106: That’s Slightly Right


00:00:00   Damn it John. I was about to read that nope save it for later

00:00:02   Well that how tonight's gonna go I got

00:00:07   Later in the follow-up section. It's all in there see this is what I get for messing with the Kings follow-up my apologies

00:00:14   All right, you think follow-up goes with the follow-up fairy comes at night

00:00:18   You just like you wake up, it's like Christmas morning wow this follow-up under the tree question where it comes from

00:00:28   No, I know it comes from the king so King would you like to start our follow-up about the Apple of cars?

00:00:34   Only if you give me a nickname that's distinct from Marco who you also call that's true. Wait. I'm the king of something

00:00:39   Let's start start calling Declan the king. We'll see how that goes. What am I the king of yeah, I don't know mufflers

00:00:45   Fracture app icons something like that

00:00:49   So the first item is a tweet from Daniel Silva talking about whether Tesla is the Apple of cars

00:00:57   cars, and he gave a link to a Consumer Reports owner survey asking about repair experiences,

00:01:03   and it was saying that independent repair shops outscored dealership services with one

00:01:08   exception, and that exception was Tesla, which had "excellent customer sat," which totally

00:01:14   makes it the apple of car.

00:01:16   We need a sound effect for that.

00:01:17   Maybe just like a thud.

00:01:19   Seriously?

00:01:20   What is the sound of one customer sitting?

00:01:23   Customer sat.

00:01:24   Oh, God.

00:01:25   Yeah, see?

00:01:26   Yeah, see thud yeah, oh, that's so bad John alright, so yes, so Tesla has great customer set thus

00:01:32   They are the Apple of cars

00:01:34   I mean to be fair as people pointed out on Twitter like since this is a thing about repair experiences

00:01:38   Tesla's have only been around for a short time, so they're all pretty darn new so maybe the repair experience is great

00:01:45   It's because they're all under warranty and are relatively new so maybe it's not particularly fair

00:01:49   But anyway, I thought I would throw that in there as a little appetizer for automotive follow

00:01:55   Alright, well, what's our salad course then? Yeah, so now we have Apple. Apple's making a minivan

00:02:00   You know the whole minivan rumor

00:02:03   And I I don't remember where I read this but as with a lot of things in the Apple car rumor stories

00:02:10   It's just sort of said it's like did someone see a minivan or did you just hear from these unnamed sources that they're making a minivan?

00:02:17   Or like we don't we don't know from from whence does this minivan business come?

00:02:21   It's just anyway and we were talking about it why that might be maybe just kind of a snub nose thing or stuff like that

00:02:27   And I think Keith house was the first person to point out

00:02:31   That the possibility that I think this is in his fault

00:02:36   But anyway other people said this as well that it might just be a test mule like, you know where they're testing drivetrain or

00:02:42   Internal stuff or whatever and that the outside shape of the car has nothing to do with what's inside it kind of like Columbus the

00:02:48   the set-top box that Apple is almost certainly going to introduce in 1998 is a flat black

00:02:53   rectangular box.

00:02:54   Of course, Columbus turned out to be the iMac.

00:02:56   Turns out, as with computers and cars, of course, the outside shape of the thing can

00:03:01   have absolutely no bearing on the product that you actually make.

00:03:05   And I think that one of the other examples that someone gave was like, "Look at those

00:03:07   iPhone prototypes.

00:03:08   They were crazy and they were big."

00:03:10   I think Columbus is an even better example because that was such a great fake-out of

00:03:14   the internals of this computer have to fit in a certain size,

00:03:17   but nobody but the industrial design people knew

00:03:19   that the thing that was wrapped around that

00:03:21   was gonna be a translucent teal gumdrop type thing.

00:03:25   And so car companies do have sort of test mules

00:03:28   that are either heavily disguised

00:03:29   or actually bear little resemblance to the final car.

00:03:32   I think maybe Casey,

00:03:34   if you've read a lot of car magazines or marker,

00:03:36   like do you remember a case where someone

00:03:38   like a car manufacturer was testing the drive train

00:03:41   for a new car by wedging it into something

00:03:43   look like their old car, I have vague memories of that.

00:03:47   Well even just last week, BMW announced they're going to do a 7 seater SUV, the X7.

00:03:52   Oh god, I was just about to bring that up you jerk.

00:03:54   Yeah, like a few days ago there were these spy shots of what, they basically took an

00:03:59   X5 I think, or an X3, they took one of their existing smaller SUVs and just bolted a bunch

00:04:05   of weights to the roof and the hood and are testing it that way by simulating the bigger

00:04:10   car that would be on the same chassis and drivetrain and everything.

00:04:14   That's slightly right.

00:04:15   So I have a link which we'll put in the show notes.

00:04:18   BMW X7 testing using modified 7 Series prototype.

00:04:22   That's right, it was a sedan.

00:04:24   Exactly.

00:04:25   So yes, this looks like a next generation G11 7 Series prototype, but look closer and

00:04:30   you will see BMW has ingeniously added weights to the roof and inside the car and raised

00:04:34   the hood to accommodate a different engine/intake setup in order to "test" the basic X7 drive

00:04:40   train package. And so yeah, that's exactly what I was going to bring up Marco and that

00:04:45   sounds very similar to what you're describing John.

00:04:48   And Keith Huss's additional thing is like, look, if you're going to be testing internal

00:04:51   stuff like screens or whatever, and you will have to have a bunch of equipment hooked up

00:04:55   to it to monitor it, a minivan type shape leaves lots of room for sort of engineers

00:05:00   to be sitting with their little equipment or laptops are connected to the thing with

00:05:03   cables or whatever and monitor everything while you're in the car. Like, so it's sort

00:05:07   If it's just internal stuff, it would be like a mobile lab for stuff that happens inside

00:05:11   the car.

00:05:12   And if it's a whole car type thing, then it could be a drivetrain mule or any other

00:05:15   type of thing.

00:05:16   That anyone seeing anything looking like a minivan may have nothing to do with anything

00:05:22   that the final product is going to look like.

00:05:24   Well, and also, I mean, there's a lot of popular car shapes these days, especially

00:05:29   in the US, that look kind of like minivans.

00:05:32   Like if you say like it's kind of like a minivan, that could encapsulate lots of crossovers,

00:05:38   large hatchbacks, things like the Prius V that I don't think they called a minivan

00:05:43   and it's pretty small for a minivan but it's kind of minivan shaped.

00:05:47   There's a lot of cars that are near that shape or near that profile.

00:05:52   Actually probably even more in Europe because they like hatchbacks so much more than we

00:05:54   do.

00:05:55   Well there's another great example with the BMW i3 which a few people wrote in justifiably

00:06:00   a little annoyed that we didn't bring that up.

00:06:02   We did, though.

00:06:03   I thought we mentioned the i3.

00:06:04   And when we had a discussion of the i8, one of you briefly brought up the i3.

00:06:07   But no, we didn't talk about it in the minivan type thing.

00:06:09   Although I did mention the spark car and other cars that don't have a lot of front overhang

00:06:13   because there's no engine.

00:06:14   Right, right.

00:06:15   And so anyway, the point being the BMW i3, in case you're not aware, is there, I believe,

00:06:20   it's either a hybrid or pure electric.

00:06:22   Is that correct?

00:06:23   I think it's hybrid.

00:06:24   Suffice it to say that it looks like a very, very shrunken minivan, almost like a bigger

00:06:28   smart car.

00:06:29   So, to kind of build upon what you were saying, John, that you could construe the i3 as a

00:06:34   minivan if you didn't really know what you were talking about, even though it's half

00:06:38   the size of your average American minivan.

00:06:41   Do you want to talk about poaching?

00:06:44   You can poach a car.

00:06:46   These are in the category of stories that broke since we recorded last week's episode,

00:06:51   which we recorded on a Wednesday as we always do.

00:06:53   Recording this one on a Wednesday.

00:06:55   after we recorded it there were more stories that put even more smoke to this rumor.

00:07:03   And the New York Times one was getting engineers to build a battery division, right?

00:07:10   And an automaker type engineer.

00:07:13   Those people might have expertise in also helping them build phone and iPad batteries,

00:07:18   sure, but probably their expertise is much more involved in very large batteries for

00:07:21   things like cars.

00:07:23   And if you're doing carplay, you probably don't have any reason to get people who have

00:07:28   expertise in building car-sized batteries.

00:07:31   So there's a little bit more smoke there for like, are they doing something other than

00:07:34   just extending carplay or doing maps or something like that.

00:07:37   And I think the big one is, again, last week we were talking about, oh, they hired a bunch

00:07:41   of these people, but I was saying, wouldn't they be hiring more people who are like mechanical

00:07:46   engineers or drivetrain engineers or people know about building cars?

00:07:49   Because all we saw was like, all right, fine, some executives.

00:07:51   Like someone's got to lead these car people, so get some executives.

00:07:53   I don't know how to do anything anyway.

00:07:54   They just tell people what to do.

00:07:55   Executives from Ford, head of R&D at BMW.

00:07:59   That's all we saw with those,

00:08:00   like the couple, handful of big names.

00:08:01   And then everything else was just an amorphous number.

00:08:03   It's like, oh, and they're hiring a bunch of employees

00:08:05   and poaching from Apple teams.

00:08:06   Like, well, where are the people who know how to build cars?

00:08:08   And so 9to5Mac did this huge breakdown

00:08:10   of here's a bunch more names.

00:08:12   Instead of just the names of the big wigs

00:08:13   that we're saying are in charge of this,

00:08:15   here's a bunch more names.

00:08:16   And if you go through these names

00:08:17   and look what their experience and expertise are in,

00:08:20   they're in things that have much more to do

00:08:22   with building cars or working on cars,

00:08:26   like the car part of the cars.

00:08:28   It's, and again, it's still a short list.

00:08:29   It's not hundreds of people.

00:08:30   It's not an exhaustive head count,

00:08:32   but it sure looks a lot more like people

00:08:36   who would be working on an actual car

00:08:39   and not people who would be working on carplay.

00:08:42   - Yeah, I agree.

00:08:43   I felt the same way that, man,

00:08:46   this could be construed as a car,

00:08:47   but I'm not so convinced.

00:08:48   And especially after this 9-to-5 Mac piece,

00:08:52   If nothing else they got to be toying with the idea of building an actual car

00:08:56   Otherwise all these hires just seemed kind of silly to me, but yeah, it's it's weird. I

00:09:02   Last week I would have told you there's a 10% chance

00:09:06   This is actually happening insofar as that they're actually even trying to build something even if they scrap it

00:09:11   Jason Snell actually had a really good piece on six colors where in short he said well

00:09:16   You know a lot of companies will try things and in

00:09:19   throw some spaghetti against the wall if you will and see what sticks and you know sometimes it doesn't stick and that's okay and that

00:09:25   Certainly see it certainly seems as though Apple is at the very least seeing if they have anything to contribute here and this 95 Mac piece

00:09:33   Further corroborates that in my mind. Yeah, assuming assuming it's true

00:09:37   It's not like Apple is confirming these people but like just a big just to pick one random name out of his list here

00:09:41   This is David Nelson. He's from from Tesla

00:09:43   And according to his LinkedIn at Tesla

00:09:46   he was served as the mechanical engineering manager leading a team responsible for modeling

00:09:50   predicting modeling prediction and verification of motoring gearbox performance and efficiency.

00:09:56   You do not need a mechanical engineer who knows about motoring gearbox performance and

00:10:00   efficiency if you're working on carplay or a street view thing like people like this.

00:10:06   I don't know how you would explain that these people exist at all. It even kind of kills

00:10:11   again if this is true the idea that oh Apple's just gonna like partner with somebody and

00:10:15   take over their entire interior and do it. Why the hell would you need someone for reliability

00:10:22   and warranty projects and modeling gearbox? This is people for building a car. That's

00:10:29   just one person from this page. You just go through them all and I don't know how you

00:10:33   can finish it and say, "Look, if Apple hired all these people, what the hell are they doing

00:10:37   with them other than building a car?"

00:10:38   That's the thing. I mean, and this is, you know, we got so much feedback, really good

00:10:43   feedback this week, people giving us all sorts of ideas, some of which I'm sure we're

00:10:46   going to talk about in the next few minutes. All sorts of ideas. A lot of people are saying,

00:10:50   like, you know, what if Apple is not quite building a car, but what if they're addressing

00:10:55   the problem of transportation in a bigger way? Maybe it's a non-traditional approach,

00:10:59   something like, you know, car sharing or transportation networks of different sorts, and like these

00:11:04   bigger picture ideas that all kind of begin like,

00:11:07   well, they're gonna solve something

00:11:09   in a totally different way.

00:11:11   And another common explanation is,

00:11:13   well, maybe they're gonna build the car OS

00:11:15   and license it to car makers

00:11:16   and/or partner with somebody to make the car for them.

00:11:19   And I think just looking at this,

00:11:21   it is much more likely that they're gonna actually,

00:11:24   that they're actually trying to build a car

00:11:26   than anything else.

00:11:27   Like any other alternative explanation

00:11:30   of what they might be doing with all these people instead,

00:11:33   it is just looking more and more likely,

00:11:35   the more attention you pay to this,

00:11:37   the more information that comes out

00:11:38   in bits and pieces and rumors,

00:11:40   the more it looks like there's a lot of smoke behind this

00:11:42   and that it is way more likely than any other explanation

00:11:47   that they are just actually trying to build a car.

00:11:48   And then to address the what if they do something different

00:11:51   or what if they do something non-traditional

00:11:53   or solve a bigger problem, I think that's a lot like,

00:11:57   we have to look at every previous Apple launch

00:11:59   and before the watch came out, we were talking,

00:12:02   What if they do something different

00:12:04   and it's not really a watch, it's some kind of wearable

00:12:07   that's not a watch but it does other things

00:12:09   and then it came out and it's like, nope, it's a watch,

00:12:11   it's just done well.

00:12:13   Same thing like when the iPad came out

00:12:15   and me and other bloggers at the time were talking like,

00:12:20   if they do a tablet, how do they solve the input problem

00:12:23   and how big is it, how do they solve the problem

00:12:26   of it being between sizes and the answer was

00:12:29   they didn't solve those problems,

00:12:30   they just made a good tablet.

00:12:32   Typically when Apple solves problems like this,

00:12:35   they don't do something that no one's ever heard of,

00:12:39   they just do a really good job

00:12:40   with things that people generally have heard of

00:12:42   or that are cutting edge.

00:12:44   And so if they make, you know, looking at this project,

00:12:47   these rumors and these people and everything else,

00:12:50   it sure looks like, as I said,

00:12:51   it sure looks like they are making a car.

00:12:53   That's what all these people are probably for.

00:12:56   And if they are making a car,

00:12:59   rather than having some kind of grand reinvention

00:13:01   of everything, it is far more likely that they're just gonna try to make a really

00:13:05   good car, in the traditional sense of how we know cars.

00:13:08   Like I don't, and you know, maybe it'll be pure electric, you know, that's fine,

00:13:12   that's still within the realm of a car, you know, and it's very different, and we'll

00:13:16   get to that later, but it is just so much more likely that the story is more boring

00:13:21   than we all think, and more boring than a lot of people are trying to predict.

00:13:25   Like people are thinking that, oh, it's out of, it's just, it has to be something

00:13:29   crazy. It has to be some like cockamamie scheme to do some crazy thing and the answer is probably

00:13:35   no. It's probably just a car that they're hoping is going to be really good.

00:13:38   Yeah, I certainly agree that there's a lot more smoke around this potential fire than

00:13:44   there was even just a week ago. Do you want to tell us about something that's cool?

