LA Auto Show: All the tech you need to check (CNET On Cars, Episode 101)
Cooley On Cars
A new little Ford you ride on.
A ride service for only half of us.
And Acura does a 180 on all those buttons.
It's time to check the tech.
We see cars differently.
We love them on the road and under the hood, but also check the tech [SOUND] and.
And are known for telling it like it is.
Ugly is included at no extra cost.
The good, the bad, the bottom line.
This is CNET ON CARS.
I'm Brian Cooley.
This is CNET ON CARS.
To show all about high tech cars and modern driving.
And normally we start the show off by doing our on the road segment, but as you can tell this time, I am on the road for the 2016 Los Angeles Auto Show, and what I'm gonna do is a special mission in this episode is give you a concise rundown of the tech you have to check if you're coming to this show this year, or if you can't come to this show, it will be like you did.
Let's get started.
But you know me I've got no patients for interfaces that are techy for tech sake.
For crying out loud make it work right and give tech later if you can stay honest to that.
Well Acura made a awful lot of buttons for an awful lot of years.
Suddenly they're showing a very different face.
This is their concept.
It looks rather production ready For what they call the precision cockpit.
Let me walk you through it.
First of all, you've got dual 12-inch LCD screen.
As you can see, the resolution on them is beautiful.
Very fine dot pitch.
This one here on the left has an interesting attribute.
Aside from being video, they're gonna use it to reinforce confidence.
Around cars that have a degree of self-driving.
That's gonna be an important hurdle to get folks to embrace cars that will do part or all of the driving tasks.
How many times have we talked about this on the show?
People don't trust this stuff, natively, at first.
So, here, they're gonna show you how a car is thinking, how it is seeing the road, what it is doing, and how it's Processing is out there.
That's a nice bridge.
It can also predict where cyclists or pedestrians are out in front of you maybe going.
And they've got a augmented reality component of that pulling a video view from the front and overlaying it with some predicted or confidence inspiring information.
Now let's go to the center screen here.
Look how far that is.
You know that's not a touch screen.
No one has arms that long.
Their ethic is, look, put the screen up high and large where it's near your field of view.
But then you can't touch it, so what do you do?
Well, you give it a remote touchpad here.
Now we've had some remote touchpads in the past.
You know what I say about those?
It's not suitable for a family show.
But this one here has got this dished little controller.
With a very accurate positioning system that absolutely means something wherever you put your finger.
So, unlike on your laptop or tablet, you don't touch it and then start fishing with the cursor to get re-oriented.
Upper left means upper left.
On that screen there, if I go to upper left in the pad, I'm automatically going to be on the PLAY ALL area.
And all you got to do now is click it to confirm.
There's no sliding and fishing with the courser.
This other part of the pad on the right, maps to the right side of the screen so separate pads for separate zones.
And of course you got some tablet behaviors that we all know well now in the digital language of swipe to got o other menus.
Now this is obviously a concept car brought here at a auto shows, but when they say a few years from this will be the new cockpit of Acura, I look forward hopefully.
And when this car debuted here at the LA Auto Show, it didn't actually exist.
They rolled it out first on VR, in VR headsets, virtual reality.
Now that may sound like car show gimmickry but I'll tell you the future of the auto industry introducing and showing people new cars via VR actually one of the bright spots for that technology.
Now, on to this vehicle.
This is the [UNKNOWN] As you can see, it's a crossover and it's electric.
It will have dual electric motors, about 220 miles of range, maybe a little bit shy of kinda where the new benchmark is, but not bad.
400 horse, 516 pound feet of torque.
Or, you know how the electric thing goes.
0 to 60 in 4 seconds.
It's a concept.
But as you can see, it's pretty close to production.
Lots of LCD inside.
The big LCD IP.
And a big old LCD on the right for the head unit, which eschews a lot of knobs and buttons.
I remain to be convinced.
But that's always a good idea buy we'll see how they handle that interface.
This guy goes on sale on 2018.
This 2017 Audi R8 B10 plus exclusive edition kind of mouthful has very interesting headlights where the very first cars to have a laser.
Not this guy, that's your LED low beam.
But in there is a very special high beam that starts off as a laser at 450 nanometers, this is basically a blue laser.
Doesn't go out this way, it travels a very short distance that way to hit a piece of phosphor which then creates the light which is then filtered again to be at 5,500 Kelvin.
You light geeks know that's really kind of pure daylight sun temperature.
And that blasts out the front of the car The game here they tell us is a very prodigious light but also a very sharp light because it's not a lot of diffused rays, it's a very straight forward focussed beam of light that should give you a clearer view of what's in front of you as well.
