AD #1606 – BMW to Use Toyota Fuel Cell, Hyperloop vs. Autonomous Cars, Ford Lays Off Workers

April 24th, 2015 at 11:53am

Runtime: 7:56

- BMW to Use Toyota Fuel Cell
- Ford Lays Off Workers
- Portable Nav with Driver Alerts
- Hyperloop vs. Autonomous Cars
- Where Is All The Cellulosic Ethanol?

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44 Comments to “AD #1606 – BMW to Use Toyota Fuel Cell, Hyperloop vs. Autonomous Cars, Ford Lays Off Workers”

  1. G.A.Branigan Says:

    400 bux for the new Garmin nav isn’t bad when you consider what the oems charge for an ‘iffy’ system.Some systems rely on OnStar,or Sirrius subscriptions for the nav funcetion.After the honeymoon is over,it gets expensive fast.Garmin can be easily updated via the internet.Jmho…

  2. Chuck Grenci Says:

    Great job today, Drew, and you are absolutely correct, for the engineering interested people, you don’t want to miss Sandy Monroe on last nights(afternoon really) AAH. Outstanding show.

  3. Ron Paris Says:

    So John, Toyota traded the underpinnings of the new Z$ to Toyota for the latter’s fuel cell technology. As the owner of a current gen Z4, I’m curious about what is known of the future model?

  4. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I’ve read a couple places that the next Z4 will have a new inline 6 that is essentially two of the MINI/i8 turbo triples end to end. A hybrid will follow.

  5. Kit Gerhart Says:

    It looks like cheap gas is not only hurting sales of hybrids, but also hurting sales of Focus, one of the better fuel efficient cars in the U.S. market.

    The Focus hatch is one of my favorite non-hybrid “do everything” cars. Crappy controls are the only thing that keeps me from really liking that car.

  6. C-Tech Says:

    What is hurting Focus sales is the strong competition from Hyundai, Volkswagen, even Dodge. They are all getting more competitive in either price or performance to the Focus while Ford has reduced options and added ridiculous radio / entertainment controls.

  7. Lex Says:

    What about taking all the garbage Americans and the rest of the world produces and instead of land-filling it clean burn it to fuel steam powered generators to produce electricity. Use this electricity to power electric vehicles or use it to do electrolysis to convert sea water or waste water into Hydrogen for fuel cell vehicles. I believe these two options will create jobs and hopefully reduce pollution of our environment.

  8. Lex Says:

    I am not surprised that Ford Focus is not selling.
    As long as gasoline prices stay low or under $3.00 per gallon on average small ugly cars like the Focus will not be selling many units.

    If Ford could restyle the front end of it’s Focus to look like the Taurus or Edge maybe sales would improve but do not bet on it!

  9. Lex Says:

    I have an issue with the upwardare folding rear doors on the upcoming Tesla Model X SUV. These doors are not practice in most homeowner garages! What were they thinking when they designed it. I hope these doors are eliminated and/or only offered as an option on the Model X.

    Elon Musk’s real world salary is probably used to pay for his healthcare coverage through the company.
    No Obama Care for this man and his family.

  10. Kit Gerhart Says:

    6 Are you saying sales are un on Dart, Elantra, Golf, and Jetta? If so, yeah, I guess people just don’t like Focus, or at least its pricing, and controls, which I don’t like.

  11. Kit Gerhart Says:

    10 That’s up, not “un.”

  12. Drew Says:

    The Focus hatch is on my short list. But the Mrs wants an automatic and I want a manual tranny. The controls are now greatly improved, with better responsiveness and better voice recognition… and there are plenty of conventional buttons for the climate controls (solving my biggest issue with nearly all other touch screen vehicle).

    The front end now has an attractive Fusion-like appearance. I just wish the rear seat was more package-efficient, particularly in terms of knee clearance and shoulder room.

  13. Kit Gerhart Says:

    A friend has a 2014 Focus ST, and likes it. The back seat is folded down most of the time, like with my Prius.

