Send us your thoughts: viewermail@autoline.tv
Note: Your name and/or email may be read on the air.

12-1-2017


why do they think this concept only appeals to women
. i love this concept and hope it becomes the real thing with 400 hp twin turbo 3.3 v6 from stinger and AWD. OR all electric 500 hp with 400 mile range and a twin horizontally opposed piston generator on board for extended range.LOL

Love your show and Happy 400th 

Todd
12-1-2017


Hi John,
I just watched your AAH #400
and as always enjoyed your show.  Now some thoughts on why hybrids are not selling.

As you noted the many models out there and yet only 2% of sales, well most are sedans and thus the improvement in mileage does not stand out as much as the loss of utility. My Fusion Hybrid averages 40 mpg as compared to maybe 30 that the base would get. Well a friend bought the gas model because he could not fit his bike in the back of the Hybrid. That did not concern me as I can put almost anything in my Explorer when I need to but it struggles to get 20 mpg.

So when you balance function vs mpg, function will win.

Hybrids sacrifice space as well as tow. Why do we buy SUV’s and CUV’s? So we can carry more stuff and pull our small trailers/boats. Their is only one hybrid out there that retains tow capacity and gives up very little space (stow & go seating). That is the Pacifica and it gets a nice boost in mpg in a vehicle that really needs it and makes a noticeable difference.

I think Mike O’Brien had it right when he said that people moving from sedans to CUV’s are enjoying the added utility but not the mileage. So when you see more Pacifica type vehicles you will see hybrids take off. I would love to have that powertrain in my Explorer.

That would be why the Prius sales are going down as RAV4 sales are going up. Some of those Prius owners are moving up in functionality without taking the big mpg hit.

That’s the way I see it.

Happy Thanksgiving
Len
12-1-2017


Hi John,

I really enjoyed the show on automotive data monetization
.  Regarding your question/challenge at the end of the segment about how to be remunerated for offering personalized data, there is at least one technology startup exploring this area using block chain technology (a prescient guess on your part) called Algebraix Data Corporation
in Austin, TX.  I am not affiliated with this company in any way but they apparently plan to use smart contracts to license the use of and payment for accessing personal data across all types of touch points where data could be personally monetized (primarily search engines, and social media).  I imagine the emerging auto industry vertical would be an ideal application for this type of smart contract that they are probably also exploring (assuming such contracts could be embedded within sales and leasing agreements and consumers were given the ability to opt out of giving up their data).  That is a big if, however, as it would likely require federal and/or state by state legislative actions, which would likely be resisted by automotive dealership lobby groups.  I know that here in Texas this is a powerful lobby group, as they have thus far kept Tesla from being able to market their cars directly to consumers outside of the traditional dealership framework. 

Take care.

Ben
Ben,

Thanks for sending this. Very interesting. I had not heard of this company. But I'm reading up on it!

John McElroy
12-1-2017


My name is Etti Hadar and I decided to purchase a Tesla model X because I wanted a stress-free automobile; nevertheless, since getting the car, I have been frustrated by problem after problem (over 17). As a result of the growing list of issues, I have lost trust in both the car, and the manufacturer.

 The car has been in the repair shop on 4 separate occasions for a total of 21 days out of the first 38 days of owning it (I am writing this letter on the 38th day). 

If you need more information feel free to contact me. 

Kindly, 

Etti
Etti,

How disappointing. It's always exciting to get a new car and to hear that it's been in the shop so much has got to be maddening.

Tesla has inspired many people, but until it stops talking about future products and concentrates all its efforts on building quality into its existing vehicles the company simply won't survive.

John McElroy
12-1-2017


John;



I’m with you. If I have to give up my data, I want a check every month also
.



Great Stuff.



Thanks much.



Eric
Imagine if everyone got a check every month for allowing corporations and governments to use their data. It could put everyone on a better path, especially if we are truly heading into a jobless society in the future.

John McElroy
12-1-2017


Hi John,

Yesterday’s F1 race proved that despite there was only a handful of seconds between the first car in the starting grid and the last car; there were only 4 cars that had any real chance to win especially as Lewis Hamilton started last and tore through the field to finish 4th.

Mike @ San Francisco CA
12-1-2017


John,
 
I think GM is on the mark with its EV and battery architectures - based on the attached images you featured in the 'Daily' show.
 
The battery has 12 modules which likely means each has 8 sub-modules - the electrical and cooling circuits look very efficient. It could mean that each module has just 8 cells, but likely means each module has 16 or 32 cells. (respectively, 2 and 4 cells in parallel). It is possible they could go the Tesla route of a large number of cells in parallel, but I doubt it at this stage.
 
I would love to know the consequences for battery function if a cell failure occurs when there are just 2 to 4 cells in parallel. Surely it means an expensive repair to replace a relatively cheap cell (possibly $15.63 each based on the GM target of $100/kWh and 384 cells in a 60 kWh battery). 
 
The Tesla approach of 31 and 46 cells in parallel, for its new Model 3 standard and long range batteries, can sustain a number of cell failures without needing to replace modules/cells. 
 
Tesla's small cells mean the cooling fluid tubes can be closer to the centre of the cells and, thus, more effectively manage cold and heat. Without the ridiculous acceleration of the Tesla cars, perhaps intimate thermal mgt of cells is not necessary. 
 
Like Tesla, GM is making its batteries a structural component - necessary to pass structural safety tests (great for side intrusion test). 
 
I think it better that batteries are not exposed to the underside of the car - they are an expensive component to expose to rock and object damage. The other issue is thermal mgt - exposing the battery to the extreme heat of black pavement in summer and the freezing cold of northern winters. A well insulated battery can be kept at a good operating temperature with just a trickle current when not in use. The underside of the battery should come with a replaceable rock and thermal shield glued to it. Tesla puts a lot of emphasis on a clean underside of its vehicles for aerodynamic purposes. We should expect EVs to have very clean undersides due to regen braking permitting smaller friction brakes. While we all like the look of alloy wheels, smooth hudcaps cut fuel use 5% to 10%. 
 
I prefer the GM approach of not attaching ancillary equipment to the battery - in contrast to the Tesla M3. It should lead to a cheaper, more flexible architecture of ancillary equipment under the hood. It likely means no 'frunk', but 'frunks' surely have limited appeal and value. With an EV, all the ancillary gear - inverters, low voltage batteries, fluid tanks, fuses, etc, could be packaged and mounted under the hood like it were an ICE - this would cut many final assembly line tasks.
 
