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Hyperlooping in the desert (AutoComplete, Ep. 18)Tim and Emme give a rundown of the week in news, including a Hyperloop trip in the desert and a self-crashing Tesla.
[MUSIC] Welcome to Road Show's Auto Complete, your weekly look at all the biggest news in the automotive world. My name's Tim Stevens, I'm Editor in Chief of Road Show and this week I'm joined again by Emme Hall who's fresh back from the desert. How are you Emme, are you hydrated yet? Almost, not quite, not quite, but we had a great time out in the desert of Las Vegas. Looking at the new hyper loop technology or it's actually it's a new company. Hyperloop One. They have changed their name to coincide with their new partnership they're got going on and they're [UNKNOWN] that they did over this past week Yes, you were down there to check that out. Now it's not the fully enclosed tube. The whole idea of the thing is basically to take a vacuum tube and then run kind of a shuttle through the thing at Right. what, like 700 miles an hour. They're not quite there yet, right? What did they show off? Well, basically they had a section of track and then they had a Led, which would be, kind of, the base of the pod that wold go through the tube. But, there was no actual tube, and they just shot it out, it accelerated at about 2.4 Gs, is what they said. There was no breaking demonstration on it. They just had a Man pit that floated down. And to be honest with you, the ramifications of this technology is pretty exciting right? Like the fact that I could get from San Francisco to Los Angeles in 30 minutes, that's super cool. Yeah. But seeing the demonstration of the technology you're like All right well I rode a ride at Disneyland that did that. [LAUGH] Not that cool, but they do expect to do a full test, a full scale test for the tube and the pod and everything and at least a kilometer of track if not more at the end of this year. So the company HyperLoop1 is super stoked on that. So we'll see how that goes. They're hoping to be moving passengers by 2021 which Seems really soon to me, but we'll see how fast they can get funding and how fast they can convince governments and landowners to build up on their land. Yeah, and it seems to me that's the big thing. I mean, the technology is obviously a challenge but ultimately they're not doing anything, it's not exactly rocket science as such. We are getting people to a lab and to build this Is that elevate vacuum tube across their backyard, especially in California. Right. That seems like it's gonna be a bit of a hurdle. Well, it could be up above ground, but it could also be underground as well. So we'll see, we'll see how it goes, but it certainly is exciting. And I will definitely be following this story. And you are also getting a ride on a race track this weekend too, aren't you? Yeah, I was in the 1201 Ford Raptor race truck, which is stock, super stock, pretty crazy stock. The only difference is it's got a fuel cell, it's got a roll cage, it has three race seats in it, so driver, navigator, and Technically it should be a mechanic, but really I was just ballast at this point. [LAUGH] [LAUGH] And yeah, it was great fun. I've always been a fan of the Raptor and it was great to see how this new shock setup can handle the rough terrain of the desert, outside the Laughlin. So We had a great time. It was a two day race. The first day they had a little bit of problems with the tube that was going from the radiator into the heater core. That kind of disconnected itself and then the whole cabin filled with the steam and they thought they were on fire [LAUGH] and they pulled over with their fire extinguishers and everything. But, once they got that sorted out they got three clean laps in And then on my, on the next day on Sunday, we were able to do four laps no problem. So it was four 17 mile laps. And I think our fastest lap time was about 24 minutes. That's awesome and it's pretty exciting to know that Ford is doing this kind of Development for that truck. Everyone wants to talk about their race cars and race trucks being race ready, but I think this take it to the next level. Yeah definitely, I mean they've been a huge support of Best in The Desert, and they offered up a bunch of contingency for people. And they're really the only manufacturer that's offering contingency in off road racing. Now BJ Baldwin just signed a contract with Toyota to drive a new Tundra but what's interesting is they didn't really talk about what The engine is in that. They just say the new Tundra. So who knows? But this is definitely a stock car, stock truck, and they're using a lot of the data they're gathering. From how this truck behaves on the racehorse to program into the production model which will be available in the fall of this year so very exciting. That's pretty cool. I've been doing a little bit of traveling myself. You were checking out the hyper loop which was the brain child of [UNKNOWN] and I was checking out another brain child of [UNKNOWN] at the Tesla free launch factory checking out the model x production which is now in Full swing. We've got a feature coming up so I won't say too much about it at this point but we do get to go behind the scenes and see Model X's and Model S's rolling off the same production line which is pretty cool. Last time was years ago and they were still just kind of getting up to speed on the Model S. But now