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00:16:18   - All right, so we're like two items down

00:16:23   in the 300 item followup.

00:16:24   - No, we gotta be past a whole bunch of them.

00:16:26   We can skip this one that Bloomberg says

00:16:28   that Apple wants to start producing cars by 2020

00:16:30   because that one is just more of the classic like,

00:16:32   you think you have rumors?

00:16:34   We're gonna tell you when they're gonna ship it.

00:16:35   In fact, and if it doesn't ship by 2020, it's late.

00:16:38   (laughing)

00:16:40   The slug on the URL is Apple said to be targeting

00:16:42   car production as soon as 2020,

00:16:45   Which just leaves them open to say, "Well, we didn't say 2020. Could be as soon as 2020."

00:16:49   If it's sooner, they'll be like, "Well, that kind of fits. If it's later, we just said as soon as 2020."

00:16:53   Like, what does that even mean? Anyway, I don't like that one.

00:16:56   Um, heh.

00:16:58   Uh, what did you just remove? You just removed the next one I was gonna read.

00:17:01   Yeah, but it's, it's unrelated.

00:17:02   Follow-up battle.

00:17:03   No, it's real. They're all related to car stuff. It was the sugar water one you just moved.

00:17:06   Yes, but I thought we could cover it at the end, but since you brought it up, John, I guess we'll talk about it now.

00:17:11   Yeah, well, you know Marco jumped the queue by taking the thing I deleted from the show notes and talking about it

00:17:16   So this is chaos. It's following past today. This is why I don't edit the show notes

00:17:21   Well, you should at least look at them. Anyway, the sugar water thing the case. He just deleted these two. I moved it

00:17:28   I didn't delete it

00:17:29   I loved it the title of last week's show was something like do you want to sell sugar phones to the rest of your life?

00:17:34   Or something that's a reference to a line that we said in the show

00:17:37   and

00:17:39   Marco and Casey asked hey do we want to put a link in the show notes that explains that for the people who don't know

00:17:44   And they were adamant that we not do that. I thought

00:17:46   For if you hear something on their showing you're like what the hell they talking about you go to the show notes and click the

00:17:52   Link and it will explain it but every joke and reference has to be explained

00:17:56   No, it doesn't have to be explained

00:17:57   There just needs to be an explanation and if you don't get it and are seeking an explanation

00:18:01   Like you defined one so you can follow along with everybody else and get it the next time we reference it

00:18:06   Can we write it at the bottom of the page upside down?

00:18:08   It'll be a swipe thing, swipe to read, to highlight, it's white on white text.

00:18:14   So we didn't get any feedback about that, so I guess everybody understood it, because

00:18:17   you're listening to a Tech Nerd podcast for people who like Apple and stuff, you know

00:18:21   about this, and if you didn't, I guess you could Google it, or you don't care what the

00:18:25   title was.

00:18:26   But anyway, if you're wondering what the hell we're talking about...

00:18:28   This is the worst show.

00:18:29   Yeah, well, we're explaining things.

00:18:32   How do people become...

00:18:34   We have a shared history and knowledge and culture of this Apple stuff.

00:18:37   How do people gain that knowledge so they too can share in these jokes?

00:18:40   Someone has to tell them, or they have to experience it.

00:18:42   Like you have to invite people into your culture by explaining your shared heritage so then

00:18:46   they can put it—anyway, this is how it works.

00:18:49   You don't just be like, "We can't tell them because they're not one of us."

00:18:53   Step one, watch every episode of The Simpsons from the last 25 years.

00:18:57   Just watch "Triumph of the Nerds," Robert Cringely's PBS series, which is where this

00:19:01   quote is from.

00:19:02   I don't know if it was published before that.

00:19:05   Steve Jobs, when he was at Apple the first time, was trying to recruit a new CEO for the company

00:19:12   and he went to John Sculley who was working at Pepsi and was trying to get him to come to Apple

00:19:16   and leave his cushy job at Pepsi and his pitch to him as they were strolling through a garden or whatever was

00:19:21   "You want to sell sugar water for the rest of your life or do you want to come with me and change the world?"

00:19:26   and that's what got John Sculley to come and then John Sculley eventually ousted Steve Jobs in a boardroom battle

00:19:32   So that was not a great move on Steve's part, using her persuasion to bring the guy who

00:19:35   would kick him out of the company.

00:19:36   But anyway, that's what happened.

00:19:38   Everybody has that sugar water quote because it's such a, you know, whatever you're doing

00:19:41   at your company, like Pepsi, selling people sugar water and giving people diabetes, you're

00:19:45   not doing anything good.

00:19:46   You're wasting your talents.

00:19:48   Come to Apple and we'll change the world.

00:19:51   The comparison to Tesla was like if you just want to make like, well, you're making smartphones

00:19:55   and they already did change the world, but if you really want to change the world now

00:19:57   you should be making electric cars.

00:19:58   So come to Tesla and we can do that.

00:20:01   And that's how Tesla could lure people away from Apple.

00:20:03   How Apple could get them to stay is, "You don't have to go to Tesla to make an electric

00:20:06   car, we're doing that here."

00:20:08   So the link we'll put in the show notes is actually a video from this documentary, which

00:20:14   is great.

00:20:15   You should watch it, "Triumph of the Nerds," from the '90s or something.

00:20:17   This is before Steve Jobs came back to Apple.

00:20:20   If you haven't seen it before, you definitely should watch it.

00:20:22   Yeah, I really enjoyed it.

00:20:24   I know a lot of people are critical of it.

00:20:25   I actually really liked it.

00:20:27   Yeah, I mean, it's overly dramatic and silly.

00:20:31   That's where the no taste quote was from too, I love that.

00:20:33   - Yeah, but it has footage,

00:20:36   for whatever you may feel about the story

00:20:38   that it slaps on top of the history of PCs

00:20:41   to make it interesting and dramatic,

00:20:43   there are interviews with important people in the industry

00:20:45   where they get asked interesting questions

00:20:47   and give interesting answers.

00:20:48   You can just ignore the surrounding silliness

00:20:50   and just watch the interviews,

00:20:51   and even just for that, it's great.

00:20:53   - All right, do you wanna talk to us

00:20:55   about what Helmut wrote in?

00:20:58   - Yeah, we didn't, I'm surprised we didn't get

00:20:59   feedback about this because we were discussing in the last episode lots of different possibilities

00:21:04   of Apple working with car makers or not working with them and how car companies wouldn't want

00:21:09   Apple to come in and become the most important differentiator in their car because then what

00:21:14   are they doing? They don't want to have happen to them what happened to the music industry or

00:21:18   the cell phone carriers where Apple is the valuable part and they're just sort of like

00:21:23   the stuffing or whatever. And I guess we didn't get feedback on this because people either didn't

00:21:30   know about this or understood that we understood this, but every car company has part suppliers

00:21:36   that make things that go into the cars. You name any car company, they probably don't make

00:21:44   the transmission or the radio, the speedometer, the seats.

00:21:49   Like they're different.

00:21:54   - The fancy sensors, like the rain sensors

00:21:56   and the automatic headlights,

00:21:58   like all that stuff is usually from outside.

00:22:00   - Airbags.

00:22:01   - Right, everything comes from some other vendor

00:22:05   but that's how the auto industry works.

00:22:07   Like I make parts for whatever.

00:22:09   Like I'm a separate company, I'm not part of GM

00:22:11   but the whole purpose of my company

00:22:12   used to make parts for GM or these other car makers.

00:22:15   And there are a few well-known brands that you would say,

00:22:18   okay, well, these cars from Audi, BMW, Mercedes, Chrysler,

00:22:22   like what do they all have in common?

00:22:23   They all have ZF gearboxes, right?

00:22:25   Who the hell is ZF?

00:22:27   And the reason this didn't come up is like,

00:22:30   if you're a gearhead, you know about ZF,

00:22:32   you know about Bosch and you know about

00:22:34   all these other companies that make things.

00:22:35   But none of those companies

00:22:38   end up being the differentiator.

00:22:40   You're like, I want the car with the ZF transmission.

00:22:43   From year to year, the same exact car

00:22:45   can have a different transmission.

00:22:46   It's like, oh, well, this model year,

00:22:48   this car has this transmission

00:22:49   and next model year has a transmission

00:22:51   from an entirely different vendor.

00:22:53   That's not advertised.

00:22:54   It's not an important model changeover.

00:22:55   It's just like, oh, they changed the transmission.

00:22:57   Like it is not a headline feature.

00:22:59   You don't, usually regular people do not know

00:23:01   who makes the transmission in their car, right?

00:23:04   They only know that maybe they changed

00:23:05   to an eight-speed automatic

00:23:07   instead of a five-speed or whatever.

00:23:10   That's how the car industry works.

00:23:12   And that is an acceptable relationship

00:23:13   for everybody involved for probably historic reasons.

00:23:15   And a great example is for like infotainment systems,

00:23:18   like the BMW iDrive and the Mercedes command system

00:23:23   and all the things that have like a screen

00:23:25   and some little wheel that you move

00:23:26   or a touchscreen or whatever.

00:23:28   There are only a few companies that make those things.

00:23:30   And in fact, a single company makes those systems

00:23:33   for BMW, Audi, Mercedes, Chrysler,

00:23:37   and one other company that I'm forgetting.

00:23:39   It's a Harman in Connecticut.

00:23:41   It's the same company that does Harman Kardon, I think.

00:23:43   They make the infotainment systems for all of those cars.

00:23:46   As you say, well, I don't like, I like BMW system.

00:23:50   I don't like the Mercedes system.

00:23:52   They're both made by the same manufacturer

00:23:53   to the specifications of the car company to some degree.

00:23:57   But those companies aren't making the screens

00:23:59   and the little dials and the software and everything

00:24:01   and the operating system that goes on.

00:24:02   This is one company doing this.

00:24:04   That's how the industry works.

00:24:05   But the very important part is, that's not,

00:24:07   you don't know that.

00:24:08   know who supplies these parts and from year to year the car makers can change suppliers

00:24:12   who do these and they can decide to bring this in-house and outsource this to a different

00:24:15   company and pit suppliers against each other in the same way that only super nerds know

00:24:19   that like Marco's computer has like the bad LG screen or whatever that has their image

00:24:23   retention issues and the good one was like the Samsung one.

00:24:27   Nobody else knows that.

00:24:28   Apple is not afraid that people are going to decide that Samsung is the important differentiator

00:24:32   in their products.

00:24:33   Nobody knows that Samsung makes the system-mounted chips for iOS devices for years.

00:24:38   But in any kind of relationship where Apple is going to do stuff, Apple is not going to

00:24:42   be content to be merely a part supplier to the auto industry.

00:24:46   Even CarPlay is distinctly an Apple thing.

00:24:50   When they were on the road promoting CarPlay, you sure as hell knew that Apple was bringing

00:24:54   you CarPlay and that it worked with your iPhone and that was what it was.

00:24:57   It was 100% an Apple thing.

00:24:58   Even if they're not giant Apple logos all over the screen, there is no hiding the fact

00:25:02   that it was Apple, whereas nobody knows who makes the, you know,

00:25:05   do I have Goodyear tires, Michelin tires?

00:25:08   Like, you don't even know what the hell the tires on your car are

00:25:11   unless you're a gearhead.

00:25:12   So if you don't know about the auto industry

00:25:15   and you read about this and get confused and yeah,

00:25:18   why can't Apple be one of those things?

00:25:19   Because that's just not how Apple operates,

00:25:20   but that is how the auto industry operates.

00:25:22   So there's a disconnect with Apple being involved in the auto industry

00:25:25   and in any way, because the relationship that the auto industry is used to

00:25:29   is one that Apple is not interested in.

00:25:31   Do you have any idea how much of that approach is also true of Tesla?

00:25:37   For example, are the motors designed and built in house or the batteries designed?

00:25:41   And I think the batteries are designed, if not built in house.

00:25:44   Well, aren't they building a huge factory for batteries or something like that?

00:25:47   Yeah, but they're going to do with the batteries is like we start with raw

00:25:50   materials and out the other end comes out a battery, which is reminiscent of like

00:25:54   the Macintosh, one of the original code names was like sand for their thing.

00:25:57   It's like sand goes in one and completed.

00:25:59   Did Macintos just go out the other business?

00:26:01   Sand, silicon, stuff like that.

00:26:03   Anyway, that's actually an interesting comparison.

00:26:06   So first of all for Tesla, their whole freaking car practically was from Lotus in the beginning

00:26:12   because they just took a Lotus.

00:26:13   They bought a rolling chassis from Lotus and they just jammed their battery pack into it.

00:26:17   These days I'm assuming they're doing the same amount if not slightly more in-house

00:26:22   stuff than everyone else, but yeah they have other suppliers.

00:26:26   I don't think they're making their brake rotors or their brake assemblies.

00:26:30   I think they're operating like any other car manufacturer where various parts suppliers

00:26:35   make things and they can make things to your specifications and to your design or if they

00:26:41   have something previously available like we already have this brake rotor in this size

00:26:44   if you just want to buy it from us, like you don't have to design your own special brake

00:26:48   rotor or maybe they think they need to for their particular car.

00:26:50   But I'm assuming that they are using parts suppliers in the traditional way because that's

00:26:56   how they started.

00:26:57   I mean, you're just getting a whole rolling chassis from Lotus and then shoving their

00:27:00   car inside that.

00:27:01   Oh, and I don't know if this is a further follow-up, but it's good to bring it up now.

00:27:08   Apple of course does the same thing.

00:27:10   If you look at an iPhone, you can say all the different manufacturers, like Broadcom

00:27:14   makes the Wi-Fi chip and Samsung was manufacturing a system on a chip until recently, and this

00:27:19   This company makes the IO controller and this company makes the screen controller and who

00:27:23   makes the screen this year and where is the cameras coming from Sony this year and they

00:27:26   change the supplier all the time and nobody knows who those controllers are and where

00:27:29   did they get their memory from, did they get it from Hynix or whatever that company is

00:27:32   or did they get the memory from Samsung and like nobody knows that.

00:27:36   It is not a differentiator.

00:27:37   Apple is giving up no value by not making all these things itself.

00:27:41   Apple doesn't own the factories that make them.

00:27:43   Is it being made by Foxconn, is it being made by, what is that other one, Quanta or what

00:27:47   is the one that starts with a Q?

00:27:49   Anyway, that's how Apple operates as well, even more so, because it's like, we don't

00:27:53   want to go to hands dirty by actually owning any factories.

00:27:55   We will spend millions, possibly billions of dollars letting people install equipment

00:28:00   in the factories if they will slowly pay off through some complicated relationship or manufacturing

00:28:05   stuff for us, but they let someone else handle that.

00:28:07   So part of this rumor is that Apple is talking to this, what is this company called?

00:28:12   Magna Styrandicin, I can't pronounce this name.

00:28:17   the name I've seen in car magazines for years but I've never had to say it out

00:28:20   loud for a variety of reasons. A company that makes parts for fancy cars and why

00:28:25   would Apple be talking to them? Because they're not gonna make their... I mean I

00:28:29   suppose they could but like their inclination would be to operate somewhat

00:28:32   like the rest of the industry is like if there are parts suppliers and

00:28:36   manufacturers and assemblers for the automotive industry who already do this

00:28:40   Apple can contract them to say can you make some stuff for us too and they can.

00:28:46   And the other option is, you know, getting back to Marco's retelling of the grand theories

00:28:50   that readers have, is like, "I bet they're going to do it all in the United States and

00:28:53   they're going to bring manufacturing back to the United States and they're going to

00:28:56   make their own factory with all US people because they're always talking about employing

00:28:59   people in the US."

