US admits a car can (soon) be its own driver (AutoComplete, Ep. 5)
Welcome to Auto Complete, this is Road Show's weekly news podcast about the intersection of cars and technology.
I'm Brian Cooley, Editor at Large, with Tim Stevens, Road Show Editor in Chief, and about one third of a voice.
Yeah, my apologies, I'm on the.
The tail end of a bit of a bad cold so my voice isn't quite come back, but it's good to be here in person with you Brian.
We've been going our separate ways for awhile.
Since Detroit, so it's great to be here.
Yeah, it's good to be in person with Mr. Stevens and let's get right into it now.
So take a look at what's going on around cars and technology.
This is one of the most over-reaching, over-arching I should say not over-reaching We have this week which is all of a sudden the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, which is a huge division of the Department of Transportation in the U.S., this is big stuff, is open to the idea that a car without a driver Is the driver in a letter rather lengthy, that's been reported on that they sent to Google as part of an ongoing dialogue about how future self-driving cars will be regulated and it has a whole bunch of language saying okay, we're ready to move toward the idea of seeing the technology in the car as the driver for regulatory And legal purposes this is kind of a big one.>>It is basically what this is it's a response from a letter from google to [UNKNOWN] basically saying that these are the things that we have issues with, that we have concerns about [UNKNOWN] that's on the books right now that we're not sure that we comply with but that we need to be changed or we need some [UNKNOWN] from you on whether or our cars are legal basically for these things.
There are laws that dictate minimum sight lines from drivers, laws that dictate warning lights need to be shown to the driver.
But if the car doesn't have a driver, then do you need a warning light on the dashboard?
Things like that.
Yeah, if you don't have an idiot, you don't need idiot lights.
So basically what this letter is is basically a ten-page response from NHTSA back to Google, saying here's your big list of concerns, and here's our response to them.
And the majority of them are amazingly Warm and open to saying yes, absolutely.
We have legislation on the books right now that say that the accelerated panel needs to respond for given rate, but ultimately we'll need to change that because there may not be be an accelerated panel in the car.
It's kind of shockingly open and transparent, and ultimately very welcoming to the idea of these cars needing to be Need to be driverless, or what needs to change, so basically you can look at this as a big long boat list of all the things that government needs to change in order to make these cars legal, but the majority of these things where the law is not accurate with what google needs.
They're saying that google can file for exemption and continue testing, doing what they're doing, basically the government's saying we don't want to slow you down which is pretty impressive.
Yeah, and this is following on the heels of initiatives we heard at the very end and the top of 2016, very end of 2015.
How the DOT says that we want to really get out of the way here.
And also, move parallel to this and get some regulations moving Better this year on how to deal with cybersecurity in connected and eventually self-driving cars.
So that's another avenue where they wanna make sure they're not holding things back.
And as Time mentioned, a lot of this has to do with old laws that are on the books saying, you gotta have a brake pedal, for example.
Well, you don't need that on a self-driving car in a true full self-driving fashion.
I'm intrigued by the idea that Google's latest Prototype car gets rid of the human controls.
And I've always wondered, is that really a plan, or is that more of a testbed to see how people react when you take away the opportunity to think of yourself as the driver?
It's definitely a very interesting move and a very progressive sort of thing.
It's the kind of thing that I think most of us think that you won't really see on the road for For quite a while.
That's like 2050, earliest.
At least, outside of these major urban areas, so it remains to be seen, but it is, again, good to see that this is being progressive, that the government's trying to be progressive here.
And looking at things like, a couple of them, the warning lights we talked about.
There has to be a noise Made when the driver side door is open and the car is able to be moved.
But which is the driver side door if there is no driver in the car, and do you need that noise either?
And again, the line of sight has to be available for 95% of human being.
In fact, they need to be able to see out of the car.
Again, it doesn't really matter that much.