My benchmark for a basic CUV is the Renault Dacia Duster - the 2018 is just released - see image. Price for the base model in the UK appears to be US$12,200 and US$12,600 in Germany - the two cheapest prices I could find. Does this mean a Duster glider has a wholesale cost of $8,000???
 
For a car with 50 kWh battery with $100/kWh cells, that is $5,000 of cells. Surely a $20,000 CUV EV with a 50 kWh battery is possible.
 
The new Tesla Roadster (2020 deliveries) no doubt needs its 200 kWh battery (likely 830 kg of cells, 2.5 times the Model 3 battery) to produce enough power for its 3 motors to propel it to 60 mph in 1.9 seconds - that means an average acceleration of 14.18 m/s.s - 1.44 x Gravity. Laws will surely get made to restrict this much acceleration on public roads. Over 400 kmh and 1000 km range. The new Roadster likely has a carbon fibre body. Roadster and new Semi build on Model 3 technology.
 
Roadster may need a triple layer of cells in its battery. 
 
No update on Model 3 production at Semi/Roadster launch event. Elon surely hoping new products will keep investor minds off M3 battery module troubles.
 
Regards
Peter
Peter,

Great amount of information, thanks for sending! And we agree that Tesla needs to concentrate on getting the Model 3 up to line speed. Everything should be put on hold until that is accomplished.

John McElroy
12-1-2017


Hi John,
now the Stinger has been released I am far from impressed with Kia's pricing. Pricing is in US$ at current exchange rates.
Four cylinder base model is U$40,000 on road and the GT six cylinder is US$49,000 on road!!! (AU$53,000 to AU$65,000)
All right hand drive Stingers are two wheel drive only.
I feel Kia is gouging customers in the Australian market (one of Kia's biggest markets) to the tune
of about US$8,000. For comparison US prices are US$32,000 to $50,000. 
In Canada the top spec Stinger 4WD GT Limited is US$39,000. (CAN$50,000).
Not sure if these comparisons are valid as I realise the US and Canada may incur on road, local taxes and destination charges on top.
Regards Tom C Melbourne Australia.
PS: Congratulations on 400 episodes of Autoline After Hours, it is a great show, keep up the great work.
12-1-2017


John
 
The current problems with BEV's is charging time. maybe the Israel company that is working on a battery that will charge in five minutes or less will work, sounds like a capacitor battery.  Another way would be inductive charging embedded into the roadway. Until BEV's can compete with ICE powered cars in range they will not be the preferred mode of personal transportation. I make a 150 mile drive about twice a month and a 400 mile trip every few months, Hybrid for me makes much more sense
 
Love your shows:
 
 
David
12-1-2017


Thanks for the follow-up (11/10/17) John!  
 
I think this is the most comprehensive video of an autonomous system that I've seen.  I live in the Bay Area and see Google and GM's autonomous vehicles fairly regularly.  What I find compelling is that (a) This checks all the boxes of what I would have for an autonomous system and (b) illustrates that having a strong AV system should be more compelling to insurance companies and (c) that I would probably want to own a car with a level 3 system, but probably not a level 5 system per-se.  
 
The car was able to detect when a pedestrian walked out in front of them, could handle normal traffic conditions (from what I've seen, highway traffic isn't really a technical problem) and seemed pretty robust. 
 
I would think once the insurance companies figure out that AVs would probably lower risk premiums, they would want to try and get Level 3+ mandated for all vehicles.  
 
I think I liked that the driver could just grab the wheel and make an adjustment and then let go and have the car retake control.  I don't think I'd want to own my own car if I couldn't do that.  If I couldn't / can't take over the driving of my car at any time, then I think I'd rather not own such a vehicle and would rather use a ride hailing service (Uber/Lyft) with autonomous vehicles.  
 
One more comment/ question for you:  Uber & Lyft's business models don't work if they have to own the fleet of vehicles.  Part of their value proposition is that they don't require capital expenditure on cars and can still increase/decrease the number of drivers at a moment's notice.  So how do they exist in a world of Level 5 AVs when they can't/shouldn't own the fleet of vehicles?  I think this implies a new business model where private equity groups (big PE shops all the way to individual car buyers) would own the Level 5 AV's and then "subscribe" to Uber and/or Lyft and charge them a fee when they're in use.  This is analogous to how airplanes are owned by investment groups and leased to the airlines. This would also create a more demand for new U&L alternatives. Do you think that Uber/Lyft/Maven/the OEMs understand this business model limitation that AV's bring and are planning around it?  
 
I'll look for videos of the other systems you mention.
 
thanks again!
 
Doug
12-1-2017


Check out the video in this article. It’s GM Cruise Automation and its autonomous system is far in advance of what Nissan showed. There are several times when the car comes across a truck or bus partially blocking its lane, and it pulls out all by itself once the traffic is clear. No human intervention needed.
 
Then check out these videos
and see how the car gets through a 6-way intersection with no problem and later follows hand signals from a construction worker.  It looks like the Nissan system comes nowhere close to what Cruise can do right now.
 
When they get to Level 5 cars, Uber and Lyft or any other mobility provider will likely pay a fleet management company to own and maintain their cars. There are several players already lining up to do that.
 
John McElroy
12-1-2017


Follow up to viewer mail sent on 11/3/17

John,
Thanks so much for your message! I didn’t expect one and I was so happy to get it. 
I just watched your 11/14 Autoline Daily podcast. The segment on electric/hybrid vehicles got my attention because of my Bolt experience. 
I keep thinking about the limitations of an all electric vehicle and range anxiety. I believe that an electric owner would have to pay more attention to their vehicle having to watch for the miles left before needing a charge and where they want/need to go. 
I truly believe a hybrid is a much better alternative. Never having to worry about running out of a charge. 
Also, I think Chevrolet needs to market the Bolt to all those waiting Tesla buyers!  Make them enticing lease/purchase deals while they wait for a Model 3! Then see if they keep it or not. 
Many thanks for all your work in the programs and do!  I love them all. 
Barry 
Ps. You ever thought about having an audience when doing Afterhours? Would love to meet you guys!
12-1-2017


Hello John. Has someone calculated the percentage of income the ave American spends per mile driven in a typical ICE car today compared to the past 60 years? My guess is it's near an all time low. Factor in wage inflation over the past few decades and the significant increase in MPG, this seems like the good old days at the pump.
If there is any truth to the above it is hard for me to see the personal economic case for the higher upfront costs of owning an EV or Hybrid. If the Federal Government and CARB continue to try to "social engineer" the auto fleet, I see a backlash where folks like me will hold onto pure ICE cars for longer.
 