    He says he bought the ST in spite of the controls/myfordtouch, because he really likes the way the car drives, and likes the hatchback utility.

  14. Kit Gerhart Says:

    12. Unless you were getting an ST or the 3 cylinder turbo, you might rather have the automatic. The manual with the standard engine is a 5-speed with a too-short top gear for relaxed highway cruising

  15. pedro fernandez Says:

    Down here in So Fl. 2015 Corollas are all over the place, I see them all over. So much so that my local dealer is asking for a premium over MSRP due to “Market Conditions” Frankly, there are so many of them, that I most likely would not buy one if I could.

  16. HtG Says:

    Focus-could it be that Ford is paying for not being as aggressive on discounts as the competition? I do like me some Focus, but then I remind myself of all the other cars I like too. It’s alsohard to believe consumers don’t like that CMax either; such a great package.

  17. Capt Guy Says:

    Beep, Beep needs to be at the top of the audio list. Just revisited it on You Tube !!

  18. Kit Gerhart Says:

    16 I like C-Max, except for the controls. It gets almost Prius-like city mpg, and is quicker and handles better than a Prius. C-Max has a shorter load floor, though, and doesn’t get the highway mpg of a Prius, probably because of its tall, cuv wannabe profile.

  19. w l simpson Says:

    If the current effort to end ethanol succeeds,
    gas will be up again. Ethanol almost ruined my OB (not news), but a mom & pop station nearby has lots of real gas.

  20. Drew Says:

    15 – Pedro, the Crapolla has the cheapest interior I have seen in a very long time. The Mrs does like the C-Max – more rear seat space, more cargo space, higher seating position, and better FE than any of the C cars. So, we are shopping for a 2 year old with a good year and 12,000 miles left on the factory warranty.

  21. HtG Says:

    I sat behind a 6’3″ guy in the CMax. I’m 5’9″. Amazing room.

  22. pedro fernandez Says:

    Well, cheap interior or not, the Crapolla is beating the Crap out of the Focus, at least among the choosy, demanding, So Fl customers. This soft vs hard touch interiors are not important to the majority of buyers, they only care about where they rest their elbows.

  23. Kit Gerhart Says:

    21 Yeah, this “soft vs hard” thing is about the silliest thing to ever hit auto discussion. The only thing I touch in a car with my hands for any lenth of time is the steering wheel. Beyond that, the only things I touch, even briefly, are door pulls, and radio and HVAC controls. I barely touch arm rests, to the extent that they exist in my cars. A center arm rest was a $200 option on a MINI like mine, but I declined.

  24. pedro fernandez Says:

    In the past 2 weeks, folks have either died or were poisoned by carbon monoxide emitted by cars that they had thought were shut off and were garaged right under their town houses here in Fl. I have to believe these vehicles had push button start systems and the drivers most likely touched the buttons too lightly and the motor stayed on, these modern cars have such quiet engines, that you barely can tell if they’re running or not.

  25. XA351GT Says:

    Auto Tunes, to be honest I haven’t checked it out yet. Here’s a video that would fit very well. If you don’t have videos like this you should.

  26. XA351GT Says:

    Sorry I miswrote the link it’s

  27. Chuck Grenci Says:

    #25 ‘XA’ (on Fu Manchu)

    Sounds a little like “Black Sabbath” (of old); seems (they) need a little Ozzie (Osborn) to make that tune ‘work’ (for me). :)

  28. pedro fernandez Says:

    Just heard on the news that the 2 victims of the carbo mono poisoning both has keyless ignition late model cars, and they believedthey had shut off their motors. All new problem to be reckoned with.

  29. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I’m surprised they didn’t hear engines running when they got out, unless they were hybrids, and the engine started later, after the A/C ran the battery down to where the engine started to charge it. Even then, you get reminded, at least with a Prius. I get beeped at, if I get out of the car without turning it off. It is just an electronic beep, though, and not too loud.

  30. pedro fernandez Says:

    I assume they were late model, lux cars with quiet engines, they all came home late, so they were probably tired and sleepy, pushed the button to shut off the engine and it failed to do so, I never liked the idea of having the garage right under your living area.

