autonomous


Episode #086 – Complete with sirens from Magic City

This time out, Sam is recording from a hotel room in Miami as we discuss the Volvo XC40 T5 and its goofy shifter design, the Audi Q5 and its surprisingly fast handwriting recognition and the marvelous Kia Stinger. Subscriptions may or may not be the future of car buying, assuming car buying even has a future in an age of automated vehicles. Faraday almost certainly has no Future and Walmart joins Ford’s automated delivery test program.

Links

2019 Volvo XC50 T5 Momentum

Cadillac closes the Book on subscriptions for now

Probably no future for Faraday

Walmart and Ford team up on automated deliveries

Episode #086 – Complete with sirens from Magic City

 
 
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2019 Volvo XC40 – The New Small Swede With Surprising Value

2019 Volvo XC40 T5 AWD Momentum

The first-phase of the ground up revamp of the entire Volvo product portfolio is nearing completion. Like most brands, Volvo has shifted heavily toward utility vehicles such as the midsize and large XC60 and XC90 as well as the slightly higher riding car variants like the V90 Cross-country. This year Volvo finally has an entry in the fast growing compact utility segment as well with the new XC40 and it has a lot to recommend it.

Read the full review over on Forbes


Episode #085 – What is a Utility Vehicle Anyway?

After a week off, we have an extended length show to make up for it. Dan drives a very expensive Ford F-150 and a sportier Acura MDX A-Spec. Sam goes from the not really a crossover Toyota C-HR to the ginormous Genesis G90. Then we dive into some discussion of sales and earnings, GM’s call for a national EV mandate in response to Trump administration moves to freeze fuel economy standards and cost cutting moves while profits are still reasonably healthy.  We also discuss Consumer Reports reliability data and answer listener questions including the Hyundai pickup truck.

Links

Toyota C-HR 

GM Calls for a national EV mandate

GM offers buyouts and cuts spending

Consumer Reports reliability survey

Episode #085 – What is a Utility Vehicle Anyway?

 
 
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Episode #083 – Race On Tony Swan

This week Sam drives the latest Mazda6 which is still his favorite midsize sedan while Dan samples the Hyundai Kona and Toyota Sienna with all-wheel-drive. As the auto industry changes, Mercedes-Benz considers paring down niche models while GM and Honda team up on automated driving and mobility.

Finally, we bid farewell to Tony Swan.

Links

The Passing of Tony Swan

Mercedes-Benz prepares to cut low volume models

GM and Honda team on Automated Driving`

Episode #083 – Race On Tony Swan

 
 
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Episode #079 – Larry Burns Talks About Autonomy

Wheel Bearings episode 79, Larry Burns photo by Hite Photography

In this special episode of Wheel Bearings, Sam sits down with Larry Burns, retired SVP of R&D and Strategic Planning at General Motors to talk about his new book, Autonomy: The Quest to Build the Driverless Car—And How It Will Reshape Our World. Since retiring from GM in 2009, Burns has been an educator and consultant including working with the Google Self-driving car project and Waymo since 2011. The book is a great read for anyone interested in learning more the history of the DARPA Grand Challenge and development of automated vehicles in the past decade.

Episode #079 – Larry Burns Talks About Autonomy

 
 
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Episode #074 – The Last Ford Car, Big Van Road Trip and Climbing Lord March’s Driveway

This week Sam drives what may end up being the last Ford car to Pittsburgh to learn about how Argo AI is helping Ford build the future of transportation. Dan takes a road trip in the biggest of Ford’s passenger carrying vehicles. A lot of very cool vehicles climb Lord March’s driveway at the Goodwood festival of Speed. VW will build some of its new generation of EVs in America. Small Hyundai’s are really good. The guys discuss the meaning of crossover in an attempt to answer a listener question, too.

Links

Behind the curtain at Argo AI

Self-Driving Mustang fails at Goodwood

The Best of Goodwood 2018

VW ID Crozz and Buzz to be built in America

Bonus photo: Recaro Expert Houndstooth seat

Episode #074 – The Last Ford Car, Big Van Road Trip and Climbing Lord March’s Driveway

 
 
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Episode #073 – Big SUVs, Going Mirrorless, Tariffs and Racing Supras

This week Sam has been in the new Ford Expedition Max, Dan gets a re-run of the Lincoln Navigator and Mazda CX-9. Lots of news including the new Audi e-Tron quattro without mirrors, chargers for GM’s automated Chevy Bolts, rising prices due to the trade war and the Toyota Supra goes to NASCAR. Finally, Honda builds a 150 mph lawnmower because why not?

Links

Audi e-tron camera mirrors 
Tariffs and price increases 
GM preparing to launch automated mobility in San Francisco 
Nissan and Daimler cancel luxury compact car 
Toyota Supra in NASCAR 
Production Supra at Goodwood 
Honda mean mower 

Episode #073 – Big SUVs, Going Mirrorless, Tariffs and Racing Supras

 
 
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Episode #072 – A Baby Ford, Kia’s Progress, Care and Feeding of Brands and Bad Tarriffs

This week Sam drives Ford’s new baby SUV, the EcoSport and Dan marvels at the progress of Kia over 20 years after driving the new Sorento. This week Fiat Chrysler held their annual What’s New preview and showed off the latest even faster Challenger variant, the Hellcat Redeye. Like the Challenger, many of the products in the FCA lineup have been around for quite a long time but the company has made an effort to continuously update them in ways that seem small on the surface but matter to customers. The show wraps up with a discussion of the impact of proposed tariffs on the auto industry.

Links

2019 Dodge Challenger Hellcat Redeye

Dodge focusing on performance

Auto industry not happy about a trade war

The price of a Toyota Camry would jump $1,800 because of tariffs


Episode #072 – A Baby Ford, Kia’s Progress, Care and Feeding of Brands and Bad Tarriffs

 
 
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Episode #071 – Insights on Insight, Buying Derilect Buildings and Big SUVs

The delay between episodes is always Dan’s fault. Most of the miles were put on this week via 737-700s and a rental Kia Soul. Sam was busy paying attention to all of the automotive goings-on, including leadership shuffles at General Motors, and Ford’s latest real estate investment in Detroit’s Corktown neighborhood, while also finding time to drive the 2019 Honda Insight. Because it’s been a while, there’s also a plethora of cars we’ve been driving. Sam was in the 2018 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV and the 2018 Nissan Leaf while Dan tried out the 2019 Ram 1500 Laramie and the 2018 Lincoln Navigator Black Label.

 

Links

First Drive of the 2019 Honda Insight

Ford Buys a Train Station

Dan Ammann and Mark Reuss shift responsibilities at GM

Volvo has a new US plant

 

Episode #071 – Insights on Insight, Buying Derilect Buildings and Big SUVs

 
 
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Episode #070 – Acura Returns To Its Roots and FCA Has A New Plan

This week Sam really likes the third-generation Acura RDX, Dan likes the Mazda CX-5 and then they try hard not to talk about Tesla and mostly succeed although you can see more of Sam’s opinion on the subject at the link below. The guys also talk GM and Softbank and the upcoming product plans for Chrysler and Dodge. Just kidding on the last part, there are no known product plans for Chrysler and Dodge but Jeep, Ram, Alfa Romeo and Maserati are all getting new stuff.

Links

GM Cruise and Softbank Hook Up To Work on Deploying Automated Driving

Tesla Updates Brakes Over the Air, What Could Go Wrong?

FCA’s New Five Year Plan

 

Episode #070 – Acura Returns To Its Roots and FCA Has A New Plan

 
 
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