00:29:00   And I suppose they could do that, and that does fit with some of the things that Apple's

00:29:04   been doing.

00:29:05   But on the other hand, every other thing that Apple makes tends to be made by what Apple

00:29:11   thinks is the people who can make this best.

00:29:13   and if the people who can make this best are a company in the United States, then fine.

00:29:19   But if they're in China or if they're in Germany or if they're in any place else, I think Apple

00:29:22   will be talking to all the best people who already know how to make car-sized things.

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00:30:12   It sounds like the kind of thing that would be fairly obnoxious.

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00:31:49   - So John, if Apple wasn't making a car,

00:31:52   could they be working on something car-related,

00:31:54   like maybe road signs or something like that?

00:31:57   - You're skipping your own real-time follow-up.

00:31:59   (laughing)

00:32:00   About Magna making whole cars, yes.

00:32:02   Magna, or they count as like an assembler or whatever.

00:32:05   They don't just make transmissions or little parts that they ship to someone else to get

00:32:08   dissembled.

00:32:09   Magnum will put your stuff together.

00:32:10   And I'm not sure if they entirely manufacture high-end cars or do most of the assembly or

00:32:15   ... anyway.

00:32:16   Oh, well, they did.

00:32:17   They created the 4MATIC Mercedes all-wheel drive.

00:32:20   Doesn't that suck?

00:32:22   I didn't think it sucked.

00:32:23   I'm not saying it's particularly remarkable, but I didn't think it sucked.

00:32:27   Yeah, like the point about the auto industry is that the car that you think is made by

00:32:32   by a single company that sold to you under a particular brand

00:32:35   is mostly made, like as in assembled the parts made

00:32:38   or whatever by companies other than the company whose name is

00:32:41   on the thing.

00:32:42   They're ultimately responsible for the car.

00:32:43   They design it.

00:32:44   They decide what goes into it, so on and so forth.

00:32:46   But who makes that transmission?

00:32:48   Who makes those wheels?

00:32:49   Who puts them all together in the right shape

00:32:51   so that a car runs?

00:32:53   A surprising amount of that process

00:32:54   does not involve GM, BMW, Mercedes, Audi,

00:32:59   any of these companies because it's all outsourced

00:33:01   a bunch of other smaller companies.

00:33:03   It's mostly a symbiotic relationship

00:33:04   because those companies, like they don't,

00:33:07   no one else wants an eight-speed automatic gearbox

00:33:10   except for people who make cars.

00:33:11   So they necessarily need to sell their parts to car makers.

00:33:14   And I have the capability to assemble completed cars

00:33:17   from a bunch of parts.

00:33:19   They need car makers to use their capacity to do that.

00:33:21   So this is the relationship.

00:33:23   We can build cars and we can build parts that go into cars.

00:33:26   We need car makers to buy our parts

00:33:29   or to tell us to assemble their cars.

00:33:31   And of course, you know, there's the Toyota and Honda and all the Japanese things where

00:33:36   they run their own factories and they have a special way of doing it that assures quality

00:33:39   and so on and so forth, but even they outsource things.

00:33:42   And I think, who is it that licensed Tesla's drivetrain and battery technology?

00:33:45   I think Toyota did.

00:33:47   Well, they tried to.

00:33:48   I think it fell apart.

00:33:49   Yeah.

00:33:50   Well, there's a surprisingly incestuous relationship between all of these car companies.

00:33:53   To the point where the Ford Probe and what the hell was it?

00:33:56   The Ford Probe and the Mazda...

00:33:58   323?

00:33:59   No, the 626 maybe. At various points there have been cars, I mean we even have it now,

00:34:06   the Toyota Baru, right? It's the same car, sold by Toyota and Subaru, because Subaru

00:34:11   does the engine and Toyota does the rest of the car.

00:34:13   I believe that's right.

00:34:14   There was a relationship between Mazda and Ford where they were essentially selling the

00:34:18   same car with different skins on it. I think I also couldn't remember the name of this

00:34:21   car, MX6, yes. I couldn't remember this back in neutral either, I still can't remember

00:34:25   The probe and the MX6 were the same car with different stuff on it.

00:34:29   I mean this has happened so many times over the years.

00:34:31   So the auto industry is super weird.

00:34:33   Like if this happened in the tech industry it would be like, well you know the Samsung

00:34:37   S3 and the iPhone are the same phone, right?

00:34:40   They just have a different skin on them.

00:34:42   Like what?

00:34:43   That would never happen.

00:34:44   It happens all the time in the auto industry.

00:34:46   Yeah, my favorite was the Mitsubishi 3000 GT and the Dodge Stealth.

00:34:51   Oh yeah.

00:34:53   And it totally crossed like cross country lines, crossed foreign, domestic, like just

00:34:57   Asia, Europe, there is no rhyme or reason other than just these executives deciding

00:35:04   that there are certain deals that make sense in terms of engineering resources and manufacturing

00:35:10   capacity and I need this and you need that and we can cross license and sell them to

00:35:15   each other.

00:35:16   By the way, I always liked the Mitsubishi better than the Stealth, styling-wise.

00:35:20   They look so similar.

00:35:22   The only thing they changed was the headlight and tail light treatment and the weird fake

00:35:25   Ferrari side strakes on the thing.

00:35:28   Did you ever see, there was a made for TV movie, Knight Rider 2000, which was like five,

00:35:34   ten years after Knight Rider ended.

00:35:36   Hasselhoff came back and did this made for TV movie and the kit 2000, I think, was a

00:35:43   custom movie or TV car, but it was based off of Dodge Stealth, if I'm not mistaken.

00:35:47   I think I did see that but I can't picture the car.

00:35:51   I loved it as a kid.

00:35:52   I'm sure if I watched it again today I'd think it was just a waste of film.

00:35:56   But man I was obsessed with that little TV movie as a kid.

00:36:00   I thought they just took the Firebird and just tacked a bunch of greebles as they say

00:36:04   in the business to the thing so it looked different.

00:36:06   But I might have been thinking of something else.

00:36:08   Greeblies.

00:36:09   Is it Greeblies?

00:36:10   Yeah.

00:36:11   I don't know.

00:36:12   A while back I had actually read a behind the scenes on the car.

00:36:14   But I don't have a link handy for that story.

00:36:18   But we'll put a link in the show notes to Wikipedia for Knight Rider 2000.

00:36:23   It's a wonderfully bad made-for-TV movie.

00:36:26   >> Wikipedia says "Greeble."

00:36:27   I think I got it right the first time.

00:36:30   >> I'm so glad there was no other tech news this week, because that's a disaster.

00:36:35   >> All right.

00:36:37   So yeah, now that sidetrack aside, you're talking about this is getting into the meat

00:36:42   of all the many, many very grand ideas that listeners have about what Apple could be doing.

00:36:51   And like Marco said before, the general theme was, "It's not about cars, man. It's about

00:36:56   transportation."

00:36:57   Right, they're going to reinvent something somehow. Don't really know how yet.

00:37:02   Yeah, well no, they had specific things. So one entire angle is that Tim Cook loves the

00:37:09   environment. Apple loves the environment. They're building solar farms everywhere.

00:37:13   Therefore, the reason they would be interested in doing a car is because electric cars are

00:37:18   better for the environment. And so, because Apple is so environmentally focused, it makes

00:37:24   perfect sense they would want to do an electric car because it fits perfectly with those attitudes

00:37:27   of the company. I agree that that fits with the attitude of the company. That's not the

00:37:31   reason you do a car, because if you are going to try to be better for the environment of

00:37:36   of all the things that produce greenhouse gases.

00:37:38   Cars are significant,

00:37:39   but you could get more bang for your buck

00:37:41   by getting rid of cows or buses or the many other things

00:37:45   or crew, something else off some crazy internet stat

00:37:48   that may or may not be true.

00:37:48   Like the 12 biggest shipping,

00:37:52   like boats that they go across the ocean

00:37:54   with shipping containers on them,

00:37:55   like the 12 or 20 biggest ones of the world,

00:37:57   ones of those in the world,

00:37:59   produce the same amount of CO2

00:38:00   as all the cars in the world.

00:38:01   - Really?

00:38:03   - It was on the internet.

00:38:04   Who knows if it's even true?

00:38:05   I saw it.

00:38:05   sounds ridiculous. Yes it does it sounds like one of those things that you read on the internet

00:38:09   that is totally not true. So next week I'm asking people to tell us whether that's true

00:38:14   or not. Once. Yeah just one person do it everyone get together and agree amongst yourselves

00:38:18   which one of you is gonna email. No I don't care send a million different kind of confirmations

00:38:23   only five people are gonna look it up anyway. So I agree that that is that that fits with

00:38:29   Apple's motto I don't agree that it is a strong motivating factor in deciding to whether or

00:38:33   not to build a car.

00:38:34   It could be a contributing factor,

00:38:37   but it's like in a long list of reasons

00:38:40   they would make a car.

00:38:40   'Cause you could say that about a lot of things.

00:38:42   Like, this is good for them.

00:38:43   Why don't they make something that, you know,

00:38:46   that produces electricity, like electric power plants?

00:38:49   That would do even more for the environment.

00:38:51   Well, because Apple does not into making power plants.

00:38:53   Well, you know, but then why should I make a car?

00:38:56   Another thing is if you're gonna make an electric car,

00:39:00   one of the big impediments to electric cars

00:39:02   been infrastructure, like if I take it on a long trip, where do I recharge it, how do

00:39:05   I recharge it?

00:39:07   Tesla obviously has been tackling this with its supercharger stations that it's trying

00:39:11   to put all over the United States.

00:39:12   This is the infrastructure problem.

00:39:13   If I can make an alternative fuel vehicle, how do I make it a viable thing to drive across

00:39:20   the country with?

00:39:21   You need some place to refuel it, and infrastructure like that is, you know, how many gas stations

00:39:25   are there in the United States?

00:39:26   This sounds like a tech job interview from 2003.

00:39:30   many Tesla supercharger stations are there?

00:39:32   Far less.

00:39:33   And so hey, Apple's got a lot of money, they could tackle this.

00:39:35   They could, you know, they could make sure that there are places where you can charge

00:39:39   the electric Apple car all across the entire country.

00:39:43   I think they could do that.

00:39:45   Tesla has shown how difficult that is.

00:39:46   Apple has a lot more money than Tesla.

00:39:48   They could do a better job.

00:39:49   In fact, I think they may have to do something like that, but like Tesla, they will be forced

00:39:54   just by reality to start doing it in,

00:39:59   just in the San Francisco area, just in the New York area,

00:40:02   just in the Eastern Seaboard, just up and down.

00:40:04   Like it's just a humongous problem.

00:40:08   Someone says it's 388 supercharger stations, right?

00:40:10   So how many gas stations are there in the United States?

00:40:12   Slightly more than 388.

00:40:14   Like it is a very big problem.

00:40:16   It's not like it, look how many Apple stores have opened.

00:40:19   It just, obviously a supercharger station is easier to open

00:40:21   than an Apple store, but boy, that's a long road

00:40:24   and it will have to be addressed sort of collectively.

00:40:27   If Apple makes a bunch of charter stations for its car

00:40:31   and Tesla makes a bunch of charter stations for its car

00:40:33   and stuff like that, that's terrible because it would be

00:40:35   like, well, if you get a Honda,

00:40:36   you can only go to Honda gas stations.

00:40:37   We need a common standard for this.

00:40:39   And you know, we're in early days of this,

00:40:41   but hopefully this will shake itself out.

00:40:43   I don't think Apple's not going to try to address this need

00:40:46   because if they sell electric cars,

00:40:47   you're gonna have to need somewhere to charge it,

00:40:48   but don't expect like, boy, now that Apple's doing it,

00:40:53   no matter where you live in the United States, I'll be 10 minutes away from a place where

00:40:55   I can charge up my Apple car.

00:40:57   Unless you plan on going into people's houses and breaking in and plugging it inside their

00:41:00   house and waiting 12 hours to charge off their house current illegally, that is not going

00:41:04   to be the case.

00:41:07   What else did we have from the grandiose idea?

00:41:08   So the thing about, it's about transportation, not about cars.

00:41:12   What about a kind of ride sharing thing where you don't own the car, the community owns

00:41:17   the car, and well let's just throw in the autonomous cars.

00:41:21   Cars, of course, are going to drive themselves, all our listeners agree.

00:41:25   Not Apple's cars specifically, but just all cars will drive themselves, we don't need

00:41:29   a driver.

00:41:30   And once they're autonomous, you don't need to own a car, you just need to have an app

00:41:33   that can make the car arrive and we'll all just share cars together.

00:41:36   And whenever you need a car, we'll come and pick you up.

00:41:38   What people are doing is slow motion fantasy reinventing public transportation from first

00:41:43   principles only using cars and roads, which is perhaps the least efficient way to get

00:41:47   lots of people from place to place.

00:41:50   - I think we talked about this last show,

00:41:52   self-driving cars, yeah, they're probably gonna happen.

00:41:54   Are they going to happen if Apple introduces a car

00:41:57   in the next five years?

00:41:58   I'm gonna say no, no, no, no.

00:42:02   - Yeah, I'm gonna agree

00:42:02   with that ridiculous pronunciation of no.

00:42:04   (laughing)

00:42:07   - 'Cause we all agree, self-driving cars

00:42:09   are a thing that's probably going to happen

00:42:10   maybe when we're alive, like in our lifetimes.

00:42:13   Do you think that seems reasonable?

00:42:15   - Maybe.

00:42:16   I wouldn't even say definitely yes, I'd say maybe.

00:42:19   I mean, like it may be in limited circumstances

00:42:20   and so on and so forth, but you know,

00:42:22   the technology is good enough now where you can see

00:42:23   this is a feasible thing that could happen.

00:42:25   Because effectively, do we have self-flying planes?

00:42:28   Pretty close, like we have planes that do a lot

00:42:31   and can almost land themselves

00:42:33   and almost take off themselves and almost fly,

00:42:35   there's a person involved, so on and so forth.

00:42:37   Self-driving cars are an easier problem because you know.

00:42:39   - Well, self-driving cars are much more a regulatory

00:42:44   and public perception problem than a technology problem

00:42:47   for the most part.

00:42:48   I think we're gonna have the technology,

00:42:50   I mean we're not that far off today,

00:42:53   we're gonna have the technology to do them reasonably well,

00:42:57   relatively speaking fairly soon.

00:42:58   Like in the grand scheme of things, fairly soon.

00:43:01   Probably within the next decade,

00:43:03   the technology will be pretty usable.

00:43:06   But it might take a lot longer for not only regulation

00:43:11   to allow them in different states and countries,

00:43:14   but like the first time one gets in an accident

00:43:17   and kill somebody, that's gonna set them back

00:43:19   like 10 years in regulation

00:43:22   and how the public perceives them.

00:43:23   - Yeah, I think they'll be pretty resilient to that

00:43:28   because during the time we were doing this podcast,

00:43:31   X number of people die in car crashes driven by people.

00:43:34   - But people aren't rational.

00:43:35   People know, it's the same thing,

00:43:37   people freak out about flying

00:43:40   and then drive to the airport

00:43:41   and not even think about their risk of dying

00:43:43   driving into the airport.

00:43:44   People are not logical and rational

00:43:47   with calculating risk and something that seems

00:43:50   totally out of their control, like a self-driving car

00:43:53   made by the people who want you to

00:43:55   reset your password constantly.

00:43:56   Like, a self-driving car, like that's,

00:43:58   that is a very scary concept to a lot of people,

00:44:01   myself included, and I'm a technology guy.

