AD #2433 – Mercedes Reveals New GLE, Don Panoz Passes Away, BMW Develops Autonomous Motorcycle

September 12th, 2018 at 11:34am

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Runtime: 7:11

0:29 Tesla Cuts Color Options
0:55 VW to Use 3D Printing in Mass Production
1:44 Don Panoz Passes Away
2:58 BMW Develops Autonomous Motorcycle
3:47 BMW Axes Diesels in North America
4:05 ITC Launches Roxor Investigation
5:01 Lexus Adopts Digital Outer Mirrors
5:46 Mercedes Reveals New GLE

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27 Comments to “AD #2433 – Mercedes Reveals New GLE, Don Panoz Passes Away, BMW Develops Autonomous Motorcycle”

  1. Albemarle Says:

    I find the self-driving BMW motorcycle a little creepy. Imagine it going down the road carrying a Boston Dynamics robot dog! That’s a future I don’t want to see.

  2. Lambo2015 Says:

    Tesla: Sounds like a way for Tesla to get another increase in sales price. Having worked in an automotive production paint shop it doesn’t take any longer to paint another color unless its a tri-coat paint. That still adds little to no time as all the vehicles still run thru the same paint line at the same speed.
    I really question how this will increase Tesla production.

  3. Lambo2015 Says:

    Lexus: Hopefully they will do a better job of integrating the LED screens into the interior so they look like they belong there and not added on by an aftermarket stereo shop.
    Also as small as cameras are I’m surprised how large the side bracket holding the camera is. They should move forward more giving the driver a view of the whole side of the car and reduce the size even more.

  4. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Tesla can handle only five colors, but in the 1960′s, Ford, Chevy, and Plymouth offered about 20. I guess technology is really enhancing ability to run car plants.

  5. Larry D. Says:

    2 Tesla already has increased production immensely, overcoming a lot of hurdles. Musk himself has said recently that the fight now is to be profitable.

    4 The comparison is with the Model T which offered only 1 color. Tesla offers 5 times that number for free, and extra colors at a charge.

  6. Buzzerd Says:

    VW 3D printing parts makes me wonder if the future of stolen auto parts will be steeling the CAD drawing and printing your own? or simply reverse engineer the part and print if yourself.

  7. Buzzerd Says:

    So many manufacturers offer cars with some free paint colours but others are an upgrade. Seems like a good way to make a few more bucks, like the airlines charging for second bags.

  8. Larry D. Says:

    Today’s Ward’s has an article by none other than our John McElroy, titled:

    “How I drank the Tesla Kool-Aid and Became a Believer”

    I have not read it yet, but it reminds me of my own change. I used to be very irritated at the Tesla fanatics in social media 2 or 3 years ago, but with the advent of the awesome Tesla S and its unbelievable victory over the greatest cars in the world ( 6 figure German Flagship Sedans) and now with the flood of Model 3s making it a mainstream automaker, the ONLY US independent automaker to ever survive and prosper, I believe that it is the Future.

    GM (even worse for Ford and Chrysler) never aimed so high, and made their Bolts, Focus Electrics, E 500s as compliance vehicles, resigned they would lose tens of thousands on each one sold, and hoping they did not sell too many.

    Tesla however solved the TOTAL problem, not just design and produce great EVs at really attractive prices (unlike the Bolt and the other compliance EVs!), but figure out efficiencies in parts making (esp the battery gigafactory) that will eventually allow it to be profitable, whether the haters like it or not!

  9. Brett Cammack Says:

    Do black cars no longer get sent through the body shop twice before paint? Don’t they get put aside after paint for additional QC and touchup?

  10. Larry D. Says:

    Yesterday I saw another Ward’s article, this one not an opinion piece but one containing very interesting stats about EVs and their chargers around the world.

    They claim China is no 1 with 1,277,000 EVs, the US no 2 with 762,000 (but I believe this is a lowball estimate), followed by distant third Japan with 205,000, Norway (despite its tiny 4 mill population and huge oil reserves and production) at 176,000 and the UK with only 134,000, and the Netherlands with 119,000, France, while much bigger, with only 119,000 and Germany, even bigger at 80 mill population, with only 110,000.

    An even more interesting stat is that the US has 111,600 gas stations while China has 100,802, BUT The US has only 45,868 charging stations (but the number is growing fast) while China has an AMAZING 213,903 Charging stations.

    It is obvious that Beijing is going whole Hog with EVs and if Musk wants to expand, the easiest way is to make 500,000 or even 1,000,000 EVs in China.

  11. Larry D. Says:

    You can read both articles in their entirety for free, as I did, by joining Wards, there is no fee, while there are other products Wards offers which require a signup, which I have not tried.