Tom
Tom,

What a fascinating question. And best of all we have the answer.

According to data from Wards, in 2016 the fixed cost of operating a car came to 75 cents/mile. In 1950 it was 8 cents, but adjusted for inflation that comes to 83 cents in 2016 dollars. This includes gas, oil, maintenance and tires.

The fixed cost of owning a car, including insurance, license, registration, taxes, depreciation and finance came to $6,351 a year in 2016, and $533 in 1950. But as a percent of median household income, someone in 1950 devoted 16.5% of their income to own a car, while someone in 2016 devoted 10.7% of their income.

John McElroy
12-1-2017


Hello,
 
I've been very disappointed to learn that WYCC Chicago channel 20 is soon going off the air and that they have already stopped showing Autoline.  For years now, I've always looked forward to Monday evenings so that I could watch John McElroy talk about cars.  What time and channel will Autoline be shown in Chicago?  Will I be forced to watch John on my computer screen?
 
Best Regards,
Sergio
Sergio,

Thanks for the heads up on this. We are going to search for another Public Television station in the Chicago market to air our show.

But in the meantime, don’t forget that you can watch all our shows on our website: www.Autoline.tv


John McElroy
12-1-2017


John,

    The more I read, it seems obvious that the number of electric vehicles will be increasing dramatically, and soon.  One analysis I have not heard is who will be the winners and losers.  GM and Ford will adapt and continue to build vehicles, but what about the entire industry.  Comanies dedicated to performance parts like cams, exhausts, etc.  Oil and filters and the businesses dedicated to oil change.  The list goes on.   Do you think this is an issue?  Thank you.  

Rich
The internal combustion engine will be around for decades to come. But as EVs gain market share we will not need as much production capacity for traditional ICEs and their components. The danger for the companies that make these components is determining the cross over point. EVs currently account for 1% of sales. Will they go to 10%? When? How do you plan around this as a company that may need to buy equipment or build a new plant right now, knowing these items will last for years if not decades? So yes, this move to electric cars already is and will be a risky challenge for all companies whose livelihood relies on ICEs.

John McElroy
12-1-2017


i'm also considering unsubscribing  to the this biased bullshit show. This bias vs TESLA and EVS is really stupid this publication jumps on anything that makes EV's and Tesla look bad.
12-1-2017


John,
 
Below is deep into the weeds, but I think it gives confidence that Tesla's manufacturing problems are fixable in the rough time-frame Elon has given. It will surely be a question at next weeks truck reveal. Tesla is achieving MS/MX production targets and achieving cost reductions. 
 
Last month's Model 3 production rate was apparently 180 for the month, 6 cars per day . 
 
Musk identified zones one and two of the 4 zone battery module production line as the cause of the extremely low rate. 
 
So the rate was 24 battery modules per day (4 per car). They are surely using a largely handmade process to produce the 24 battery modules per day - likely the same process used for the preproduction vehicles. However, they must be using a robot ultrasonic welder similar (same?) as used for MS/MX modules. Humans can't do the welds well enough or fast enough. 
 
The MS/MX 100 kWh battery modules (16 per car), for which they also had similar production problems, have 516 of the 18650 size cells (total 6.4 kWh per module) with half turned upside down. The module weighs about 25 kg. The modules are about 22 Volts each - well under the low voltage safety class limit.
 
The cells are packed between cooling tube. Then they are ultrasonically welded to 3 plates on one side, then turned over and welded to 4 plates on the other to achieve 6 'sub-modules' in series. 
 
If the 100 kWh battery is about half MS/MX sales, they likely reached output of more than 3,000 modules per day - over 3,000,000 ultrasonic welds of cells to current collector plates. So this must be a reasonably automated process. 
 
For the 75 kWh batteries, the module numbers will be roughly similar, but the welds will be down to a figure over 2.3 mill per day. 
 
All up, Tesla is doing 5 to 6 million ultrasonic welds per day - or it was until it cutback from three assembly lines to two for MS/MX (I assume 1 production line each) and production was cut 10%. Excess staff are devoted to model 3 and perhaps some were let go after those performance reviews to preserve capital??
 
The M3 78 kWh battery has 4 modules with 23 and 25 sub-modules in series - respectively, 1058 and 1150 of the 2170 size cells (respectively, 18.7 kWh and 20.4 kWh per module), again with half turned upside down to make the 'in series' connections, and packed between cooling tube. 
 
They are ultrasonically welded to, respectively, 12 and 13 plates each side. The result is, respectively,  each module is 85 to 90 Volts and in a different electrical safety class. The M3 modules are three times heavier (perhaps 90 kg (200 lb) each), have four times the voltage and many more parts than the MS/MX modules, even if they similar in design. 
 
(((With the 4 modules connected in series, the battery has 96 sub-modules connected in series - as per industry standard.)))
 
As there are an odd number of sub-modules in series, they can be welded one side, then turned over, rotated 180 degrees, and welded to the same pattern on the other side.
 
Elon implied he made a bad call on a module subcontractor - perhaps he chose a different subcontractor to the 100 kWh modules due to difficulties with the 100 kWh pack.. 
 
I think the problems in the two zones Elon mentioned are:
--- Zone 1 - the machine that packs the 90 kg of cells and cooling tube into a frame was not well designed for the task,
--- Zone 2 - the machine that takes the cells and cooling tube packed in frame, then adds and holds the collector plates while the welding machine welds, then flips the frame over for welding the other end of the cells to collector plates - is also not well designed for the task. 
 
I assume at zones 3 and 4 various circuits and electronics are added to the modules.
 
To get to 5,000 cars per week, they likely need a module production rate of 4 modules per minute. This likely means multiple machines doing the same task. At present, they are surely trying to get the first machine of each type to work as intended. No other company makes modules like Tesla. While there are machines that do similar tasks in other factories, they need to be tailored to the task - this will be Tesla's production hell due to Elon's mistake.
 
Regards
Peter
Peter,

Thanks for all the detail. We love getting this kind of information from our viewers!

John McElroy
12-1-2017


The last appearance of Stephanie was a bit off in that she couldn't formulate a question except for a ramble.  She was a great contributor on the Expedition show.
.  Always on point, Henry's comparison with the minivan is appreciated.
 
I'm hoping someone points out that a minivan cannot drive the (non) roads at the speed shown of the Expedition in your clips.  The minivan is limited to suburban and highway travel.  With it fully loaded with occupants and luggage, it's close to bottoming out with only 4" ground clearance to begin with.  I love the minivan, but truck based 'van' has it's place with urban potholes and back roads, AND heavy loads.
 
