Hyundai Ioniq: Enough to become iconic? (CNET On Cars, Episode 85)Join Brian Cooley for an early look at the car that does green three ways, the secret world of automotive night vision and our new list of top 5 driving distractions.
[MUSIC] Hyundai Ioniq, the first car to go green three ways. Automotive night vision. You thought it was just about seeing. And the new list of top five driving distractions. It's time to check the tech. [MUSIC] We see cars differently. Nice. We love them on the road and under the hood, but also check the text and are known for telling Telling it like it is. Ugly is included at no extra cost. The good, the bad, the bottom line. This is CNET On Cars. We start this episode's pursuit of high tech cars and modern driving a little differently. From the Geneva Auto Show, where Toyota, as the king of electrified cars, talked up its commitment to them. Ioniq is at the core of our strategy. But overall, it's the feel-good factor that makes hybrid drivers feel a little bit special. The Prius is, of course, the undisputed king of electrified cars, selling as many hybrids and plug-ins in six weeks as Tesla sells EVs in a year. Now a total three and a half million Prii sold worldwide. Then along comes something interesting, the Hyundai Ionic. Let's check the [UNKNOWN] three ways. Now here's the big headline around the Ionic. It's gonna have three sets of guts, depending which version you buy. There'll be a classic hybrid that goes after the classic Prius. That's a tall order. There'll be a plug-in hybrid version. More akin to a Chevy Bolt let's say. And they'll be a pure battery electric, that'll go after Nissan Lee or Chevy Bolt. I hesitate to draw any lines of comparison though to Tesla, because they play in a very different price tier. Hyundai will come out first with the non-plug-in hybrid version of the Ionic and they plan to have it offer better highway MPG than a Prius, which does it's best MPG in the city. Hyundai says it only makes sense to buy a stored highway MPG in the highway-centered US. Once the full electric Ioniq arrives, it'll likely be benchmarked against the Chevy Bolt, which is coming along soon with 200 miles of range and a $30,000 price tag after incentives Comparing the power train specs of the free Ioniq is a little bit apples to oranges, but some key things to note is that the plugin will have about 30 miles of electric range, the full battery 155. It'll get 80% of a charge to do that in about 24 minutes they hope, and of course each model has big differences in the CO2 emissions. Now, like almost every alt powertrain car, the Ioniq ends with an ungainly high rump. Why do they all do that? On the other hand, the midsection and the front are actually very attractive in a normal car way. This guy doesn't scream, I'm driving something with a big battery. Interesting market position. And by the way, it's a little hard to tell on camera, but it's a smaller car than a Prius by about a skosh. By the way, the full EV Ioniq is expected to lose a little bit of its rear bay space, its depth, due to some battery packaging. Now in the cabin of the various Ioniq's, you're gonna find something very different from Prius right off the bat. It's right here, an instrument panel. Panel. A lot of LCD, but it's still in front of the driver. You know, Prius doesn't have anything here but upholstery and they do an eyebrow display. Again, this reads more normal car than Prius, much as the outside of this car does. Now transmissions interesting, in the electric car of course you won't really have one. But in the two hybrid cars, they're gonna go with a DCT, a dual clutch transmission. That's gonna be kind of controversial. A lot of the folks who have tried DCT's in economy cars, I'm looking at you FORD have had some pretty bad customer reaction. Customers find them bulky and weird unless they embrace them as a sport gear box which isn't the point in an economy car. So we'll see how it plays out for Hyundai. Active cruise control and active forward collision detection and braking will be on the Ionic, which is now something you just have to have if you wanna compete with both Prius and I3 in their latest iterations. Now, it's gonna be a while before I can get you on the road with a prototype Ionic, I'll do that ASAP, but in the meantime, I'll leave you with this thought. Hyundai says that between the Ionic platform that's coming and the existing Hyundai and Kia hybrids they've got on the market Market now. They'll be the number two maker of electrified vehicles in the world in just a few years. Two things come out of that. One, that's biting off a big piece and two, that's conceding Toyota will still be number one. [MUSIC] Okay, back here in San Francisco now and in a moment we're gonna go on a [UNKNOWN] night assignment about night vision. Now, you'd been forgiven for thinking night vision is all about your vision. It's about a lot more than