It only works at about 40 miles an hour and above And they're using sensors in the car to detect if there's oncoming cars or any big ambient light like if you're in a city, in which case it will not work.
By the way, this isn't just DOT approved, it's FDA approved.
That's right, lasers are considered medical devices and the Food and Drug folks had to sign off on this.
This isn't the first car with laser beam headlights, the BMW I8 has them as a $6,300 option.
But this is still super exotic stuff And if you're big on lighting, this is about as big as it gets.
Now this, like all Mitsubishis, catch up on all fronts car.
This is the eX crossover concept.
Now as you can tell, it looks a bit like an Evoke and an RX came to the same intersection at the same time and one of them was texting.
But the mash-up Not bad looking and obviously it's a concept car, suicide doors and rear facing cameras instead of side view mirrors.
But beyond that, they're doing almost everything on every front.
First of all, it's an electric car with 248 miles of imagined range, dual motors to get all wheel drive, almost every driver assist out there, Adding up to partial autonomy.
A connected navigation system is imagined that is going to suggest things along your route based on knowing your recent searches and maybe your calendar.
A similar behavior works in the adaptive cruise where it's connected adapted cruise Cars ahead will talk to the vehicle and let it know to slow or speed up.
Not just rely on the one's sensors in the back.
You can do whatever you want on the turntable here.
But I think this is a clear indication that Mitsubishi knows they need to hit to a lot of bases.
Alexa, what's the weather like today?>> The current temperature is [INAUDIBLE]
Now I don't think it's going too far to say that the biggest consumer tech story of 2016 was Amazon Echo, and its Alexa chatbot personality underneath it.
Hyundai knows that so they are rolling out their first integration.
Basically there's now a set of Amazon skills that you can say to Echo that will operate some functions.
On their car.
To remote start and set temperature of your silver Sonata please say your Blue Link PIN.
Lock the doors, start the car, precondition the temperature inside.
Nothing you haven't been able to do on an app for a few years now, but doing it through Echo via a really good natural language is a really big trend story.
Now this is not as impressive as what Ford is doing with Amazon Echo.
They're allowing bidirectional control So control the car from your home, or the home from inside their cars.
These guys are just going one way, from the home, sending commands to the car.
The good news is this is gonna hit the market asap and be compatible with a lot of cars.
Many 15s, almost every 16 and definitely every 17.
The bottom line is, you have to have their Blue Link Generation 2 software in the head unit, and of course Have an Echo and a nice relationship with Alexa.
When we come back, the apps that caught my eye at the LA show, and my favorite pick of all the cars here.
When CNET on Cars returns.
This is the best technology for performance and efficiency.
It's tough for every big car maker to get their fair share of notice at a big auto show like LA.
Some resort to things like VR unveils, amazing light With sound shows at their stage.
Others use hot sauce!
Here's a 2017 Lexus IS Sriracha edition, not going into production, it's a one-off promotional car.
But it's the most fun thing on the floor by far.
You can see the Sriracha red paint job, pretty accurate shade.
I hear they actually tried to get some of the chilli flakes from the sauce.
Into a paint, don't think it worked out real well, but they matched it all well with the green accents as well that take you to the bottle cap.
Sport mode, no, that's sriracha hot mode, sriracha hot button for the specially calibrated ultra hot seat warmers.
Steering wheel looks as though it's got sriracha sauce inside it, the key [UNKNOWN].
And if that's not enough for lunch, check the trunk.
There's a little more waiting for you in there.
Now, normally you'd think something like this is some car show gimmickery.
Here I am riding a thing from Ford.
I'm new at this.
Called the Carr-E.
But this is not just some gee-whiz nonsense they cooked up.
This is the idea of solving a lot of irritating last mile or last fraction of a mile.
In some ways, you have to ask in the mobility future.
Is the problem to many cars or is the problem is that sometimes we have too much car?
So here's a very small helper vehicle that you might use to go from where you park to where you're going to go shop.
Let's say, when you go to the mall.
Notice the shape of this thing.
Fits in the well of a typical spare tire and wheel combo that a lot of cars don't have or need anymore.
So, that's kind of where it starts to come together.
Now, this prototype weighs 30, 35 pounds.
They'd like to get it down to 20 or less.
It's got several modes, you saw me on the riding mode.
Kinda like a Segway without a handlebar then you've also got a follow mode That uses a little transducer you clip on yourself.
Now in the future it would just follow your phone and then it's got a drone mode.
Pretty self explanatory.
Get on an app and move the thing around.
Beyond personal use they also see this being picked up perhaps by transit, logistics and delivery companies.
