AD #1972 – Ford Reveals SEMA Concepts, Oak Ridge Converts CO2 Into Ethanol, “Shocking” Autonomous Tech Benefits

October 24th, 2016 at 11:45am

Runtime: 7:32

To watch this episode on YouTube click here.

- Inventory Levels Creep Higher
- Oak Ridge Converts CO2 Into Ethanol
- “Petextrian” Injuries on the Rise
- Ford Reveals SEMA Concepts
- Atieva Changes Name to Lucid Motors
- “Shocking” Autonomous Technology Benefits

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19 Comments to “AD #1972 – Ford Reveals SEMA Concepts, Oak Ridge Converts CO2 Into Ethanol, “Shocking” Autonomous Tech Benefits”

  1. Ron Paris Says:

    Aren’t some of the suspension enhancements (pothole detection) Tenneco is touting already in use on the Ford Fusion sport suspension package?

  2. Sean McElroy Says:

    @Ron – No. Tenneco/Monroe is talking about an “active” system. The Ford system is “passive.” It only “detects” the pothole after the front wheel starts to roll over the front edge of the hole. The system then slows the rate at which the shock extends or “holds” it. The system then sends a message to the shock in the rear and on the same side to “hold” as well. The Tenneco/Monroe system will “see” and “detect” the pothole ahead of time and actively raise the shock to avoid the impact.

  3. BobD Says:

    In previous episodes of Autoline Daily the “ideal” inventory was suggested to be 60 days. Today you stated it was 70 days. Which is it? Of course Tesla would say it is zero days, excluding a few floor models for you to get a feel for the vehicle before ordering. It is still crazy that the mainline OEMs haven’t shortened delivery times for ordered vehicles. In 1980 I could order a GM car and get it in 6 weeks. Today, it is still 6 weeks or perhaps a little longer. Is there any mainline OEM pushing the option to order your car rather than buying from the inventory on the lot? Is that the result of dealers being franchises rather than manufacturer owned?

  4. Sean McElroy Says:

    @BobD – We use 60 days supply as ideal for an automaker as a general rule of thumb. Wards says 70 days supply is ideal for the month of October. Sorry if there was any confusion.

  5. ArtG. Says:

    The suspension on the 2017 Ford Fusion Sport has been in use on the Lincoln MKZ since the 2013 MY. It does not use any kind of autonomous sensor technology for pothole mitigation. It stiffens the shock once the wheel dips into a pothole. This new Tenneco system uses autonomous technology to “see” potholes before the car hits them.

  6. BobD Says:

    The CO2 to ethanol conversion sounds revolutionary, but the article doesn’t indicate how much energy it takes to perform the conversion. Since they are suggesting the process could be beneficial for capturing excess/non-peak energy production, it sounds like it requires more energy than it produces, but what you end up with is a more convenient storage medium compared to batteries.

  7. ArtG. Says:

    Sorry. Posted while Sean was replying.

  8. Drew Says:

    Vehicles with relatively few orderable build combinations should be benchmarked to a smaller Days Supply than vehicles with high build combinations. This customized standard of inventory will help reduce costly redundant inventory while maintaining customer choice.

  9. Tony Gray Says:

    I sure wish my Q50 had pothole detection and mitigation. In the past 2 years I had to replace six…SIX of those Dunlop run flats due to the lovely roads in Pennsylvania.

    My total number of blowouts in the previous 40 years of driving….one.

  10. Brett Says:

    Interesting thought: the autonomous system can be expanded to configure the suspension, millisecond-by-millisecond to optimize either comfort or performance because it knows what it is about to do with regard to dynamics and can configure things optimally beforehand.

    Previously I was simply considering the autonomy as a replacement for the driver, but it could easily be so much more.

    Think how once there was sophisticated real-time engine management *and* anti-lock brake systems, some bright engineer said, “Hey, I could make these two systems talk to each other and implement traction control for negligible additional cost!”

  11. Roger T Says:

    The Oak ridge study is very exciting. This is absolutely a neat way to capture carbon dioxide and turn into fuel, differently from biofuel where carbon from the ground is converted to fuel and pumped in the air. Net net this is possibly the most exciting news for ICEs even if you use more energy to make it than you get in alcohol.

  12. Buzzerd Says:

    all that technology sounds like it could be pretty amazing, until is snows or you drive down a dirty wet road, then not so much I’m thinking, but maybe I’m wrong. I do know on my present truck the camera gets covered making it useless and the sonar? same thing in snow.

  13. Chuck Grenci Says:

    While growth in general is good for the automotive market, there comes a time when the market is at saturation and just can’t absorb the increased production; a certain amount of homeostasis (or equilibrium) needs to occur. I believe, if you have followed the automotive advertising of late, that this saturation has already occurred and the rebates (being offered) seem to prove it.

    Unless this new ‘ESP’ suspension system comes to the market at a fairly cheap (i.e., worth the difference in price), I find it relatively worthless; there are already too many add-ons driving the price of automobiles “through the roof”.

  14. ed jenkins Says:

    the ethanol has ruined the boating industry by doubling ownership costs. the guy who at one time would by a used boat for minimal cost to teach his kids the joy of boating and fishing and water sports r gone. I have donated and sent legislatures many letters begging them to get rid of ethanol. moisture and degradation r doing in older products

  15. MJB Says:

    #13. Fret not, Chuck, there will always be an ample amount of high-end consumers willing to pay for these ‘ESP’ goodies.

  16. Kit Gerhart Says:

    3 Even in the ’50′s and ’60′s, you could get an ordered car in 6 weeks, at least with Chrysler, and back then, you even had real choices of powertrains, interior colors, tens of free standing options, etc.

    As far as GM now, my ordered Corvette took about 6 weeks. I suspect it would be about the same with other GM products, except, maybe, for the ones like Trax from Korea, or Envision from China. With most of today’s cars, there is little reason to order anyway, since there are so few choices.

  17. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I considered getting the active suspension on my Corvette which, from what I’ve read, works well both for improving ride, and for performance, based on the mode it is in.

    I ended up deciding against it, both because of the $3500, and the extra complexity, with more to go wrong. Also, the active suspension required the 19/20 inch wheels, rather than the standard 18/19. Unless things have changed since a year ago, the 19/20 tires are much more expensive to replace.

  18. Len Simpson Says:

    Just youtubed 48 volt conversation. An ridiculously complex mish mash . Why do all the engineers have such an aversion to a simple electric drive , minimal batts , constant duty gas powered gen. I know this idea surfaced sometime ago , but gas turbines was a little over the top. wonder what ever happened to the English company’s similar project 2 years ago?

  19. Kit Gerhart Says:

    17 Len,
    If I understand you properly, you are describing a series hybrid, with an ICE/generator powering an electric motor for most driving. This isn’t done because it is REALLY INEFFICIENT compared to other powertrain types. Railroad locomotives are done that way, but the situation for control is much different for a train with very low power/weight, than for a car.