Hi there listeners. So far, Dan and I have been supporting Wheel Bearings ourselves but at some point it might be nice to get a sponsor or two to help out. One thing that help us do that is if you were to take a couple of minutes and answer some survey questions. That will help us understand who’s listening and if we do get sponsors we can try to make them more relevant to you.
This week we have lots of vehicles to talk about. Rebecca drove the Mercedes-AMG GTC Roadster to the US Open, and the Honda Accord Hybrid in SoCal. Sam discusses the Mazda CX-5 Diesel and the base Volkswagen Atlas. Dan shares his take on the Toyota 4Runner. Then we dive into the Porsche Taycan and how we evaluate vehicles. Sam also discusses the cool new Drive Labs video series from Nvidia that gives an introduction to how multiple neural networks work together to power an automated driving perception system.
Building a reliable and robust automated driving system is really hard. In the past half decade a lot of progress has been made thanks to the advancements in machine learning and deep neural networks. One of the companies on the forefront of that effort is Nvidia. While most people think of Nvidia GPUs for graphics cards and bitcoin mining, they also have thousands of engineers that works on software. Neda Cvijetic is a senior manager on the automated driving team and she hosts the Nvidia Drive Labs video series explaining some of the core principles of how they are tackling this problem.
The gang is all back together this week. Since we last talked about the garage, Sam has been driving the Lincoln Navigator in San Francisco, the Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio in Ohio and Jeep Gladiator in Michigan. Rebecca escapes a ticket in the Honda Civic Sport and Dan has been road tripping in the Cadillac XT6.
We review the goings on at Monterey Car Week and the legacy of Ferdinand Piech.
This week Dan and Rebecca are travelling so Sam is joined by Ed Niedermeyer to talk about his new book, Ludicrous, the Unvarnished Story of Tesla Motors. The book is available at Amazon and other booksellers.
Here’s a special extra episode for our listeners. Sam will be doing a talk on partnerships in automated vehicle development during the Drive World Expo conference in Santa Clara, California August 27-29. In the runup to the conference, the organizers have produced a special podcast series called the Drive to Level 5. Sam talks with host Jack Heslin about the his topic in episode 5.
It’s a slow news week so the crew is just talking about the cars they’ve driving. Rebecca opens it up with the second-generation Audi Q3 while Sam has been in the 2019 Ram 1500 Laramie. Dan proclaims his love for the Mazda Miata which remains one of the last true roadsters available. Rebecca and Sam got to drive the 2020 Nissan Versa in Nashville and Rebecca tells the story of driving the 2020 Subaru Outback in the wilds of Northern California.
Fiat Chrysler recently launched a market feature in its UConnect telematics system that enables users to utilize apps to access a variety of services from the dashboard. FCA UConnect marketing manager Mike Novak gives us a demo of the new UConnect Market.
The whole crew is back this week as they delve into the garage. Sam drove the BMW X2 M35i, Rebecca had the Volvo S60 sedan and Dan sampled the GMC Acadia. The Corvette C8 conversation continues with two-thirds of the team having now seen it in person. While feelings about the center console have been slightly tempered, they still aren’t positive. The GM theme concludes with Sam’s thoughts on the 2020 Cadillac XT6 before we wind down the evening with a couple of listener questions.
This week Rebecca is off gallivanting around northern California in the new Subaru Outback. That leaves Dan and Sam to discuss living with the Ford Shelby GT350 Mustang, the Toyota Rav4 Hybrid and the Fiat 500C Abarth. Coming out of the garage, the discussion turns to the eighth generation Chevrolet Corvette. After more than 40 decades of tilting at this automotive windmill, Don Sherman can now finally have some peace knowing that there is a real production mid-engine Corvette. The boys finish off with a chat about turbochargers and BMTS Technologies.