they've got both cars rolling through there, but still they've got a long way to go before they can get. Model three is rolling out of there as well, especially, when they wanna hit 500,000 cars per year. Right now, they're doing a couple thousand a month, something like that. Yeah. So, we've got a ways to go. But, I don't know about you, but I love factory tours. I love seeing how these things come together. Yeah, it's pretty awesome All right. So that's it for our week in adventure. I guess we should probably dig into the week in news now. Shall we? Yes. Let's do it. All right. So talking about Tesla. Some bad news from Tesla this week. An owner claims that his Model S drove itself into the back of a truck. Or more specifically, underneath the back of a truck. The Model S has autopilot functionality and auto-park functionality. So you gather the car using your phone app or the key. You can tell the car basically to drive forward or drive backward. And it will park itself or it'll stop when it detects any obstacles. The problem here is, the truck was a little bit too high so the parking sensors on the Model S didn't pick anything up. The owner claims that he did not activate auto pilot and that the car drove itself That seems a little unlikely to me. I mean, I kinda get the feeling we've got some user error going on here. What do you think. Yeah, I mean, we probably do. I know that the Summon is still in beta testing, and it's a little frightening to think that a truck is out of your parking sensor range. Yeah, that's true. Like, I kinda wanna know, if I'm gonna use parking sensors, I want them to detect it all. [LAUGH] [LAUGH] Yeah, especially, trucks with cargo hanging out at, roughly, eye level The driver, yeah you definitely want the car to stop before it's done. [LAUGH] But we're still waiting on the official word from Tesla, but ultimately I think we'll probably found out that the owner hit the wrong button and the car started and he walked away and the result was a broken windshield and some other damage to the car. But I'm sure we'll be finding out more. But ultimately Recently spent a lot fo time with the model X and that did auto park and auto pilot and all that stuff. It got to be very comprehensive but absolutely there were issues and they were times when it didnt quite work as expected which is why these things are labelled betas, which is an interesting thing. A beta feature on the car, which, you know, I think is kind of good, but a little bit dangerous. It is a little bit dangerous when you think about the intelligence level of some people out there, and to think that they've got beta technology in their hands that they could easily mess up, case and point here. So we'll see if Tesla keep going with this. Kinda with this kind of development, or if they're just gonna scrap it and say you know what, no, we gotta do all of our testing in-house, for the safety of people and those around them. Yes, keep them safe from themselves. [LAUGH] And the beauty of these systems, of course, is that Tesla doesn't have to do the big recall. [UNKNOWN] when they want to update them they can just push out more software. Unfortunately, Dodge not so lucky. They have a 200,000 unit recall of the Journey due to a block heater issue and also an issue with the power stream pump effectively, somehow, the two combine in low temperatures. And result in leaky power steering fluids. So ultimately you might start up your car in the morning and though it would start and be warm, you wouldn't be able to turn the wheel or at least not very easily. So that's not good. So if you have a Dodge Journey, I'd definitely check it out. 200,000 recalls. And we've got some other recall news. We'll just plow right through the recalls now and get it over with [INAUDIBLE] move on with the rest. [LAUGH] We've got an extension of the Takata recall. Another one. A potential 20 million more cars. We talked about 35 million last week. 20 million more cars from Honda. Being added on to the list. According to Neekay we're looking at mostly Japanese cars at this point. And this number keeps getting bigger, and bigger. Last week when we saw 35 million more we thought we got to reaching peak de cata, but man it seems like we've got a long way to go. Yeah, and now we're getting Recalls from manufacturers like Tesla and Fisker. So we're getting more and more manufacturers are getting involved and into this recall. So I think that so far there have been ten deaths, mostly from when the airbag goes off, it's going to shoot some metal pieces into the cabin and kill you, so Yeah, if you've got a recall notice for your airbag, you should probably get that checked out. Yeah, if your Dodge Journey's power steering pump isn't working, you can probably still get out of the garage and be okay, but if you get one of these airbag recalls, this is not something to wait about. Definitely take your car in. And then not news on a recall, but maybe if Forthcoming recall. There is word on the street that Volkswagen may have a fix in the US for the 3-litre V6 diesel. This is one of the engines that's been pulled into the whole diesel gate saga. Ultimately, in particular, this engine is doing poor emissions when it's warming up effectively. Volkswagen indicating that they may have a fix for it, which would entails some new catalytic converters and a software fix but ultimately everything's kinda still up in the air. I mean last time you and