So there's basically ten pages worth of these exemptions and things that Google needs to file for, which sounds like their paper work Jockeys are gonna be having a good couple of weeks to get all those things filed.
But again, it is encouraging that ultimately they can get those exemptions and that the government is actively trying to move forward on those things.
Yeah, so the warmth of the response from the US government is really the big thing to take away from this.
It's definitely our, it's one of our biggest trend story of the week.
I mean, this is This is showing that we're really making some progress, at least in attitudes, with the specifics to come.
Now to go on to our most ongoing story, the latest on the VW Group's diesel gate.
We told you in last week's show that VW had come back with their second attempt to get the two-liter diesel So that's the majority of the problem engines dealt with in America with a new plan to fix them to the EPA and to the California Resources Board and they have yet to get a reply to that one.
The last one that they did, the first attempt, was absolutely slammed by the regulators.
Now on top that two liter plan, they just submitted a three liter plan, which is a smaller number of vehicles.
That's going out to EPA and [UNKNOWN] as well.
So we're just waiting to see more follow on on that.
Then this interesting angle came along dealing with Fiat.
And we hadn't heard that Fiat Chrysler had any issues, but a German.
Advocacy group with the unfortunate acronym of D U H, or duh.
I'm sure it doesn't mean that in German, but they say that the Fiat 500 in diesel trim, which we don't get in the US.
Is also a vast over-polluter, 11 to 22x in some driving scenarios that they've verified, which they say to them can only occur with a defeat mechanism.
And this group has also called out Mercedes-Benz and other manufacturers as well for supposed infractions.
But ultimately this is not an official government group.
Ultimately the industry For the testing to verify these claims, so yeah don't go selling you Fiat 500X.
If you in the U.S.
you can't have this car anyway, so it's not that big of a deal, but it certainly does point back to the concern that a lot of us had, that had that ultimately Volkswagen was the first to get caught but not the only one who is trying to kind of fudge the numbers a little bit.
Sort of thing so
I hope that this, I mean I hope that this isn't as bad for Fiat as it has been Volkswagen.
Fiat is not having the best of time right now, as we've seen with the delays in the U S with the launch of some of their cars and things like that.
You know, I guess we'll have to wait and see on this.
As far as the three liter diesel change goes, my understanding of that is that it's a very different sort of issue that we've seen in a smaller diesel engine.
Where this is basically a case where the engine is actually having too much emissions up front when the engine is warming up.
But basically they were trying to
Overheat the engine to get it to warm up more quickly.
That would then result in better emissions in In the long run.
The idea being that the engine is largely compliant.
It's just when it's warming up that it's using too much fuel.
It's a very different sort of thing, which would in theory be an easier fix.
They probably just need to make a software tweak to get rid of that warm up phase.
But again, we haven't seen the exact details of what Volkswagen want to do.
And we'll have to wait to see what the EPA says as far as this fix goes.
So for both these proposals, for 2 and 3 liter Volkswagen.
I know a lot of you are waiting.
What's gonna happen to my car?
What are they gonna do?
We do not know what's in the black box yet, what the proposal was.
And even the replies that come back from EPA and CARB so far have not specifically said what was wrong With the initial proposal that they've knocked down.
Certainly in the two liter case.
So, it's just this black box being moved back and forth between applicant and regulator.
As soon as we know more about that we will off course let you know.
Now, Don't have a lot of details on this one but coming up on Mobile World Congress which is one of the biggest mobile technology and cell phone show in the world from even Consumer Electronic Show.
Ford has given us just this teaser that they will have a new vehicle they'll launch at Mobile World Congress.
Another indication that tech shows are becoming the most interesting auto shows, and they will also unveil a new advanced in-car technology.
Any speculation what they might have talking about with this advance car technology.
I don't know at this point I was usually speaking up into this mobility program which is the thing that Mark Fields talked about every single time in this event-
On microphone which has everything to hear-
From a smart parking, to tools, to emission of the cars here and everything else.
You hear a lot about that.