00:44:03   Like, it would be very hard, it's gonna be very, very hard

00:44:06   for people to be willing to trust self-driving cars,

00:44:09   and the first time anything goes wrong with one,

00:44:12   that's gonna tarnish their image for years to come.

00:44:14   Like it's gonna be, I think it's gonna be a tough battle.

00:44:17   - Yeah, I mean like, couple things from the chat room.

00:44:20   One, talking about, I was saying electric cars,

00:44:22   you know, are self-driving cars in limited scenarios.

00:44:25   Like we already have that in some degrees,

00:44:27   like as a very limited scenario

00:44:28   and very vague definition of cars.

00:44:30   All those robots that drive all over factories, right?

00:44:33   That is obviously very limited.

00:44:34   I would imagine the first place

00:44:36   you're actually going to see self-driving cars

00:44:37   is probably someplace like Disneyland,

00:44:39   like an amusement park,

00:44:40   where it's technically not really a car.

00:44:42   Like it's all contained within the park,

00:44:45   going on known routes.

00:44:46   Like they basically have things like that now.

00:44:48   It's like a monorail, but without the rail, right?

00:44:51   That type of technology is coming quickly

00:44:53   and Google's ones are able to do their area

00:44:56   because they have mapped every inch of the terrain

00:44:58   and stuff like it.

00:44:59   It'll just expand outward from there.

00:45:01   And I made a comment about self-driving cars

00:45:04   being easier than planes, mostly because,

00:45:06   and this is contentious in the chat room,

00:45:07   but I'm gonna say mostly because

00:45:09   If there's any kind of problem with a self-driving car,

00:45:13   it can stop and pull over.

00:45:14   (laughing)

00:45:15   That is not an option in a plane.

00:45:17   Like say there's no human available to drive.

00:45:20   The failure mode of a self-driving car

00:45:22   involving slowly coming to a stop and pulling over,

00:45:24   that is not available to you

00:45:26   if the AI driving a plane loses its bearings

00:45:29   and has no idea what the hell to do.

00:45:31   There is no, okay, well I'll just do nothing.

00:45:33   And like, you know, I'll just turn myself off

00:45:35   and I'm sure we'll be fine.

00:45:36   Like, that is at least a viable option in a self-driving car.

00:45:40   Granted, the car's behind you, could rear-end you,

00:45:41   so on and so forth, but you don't fall out of the sky.

00:45:43   Whereas the AI driving a plane,

00:45:44   if there is no human available

00:45:46   and you're over the middle of the ocean

00:45:47   and the AI is super confused and has no idea what to do,

00:45:50   it does not have an option of saying,

00:45:51   I'll just turn myself off, I'm sure we'll be fine.

00:45:53   - That's mostly true, but you know,

00:45:54   there are whole plane parachutes that will,

00:45:58   I'm serious, for like Cessnas.

00:45:59   - That will let you drift slowly down

00:46:01   onto the middle of the Atlantic.

00:46:02   - Exactly.

00:46:03   - And you'll be fine.

00:46:04   - Wait, that works?

00:46:05   Yeah, I'm not kidding.

00:46:06   This is actually on the news a few weeks ago that some like very very small light aircraft like Cessna's or things like that

00:46:11   You can apparently get an entire parachute that will that will keep the entire plane

00:46:17   You know from from plummeting to the ground and rather just floating its way down to the ground or in this

00:46:23   Hypothetical the middle of the Atlantic where it at which point you drown and the people were posting the thing

00:46:28   I'm like that the pilots who are you know?

00:46:30   That self-flying planes are causing problems with pilots because they get a touch with the plane itself and that's totally true

00:46:36   self-driving cars will make people worse drivers, for sure.

00:46:39   And if they become super commonplace three generations from now,

00:46:41   no one will know how to drive anymore, but no one will care.

00:46:43   It'll be fine.

00:46:44   But we'll all be dead, so you don't have to worry about it.

00:46:47   - I don't wanna give up on driving, though.

00:46:49   I like driving.

00:46:50   - Well, so that was my meta point here.

00:46:52   I was gonna use a reference that neither one of you

00:46:54   are going to get, but what else is new?

00:46:56   (laughing)

00:46:58   The whole idea is of self-driving cars and ride sharing,

00:47:01   and you use an app and a self-driving car just shows up,

00:47:03   and you don't have to own a car.

00:47:04   like we all own the cars, man, or whatever.

00:47:06   Like just that whole sort of utopian future

00:47:09   of driverless cars not owned by anybody

00:47:12   runs up against one very big problem,

00:47:14   aptly pointed out by the seminal 90s movie

00:47:17   that you two have never seen.

00:47:19   And that reason is people love their cars.

00:47:23   - I don't even know what you're referring to,

00:47:24   but I agree with that statement, literally.

00:47:26   - Yep, that was a running gag in this movie.

00:47:31   Was some, I think his idea was called Super Train.

00:47:34   I'm not entirely sure it might be.

00:47:36   You should actually watch it to find out

00:47:37   if there's this deep broader connection.

00:47:39   But he had an idea for like a train that's gonna,

00:47:42   this super train that's gonna transport everybody.

00:47:45   I don't remember who was super, but anyway.

00:47:47   And he kept pitching it to people

00:47:49   and the people would look at it

00:47:49   and he had like a scale model and saw how it would be great

00:47:52   and reduce commute times and blah, blah, blah.

00:47:54   And they'd be like, yeah, it looks like a good idea.

00:47:56   But people really love their cars.

00:47:58   And like that was, that would undercut him constantly.

00:48:01   The chat room was saying it really was super train.

00:48:03   Anyway, we'll put a link in the show notes to this movie, but in the grand tradition

00:48:06   of not telling you where Sugar Water comes from, we will not tell you what this movie

00:48:10   is.

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00:51:14   Looking at the origins of Super Train, the fact that it was from a movie that was about

00:51:21   grunge people in Seattle makes me think that it is almost certainly either unconscious

00:51:27   or conscious origin of Roderick's super train thing, because I can almost guarantee that

00:51:32   he saw that movie and internalized it in some way.

00:51:35   So I'd be interested to know actually if he was consciously referencing that super train

00:51:41   or he has never seen this movie.

00:51:43   Oh you're rocking my rope man, next year you're going to say BMW doesn't make most of their

00:51:47   cars.

00:51:48   (laughing)

00:51:49   They do the important part, but pushing on the logo,

00:51:51   the little propeller logo on the front.

00:51:53   - They make the engine.

00:51:54   - Yeah, sort of.

00:51:56   - What do you mean sort of?

00:51:56   We watch them make the engines.

00:51:58   - Seriously?

00:51:59   - Yeah, yeah.

00:52:00   A lot of parts go into an engine.

00:52:03   Do they make the spark plugs?

00:52:04   Do they make the wires?

00:52:05   Do they make the belts?

00:52:07   You know.

00:52:08   - I don't know.

00:52:09   - I don't know, it doesn't matter.

00:52:10   It's a BMW car. - Probably not.

00:52:12   - Right.

00:52:13   It takes a village to make a car, really.

00:52:16   - All right, so where are we in this followup?

00:52:17   'Cause I'm lost now.

00:52:18   - I think we're still in people's delusions of grandeur

00:52:21   about what Apple can do.

00:52:23   We just passed by the guy who was thinking that like,

00:52:25   we're all sharing the cars, they'll be autonomous

00:52:27   and you'll just get in with your iPhone

00:52:28   and the car will become your car

00:52:29   because like your interface will spread out all over it.

00:52:31   - Yeah, but then you get to like sit on someone else's

00:52:33   fart cushion and smell their cigarettes

00:52:34   and their cat hair on the seat, like come on.

00:52:36   - Yeah, well, San Francisco, nobody smokes, right?

00:52:40   I hope.

00:52:41   I'm led to believe.

00:52:42   The other one, all right, so the next fantasy scenario

00:52:44   is like there's so much more to driving than just the car.

00:52:47   You have to think about everything else,

00:52:48   like the traffic lights, the signs, the speed limits,

00:52:51   communication with all of those things,

00:52:52   communication with all the other cars.

00:52:55   Apple traffic lights, Apple stop,

00:52:56   I'm reading from an email people,

00:52:57   unless you think I'm making fun of something.

00:52:59   Apple traffic lights, Apple stop sign,

00:53:00   wow, the list goes on.

00:53:02   What a money earner worldwide.

00:53:05   Yes, if Apple could snap its fingers

00:53:07   and have interactive electronic traffic signals,

00:53:10   signs and own every car on the road

00:53:12   so they could all communicate with each other

00:53:14   and all could communicate with the traffic signals

00:53:16   and detect things from the signs without having to OCR the speeds off them like

00:53:20   a Margo's fancy car does, that wouldn't be an amazing utopian scenario. I think

00:53:24   it's a little bit of a tall order to think that Apple, I mean, what's next? Why

00:53:28   not just say that Apple should lay superconducting, super-cooled,

00:53:31   superconducting magnets throughout every road in the entire world, then we could

00:53:34   have levitating cars! Like, all these things are technically possible. Well,

00:53:38   also, like, if you imagine, like, the the actual reality, like, can you imagine the

00:53:44   business of selling traffic lights and stop signs to like every municipality

00:53:48   around the country like that's probably a terrible low-margin business it's like

00:53:51   wait wait so hear me out okay step one replace every traffic signal and sign in

00:53:56   the United States wait step two replace every car in the United States with an

00:54:02   Apple car that all communicate really now now once you've done that that's the

00:54:06   prerequisites now you can have a car they could talk to all the other cars

00:54:09   they can talk to the signals they can make traffic flow intelligently it's

00:54:12   It's like, "Alright then, yep, yep, okay."

00:54:15   I'm gonna say that that is probably in line with the idea, like Marker was saying, that

00:54:21   it's worse than the iPad being some amazing thing and not just being a big iPod.

00:54:27   All this stuff, these are all technically possible, they're all happening slowly like

00:54:31   this stuff happens.

00:54:32   Looking for Apple to be the savior to snap its fingers and make all these things that

00:54:35   are going to eventually happen happen on a much abbreviated timescale.

00:54:39   I can understand why people look for that

00:54:40   because like look what they did with the smartphone.

00:54:42   We probably would have gotten

00:54:43   to where the iPhone was eventually,

00:54:45   but Apple sort of accelerated that massively

00:54:47   by making a phone that was just leaps and bounds

00:54:50   ahead of where everyone else was.

00:54:51   And then everyone else said, oh, yeah, we should do that.

00:54:54   And then it took them a couple of years and they all did

00:54:56   and we're all moving along with smartphones

00:54:57   looking like iPhones now.

00:54:58   Can Apple do that with things at the scale

00:55:01   of traffic signals and signs?

00:55:04   The best I think you could hope for,

00:55:05   even if Apple was aiming for this,

00:55:07   is to have something like this working

00:55:09   where the rich people live in California

00:55:12   as a proof of concept in the same way

00:55:14   that Google has its self-driving cars

00:55:16   driving around in a limited range

00:55:17   to show that yes, this is something that can be done.

00:55:20   But it's a big leap to go from getting this to work

00:55:24   in Disneyland or where the rich people live in California,

00:55:26   which is probably a lot like Disneyland,

00:55:28   to this works in the entire United States,

00:55:31   to this is the way transportation works

00:55:32   on the entire planet.

00:55:33   So I'm not holding my breath for any of that.

00:55:36   All right.

00:55:40   Do you want to talk about China and the Apple car?

00:55:42   Because clearly if you can't sell it in the United States, China is the answer.

00:55:46   I think the China thing from—this feedback from Rob Lewis is all the manufacturing—and

00:55:52   Horace went into this on iSimco as well—all the manufacturing capacity in China, if Apple

00:55:57   was looking for someone to build their car, there's a lot of car manufacturing capability

00:56:02   and know-how in China that is ready to be tapped.

00:56:05   talking to Magnin, I think Magnin has locations in North America and Europe, but not in China

00:56:10   maybe.

00:56:11   But as Rob points out, Apple has existing relationships with a lot of big manufacturing

00:56:18   capacity in China, so surely some part of the Apple car is going to be made or assembled

00:56:22   in China because, like, you know, that's...

00:56:25   I don't think Apple is building a Gigafactory to build its batteries starting from sand

00:56:29   in the United States.

00:56:30   I assume they're going to contract out to somebody else to help them to make the parts

00:56:33   for their stuff.

00:56:34   And so yeah, I'm sure China will be involved.

00:56:36   Will Apple be selling their cars in China?

00:56:38   Does China need electric minivans?

00:56:40   Probably they've got a booming middle class.

00:56:43   It's a growth opportunity.

00:56:44   There are a lot of people in China.

00:56:47   I'm not sure if their entire strategy will hinge on China, but surely they'll be involved

00:56:52   as they are with everything having to do with manufacturing these days it seems.

00:56:56   So is that it?

00:56:57   Did we make it?

00:56:58   Then we're down to the sugar water and the Asymptote link explaining auto capacity utilization.

00:57:03   Yeah, he tweeted something, it was like a graph of like,

00:57:06   who has unused capacity for automaking?

00:57:09   And China is at 64% capacity,

00:57:12   and everyone else is like at 70 or 80%,

00:57:15   it has a smaller overall capacity.

00:57:16   So if you're looking for somebody

00:57:17   who's got excess manufacturing capacity for autos,

00:57:20   China is it.

00:57:21   - So about that Pebble Time.

00:57:24   - I kept reading that name in the tweets and thinking,

00:57:30   is this like a pun or a joke,

00:57:31   or is this the name of the product, but I guess.

00:57:33   - Stop, Pebble Time.

00:57:35   - Yeah, that's the name of the product.

00:57:37   I mean, I guess it's a good name for a watch.

00:57:40   - Yeah, I mean, I think everything Pebble

00:57:42   is doing right now is smart.

00:57:43   They are in a tough spot,

00:57:45   and given the tough spot they're in,

00:57:47   they seem like they're making the right moves to not die,

00:57:50   or at least to prolong death.

00:57:52   (laughing)

00:57:53   Right, I mean, 'cause like, you know,

00:57:54   so they start out with the smartwatch

00:57:56   that is basically a notifications display

00:57:59   for mostly iPhones.

00:58:02   Some Android people bought them,

00:58:03   but I think most of the buyers probably had iPhones.

00:58:05   It became pretty clear pretty quickly

00:58:07   that Apple was never going to give them the level of access

00:58:09   they needed to the notification system

00:58:12   to have any kind of two-way communication

00:58:14   or any kind of rich functionality.

00:58:15   And so they tried having their own apps

00:58:17   and their own SDK to custom integrate with it,

00:58:20   and they still do, but I think the reality is

00:58:22   that's really not gonna go incredibly far

00:58:25   in the Apple ecosystem just 'cause of the limitations

00:58:28   imposed by iOS and the hardware.

00:58:29   And Apple's never gonna open that up.

00:58:31   - Once Apple makes a watch, then it's time for Pebble to go,

00:58:34   all right, well, nevermind then.

00:58:35   - Right, and so they're not stupid, they saw this.

00:58:39   And they, I think, pretty smartly are much more embracing

00:58:44   the Android side, and I think that's wise.

00:58:48   And I don't wanna go too far into Pebble stuff

00:58:50   because our friends over at Connected covered it

00:58:53   way better than we could because they actually,

00:58:55   at least Mike actually has used a Pebble.

00:58:56   I don't know if the other guys have, I forget.

00:58:58   But you know, Mike has actually spent a lot of time

00:59:00   using one and as far as I know, none of us have, right?

00:59:03   - I have not, no.

00:59:04   - I've only seen one in real life

00:59:05   and it looked so incredibly giant and nerdy.

