The micron metal hour


We really don’t like to pick on the Elon. It’s boring BUT he makes it really easy. This week we explain that the Cyber Truck will never have… well anything he claims, GM Cruise expands their Fire Truck smashers to Raleigh, IIHS tests backseat safety and makes simple suggestions to make motorcycles safer (wear a dang helmet), Fred goes back into Radar and Lidar and some recalls (what’s with the rear view cameras?)

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note: this is a machine generated transcript and may not be completely accurate. This is provided for convience and should not be used for attribution.

Anthony: You’re listening to their auto be a law, the center for auto safety podcast with executive director, Michael Brooks, chief engineer, Fred Perkins, and hosted by me, Anthony Simino. For over 50 years, the center for auto safety has worked to make cars safer. I can’t really see you wearing


Fred: I know it’s surprising looking at me now that I’m, was not a disco guy.

Anthony: Yeah, the guy who cut the chain fence at Woodstock and then was like, Yeah, I’m gonna go home now, I’ve done my part.

Fred: That’s right. Is it time to say hello?

Anthony: Yeah, say hello! Hello. All right. Hey, listeners. Hey, listeners.

Welcome back for another episode of the GM Cruise debacle. Okay, that’s not the name of the show, that’s what we’re going to start off with because GM Cruise has been, began testing their all electric driverless taxis in Raleigh, North Carolina. I don’t understand, but this is what they said.

The North Carolina Department of Transportation is not required to get a permit to test driverless technology on the roads in Raleigh. A state law passed in 2017 states that no driver’s license is required to operate one. The registered owner of a driverless car is responsible for any violations, and the vehicles are required to meet federal safety regulations.

I have a question particularly about point two. The registered owner of a driverless car is responsible for any violations. Who is the registered owner of these cars?

Michael: I’m assuming it’s Cruise. I’d have to assume that because they’re not, selling these things yet. Essentially, all the vehicles they’re testing would be owned by them.

Anthony: So they’ve made a bunch of violations in California we’re aware of. Like, again, how many, I got two points on my license for ignoring a, for… Claiming to go the wrong way down a one way street. The cop was just bored. So how many points do they have on their license in California?

Fred: I don’t know.

How does does GM, is GM a licensed driver? How do you approach their license?

Anthony: See, it says no driver’s license is required to operate one, but there’s a minimum age of 12 to ride in one unsupervised.

Fred: So there’s a range of penalties associated with points on your license, right? So they’re immune from those penalties.

That’s a pretty good deal.

Anthony: Yeah. How many points do you get for driving into a fire truck? All of them? I assume all of the points.

Michael: That just sounds like state law gone wrong. That’s not protecting consumers. You’re functionally exempting a, an unproven driver, which would be a software or hardware driver from.

You’re exempting them from state law that applies to every other driver on the road.

Anthony: Okay, well, the mayor of Raleigh said I’m excited they’re here testing this out. And people bring up the safety issues. And she says, it’s always a concern, but so are people driving. We have more accidents now than we’ve ever had.

So let’s put on cars on the road that don’t have people in them. And are set up by a guy named Kyle, like,

Michael: This is all just more of the same aspirational junk. We’ve seen, it’s being spread like mayonnaise across the country ahead of that, the rollout of these vehicles. They’re not just showing up in Raleigh.

They’re in Nashville. They’re all over Texas in Miami. And, Without if citizens can’t stand up in their localities where these things are and somehow force a change in the process that gives them more power and takes away some of the authorities that states have in this area, which, the states are making the decisions for, your street in this case, and what can go on your street.

And you have very little ability to push back on that. It’s a tough situation for consumers to be in, but, this plan has been laid out. This law has been in place since 2017 before, driverless vehicles were a twinkle in many people’s eyes. So it’s has been well planned and executed on behalf of, the industry.

Fred: Well, people perceive that it’s a gold rush. And one of my professors in college gave me an expression. He said, if there’s a gold rush, sell shovels. And so these people are all shoveling it, I believe.

Anthony: I get the joke that here there’s some Anton double.

Fred: You’re good, you’re right on top of that. That’s

Good Anthony.

Anthony: Ah, speaking of somebody else is shoveling it. Let’s go to Tesla. Ah, this Cybertruck thing. I don’t know. I don’t know what you want to call this thing. So they have the production production candidates. And now my understanding is when auto manufacturers have a production candidate, they’re like, Hey, everything’s ready to go.

We’re done. The design is good. We’re just making sure, like, we’re having the people in the factory do a test run through it. And, make sure everyone knows this is where my tools are. This is how the thing, blah, blah, blah. Well, I don’t know how they’re referring to the Cybertruck because I don’t know.

Elon sent out an email to his engineers saying due to the nature of Cybertruck, which is made of bright metal with mostly straight edges As if they didn’t know they all wear blindfolds any dimensional variation shows up like a sore thumb Okay, good He continued all parts for this vehicle whether internal or from suppliers need to be designed and built to sub 10 micron Accuracy that means all part dimensions need to be the Third decimal place in millimeters and tolerances need to be specified in single digit microns.

So I have a lot of questions about this. I and Fred, I think you can answer them. I’m just going to fire them all out at once. So

is that

Michael: your best musk impersonation?

Anthony: Nah, I don’t even know what it sounds like, to tell you the truth. I have no clue.

Michael: I don’t either.

Anthony: Yeah Okay, that’s great that he’s listening to the show and he realizes, hey, these things are gonna look ugly but sub micron, what is it, sub ten micron accuracy stainless steel is a metal, right?

Fred: Yes.

Anthony: Okay, and metal will expand and or contract based on the ambient temperature, correct?

Fred: Correct. You’re turning into a real nerd.

Anthony: Look you’re helping me. Okay, so is stainless steel impervious to climactic changes?

Fred: No, of course not.

Michael: Climatic.

Climate change, whatever, something.

Fred: Tectonic, tectonic changes are affected too, yeah.

Anthony: If I breathe on it. Okay so then he goes out and he explains this, but then he says, then he explains what a micron is to his engineers. So I have, there’s only two conclusions I have from this. One is Elon, the world’s greatest engineer, just learned what a micron is.

Or, Elon, the world’s greatest engineer, hired a bunch of engineers who don’t know what a micron is.