But beyond that?
Honestly, I don't know exactly what we should expect Coming out of there, but MWC hasn't really established itself in the way that CES has from an automotive standpoint, but we have seen advancements there.
Ford was showing off an electric Focus a couple years ago.
There were a few other cars of Ford.
Ford usually rolls out something at MWC, but we We haven't seen the other manufacturers diving on there, largely because Geneva is so close thereafter.
And, oftentimes, MWC and Geneva are at the same time.
Right now, that balance is being a little bit more healthy, perhaps, in the CES Detroit balance.
We'll have to see how that goes.
But no, I don't know what to expect from Ford exactly, but we should also expect some other car stuff from other electronics companies that I can't really talk about [INAUDIBLE].
A lot of it comes out of NWC is also from let's say wireless carriers who have new services that work with cars, or new OBD2 dongle service which will be coming in just
Those are a commodity now.
So a lot of those get announced.
And a lot of folks who have automotive specific apps that work on mobile.
so a lot of vectors there we'll be keeping an eye on.
We have a large CNET team going to mobile world congress just about the same time we have a large road team going to the Geneva motor show.
Those are two basically back to back.
[INAUDIBLE] as well.
Kia, is not a company you think of going after German performance cars.
Even though they've got, have had for few years now Peter Schreyer from, former Audi guy doing their design and now, kinda heading up the whole division.
But, there's a Reuter story, and out of place we normally expect to play breaking car news.
But that sort of global, general world news service says that there might be a Sort of a three series sounding car.
Performance, coupe or sedan, rear wheel drive, coming from Kia.
Do you think the brand can support it, or do people that buy that kinda car say nope, I want German, cuz I want German.
Well, I think they do, but ultimately
We saw Hyundai throw the Genesis Coupe out there, much the same sort of concept anyways.
Sporty, rear-wheel drive coupe.
This will be a little bit of a different thing.
It sounds like its gonna be a bit more of a luxury performance car.
But Hyundai's been making great.
You know great progress [UNKNOWN] the genesis brand which ultimately sprang up from [UNKNOWN] from a while back.
And it sounds like it's Kia basically taking the first step into that new, brave new world.
It's gonna be a bit of a shaky step probably there be a lot of [UNKNOWN] and certainly a lot of folks saying Pay extra for a Kia luxury car.
Carism if you will.
Right but people said the same thing about a Lexus you know a decade, more then a decade ago.
A Lexus and all these other premium brands that come out of these lower cost manufacturers and I think it's time.Kia's been making great cars and doing a lot of great stuff with technology too.
And, I'm always a fan of more rear-wheel drive cars on the road, shockingly.
[LAUGH] We didn't like those here around the road show camp.
We're going to look here, we do have a shot of just one recent car Kia has brought out that may, may, may be in this direction.
This is the Kia Novo.
You can get an idea of it.
It's got a little different face that, boy, is really three series.
And of course, it's a four door, but it's got a very sporty, tidy, almost coupe-like rear-roof on it.
This is a concept car, and it's not necessarily what they're gonna bring out But it just shows they've been showing design concepts that are not what you think of in terms of economy or utilitarian vehicles that you might think of.
Greg, what do you think about Kia?
Let's see, I think we're going to take a little break here and come right back.
We're going to tell you what's going on with new cars from Chevy, Camaro on one end, tracks on other, and get get the latest on what's just to about to come out right now on RoadShow.
Tim's about to update us on that when Auto Complete continues.
Back to Auto Complete, Episode Five.
This is our February 12th 2016 edition, Brian Cooley with Tim Stevens, continuing on, let's break down now to get an update from Tim about what's new at Roadshow.
Right, so this week we have posted our new episode of Rivals, which is a big three way show down, effectively.
This time we went with compact SUVs or even sub-compact SUVs.
Mazda CX-3 versus the Honda HRV versus the Jeep Renegade.
We had a lot of fun putting those three through their paces.