that, and I'm gonna open your eyes to it when CNet On Cars returns. [MUSIC] [BLANK_AUDIO] [MUSIC] Night vision technology, you've learned about all over the years and everything from pentagon bomber videos The NCIS episode but it's still exotic in cars but may not be so for long. How it works and what can it really do? [MUSIC] Now to be sure, night vision is an interesting term because it's not really vision at all not the way you do vision, your eyes see the world by reflected light, that's part of where you see color for example. It bounces off something and the way that it reflects from it, the wavelength makes different colors, almost completely different from what a night Vision camera does. It sees heat. Heat that you can't see. It's in a spectrum that your eyes are unable to detect. It's called far infrared, 8 to 12 microns, for you visual geeks out there. You can't see what comes out of here until a separate ECU or computer takes that information and creates a synthetic [UNKNOWN] picture of what you could see if your eyes could do what this can do. It's usually a black and white image with some Synthetic colors overlaid to call out alerts of different things you should pay attention to. But to say this is a camera like any other video camera is wrong. It's picking up heat, and that's why it's valuable. [MUSIC] An infrared sensor can see what you can't see and can do so at a range that you can't detect as well. It wasn't too long ago that all of these could have never fit in a car. When I was a young engineer, I used aircraft company the night vision equipment that we're developing Work so large you couldn't put it in the trunk of a Chevrolet, or a Cadillac. So it was a big challenge to figure out how to reduce the size down to let's say the size of a coffee cup and to actually make it affordable for car owners. Stuart Klapper has been working on night vision tech since he was with Hughes Aerospace in the 80s. Today he runs the Night Vision Unit of Autoliv, the largest safety focused supplier to the car industry. People as they get older have so much trouble seeing at night. Even young people that drive. They assume that the headlights are good enough to allow them to see objects in the road, but in reality, you don't see very well. and when somebody hits a pedestrian at night, their first reaction is, I just didn't see him. Aside from just giving you an enhanced view out there, car makers can also highlight pedestrians, even animals, right on the screen. We trained the ECU to look for things like animals, And pedestrians pedestrians have heads and they have arms in the act a certain way and as they cross the road it's very easy to detect them. Animals are little more complicated because they come in all sizes and shapes and because sometimes are running and jumping and doing all kinds of strange things that people don't do So we had to train our DCUs to look for legs and bodies and tails and things like that. Now of course you think night when I say night vision. But also think fog, smoke, glare. Yeah, and the reason why, the infrared camera is able to see very small temperature differences. So when you're looking through the windshield and driving down the road. If the sunlight is coming in through that windshield an infrared cameras actually capable of seeing the small temperature differences out there on the scene on the road ahead of you because it's not seen the light of the sun so what's next for night vision Then, three things occurred to me. FIrst, one that auto lead refers to as spotlighting. A general term for the idea that you can take a set of angled lights and drive them to call out hazards on the road for the driver using that same forward looking infrared camera. This X5 has got them mounted right here in the bumper, these will swivel and only one of them has to come on at a time. Because there's typically only one object to light up. And actually show you as you drive like a passenger holding the flashlight and helping you, what's out there to pay attention to. You won't find this on a US spec BMW yet because America's Byzantine Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards don't yet Embrace it, but that may change sooner than later. Now my biggest grip about night vision is how it's displayed. Always causing you to look away from the road to a separate screen, at a different point of focus and a different field of view than out the windshield. Always struck me as jarring. Head up display technology will allow a driver to keep their eyes on the road because [MUSIC] Cuz the image that you see ahead, will be projected as a virtual image, and allow the driver to comfortable transition between the road and that image. And maybe as we've seen at Mercedes research center in Silicon valley, populating an entire wind screen worth of [INAUDIBLE], imagine that, never again having to glance away to get other information about where you