Fred: Well, it’s hard to know he’s the boss, so he does what he wants to do, but let me just state that building things to grow structures to within one micron over and over again with high accuracy and high precision would sink the company. It just, it can’t be done at any kind of reasonable cost.

It’s a huge challenge. That’s like saying you’re going to build a mirror. That is suitable for optical use as long as a car, and then drive it down the road and bang it with hammers and do all the things that happen to cars, and it’s still going to be an optically perfect mirror. That’s not the way people treat mirrors.

It’s not the way people treat cars. I, I guess the good news here is it’s one way of guaranteeing that there’ll never be a lot of these cyber trucks on the road, if they really hold to that,

Anthony: Fred, I just don’t think you have the right attitude to work for Tesla. That’s not the can do mythical thinking that Sir Elon requires.

Fred: Well, I don’t like the 80 hour work weeks either. So there’s a, I have a couple of bars.

Anthony: Okay, so even saying that, like, these, they have to be within 10 microns, can you visually see and notice a deviation of 10 microns with the human eye?

Fred: Oh, yeah.

Anthony: You can?

Yeah. Oh, really? Sure. All right. Well, there goes that theory.

Throw that out. But I imagine the, so he says, I remember when the model three was coming out, he’s like, everything has to be so perfect. They have to match the exact specs on our website with the gaps. And the only thing we want our customers to go in there with tape measures. And the only thing we’ll see if their tape measures don’t have the right numbers is that their tape measures are wrong.

My thought was, well, who’s measuring gaps with a tape measure. It’s not how you measure. That’s stupid.

Fred: I have to say. I think that’s a self limiting process right there. Yeah,

Michael: but your tape measure doesn’t go down the microns.

Anthony: Even doing like, the centimeter gaps that are required on door panels for them to open and close for clearance. Like you don’t use tape measures for that. You have feeler gauges, you have something else. You use a,

Fred: well, these days you use a electronic caliper, but I’ve got one of those somewhere. It’s capable of measuring things down to tens of microns versus like a 10, 000th of an inch.

So it’s capable of doing that. The thing is this, that’s not a stable measurement because that’s subject to differential heating. It’s, how’s it hard to just slam the car door. Did you move any of the. Screws that are holding on the attachment lugs. There’s just there’s lots of little bits and pieces.

So I Agree with his statement that it’s going to be readily visible when these things are not aligned That will show up it harkens back to what we were talking about a couple of weeks ago about repairing these things, trying to fix them. Because when you try to fix them, it’s going to be, it’s going to be an enormous task.

Michael: Repair shops don’t have that kind of equipment available to get things down to that level of accuracy. I’ve got,

Fred: they don’t, and the panels will likely have to be welded into place. And when you weld something, you have a lot of heat distortion associated with that. And then when it cools down, it distorts even more.

I, I wish him luck, but this is an enormous engineering challenge he’s putting forward for his engineers now that, his engineers has done some great things. I get to give him credit for that. The rockets actually work, which was a surprise to a lot of people. But having a, getting a rocket to work where you’ve got a lot of people hovering over an individual piece of machinery that needs those kinds of accuracy and precision versus banging out a whole lot of cars on a production line where the production staff has no interest in or capability of enforcing those kinds of standards means that you’ve got to back things into the tooling and you’ve got to have tooling for the body panels.

That have much higher accuracy than the desired accuracy of the finished product because Things you know when you bang them in a press or you put them in a press brake or however They’re going to shape these things they move All right things get the things never come out as smooth as they go in so I see problems ahead, he’s must be a smarter guy than I was.

He’s got a much better bank account and he can afford to squander 40 billion on a whim. So he must be smart.

Michael: I’d love to see him squander that money on figuring out why autopilot and full self driving keeps running into fire trucks versus. Honing accuracy on the looks and the vanity of these vehicles down to a micron.

Fred: That would be a better use of money in my opinion.

Anthony: Yeah. Well, self driving and autopilot do not drive into fire trucks and emergency vehicles. Okay. The, he said these things are disabled. He’s, he’s. It’s the user who’s at fault. They gave me 15 grand, but they, why would they think this works?

Oh, Elon.

Michael: I’m going to send you some tape on Elon so you can do a better job.

Anthony: Yeah, again, I have no clue. What does little Lloyd, Lord Fountain Roy sound like? Something like that, maybe. I don’t know. What did Nero sound like? Nah, okay. Anyway hey, listener, if you’re thinking, hey, I wanna, I don’t have forty billion dollars to blow on a little app, but maybe I have a hundred and some odd thousand dollars to blow on a Cybertruck, but now you listen to us and you’re like, maybe I shouldn’t do that.

You can take that money and donate it to the Center for Auto Safety. You won’t get a Cybertruck, but you’ll get a tax deduction. I’m not an accountant. Okay, moving on, there is a great article we have a link to, which states have the deadliest rush hour? And the answer, I’m just going to cut right to it.

Alaska had the deadliest rush hour of any state in the US, accounting for 30% of all traffic deaths. On the other hand, motorists in New Hampshire were least likely to die during rush hour, when only 19% of the state’s fatal crashes occurred during that period. The spokesperson for the New Hampshire Department of Transportation said, We’re wicked safe drivers, yeah?

Come on. This is, that was Elon.

Michael: No, it was interesting. It was an interesting study. Basically, I think what it comes down to is that the the places with the worst traffic where people are crawling during rush hours tend to experience less injuries and fatalities during rush hours. But that was, I don’t know, Fred had an opinion I think along those lines as well.

Fred: Sure, well, what is the characteristic of traffic during congestion?

Anthony: A lot of spittle on the inside of my windshield.

Fred: Well, yeah, well, there’s another aspect of it too, which is that the traffic tends to move slowly. And we know that there is a very strong correlation between the speed of a vehicle and the likelihood that somebody’s going to get injured. Even if even if there’s a lot of collisions, like my early life experience with the crash cars, what are those called?

Demolition Derby. Demolition no. At the at the… The

Anthony: deer you hit. What the hell? Oh the bumper cars.

Fred: Bumper cars, yeah. Well, people generally walk away from the bumper car collisions because they’re relatively slow. But if you did the bumper cars at 80 miles an hour, people are not as likely to move away from it.