They're all very similar cars, the sorts of cars that people would really be logically cross shopping.
That's kinda the idea behind that series.
But ultimately they had very different performance.
The Mazda was really great on road.
The Jeep was very great off road.
And the Honda was Pretty boring over all, [UNKNOWN] incredibly practical car.
I won't spoil the result, but if your thinking of buying something in that segment or if your interested in that segment at all I highly recommend you check that out.
We go Chicago auto show that should be going on right now if you're watching this one friday.
A lot of great news coming out of there.
And it's kind of a preview out in Chicago, a little bit of fun.
We sent our team out to drive the Nissan Winter Warrior concept, which is basically a rouge and a couple of other Nissan SUVs put tracks on the, [UNKNOWN] treads basically, and go cruising around a local sea mountain in Chicago.
So I'm very jealous.
John Wong got to go Find that like, it looked like a lot of fun.
We have a video of that up.
We also have Antoine's review of the new Scion IA.
Scion's going away but ultimately Mazda decided to not bring the Mazda 2 to the US, so Scion picked up and threw a Scion badge on the front and you get the IA.
It's a great car again it's kind of The end of the Scion brand as it were.
But it's a great car- [CROSSTALK]
And if I recall correctly, that carries over to a Toyota at the end of Scion after this model year.
Right, and I don't know if they've identified exactly which model that will be.
But it's good that that is gonna continue on, perhaps the Toyota IA But it's good cause for review with a video from Antoine, and it's one the site right now.
Okay, great stuff.
Waiting for you at Road Show.
And that's TheRoadShow.com.
I know a lot of you are probably still new to the site.
We've only been up and running since basically top of the year.
So, whether you found us there Or, found us somewhere else, on YouTube, or elsewhere.
Make sure you check out theroadshow.com, the new automotive site from CNet.
Now, speaking of Chicago Auto Show, as Tim just mentioned, as we're deploying our team there.
One of the more interesting car stories coming out of there, is Camaro option package, 1LE, which is a very cool Hot Rod package, but now being available on the V6 of the Camara, starting with 2017 model year.
And 1LE adds a lot of good stuff.
It gives you a 355 horse power, V6 The FE3 suspension package which comes from the SS model, wider and bigger staggered wheels with Eagle F1's on them, four path [INAUDIBLE] and a track cooling pack, which is pretty hot stuff for a V6 Camaro that I imagine is gonna be relatively affordable.
Absolutely, previously we've only see the [INAUDIBLE] on the V8 that you mentioned of, but
In their testing they found that the new V6 1LE is actually as quick as the outgoing V8 model around, I think it was [INAUDIBLE] they were doing the testing on, which is pretty good news.
And the new V8 is three seconds faster than the outgoing 1LE.
Stepping everything up.
Which is great.
So if you go with the V6, you don't get the big brakes.
You get bigger brakes but not as big as the V8.
The suspension is an upgrade over the base Camaro but it's not as, you don't get the full Suspension that you get on the V8.
Yeah, V8 gets 455.
So you get another hundred horse, mag ride.
You get electronic limited slip, 6 black rim bows, and I think the red carl's are standard.
And the red carl seats as well, which you don't get on the V6.
So, [UNKNOWN] will be a little bit more lighter, a little bit more nimble.
It should be a bit more of a track toy.
That's kind of like the difference between the turbo v six well the turbo mustang now and the v eight mustang.
They're both said to be performance orientated but in a different way to go as well.
But again three seconds quicker on the new v eight and the same speed from the v six as the out going v eight is very impressive.
It's definitely a track monster.
It's Very focused car, and it's a great car, I can't wait to drive both of them actually.
Interesting the V6 package.
I'm a V6 underdog fan.
I often find the V6 of a V6-V8 sibling set to be just, just right.
And this could be sweet package.
On the other end of Chevy's lineup, the Chevy Trax, which has turned out to be a, Not even a sleeper head, it's become a really solid selling car for them, one that we have a lot of respect for.