should be looking, which is out the windshield. Finally, price of course has to come down in this technology. As you've noticed, night vision's not on the option sheet for your Ford Fusion. It doesn't come down to that level of market just yet, it mostly lives in upper to very upper cars right now, better BMWs all the way through Bentleys and Rolls Royce. This package up here in the grill is a big part of the cost Of the night vision system. What could bring the cost down would be the natural erosion of price that we see in so many other electronic systems once they're [INAUDIBLE]. [MUSIC] Welcome back to cnet on cars. Coming to you from our home at the [UNKNOWN] Motor Club just north of the Golden Gate Bridge. I'm Brian Cooley. Time for my favorite part of the show. You know what that is, taking your emails. First one comes in from [INAUDIBLE] who says I was wondering whether you could do a top five list on cheap cars under five grand and also go over websites and sources where you have find ultra cheap cars for sale. He also add the note, small suggestion he said. I might add the content is great. But I feel as if it was produced in 60 frames per second video the quality would be a lot better. Hm, we'll talk about that in a minute. First off, I got something great for you, Mohsin. We just did a road show slide show and the road show editors took on the topic that you're asking about, what's the most fun you can have for five grand or under? And really if you're gonna spend under five grand you wanna have fun on A car, a hot hatch is the way to go. It's the best affordable, fun category of older used car. So find that over at TheRoadShow.com. I'll give you a sneak peak. My pick was the first generation Acura Integra, the old chisel nose. Still looks great many years later. They're still pretty good performance, even by today's standards And they've got an iconic status, as they're the car that put Accura on the map in big volume. Now, in terms of where you're gonna find cheap cars, everybody's mind goes to eBay and Craigslist, of course. Those are wide open markets with lots of everyday car Bars on them, you gotta be buyer beware and be smart about that, especially on Craigslist where there isn't any ratings system for sellers. The downside is I think auction sites like that, or listing sites like Craigslist that have so much exposure, they're so successful, they do draw Drives values up in some cases. I've seen some cars on eBay go for prices that make no sense because I'm pretty sure a couple of people or more got into a bidding war and they weren't so concerned about paying the right price for the car as winning the auction. You see that on eBay all the time. That's why it's more important today than ever to work your soft network. Trying to find a car. Let friends and family know and they may end up saying, hey, I heard from a friend of mine that they wanna sell their whatever it may be. And then you get that nice inside deal without the big old internet auction getting in there, and sometimes, floating prices up beyond what is reasonable. Now your question about our video quality. We're not going to go to 60 frames anytime soon for a variety of technical reasons but we did just bump it up to 1080 progressive and 30 frames per second on all of our CNET videos and that includes the stuff we do on cars And that's whether you find it at CNET sites, or out at YouTube, or any other platform. So, it's gonna look better. [SOUND] [MUSIC] Okay, the next email comes in from Slava. He's in Berkeley, California, right across the bay from where we are. He says, Hey, Brian, I keep hearing that various CVTs, continuously variable transmission, have programmed shift points To fake gear changes. He wants to know why that's done? Just to fool a consumer into thinking they're driving a normal automatic? That's not exactly why, but it's not too far from the truth, Slava. Now CBTs as you know, have a tendency if they're not done right to be rubbery and slippery. Cuz all they are is a belt around a couple of pulleys. There are no teeth, no cogs, no gears, no bite. Now the early ones were really bad. The newer ones tend to be much more satisfying, but that isn't going to answer the person who wants a shift one, who wants to feel that they're running up through the gears and going clunk, clunk, clunk as they're going up or down. From first to third or 3rd to 1st whatever it may be so as a result they can program the CVT to behave like it's got shift points it will feel like it as you drive the car even though it doesn't have specific gears it is faking you out they're not trying to fool anybody there doing it to give the CVT a different kind of feel and the reason is so many drivers out there the mass majority grew up in cars that had shift Automatics have them manual transmissions of course have them, dual clutch transmissions have them. So the CVT can feel very sort of odd, a