They call that NASCAR, by the way. Yeah, I think that it’s got nothing to do with the population density because Population density of New Hampshire is not too different than the population density of Alaska, at least compared to other states. The point they make in the article is that It’s actually related to how rural the state is, and the less congested the state is, the more likelihood you are the more likelihood you have to be injured in a rush hour accident, simply because cars go faster in the rural states, because there’s less congestion.

But it doesn’t hold true, since New Hampshire is the least, or the best state, but it’s not very congested. But, hey, what do I know? There must be more sophistication here that I missed.

Anthony: Well, we already know you don’t know enough to work at Tesla with that attitude problem you have there, Mr. 10 Microns.

Let’s give a follow up astute listeners, a month or two back, we talked about the right to repair laws. Do you remember that, astute listeners? Pull up your notes, there’ll be a quiz in a second. There won’t be a Basically, the, what we talked about was saying it was in Massachusetts where they passed a law to say, hey independent dealerships separate from the car dealers have the right to go in there and repair your vehicle and you as a consumer have a right to have all of your data and everything that the car collects about you, the car that you own.

Well, NHSTA at the time is like, nah, I don’t think so. I don’t think so, bro. You can’t have that. But thankfully a couple of weeks ago. They put out a letter backing, saying wait a second, we didn’t mean to say that, and it’s a little confusing. I don’t understand. It’s You know, a

Michael: big part, I think a big part of the problem was the That they allowed for remote access in the law that was put out, and NHTSA was reading that as remote access from anywhere, whereas it appears that the state, or the people behind the bill were reading that as, very.

Restricted access from a location like a Bluetooth access versus having this available to people on the Internet. So it came back from a very strong stance saying they were going to preempt this law to saying. Well, we talked to them and we think we found a way to work this out. And, manufacturers are going to have some time to get this into their system.

Basically, what it looks like is providing for a Bluetooth access or something like that. That’s restricted in geographic scope to people who need to work on these cars.

Fred: Wasn’t there a message from the New England Patriots threatening to throw NHTSA into the Boston Harbor?

There’s a tradition,

there’s a tradition there.

For fans of history, you may the Boston Tea Party.

Anthony: Is, does it look like this right to repair, because this right to repair law we’ve talked about is more than just your data inside your car, it’s more expensive to your electronics, your phone, your computers, your television, your blender, your sous vide machine, your shoelaces, all sorts of things. Is this, eh, How does this, I don’t know if how does this affect other parts of this and will this expand to other states or other states saying, hey, this is a pretty good idea, Massachusetts.

I don’t know why people put on your right blinker when you turn left, but this is a good idea.

Michael: God, I think the nightmare for manufacturers would be having to comply with a different set of right to repair laws when they cross state lines that doesn’t sound like something they’d be excited about.

I think that a federal right to repair law would be a great way to go here, particularly since, vehicles aren’t the only thing involved here, tractors and phones, just, I won’t name them all. Anthony just did, but there’s so many areas where there’s a consumer issue here, their privacy issues, their cyber security issues.

And, a federal right to repair law that digs in here and then, plants a stake allowing for consumer privacy and also, allows this technology to continue to develop which is also important is what needs to be done. Ultimately I, state by state effort in this area, an area that’s still developing gets really complicated really fast.

Anthony: And so I believe we have friends at U. S. PIRG that are working on this on a larger scale, the federal level? Is that correct? That’s correct. All right. So we’re not the only good people in town, there’s others just like us. But give us your money. Okay, that might have been, look, it’s better than, we’re not gonna sit here for an hour and just do NPR.

And up next, Chuckles and Barry, with a puppet show, on the radio.

Michael: Nobody wants a mug with your face on it.

Anthony: Oh, man. Mug on a mug. Come on. It’s a great idea. I don’t know why you keep shooting that idea down. Speaking of other… We

Fred: workshopped it. And, it just wasn’t a winner. I’m sorry.

Anthony: Yeah, it didn’t make it past the rehearsal podcast.

Fred: Neither did Michael, nor I made it to the top three among us either, we’ll have to see where that goes.

Anthony: But that was just an opening jars of pickles. Hey, let’s talk to one of my wife’s favorite topics motorcycles. Guys, remember motorcycles? Thankfully, that now 18 year old living with me has not made any movement towards a motorcycle because he’d be homeless.

The Institute for, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has a great article we have a link to in the description about motorcycle safety. And here’s a great little paragraph from it I will recite. Motor, motorcyclists are often labeled as risk takers, so perhaps that’s why our society continues to accept the loss of life.

It’s true that riding involves extra risk compared with driving passenger vehicles, but it’s possible to reduce the risk without diminishing the joys and thrills that define motorcycling. If we’re serious about reducing motorcyclist deaths, we need, at a minimum, universal helmet laws in all states.

Antilock braking systems on all new bikes, crash avoidance systems that detect motorcyclists, and a plan for lowering speeds of all vehicles on the road. When I read that, a couple things just shocked me. Wait, there’s not, like, helmet laws in every state?

Michael: It’s, What? That’s a crazy area, because there are states where this literally comes up almost every year, people trying to get helmet laws repealed. You would think it’s, it’s the smart thing to do. It’s clearly the safe thing to do, but there are still a lot of people who dislike helmet laws and state legislatures. Sometimes those, helmet law, I believe there was a helmet law thrown out.

I can’t remember if it was Nebraska somewhere in the past six months or so. And at that point, then the people in favor of helmets go back to the drawing board and it’s literally a constant battle in some states. So that’s, well, it’s amazing to you. It is a constant fight, but it’s a similar to other things that, other state laws like alcohol limits and other things, there’s always a contrary party. It seems to pushing back on safety and towards some perceived freedom. Writing without a helmet is a freedom to some people. The state in that case is just trying to prevent your brains for being determined to mush.

So I, it’s a difficult area.

Fred: Well, people want the right to turn their brains into mush, but, there’s a couple other aspects to this, too. The argument is that it’s freedom versus the nanny state. And that’s an issue, but the other issue is that if you want the freedom, you should accept the responsibility that goes along with it, which means that you are overburdening the emergency services, you’re overburdening the hospital, you’re putting a much greater much greater weight on public services than people who you Do not, you know, people who continue to wear a helmet and people who are driving in cars.

There really should be, at least as part of the discussion, some discussion about the unequal distribution of public services for these people who want to have the freedom to mush their brains. It makes no sense to me.