I talked we were talking about how this is never gonna end. And look it's never gonna end. I know and we've heard so much about the smaller engines, about the 2 liter in line fours that are That are really at the heart of this diesel gate, and people forget there's also bigger diesel engines that are still apart of this. So, it's going to be interesting to see how all of this is going to play out, and how much money Volkswagen is going to have to put out at the end of the day, which is going to be in the billions. Lots, and lots, and lots, and lots of money. That's more money than i'll ever know in my life. Life. And me too, all right. We're gonna take a break but before we go on a break, wanna give you a quick run down on some of the bigger features we've had running on Road/Show this week. And this is my review of the Model X, as I've mentioned earlier, we spent a lot of time, well actually two Model X SUVs, to test them out. Did the full auto pilot testing summoning, everything that you wanna know about the Model X, including how well it parks in the garage or how well you can get out of the car. The garage which as it turns out is not so great at all thanks to some Golding doors. Excuse me, I said Golding in the review video. Uh-huh. I got a lot of hate from Tesla. They didn't- Yeah, I know what you mean. I should know better. But anyway, you can check out the full review in the video on the site. But we've also got reviews of the new Toyota RAV4. And interestingly, the new Toyota Prius. Not the plugin Prius, just the Prius echo which Antoine Noxine was able to get Fifty nine miles per gallon. He's not even trying on that thing. That's really impressive. THe EPA rating is 56, and to better that with [INAUDIBLE] driving that's impressive. Yeah, Antwon is a little bit of a lead foot as we all are, but he did a really great job on this feature. He tracked a lot of his miles, he's got maps, he's got charts, he's got all these great things. So, if you're Really interested in the Prius and how you can eek the most out of that car. Take a look at his feature cuz its got a lot of information. So [UNKNOWN] check out the [UNKNOWN] and make sure you check out Anton's feature. We'll be back with more news after this break. [MUSIC] [BLANK_AUDIO] [MUSIC] Welcome back to Auto Complete, your weekly look at the week in automotive news. My name is Tim Stevens and I'm joined this week by Emmy Hall. Emmy, are you ready to talk about some new automotive ventures and start-ups and things? Tim, I'm always ready to talk about new automotive ventures and start-ups. You know, one of the cool things ...that a lot of manufacturers are getting involved in, is battery storage. And you think what a strange thing for an automatic manufacturer to get involved in. But think about it, we're all looking towards electrifying your vehicles, you may as well make a jump and use those kinds of batteries to... He'll power your house. So, the latest one we all know Tesla's got their stuff out there with the Powerwall. But now, Nissan is giving into the game with the xStorage, I believe it's called? That is correct, yeah. So, basically, it's a battery pack that will live in your house. And it could do certain couple of different features, it can kinda buffer power. So If, for example, there's a big difference between power cost during the day versus at night, your house can be basically powered by this battery during the day, and then it could recharge at night and save you a lot of money. If you have a solar powered system, it could kind of charge up during the day and get you through the evening. And if you had a power outage, it could also get you through that kind of thing as well. So These are pretty handy little things, and they're just starting to come on the market. Yeah, we have a house in Mexico that is all completely off the grid and solar-powered. And the batteries are just these giant, I think we have 12 of them. They're huge. They're difficult to take care of. So something like this I think would be a big boon to those of us who are trying to live off the grid with solar power. So We'll see if I can get one of those to test, maybe, down in Mexico we'll see what happens. Yeah unfortunately Nissan's is not coming to the US, unlike Tesla's system. But it is going to be significantly more than Tesla's. For Tesla's you're looking at $3,500 for a 10 kWh, or $3,000 for the 7 kWh. The Nissan one is 4.2 kWh for About $4500 so they're significantly more. But that's gonna be a little bit more flexible in how you can use it then Tesla's system and Tesla's system as I mentioned is still pretty hard to get ahold of so we'll see. But another nice thing about these is they actually give you a really good way to Recycle car batteries because that's basically all that these things are. Car batteries for your Tesla EV. Mm-hm. Or your Nissan Leaf or whatever else. Those things have a shelf life of eight or ten years and at that point, they kinda stop delivering the range that you need for a car. But they're still perfectly good batteries and you swamp them into one of these things and you could be good to go. Could be a good way to keep these out of the landfills. Yeah. Awesome. So definitely good technology, as I live out in the country and we do have power outages. And I have a big, ugly gasoline generator. I would certainly like to have one of these instead. I think it'd be a cleaner, quieter way to go, anyway. [LAUGH] Yeah, I'm