I mean, look at all those poor UPS and FedEx drivers who go back and forth from the truck with hand trucks full of parcels Two or three of this could follow them like a little pipe piper and bring everything at once.
My favorite part, it's tail lights are modeled after a Ford GT.
Last week, a Maserati, now this.
Like Ford, this start-up Urban626 is asking a similar question why do we take a 3500 pound vehicle with us to do everything Thing.
This only is 35 pound, and when there's no car, there are places where it fits.
This thing is called the Irvings.
This guy is on Maine, Pasadena here on the Los Angeles area.
He gets 20 miles of range on a charge and up to 15 miles per hour.
Four hour charge time to get that race, not just obviously does not replace the car.
But you see more and more companies that are rather credibly asking is there another vehicle in between the car and the shoes.
Auto shows are no longer complete without mobility apps being shown.
BMW's Reach Now service is expanding from car sharing a fleet of BMW's and Mini's To also offering ride share in BMW and Minis as well as a more traditional longer term car rental of BMWs and Minis.
It's part of a growing trend in the biz toward moving into brand services not just single name plate sales.
Turo is one of those things I find fascinating and would never do, renting out your own car.
Air BnB for rides.
The range of cars is obviously pretty wild The claim the average person who rents their car on Turo a week and a half a month, makes their payment and some pocket money.
The latest news from them is that small car rental companies can get on the platform now as well.
For a number of women there's one big problem with Uber and Lyft, men.
Getting in the car with a strange man or giving a ride to a one is just a non-starter for many.
That's where See Jane Go comes in, an all female ride share service.
See Jane Go is about providing that comfort and that opportunity for women either as drivers or passengers, because there's legitimate concerns on both sides of the car.
No male drivers at all, and the only male passengers are those who are riding with a primary female passenger.
[INAUDIBLE] It's a small start up.
just announcing it's expansion from Orange country to now Long Beach California but it seems like a scalable niche.
WaiveCar is a car sharing service that embraces one of the great maxims of the internet.
Put an ad on it and it's free.
They equip car with digital rooftop ad boards and wrap.
That pay the freights so you get a free car for up to two hours at a time and then six bucks an hour after that.
They're currently only in Santa Monica, California with expansion planned.
But the news at the LA show is they have now signed up Hyundai as a partner Cuz that company wants to get a fleet of 250 of their electric Ionics out on the road.
Now here is the oldest new Ford.
This guy's called the Echo Sport, not the EcoSport.
I know that's gonna throw you.
Been on the market in other parts of the world for 13 years now.
New to the U.S. and it gets a refresh as it comes here.
Notice that it's a very compact crossover with a very utilitarian back end.
It's not overly made swoopey or coupe-like for the sake of looks.
What I also noticed about this vehicle is that they're pushing some nice technology down market, not saving it all for the high-end cars.
Now this eight-inch kind of floating head unit Is in two of the four trim levels.
Inside that is going to be Android ROM car play in three of the four trim levels.
And four of the four, everyone of them, are gonna have sync connect, which means a built in wireless data modem For telematics and cloud services.
These USB ports, nice and convenient, are also fast charge compatible.
They're high current.
And they tell me, depending on the trim, you get like 30 or 31 bins and cubbies, including at least one, I'm happy to say, big enough for a phablet.
Don't always see that.
Interesting choice here.
Look how the tailgate opens.
And by the way, the handle is hidden inside the right tail light.
It's a swing gate not a lift gate.
Now, there's gonna be pros and cons to ever you move a back door but if you spend a lot of time loading things up on the roof, this can be kinda handy depending on what you're loading on the roof as supposed to being blocked here by an overhead hatch Now this is a fully production appearing car, but that doesn't mean it comes to the market right away.
Ford says it won't be until early 2018 that we get these guys.
That's the same point that we'll figure out pricing, MPG, but we do know powertrain.
A one liter Eco Boost three cylinder for front wheel drive, or a two liter, non-turbo but direct injection, four cylinder if you want the all wheel drive.
And they both get a six-speed automatic, a real automatic.
Thanks for watching this special episode as we checked all the tech at the LA Auto Show.
Don't forget the complete look at every car here and all the news that broke is available from the Road Show team, my colleagues, at theroadshow.com.
I'll see you next time.
Recheck the deck.
Put a household outlet in your car
See the electric trucks that want to steal the show from electric...
Removing viruses and bad smell from your car
See the light when it comes to germs and viruses in your car
Wireless car charging on the way
Finally understand that variable valve tech your car's maker...
5 things you didn't know about the Porsche Taycan's tech
See the top in-car technologies you'll be buying soon