R Work
11-10-2017


Hello John,
Regarding autonomous cars, what is to become of people who LOVE driving, LOVE cars, LOVE working on cars, LOVE collecting cars or, at least, owning one car that is their ‘Baby”?
 
What is to become of people who not only LOVE driving but LOVE performance cars?
 
Are we to become a dying breed?
 
Even with current cars, I am very concerned about ALL the electronic controls such as stability control, traction control, launch control, hill assist, automatic braking, automatic parking, automatic transmissions, paddle shifters, AND NO CLUTCH PEDAL!
 
Cars that connect to the internet? Hacking? Telematics? Really?
 
We want to DRIVE!
 
For DRIVERS, what is our future?
 
Sincerely,
Rick
Rick,
 
Here is a link to an Autoline This Week we did that addresses this.
 
And here’s an editorial I wrote for Wards on the topic.
 
John McElroy
11-10-2017


Hello,
 
Countries in Europe need to talk to car companies about what might be the most efficient charging stall for future EVs or whether an underground system where the vehicle simply needs to park over a metal plate like the wireless smartphone recharging systems would be better.
 
Mike @ San Francisco, CA
11-10-2017


John, enjoyed today’s show and discussion. Just one comment regarding autonomous vehicles and which company wins.  People forget that Google basically owns the navigation mapping market. Through Google maps & Waze they instantly know about construction, accidents, weather conditions etc. I believe this may be their Secret Sauce.

Michael
You’re right, Google has a mapping advantage, but it’s not the only one in this space.

Here, TomTom, Civil Maps, DeepMap, Mapper and Mapbox are some of the other companies involved.

John McElroy
11-10-2017


John - I'm curious to know if you've been in Nissan's autonomous car (seen in this video) and, if so, what your impressions are.
 
thanks,
 
Doug
I have not been in Nissan’s AV, but this looks to be a very good Level 3 AV. I would not call it a Level 4 because at one point in this video the driver has to take over and steer around a parked bus, even though there is ample room to drive around it.

This demo was on fairly open roads without a lot of traffic or pedestrians.

Waymo and Cruise Automation have put out videos with more impressive capabilities. But this technology is still in its infancy and in another three years or so the Nissan system will be much better than demonstrated here.

John McElroy
11-3-2017


1)  I would be interested in the latest status of Elio Motors. Have they just given up on setting a production date at this point?

2)  With autonomy becoming a reality do you suspect a day where it will be mandatory with potentially another clunker buy back to eliminate non-autonomous cars?  This would limit associations like SCCA and historic cars to parades and closed circuit events.

Lambo2015
Elio Motors says it will start production in 2018, but don’t hold your breath. The company is already two years behind when it first announced it would start building them.

It’s possible that cars driven by human beings will be banned, but not likely. With all the ADAS (driver safety) systems being added to cars, they could become as safe as AVs, especially if V2V becomes standard.

The bigger threat to non-AVs is that the vast majority of people will lose interest in driving and automakers will stop building them, except for some small niche manufacturers.

John McElroy
11-3-2017


John,
 
I just drove a new Bolt from Sterling Heights MI to Indianapolis. It's a great little car. Hard to distinguish it from a gasoline model. I averaged 3.8KW/mile. I'm not sure what that equates to MPG.
 
My only issue is RECHARGING! I got stuck in Ft. Wayne IN because there wasn't a fast charging station ( or at least I could find). So, I had to sit in a new car dealers lot for 7 hours to recharge it. That's not fun! And I just made it to my destination before it went to limp mode.
 
Bolt needs to be marketed to large city folks who can recharge it at home overnight.
 
Barry
This is one of the challenges that early adopters of EVs (like you!) will have to contend with until the charging infrastructure spreads to more locations.

Just like in the early days of the horseless carriage, you’ll need to plan out your trip before you leave. The Bolt app is very handy in locating charging stations. You may have to take a less direct route to find fast chargers, top up, then continue on your way. Or you may decide to never leave in the first place.

And of course I’m assuming your Bolt has the optional Level 3 charging plug.

John McElroy
11-3-2017


John,
There seems to be a great deal of innovation afoot in the automotive/mobility business and some legacy companies like Delphi and Magna seem to really be separating themselves from the pack. Do you know anyone that writes about the supplier community and is covering the emerging companies like Mobileye and Protean from the perspective of investing in them? Is there a fund that invests in the emerging or next-gen companies?
 
Love AutolineDaily and After Hours!
 
Thanks,
 
Peter
I don’t know of anyone who covers the supplier industry and the topics you’re asking about than Autoline. We’ve had the CTOs from Delphi and Magna on our shows, as well as he head of advanced strategy for Mobileye and the CEO of Protean. Look for the search bar at the top right hand side of our website www.Autoline.tv and you can find all the shows where we’ve covered these companies.
 
As for funds that invest in emerging tech co’s, there are none that I’m aware of that invest specifically in automotive.
 
 
John McElroy
11-3-2017


Hello John,



I am wondering about the life expectancy of the small displacement turbocharged engines being installed in 3500 pound vehicles.  Won't a 1.5 L turbocharged engine run hotter on the highway than say a non-turbocharged 2.5 L engine?  Also, if the turbocharger fails, replacing it will certainly do major damage to the unfortunate owner's wallet.  Furthermore, if a turbocharger has a major failure is it likely to send metal fragments into the interior of the engine causing major engine damage?



Best wishes,

non-turbo 
11-3-2017


Hi John,
 
Two interesting topics for discussion related to all the recent news in electrification, automation, and ride sharing:
 
· HV Batteries loose capacity.  Nobody likes to talk about it.  This isn’t news, but I’m experiencing it firsthand.  I’ve owned a 2013 C-MAX Energi since new and have monitored battery capacity over its 4 years and 40000 miles.  I have already lost 25% capacity.  Ford will make no claims about “normal” expected battery capacity reduction.  Needless to say, this is very disappointing to me.  Based on current technology, this will be a big problem as number of electric vehicles increase.  My trusty ICE doesn’t lose range, performance, efficiency, or any other metric I can think of in the same way the PHEV has.
 
· Automated cars follow the speed limit.  Driving the C-MAX, I play the game of maximizing my driving efficiency.  Commuting to work each day, driving only 10 miles an hour over the freeway speed limits, I still cause a hazard to navigation and generally piss off the majority of drivers going much faster than me.  What happens when you start mixing in a bunch of automated cars following the speed limits?  Think of the hazards created not to mention the lost time of longer commutes, although I suppose the millennials will be working on the way to work. ;)
 
Have a great day,

Kenneth
Kenneth,

Great point about batteries degrading over time. And when it comes to cold weather, my experience is that electrics lose ~40% range when the temperature drops to about 25 F.