We've got a new version of the Trax coming to Chicago, but it's not a complete new generation, but it's nicely upgraded.
With one of the more interesting parts of it, is that it's got really great looking cabin upgrades, including Android Auto.
Car play, 4G LTE, which is going wall to wall at General Motors.
A lot of good passive driver assists.
The Trax is getting to be a seriously well Contented car, as they say in the biz.
Right, and this new change is not a major evolution of the car from a driving dynamics standpoint or anything else.
Ultimately we're seeing a technology injection into this car to bring it a little bit more modern [INAUDIBLE] Play on board, now a standard feature which is great, a lot of new-
Kinda like Bolt.
Right, kinda like the Bolt, a lot of new safety features as you mentioned.
But ultimately, yeah, this is I think a bit of an underdog in this category just because it is fairly new to the US But it's definitely gaining a lot of ground, and I think it looks quite nice too.
So hopefully a little bit of a tech injection will help the Tesla a little bit more.
Yeah, cuz there's a little Spartan inside.
A lot of people got inside.
Okay, this is almost one of those single mono-gauge cars where everything's embedded in the speed.
It takes you back to an old Fiat 500.
That's never a good language.
Okay, I went as cheap as I could, but this car actually is looking very nice.
We have some great photos of the new cabin over at Roadshow that you can find there.
Ferrari's FF has always been the family Ferrari.
It's not the Ferrari you think of, normally, with its sort of Coupe two plus two seating for the kids lineup.
But they meant it to take over what used to be the 456 which is your family Ferrari.
They've just basically done one major change.
They've changed the name and I'm a little pissed off because they're taking the most vaunted name in Ferrari history and they're attaching it to this car.
Not that the FS, not a lovely car, but it's now gonna be called a mouthful The GTC4Lusso.
Yeah, with no spaces, no capitals.
Somebody needs to get the Ferrari branding people a new keyboard, because we saw the same thing with the F12berlinetta, but then everybody just called the F12berlinetta the F12.
But it's obvious that this is a pattern that Ferrari's establishing going forward, and ultimately, these I think we're past the lowercase I days.
We need to get to the point where Ferrari has some proper names in there.
And yet, so GTC4 with at two plus two coupe in the 70s and then the Lusso was a special edition of the 250GT in the 60s which was a more luxury.
Lusso means luxury in Italian.
So this is ultimately them trying to take that little bit more of a Ferrari heritage and try to apply that to the FF which I think is something that.
A lot of people that was lacking in the [UNKNOWN].
This isn't a traditional Ferrari in a lot of ways.
It's hatchback and it's an all wheel drive car.
Which is a very different thing than your average Ferrari.
So a lot of people had a hard time seeing this car as a Ferrari.
But ultimately I don't think putting a [UNKNOWN] name on it is in anyway Pulling that Ferrari Heritage, I think it's a great car.
I've driven it, I loved it, I think it's one of my favorite Ferrari's actually.
If I were buying a Ferrari, honestly that would be one that I would consider because you can drive it four seasons, have a lot of fun with it, it's the practicality.
And I actually like the look.
I love that sort of shooting break.
A look as interpreted by Ferrari, it's the hottest shooting brake ever put on the road.
Absolutely it's a gorgeous car.
And I don't, honestly I don't know if that I'm a fan of all the tweaks.
So they basically added more grill to the front.
They've added this weird sort of, Andrew Crock on our team said it looks like Unibrow on the rear end.
It's not the most flattering look.
And the name, of course, is a little bit problematic, I think.
Not exactly warm reception to the new GTC4 [INAUDIBLE] And I'm going to be calling it the GT4C Lusso a lot probably.
If you hear about that Ferrari there's not a new Ferrari on the market.
It's the FF basically revised slightly and taking the vaunted Lusso moniker.
And adding it to it.
And leaving out caps.
