I’ve tested Cadillac’s Super Cruise twice this year, and I had my first taste of Ford’s BlueCruise autonomous system last year.
As a journalist who covers the automotive industry, I have plenty of opinions about autonomous driving – mainly, I don’t believe we’ll see full Level 5 anytime soon. As a journalist who’s also been able to actually test AV systems, I have come to the conclusion that for now, at least, using an AV system leaves you with very mixed feelings. Especially if you’re a car enthusiast and not someone who merely uses your car as a means of conveyance.
I have a 2009 Smart car that seems to be having some issues and I was wondering if you might have some advice on what I should do. I went to drive it recently and the transmission seems to not shift or do anything at all. I put it in drive and the engine just revs, if I restart it a couple of times sometimes it will go into gear and move. What should I do?
I have a question for you about some maintenance on an older BMW I recently bought. The car is an E30 325i and I was told that it needs to have a valve adjustment. I am new to having an older car as everything I have owned prior has been much newer. Any advice on it and what to keep an eye out for?
Thank you for any information.
Many of us are living in a remote work world now, which means we now sit through endless video meetings instead of piling into boardrooms. Tesla hopes to turn your car into another meeting space, announcing that Zoom would soon come to its EVs’ infotainment systems.
Dear TTAC Readers,
Thank you so much for your patience over the past couple of weeks of my absence while I have been dealing with family issues. Unfortunately, time is what it is and family members get old and as much as we try and prepare ourselves, it still happens.
If you've ever piloted a modern vehicle, you've likely noticed that touchscreens have started supplanting physical controls. You've also probably found that they're not as easy to interface with as the buttons, switches, and knobs they're replacing. Well, there's another study out that's supporting what drivers have known for years – touchscreens don't make for intuitive vehicle controls and may even make the whole process of getting to your destination a little more treacherous.
A little over a decade ago, it seemed like everyone I knew was abandoning cable packages for online streaming services. They were cheaper, on-demand, and offered more choices with fewer advertisements. But as the years progressed, companies stopped selling their media to a handful of online video platforms and started building their own. Programming became more transient and isolated, forcing consumers to buy into additional subscription services. We’ve since hit a point where the overall consumer experience has diminished and grown more expensive, despite the steady influx of competition.
While automakers have been dabbling with subscription services of their own, their earliest attempts turned out to be such overwhelmingly bad deals that the public refused to play along. But they’re not giving up that easily. Industry players have been trying to figure out ways to charge customers indefinitely for years and are starting to settle upon subscription packages that can unlock hardware that’s already been installed into the vehicle or add software that can be downloaded via over-the-air (OTA) updates. Love or hate it, vehicular connectivity has opened up the door for new sources of revenue and businesses everywhere are eager to take advantage — with most companies projecting exceptionally healthy profits for the years ahead.
On Tuesday, Stellantis announced a plan to cultivate €20 billion ($23 billion USD) per year by 2030 via “software-enabled product offerings and subscriptions.” However, the automaker will first need to increase the number of connected vehicles it has sold from 12 million (today) to 34 million by the specified date.
This is something we’ve seen most major manufacturers explore, with some brands firmly committing themselves to monetizing vehicular connectivity through over-the-air (OTA) updates, data mining, and subscription services. Though much of this looks decidedly unappetizing, often representing a clever way for companies to repeatedly charge customers for equipment that’s already been installed.
General Motors’ self-driving vehicle unit, Cruise, has attracted new investors and an equity infusion of $1.15 billion as it continues work on its commercial fleet of autonomous taxis. The new investment, which effectively brings the operation’s valuation to $19 billion, is primarily fronted by Baltimore-based asset management company T. Rowe Price Associates Inc. and existing partners like SoftBank’s Vision Fund and Honda Motor Co.
“Developing and deploying self-driving vehicles at massive scale is the engineering challenge of our generation,” said Cruise CEO Dan Ammann. “Having deep resources to draw on as we pursue our mission is a critical competitive advantage.”
These days, every automaker is in the midst of a metamorphosis, eager to emerge from their chrysalis as a “mobility company.” Even brands that don’t seem bent on completely revolutionizing their business model now use the term in reference to themselves.
Ford, which has positioned itself as a mobility company ever since Mark Fields was steering the ship, is among those pushing the narrative the strongest. Fields may have been fired for having a lofty, tech-focused vision that couldn’t charm investors, but much of it carried over to Jim Hackett’s tenure as CEO. Ford desperately wants to be seen as a cutting-edge nameplate.
However, the assumption among industry experts is that it’s lagging behind General Motors in terms of autonomous driving, electrification, and the ability to tap into alternative revenue streams. We sometimes wonder how accurate those assumptions are.
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- ToolGuy Here is an interesting graphic, if you're into that sort of thing.
- ToolGuy Nice website you got there (even the glitches have glitches)
- Namesakeone Actually, per the IIHS ratings, "Acceptable" is second best, not second worst. The ratings are "Good," "Acceptable," "Marginal" and "Poor."
- Inside Looking Out "And safety was enhanced generally via new reversing lamps and turn signals fitted as standard equipment."Did not get it, turn signals were optional in 1954?
- Lorenzo As long as Grenadier is just a name, and it doesn't actually grenade like Chrysler UltraDrive transmissions. Still, how big is the market for grossly overpriced vehicles? A name like INEOS doesn't have the snobbobile cachet yet. The bulk of the auto market is people who need a reliable, economical car to get to work, and they're not going to pay these prices.