THE DRIVE with Alan Taylor | Episode #316

The last episode of the year gears us up for the shifts in the automotive industry for 2018. We begin the show with automotive journalist, BJ Killeen, who reviews the new Lincoln Navigator and Cadillac Escalade. Next, technology expert, John Ellis, discusses his new book, The Zero Dollar Car. He explains how our cars will have the potential to use data tracking monetarily, and in turn, pay for themselves. Then, Karl Brauer of Kelley Blue Book sounds off about the North American Car, Utility, and Truck of the Year Awards (NACTOY), and discusses the future of autonomous automotive technology. We end the hour with Dan Sandberg of Brembo North America who tells us that he sees a solid future for electronic brakes and their company is working hard to stay ahead of the game. Listen now.

  • [00:00:00] Charlie’s Rough Ride
  • [00:05:50] Escalade vs. Navigator
  • [00:12:30] Navigator Steps Up a Notch
  • [00:19:53] Hats Off to the OEMs
  • [00:28:22] The Zero Dollar Car Pays for Itself
  • [00:35:55] Dark Side of Automotive Data Tracking
  • [00:42:15] NACTOY Difficult Decisions
  • [00:48:30] Tight Competition for NACTOY
  • [00:54:46] 2018: The Year of the Truck
  • [01:02:09] Autonomous Tech Leaps Forward
  • [01:10:40] Brembo Brakes Research Electronic
  • [01:18:11] New Breed of Materials for Our Rides

Discover more about segments and guests below…

[00:00:00] Charlie’s Rough Ride

The holidays are here and sometimes things get a little wild around this time of year. Alan talks with BJ Killeen about his poor dog Charlie who he’s had for 10 years. After a lengthy stay at the emergency vet starting on Christmas Eve, Charlie had to undergo a blood transfusion. The vet was never able to discover what was going on with the cute little fluff ball but Alan assures us that he is recovering fully. This Maltipoo deserves a little extra love this holiday season.

[00:05:50] Navigator vs. Escalade

Automotive journalist, BJ Killeen, recently had the opportunity to drive the new Lincoln Navigator. In order to accurately compare and contrast she decided to drive the newest Cadillac Escalade as well. She picked up a diesel version of the Escalade as a press car and spent hours getting to know it. BJ holds the Escalade in very high regards saying it’s comfortable and very powerful with its V8 engine, but journalists think that Lincoln is giving Cadillac a run for their money. Which SUV gets your vote?

[00:12:30] Lincoln Navigator Steps Up a Notch

Lincoln has released their newest Navigator and automotive journalist, BJ Killeen, got the opportunity to take it for a spin. BJ tells us that the Navigators used to be inexpensive, but this in not the case anymore with the base model coming in at $73,000 and the Black Label trim taking it up over $100,000. If you are not loyal to any SUV in particular, then the Lincoln Navigator may be a ride you want to look into. The twin-turbocharged 3.5L V6 engine creates 450-HP and 510-lb ft. of torque, giving you a lot of power from a smaller engine. The Cadillac Escalade is paling in comparison to the smooth ride of the Navigator with its independent rear suspension. Lincoln is jumping even further into luxury. Learn more now.

[00:19:53] Hats Off to the OEMs

OEMs are stepping it up in the automotive industry and their loyal consumers are grateful. Alan and automotive journalist, BJ Killeen, discuss the quality of machines that are coming straight out of the factories in recent years; the Dodge Demon is a great example of factory perfection. BJ recently drove the refreshed Lincoln Navigator and she raves about its fantastic attributes. If you’re a car enthusiast with the desire for the latest, greatest thing on the street then look no further than the Navigator. Alan and BJ also share their excitement for upcoming trade shows, including CES and the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS). Could the rumors of a mid-engine Corvette at NAIAS be true?

[00:28:22] ‘The Zero Dollar Car Pays for Itself

Data is flying around all over the internet, our phones, and now even our cars. Technology expert, John Ellis, explains how data tracking could help our cars pay for themselves and shares about his book, The Zero Dollar Car. John tells us that data is currency; there are companies out there that thrive off of consumer information and are willing to pay for it. We are already exercising this concept with Facebook and Instagram; we use it for free, they get our content for free. Cars with billboards on them are already in use, generating data and providing a zero dollar ride for the driver. Could your car potentially become a secondary income in the future?

