0:29 Toyota Reports Earnings
1:13 Volvo Out Performing All Automakers in U.S.
2:49 Consumers Warm Up to EVs
3:51 Uber Introduces Electric Passenger Drone
4:40 Uber & NASA Partner to Test Passenger Drones
5:33 Can Smells Help Prevent Motion Sickness in AVs?
On today’s show…Uber shows off an electric passenger drone…we’ll tell you who’s the best performing automaker in the U.S. so far this year…and can smells help prevent motion sickness in autonomous cars? All that and more coming right up on Autoline Daily.
This is Autoline Daily the show for enthusiasts of the automotive industry.
TOYOTA REPORTS EARNINGS
Toyota reported its 2018 fiscal year earnings and the results are pretty impressive. The company sold 8.9 million vehicles, which is just slightly off from the year before. But when its subsidiaries Daihatsu and Hino are factored in, the company sold 10.4 million vehicles, which is a 2% gain. Its revenue of $265 billion is up 6.5%. Its operating profit shot up 20% to over $21 billion. And its net income soared 36% to $22.5 billion. But the company expects this next year to be a bit bumpy and is forecasting drops in revenue and profit.
|TOYOTA FY2018 RESULTS|
|Sales w/ Daihatsu & Hino||10.4 M||+1.9%|
|Operating Income||$21.6 B||+20.3%|
|Net Income||$22.5 B||+36.2%|
VOLVO OUT PERFORMING ALL AUTOMAKERS
The other day we said Mazda is one of the best performing automakers in the American market so far this year, but can you guess whose sales have actually grown the most? The answer is Volvo, which is up nearly 38% with 28,416 units sold, according to WardsAuto data. The XC60 was its best-selling model last month, but only slightly over the XC90, which is its best-selling model for the year with sales up nearly 40%. That’s a quick turnaround from the big sales drop we reported for the model a year ago. But most of Volvo’s growth is coming from the XC40 that wasn’t on sale last year. It’s creeping up on 2,500 units for the year.
Hey, just a quick reminder that Autoline After Hours is this Thursday. Our special guest is Rob Wichman, the director of engineering for RAM Truck, who will be bringing one of those new beauties with him. So, if you have any questions about that pickup, send them our way to email@example.com. Then join John and Gary for some of the best discussions in the automotive industry.
Still to come…Uber introduces a new electric passenger drone.
CONSUMERS WARM UP TO EVs
Green vehicles only account for about 3% of the overall car market, but according to a new survey from AAA, that number will shoot up drastically. It shows that 20 percent of Americans want to go electric for their next vehicle purchase. Now, I don’t believe for a second that 50 million people are going to go out and buy a hybrid, plug-in or BEV for their next vehicle, which is why I don’t like the blanket statements studies like these make. But the data can be useful to show a change in consumer thinking and I think this survey shows shoppers are more inclined to consider an electrified vehicle. That 20% I mentioned before is up 5% from just last year. Consumers are also 9% less worried about not being able to find a place to charge, while range anxiety is down 15% from last year as well. Along with increasing emission standards, it’s easy to see why automakers are electrifying their lineups.
UBER INTRODUCES ELECTRIC PASSENGER DRONE
Uber has said it wants to offer an air taxi service, called Uber Elevate and now we’re getting a better idea of what some of the electric versions will look like. A couple of designs are very close to current helicopters, but the third is more of a cross between an airplane fuselage and a helicopter. All of them use retractable propellers for vertical takeoff and another one or two props to fly forward. While these are still concepts, Uber says it’s showing them off to “help others understand the eVTOL design space, foster enabling technology development” and give them “a common reference to base their studies and future work.” So, like its car service, Uber Elevate will not be limited to one manufacturer.
UBER & NASA PARTNER TO TEST PASSENGER DRONES
And in related news, Uber has partnered with NASA to test passenger drones. NASA will use data supplied by Uber to simulate a small passenger drone flying through the airspace at the Dallas Fort Worth airport during peak air traffic. The simulations will be used to identify safety issues in crowded environments. And NASA wants to make sure these new passenger drones won’t overload the current air traffic control system.
Coming up next, the supplier IAC, is testing a unique way to prevent motion sickness in autonomous cars.
CAN SMELLS HELP PREVENT MOTION SICKNESS IN AVs?
Self-driving cars could completely change the interior of vehicles. Seats can be rearranged so passengers can look at each other in order to have a conversation. But some people can become nauseous if they’re facing the opposite way the vehicle is travelling. On last week’s Autoline After Hours we were joined by Steve Miller, the CEO of the International Automotive Components Group and he talked about how the company is experimenting with different smells to help prevent motion sickness.
(The AAH preview is only available in the video version of today’s show.)
You can watch that entire interview with Steve Miller right now on our website, Autoline.tv or just look for it on our YouTube channel.
But that’s it for today, 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.