sure your neighbors love your giant gasoline generator. Well, they all have them too, so we're all kinda in the same boat. [LAUGH] Other new adventures For car companies include car sharing. We've talked a lot about car sharing and it seems like every manufacturer is in some way or another getting in on the car sharing game. BMW has expanded their presence in the US quite a bit with a service called Reach Now. And they are seeing how successful they've been in the past month, they've got 13,000 sign ups in Seattle alone. We've got 370 cars up there as well which is That's a lot of cars in Seattle all tied to the service. If you have the service you can use your phone to unlock a Mini. I think there's also some 2 series and 3 series BMWs which you can unlock. Basically, you lock up with your phone, hit a button, the car locks, you take it where you want it, when you're done you park it, you get charged by the minute. And a pretty good way to go if you don't have a car. And, well, think about it. What would you rather drive, a BMW or a Cars To Go smart car? If I have my options I'm gonna go for the BMW. [LAUGH] And, you know, one of the things that I read in the article was that if you own a Mini you can use your Own car I believe, and put your own car in the system, which for me, i'm not never, ever gonna let a stranger drive my car. But maybe if you've not as in love with your car as I am that would be a good way to earn some extra cash. Yeah, as far as I know BMW is the only company that's going to let people, maybe I should say, let people put their cars into these services. And they haven't actually given us any details on how much money you can expect But when they announced it they did say you could cut about half of your lease cost off, so, you know, it's an interesting idea, would you rather be driving a Corolla around and have it all yourself or would you rather have a shiny new Mini and share it half the time with somebody else. I don't know, that's a tough question Yeah, that is a tough question. One I don't have to worry about anyway at this point, but it's definitely, you know, I'm curious to see how these things go when it comes to insurance and there certainly will be This is where people maybe take a car out after evening drinking with their drunk friends and maybe an accident happens in the backseat and then who pays to replace the upholstery? Those sorts of things. Uncomfortable questions that I'm sure some people will be asking and hopefully getting answers to. But as you mentioned, [INAUDIBLE] and you can get that in Austin and that is going to be popular service now because Austin no longer has Uber or Lift. Proposition one is basically going to be requiring that Uber drivers, and Lift drivers be fingerprinted and background check. And that is something that both those companies don't want to happen so they basically opted to pull out from Austin. Which is great because I'm going to Austin this weekend so. [LAUGH] Have fun with that. Thanks yeah. Now do regular taxi cab drivers need to get fingerprinted and background checked. They do, they do, and so that's where this distinction is happening and this is where the discussion is going on about whether these drivers should be. Treated like taxi drivers, and honestly, I don't think it's the end of the world if these people are getting background check. It is a big hurdle to get over, of course. It's not the kind of thing where we can just launch an app on your phone and suddenly start picking up people. Now I need to be fingerprinted and go through some procedures. But you know if you're trusting people to you know pick their kids up from school and that kind of thing. I didn't think it would be the end of the world myself. Right, all though you know I was in Vegas this weekend. And I saw a sign on a taxi cab that said $3.00 dollar surcharge to use your ATM card. Three dollar sure charge. And that's the reason why I dont' cabs. Why I always take an Uber. Yeah, and of course you know that taxi driver is going to take you down the strip every single time to get you stuck in traffic. He's going to recommend whichever night club is going to pay him $20 to take you there too. Yeah Tattoos are kind of an unfortunate scene too so you can see both sides of the equation here. But anyway, if you are in Austin this weekend as I may be, you're gonna have to find your own way around. But soon we won't need drivers at all. And very soon actually. So Jim has a partnership with Lyft, they made a big investment with Lyft. And actually when they launched the Bolt EV, they said that that car has kinda been designed with Lyft in mind. And in fact they're gonna be doing some fully autonomous Bolt testing in the near future in an undisclosed city. But within a year they said they're gonna have some fully autonomous Bolts In the Lyft system and in the app, you'll basically get to say, whether you want a driver or not. Which will certainly get rid of the finger print issue, right? That is the most frightening thing I've ever heard of. I'm not gonna lie. [LAUGH] [LAUGH] Like, first of all if I'm getting a lift, maybe I'm not in the city, maybe I'm not in my home city and then here comes this car and there's nobody behind the wheel and I have no idea how this car is. No, no, I am way too old school. I want a driver, I want to have a conversation maybe. Yeah, I can't, I can't do that. Maybe in five years I'll have gotten