Anthony: Why would you not want to wear a helmet? Forget like, Oh, I don’t care about my mushy brains.

I’m figuring you’re doing 60 miles per hour and there’s bugs hitting you in the face. Like I, you hear them slap against the glass, your windshield at times, slapping against your face. That’s gotta be terrifying. Like I don’t,

Michael: well, the other. Some of the other things that are, I think, really important in this conversation, motorcycle deaths are as high as they’ve ever been, I believe, and they’re only getting higher.

And a lot of that has to do with them being hit by drivers and cars that. Can’t detect motorcyclists yet, and may not be able to for even longer because NHTSA didn’t include motorcyclists and bicyclists and other vulnerable road users in the automatic emergency braking rule that just came out. That’s not something they really point to in the article, but it’s behind that because, the insurance Institute says they’re going to start testing in their tests for automatic emergency breaking detection of those type of things.

And they also point out another technology. That’s the left turn assist, or I forget exactly what it’s. Called but it’s basically to prevent drivers from hitting motorcyclists and other vulnerable road users while making a turn, which is a very common form of a crash when involving motorcycles.

Fred: There’s another problem with them, which is that usually young people buy them. And young people do stupid things. Have you ever heard of the Washington Beltway? I suppose you have. I was driving on the Washington Beltway one time, and four motorcycles passed me. They must have been going about 85 or 90 miles an hour, and they were all on one wheel.

So they were doing wheelies on the Washington Beltway at about 90 miles an hour. They were having a good time. They were certainly enjoying the freedom and thrills of motorcycles, and I, it just occurred to me that these people are trusting their lives to the smart plugs that are providing the torque to get them up on one wheel at 90 miles an hour in traffic in Washington, D.

C. End of rant, sorry.

Anthony: Look, those were environmentalists, because only by wearing down one tire, they’re putting out less pollution into the world. Yeah, less particulate emissions from the tires, great thing. They’re helping people with breathing issues. So going back to this paragraph I quoted here, the next thing that surprised me was putting anti lock braking systems on all new bikes.

Right. How is that not already a thing?

Michael: Well NHTSA hasn’t required it and the NTSB has requested that NHTSA require it. I believe in 2021 they said, hey, why don’t you have, exactly what you’re asking. We’ve got anti lock brakes on all cars and we’ve had it for decades. Or at least two decades, I think why aren’t you requiring it on motorcycles?

It makes a lot of sense doesn’t it? And that’s a Response was well right now. It’s on about 60 to 70 percent of motorcycles and we expect that number’s going to go up So we’re just gonna wait for that number to go up and not do anything about it. Which you know is They’ve already got an analog brake system standard for cars written.

I can’t imagine it’s a huge jump to write a rule requiring manufacturers to do it on motorcycles. They just, in their long list of priorities that many of which take a long time to be fulfilled, like we talked about with rear seat belt reminders recently that’s another one that just gets lost in the shuffle.

Anthony: Crazy. Continuing with our friends at the Institute for, Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. How did I forget this? It was like two seconds ago. I just said the title of it and I couldn’t remember him. Okay. They had another great article about mid sized cars and rear seat safety. The title of the article is Honda Accord Shines While Other Mid sized Cars Struggle in Rear Seat Safety Test.

And as we, as shocked me, NHTSA doesn’t require this to say, hey, who cares what happens in the backseat? As we learned a couple weeks ago from Beth Brooke, they only care about a mid sized male in the front driver’s seat, because women apparently don’t exist but the Insurance Institute, they’re doing…

Great work. And part of this article is to encourage manufacturers to improve rear seat protection. Their updated test adds a dummy in the back seat behind the driver. The driver dummy is the size of an average adult man. The rear dummy is the size of a small woman or 12 year old child or me. IIHS researchers also developed new metrics that focus on the injuries most frequently seen in backseat passengers.

Why is that? I already know this. I don’t even, I don’t even know why I’m here. I’m just asking the same question. Why does NHTSA suck? That’s all of my questions. Like,

Michael: that’s, yeah, that’s harsh there. You’re being rude to our friends and colleagues at NHTSA.

Anthony: Okay, I’ll rephrase my question.

Why do the people who fund NHTSA suck?

Michael: That would be us, we’re the taxpayers.

Fred: American public, that’s a broad brush there, Anthony.

Michael: I think you’re trying to ask, why has NHTSA not done more to ensure the safety of rear seat passengers? There you go. I think that’s a good question. It’s something we’ve certainly pointed to when we see a lot of seat collapses, front seat collapses and injuries to children in the back seat.

It’s something we’ve been pointing out for a long time now and a number of other groups have been pointing out. And the victims and survivors of children who’ve been killed or injured, these crashes have been pointing out. And there’s just never been movement by NHTSA to strengthen, the front seats to protect people in the rear seats.

And that’s just one of many issues that can occur in crashes. I think you see in the article where they’re talking about what happened in some of the cars where the rear seats weren’t protective and you see the dummies submarine out from under their seat belts, which is, a horrible proposition if you’re in a crash and some other problems that suggest that, you Manufacturers aren’t really.

doing their due diligence on testing rear seat occupants when they’re building these vehicles. And the reason they’re not is because more people like NHTSA aren’t forcing these vehicles to be tested with dummies in the rear seat. And that’s what we talked about with Beth a couple of weeks back. And it’s really important that we get More dummies of more sizes, female and male, older, representing older occupants and children into different places in the vehicle and make manufacturers test or in cap tests to, incentivize improvements in the rear seat safety that we just haven’t seen.

And that’s not to mention things like pretensioners which probably could have helped in some of these vehicles in the submarine incidents.

Anthony: Sorry.

Michael: Did I put you all to sleep for once?

Anthony: No, not at all. I thought Fred had a comment there, but no, he did not. Okay. Hey. Yeah.

Michael: It’s a great thing that IHS is testing more dummies and more seats. We think that’s something NHTSA should do as well. And it’s pretty clear from the test that manufacturers aren’t doing a good

job here.

Anthony: And don’t sit in the back seat or be a woman, right? That’s the current takeaway until that’s improved. Is that no, that’s not

Michael: where you’re going, whether they, plan for your safety or not. Right. You don’t really have a choice there.

