Questions for Sam the Car Guy

Suggest topics or ask questions about about automotive technology

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Are electric cars and primarily their batteries viable in northern Canada when the temperatures reach below zero?

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it depends on your use case and how far you have to drive. Your range will decline significantly (30-50% less) because you will be drawing energy from the battery to heat the cabin and defog the windows. But if your driving is up to about a 100 miles, an EV with 200 or more miles of range should work

I know you are going to talk about Tesla summon so all I ask is you be fair. It is still beta and Tesla is doing one thing that will alleviate problems. As per regulations. All model threes have a speaker near the front wheel well. It’s going to be activated to make noise when the car is moving slowly.Tesla Model 3 reportedly gets pedestrian noisemaker ahead of NHTSA mandate

I drive a new Dodge Grand Caravan for work and really enjoy the electronics and entertainment package that is included with it. I also occasionally drive a slightly older Ford Transit. The electronics and entertainment package (Ford Sync) is definitely not as nice. Can you talk about pluses and minuses of the different packages that manufacturers provide?

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While renting a car recently, I enjoyed the wonders of CarPlay for the first time. My experience was great!
Is there any way achieve a similar experience with my iPhone and 2017 BMW i3 or 2016 Tesla X? I especially find it frustrating when using Waze and not being to see it on the car’s native screen.
Thanks, Sam! You are a great addition to the TWIT network.

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Is there a pathway [or workaround] for my 2015 Ford Fusion Energi with Sync 2 to get Android Auto on and use on my display? There is a Sync 3 upgrade [hardware] for a grip-O-cash, I would like to avoid if possible. My Samsung Galaxy S10 currently doesn’t even connect other then bluetooth.

Thanks !

The transit still uses an older version of sync that has limited functionality. I would expect the next generation to move up to sync 3. Most infotainment systems from automakers now support Android Auto and Apple carplay and they offer a lot more functionality. Even if you don’t like the factory interface, with smartphone projection systems you have good options. Biggest issue is the actual user interface, Lexus touchpads are awful, I don’t like touchscreens in cars. Central rotary controllers like Mazda, BMW and others use are the best

Tesla doesn’t support any 3rd party smartphone projection systems so you are out of luck there. The i3 system also doesn’t support Carplay yet although most other BMWs do now, although BMW charges $80/year for the privelige

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I haven’t used Android Auto yet (or Apple Carplay) but I am considering buying a new system for my vintage 1999 Saturn SC2 that would include Android Auto. Do you think there is any advantage to buying a system that has built in navigation vs using the phone? The only thing I can think of is that it would be nice to not use data on the phone or if I was in an area without service.

Unfortunately, you won’t have many options on most newer vehicles because the infotainment screens are so integrated into the vehicle. Aside from the ford upgrade to sync 3, only other option is a mount for your phone and using the android auto app on the phone screen which actually works pretty well

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Maps on the phone don’t actually use much data these days since the map data is vector based rather than bitmaps. I wouldn’t bother with a system with built in Nav since it will have a terrible interface and limited points of interest. If you are going to be in areas without connectivity, take advantage of google’s offline maps and download maps for the area before you head out. Then Google maps can navigate you even when there is no connection.

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Most EVs are already deploying some sort of noise maker and some have had a system to alert pedestrians for many years including the original Chevy Volt and Nissan Leaf.

I like my Energi, particularly the ride, looks good as well, mileage is pretty good*. Long way to asking do you think the Sync 3 upgrade is worth it? I am a guy that typically keeps my cars. My last car an '82 Mercedes TD went 420,000.
*Although I miss having an Actual trunk.

Thanks !

Hi Sam,

It’s great Leo added you to the Tech Guy; your comments are always interesting. I have a Volvo with the Sensus portrait interface; do you know if Volvo will use the CarPlay’s ability to adapt to the screen size? Currently Sensus restricts the CarPlay display to the bottom half; it would be nice to see it full screen or in the dashboard display.

Thanks.

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Your negative bias toward Tesla. I guess is due to your long time on the payroll of ice manufacturers.It’s hard when innovation disrupts the standard quo. Tesla is dragging the rest of the Neanderthal legacy automakers into the future. All of your so-called Tesla killers are still years away.None have the range of the model S, which is 7 Years old and has been Improving constantly with over the air updates. Also refreshed motors.
I look forward to your appearances on Leo’s show.

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Had to sign up to comment on Sam’s discussion of the new “lozenge” car. The lack of a front end is reminiscent of that classic VW bus of the '50s '60s and '70s. VW eventually abandoned that design because of the new vehicle crash requirements . It will be interesting to see if this design can survive the government and IIIHS crash testing.

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This may be a can of worms, but I have always read that a full autonomous car can’t be achieved without lidar and I think Elon Musk is alone in saying otherwise. What are your thoughts, and what will the regulator process be like… will they test the car without lidar to see if he’s right or not even bother?

OldChefGuy, you could also check your local pick&pull yards for a totalled 2017+ Fusion or Mustang with the 8 inch sync 3 and scavenge the parts and either install yourself if so inclined or take it to a reliable mechanic. Also check ebay https://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_from=R40&_trksid=p2380057.m570.l2632.R2.TR2.TRC1.A0.H0.Xford+fusion+sync+3.TRS0&_nkw=ford+fusion+sync+3&_sacat=6028

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thevw, seems unlikely that Volvo would do that on current sensus because of the way they use the split-screen. However, an all-new system is launching next year on the Polestar 2 EV that runs on Android Automotive and that one may use the full screen.

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