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.
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.
After a week off, the guys are back with lots of stuff to talk about. Since the last show, Sam has been in the Mini Countryman Cooper S E (where do they come up with these naming conventions?) and the BMW 530e xDrive while Dan has found himself surprisingly enamored with the Toyota Camry Hybrid. While electrification is the future, it’s not the only solution for improving efficiency, especially in the big trucks that Americans favor. That’s why Ford is launching a diesel engine in the F-150. Someday we may not be actively driving anymore but we’re still a long way from that being commonplace. Sam compares the hype for automated vehicles to the currently reality and the hype just doesn’t hold up. Oh and Amazon can deliver packages to your trunk.
In this week’s rambling episode, Accidental Tech Podcast co-host Casey Liss returns to talk about his experience with the Alfa Romeo Stelvio and compare notes with Sam. Sam also brings up his experience trying to drive the Giulia Quadrifoglio in the wake of a winter storm and Dan talks about the new Mini Countryman plug-in hybrid. The conversation then returns to the prior discussion Volvo’s Sensus infotainment system and Casey’s newfound frustrations with it. Dan is considering replacing his Crown Victoria with a Mazda6 and Casey is continuing to ponder the new Jeep Wrangler.
This week, Sam talks about driving the Prius Prime which if you can get past the design is a really good and fuel efficient car. Dan ponders Mitsubishi Mirage GT and whether it’s really worth buying a new car when you can something slightly used that’s way better and then transitions to the Volkswagen Golf Alltrack. Volvo launches its first dedicated car for the Polestar brand, a 600-hp plug-in hybrid coupe, Audi rolls out a second-generation A7 and Tesla fires a whole bunch of people. Dan explains why he doesn’t watch Star Trek Discovery and Sam gives his verdict and the guys answer additional listener questions.
This week, Sam is again driving a Mazda Miata with brilliant steering while Dan fights the steering in the Ford Edge Sport. Another Hespen Rally is in the books and Sam goes off on a tangent about what happens to engineering development vehicles. Mazda announces the first production HCCI engine for 2019 and one of Uber’s biggest investors sues former CEO Travis Kalanick and guys try to give some advice on what kind of car should replace a VW GTI. Colin Sultan of 3M explains what the inventor of post-it notes is doing to enable automated and connected vehicles.
In Episode 4, Dan and Sam talk about a pair of updated SUVs, the Nissan Rogue Hybrid and Mazda CX-9 before getting deep into why GM delayed the launch of SuperCruise on the Cadillac CT6. While SuperCruise will monitor the human operator to make sure they continue paying attention while not driving, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto provide means to keep the driver entertained. As much as we might want to use smartphone based infotainment, it’s likely to be a dead-end technology. Finally, your humble hosts tackle some listener emails about visibility and opining on cars we haven’t yet driven.