[00:35:55] Dark Side of Automotive Data Tracking

Data tracking is happening on all of our devices at every moment and while there are a lot of people that can benefit from it, there is also a dangerous side. Technology expert John Ellis shares the dark side of data tracking, and tells us that now is the time to set some precedents. Privacy is a huge factor when it comes to the use of our data, and many are concerned about what their user statistics will be used for. John tells us that consumers should have the right and the ability to offer up their personal information on their own terms. Also, Alan and John get hyped up about CES, and are ready for their minds to be blown by the new products coming our way. New technology means more data tracking. What is your stance on sharing your personal information?

[00:42:15] NACTOY Difficult Decisions

The North American Car, Utility, and Truck of the Year (NACTOY) jury is made up of a swath of automotive journalists from the U.S., Mexico, and Canada. Karl Brauer of Kelley Blue Book explains that the journalists pay out of their own pocket to be a part of the jury, so there is no outside influence. The vehicles that made it to the final round are required to be completely redesigned or brand new. Car, truck, and utility segments are stacked with cars that put the OEMs’ best foot forward, and you will be surprised by the magnificent rides that made it to the top.

[00:48:30] Tight Competition for NACTOY

This year the judging for the NACTOY is going to be a close call. The OEMs have impressed the journalists with their releases and it’s difficult to decide who will come out on top. Karl Brauer of Kelley Blue Book shares why some of the cars have made it to the finals. We’ve all heard that the Kia Stinger is kicking some major booty in the car sector, but there are very strong arguments for the Honda Accord and Toyota Camry as well. Karl is also having a hard time with the utility category because while the Alpha Romeo Stelvio is pretty impressive, the Honda Odyssey has been one of his personal favorites for some time. Do you have a car of the year in mind?

[00:54:46] 2018: The Year of the Truck

Utility is becoming number one in the auto market and trucks have taken over that segment. Karl Brauer of Kelley Blue Book predicts that 2018 will be the year of the truck. The Ford F-150, Dodge Ram, and Chevy Silverado are the profit drivers for domestic automakers. The F-150 has been awarded the best-selling vehicle for the past four decades, which is nothing to scoff at. We can look forward to better suspension, lighter body weights, and the latest technology that will make trucks a consumer go-to. In the market for a new workhorse?

[01:02:09] Autonomous Tech Leaps Forward

While looking over in traffic to see computers driving us around may still be in the distant future, autonomous technology is moving quickly. Karl Brauer of Kelley Blue Book discusses this emerging tech in the automotive industry. He theorizes about news stories that we may see, involving self-driving car accidents; who will be to blame? As it stands, human error is one of the most common reasons for wrecks, and Alan and Karl predict that autonomous technology may reduce this. Are you ready to kick back and let your car do the driving?

[01:10:40] Brembo Brakes Research Electronic

Technology is advancing at a monumental pace, and the automotive industry is trying to keep up. Dan Sandberg, President of Brembo North America, explains that their company is doing research to discover what the future of their brakes looks like. The possibility for electronic brakes seems imminent, and companies are already using regenerative systems that will charge batteries as they stop. The automotive industry is taking over CES; Dan and Alan are excited to see the advanced engineering that is coming into their world. Batteries increase torque, and the brakes will need to follow suit.

[01:18:11] New Breed of Materials for Our Rides

Stronger, lighter, faster – new materials are surfacing that are making our vehicles more efficient. President of Brembo North America, Dan Sandberg, discusses why it is necessary for engineers to learn more about the materials they are designing with. OEMs are shifting towards lightweight, needing to make room for the heavy batteries that are fueling our modern rides. Currently, Brembo brakes are the only real mass production aluminum calipers, but Dan tells us that we will begin to see a mix of materials in all of their future components. The future looks bright – and light – for the automotive industry.

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Episode Credits:

  • Program Host: Alan Taylor
  • Producer: Dave Milligan
  • Production Assistant: Joanne Bolden
  • Audio Engineer: Dave Milligan
  • Copy Editor: Jess Baumgardner

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