was in a parking garage, I don't what is it about the acoustics in a garage. >> Antoine: I think the concrete is smoother. >> Brian: Oh right, there's no tire noise. >> Antoine: Yeah. >> Brian: Plus it's kind of there's an ambient garage sound. >> Antoine: Yeah. >> Brian: So you don't hear anything else except a car that makes a lot of noise. And I was walking along, I had no idea there was a Prius behind me. You know, wanted to honk his horn to get me to move. I'm walking down the middle of the ramp because there were no cars around. I didn't hear any cars or see any, I'm just walking, just my Blackberry, you know or some dumb thing. And I didn't realize this guy was right behind me and he wanted me to move the hell out of the way. He didn't honk his horn because he was being polite. And I turned around and I was like startled. There's like this car two feet behind me, clearly didn't just run up, it's been behind me for a while. I thought, oh, I get it. Yeah, these cars are really quiet. I can see and hear just fine and I had no idea that that car was behind me. So anyway, that's what Nissan is going to do with their Leaf EV which comes to market 2011, I think they're still on track for that. Or even late 2010. So 2011 on that car. One last interesting story about technologies before I look at some of your emails is there's a story going on in Northern California, not far from us in Petaluma that I think is a classic of its era. There's a, there's a kid there, a 17 year old kid named Shawn Malone who got busted for speeding, this is kind of a rural town. Got busted for speeding doing 62 in a 45 zone, so a pretty chunky speeding ticket. But they contested it not saying well, no he wasn't speeding, but saying no he wasn't and we can prove it. Here's what they did. He got busted on radar. So that can be fallible sometimes, we know that. His parents had a GPS tracking device in the car because they wanted to keep an eye on him, know where he's going. He's 17, he's a new driver, all that kind of thing. And there are these tracking devices out there that report over the web or via SMS to the parents. Here's where your car is and we'll tell you if it's going too fast or leaving a certain virtual area. So they say the GPS data on the tracker says no, he was doing 45 in that 45 zone. Your radar gun says 62, how do we resolve this? And they're still working it through court in Petaluma, it's being seen as kind of a technological early test case for which technology is more reliable in terms of speeding because Rocky, because GPS tracking devices do have the ability to extrapolate your speed based on knowing when every location fix was logged. And you can tell. You went from here to here in this much time between the time stamps. We know how fast you were going. The irony here is that the city of Petaluma has already spent 15000 dollars on this trial justifying that their radar data is admissible and can back up a ticket. I don't know how much the parents are spending. But it is an interesting test case to watch and we'll let you know which one wins, the radar gun or the GPS tracker. Ok, here's the part of the show we normally give you a preview of what we've got new and in the CNET garage, this week because of the Frankfort Show, there's almost nothing in the CNET garage. There's My Country Squire, you don't want to hear about that. So the Frankfort Motor Show is what you want to look at. We've got all of the blog slide shows, videos, all the items from that show are at Cars.CNET.com. And the videos, if you want to go pure video is at CNETTV.com of course. And we will be adding to that over the next few days. So if you're catching this at the end of the week, it's the 18th right now, over the next few days, you'll find more and more videos rolling out at CNETTV.com as those are coming back over from Europe and we're getting those posted and that show of course is just getting started for the public. We have the early sneak peak. Let's get to some emails as we wrap the show up and again I thank you for being with us and bearing with us on our first live video edition of the CNET Car Tech pod cast. This one here I want to bring in Antoine on, on as well. This comes from Evan, one of our listeners in Hawaii who says, hey guys, I have a great one for you. I bought my wife a new 2007 Vette, her dream car for a number of reasons. It's been great until we moved to Hawaii, military relocation he said. So this summer I shipped the car and when it arrived the built in navigation system wouldn't work. After a few days it at least came on, but the screen stayed blank. After several calls to the vendor, I got a human who tells me there's nothing they can do because they don't offer nav maps for Hawaii for that car. He says are you kidding? My 75 dollar Garmin has nav maps for Hawaii, why not the 2500 dollar nav system in that 2007 Vette, which is not a very old car. So he called Chevy, he says a nice lady took my info, called me back a week later, a little slow, and said the nav indeed cannot be updated. There's nothing in the works to change that. Again, he says are you kidding? This is my American dream car, the Corvette and they have a POS for NAV. So I called a couple more times, got more help, I thought it'd be worth some research on your side. If anything is worth a recall, this is. No nav in Hawaii for Chevy and GM cars, that's BS. So today my wife is driving her dream car with a 75 dollar Garmin stuck on the dash, ain't that lovely? Even in