    John’s piece was based on his experiences with the Model X, the only Tesla I would not be interested in, a big 7 seater “SUV” that is more like a minivan, but drives far better than a van due to its low center of gravity.

  12. Buzzerd Says:

    China was trying to fuel growth through massive government spending and though it was on things they arguably needed you can only do that for so long unless the economy allows it…. and it seems it’s not anymore.

  13. MJB Says:

    Self driving motorcycles? Talk about taking the joy out of ‘getting there’…

    I’ve never even ridden a motorcycle, but this just doesn’t feel right.

    Is it so that the rider can read a novel as he/she is whisked to work? What happens when there’s a split-second decision that needs to be made in order to avoid hitting something or someone, and the rider expects to veer left, but the bike decides to veer right? Seems like an easy way for the rider to get thrown from the bike.

    At least when an autonomous car does something unexpected, the occupants don’t have to worry about being ejected from the vehicle…

  14. Kit Gerhart Says:

    This isn’t 1908. I don’t mind Tesla essentially dropping the silver, though. One of the Model 3′s I’ve seen was silver, and it didn’t look very good.

  15. Lambo2015 Says:

    #13 I agree!, An AV motorcycle is like hiring someone to ride a roller coaster for you. The joy of motorcycle riding is exactly that “Being in control and riding” If they surveyed 1000 people with cycle endorsements I bet 99% would not be interested in an AV bike. besides the fact that a lot of the steering is done with leaning so it doesnt matter which way the bike is pointed if you dont lean it tips over. Anyone who has given a ride to a passenger that is afraid of leaning knows that feeling.

  16. Kit Gerhart Says:

    10 The U.S. needs charging stations at “high density housing” complexes, like my condo in Florida, but it’s not likely to happen anytime soon. If Tesla actually sells Model 3′s for $35K, and if the price of capable, practical, but boring EV’s like Bolt come down to $20K, there might be enough interest to at least discuss charging stations, and a way to pay for them.

  17. Kit Gerhart Says:

    15 Yeah, I’m one of those people with a motorcycle endorsement, and I’m not interested in an autonomous bike.

  18. Lambo2015 Says:

    #17 Not sure what a charging station cost but say $20k if they add a $1 per hour to the charge time they pay for themselves in 5 years only being used half the time.

  19. Larry D. Says:

    12 have you been in Beijing? The pollution there is terrible, right at the capital. China has no alternative than to go EV BIG way, and it is. Now if they keep making a lot of their electricity from coal, they are just shifting the pollution elsewhere in China. (they also have a huge wve of renewable energy plants, and due to the econs of scale etc, the price of solar panels has dropped a huge amount, benefitting the rest of the world also.

    I would not worry about China’s prospects. Worry about India instead, who has the same population and just 1/5th of the economy and massive malnutrition. I don’t see India changing any time soon (isolated pockets do well, but the vast majority has a miserable life)

  20. Kit Gerhart Says:

    19 They need to get rid of those coal-fired power plants upwind of Beijing.

  21. Len Simpson Says:

    Nissan ePower is going to win the game because it doesn’t have a half ton of batts in the belly & doesn’t need plugging in. Can’t find a cost comparison concerning the cost of plugin versus ePower gas consumption

  22. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Nissan E-power is an expensive way to make a gas hog hybrid. It uses a big, expensive motor, only to save a few gears relative to a Toyota or Ford hybrid.

  23. Larry D. Says:

    19 They sure do, but this will at best relieve Beijing only. There are many industrial towns that have far worse pollution. India is actually worse, the top 10 big cities in the world pollution-wise are almost all in India, and they don’t have China’s trillions to fix them.

  24. Larry D. Says:

    21 not a chance. the Nissan e-power is a joke. Like most Nissans.

  25. XA351GT Says:

    China and India’s lack of pollution and worker safety controls are a big reason why they can out price American companies. We live on one world there should a one world standard that every company in every country should have to adhere to. If countries are going to do business internationally they should have to be on the same exact standards as each other. Start making those countries come in line and you’d see the wage gaps narrow between them and the US.

  26. Kit Gerhart Says:

    25 At least China is making progress, while the U.S. is moving backward. As Larry D. says, though, India, with its huge population has very bad problems, without the resources to fix them.

  27. Lambo2015 Says:

    #25 Totally agree! Free trade is only free trade when everyone is on a level playing field so when other countries protect their employees with organizations like OSHA and meet pollution standards like what the US EPA requires and provide insurance and vacation to their employees then free trade makes sense. Until then we give away our jobs to people that work 12 hr days with no benefits making $12 a day in factories that are unsafe and huge pollutants. Meet a global standard and even then take the average pay around the world and Americans had better be prepared to go back to a minimum wage of like $3.00 an hour. If your okay with that then support free trade.