Anthony: Yeah, that’s horrible. It’s very disturbing.

Fred: Let me just say, let’s our hats are off to IHS for doing this test and for illustrating so vividly the point that there’s a lot of work to be done on rear seat safety.

As Michael was saying last week, yeah. The whole idea that you’re safer in the backseat than the front seat has been overtaken by events. The technology has made the front seat much safer than it was in the past. And there’s no evidence anymore that the backseat is safer than the front seat for anybody, much less people of, small stature or large stature So The end.

When these crash tests are being done, there’s a lot of empty seats in them, all right? So why don’t you fill up the damn seats with test dummies so we get more information? Certainly won’t in any way degrade the value of the tests. These tests are quite expensive. Let’s get the most value out of them.

Let’s get the most data that we can out of them and extend themselves a little bit.

Anthony: I think more dummies and fill it up with groceries and typical things that people are traveling around with.

Fred: And even the conservatives would agree that there’s plenty of dummies in the government.

Anthony: Yeah, we’ll put some of them deep staters in the car! There you go. Again, accent’s not my thing. I’m not sure who I was channeling there, but Michael’s giving me a dirty look.

Michael: He’s like… Just let me cover the southern accents

Fred: Out

of it. Oh, slap that boy upside the head with a brick. I

Anthony: know. Oh, man. We gotta do that. Let’s move on to something… Somewhat entertaining fun. How about that? How does that sound? And everyone’s looking at the screens like, oh, what is he going to talk about? Do you? Which one is it? Because I’m not sure I’m flipping between the two.

Michael: I think we need to talk about some of the things that have been in cars that are disappearing.

Anthony: Oh, the okay.

Michael: Here’s the only fun thing I saw on the list this week.

Anthony: This is an article in Jalopnik. This is fun. What they did is they Okay. Basically surveyed their readers saying, Hey, what do you think of the next automotive trends that are going to see dying in the next few years?

And it’s fascinating like what they have. It’s all over the place. Like the first thing they listed is EVs. Basically their readers saying, Yeah, EVs, electronic vehicles, they’re dead. Not going to happen. Dumb idea. I clearly, they got Fred’s input on that one. So he’s celebrating but then they have other things in there, which I think we all agree with, such as minivans.

It’s just…

Michael: Are minivans really going away? Aren’t they a pretty good option for people who need to transport a lot of things versus buying a massive truck to do the same thing?

Anthony: Well, see, that’s the interesting part of this because it says minivans and like the argument is that they’re being replaced with crossovers, but another item on the list is crossovers.

So maybe everyone’s taking the subway. I don’t know. One here that we totally agree with is level three autonomy. Oh, man. Yeah, it’s from the article. It just doesn’t work with the transportation infrastructure in place right now. And we agree a thousand, thousand percent.

Michael: Yeah, we’re really worried about whether people can really take over when they need to in those vehicles.

Anthony: I think Tesla owners have proven they can’t.

Michael: Yeah, well, Mercedes would counter that they aren’t Tesla, and they’d be right.


would be. If somebody’s gonna pull it off, maybe Mercedes, but I’m very doubtful. Very doubtful.

Fred: Well, remember, Mercedes is only limited to very low speeds.

Right. And and Level 3 is… Level 3 is completely safe if your car isn’t moving. It becomes… It becomes a little less safe when it’s moving slowly. It becomes very unsafe when you’re moving quickly. If you can keep your level 3 cars to speeds below those which are attractive to potential buyers, then it’s a good option.

Anthony: Alright, there’s one in here that scares me. It’s a, the stop and start systems I thought people were just messing around in my neighborhood when I first came across it where they’re at a traffic light and you just hear nothing. It’s quiet. I’m like, Oh, they’re in a hybrid and then the engine starts up all of a sudden.

And so people told me, Oh, no, that’s some. Emissions control thing.

Michael: Yeah, that’s that was put into play right around the time when your spare tires stopped being put in your in new vehicles. They limited weight with the spare tire and then they limited. The fuel and emissions fuel used and emissions created when people are sitting at stoplights or when their cars in drive.

But at a stoplight, I’m sure everyone who’s gotten a car in the last few years, we’ve gotten a lot of complaints in this feature, and I’m sure that everyone’s gotten a car in the last few years, has interacted with one of these buttons. For me, great safe fuel. I wonder if. There is additional wear on the starter.

That’s something that a lot of people have cited as a problem. My pet peeve is that in the middle of the summer, when my Volkswagen shuts off, the air conditioning shuts off as well, that’s no fun at a long stoplight. So it was one, it was a, one of these things that in retrospect, it seems it’s a bad idea for consumers.

In a way like the spare tire but it’s doing things to save fuel. So there is a, a good reason behind it, even if it does annoy a lot of our members and listeners.

Fred: Well, I think that the momentary. Gap in your air conditioning and your Volkswagen is clearly a first world problem, Michael, we’ll just have to, we’ll just have to let that one go.

Anthony: He owns that, but he also lives in the first world. What else does he have to complain about?

Fred: Oh he’s always got lots. He’s good. He feels up to the air time very well.

Michael: I did drive around in my previous Volkswagen for about a year or two with no AC at all, which let me tell you, that was fun commuting to DuPont circle for work every day in the summer.

It was I don’t know why I chose to do that other than my car was on his last legs and I was too cheap to fix it, but it was not good for passengers.

Anthony: Ladies and gentlemen, Michael was not too cheap. It was just he needs more donors. More donations from listeners like you. I, we say this in jest, but I’m not.

We know where all of you live. My last name ends in a vowel. Did I just threaten people? Oh my god, don’t worry. I already described myself as the child sized doll. I don’t know what’s wrong with me today. We normally record in the morning, okay?

Today’s topic is gonna be Radar and LiDAR and Duran, apparently. I don’t know. Okay, not Duran, but Radar and LiDAR. Does that sound good? And Klinger? You’ve

Fred: now entered

Michael: the Tao of Fred. I’m tough.

Fred: I’m just giving you a It’s a little dead space to put in the intro, Anthony, don’t laugh at me, I’m trying to help here.

Anthony: You did, that’s great, but the intro for Tao of Fred is like, it’s like a second long. That was great.

Fred: So I gave it a little buffer, that’s alright. So so Anthony, I sent you some homework, what is Radar?