used to it but as of right now the whole autonomous thing scares Scares that crap out of me. So, I would stick to drivers, thank you. I can definitely see a lot of very interesting Snapchats and I was export videos with people freaking out the backseat of a bull that's driving itself. But with this issue in Austin of drivers having to be fingerprinted, we can definitely tell that this is the endgame. This is what they're working toward, and they're gonna push like hell they get it here As soon as they can, because, as more, and more cities, and states, have different ideas of legislation, and what's allowable for a Token driver, or Uber driver, versus a taxi driver, this kind of Cuts all that out although it then walks into issues of [UNKNOWN] driving and things like that. Right, and does the bolts have to be fingerprinted? I mean how do I know what kind of background this Chevy Volt has. It's true, [INAUDIBLE]. Maybe it knocked over a liquor store early in its youth. Who knows, who knows. That's a good point. That's a good point. Yeah, think about it. What would be on the picture in the grill of the car I guess would be a little bit weird. But anyway within a year. That's pretty cool testing. All right Annie i've got some I think some bad news. My god. You ready? Yeah. The Verano is done. Shut up. Not the Buick? Yes, the Buick Verano. It will end as of the 2017 model year. [INAUDIBLE] because of SUV so thank you small SUVs for killing off the Verono. Sales, let's see we've got some sales numbers here. In January to April 2016 10,000 sales, which is smaller than the A3 which isn't too bad. No, it's bigger than the A3 The A3 got 10,373, and the Brono is at 10,624. Audi is not killing off the A3. No, no, but Audi makes few cars I think. And And ultimately, I think we can see the that Buick is probably gonna be giving a similar SUV because that's what everybody wants because gas prices will never ever go up again. No, never, never, we will never $5 gasoline, ever, never. Absolutely never happen. So roll on out for [UNKNOWN] if you're thinking of it. And they're still on dealership lots so if you wanna get in on a collector's item. Future, how long do you think, I mean, before [UNKNOWN] values started going through the roof. My gosh, I'm gonna say probably by next year [LAUGH]. You think? [LAUGH] No I do not. [LAUGH] Yeah I don't know myself. I don't know. But it's hard to say what people are going to be collecting in 10 or 20 or 30 years so. Maybe get yourself a [UNKNOWN], you shrink wrap it, you throw it in the garage and 30 years you can retire. You'd be like [UNKNOWN] woo-hoo. All right, and finally, the last story of this week. We have a name for the new Jeremy Clarkson aka former Top Gear presenter's new show. It is called Grand Tour. This is the new joint with he and Haymon. And James May, Amazon's Prime video service, and the name definitely implies that they're gonna be focusing more on driving around in interesting places than actually testing interesting cars. What do you think? Yeah, I mean, you know it's interesting, I have the old Top Gear, it's been on my Netflix now forever, and I always scroll through it and I go, I could watch Top Gear... No, I'll just skip it. There's something about it that I'm just not quite as interested in it anymore. So I'm interested to see what Amazon is going to bring to it. And if it goes more towards an adventure series as opposed to a car series, I think it's going to be kind of cool. Yeah, I'm curious, too. Because some of their adventure series were fantastic. Yeah. Or absolutely amazing. But some of them were really kind of lame and boring. And to me, I always really enjoyed their [UNKNOWN], you know? When they actually evaluated a car, of course, and the state took it out on track. And [INAUDIBLE] us. So to delete all that from the equation is going to be interesting. But we've also got the new top gear, which is actually launching in just a couple of weeks. This will be the new series which will be on the old test track. And that used to be following the basic formula of the old show with a host of new characters. A lot of new characters. I'm guessing about half of them are gonna kinda shake out by the end of the first series. But we'll see. Yeah. But that's [UNKNOWN], too. I can't wait to see it, I can't wait to see Rory Reid as we all know he was part of Xcar which is like our sister station over in London Yeah So it's nice to see a home town boy make good Absolutely and Chris Harris as well of course from internet fame, it's good to see him up there aswell. So I'm definitely keen to see how that goes and there's been a lot of negative press around that show but ultimately everything else so far looks pretty great, so I'm eager to see it come to fruition We should have a launch party That sounds great. Yeah, okay well I'll go to your house. Come on over. Give the Model X to usher you up the driveway in an automated faction without crashing into a tree I hope [LAUGH]. All right that's all I got for news this week Emmy, did I miss anything? I don't think so, that was a lot of news for one short little week. Yeah, I think so. We got through all of it. All right, thanks everybody for tuning in as ever to Auto Complete. We'll be back next week with your next look at the week in news. Until then check out the roadshow.com for all the latest and greatest. And again we'll see you next week. Have great weekends everyone. See you. [MUSIC]