  31. HtG Says:

    23 Pedro, is it certain that it was the cars that had emitted the CO? Were the cars in good repair also? I was under the impression that modern cars didn’t emit much CO at all.

  32. pedro fernandez Says:

    Oh, yes put any ICE inside a closed garage and the CO will knock you out and if you don’t get rescued, eventually killed, which is what happened to some poor sap that had just arrived with his clan from Disney, all tired and sleepy, the other guy got saved thanks to the neighbor having a CO detector go off inside his unit and was able to call 911. I have a CO detector in the Crapolla also, since that time when the leaky exhaust headers almost did me in.

  33. HtG Says:

    Piech resigns. Check Bloomberg

  34. HtG Says:

    There can only be one

  35. pedro fernandez Says:

    #32 I guess he was disgusted by the fact that his engineers could not design a clunk-free steering wheel adjustment mechanism like the Hyundai he sat in at some auto show a couple of years ago.

  36. Kit Gerhart Says:

    31 Also, the CO coming from an engine would increase as the oxygen is depleted in a closed space, like a garage. At some point, the engine control will not be able to maintain a proper mixture and the engine will run rich if the oxygen percentage in the air gets too low.

  37. G.A.Branigan Says:

    It could also be that the vehicles had remote starting.Here’s what happened to me some years back when I had my 2011 silvey: I went to the local market to pick up a few things,while walking away from my truck I hit the lock button on my key.It locked my truck and flashed the headlights as usual but it also did that to another chevy in the parking lot,it wasn’t a pickup.When I came out I unlocked my truck with the remote and it also unlocked that chevy car too.I know the odds of that are astronomical,but as God is my witness,it’s true.It could very well be another remote from nearby.

  38. pedro fernandez Says:

    The report stated that both vehicles had key-less start and they attribute the accident to this, we should start reading about this being an issue sometime in the future.

  39. G.A.Branigan Says:

    I have keyless start on my nox.However,it will only run for 10 minutes without the key in the ignition.I am assuming that goes for all of gm cars/trucks with this feature.However,I do no not know if that is an industry standard.If it isn’t,it should be.

    There are many articles about keyless ignitions where people get to work and have a full tank,and when they come back out,they don’t anymore.And it has been found that someone else is starting their own car to warm it up,not realizing they might also be starting someone else’s car too.

  40. HtG Says:

    36 can confirm. In a HomeDepot lot, a Honda Accord just started up as I walked by. I hung around to see if the owner would approach. Nope. And I only had my Civic key on me, no remote.
    In other news, no more Mr Nice HtG. I’m instituting a boot on neck policy toward other drivers.

  41. cwolf Says:

    I don’t have a foreign car that starts cars other than my own, but I want to share a tidbit about something else; I heard on one of the business radio channels taxi use by business people decreased about 20-25% due to other options, like Uber. Still, taxi service controls over 50% of the New York transportation.

  42. G.A.Branigan Says:

    Hey guys,some possible good nooz for me: Remember when I said that I couldn’t get a new Promaster City Wagon SLT cause ordering was closed down etc? Well I did write to Chrysler and wanted to know why I couldn’t order and stuff.They said that 2014 ordering for that,and other rams/jeeps etc was closed till the 2015my start.

    My dealer guy called me this ayem and said he thinks he found me what I wanted,even the color another dealer that is part of the Lithia group.The guy he needs to talk to won’t be in till tomorrow so I just might get the van/truck I want after all.

    If the dealer doesn’t want to do the dealer trade thing,then I’ll just wait,but maybe….just maybe ;}>

  43. G.A.Branigan Says:

    And now it’s time for something completely different:

  44. C-Tech Says:

    @ #22 The hard vs soft material in interiors may seem silly to you, however there is proof of preference for many buyers. Any edge you can give a consumer to buy your vehicle over the competition IS important.

    Dart sales are up and it is selling better than the Caliber it replaced.