John McElroy
10-27-2017


John,
 
Watched Autoline This Week (Watertown NY WPBS) show concerning the lack of enthusiasm for Autos by younger generations.  
 
Fifty years ago I eagerly looked forward to the feeling of independence a license provided.  A car features most coveted was the ability to sit next to my girl. Designers went to front wheel drive, eliminating the drive shaft "hump", but then began putting larger and larger center consoles in the front seat !  Today's young would have to be "Circus" performers to get a sense of togetherness.
 
I know it has something to do with an airbag placement, but (in my opinion) the first reasonably priced vehicle with a big front seat will be very popular !
 
Thanks,
Jason G
10-27-2017


Several times on AD you have said that no automaker has plans to develop an ICE beyond 2021.  But that is the development date, not the production end date. What is the typical production life of an engine design? 10 years?
 
Neil G
Neil,

What we said is that after 2021 no automakers have plans to develop an all-new piston engine. They will continue to make improvements to the engines they have and a typical engine architecture lasts for about 20 years.

John McElroy
10-27-2017


Hi John,
 
F1 considering 3 wide starts; I can just imagine carnage as the start of the race can cause pile ups taking out the first 2-3 rolls.
 
Mike @ San Francisco, CA
Back in the 1950s and ‘60s, three abreast starts were common. Or a 3-2-3-2, etc. But those were at tracks that were much wider than today’s with cars that were much slower. You’re right, the carnage with today’s F1 cars would match NASCARs “the Big One” that we’re subjected to every year at Talladega.

John McElroy
10-27-2017


Great to hear from you, seems like if I do not listen to you or Sean each day my day is not complete. I sent that show interview to friends who do not subscribe & they loved are still thanking me. 
 
Have a great week & keep up the car news! Love you guys!

Hugh
10-27-2017


Awesome show John with outstanding guests!!!! America was built on adventure & discovery & I will continue to do these  things & enjoy our beautiful country. Wheels  have turned America for well over 100 years & I sincerely will continue to do so.



Hugh
Thanks for your feedback. Peter has such great insights.

John McElroy
10-27-2017


Hi John:

Most Americans can’t afford to own cars anymore, especially poor folks. Public transportation is insufficient for most.  However, if Detroit were to develop a line of heavy duty, long lasting rental car fleets. it would give rental companies a wider variety of low cost rentals. Imagine average people having no repairs, or maintenance, or plates to worry about. Imagine choosing any car or truck you want any time you want by swiping a card. Keep your favorite car forever, if you want to. It’s better than having your own used car lot! ... Best of all, average people and families gets safe, affordable, reliable transportation.
10-20-2017


Hello John and panelists,

It was just announced in my neck of the woods (Atlantic Canada) that the Steele Auto Group (23 stores) is buying the Penney Auto Group (10 stores) based in Newfoundland and Labrador.  Rob Steele has been on a buying spree in the last few years.  Besides Steele, I know that other groups are always looking for dealer acquisition opportunities.  Does this speak to the health of auto dealers in North America, or is this going against the flow?

Enjoy your shows.  Keep up the good work!

Joel
The fact that dealerships are getting bought up is a sign they're a good investment. We're going to see a lot more consolidation in the automotive retail and wholesale business.

John McElroy
10-20-2017


John,
 
Watching a show on economics, The Changing Face of Greed. Currently it takes 3 to 4 dollars of new debt in China to produce 1 dollar of new GDP. This is clearly not sustainable. Apart from pointing out the fallacy of using GDP alone as an indicator of economic health, I think this fact should add further caution to those companies rushing forward to embrace China as the 'growth' market. 
 
I have been China cautious for some time, based on the experience of a relative managing a lithium battery factory start up in China a decade ago, and my own understanding of human nature. That being that eventually a centrally imposed hierarchy will inevitably succumb to decentralized individual market forces to at least some extent. 
 
Do the US corporations think they can predict when to 'get off the wave', i.e., exit the market while successfully isolating themselves from China's national economic debt recovery?
 
Tim
US corporations will ride the wave until the day after the market crashes.

John McElroy
10-20-2017


Hi John,
Everything you said on Autoline Daily in purely economic terms is correct about the Australian car market now being open and the population being too small to support car manufacturing. It was also a conservative government decision to stop supporting the car companies that manufacture here.
By the end of this month tens of thousands of people, with families and mortgages, in good paying jobs will be unemployed and many of them will only be able to get low paid casual jobs. Reduced taxes from workers and increase in social security/unemployment benefits, the billions of dollars added to the Australian import bill for cars, well I am not sure it is that smart. Every state in the US that attracts car factories throws millions of dollars at them to set up there. GM and Chrysler survived only because of the net ten billion dollars the US tax payer put in under the Obama administration. I could rattle off state owned or propped up car companies around the world and smaller population countries that manufacture cars. Anyhow it is a sad day for manufacturing in Australia.
Thanks for a great show.
Tom C Melbourne Australia
10-20-2017


Hi John,

I can imagine filing an injunction against the Federal government and Automobile companies from adopting an zero emissions vehicles until there is the necessary infrastructure where parking space in the country is also a recharging stall because in cities like San Francisco with high apartment volume, there's simply no where to recharge one's car battery.

Cost of building such an infrastructure would cost tens of $Trillions and as much as 10-15 years to complete meaning the US might not be ready until 2030-2040.

Mike @ San Francisco CA
10-20-2017


John,
 
What safeguards are in place to prevent flood-damaged autos from showing up for sale on auto sales lots? Do the auto manufacturers have safeguards to help prevent this. I would think it would be in their best interests to do this.
 
Jim
Automakers don’t have any way of tracking whether a car was flood damaged, unless it was unsold and on the lot at a new car dealership. However anyone buying a car can go to the National Motor Vehicle Title Information System to check it out first. The NMVTIS collects information from dealerships, repair facilities, auction houses and others, and will flag a car that was flood damaged. But if you’re buying a used car from an unscrupulous person there’s no way of knowing if it’s in good shape unless you get a professional inspection.

John McElroy
10-20-2017


Your host, John McElroy, stated that the United States has a trade deficit with Canada of 30 billion dollars. According to the Office of the United States Trade Representative, his statement is incredibly wrong. Please read the section entitled “Trade Balance” and you will see that in actual fact the United States has a trade surplus of approximately 12 billion in goods and services with Canada.
 