Anthony: Radar is it’s a character on M. A. S. H., it’s something that bats don’t use, it’s it’s a radio…

It’s something, it’s radio waves bouncing off of things and you’re counting how many, one Mississippi, two Mississippi when it gets back to you. I didn’t do my homework.

Fred: Well, that’s not so bad. Radar basically for our interested readers is electromagnetic energy in the radio range that is emitted by a source.

Then it propagates into space, it hits a target, and some of the energy bounces back towards the receiver. And since the speed of light is a constant, and since the radio frequency is a source, is one kind of light, actually, then you can, by measuring the time it takes to return, you can tell how far away the target is.

So if you’ve got… That’s the fundamental. The difference between radar and LIDAR is fundamentally that LIDAR just simply uses a different frequency of electromagnetic radiation. Because it has a much higher frequency, you are able to look at much smaller things with LIDAR than you can with the with the radar.

Anthony: Could you look at 10 micron gaps on a Tesla Cybertruck?

Fred: You actually could, if you wanted to do that. And people who use optical surface contour measurement systems, which I’ve become familiar with in one German company, actually use light to do just that. And they use it at BMW. It’s one of the reasons the BMW hoods are so nifty looking, because they do use optical systems to measure the contours.

Anyway. There’s a good part and a bad part being able to measure small things. The good part is you can measure the small things. The bad part is you have to measure lots and lots of small things in order to make up a big scene. So radar’s got lower frequencies, and so it looks at a broader range of things than LiDAR.

And you don’t have to have as many pulses to get back the images. That probably makes obvious sense, but if like if you look at a picture with a microscope, you’ll see lots and lots of little dots. If you look at it with your eyes, it’s more like looking at it with radar where you’re looking at the gross characteristics of things.

There are many types of radars that you can specify that you can buy and the kinds that are used in the vehicles are primarily an impulse radar. Which sends out a little, as you would expect, a little pulse of radio energy, then waits for that pulse to come back, and determines where the pulse came from by using directional antennas.

So if it comes from the right, And you know the distance, you know the angle it’s coming from, and you know the distance, you’ve got a pretty good idea of what that is. The problem is that using radar, you don’t really know the fine characteristics. So a fire hydrant looks a lot like a child with radar.

Okay, because they’re roughly the same size, they’ve got roughly the same kinds of contours. So how is a AV to know what’s going on? Well, there’s another kind of radar called a frequency modulated continuous wave radar. Now, that’s a whole mouthful, but what it means is that you’re sending out continuous radio waves, but you’re changing the frequency of it as though you had an FM radio.

And because you’re changing the frequency of it, you can look at different characteristics of the targets than if you only had the impulse coming back. So it gives you a better way of looking at the objects, how the objects are moving, maybe detect motion, and if your fire hydrant moves, you can be pretty sure it’s not a fire hydrant, right?

It’s it’s something other than a fire hydrant, and that gets into how the information is processed within the control system of the car. And that’s a very complicated process, but the fundamental of it is that the imagery that the car is using to determine its trajectory and its neighborhood are based on the returns it’s getting from the radar.

So there’s a couple of a couple of things to know about that. There’s an analog side to the radar, which is generation of the pulse, generation of the radio frequency, and receiving the information back. There’s also a digital side, and the digital side takes that information and turns it into the kind of information that the computer and the car can use to figure out what the surrounding is.

In order to do that, it scans across some range, looks at the different objects within the range, if, so if it looks straight ahead, doesn’t see anything out to a range of, we’ll say, 30 meters, which is like a, which is like 30 yards or 100 meters, it’s going to say, okay, I got an open road there. If it looks off to the side and sees some return from the side.

Oh, it’s got to really think about what that is. So it would probably look at it again. That’s called the repeat frequency, right? So how often is it going to look at the side? If it sees that the thing on the side of the road has changed its relative position at the same speed as the car is moving, that’s a pretty good indication that it’s a stationary object, right?

Because the relative motion, if the relative motion equals the actual absolute speed, The thing is probably stationary. Okay, if the relative, go ahead.

Anthony: Well, I get what you’re saying here, but I’m thinking is as a lay person, I’m buying a car that says it has radar detection on it or whatnot. My car has that like, but I, it doesn’t give you any more information of what kind of radar it is, what kind of width it has, what kind of range it has.

Like what does a consumer have? Because like I, I’ve told you the incident where our automatic emergency braking didn’t respond because it’s field of view is really narrow, but they don’t tell you that in the sales brochure.

Fred: They do not, they’re not required to, and they do not. So you’d have to look deeper into it.

The salesperson who is offering you the vehicle probably doesn’t understand the radar specifics either. So you’d have to look on the radio. Well, yeah, sometimes they can do that. So it’s complex. Anyway, new 4d radar. And I looked into that a little bit and basically what it said is that the conventional radars.

That are used in the vehicle only scan left to right, and they look for what’s in front of the car, but they’ve got a very narrow beam in the vertical dimension. So they’re looking for obstructions, but they don’t look up and down to see what’s going on. This may be a factor in some of the crashes into trucks that we’ve been seeing and reporting because the truck looks, if you look under a truck, it looks like an open road.

If you look up higher than you see an obstruction, I don’t know that’s a factor, but it may be. Anyway, this new radar has been designed so that it’s got antenna configuration that looks up and down as well as looks sideways. Now you can do that with millimeter wave radar because millimeter wave Is just exactly what it sounds like.

The waves are very small. They’re only a millimeter long. That means you can generate them and receive them with a very small antenna. So you can cram a lot of antennas into a package that you can put on the bumper of your car or in the front of your car and use those either electronically to scan or use them, move them to scan.

By the way, you may have heard the expression phased array radar. That’s electronic scanning. Using a bunch of antennas.

Anthony: Why would we have heard that phrase?

Fred: Oh, because of your interest in early warning detection systems that are looking for incoming missiles. I’m sure everybody’s heard of NORAD.

Everybody knows about long distance surveillance radars.

Anthony: I remember, it was the movie Real Genius. I remember that. They did that because they were creating some sort of laser beam for Star Wars. I remember the movie. Come on Michael, you remember Real Genius, Val Kilmer? He is muted, but he’s saying, Anthony, you’re the smartest, most beautiful person I’ve ever seen.

Michael: No, I’m saying popcorn.