00:59:08   It's like, that's even too nerdy for us.

00:59:10   And that's really saying a lot.

00:59:11   I mean, you know.

00:59:12   - Don't you think that's a continuing problem

00:59:14   with the Pebble?

00:59:14   I know they have the Pebble Steel,

00:59:15   which was an attempt to be fashionable

00:59:17   that I think mostly failed,

00:59:18   'cause it wasn't very fashionable.

00:59:20   It just looked like someone trying to be fashionable.

00:59:22   And I've seen people applauding, maybe it was you Marco,

00:59:24   plotting the idea that the Pebble Time doesn't try to do that anymore and just looks like

00:59:28   a gadget.

00:59:29   No, I didn't say that.

00:59:30   Maybe it was a reverse thing.

00:59:31   It just looks like a gadget-y thing again.

00:59:33   It's like I don't understand.

00:59:34   Like it's fine to say you're not going to go like the fashion route.

00:59:37   Like this is not a fashion accessory, it's a gadget accessory.

00:59:40   It's fine.

00:59:41   Like you're selling these in a small volume.

00:59:43   Nerds like Android, it's like a Kickstarter type thing.

00:59:46   Like yeah.

00:59:47   Does it have to be so darn ugly though?

00:59:49   Like you can make something that looks like a tech nerd toy.

00:59:53   Like, I just, all the pebbles, the original one, the steel, and this new one do not look

01:00:00   attractive to me.

01:00:02   And I'm not demanding fashion-wise.

01:00:03   I just want it to like, if they just made it an unadorned box, it would look better.

01:00:08   Because these things just look like weird, weird thermoses with like bulges and borders

01:00:15   and things poking out of them.

01:00:17   Anyway.

01:00:18   I've seen a lot of Pebbles in real life.

01:00:20   They haven't particularly appealed to me,

01:00:21   but the smart move that Pebble is making here

01:00:23   is not even attempting to compete

01:00:26   with any of the smart watches,

01:00:27   because they're gonna say,

01:00:28   "Our differentiator is our battery lasts for seven days,

01:00:30   'cause we have an E Ink screen.

01:00:31   Period, the end, done."

01:00:32   Is anyone else gonna do that?

01:00:33   I don't even know if they have any competition.

01:00:34   - And I think it's also fairly,

01:00:36   it's also more waterproof, right?

01:00:38   - I'm not sure.

01:00:39   I mean, I suppose it could be,

01:00:40   but it's like, there's less stuff inside it.

01:00:42   The screen is, the CPU is super weak.

01:00:47   Everything about it is like,

01:00:48   we are going the opposite extreme,

01:00:50   because Apple is not gonna make a watch

01:00:51   in their first outing with the battery last seven days.

01:00:53   They're gonna be lucky if you can get through a day

01:00:55   without charging anything, right?

01:00:56   Pebble says we can go the whole week.

01:00:58   Why?

01:00:59   'Cause we have an E-Ink screen.

01:01:00   E-Ink screen you're not going to be watching video on.

01:01:01   What do you mean video?

01:01:02   Forget it.

01:01:03   We're showing you information about calendars

01:01:06   and notifications, stuff like that.

01:01:08   That's what they're trying to do.

01:01:09   And even that, what was the Kickstarter?

01:01:12   Is it like 15,000 phones,

01:01:14   or 15,000 watches or something like that?

01:01:16   Apple sells 15,000 iPhones every three minutes

01:01:18   or whatever the hell it is.

01:01:20   The volumes are very small.

01:01:22   This is a boutique thing for gadget nerds

01:01:24   and it has found a way--

01:01:25   - For reference, it's already past 50,000 it looks like.

01:01:29   It's raised almost $10 million for whatever it's worth

01:01:31   at the time of recording and it's going up still.

01:01:33   - So how long does it take Apple to sell that many iPhones?

01:01:36   Like a day or two?

01:01:37   - Sure, I mean it's not the same game.

01:01:39   That's what I'm saying.

01:01:41   They started out as a small company,

01:01:42   they started on Kickstarter,

01:01:43   And in many ways it looks like that's just the route

01:01:46   they're gonna continue on as long as they can.

01:01:48   And it might be indefinitely, it might be a long time.

01:01:50   They might be around for a while.

01:01:52   There are a lot of gadget nerds, obviously.

01:01:54   I mean, look how quickly this thing,

01:01:56   it reached its goal in something like 20 minutes.

01:01:59   And now it's way, like I said,

01:02:01   it's raised almost $10 million right now.

01:02:03   And there's still a month left in the campaign.

01:02:06   So this thing obviously, and this is all just pre-sales.

01:02:10   Once it's out, if it gets good reviews,

01:02:12   maybe people will buy it more.

01:02:13   I mean, once it's out, the Apple Watch will be out

01:02:15   and that's gonna take a lot of wind out of the sails here.

01:02:17   But still, you know, if they embrace the Android ecosystem,

01:02:21   the Android ecosystem is freaking huge.

01:02:23   Like so it, and if you look at the Android Wear watches

01:02:26   that they're competing with in that ecosystem,

01:02:30   the Android Wear watches really have not gone very far.

01:02:32   Everyone who has tried them so far

01:02:34   has had pretty mixed reviews of them.

01:02:37   None of them have really taken off.

01:02:38   And if they can, they're obviously not gonna win on style.

01:02:43   The rest of the Android Wear watches have a better chance than this does and that's

01:02:46   not saying a whole lot.

01:02:47   They're not going to win on style.

01:02:49   But for all the other things, the battery life, the possible water resistance, the durability

01:02:53   cost, I mean these things are really cheap.

01:02:55   I think they're about $200, something like that, a little under $200.

01:02:59   Yeah, about $200.

01:03:00   So these things are, you know, there's a big market for this if smart watches are going

01:03:05   to be a thing that takes off.

01:03:06   And I think it's pretty clear that's probably going to happen.

01:03:09   So I think they're going to do okay for quite a while.

01:03:11   And I think it's wise for them to push further into the Android ecosystem because iOS is

01:03:16   just not going to go that far for them.

01:03:18   Yeah, and I think it's really important that, like, you know, saying, "Oh, this is a small

01:03:21   market.

01:03:22   It only applies to gadget nerds."

01:03:24   You can't even get the gadget nerds if what you try to make is a gadget that is like the

01:03:29   Apple Watch but worse.

01:03:31   Because even the gadget nerds don't want that.

01:03:33   Like nobody wants that, right?

01:03:35   So that's why it's so important.

01:03:36   "Well, if it's just 50,000, 100,000 people or whatever, who cares?

01:03:42   These people obviously like it to be all gadgety and cool."

01:03:45   But if you made something that had an LCD screen, needed to be charged, it was basically

01:03:49   just a worse Apple Watch, nobody wants that.

01:03:52   Not even the gadget nerds want that.

01:03:53   They'll just buy Android Wear if they want an Android-powered watch.

01:03:56   You have to do something different than everybody else, even if you just have a small market.

01:03:59   That's why they're being super smart here, because it seems like, as far as I know, no

01:04:02   No one else is even trying to make a color E Ink smartwatch.

01:04:06   Like are they the only one in the entire world?

01:04:08   Like regardless of how they're doing it with the specific technologies, 7 day battery.

01:04:12   Nobody making an Apple or Android Wear style smartwatch would ever say 7 day battery.

01:04:18   There's no way in hell you're getting 7 day batteries from your Apple Watch.

01:04:21   That is a big difference and that will actually appeal to gadget nerds.

01:04:25   Whereas if you made just a worse Android Wear watch, now you're competing with Motorola,

01:04:29   now you're competing with Apple, now you're competing with all of them.

01:04:31   So very smart move by that Kickstarter.

01:04:34   And what they're essentially doing is exploring an avenue for wearables.

01:04:38   Because at this point we don't know, like is it a deal breaker because you have to charge

01:04:42   your Apple Watch every day or do people not care?

01:04:45   And we don't know yet.

01:04:46   That's the real answer.

01:04:47   They're like, "We don't know."

01:04:48   Yeah.

01:04:49   And Pebble has shown that like they, at least among gadget nerds, I see a lot of people wearing

01:04:53   the original Pebble.

01:04:54   You can't miss it.

01:04:55   Yeah, exactly.

01:04:56   That was enough to get a bunch of people to wear smartwatches.

01:04:59   I have only seen one other person wear an Android Wear smartwatch, and that person happened

01:05:04   to be reviewing that product, so I don't know if that counts.

01:05:08   But I see many pebbles in my travels in nerd circles.

01:05:12   So a pebble may be onto something, and if they are onto something, it's bad for them

01:05:16   because then all of the Android manufacturers and maybe even Apple will just make a watch

01:05:23   like that.

01:05:24   And eventually it's bad for them because presumably, eventually, the Apple Watch will have at least

01:05:28   a multi-day, if not seven-day, battery life, you know, five, seven years from now. But

01:05:34   gather ye rosebuds, Pebble. This is your time.

01:05:38   Thanks a lot to our three sponsors this week, Cocoa Conf, Harvest, and Lynda.com, and we

01:05:43   will see you next week.

01:05:44   [MUSIC]

01:05:54   Oh it was accidental.

01:05:56   John didn't do any research.

01:05:59   Margo and Casey wouldn't let him.

01:06:02   Cause it was accidental.

01:06:04   It was accidental.

01:06:07   And you can find the show notes at ATP.FM.

01:06:12   And if you're into Twitter, you can follow them at

01:06:18   C-A-S-E-Y-L-I-S-S, so that's Casey Liss, M-A-R-C-O-A-R-M,

01:06:26   A-N-T, Marco Armin, S-I-R-A-C, U-S-A, Syracuse.

01:06:34   It's accidental.

01:06:37   They didn't mean to.

01:06:39   Accidental.

01:06:42   Tech podcast so long.

01:06:47   So Marco, for the first time in your life, you actually did some homework?

01:06:50   I did.

01:06:51   It was a really – it was very hard.

01:06:53   It was a lot of work.

01:06:54   I really struggled through to do it for the show.

01:06:56   I feel for you.

01:06:57   It's a difficult task.

01:06:59   Yeah.

01:07:00   Mm-hmm.

01:07:01   So after the last show, we were talking about electric cars and what Apple might do and

01:07:05   the Tesla and everything.

01:07:07   And we got a number of comments in the chat and a number of emails immediately afterwards

01:07:10   saying, "You should really drive an electric car to know what you're talking about."

01:07:15   So I had to do this.

01:07:16   I had to go and test drive a Tesla on this past Saturday,

01:07:21   just so I could know for the show what we're talking about.

01:07:25   - It's so kind of you to take one for the team

01:07:27   because God knows I would hate to have to go

01:07:30   and drive a Tesla.

01:07:31   God, would that suck.

01:07:32   - I had to drive like 20 minutes to go to the place,

01:07:35   each way, it was hard.

01:07:36   So let me preface this by saying I'm a big fish fan,

01:07:45   as you know from listening to our show.

01:07:47   I like fish music, not the fish that you eat

01:07:50   or that swim in the ocean, I don't like them at all.

01:07:52   - I can't wait to see how this connects.

01:07:54   - Yeah, me too.

01:07:55   - Yeah, now, even though I'm a fish fan,

01:07:58   if you can think of what you think of

01:08:00   when you think of fish fans,

01:08:02   I don't care that much about going to the live shows,

01:08:05   even though I listen to all the live shows.

01:08:07   - You're not a pan man.

01:08:08   - I'm not a pan man.

01:08:10   I don't do any drugs.

01:08:11   And the one time I did go to a fish show,

01:08:14   I didn't do any drugs there either.

01:08:16   And so--

01:08:18   - Well, you know, not directly.

01:08:20   - Yeah, exactly.

01:08:21   - Okay.

01:08:23   But according to other fish fans,

01:08:24   to the things they like, the things they value,

01:08:27   I'm really like a terrible fish fan.

01:08:29   I'm just terrible.

01:08:31   So similarly, I'm also a fan of BMW sports cars.

01:08:36   But among them, so I really prefer all-wheel drive.

01:08:40   I never bring my car on a track.

01:08:41   I don't take it anywhere and do donuts in parking lots.

01:08:45   I always drive with traction control on,

01:08:47   and I generally prefer luxurious,

01:08:51   luxuries like, you know, comfy seats,

01:08:53   even though they're heavy, you know, stuff like that.

01:08:55   Like, motorized, sunroofs, you know, heated seats,

01:08:58   all that stuff, it's all this heavy luxury stuff in cars.

01:09:01   I like that.

01:09:02   So, similar to how I'm a terrible fish fan,

01:09:06   I'm also a terrible sports car owner,

01:09:08   according to the priorities

01:09:09   of most other sports car owners.

01:09:12   So I went to this Tesla driving thing where they just had a table set up at some health

01:09:18   club and you could sign up and go in and test drive it for a certain time slot.

01:09:23   So I went up to this thing and I was told it would be the new P85D model, the super

01:09:30   fast one that had that crazy reactions video that has the all wheel drive and the super

01:09:35   fast motor.

01:09:36   although unfortunately it was white.

01:09:39   But, so going into this drive,

01:09:43   I knew that I was about to drive this giant,

01:09:45   heavy, but very fast all wheel drive electric car.

01:09:49   Right, now I knew going in,

01:09:52   academically I knew it was going to be

01:09:54   significantly faster than my car.

01:09:57   But I also, what I expected based on

01:09:59   how we were talking about it,

01:10:01   and what I've heard from other people,

01:10:02   and what I saw in a Tesla mall showroom

01:10:05   like two years ago, I was also expecting it to have

01:10:08   a less luxurious interior, and more importantly,

01:10:12   to just be less sporty.

01:10:13   Like I knew it would be fast,

01:10:15   but I also was not expecting it to be sporty.

01:10:17   I expected it to be just kind of more tame handling,

01:10:20   more cushy, and a little bit less luxurious on the inside.

01:10:23   So, the interior of the car that I saw

01:10:26   was actually very nice.

01:10:28   I would say it is not as nice as like a decked out,

01:10:31   high end five series, but it was a lot less far off

01:10:35   than it used to be, it was pretty close.

01:10:37   I immediately got in and backed up out of the parking spot.

01:10:39   I really, really missed the heads up display

01:10:42   and the top down parking view.

01:10:45   - Top down parking view, what are we talking about?

01:10:46   The automated cars make us bad drivers.

01:10:48   You can't even drive without a simulated bird's eye view

01:10:52   of his car.

01:10:53   - No, well, look, with the bird's eye view,

01:10:55   I've never scraped a rim, not once.

01:10:57   I do a lot of parallel parking in really tight city spots.

01:10:59   I've never scraped a rim.

01:11:00   - I don't scrape my worms the old fashioned way

01:11:02   by parking way too far away from the curb.

01:11:04   - Well, yeah, so. (laughing)

01:11:06   Anyway, yeah, 'cause you know, Boston's known for its,

01:11:08   like, the wide, spacious roads, especially now,

01:11:11   with all the snow.

01:11:11   - Yeah, our roads are really wide now.

01:11:13   We give it one car barely through.

01:11:15   - If that, yeah. (laughing)

01:11:17   All right, so it doesn't have a heads-up display.

01:11:18   It doesn't have the side cameras to offer the top-down view.

01:11:21   So that's unfortunate in a car of this class,

01:11:23   of this price range, but, oh well, move on.

01:11:26   They do offer some of the luxuries that I come to enjoy,

01:11:30   like a heated steering wheel.

01:11:31   Very few cars offer heated steering wheels.

01:11:34   Once you have a heated steering wheel,

01:11:35   it's quite, even my 3 Series had it before this,

01:11:38   and it's so nice, it's amazing.