A correction of this misinformation should be made “on air” in future. In order to have “intellectual discourse”, the host should have the correct information. Your guests accepted this “misinformation” without seemingly knowing the actual facts and continued their discussion without comment. 
 
Beverly
Beverly,
 
You need to listen to that show again. You heard wrong. I did not say that Canada has a $30 billion trade deficit with the US. I said that Canada has a $30 billion trade deficit with Mexico. You can find that part of the discussion at 18:51 into the program.
 
Respectfully,
John McElroy
10-20-2017


At first glance of the images of the Toyota Century, I mistook it for the Russian a ZIL. Then it has a rear somewhat like a Rolls.
What's interesting about it is the fabric interior reminiscent of 30s & 40s Cadillacs. I like tidy (as opposed to Baroque Mercurys) plush fabric interiors also as is my preference in our cars.
10-20-2017


Re: Lutz comment on ATW
 
Bob Lutz made the point that the VTOL's don't have to be necessarily powered by electricity. It's certainly not a requirement for autonomy. It's just that the two seem a natural match. 
 
This made me think about the inherent simplicity, safety of electric design vs mechanical. For example, take the US VTOL Osprey, still with unacceptable mechanical failures. Until such time as batteries improve substantially, why not replace all the complicated mechanics with electrics, and employ a down sized motor generator on board the main craft body, with a 'boost' battery for take off landing etc? This would be sort of like an EREV architecture.
 
I'm surprised this hasn't been done already, given the usual priorities afforded the military. 
 
Tim Beaumont 
10-6-2017


John,
 
Just finished watching "Autonomous Travel Drones". Any thought of changing the name of Autoline to MobilityLine? Maybe Trademark/Copyright the name now so you could change at some point in the future.
 
George
10-6-2017


Well, really, all of your shows are great.  But, the VTOL episode of Autoline This Week was really fascinating.  Too bad its only a half hour show.

Always enjoy hearing from Mr. Lutz.  What an amazing guy.  Thanks for a wonderful and thought provoking show.  Looking forward to episode 2, . .
. and 3!

GM Veteran


PS: I am a fan and stockholder of Workhorse.  Their Surefly quadcopter is one of the best designs I've seen, keeping the moving parts overhead and a relatively compact size.  I saw a press release last week announcing they have 22 orders with deposits for their Surefly.  And they don't have a firm production date yet.
10-6-2017


I just finished catching up on a couple Autoline After Hours and came across a segment in the preshow where you asked Dave Sullivan what car Ford should drop from its US lineup. He suggested the Focus but John replied something to the effect of "really but it's so close to the Fusion". You can't be serious about that response John, Ford still sells a very high amount of Fusions.
 
As of August Ford sold 138,489 of them this year which places it ahead of the Toyota Highlander, Chevy Traverse, Chevy Malibu, Ford Edge, ALL GMC models, ALL subcompact crossover SUVs, ALL mid-size pickups, all Jeeps other than the Gand Cherokee etc. When it comes to Ford there's a huge line between mid-sized cars and compact cars.
 
Small gripe though, love the show.
Jeremy,

You make good points. The Fusion still sells in large numbers, but sales are dropping fast, down 27% this year. Focus sales are 111,716 down 13%. My gut feel says Focus will emerge as the stronger of the two, especially on a global basis.

John McElroy
10-6-2017


In response to previous letter from 9-22-2017

Mr. McElroy:

Thanks for your fast response. I have gone through many of the sites you mentioned in your e mail. I found #1713 especially informative. I do not remember that show, so must have missed it. As you mentioned, Auto Propane Gas, LPG, LNG and the strides being taken is very exciting.

It is great to see Roush, Ford, Clean Fuels USA (and General Motors mentioned) pursuing these fuels.
Seems to me with the seventeen million vehicles in Europe, and the infrastructure we already have in place in the US, there should be more of a push on these fuels. Why is the US government pushing so strong on electrics, when there is a head start on these?

I feel the oil companies could get on board with this since the gases come out of the ground with petroleum. Refueling pumps could be added to their present stations. 

Not to take any more of your time. It is Monday so after supper I will sit down to Autoweek followed by Autoline.

I would like to see more programs on CNG, LNG, Propane, from you.

Chuck Kerr
10-6-2017


Hi John,
 
I live in San Francisco and unless you work in the city as well, driving can be cheaper than catching mass transit because daily commute can cost as much as $15-20.00 a day or $400 a month, this is where getting something like a Cruze Diesel or a Bolt EV can work.
 
Thus.. the chatter about how people might not buy cars is insane because services like Uber isn't cost effective when you need to make a daily commute.
 
Mike @ San Francisco, CA
9-22-2017


Hello John,
I know that you discussed the disappearing bumper protection before but there must be some Fed. regulations in place.  You look at many new models, ( Lexus, Mazda 3/5/6, Volvo, Hyundai, and more) and I cannot imagine parallel parking these cars without any damage.  The Mazda CUT seems to have leading edges with the metal hood and the tailgates.  The insurance companies and rental car folks must know that these designs will cost big repair bills I bet.  Add in the multi-thousand dollar head and tail lamps and you are set to be jammed at the next minor parking bump.  Thoughts?    Roger Blose 
49 CFR Part 581, “The bumper standard,” prescribes performance requirements for passenger cars (not sport utility vehicles, minivans, or pickups trucks) in low-speed front and rear collisions. It applies to front and rear bumpers on passenger cars to prevent the damage to the car body and safety related equipment at barrier impact speeds of 2½ mph across the full width and 1½ mph on the corners. It used to be a tougher standard (5 mph and 2.5 mph, respectively, with “no damage” allowed) but it turned out that making bumpers that strong cost a lot more to repair if a vehicle was damaged in an accident above those speeds.

John McElroy
9-22-2017


John:  Just watched AAH 9/21/17.  I agree with everything you and your guests say about autonomous cars.  However, I feel you are leaving one major factor out.  When the insurance companies finally embrace the safety features of autonomous cars they will drive acceptance at an accelerated rate.  Once the insurance premium for autonomous cars drops to one fourth the cost of regular human driven cars, the tide will turn.  The more people buy autonomous cars, the more the  cost of production will come down.  The whole thing will snowball so fast you will have to re-evaluate your job.  Who will care about Autoline Autonomous Car?  Just kidding.  What do you and your guests feel about the influence of auto insurance companies on the acceptance of autonomous cars in the USA?
 
Doc53
The insurance companies have their hair on fire over this one. In the US alone, they collect over $200 billion every year in premiums. But if autonomous and connected cars aren’t going to crash, or at far lower rates, then premiums will plummet. It may come sooner than that. Insurance companies are already looking at only charging you for collision coverage while you’re driving. So if your car is parked, you’re not being charged. One of the biggest barriers to car ownership for young people is the cost of insurance.