Well no, it's got caps, there's no space.
Right, so that's all.
Alright, let's see.
This is an odd one, US traffic deaths are actually looking like they went up quite a bit in 2015 and that's a big story because they've been going down for a number of years, certainly in the big trend if you look decades.
We've been pushing deaths down for a long, long time.
And all the sudden it looks as though There was a pretty good spike in the first nine months of 2015.
We don't have Q4 in yet, so it's a three quarter story.
Basically we went from 1.05 deaths, per 100 million miles, which sounds very small and I guess it is, to 1.10 deaths.
It's actually a pretty significant bump of 5%.
Greater than the miles driven increased last year, which is three and a half percent.
So accidents per mile are increasing more than miles driven.
Something we haven't seen happen around the US for a while.
And you know, I think a lot of the causes that, there's been no word on this yet specifically, but it's gonna come out to be you know, factor out more miles driven.
Still drunk driving, and speeding, same old human foibles, from what the early speculations are, which again opens the door to technology that can catch us in more of these situations, especially of forward collision braking.
Lane management, if someone is waving, lane management might be just enough to prevent one of those kissing collisions on the freeway where someone spins.>> Right.
And I think we have to look at distracted driving as a major factor here as well.
That's really unfortunate, but ultimately that's one thing that I definitely see Increasing a lot on the roads, I see people texting on the road.
See I find this one interesting, anecdotally it seems like it's going on everywhere.
I think the preponderance of studies I've looked at find it's Relatively small in terms of being something you can actually link to fatality rates, and yet you're' right.
You look around and you see it everywhere.
I find a weird disconnect there.
It's definitely disconcerting this trend.
But again, I think this is the kind of thing, and we've seen some mixed studies about how simple collision warning alerts, things like that, have a major impact on reducing collisions in cars.
And we were talking, I think two weeks ago about how programs do ultimately get more of those cars in the hands of people.
And I think that as those safety features roll out into more and more cars and lower in the market, that's gonna have a huge impact.
And I hope that we are at some sort of peak here, and I think it's just gonna go straight down from here.
[UNKNOWN] the next breakthrough is absolutely going to be technology driven.
We've already had the That and the other one, like you say, would be stigmatizing distraction, which still has not hit its mad moment, where it becomes like smoking or drunk driving.
We all get past it and immediately start to decry it.
It's still kind of in a grey zone where too many people think it's okay.
It's not at all like drunk driving.
It probably is.
Or worse depending on what survey you look at, it actually can be more demeaning to your driving skill than having had a couple cocktails.
So it needs to end, that stigmatization level.
But beyond that one, it's just technology He's got to step in.
We need the next crop of stability control and air bags and anti-lock breaks to join us.>> Right and it just needs to get pushed further and further down the market.
Which they are.
So having those in more affordable cars that will be great.
We're seeing that this year.>> Now you may have heard a story that the EPA is about to outlaw you taking any car made for the street and ever using it on the track.
On emissions grounds.
The story has been going around and its It's more nuanced than that, that's a little shrill.
Turns out it's not the case that they are going to do that.
Turns out it's technically the case they've already done that.
But the enforcement is not one they've ever taken terribly seriously.
So we dug into this.
It came originally from an organization called SEMA, the Specialty Equipment Manufacturer's Association, which is a trade group of People that are doing, tires, wheels, body kits, exhausts, add on, hot rod gear for your engine, that's the after market world and [UNKNOWN] there trade group.
Great bunch of companies do some really cool stuff, they have a great trade show in Vegas every year.
We cover it, but they are very very pro there business and can be a little [UNKNOWN] in there [UNKNOWN] when you dig more into this it turns out.
The EPA has added a rule that was adopted in, I believe, 2015, taking effect fully by 2018.
And it says, yeah, technically speaking, you cannot buy a car on the showroom, as I understand it, with the intent of making it a competition car and removing emission controls along the way.
