Transport Evolved News Panel Talk Show Episode 228: That Would Be a Coding Matter

On today’s Transport Evolved: Apple Watch Apps, BMW’s security flaw, and oil changes for electric cars.

These stories and more coming up on today’s Transport Evolved, with Nikki Gordon-Bloomfield, Seth Weintraub, and Matt Stevens

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Welcome to today’s show! Today, Nikki is joined by journalist and Tesla Model S owner Seth Weintraub and engineer extraordinaire Matt Stevens.

Award-winning journalist and blogger Seth Weintraub has many years of experience covering the tech world, and won backto back Neal Awards during his three plus years  covering Apple and Google at IDG’s Computerworld from 20072010.

Weintraub next covered all things Google for Fortune Magazine from 2010-2011 amassing a thick rolodex of Google contacts.

It turns out that his hobby blog was always his favorite and in 2011 he went full time adding his Fortune Google followers to and adding gear and deals site. His EV-centric site is required reading for in-depth analysis of the plug-in and green energy world.

For 15 years, Weintraub was a Global IT director and Web Developer for a number of companies with stints at multimedia and branding agencies in Paris, Los Angeles, New York, Sydney, Hong Kong, Madrid and London before becoming a publisher/blogger. Seth is a licensed single engin private pilot, certified open water diver and spent over a year traveling to 60 cities in 23 countries. Whatever free time exists is now guaranteed to his wife and two sons.

you can reach out to Seth via his page.)

Canadian engineer and businessman Matt Stevens is possibly the only person we’ve ever had on the show who can claim to have worked on the design of an extra-terrestrial vehicle, having worked on everything from lunar rovers to a stealth snowmobile. He also happens to hold a doctorate in Chemical Engineering, which explains why his video on electric car battery degradation is required viewing.

These days, he works on making personal fuel economy labels for fleets and individuals looking to pick the best vehicle for their own circumstances. His company, CrossChasm, also happens to be behind the recent successful MyEV data logger app IndieGoGo crowd funding campaign. Matt is also an Adjunct Processor at the University of Waterloo, past-chairman of Electric Mobility Canada, and a Chevrolet Volt driver.

You can touch base with Matt via the CEO corner on the FleetCarma website, or  you can reach out to Seth via his page.

Part One:

We chat to Seth about his take on Tesla CEO Elon Musk’s appearance on the Simpsons a few weeks back, and ask why so many Tesla fans were upset about the way Tesla (and Musk) were portrayed.

We also ask Matt for an update on the MyEV project from FleetCarma, and ask if the impending AppleWatch will mean that it too will be included in future App updates.

Next, we’ll chat with Seth about the guy who recently put a Tesla listing up on Airbnb, and asks if he’d pay $85 a night to sleep in a Tesla — and more importantly, if he’d rent his own car out for that much every night?

We also as Matt as the resident Canadian if an idea for the city of Edmonton to build a winter ‘freezeway’ for low-carbon commuting will ever have legs… or if it will just fall flat on its rear instead?

Also in Part One: 

Since we didn’t have a show last week, we look back at BMW’s unusual yet clever ad for the BMW i3 during the Super Bowl last week, and ask if was a stroke of advertising genius, or a complete flop?

Finally for the segment, we discuss the news that NHTSA has set September 1, 2018 as the deadline by which all new electric and hybrid cars (or rather, any car capable of moving by electricity alone) will be required to have an artificial noise maker fitted as standard.

We ask if there’s about to be a new market for after-market noise makers, and examine just what a difference they may (or may not) make.

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Part Two:

Following on from last fortnight’s announcement from BMW and VW, Nissan promised it too would be expanding quick charging provision in the U.S. by helping install a total of more than 1,100 chargers between now and April next year. For those looking at buying a plug-in car, we try to ask which charging standard their car should have.

CCS or CHAdeMO? Which would you choose?

CCS or CHAdeMO? Which would you choose?

Last week, BMW patched its Connected Drive service to prevent unauthorised access to some 2.2 million cars, including the BMW i3 and i8 plug-in cars.

BMW patched its connecteddrive software this week. Should it have been a flaw that ever made it into the wild?

BMW patched its connecteddrive software this week. Should it have been a flaw that ever made it into the wild?


Why did the security flaw happen in the first place, and is this a sign of things to come in the new inter-connected automotive world?  Or is it jus a careless mistake which should have never got past beta testing?

Staying with tech for a second, we cover a new app which surfaced this week from ELEKS. While only a demonstration app built to examine and understand the process of building an app for the Apple Watch, this smart watch app (for the Tesla Model S) looks good enough to go straight into the App Store for the Apple Watch launch. But will it? And what did the team behind it discover about Apple’s Watch SDK?

This week, Audi confirmed that it will launch its next-generation A8 sedan towards the end of next year — and it will ship with basic autonomous drive technology fitted. Despite that, Audi’s technology Boss Dr. Ulrich Hackenberg said that full autonomy will be at least ten years away due to legislative hurdles. Will we ever see fully autonomous cars and which automaker will be the first to break the watershed of not needing a driver?

Audi's A7 Piloted Drive concept recently managed a 560 mile drive between Silicon Valley and Las Vegas without incident.

Audi’s A7 Piloted Drive concept recently managed a 560 mile drive between Silicon Valley and Las Vegas without incident.

Finally for the segment, we look at Germany, where the country’s first public autonomous driving test ground has been announced between Munich and Berlin. We ask if autonomous tests on the world famous Autobahn network will teach automakers all they need to know about safely driving at speed, and wonder if autonomous driving will one day mean the end to speed limits?

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Part Three:

It was the most popular plug-in car of 2014 in Europe, outselling the Nissan LEAF and Tesla Model S by some significant margins. Despite its successes in Europe however, Mitsubishi confirmed this week that the launch of the second-generation Outlander Plug-in Hybrid would be further delayed in the U.S. until Q2 next year. We try and second-guess Mitsubishi’s reasons for doing this, and wonder if its experiences with the i-Miev have caused it to doubt the U.S. market.

Want the Mitsubishi Outlander to go on sale in the U.S.? There's a little wait...

Want the Mitsubishi Outlander to go on sale in the U.S.? There’s a little wait…

Following a failed attempt last year to end Georgia’s generous electric car purchase incentives, a new bill has been submitted to the House this week which seeks to end all plug-in car incentives by July 1, and already has more than 60 supporters in the House. But with sales of electric cars in and around Atlanta some of the highest in the country, will Georgia actually kill plug-in incentives all together or pass a slightly different law instead?

Electric car incentives in Georgia: under attack?

Electric car incentives in Georgia: under attack?

Staying with incentives for a second, we look at Federal Tax incentives for hydrogen fuel cell vehicles. Despite them ending on December 31 last year, Toyota is still promoting its upcoming Mirai fuel cell sedan as if the incentives were still in place. Is there something Toyota knows that we don’t — and will it manage to successfully lobby for H2 incentives before the Mirai goes on sale this fall? Or is it hoping that the latest budget proposed by President Obama — which suggests some pretty sweeping change to green car incentives — will somehow manage to pass by the extremely anti-Obama legislature?

Or is it scared by the recent 43% price drop from its nearest competitor, the 2015 Hyundai Tucson FCV? 

Does Toyota know something we don't?

Does Toyota know something we don’t?

Finally, we tell the tale of woe from the UK of the guy who was indadvertedly charged for an oil change when he took his Nissan LEAF in for a service — and how you should always check your bill before paying it…


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