John McElroy
9-22-2017


Autonomous cars: compare them to adopting elevators in tall buildings.

Elevators have no human Operator anymore. We could care less about its manufacturer/brand. They run by themselves. We do not fear them at all now.  There are virtually no elevator accidents.  Elevators accelerate, brake and make strange noises.  etc.

They really are public transportation too.
 
Tom Krug
Back in 1980, the designer and futurist Syd Mead told me that one day all our mobility would be handled autonomously and seamlessly. He predicted an autonomous car would pick you up when you needed it, would go park itself in a reserved spot, and as you walked into a building, the elevator would be waiting for you, doors open, and automatically take you to the floor you needed.

John McElroy
9-22-2017


Dear Mr. McElroy,
 
.  First let me compliment you on the content of the program.  You have very well informed guests and allow them to share their knowledge with us, the viewers.  I like the way you draw out your guests and allow them to educate us.
 
I really was fascinated by your last two programs concerning the concept of “Mobility.”  

ATW #2127 - Mobility Part 1: Hardware that Helps

ATW #2128 - Mobility Part 2: The Social Side

I’m not sure I have a good working definition of what the concept entails.  When I first saw the program description I thought it was about providing mobility services for the disabled.  I sure got educated fast.  However, upon further review (to quote the current buzz words) the various concepts discussed on those programs would certainly be a great boon to people with disabilities who cannot drive ordinary vehicles without significant and expensive adaptations to the vehicles.  I have a dear friend who cannot even get into a vehicle without assistive means.  It sounds to me like many of the features of autonomous vehicles and ride sharing would go a long way to assist these people.
 
Thank you for your wonderful insights into the automotive industry.
  
JPB
JPB,

Thanks for your feedback and kind words.

You hit the nail on the head. People with disabilities, and the elderly, will be some of the earliest beneficiaries of autonomous cars and mobility services.

John McElroy
9-22-2017


In your program on 9.18.17, you mentioned you could get a vehicle report for FREE from NMVTIS.  That is not true.  I will have to purchase it. 

If I am missing something, could you please send me the link that takes me to the correct place in the site.
 
I have been watching your programs for over 10 years.  I hope to continue to think you sources are reliable.
 
Many thanks,
Kevin.
There are several services that offer the NMVTIS reports, some charge, some do not. I was able to get a report for free using the CarsForSale service listed on the vhiclehistory.gov website.

John McElroy
9-22-2017


Mr. McElroy:
 
I enjoyed your several shows on different fuels/propulsion for cars, i.e. gasoline, electric, ethanol, hydrogen and fuel cell. What I did not see was a discussion on natural gas (CNG).
 
Did I miss this or was there not a program on CNG?
 
CNG works on gasoline engines with minimal changes, runs cleaner, is less expensive, United States already has infrastructure in place and we have much more in the ground than oil.
 
Seems as a country we should be pursuing CNG for fuel instead of ethanol.
 
I would like to see a program on CNG.
 
Thanks,
Chuck Kerr
We’ve done a ton of reporting on CNG. Just go to www.Autoline.tv and type CNG into the search bar to get all our coverage.
 
LPG is even cheaper, both from a fuel cost and conversion cost standpoint. Here’s a show we did on that.
 
John McElroy
9-22-2017


Dear Autoline This Week,
 
Your show just keeps getting better. "Monitizing Data" 8/20/17 KRCB was great. Exploring the increasing value of data generated by automobiles. Great subject. Seems like everyone wants everything connected to the Internet. Connected catbox tells you 'Your cat is losing weight' regardless of security concerns. Whatever!  I liked how this show describes some important possibilities concerning an automobile.  Telephone companies charge plenty for customer data. The idea that auto data can save motorists money (monitoring driving habit and relaying to insurance companies) is great. Also allowing cities to better manage traffic while collecting 'fees' is also a good thing. It's fine for me to think about such things but better to hear a great host (thanks for clarifying acronyms) talk to influential leaders of the industry.  Thanks again.
 
Roy Daniels
9-22-2017


hello team,

 i would like to know the Genesis brand. Hows that going  as a new brand from Hyundai. 
I know they only have few models and no SUVs...but is the brand and its G class sedans doing well and with sales numbers??
 
thanks

Abhi
The Genesis brand has a long climb ahead of it. YTD sales in the US market are 13, 336 cars, with 2,877 G90’s and 10,489 G80’s. But the brand is only just getting started. It needs more product, especially CUVs and SUVs, and more dealers.

John McElroy
9-22-2017


John,
 
With newer calculations for CAFE standards now upon us, is this a contributing factor as to why manufactures are cutting passenger cars from their line ups?
I get the small cars will need to be 54.5 and their pricing is more affordable, but if you increase the foot print and gross vehicle weight the target is lower.
 
David Sprowl
Car companies are cutting some passenger car models from their lineups because people are not buying as many of them. It has nothing to do with fuel economy standards. This is a worldwide trend, even in countries which don’t have fuel economy standards.

John McElroy
9-22-2017


Hi John,

I just had a thought.  I am very excited by the big movement to EV's. It is fascinating to try to comprehend the myriad changes that this transition will bring to our industry.

Here is one I have not heard discussed.  As sales and production of EV's increase over the next 5-10 years, its possible that ICE vehicles will become more expensive.  With decreased sales come decreased economies of scale.  Transmissions are a good example. They aren't really needed for EV's.  Smaller production volumes of transmissions as sales of ICE vehicles decline may mean higher prices per unit.  As always, those costs will be passed along to the consumer.

As sales and production of EV's increase, economies of scale will make them more affordable.  They may become more affordable than ICE vehicles even sooner than some experts are predicting because ICE vehicles will experience price increases just as EV's become less expensive to own.

What do you think?

GM Veteran
GM Veteran,

I generally agree with you. EVs will reduce manufacturing scale for ICEs. So will ride sharing, since we will need fewer vehicles in the future, but that affects EV scale, too.

At the same time, all EVs are sold at a big loss today. And all those sales are supported by government subsidies. So far, OEMs are willing to eat the losses. Even though battery prices are coming down, as EV sales volume increases, automakers will have to increase prices of EVs so they can make a profit on them. And the consumer will have to pay more for them since subsidies will disappear in the next few years.

John McElroy
9-22-2017


Hi guya,


Just wondering if u knew that tesla can extend its range over the air??
Tesla never hid the fact that it could extend range with an OTA command.

