0:28 Average Transaction Price on the Rise
1:17 Next-Gen Ford Explorer Details
2:02 Hella’s New Headlamps Project Safety Zones
2:57 Ford Files Patent for AV Police Car
3:30 Tesla-Based Racing Series Gets FIA Approval
3:51 Autonomous Development Improves
5:11 Tesla Model 3 Issues
On today’s show… the average price for new cars and trucks is going up by $1,000 a year… Ford patents an autonomous police car… and Sandy Munro points out more design issues with Tesla’s Model 3. All that and more coming right up on Autoline Daily.
This is Autoline Daily the voice of the automotive industry.
BUYERS PAYING MORE
Sales of new vehicles are softening in the American market, but buyers are paying more for a new set of wheels. Kelly Blue Book reports that the average transaction price is now $36,270. That’s not the average MSRP, it’s what people are actually paying, including all incentives and discounts. Only four years ago the average transaction price was just a bit over $32,000, meaning that it’s going up $1,000 a year. Part of the reason is the market shift to trucks and crossovers, which typically cost more than passenger sedans. The other reason is the cost of safety and fuel economy technology. At this rate, the average price will top $40,000 in less than 4 years.
NEXT-GEN EXPLORER DETAILS
The next-gen Ford Explorer is still a couple of years away, but The Truth About Cars says that the Explorer go back to a rear-wheel drive layout. It will be built on a new modular CD6 platform, which can accommodate front-, rear- and all-wheel drive. Lincoln also gets a version. Underhood options for the Explorer include a 2.3L turbo 4, a 3.3L V6, a 3.0L twin-turbo V6 and a hybrid. All engines will likely go with the new 10-speed transmission found in the F-150 and Mustang. The Lincoln will come with the twin-turbo V6 and a hybrid. The current Explorer platform is over 10 years old, so this will be a welcome change.
PROJECTION HEADLAMPS CREATE SAFETY ZONES
We love showing you new technology developed by supplier companies, and Hella is doing some impressive things with headlights. Check out how this system lights up the area around a bicyclist at night and even creates a semi-circle on the pavement to indicate to the driver how far to stay away from the bicycle. Hella calls it an Optical Safety Zone and it works by electronically controlling elements in the headlamps to project images on the pavement.
Autonomous cars still need more development work, but they’re making impressive progress and that’s coming up next.
FORD FILES PATENT FOR AV POLICE CAR
We’ve seen a number of different applications for autonomous vehicles and now police cars could be next. Motor1 reports that Ford filed a patent for a self-driving police car that would use advanced artificial intelligence to perform to “routine” tasks. It could connect with other vehicles in the area to confirm speeds and decide if a ticket or warning should be handed out. Just because Ford filed patent, it doesn’t mean this will become reality but it does show the industry is looking at all types of scenarios for autonomy.
TESLA-BASED RACING GETS FIA APPROVAL
The Jaguar I-PACE EV racing series is about to get some competition. The Electric Production Car Series has officially been sanctioned by the FIA. Starting in the middle of the year, up to 20 drivers will compete in race-prepared Tesla Model S P100D cars all around Europe.
AUTONOMOUS DEVELOPMENT IMPROVES
California requires companies that test autonomous vehicles on its roads to report things like miles traveled and when a human has to take over and the state just revealed the results for 2017. Waymo performed best. Of the more than 350,000 autonomous miles it traveled, a human took control just 63 times or 0.18 disengagements per 1,000-miles. GM is next best with 0.8 disengagements per 1,000-miles, which is an improvement from 18 the year before. The startup Zoox reported 6 per 1,000-miles, while Daimler had a whopping 824 disengagements in a little over 1,000-miles of autonomous driving. If you’re wondering, Tesla didn’t test any vehicles in autonomous mode as defined by California law.
Coming up next, Sandy Munro points out some of the engineering and manufacturing problems he encountered on Tesla’s Model 3.
TESLA MODEL 3 ISSUES
Sandy Munro is an expert at design, engineering and manufacturing who does a lot of competitive benchmarking for automakers and suppliers. Right now he’s doing a benchmarking report on the Tesla Model 3. And he’s found a number of engineering issues on the car including some of the assembly line fixes. Take a look.
(Clip from interview with Sandy Munro can only be viewed in the video version of today’s show.)
All week long we’ve been showing you what Munro & Associates have found as they dig into how the Tesla Model 3 was designed and engineered. And we’ll have the last installment tomorrow.
And you won’t want to miss Autoline After Hours this afternoon. Hyundai desperately needs more crossovers in its lineup and it’s getting a new one, the Kona, which the company just revealed will have a starting price of $20,450. We’ll have the Kona in the studio along with John Juriga, the director of Powertrain from the Hyundai America Technical Center to tell us all about it. So, join John and Gary to get an insider’s view of what this compact crossover is all about. That’s at 3PM eastern time on Autoline.tv
But that wraps up today’s show, thanks for watching and please join us again tomorrow.
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John McElroy is an influential thought leader in the automotive industry. He is a journalist, lecturer, commentator and entrepreneur. He created “Autoline Daily,” the first industry webcast of industry news and analysis.