01:11:40   Way better than air conditioned seats,

01:11:42   those are mostly useless.

01:11:43   Anyway, I didn't have a lot of time

01:11:45   to play with the controls,

01:11:46   the tuck screen thing and everything,

01:11:48   'cause it was mostly just about,

01:11:49   it was like a 15 minute drive around this course

01:11:51   they'd set up around these roads.

01:11:52   - Now let me interrupt real quick.

01:11:54   Do you find that 17 inch monitor,

01:11:58   whatever the crap it is in the center console,

01:12:00   does that look ridiculous to you,

01:12:02   because it looks freaking ridiculous to me.

01:12:05   - It looks completely ridiculous when you look at it.

01:12:07   In the drive, like while driving,

01:12:10   I never had much of a reason to look at it.

01:12:12   'Cause it sits pretty low.

01:12:13   And this is like part of the problem

01:12:15   is that the climate controls,

01:12:16   which are probably the most commonly accessed things for me,

01:12:18   are at the very bottom of that screen.

01:12:20   And so if I wanted to adjust the climate,

01:12:22   I didn't try doing this during the drive,

01:12:23   so take all those with a grain of salt.

01:12:26   If I wanted to just adjust the climate,

01:12:27   I have to like look pretty much like almost at the floor

01:12:30   to do a job, you have to look so far away from the road.

01:12:33   I'm not crazy about that and we'll see in practice,

01:12:37   maybe that'll change or maybe I don't know

01:12:38   about some option you can turn on.

01:12:40   A lot of this stuff is customizable

01:12:41   and I spent no time playing with the controls.

01:12:43   I was all about driving so I can't really discuss

01:12:46   the controls on any reasonable authority.

01:12:48   I would say that though the touch screen control

01:12:53   do look a little bit dated.

01:12:55   Like the whole theme of the UI is very much

01:12:58   like pre iOS 7, pre Metro, it's like, you know,

01:13:01   it looks like, yeah, it looks like iOS 6, basically,

01:13:05   but you know, less cartoony.

01:13:07   Anyway, so, get to the test drive, it's in insane mode,

01:13:11   so I get to fully experience the speed.

01:13:14   And so we stop, I have a clear road ahead of me,

01:13:17   I slam on the gas, and wow.

01:13:22   - Yeah, that good?

01:13:23   - Wow.

01:13:24   Like, holy handbrake, wow.

01:13:27   (laughing)

01:13:29   So, the hard, so like it only does that super hard

01:13:32   acceleration, like if you're in the Insane mode,

01:13:34   add a complete stop and you floor it.

01:13:36   I've never felt anything like that before.

01:13:38   There is no, the reason why it's so jarring

01:13:42   is that there is no transition from zero,

01:13:44   like you're at zero and then all of a sudden

01:13:46   you're just going.

01:13:48   And once you're going, it just feels like

01:13:51   an insanely fast car, but when you, from zero to going,

01:13:54   it almost feels like I'm getting hit in the face.

01:13:56   Like it was actually unpleasant.

01:13:58   Like I actually didn't like,

01:14:00   like it was actually uncomfortable and unpleasant.

01:14:03   Like it was like literally,

01:14:05   it feels like you're getting hit in the face.

01:14:06   Like I, if I actually owned this car,

01:14:10   I don't think I would really ever do that.

01:14:11   Because-- - Except to scare passengers.

01:14:13   - Yeah, except to scare passengers like once, you know.

01:14:15   Because like it really, it was actually unpleasant.

01:14:18   (laughing)

01:14:19   Because it's too fast.

01:14:21   And I did it a few times.

01:14:22   Like I did it at the beginning and the end

01:14:24   of the test drive just so I would like,

01:14:25   just so I would have some perception of like,

01:14:27   is it just the first time that it's unpleasant?

01:14:29   Do I get used to it?

01:14:30   Is it less bad?

01:14:31   Nope, it actually is unpleasant every time.

01:14:34   - So to put things in perspective,

01:14:37   according to Tesla's website,

01:14:38   the P85D does zero to 60 in 3.2 seconds.

01:14:42   Just as a rough equivalent,

01:14:46   the Aerosmith Rock and Roller Coaster at Walt Disney World

01:14:50   does zero to 57 miles an hour in 2.8 seconds.

01:14:54   So they're approximately equivalent.

01:14:56   This roller coaster takes pictures of everyone on the ride,

01:15:01   every single time the ride starts,

01:15:04   because everyone freaks out.

01:15:07   As a matter of fact, reading from Wikipedia,

01:15:09   the riders experience 4.5 Gs

01:15:11   as they enter the first inversion.

01:15:13   So in a lot of that is, I believe,

01:15:14   a combination of the acceleration and the turn itself.

01:15:18   That's basically you're driving a roller coaster.

01:15:21   - Yeah, I mean, as I said, that speed going from zero

01:15:26   to full in insane mode, I mean, it's a gimmick.

01:15:28   You don't have any reason to actually do that

01:15:30   in practice ever, but my God, it was so fast.

01:15:35   And as I said, that was actually unpleasant.

01:15:37   I actually don't have any need or want to do that.

01:15:40   - I think the 911 Turbo does it zero, 16, 2.9 or something.

01:15:43   So it's not even the fastest production car

01:15:45   that you can get from 60.

01:15:47   There are below, there are sub-three supercars out there.

01:15:50   - Yeah, but not a lot of them are these big,

01:15:52   heavy four-door sedans.

01:15:53   I mean, that's the big thing.

01:15:55   I think this is the only one.

01:15:56   - Yeah, you don't expect it to come out of them,

01:15:58   but what I'm saying is that this,

01:16:00   the three-second, being in the low to mid threes

01:16:03   has been a thing for supercars for a long time,

01:16:05   but it has not been a thing for a very long time

01:16:07   for four-door sedan-looking things.

01:16:09   - Right, I mean, my car is ridiculous,

01:16:11   and it does it in, I think, 4.2, 4.3, something like that.

01:16:14   So it's a pretty substantial difference.

01:16:17   Once you're going, when you're just driving normally,

01:16:19   It just feels like a really fast sports car.

01:16:21   I would say it is similar but faster than the M5.

01:16:25   It feels very similar like on the highway,

01:16:28   if you're passing somebody,

01:16:29   it actually isn't that different going from 60 to 80.

01:16:32   It feels about the same.

01:16:33   There actually is some responsiveness lag

01:16:36   when you're already going fast

01:16:37   and you wanna push it to go around somebody.

01:16:39   So it actually is very similar to a gas engine

01:16:42   like at highway speeds, it felt very similar to me.

01:16:44   - Do you think that might have just been

01:16:45   the acceleration curves on the pedal.

01:16:50   I don't figure what they call it,

01:16:52   but they have different curves,

01:16:53   like how much do you have to press the pedal

01:16:55   to add some proportional amount of engine.

01:16:58   And a lot of what car makers do

01:17:00   to make the car feel more or less sporty is to change.

01:17:03   What happens in the first inch of travel?

01:17:05   Does the second inch of travel add seven times

01:17:08   as much gas as the first inch of travel, or the reverse?

01:17:12   So I can imagine that,

01:17:14   especially since because it's all electronic,

01:17:15   or like they can decide how that curve,

01:17:17   like they can do a software update to change it,

01:17:18   or maybe it's the driving mode type of thing,

01:17:20   because it's one thing I wouldn't expect from a Tesla

01:17:23   is anything that is perceptible as lag

01:17:26   having to do with the nature of the drive train,

01:17:29   as opposed to just programming at a curve,

01:17:31   because there's no turbo spinning up, right?

01:17:32   There's no gears being changed.

01:17:34   It's just merely give more juice to the electric motors.

01:17:37   - I mean, like maybe I was slightly decelerating

01:17:39   right before I did that,

01:17:40   and the regeneration thing was kicked in.

01:17:42   So maybe I had to like disengage

01:17:43   the regenerative motor or the engine thing,

01:17:46   something like that.

01:17:46   - Oh yeah, and that's, with the one pedal driving,

01:17:49   how'd you like that, or were you doing that?

01:17:51   - That actually, so the M5 has a lot of engine suction.

01:17:55   So compared to the M5, it just felt like it had

01:17:59   a little bit more engine suction.

01:18:00   Like it was, I didn't do all one pedal driving,

01:18:03   I was using the brakes like a normal person,

01:18:05   but you could do it, I could see how you could do it.

01:18:09   I didn't do it really to come to complete stops,

01:18:11   I was just doing it to slow down,

01:18:13   the way I do with engine braking, so it was fine.

01:18:15   But yeah, anyway, so like driving around, the handling.

01:18:19   This, now, John, you had mentioned that the handling

01:18:22   feels like nothing else because it has the battery pack

01:18:24   very low, this giant heavy weight sitting very low,

01:18:27   so the center of gravity is very low,

01:18:29   and it handles very, like the car stays very flat.

01:18:32   Is that a fair assessment of what you said?

01:18:33   - Yeah, and it doesn't feel, the suspension

01:18:35   doesn't feel overly stiff, 'cause normally if a car is flat,

01:18:38   that's like, you know, 'cause they have very stiff

01:18:39   suspension, and then when you go over bumps,

01:18:40   you feel like you're being jostled.

01:18:41   - Right, going through the turns,

01:18:43   I would say that it actually didn't feel noticeably different

01:18:47   than my car because good sports cars

01:18:50   have always tried to achieve that.

01:18:51   They always try to have very little body roll

01:18:55   and they'll play tricks with bars or the suspension.

01:18:58   They'll play tricks to make it better

01:19:00   and to just minimize body roll

01:19:02   and keep the car flat during cornering.

01:19:05   So it felt great, but it didn't feel dramatically better

01:19:10   in cornering than a good sports car would.

01:19:12   - Did you go over potholes though?

01:19:14   Because that, like I think that's where you'd notice

01:19:16   because like I've driven your car for short distances

01:19:19   and driving your car over the totally destroyed roads

01:19:21   of Massachusetts, I could feel that this,

01:19:24   whatever mode you had in that this car

01:19:25   has sports car suspension.

01:19:26   Because like going over those potholes felt way rougher

01:19:29   than it does in my accord with its smooshy

01:19:31   like every man's suspension, right?

01:19:32   Whereas in the Tesla on the same crappy Massachusetts roads,

01:19:36   it felt flat like your car in turns,

01:19:38   but then you'd go over potholes

01:19:39   and it would also suck them up a little bit better.

01:19:41   I feel like the spring rates are softer on the Tesla

01:19:44   because they can afford to be

01:19:45   because the center of gravity is so low

01:19:47   and it's just less jostling.

01:19:48   But it may be a close thing,

01:19:50   but having been a passenger in the Tesla

01:19:53   and having driven your car,

01:19:55   I think the Tesla wins on comfort over terrible roads.

01:19:58   And I would assume yours wins in handling,

01:20:00   but I haven't driven either one of them

01:20:01   to say what the handling is like at the extremes.

01:20:04   - Well, okay, so the Tesla does have electric power steels.

01:20:09   steering. Now, I said a couple shows ago how I've never heard anybody say that electric

01:20:15   power steering was even as good as hydraulic steering. Everyone's always like, "Well,

01:20:21   it's getting better," but no one ever says it's as good. So this has electric power steering.

01:20:27   I would say it's as good.

01:20:28   Really?

01:20:29   I wouldn't say it's better, but I would say it's as good as the steering in my car.

01:20:32   Now again, this is only a 15-minute test drive, and so maybe if I owned one of these things

01:20:37   and drove it all the time, maybe I would have a different opinion of it. But in that test

01:20:42   drive we had a lot of nice turns at low and high speeds and I did not notice the steering.

01:20:49   Like I asked halfway through, I'm like, "Oh, is this electric power steering?" I realized,

01:20:53   "Oh, this is probably electric." And I asked and the guy said, "Yes." And I was very impressed

01:20:58   because it just felt like a good sports car steering system. And the suspension, I would

01:21:05   say the suspension felt like it was very advanced because I was able to have a lot of fun with

01:21:12   the steering and everything and the suspension and the speed and it never felt either too

01:21:18   marshmallowy like a Lexus or too uncomfortably firm like the 1M was. It just felt good but

01:21:25   you still felt the road, you still felt what was going on. And so I really had, I have

01:21:30   nothing bad to say about the steering or the suspension. Now, the grip. This, so this is

01:21:36   an all wheel drive car. As I said earlier, I'm a fan of all wheel drive. This car has,

01:21:43   in my 15 minutes of test drive, in 20 degree weather on snow tires, this car has the most

01:21:50   advanced all wheel drive system I've ever felt. By far, by far and away, the best all

01:21:56   drive I've ever felt. As measured by? By my previous xDrive 3 series and a

01:22:04   couple of Lexus's I've driven for parents and stuff and I think that's all

01:22:09   I don't think I've ever driven a Subaru to its extreme. The secret is they have a whole

01:22:12   separate engine for the other set of wheels. The all-wheel drive system in

01:22:16   this thing was shockingly good. I have like it was insane and the traction

01:22:21   control system now again this was cold weather so the tires were a little bit

01:22:26   a little bit hard, cold weather. There was, because it's New York and then it's the winter,

01:22:32   there was a bunch of gravel all over a lot of the roads. And I would do things like turning

01:22:36   left at an intersection, so like making a 90 degree turn from a stop, just like really

01:22:41   irresponsibly quickly. Just seeing if I could, like trying to lose grip. And I was able to

01:22:48   lose grip occasionally, but what's interesting about it is, not only is it very hard to lose

01:22:52   grip but when it does it's not like the gas systems where they just cut the engine power

01:22:57   for a few seconds which really kind of ruins the fun and makes people want to turn off

01:23:02   these systems.

01:23:03   Or they use the brakes to break individual wheels.

01:23:05   If it was doing that I don't know if it was.

01:23:07   If it was doing that I couldn't tell.

01:23:08   It just felt like it was the best feeling system I've ever felt.

01:23:12   I mean it was the best all-wheel drive system ever.

01:23:15   I cannot say enough good things about that all-wheel drive system and I don't know how

01:23:18   it does in the snow.

01:23:19   I didn't try it in the snow.

01:23:20   I didn't have the chance.

01:23:21   I've heard it's very good, but I don't know.

01:23:23   But just trying to drive it in a fun,

01:23:28   slightly irresponsible, spirited way, it was amazing.

01:23:31   It didn't feel like a nanny.

01:23:33   It felt like it was helping me do what I told the car to do.

01:23:36   When you go from, when you're doing that insane mode

01:23:39   acceleration from zero to a million,

01:23:42   and it hits you in the face with how fast it is,

01:23:45   at no point in that did I ever feel like it was unsafe

01:23:48   or about to lose control and go off the road.

01:23:50   I have to imagine that a big part of that is this all the drive system.

01:23:54   When you go from zero to going so quickly, you think like, how can the tires even do

01:23:58   this?

01:23:59   Like it feels like it should be beyond the limits of the tires of the grip they can offer,

01:24:03   but it still does it.

01:24:04   So tragic control system, all the drive system, incredible.

01:24:09   I would even like I would like I would intentionally like take a quick turn around like a little

01:24:13   bend and like intentionally put one of the rear wheels on gravel so that when I floored

01:24:17   it it would it should lose grip.

01:24:19   And it did, but it would regain it so quickly and you never felt like you were in any real

01:24:26   danger of going off the road or even slightly losing control.

01:24:31   It was incredible.

01:24:33   Overall driving this car, I would say, it is an amazing sports car.

01:24:38   Like I knew it would be fast.

01:24:41   I did not know it would be this sporty and this fun.

