Autonomous Cars Will Never Be Fully Autonomous Until…

5 Feb

BBC Image: Wireless Charging Electric Vehicle

What makes an Autonomous Car fully Autonomous? Full Autonomy. That will never happen until the last piece of the Autonomous Driving (AD) chain is solved, and that’s the automation of refueling and recharging. This article on The Verge got me thinking about the relationship between AD and EVs, the totally fractured way we talk about the two, and the clear delineation between the types of Self-Driving Cars that are coming.

I just Googled the phrase “Autonomous Driving Chain” and found…nothing. Is no one really thinking about this? It’s impossible.

(Photo credit: BBC)

Autonomous Driving Nomenclature Makes No Sense

4 Feb

Alex Roy On Autonomous Driving Nomenclature

When it comes to marketing autonomous driving, carmakers have a problem. Actually two problems. First, they need to convince us we need Autonomous Driving. Also, they need to explain to us exactly what these features actually do. Everyone knows ABS means Anti-Lock Braking, because all manufacturers use it as a generic term. Not so with Autonomous Driving features, and that’s a big problem. Because you can’t sell something you can’t explain.

Let’s take a look at what the average person sees by Googling three German manufacturers’ current, and upcoming, models. Oh, and Tesla. Tesla has led the way in simplifying autonomous driving nomenclature, but Mercedes, Audi and BMW are right behind them. Or so I thought.

Read the full article over at The Drive…

What Is The World’s Best Fourth Car?

3 Feb


Bahaaaaaah, the French. I mean, the English. Yes, the English have always been celebrated for making the world’s best Fourth Cars. There is an English manufacturer named Morgan, inspired almost exclusively by the desire to make “Fourth Cars.” They’re ash-framed and, like the best English cars, deliver vintage styling, so Morgan —

Wait, what is a Fourth Car, you ask? Allow me to to explain in one of my most popular pieces back from my days at Jalopnik from the summer of 2015.

“Your Diminished Privacy Is Their Product”

2 Feb

Privacy While Driving

“Your Diminished Privacy Is Their Product.” This, according to The Atlantic, is the reality behind Vigilant Systems, who are doing everything in their power to empower police to invade your privacy at every turn. Free surveillance hardware. Non-disclosure agreements with law enforcement. If you want to know the full story behind the for-profit effort to invade your privacy behind the wheel, read this terrific article over at TTAC.

(Image Credit: Northwest Harley Blog)

Why Supercar Owners Who Crash Aren’t Like Us

1 Feb

Why Supercars Crash

I’ll never forget my first dream car. It wasn’t up on my high school bedroom wall. That was reserved for the Vector W8 and the Porsche 959, which were beyond dreams. They were fantasies, and a fantasy is just that. But dreams? Dreams can come true. I vowed that if I could ever afford that car, I would keep it forever. Safe. In one piece. I know I’m not alone, because I constantly meet people who also drive their dream car, and feel exactly as I do.

This makes us very different from the people who crash supercars.

Read my latest article over at The Drive…

The Chevy Bolt Will Fail

1 Feb

The Chevy Bolt Will Fail

Give Elon Musk credit. His public relations people are brilliant. Tesla is the Band-Aid, Kleenex, Scotch Tape, Velveeta and Velcro for the future of cars. Everyone in the universe of mindshare around electric cars (EVs) orbits Tesla. People who know nothing about EVs equate Tesla with EVs. Every EV in the next few years will be compared to a Tesla.

That’s a problem for car manufacturers, and they don’t even understand it.

People don’t buy a Tesla solely for the car. They’re buying into an ecosystem that includes an EV. An ecosystem that upends everything about the traditional ownership experience, without which any EV—even a Tesla—is just a brick in a pond.

This is where GM got almost everything wrong with the Bolt. This is why the Bolt will fail.

Read my full article over at The Drive…

Charging Your Phone In Your Car Is Bad

29 Jan

Alex Roy's LiveDriveRepeat

Charging you phone in your car is bad for the environment, according to a former GM executive. Well, that helps. I’m sure this will change driver behavior not one bit. How could it? We need to charge our phones. Smartphone battery life isn’t what it should be. At least mine isn’t. I have an iPhone 6. Even with a Mophie case, it’s not enough over the course of a single day of usage.

How much does a Smartphone really cost in terms of consumption when plugged into your car? Read this useless article over at Bloomberg…

Now THIS Is What An Aston Sedan Should Look Like

29 Jan

Aston Martin Lagonda

“It is the color of molten drugstore chocolate. It rides on oversize chrome aftermarket wheels that appear to have been stolen from a Pep Buoyed Acura. It sports a wide gold pinstripe that looks like it was applied with a mop. And, planted on the broad plane of its rectilinear trunk, is a body-colored boomerang TV antenna large enough to acquire signals from all three broadcast networks, and maybe Skylab. The 1979 Aston Martin Lagonda is at once heinous, ravishing, domineering, and audacious. I am smitten.”

Read Brett Berk’s drive of the Lagonda Prototype over at The Drive…

Associate of Alex Roy Breaks Cannonball Motorcycle Record

29 Jan

Associate of Alex Roy, Carl Reese

LOS ANGELES (Jan. 27, 2016) An associate of Alex Roy from Santa Clarita, California broke the solo cannonball motorcycle record from Los Angeles to New York City in 38 hours, 49 minutes. The associate of Alex Roy completed the 2,829-mile feat on a 2015 BMW K1600 GT six-cylinder motorcycle, breaking George Egloff’s previous record of 42 hours set in 1983. Continue reading