AD #2308 – California Special Mustang Returns, Waymo Tests Autonomous Semis, How Achates Improved the OP Engine

March 12th, 2018 at 11:32am

Runtime: 8:43

0:28 Waymo Testing Autonomous Semis
1:10 Continental Boosts 48V Hybrid Production
1:56 GM Reveals Baojun 530
2:47 Ford Brings Back California Special Mustang
3:37 Ford Updates the Fiesta ST
5:20 How Achates Improved the Opposed Piston Engine

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18 Comments to “AD #2308 – California Special Mustang Returns, Waymo Tests Autonomous Semis, How Achates Improved the OP Engine”

  1. Frederick Schmidt Says:

    Over the road trucks with someday, no driver? I wonder what the Teamsters Union think of this future? I think I see big conflicts as this is brought foward. I’d love to see your show have a Teamsters executive on for an interview to explain how they will cope with lost members and their lost member dues. I don’t think they will accept this without a huge battle.

  2. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Sean, does that Achates F-150 even have a real engine? It seems odd that it keeps making appearances at shows, and at your interview, but it has never been seen actually running. I’m sure no reporters would expect great drivability or NVH in an early prototype, but it seems that it should at least run, and move under its own power.

  3. Brett Cammack Says:

    Reading about the Achates IC engine, I am reminded of the incredible degree of technical sophistication achieved by steam locomotives just before they were obsoleted and vanished with the introduction of the diesel-electric.

    Carbon-fiber buggy whips anyone?

  4. Frederick Schmidt Says:

    I would like to also know whether they have an operational F150? If yes have they run any proving ground/long mileage testing with results on mpg and in depth look at how the internals of the engine are wearing.

  5. Chuck Grenci Says:

    I still think that I am at the point, with the Achates engine, is that of the show me state. I’m not saying they can’t deliver, just it still seems a stretch and I haven’t seen real life proof.

  6. G.A.Branigan Says:

    This ‘new and improved’ op diesel is exciting news,as I’ve said before. Now,lets see it running down the road,towing tests,mpg,(real), tests etc. Show us the real deal under power please.

  7. Lex Says:

    I still say that all these new ICE technologies are great but electrifying the automotive world is the way to go. This can be accomplished by combining Battery, Range Extending units and Solar Panels into a vehicle. The roof of box trails can be outfitted with solar membranes to convert sunlight into electricity. Too much money is being spent by OEMs and Others on Autonomous Vehicle Technology. IMHO Autonomous Driving is best delegated to the realm of Mass Transit. Investing in Trains, Buses and Trolleys is the best for the foreseeable future to move large numbers of people. Taxi’s and Uber’s can fill the remaining transportation needs.

  8. phred Says:

    How will these autonomous tractor trucks negotiate a Teamster Strike line at the delivery stations and warehouses? Do you really expect the Teamsters Union to just sit on the roadside as their jobs evaporate?

  9. Kit Gerhart Says:

    6, G.A., for a start, I’d like to see it run at all. Apparently that hasn’t happened yet. Show me something, anything, re. a running vehicle with the Achates engine.

  10. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Trains are the ultimate vehicles for autonomous operation. The steering part is already taken care of, and the stop and go part is relatively easy.

  11. Bishop Says:

    To answer most of your questions, watch/listen to the AAH video (link provided in transcript).

    I’d start it at least at the 3:25 mark, but if you only care about the engine running in a F150/actual vehicle, he answered that question at the 6:30 mark.

    Geez, reminds me of “. . .are we there yet?” that I used to hear years ago. :)

    BTW John, very good interview with David Johnson.

  12. JWH Says:

    #10 – Logic agrees with you, although every time we read about a train de-railing as it attempts to negotiate a curve with 30 mph limit while doing 80 mph, I am somewhat amazed this happens in this day & age. One would think that technology could impose a max limit on train speed in certain areas while flashing a 6 foot high speed limit sign in front of the engineer.

  13. Kit Gerhart Says:

    11 Yeah, I listened to the whole thing, and the bottom line is that, apparently they have never powered a vehicle with the engine. He said “the engine in that vehicle does not run,” but engines have run on stands, etc. No matter how noisy, smokey, or anything else, a running vehicle would be more impressive than one which does nothing. We all know that development work would be needed. Maybe that’s just me.

  14. Kit Gerhart Says:

    12 The technology exists, but it needs to be deployed.

  15. Chuck Grenci Says:

    It appears that putting the Achates in the F-150 is only to show that it can fit. I, like Kit, need to see the engine propel the vehicle (that’s really not asking so much considering the rhetoric of the presentation).

    And again, as Kit stated, the train hardware/software is already available, but through one thing or another (probably money to install) this has been delayed time and time again. I believe it was legislated to already be up and running, which would have already come into play at preventing a couple of ‘over-speed’ accidents; sadly, it wasn’t.

  16. Bob Wilson Says:

    More Achates questions:

    1) How does the hot exhaust port avoid dumping high-pressure exhaust gas into the “hot side” crank case?

    2) Are both the cold and hot crank cases “dry sump”?

    3) Is there an exhaust manifold space to hold exhaust gas until the turbo-charger uses this gas?

    Thanks,
    Bob Wilson

  17. Lambo2015 Says:

    I could see many teamsters members accepting the AV at first thinking they will always be needed just in case. So there job will be like a security guard sitting and watching and being prepared to take over if needed which I also think will be needed for the docking and some city maneuvers. Most will probably figure they will be retired before this technology can fully replace them. When that time comes to start phasing out the “just in case driver” then we may see a mysterious increase in AV accidents raising doubt of their capabilities. I could see the Teamsters investing in hackers and even sabotage to discredit the AV capability. Could get very ugly for sure.

  18. Tuck&roll Says:

    I’m amazed that Ford or any other vehicle manufacturer would make a CA edition. Of all States CA despises the IC engine the most.

    Humans in the an AV vehicle is like the fireman in a diesel powered train. The unions kept that position employed for decades.