Basically, that would mean the same laws that applied to emission systems on a car now, removing catalytic converters and things like that, would apply on the track as well, or any other off-road use, as far as I can tell.
So basically, the idea of a street only or track only exhaust package, we see a lot of manufacturers selling at this point, would be illegal effectively.
And your installation of that thing would also be Illegal.
That is currently the case for on-road cars.
That was actually news to me that this was also the case for cars that are specifically used off road.
But that's a little bit disconcerting.
Right now it sounds like this would not be retroactive to any car before 2015.
Which is somewhat good news if you're out there doing the [UNKNOWN] racing.
And I don't believe they really go after these cars, right?
I've never seen EPA show up at a track event.
Right, but it doesn't mean that you can not take your car and turn it into a track car.
You just need to leave the stock exhaust Are effectively immobilized or anything-
But the tractor's your catalytic converter.
Before the [UNKNOWN] in place.
Which honestly given noise regulations at a lot of tracks these days, that may not be the end of the world anyway because we're seeing more and more bigger mufflers appear
Working on race cars to get by regulations.
That's true, yeah.
So maybe that's not the end of the world.
This doesn't mean that the idea of a track toy is going away.
You'll still be able to buy your car and cage it, and rip out the interior and do everything else that you want to.
All that non-emission stuff.
Right, but you'll have to have basically an EPA legal exhaust system on the car itself.
The enforcement on this I think is going to be pretty low priority for them.
Right, and I think.
Yeah, it depends on how they wanna do it.
You can see something as Draconian as some sort of an inspection system where basically, you have to have a sticker on the dashboard that says that this car has been inspected to the exhausted, is, inspected, and the organization is like NASA, and others would then have to then find them, who knows.
But also other components though, on top.
Shipping, injection systems.
Those are all EPA regulated.
So they could really get into your power trap if they wanted to.
I think one fo the big dividers will be is this car registered for street use or not.
If it's not, they're not going to care.
I can't imagine.
I would hope not.
But if you're taking a street registered car with valid tags on it, and you're tracking it cuz you got a serious build on it, but it's legal enough to drive back and forth, that's when you could be in technically
Legal hot water as we read this.
And the fines on this are pretty big, up to and including, I think, basically taking the car.
Don't **** with the EPA.
You don't wanna get in trouble.
These are the Superfund people.
So there was a lot of fear, uncertainty, and doubt this week Twitter from this.
It remains to be seen exactly what the limitation is.
Yeah, it should like it's half as bad as you've probably heard if you've heard the worse case.
But we'll keep an eye on that as more new ones comes out.
If you go to buy a Jeep in the near future, you may find that they try to sell you a better stereo.
Nothing unusual about that.
But it may not be a jeepster, it may be an alpine rig.
This is a new trend in the business as the after market electronic biz is not in its best days these days.
Most people stick with their factory audio systems, we'll take a look at a new system if you go to my screen you can see something called Alpine restyle, it's a new line that they are selling in New car dealers, not just in the aftermarket.
So the first dealers to get this are Jeep.
And you can take a look at what a restyle looks like, so here's the Jeep rig, apparently only available right now for Wrangler.
You go buy a new Wrangler and let's say it's a two door and you choose the factory system like this that you wanna make better And here's what a restyle kit will come with.
It will look completely different.
facia, much bigger screen, it also includes a new sort of plastics and bezzles around climate control if necessary even including some of the HV/AC switch gear to get it all to work right.
So as you can see it's a completely different look.
It's a heavy duty updates, but being shown in showrooms is somewhat unusual And of course, the reason that they like this at the dealership is the margins are fat.
And these systems are 7 to $8,000 according to a story that we were looking at in.
And sort of average ticket.
That's a lot of money.
And you can, of course, roll that into your loan.
So you're only looking at maybe 10 or $20 extra a month.
Killer sound system.
[INAUDIBLE] And so a lot of people are going to for it.