Anthony: Yeah, popcorn! Fred, you gotta see the movie Real Genius. You’ll enjoy it.

Fred: Ah, well, yeah I’ll put that on the list. I will certainly do that. Anyway, so the new, the radar is constantly evolving for the vehicles. They seem to be getting better at getting both images from high and low, as well as sideways.

This is valuable information for the computer. That is inside of your car because it takes that information, then it compares it to hypothesis for what these targets mean. So it’s only got a bunch of points and it has to take those points, put them together into a shape. And then compare that shape to the logic that’s back in the computer and says, Okay, this looks more like a fire hydrant than a human being.

And it’s moving, so I’m going to assume that it’s a human being rather than a fire hydrant. We talked about this way back when we did the the episode about the… Some Enchanted Evening, right? If people want to go back to Some Enchanted Evening, you can get more details on that. But anyway,

Michael: did you sing in that episode?

Anthony: I think, yeah, you haven’t sung in an episode in a long time. What’s going on?

Fred: Well, I’m being careful of your ears. I know you all have headphones on and I don’t want to cause any injuries. I’ll try to think of something else, though, that we can sing about if you really want that. Anyhow that’s what I got to say about radars.

The difference between radars and lidars, as I said, is fundamentally that the lidars have a much higher frequency because they have a much higher frequency, they’re more susceptible to dirt and grime, right? You have to keep the lenses clean. Now, many of you wear glasses and, which also work in the light frequency range, and you’ve probably noticed that when the glasses get dirty, you can’t see as well.

This is a problem when you’re trying to read. It’s also a problem when your vehicle is trying to understand what’s in the road ahead of you. The radars are at a lower frequency, so you’ve probably noticed it. You don’t have to clean your FM antenna on your boom box in order to get the radio through.

Right. So it’s much less sensitive to dirt and particularly dirt in the optical path. It’s also things like diffraction and refraction that are affecting this, but I won’t go there.

Anthony: Wait, okay. So you just jumped into something here that I think Michael wants to scratch his head about too. So cleaning your radio antenna to get better reception.

I remember back in the day, a lot of cars driving around that they had coat hangers as their radio antenna.

Fred: Had one of those, lousy antenna.

Michael: But also your antenna would never get clean because you had to remove it before going into the car wash.

Fred: Well, of course, the boom boxes and the antennas came out at the same time as Duran, and nobody really wanted to listen to that, so there’s no point in cleaning your antennas.

Anthony: But really, okay.

Fred: Just one more thing to bring up. So sonar pretty much works the same way, but sonar uses sound rather than light, rather than electromagnetic energy. There’s a reason why sonar is used in marine environments, because you basically can’t broadcast the radar energy into the deep water because it gets absorbed by the water.

This is a shortcoming of radar when you’re using it on the road. If it’s very wet, if there’s a lot of dirt on it, but radar is less sensitive to dirt and grime and rain and snow than the lidar. So it’s a comparatively better, but if you have an ultrasonic sensor on the front of your car, then that is pretty immune to the kind of stuff that’s right around you.

For example, you can use ultrasonic sensors to look inside of people to see internal organs and do the imaging of the internal organs. So the same principles that allow it to be used. For imaging, internal organs can be applied to the vehicle environment and can be used to detect objects near your car in front of your car on the side of your car.

So it’s a different frequency range, a different medium. But the fundamental principle is the same. It sends out sound energy, waits for the reflection to come back from whatever the target is, and then knowing that the speed of sound is roughly 1100 feet per second in dry air it can go ahead and calculate distance, do some imaging associated with that, depending on how many receivers it’s got.

Very similar to what the radar can do, but in a different range with different Amount of resolution because obviously the frequency of sound is much, much lower than the frequency of either the radar or the light are so it’s not as good at picking up fine objects than the radar or the light are. Have I confused you yet?

Are we still on board here? No.

Michael: The sonar is slower too, right? Say again, please. It’s much slower, the sonar? In speed of light?

Fred: Yeah. Yeah, it is slower. Yeah. The processing may not be slower because it uses the same computing Systems and similar algorithms, but the actual receipt of the information is slower, but still 1100 feet per second is pretty, pretty fast, right?

You cover a quarter mile in less than a quarter of a second or less than a second. So it’s pretty fast.

Anthony: Okay again, consumer point of view is what am I looking for, because I see that cars now they have cameras that do like lane keeping assistance, and I don’t know what level they do in terms of object detection, they have radars that let me know, hey, if there’s a car in front of me, apparently the radar can’t see motorcycles or people, but, extra points for him Ultrasonic sensors, which is from what I’ve read are mainly used around parking, like, so I guess they have a very short range and they insist assist around curbs and like walls and parking garages LIDAR, which very few cars have because it’s incredibly expensive right now, but the prices keep dropping and that’s really good for finer detailed.

And the impression I have is that most manufacturers, with the exception of the man behind the curtain, have combined all of these, are trying to combine data from all of this to build out a bigger picture. Is that right? Like, what do I look for as a consumer? Do I, it, well, first of all, is my summary basically what the very lay approach of, is that how they’re being used?

Fred: Well, what you look for as a consumer is whether or not a self driving vehicle is headed your way and then you run.

Anthony: Okay, now what I’m talking like, look, the next, when you’re, after you hit your next deer and you’re like, Oh no, I got to buy a new car. Like, what are you looking for in, in those safety systems we just talked about?

Fred: I’d be looking for some kind of validation that the damn thing works, because I would say, well, that’s the real problem. The real problem is you don’t know what the specifications are. There are no federal requirements for the specifications. There are no federal requirements to validate that you’ve actually achieved performance consistent with those specifications. The A. E. B. Standard, which is currently in development at NHTSA is a huge step in that direction because they’re now looking at tests to validate that in fact, the A. E. B. Systems are working. As a consumer, you would want to know that the vehicle does have an AEB system, that there’s some reason to believe that it actually works at the moment.

The only thing you can do is Google the results and find out which ones work well, which ones don’t. And

Michael: IIHS is the only one really testing and putting out ratings on that. And then the United States at the moment. No, also probably consumer reports as well on certain features. I know they were looking at driver monitoring.