lack of positive engagement to the driver who's used to what came Before it. It's not a matter of fooling them as much as giving them a feel that they are used to and find reassuring, satisfying, sporty. Now another thing about putting fake shift points into the programming is it allows things like paddle shifters, and maybe sport modes to be more satisfying, to have a reason. You don't need paddle shifters, nor the fun of playing with them, if you've got a gear box that has no shift points. And a lot of folks love paddles. So to kind of close the loop, They put in some fake shift points that's another part of the reason. [MUSIC] Okay when I come back we're gonna do a top five that a lot of us are guilty of. Top five driving distractions. The new ranking, the latest research of things that have gotten more distracting in the last year and the things that have gotten less so. When C-net on Cars returns. [MUSIC] [BLANK_AUDIO] [MUSIC] Welcome back to CNET on Cars. I'm Brian Cooley, wrapping up the show with a top five list, one you can feel guilty about. This one is the latest survey result On top five driving distractions, the things you do behind the wheel that you shouldn't. And the trend line of what we do more or less than a year ago. So it's an interesting snapshot of our behind the wheel behavior. And number five is going to be, oddly enough, Email behind the wheel. 23% of us say we do this, and that's down 2%. Email is something where I lay the blame pretty squarely at our work styles, our 24/7 always on jobs that many of us have these days. Let's face it, you're talking friends and family behind the wheel Messaging them, what have you. I doubt you're using e-mail. Probably texting, or using Facebook, or What's App or what have you. Or calling them the old school way. This one, to me, feels like you're trying to make sure the boss isn't breathing down your neck as you're just trying to get home and get dinner on the stove. [MUSIC] Number four is accessing the internet. 29% admit to this up 3% from last year. Could be anything from looking at Facebook at a red light. Googling something screwy you just heard on talk radio, looking at someone's inane Instagram feed. All of this I think as inexcusable as it is underlines how boring driving is Bring on those self driving cars. Number three is an old chestnut, it's texting. 36 percent admit to it, up three percent across all age groups. What do you say about this? I mean this is the original example of your eyes, hands, and mind coming off the task of driving. Don't do it. With 1,000 public service campaigns reminding you all the time not sinking in. Okay, number two brings us a tie between entering destinations in GPS and talking on the phone hand-held, both at 51%. We've got a change of 3% up on destination and 4% down on hand-held calling. So it's a split direction here. The hand-held calling is of course the original, tech driven behind the wheel distraction. Find [UNKNOWN] park. Entering destinations of course you may say that hey, I'm using voice to enter that destination, but a lot of cognitive studies remind us that whenever your mind's involved in such a complex task, researching, finding and telling the machine where to go and hearing its prompts come back, make sure it got it right You can be so disengaged mentally that you're looking through the windshield and still not even seeing what's right in front of you. Bear that in mind. [MUSIC] Before I get to number one. Here's the other number one. 75% of people report listening to GPS navigation instruction. This is gonna split the room. A lot of folks say, wait a minute, I thought the idea of Eyes on the road, using my ears to get navigation prompts was a good idea. It's certainly a better idea. But it's another example of how cognitive distraction can come when there's no hands or eyes involved at all. The number one distracting behavior we admit to doing behind the wheel is an old friend of ours, Talking on the phone even though it's hands free. 55% of us say we do this, and that's up 4%. Talking on the phone can be very distracting, even though your eyes and hands are on the road if you're on a stressful conversation, an assanine conversation, straining to listen to one of those conference calls where everyone else is on a Cell too and you can't hear anything? You're tieing up this CPU big time and there's very little left of it to handle the driving task. Just bare that in mind and try and keep the call short and if it's gonna be a big deal, maybe do Do it after you arrive [MUSIC] Thanks for watching, I'm glad you drop by for this episode, don't forget we got a ten more banks for you. Over at CNETonCars.com, you want a car tech 101? I bet we've already done it. Head on over to the site and find it there, or send me an email if you don't find it, it's OnCars@cnet.com. I'll see you next time we check the [INAUDIBLE]. [MUSIC] [SOUND] [BLANK_AUDIO]