And you have that [INAUDIBLE] that's going incorrectly in your car and you have a problem and you have to take it back to the dealership.
That should be warranted.
Right that will be something that will be very popular with new car buyers.
The center for automotive research.
We talk a lot about light weighting around here from the new Ford GT.
To what they're doing with LaFerrari, even getting down to the BMW 7 with carbon core structure, lightweighting is big for any kind of car.
It makes just about everything better on a car.
But the story from Center for Automotive Research says, yeah, here's the problem with lightweighting.
It's not the idea that we can't get the body shell or something lighter and all that hardware We take a look at this chart we've got here.
We'll just make this simple for you.
The bottom band in blue.
Here's the overall trending cars.
See, they're getting heavier.
The overall arc is going up.
Not as heavy as they were but going up.
But if you take a look at the bottom band in blue, that's the body, the basic body, base shell chassis and basic Power train that's gone down for the most part, turned it up recently.
Emissions gear hasn't been adding a lot to the pie.
Neither has safety gear.
It's been pretty stable for a number of years, but the top band, the purple band, which is getting fatter and being significantly more part of the car That's where the weight gain keeps going up, and that's comfort and convenience.
More padding, More sound deadening.
More sensors and radar and displays and HUD apparatus.
30 way power seats.
Yep, 30 way power seats.
[LAUGH] Just the switches for those.
Add ten pounds.
So, all those little doohickeys you love in your car, all the tech that we do love, and all that comfort and convenience, and four zone AC, and champagne chillers in the backseat.
Looking at you, Bentley owners.
You're killing the lightweighting trend.
[LAUGH] I just realized that.
And safety as well, of course, has a big impact there.
And some of the mission stuff helped as well.
But yeah, absolutely, it's comfort and convenience are having a big impact.
Even though the cars themselves are getting lighter, the framework of the cars, excuse me, is getting lighter.
But we are seeing innovations, BMW's doing a lot of effort to get their seats lighter in the new i8 and i3.
They're very thin carbon back seats, but ultimately they're just as comfortable Their 3 series seats for example, so I think we will continue to see some progress there.
And a lot of the things we see forward looking from the companies that make interiors for car makers are showing, this is really a big one, thinner and thinner seats.
I can't tell you how much weight is in your seats.
The padding, the frame, the frames are still typically steel.
Some cars use lighter aluminum or even magnesium frames.
For the most part though, take a seat out of your car one day, you'll throw your back out.
I mean they're heavy, they got motors bolted up under them.
Seats are an amazingly big part of addressable Weight gain.
Last story we have for you this week is a follow up on last week.
We told you how Tata, the big Indian car maker, has a car on their hands called the Zika.
Whoops, for them it means zippy car, but of course for everyone around the world right now it tends to mean something more along the lines of a virus.
So what we've got now at the Delhi auto show, which I believe is going on right now as we do our show live today on the 11th They've got a naming contest.
So if you're interested in helping them name Zica, you can go to their Facebook page for the Tata Zica, and it looks like this.
You gotta scroll down as of today anyway, about four or five, maybe six entries.
Anyway you'll find it down there, there it is.
The Zika name hunt.
So they're looking to get someone's idea of what to name this, even though it has gone to market as the Zika, because they couldn't pull up the name fast enough, right as this virus broke out, but anyway, if you're interested in helping them with that one, if you're especially in our Indian market.
And I wanna say thanks to Mahesh Why who is an automotive journalist in the subcontinent and turned us onto that.
He was our eyes on the ground at the Delhi Auto Show a couple days ago to say that, yes, it did go out as Zika and was kind of a big asterisk at the booth saying, but we're not gonna stay with that name.
So thank you, Mahesh, for We're working the floor for us.
Okay, that's Autocomplete episode five for February 12th.
Don't forget to stay on top of everything about automobile at Roadshow at theroadshow.com from CNet.
With Tim Stephens, I'm Brian Cooley we'll talk to you next week.
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