01:24:45   It was just an incredibly fun, sporty, fast, exhilarating drive.

01:24:49   I cannot say enough good things about how amazing this car felt to drive.

01:24:53   It's like the apple of cars, really.

01:24:55   Oh, here we go.

01:24:56   Here we go.

01:24:57   Anyway, I do have some concerns.

01:25:00   If I were to own one of these things, I of course do have range anxiety.

01:25:05   It goes like 260 miles in ideal circumstances.

01:25:08   They have a calculator on their site and it's like, "Okay, well, if you set the air conditioning

01:25:12   to this and you actually drive this fast on the highway, how much range can you actually

01:25:17   expect and mine was more like 200 miles because I was like alright well what if it's 100 degrees,

01:25:22   I have the air conditioning on and I'm driving 85. So then it's like down to like 200. So

01:25:27   it's not a deal killer but it's a big issue. I'm not sure I'd want this to be our only

01:25:31   car in our family. I know people who do that but I'm not sure I could do that. The bigger

01:25:37   issue with this and this ties back into what Apple might possibly do in this because I

01:25:41   think the answer is Apple would do something pretty similar to what Tesla's doing because

01:25:45   not much else because the problem is a bigger issue I think is charging speed and the reason

01:25:52   why is because electric cars beyond like you know the battery tech in order just to move

01:25:59   a car like this this far they just need a ton of power like by household electric power

01:26:06   standards they just need a ridiculous amount of power. The limitation is not how quickly

01:26:11   that batteries can accept a charge necessarily, it's much more limited by how much charge

01:26:17   your household wiring is able to give it with the kind of outlet you have installed.

01:26:21   Like that's the big limitation with these cars.

01:26:25   And they have special high-powered chargers you can install, but the biggest thing for

01:26:29   me, like my concern with a road trip would be, you know, problem one would be range,

01:26:33   but then the problem two is like where do you plug in when you get there?

01:26:36   To give you some point of reference, I did a little bit of research here.

01:26:38   So the common North American 120 volt outlet charges,

01:26:43   if you plug into that with a Model S,

01:26:46   you gain three miles of range per hour, three.

01:26:50   - That's not very good.

01:26:52   - It takes about four days to charge your car all the way.

01:26:56   So suppose you drive your car to somewhere

01:26:59   where the only place you can plug in

01:27:01   is through some long extension cord

01:27:02   into somebody's house or some hotel.

01:27:05   You can plug into a regular outlet, okay.

01:27:07   then you have to stay there for four days to fully charge.

01:27:10   So, you know, that's probably not a great option

01:27:13   for people, right?

01:27:15   Now, what you're supposed to do,

01:27:17   if you have one of these in your house,

01:27:18   is you're supposed to get a,

01:27:20   basically a dryer outlet installed,

01:27:22   a 200 volt, 40 amp outlet installed,

01:27:24   which is common for dryers these days.

01:27:26   Into a dryer outlet, you can charge the car up fully

01:27:28   in nine hours, which is great, so that's fine.

01:27:31   But like, you know, I drive frequently to places

01:27:34   like Upstate to in-laws house, from my mom's house.

01:27:37   I visited you guys at your houses before.

01:27:40   How likely is it that you're gonna drive somewhere

01:27:43   and you're gonna be able to plug into somebody's

01:27:46   extra dryer outlet and have that be within like 30 feet

01:27:50   of where your car is parked?

01:27:52   - Did you look for supercharger stations

01:27:54   along your normal routes?

01:27:55   - That's what I was gonna say,

01:27:56   because there's one very close to our house,

01:27:59   like 10, 15 minutes away.

01:28:00   Now to be fair, that doesn't necessarily mean

01:28:02   you would want to ditch your Tesla

01:28:04   20 minutes away from the house.

01:28:05   - Oh, just leave it there?

01:28:06   - Well, the superchargers charge it

01:28:08   in less than an hour though, right?

01:28:09   - Yeah, they give you, I believe it's an 80% charge

01:28:12   in about 40 minutes.

01:28:13   So it's not a full charge, but it's enough

01:28:16   in something like 40 minutes.

01:28:17   Now, so I asked a couple Tesla owners,

01:28:20   and I did some reading of what do Tesla owners do?

01:28:23   How do you take road trips?

01:28:24   Because chances are you're not gonna wanna arrive

01:28:28   at someone's house nearly empty,

01:28:30   and then just not having able to plug in, that's not great.

01:28:35   And you're also probably not gonna wanna be

01:28:37   bugging your hotel or your friend's house

01:28:40   or your parents to be like,

01:28:41   "Hey, can I run this giant extension cord

01:28:44   "to your dryer outlets?"

01:28:45   Like, if they even have one.

01:28:49   How many people do know who have a spare dryer outlet,

01:28:51   period, let alone one that you can use

01:28:54   that is in range of your car, like physical range.

01:28:56   So that's not a great solution.

01:29:00   That's not a great position to be in.

01:29:01   And I've heard from a number of people,

01:29:03   thank you for all those people who've responded to me.

01:29:05   Heard from a number of people who have told me

01:29:07   about various like, there are apps and maps

01:29:10   and like there's a thing called Plugshare,

01:29:12   if I remember correctly, there's like a site

01:29:14   where like people can volunteer their houses

01:29:17   to other EV owners, like you can use my charging point

01:29:19   at my house if you're passing through.

01:29:21   Like that's all cool and everything,

01:29:23   but like that's, I really prefer to be independent

01:29:26   and to not need to rely on like, you know,

01:29:30   going around some weird neighborhood at night,

01:29:32   like trying to figure out like,

01:29:33   hey, where's the nearest charge point?

01:29:34   Can I charge up here?

01:29:35   Like trying to like bum something off somebody.

01:29:37   That's not my style.

01:29:37   I really would feel very uncomfortable doing that.

01:29:39   So you can do it, but it's not easy

01:29:43   and it's not convenient and it's not great.

01:29:45   And from what I gather, what most people do

01:29:48   is you basically supercharge right before you get somewhere.

01:29:51   And then when you leave, like on your way out,

01:29:53   you supercharge as you leave.

01:29:55   And that way you have like enough charge

01:29:56   to do some local driving while you're there.

01:29:58   And then, you know, on the highway you're fine.

01:30:00   But you know, every time you stop at a supercharger,

01:30:03   that adds like an hour to your trip.

01:30:04   You know, like you gotta get there, stop, plug in.

01:30:08   Hopefully there's nobody already taking up all the spots.

01:30:11   That's a big problem if there is,

01:30:12   'cause that adds another 40 minutes to your trip

01:30:14   when you wait for them to come back.

01:30:16   Hopefully you plug in, you get 40 minutes of charge there,

01:30:19   you know, you go in and have some lunch or whatever,

01:30:21   but that's a big delay for a road trip,

01:30:24   especially if the trip's only like,

01:30:25   this is only every 250 miles or so.

01:30:27   So like, it's only like every three or four hours,

01:30:31   you gotta stop for an hour.

01:30:32   Like that's, that kinda sucks.

01:30:35   - Now, did they ever actually start doing

01:30:38   the five minute complete battery swap?

01:30:41   You know what I'm talking about?

01:30:42   - Yeah, they talked about that.

01:30:43   I don't know if that's ever,

01:30:43   if it's actually deployed anywhere.

01:30:45   And I'm not sure that I would do it necessarily,

01:30:47   but it's an interesting idea.

01:30:49   'Cause, you know, again, like the problem here is

01:30:52   just the speed at which you can deliver this much power

01:30:56   into such a tremendous battery pack.

01:30:58   I mean, and that's gonna be hard to solve.

01:31:01   And this is like, if Apple does a pure electric vehicle,

01:31:04   you could do a fuel cell.

01:31:06   You know, fuel cells are options.

01:31:07   I know Toyota announced, I think today,

01:31:09   that they're doing a fuel cell vehicle,

01:31:10   so that's interesting.

01:31:12   But then you need hydrogen everywhere,

01:31:14   that's kind of, that has its own set of challenges

01:31:16   and issues, and anyway, so this is a problem.

01:31:20   You know, it's not a deal killer for a lot of people.

01:31:22   But it is certainly a major inconvenience.

01:31:24   You know, the fact that you can't just

01:31:26   fill up anywhere and that filling up takes so long.

01:31:30   That is really a problem.

01:31:31   And again, not a deal killer for a lot of people,

01:31:33   but a significant problem

01:31:35   and a significant barrier to adoption.

01:31:37   Anyway, so I have some reservations

01:31:40   about whether I should own one of these things.

01:31:43   The practical side of it, that would concern me.

01:31:47   - But you don't have any reservations

01:31:48   about whether your wife should own one of these.

01:31:50   (laughing)

01:31:51   - Well, she likes her car a lot.

01:31:53   If we bought one of these, it would have to be my car.

01:31:55   Did you look at the luggage space

01:31:58   and the general 3GT-ishness?

01:32:01   I feel like the space in this car

01:32:04   is maybe not as cavernous as her current car,

01:32:07   but it's in the ballpark, right?

01:32:09   - I think it might have more total space,

01:32:12   even though the 3GT has a pretty nice wide opening

01:32:15   to the back, but the Tesla might have more overall space.

01:32:18   Anyway, I would say it was,

01:32:21   the driving experience of this overall

01:32:25   was the best driving car I've ever driven, period.

01:32:28   - Better than yours?

01:32:29   - Yeah. - Wow.

01:32:30   - I really would like to have more time

01:32:32   driving one of these things,

01:32:34   even though I have reservations about it in practice.

01:32:36   So anyway, after the test drive,

01:32:38   I went back to my car to drive at home for 20 minutes.

01:32:42   Going from the P85D to an M5,

01:32:46   it made the M5 feel like two words

01:32:49   that nobody has ever used to describe an M5,

01:32:53   Slow and light.

01:32:54   - Those are two words that no one has ever used

01:32:58   to describe an M5, you're absolutely right.

01:33:00   - I would add a third one, noisy,

01:33:02   but that's just the radio anyway.

01:33:04   - Yeah, that's true.

01:33:05   (laughing)

01:33:06   Yeah.

01:33:07   Now, yeah, so going back to the M5,

01:33:09   first of all, I immediately missed the all-wheel drive.

01:33:13   Immediately, 'cause you know,

01:33:14   it was a cold day on the hard tires,

01:33:17   even though both cars had winter tires on them,

01:33:18   but I immediately missed the all-wheel drive.

01:33:20   Going back to shifting gears.

01:33:22   Now I have discussed many times in KCU2,

01:33:25   I always, I love manually shifting my gears.

01:33:28   I do it with a DCT now, I did it with a stick in the past,

01:33:30   and I do this because I don't like the way automatics feel

01:33:34   and behave and they make the decisions for you.

01:33:37   I want maximum responsiveness for what I intend to do

01:33:39   with the car, and I can only really get that

01:33:41   by shifting gears.

01:33:42   I don't shift gears manually because I like the actual work

01:33:46   of managing what gear the car is in,

01:33:49   how it matches up with the engine power and everything.

01:33:52   Like, the actual work of shifting the gears,

01:33:55   I don't care that much about,

01:33:56   which is why I had no qualms going to the DCT from the manual

01:33:59   and why I don't regret that move at all.

01:34:01   I want the car to behave the way I want

01:34:03   and to have the power available the way I want.

01:34:06   Not necessarily do I need to be shifting gears constantly.

01:34:09   Having no gears at all

01:34:10   and having infinite power available at any speed

01:34:13   with very little lag, I can honestly say,

01:34:16   after 15 minutes of driving it at least,

01:34:18   that's just better.

01:34:19   Like, it's simply better.

01:34:21   Like I thought it would be less fun

01:34:24   or less like a driving experience, but it wasn't.

01:34:26   It just felt better.

01:34:28   And you know, it really, overall, it really felt like,

01:34:32   when I went back to my car,

01:34:34   it immediately felt like the clunky, bad hack

01:34:37   that gas cars really are.

01:34:39   Like gas cars are such terrible hacks.

01:34:42   Piles and piles of terrible hacks on top of terrible hacks.

01:34:46   And you know, Jon, as you said last week,

01:34:48   like the Tesla has so many fewer parts.

01:34:50   It's such a simpler mechanical thing you feel that like you can really tell that this you know this all electric drivetrain

01:34:57   It is something else. It is really something else and and unfortunately there's something else

01:35:02   I think has ruined me forever like just having driven it once like now

01:35:05   I'm ruined now every gas car seems like an old clunky hack. Did you look in the frunk?

01:35:10   I did yeah in the back, and that's why I say like where's the car you open up all the doors?

01:35:15   And you open up all the things you're like this is like a magic trick

01:35:18   - I know, well and like they have like in my mall showroom

01:35:21   which I went to, I went to the mall a few days ago

01:35:22   for something else so I stopped at the showroom

01:35:24   to look at their paint and stuff.

01:35:25   They have like a disassemble where it's only

01:35:28   the drive train, so and they had these I'm sure

01:35:30   in most of their showrooms, it's just like this giant

01:35:32   silver rectangle of batteries with wheels on the corners

01:35:36   and that's about it, like there's not much more to it.

01:35:38   - And it has, but it has the motors though, right?

01:35:41   - Yeah, yeah, yeah.

01:35:42   - And so like, then it's like, you think okay,

01:35:44   well this is just the chassis and then you'll have to add

01:35:45   like the engine and it's like no, you could drive that thing if you put a steering wheel

01:35:49   on it, right? It's the car, it's the wheels, it's the suspension, it's the battery, and

01:35:53   it's the power sources for all of the wheels. Yeah, exactly. So, I mean, it really, I would

01:35:59   say don't drive one of these. Because it will ruin you. I mean, it is, you know, my lease

01:36:06   is coming up in a year. And an all-wheel drive M5 is probably going to come out in about

01:36:11   three more years. But I think by the time an Alba Drive M5 comes out, I will probably

01:36:17   already be driving one of these and I won't want to go back to a gas car. Like no matter

01:36:22   how good of a gas car it is, once you've driven one of these things, it is shockingly different

01:36:27   and shockingly good. Like again, I thought there was going to be major trade-offs in

01:36:32   fun and sportiness and handling and there just weren't at all. Like it was just better.

01:36:39   It was so much better and so much simpler and so much, it's almost more pure, you

01:36:44   know, from a pure perspective.

01:36:45   It's more pure because there's less stuff like managing all these different hacks and

01:36:52   levels of power delivery.

01:36:54   You just push the pedal to go and you can do whatever you want with the steering and

01:36:59   it's just amazing.

01:37:02   And so I think, you know, if I can make an analogy to conclude this whole long rant that's

01:37:07   now been almost a half hour long.

01:37:09   Electric cars are a lot like SSDs,

01:37:11   and the transition to SSDs,

01:37:13   where as soon as you use an SSD for the first time,

01:37:16   it ruins you.

01:37:17   You know, like as soon as you see an SSD,

01:37:20   you're like, oh man, I can never go back to this.

01:37:22   And as soon as you have used one,

01:37:24   any spinning disk that you use after that,

01:37:26   it's just like, oh, this is horrible, it's so slow,

01:37:29   it's such a hack, you know, it's terrible.

01:37:31   So once you have used, once you've driven an electric car,

01:37:34   it's very similar, it's like you just,

01:37:35   It ruins everything else for you.

01:37:37   But like the SSD transition,

01:37:41   it also comes with significant cost

01:37:43   and significant limitations up front.

01:37:46   And maybe eventually, like years down the road,

01:37:49   maybe we'll be past that,

01:37:51   but it's gonna be slower than the SSD transition was.

01:37:54   And so pure electric cars are incredible in a lot of ways.