Hawaii. Antoine, what's going on here? He has no Hawaii coverage on a very nice, relatively expensive car. >> Antoine: Well I did some digging and it looks like the issues lies in the, the Vette's GPS system itself. GM is kind of moving towards hard drive based systems, so their new Cadillac, the CTS, a lot of their newer models are getting a new hard drive based system that has a lot more space. I think that. >> Brian: This is DVD based on his Vette. >> Antoine: Yeah, the Vette's DVD based. Even the 2009 Vette is still using the same old DVD based system. And I have reason to believe that they may actually switch that in the next generation. >> Brian: To a hard drive. >> Antoine: To a hard drive based so it seems like on, on one hand it would be nice from them to legacy support and you know continue to update the maps on the old one, but I'm thinking. >> Brian: But they won't. >> Antoine: GM's thinking is well that's our old system, we're moving on to something new. >> Brian: Yeah. So the bottom line is his map, his data DVD that has the map in it, doesn't have Hawaii. >> Antoine: Right. >> Brian: Probably not Alaska either is my guess. >> Antoine: No. The new systems have Hawaii and Alaska, they don't have Puerto Rico. >> Brian: Oh interesting. >> Antoine: Puerto Rican driver, yeah, you have, I think you may have to get a separate map or they may not ever support Puerto Rico in your Cadillac. But the new maps will support Hawaii and Alaska and also I believe Canada. I think it's all of North America. >> Brian: SO it's a matter of his system being legacy hardware, they're not evolving this, they've moving to hard drive, which is a different system entirely, different software. >> Antoine: Exactly. >> Brian: They're buying a different map license from whoever they get their map data from. Is it Nav Tech we think? >> Antoine: It's Nav Tech. >> Brian: Ok, so they're probably licensing a different database from Nav Tech for the hard drive systems. And yeah, like you said, they're not going to go back and reengineer the deal because I've never been under the impression that they are very good about getting updates out. The DVD system is clunky anyway. >> Antoine: Yeah, I mean, the aftermarket and portable PND systems do a really good job. >> Brian: They're good. >> Antoine: Of offering updates, partially because like it's kind of their bread and butter. You know? >> Brian: Right, that's their only revenue, yeah. >> Antoine: But yet their ongoing revenue comes from those 99 dollar updates that you get every other year. >> Brian: Yeah. And this revenue has not been important to GM, for the dealers to sell you a new DVD, it's not a big part of their business. >> Antoine: Yeah and it's very funny because a lot of the OEM you can actually go straight to Nav Tech and get your map updates, but GM's system is separate. I don't know if they did something proprietary with it, but you can't even order your disk directly from Nav Tech. >> Brian: Yeah, so sorry Evan we have no outlet for you to update that Nav so you can actually. So there's not just a 75 dollar Garmin stuck there cluttering up his dash or his wife's dash, but there's a useless nav system sitting in the, that would make me crazy every time I got in that car. >> Antoine: Yeah. >> Brian: Turn the map on, black screen, nothing, can't, can't computer. Oh, that's, that's tough. So sorry about that, but it's not unheard of in the auto biz. Again, as they move to hard drive systems, all the US tends to be in there, but this is a slightly older system and just that GM decided to play it. Another quick email from Steve as we wrap the show here. He said, hey Brian you mentioned at the start of pod cast number 134, that's what 2 or 3 shows ago, that the Ford Fusion Hybrid is American made. It's actually made in Hamaseo, Mexico with all the other Fusions. But he says but then again, my Japanese car was made in Ohio, go figure. But I've had one a month and the quality is all American, nothing lacking about it. Alright, well it's good to hear that. So yeah, the Fusion if we said it was American made, it's not. I think we definitely we pointing out that it's an American hybrid, certainly part of an American car, car company, kind of American design. And those darn impressive car by the way. We were very proud of what Ford did with that one. Not always proud of all the stuff they put out, but that particular one is a real homerun. They've had some good ones lately. That and the Taurus we've been very impressed by. So anyway, if you want to check that out, that is the Ford Fusion hybrid that he's talking about. Made in Mexico but it is an American hybrid in every other respect. And you can find that review on why we were so impressed by it up at Cars.CNET.com. That's it for our inaugural Car Tech Live on video. Thanks for being with us. We're going to keep working in more and more features in the future. Look for live calls to be coming. Keep your email coming, you know the address cartech@CNET.com, that gets to me, Wayne and Antoine all simultaneously, whoever has got the best answer jumps on it and we give it to you in the next week's show. Show notes for today as usual at CarTech.CNET.com and you can follow me on Twitter, I usually put up notes from reviewing a new car or something new is broken in the industry, if you want to stay on top of that way. I'm just Brian Cooley, b, r, I, a, n, c, o, o, l, e, y. Thanks for joining us, thanks to Antoine, we'll see you guys next week for Car Tech Live. ^M00:32:50 [ Music ]