John McElroy
9-22-2017


Dear Gary, John and Sean,



So once again the 'big fish', this time in Germany, get away with no punishment, and the 'little guys' take the fall. One can only hope that VAG has enough guilt to provide well for them and their families. But, I doubt it. Corporations don't have souls.



Perhaps an even better question would be: why blame the 'cheaters' at all. Why not blame the faulty testing that doesn't reflect reality. Why shouldn't the US government be held accountable for its lack of diligence in promising the consumer on thing, performance and fuel economy, while failing in its regulation of low emissions?



Oh, wait. That would be honest and too responsible. Not to say, provide little work for the legal profession.



Let's blame the other guys. That is the old standby of politicians; tribalism, racism, in-group/out-group.



Just some observations...



Tim Beaumont
The U.S. government gave automakers the benefit of the doubt. It asked them to self-certify, with the EPA doing spot checks, to speed up certification and cut regulatory costs. VW took advantage of this and developed a cheating program that was specifically designed to side-step any government tests.

Blaming the government in this case is misdirected. VW hurt the entire industry.

John McElroy
9-22-2017


Maybe you guys n gals knew this already, but it surprised me. I took these pics of a Kia after noticing the DEF cap 'behind' the missing fuel door. It was on 94 at Chelsea, MI. I'm assuming it was a durability fleet car as it was traveling with other Kia M-plated vehicles.
Check it out.



Thanks,

Marcus
Markus,

What an eagle eye! Thanks for sending. We’re asking Kia if they care to make a comment on this.

John McElroy
9-22-2017


A few weeks ago you had on Steve Bruyn of Foresight Research saying that auto shows were alive and well. Now, with many major brands skipping the Frankfurt Auto Show, Reuters is reporting the death of auto shows. What is going on here?
 
Neil G
Automakers are starting to skip some of the big auto shows if they have nothing new to unveil. But Steve Bruyn was correct in saying that public attendance at these shows is still going strong.

John McElroy
9-22-2017


 Hello John



Subaru has been in the top 5 list the best growth consistently for many years, but I have not heard anything in regards to R&D for autonomy or electrification. Is this growth soon to be doomed?



Regards



TNSLPP TSO
Great question. Subaru can’t invest in electrification, autonomy and mobility services on its own. But Toyota now owns 16.5% of Subaru (Fuji Heavy Industries) and that is where Subaru will likely get the technology it needs.

John McElroy
9-22-2017


 Seems like Tesla lies about the smaller battery pack in it's cars and installs a larger size but then uses the computer to lie to the owners.
9-1-2017


Hello John,
 
Really enjoy your Autoline Daily broadcasts.
I have a question regarding the episode: The Great Escape? Cali Emissions Going Up - Autoline Daily 2174

You talked about the next generation Chevrolet Cruze production.  You mentioned it would be built in Lordstown, OH.  Can you say who was the source of this information?  Do you have any more information about future Lordstown production?  It sounded like "Auto Forecasts Illusions" was the source.  Maybe I misunderstood.  My apologies.  Any additional information or sources of information about this topic that you are able to provide would be greatly appreciated.
 
Thank you kindly for taking the time to read this e-mail.
 
Best regards,

Rich in Ohio
Rich,

Here is what Autoforecast Solutions says about the next-gen Chevrolet Cruze:

Start of production: 1/3/2023
End of production: 12/22/2028
Production of the next-generation Chevrolet Cruze at Lordstown will begin January 2023.
9-1-2017


I really wasn't all that excited about autonomous vehicles until I heard about the Domino's/Ford pizza delivery.  Now I can order a pizza and not have to worry about tipping the driver!  No more awkward moments of asking the guy if he has change for $1.




Bill
9-1-2017


John & Gary - this link to an old MIT article from 2013 has puzzled me with so much talk about complete electrification of automobiles.   I tried your website search engine - but found no relevant sessions to this "power grid" topic.
 
I may have missed this session - but could you please address, or readdress, this issue in one of your up coming After Hours programs - what is its present status?
 
It would appear that experts from electric power generation/distribution network would be necessary rather than just automotive representatives.  Upgrading existing power systems to accommodate electrical automotive vehicles will definitely raise costs for anyone plugged into that grid.
 
Really enjoy reviewing your programs.
 
Best regards,
Russell
Russell,
 
While we have not done a show specifically about the grid, it has come up in other topics we’ve done. Here’s a link to a show we did earlier this year on fuel cells, with part of the discussion touching on the grid.
 
John McElroy
9-1-2017


Hello Autoline,



After watching the After Hours Episode 389 about FCA being possibly acquired by the Chinese. Is there any possibility a acquisition could be made by a Indian Automaker, such as Mahindra or Tata?



Thank you,



- Kireeti Ghanta
FCA would likely sell to any company that came up with the money to buy it, including Tata or Mahindra. Currently FCA has a market cap of about $22 billion. No doubt they’ll want a premium over that.
9-1-2017


Hi John,
I liked the item about lane departure warning systems lessening accident numbers. It occurred to me that the worst driving I see on Chicagoland-area roads is to do with following distances. I’m dumbfounded to see that many people follow far too closely for MY comfort and OUR safety, and seem to have no idea of the influences of speed, spacing, reaction times and grip in weather conditions have on their cars. A one car-length gap at 70mph, even in dry sunny conditions, is just ridiculous! I’m NOT a slow driver, but there’s always someone in a bigger hurry, and I do move over as soon as I safely can. For my own little (admittedly unscientific) survey, I’ve taken to looking at the passing drivers’ faces. They don’t usually look angry, anxious or flustered; just calmly going about their business, totally oblivious that they are literally split-seconds away from disaster!
 
Except for basic models, many new cars are now fitted with smart cruise, lane departure warning, outside temperature, emergency braking systems, and often rain-sensing wipers. In other words, the information that these systems can already gather, could be used to warn drivers that their following distance is dangerously close, and to increase the space between them and the car in front. I’m NOT advocating government meddling, annoying warning sounds, brake inputs, just a gentle warning to back-off… DUMBASS!
 
Thank you all for your hard work giving us Autoline programming.
Best regards,
Chris
 
PS – I enjoy your current lineup, but I still miss Peter DeLorenzo’s participation (sometimes)! How about an occasional Autoline Daily or After Hours opinion piece with Peter summarizing his recent rants?
Chris,

Thanks for your comments, very valid!

Also, great suggestion on getting Peter to do commentaries. I’ll see if I can get him to do it.

John McElroy

Send us your thoughts: viewermail@autoline.tv