01:38:00   Inconvenient and limited and expensive in other ways,

01:38:03   but they're just so much better

01:38:07   at the core driving experience in so many ways

01:38:11   that I think a lot of people are gonna be willing

01:38:13   to accept those costs and those limitations,

01:38:16   just like SSDs.

01:38:17   And I think it's very, very likely

01:38:20   that I will get one of these when my lease is up.

01:38:22   - Yeah, I said last week, referencing Tesla,

01:38:25   that I said that they were the first company

01:38:27   that actually made a good electric car,

01:38:29   not like good for an electric car,

01:38:31   but a good car that happens to also be electric,

01:38:33   It sounds like you agree.

01:38:34   - Totally, I mean completely totally agree.

01:38:37   I've already priced it out with the options I want

01:38:42   and it is actually more expensive,

01:38:43   but what I'd like to do, I'd actually like to,

01:38:46   if I can find a dealer that has one,

01:38:47   I'd like to test drive the non-P version, just the 85D.

01:38:52   So it's still the all-wheel drive, but it's less power

01:38:55   because I don't intend to do the insane mode acceleration

01:38:58   from a stop like ever,

01:39:00   'cause I actually didn't like it as I said,

01:39:02   like it was unpleasant.

01:39:04   So I'm curious, like the non-P one,

01:39:06   it still has all the drive and everything,

01:39:08   that is like 20 grand less

01:39:09   and a good few hundred dollars a month less on the lease.

01:39:13   So I'm gonna look at that

01:39:14   and see if I can drive one of those

01:39:15   and see if I care about the difference.

01:39:18   But I'm pretty sure I'm gonna be getting

01:39:20   one of these things.

01:39:21   And Casey, never drive one because this will ruin you too.

01:39:24   Like this is how the manual transmission is going to die.

01:39:27   We all thought that it was gonna die

01:39:29   because everyone moved to automatics.

01:39:32   In reality, the manual is gonna be killed

01:39:33   by the lack of a need for a transmission.

01:39:36   - Yeah, you're right.

01:39:38   It's wild to me that you liked it that much.

01:39:41   The fact that you liked it,

01:39:42   nah, not really surprising at all.

01:39:44   The fact that you liked it this much,

01:39:46   I do find surprising, especially because,

01:39:48   I feel like BMW and Apple,

01:39:52   and I know you guys think I'm crazy

01:39:54   for comparing them and saying they're similar,

01:39:55   but I really do feel like they are in a lot of ways.

01:39:57   And Apple, in a lot of ways,

01:40:00   tries to get you invested in the experience of owning an Apple product with the retail stores.

01:40:08   And I'm trying to think of other examples, but I can't, but just the whole experience of owning

01:40:11   an Apple product. Similarly, BMW, maybe they don't actively try to get you in a similar position,

01:40:16   but you know, when you and I and Underscore went to the performance driving school, that was

01:40:22   certainly an actual event that we learned things, but you could also say it was a two day BMW sales

01:40:27   pitch that we paid for the privilege of going to see. And so in a lot of ways, I feel like

01:40:32   you and I have bought into the whole BMW air quotes culture. And plus we both drive like

01:40:38   jerks so that helps too. But the point is, you know, I feel like you and I are slash

01:40:45   were all in on Apple, all in on the BMW like experience. And for you to just violently

01:40:52   say, "Oh my goodness, this is definitely..." like your head is swiveled around entirely.

01:40:57   And I'm not saying that's a bad thing at all.

01:40:59   In fact, that's probably a good thing because I think this is the future.

01:41:02   But I'm surprised how enthusiastic you are over this experience after having spent so

01:41:09   much time going to Munich, going to the performance driving school, owning three different BMWs

01:41:15   in the last 10 years, whatever it's been.

01:41:17   You know, I'm surprised that you are this into it this quickly.

01:41:20   - Well, this is true disruption.

01:41:22   True disruption is something that makes everything else

01:41:25   seem totally irrelevant and useless and old.

01:41:27   Like, that's how good this was.

01:41:29   It was incredible.

01:41:30   And as I said, the handling, the speed,

01:41:33   and the all-wheel drive system were just incredible.

01:41:36   This is gonna be ridiculously successful, I think,

01:41:41   among anyone who can afford it,

01:41:43   which is admittedly a very small group,

01:41:45   but it's gonna be really good.

01:41:47   I think what you just said, though,

01:41:49   about buying in and being, maybe a fanboy,

01:41:53   maybe that's the right word,

01:41:53   just like buying in a lot to one company's culture

01:41:57   or products or identity.

01:42:00   This is one of the reasons why,

01:42:03   right now I'm a huge fan of coffee and Apple stuff

01:42:08   and BMWs, but there's a reason why my Twitter username,

01:42:13   it's not like Coffee Marco or Apple Fan Marco.

01:42:18   I never try to tie my identity to something that could so easily change over time.

01:42:25   I think it's important for everybody to consider this with your own identities and

01:42:29   with the teams you think you're on.

01:42:32   What you think makes you.

01:42:36   If you consist of a set of brand names and foods you like, don't tie too firmly to

01:42:44   that because that stuff can change.

01:42:47   What if tomorrow I develop a digestive problem and I can't drink coffee anymore?

01:42:51   Like I don't want to have coffee, I've been this giant part of my identity that

01:42:54   all of a sudden I feel like I'm losing part of my identity, you know?

01:42:58   If BMW starts making cars I don't like, I have no problem buying something from somebody

01:43:02   else.

01:43:03   If Apple starts making computers I don't like, I have no problem buying computers from

01:43:05   somebody else.

01:43:06   I hope that doesn't happen with Apple because these somebody else's out there are not

01:43:10   that good, but you know, like if that happens, like I'm fine changing those things.

01:43:16   It is very important that I never lock my identity

01:43:20   to some external affiliation to a brand or a thing

01:43:24   that I can't easily get away from.

01:43:26   That's unwise.

01:43:28   And it makes people make bad decisions

01:43:31   and have stupid conversations and leave stupid comments

01:43:33   in people's comment forms.

01:43:34   So, yeah, I mean look, right now I have a BMW

01:43:39   because it was the best car in the world

01:43:44   that I could get at the time that I got it.

01:43:46   And I worked hard enough to get it

01:43:48   and I was really happy about that.

01:43:49   And I still am very happy with it.

01:43:51   But now I've found something that is substantially better

01:43:54   and a few key ways that matter a lot to me.

01:43:56   And again, in some key ways, it's substantially worse.

01:44:00   You know, my car can go 300, 400 miles easy on the highway

01:44:04   and then I can stop and I can fill up

01:44:06   in 10 minutes anywhere and go.

01:44:09   And you can't do that with a Tesla.

01:44:11   And that's not gonna be the kind of thing

01:44:13   that all of a sudden comes next year.

01:44:15   Like that's gonna be a long term thing

01:44:18   that you might never be able to do.

01:44:19   Like it's not even guaranteed,

01:44:21   like oh eventually they'll charge in 10 minutes,

01:44:23   it'll be fine.

01:44:24   Like that might never happen.

01:44:25   Certainly within the lifetime of the car

01:44:27   that you buy today that you own,

01:44:30   within the lifetime of anything you buy today

01:44:31   that almost certainly won't happen.

01:44:33   But you need to be open to the possibility

01:44:37   of something better might come along, right?

01:44:39   And I think in this case something did.

01:44:42   If there are any wealthy benefactors listening to this show, please keep in mind that I still

01:44:46   want the mid-engine V8 Ferrari.

01:44:49   Whatever the current one is.

01:44:52   So that's 488, you know, and just keep up with the model.

01:44:55   So just that has not changed.

01:44:57   Wow.

01:44:59   Now Marco, I think just to close this post-show, just let this show you that every great once

01:45:06   in a while, doing your homework is actually worth it.

01:45:09   Eh, probably not.

01:45:12   That was really long, I'm sorry.

01:45:14   That was incredibly long.

01:45:15   Talk about brand affiliation and everything.

01:45:18   Everything you said is true, but in your case specifically, I think that what it highlights

01:45:23   is that the aspect of your personality and your dealings with sort of products and brands

01:45:31   that wins out over brand allegiance is your desire for new shiny things.

01:45:37   And so that is the primary motivator of your actions.

01:45:42   And then, "Ooh, this is better.

01:45:43   "Ooh, is there something better?

01:45:44   "Ooh, that's better.

01:45:45   "Ooh, that's better."

01:45:46   That sort of nature of like,

01:45:47   which doesn't manifest itself

01:45:49   in your programming language things,

01:45:50   but totally manifests itself.

01:45:51   (laughing)

01:45:52   - Not at all.

01:45:53   - In your choice of foods, cleaning materials,

01:45:57   like things that you buy, you know what I mean?

01:45:59   Like the cars that you drive,

01:46:02   the computers that you use,

01:46:03   all gonna get a new Mac Pro,

01:46:05   now the new iMac is shinier.

01:46:06   Like just you are always looking for a product

01:46:08   that's better than the product you have.

01:46:09   Testing a million light bulbs,

01:46:11   is there a better light bulb

01:46:12   than these eight light bulbs I have already tried?

01:46:14   Is it better in some subtle way?

01:46:15   I need to find the best light bulb.

01:46:17   - It's been a while with light.

01:46:17   I gotta find a new, I gotta look at light bulbs again.

01:46:19   - You don't have any brand allegiance to light bulbs.

01:46:21   You're just like, I just want the best light bulb.

01:46:22   And if there's a better light bulb out there

01:46:23   and I don't have it,

01:46:24   I'm just replacing every light bulb in this damn house.

01:46:26   Like I got an M5, now it's crap, I need an electric car.

01:46:29   - No, it's not crap, but it's just like,

01:46:31   I found something that's just way better.

01:46:33   - I know, I know, but like I was saying,

01:46:35   that your personal drive to find the best one of whatever

01:46:40   for the things that you're into is overriding.

01:46:43   But I think you do have some allegiance to like,

01:46:46   you really liked BMWs, you like what they do,

01:46:47   you bought multiple BMWs or whatever,

01:46:49   but it's only until you find something

01:46:51   that's better than them.

01:46:52   Like it doesn't, that overrides the loyalty,

01:46:55   'cause you did have loyalty to BMW for,

01:46:57   the Tesla has existed.

01:46:58   And if you had test drive,

01:46:59   test driven the non insane mode,

01:47:01   non-high powered one of these years ago,

01:47:04   you might have had the same reaction,

01:47:06   maybe without the part where you felt like

01:47:08   you were being punched in the face,

01:47:09   but you might have had the same reaction

01:47:10   and what was keeping you from doing that.

01:47:12   - Well, but it only had all wheel drive like two months ago

01:47:14   and the high powered motor and everything.

01:47:16   - Yeah, I guess I do, but again,

01:47:18   you'd have to drive the two wheel drive one,

01:47:20   see if it's right.

01:47:21   You already have a two wheel drive car now,

01:47:22   you bought a two wheel drive M5.

01:47:24   So there is a little bit of the whole brand loyalty

01:47:26   and the fact that you don't wanna keep looking

01:47:28   for a new thing.

01:47:29   Once you find the thing you have,

01:47:30   you won't enjoy it for some period of time

01:47:31   before you revisit, but I would say

01:47:33   that that is the dominant part of your personality,

01:47:35   overriding all of the other parts.

01:47:37   - This is why I lease cars.

01:47:38   And also 'cause I stress out too much when I don't.

01:47:40   'Cause I, oh God, ugh, I hate, whenever I had a car

01:47:44   that I owned, I was such an incredible ball of nerves

01:47:48   and just total wreck about it.

01:47:49   Like any little scratch, oh my God,

01:47:51   I'm gonna look at this for 10 years, like ugh.

01:47:52   - Even when you own crappy cars?

01:47:54   - Yeah, yeah, 'cause then when I owned the crappy cars,

01:47:57   it was less about this is going to destroy value and make me lose a lot of money and

01:48:01   more about I'm going to look at the stretch of the next ten years.

01:48:03   Yeah, no, I'm resigned to that. I've grabbed the cars and I tried to keep my new car nice

01:48:08   for a long time, but it's just impossible. This winter, I can't imagine what my car is

01:48:15   going to look like when I finally clean it off in the spring and see what the hell is

01:48:18   underneath all the road salt and grime and disgustingness. But yeah.

01:48:22   I can tell you, it's going to look like a very average, completely forgettable car.

01:48:26   I've already established it's just not average.

01:48:29   It is more of the average from a decade ago.

01:48:31   But anyway, I keep my cars until they die

01:48:34   or until their resale value is almost zero.

01:48:37   Like, you know, we better sell this

01:48:38   because if I don't sell it soon,

01:48:39   I'm gonna have to give it away and that may be difficult.

01:48:41   Like that's how long we keep my cars, right?

01:48:43   So I'm not a car leaser.

01:48:44   My Ferrari, although I would drive very little,

01:48:48   just so you know, and I would try to maintain its value.

01:48:50   So don't feel like you're giving me a Ferrari.

01:48:52   - Okay, now somebody will buy you one.

01:48:53   - Wealthy benefactor who's listening,

01:48:55   I will take good care of it and you won't park it under the acorn tree, right? Oh, no never

01:48:59   I will buy a different house for it to live in

01:49:01   So this is why you buy used cars is because by the time it arrives in your garage

01:49:08   It's already been nicked or dinged in some way shape or form and so it's all the bets already off at that point

01:49:13   You could just have to embrace it

01:49:15   It's I don't think you can do the P the 85 D

01:49:19   I think you'd have to do the p85 D because the performance difference is substantial

01:49:24   It's a large difference. Yeah, if it was if it was like if it was like in the four second rings versus 3.2

01:49:29   I'd do it. Oh, that would be plenty. But yeah, it's it's a pretty substantial difference. Yeah, I think you're right

01:49:34   Unfortunately, you don't have to turn on insane mode

01:49:37   You can you'll try it because it may be what you like is the fact that there's no

01:49:41   Pauses or noise or like just the sort of the whoosh

01:49:44   You know the electric so try the slower quote unquote slower one and see because again like is the slower one

01:49:50   are all that much slower from 50 to 80,

01:49:53   maybe not that much that you would notice.

01:49:55   - Yeah, well, I'm a little concerned

01:49:56   'cause the Super P1,

01:49:59   it mentions a different suspension in its description,

01:50:03   and what I liked so much about it

01:50:04   was the suspension of the auto drive system,

01:50:06   so I suspect I'm just gonna have to go with the big one.

01:50:08   - Well, just, you know, test them all.

01:50:10   - I'm such an asshole.

01:50:11   - Well, you know, you overcame that part,

01:50:14   the part of you that was embarrassed

01:50:16   to buy like the ridiculous car,

01:50:17   you overcame that for the M5,

01:50:18   so I feel like you've crossed that hurdle,

01:50:20   and now it will be easier to pull the trigger on.

01:50:21   Just give me whatever the most expensive Tesla you have is.

01:50:24   I want that one.

01:50:25   - Well, and this is actually,

01:50:26   like driving around my neighborhood,

01:50:27   like I do feel a little self-conscious

01:50:29   because my car is very loud.

01:50:30   Because the M5, like the M cars are all,

01:50:32   they're extra loud.

01:50:33   - You won't have that problem anymore.

01:50:34   - I know, and yeah, exactly.

01:50:36   And my neighbors have even made comments like,

01:50:37   "Oh, we can hear you coming up the block."

01:50:40   - Well, that might also have to do

01:50:41   with you not shifting before 5,000 RPM.

01:50:44   (laughing)

01:50:45   - Why would I?

01:50:46   - Just saying.

01:50:48   (laughing)

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