Fred: Yeah. But beyond that You’d be hard pressed to dive into the details of the sensor system and the perception systems and, all that stuff that goes along with it to try to figure out if this is really going to perform well. We would like the government to step in here and establish the standards and the rating system so that people will know that these things actually work.

More important to identify the ones that actually do not work, which was somehow left out of the AAB standard and where we are. So a little primer on radar, LIDAR and ultrasonic sensors. I love this stuff. If anybody has any questions, contact at autosafety. org love to banter about this.

Anthony: He’s not kidding. Ladies and gentlemen, he’s really upset that Michael and I didn’t have more questions. So please, if you do contact. At autosafety. org 10 a question, 15 and he’ll come over and give you a back rub. Only some of this is true. Well, everything Fred said is probably true. I don’t know.

But as a consumer, I guess we’re just, left to marketing and Toyota’s safety sensor, whatever they call it. But I think to your point is yeah, we don’t know without any sort of more of the deep state telling us what to do, man. So without, better regulations and guidelines. Okay, I think that’d be good.

How about some how about some recalls? Let’s do a couple of those real quick. We promised listeners in our last episode that we would talk about Man, I gotta, you’re gonna get me in this name again, huh? The Nicola. Nicola! Nicola, yeah. Yeah, Nicola it was a car, These are the guys who faked the car working, right?

And pushed it down a hill?

Michael: I don’t know, these are the guys that make giant, this is a giant semi truck.

Anthony: Yeah, they make semi trucks, yeah, weren’t they were the ones who, eh, anyway.

Michael: There’s so many fakers out

Anthony: there, it’s a big truck. 2023 TRE, T R E, BEV vehicles. The coolant may leak inside the battery pack.

Owners are advised to park outside and away from structures. It

Michael: looks like, yeah. There’s accumulation of coolant in the battery pack that causes a short and increases the risk of fire. This is all about 200 vehicles. So it’s not a lot, but they are semi trucks. And, this is 1 of the few manufacturers of electric trucks.

And, it’s. It’s like when, when your only vehicle, remember how GM and Ford have responded to battery fire issues and EVs very quickly, it looks like they’re doing something similar here where they’re, advising owners not to turn off, let’s see, the main battery disconnect switch, leave it on at all times, because if you turn that switch off, it also turns off the real time vehicle monitoring and safety systems operation in the vehicle.

So you want to leave that on to allow for better connectivity with their fleet program. It looks like they have a pretty complex system here to keep track of these things and you should be getting a notification letter soon, but the remedies and development. So if you do own a fleet of electric semi trucks, you’ll be getting that.

Anthony: Yeah. Oh man. Let’s talk let’s see, rear view cameras. Why always with the rear view cameras? Chrysler rear view camera image may not display. It’s because someone put a thumbprint over it. It’s a 162, 000 plus. Chrysler is recalling certain 2022 2023 Jeep Grand Cherokee. Jeep Grand Cherokee L and Jeep Wagoneer and Jeep this blah blah blah.

The Central Vision Park Assist module software may prevent the rearview image from displaying when the vehicle is replaced and reversed. I, again with these rearview cameras what, did something become difficult with them all of a sudden?

Michael: Well, okay, well, the difficult in this case was there was a creature feature installed the Central Vision Park Assist module, right?

That is interfering with the rear view image. I don’t know, who knows how these things work in actuality, but it looks like there’s yet another problem because one of the safety systems of the vehicle is routed into and through a more complex, construction of things that include advanced parking features, park assist features that are not connected to.

Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 111 that makes a requirement that they have working rear view cameras when the car is placed in reverse.

Anthony: Just when you thought you had enough rear view camera recalls, here comes another one. Incorrect rear view camera image may display. Oh, that sounds fun. You can see ghosts now.

Ford 18, 513 vehicles. The 2023 F Super Duty F 250, F 350, and F 450 vehicles. Equipped with the Pro Trailer Hitch Assist. And ladies and gentlemen, if you have an… Super duty and you don’t have the pro trailer hitch assist. What’s the point? How are you getting your boat up a hill both ways to your barbecue?

The default rearview camera image may not be displayed when using the pro trailer Assist feature.

Michael: This is a ditto on the last one. Yeah. This is a system that is, it’s a system that’s operating when you’re going in reverse, but it’s clearly not, it’s intended to, it’s really a boat safety measure or a trailer safety measure.

In some respects. It’s trying to help you get your trailer hitch hooked onto your vehicle. It’s a convenience that is being tied into the same system as a safety feature, which is the rear view camera. So very similar to the crisis situation and, an area where we’re, we continue to see recalls.

It’s, this is 1 of the number 1 types of recalls that is filed with NHTSA these days. And we’re. It continually leaves us wondering what’s going on with the rear view cameras and all the problems here. And is this somehow connected to all these touchscreens and other issues that consumers seem to be having in their vehicles?

Fred: Well, software is difficult. It just is. But you’d think that these companies would validate their software changes before they put them out into the public domain or before they put them out into their production vehicles. I simply don’t understand the sloppy software development process that’s going on.

Granted, it’s not an intercontinental ballistic missile, and you want to be very careful with ICBMs when you put them together, but still, the minimum that you should expect is that The regression testing works and the damn software works in situations where you’re expected to work. This is really just sloppy engineering.

Michael: And I feel very similar. Really all you’re doing when you’re, when your transmission goes into R that’s reversed, the rear camera needs to be displayed in front of the driver. It’s very simple, right? How are we making this so complex that we’re seeing, 20, 30 recalls on this issue every year.

Anthony: Yeah. I don’t understand what, why they’re tying into other systems. There, there must be some thought process beyond there, but I don’t know.

Fred: Well, maybe they’re buying their software at Piggly Wiggly. I just wanted to make sure that we had that reference in the show.

Michael: It’s Piggly Wiggly would never sell that.

Their standards are far too high.

Fred: That’s good. I’m glad to hear that.

Anthony: Well, Fred, you’ve done a lot this episode to let Tesla know that you’re unqualified to work for them but Piggly Wiggly is hiring, probably. I’ve never been to a Piggly Wiggly and I resisted an urge to do my version of a southern accent but, hey, let’s…

Thank you. Let’s do one. Resist Elon as well. Resist. Well, hello, I’m Elon Musk. I don’t, again, I don’t know. It’s probably more like precious, right? Sudden software error may cause unintended acceleration. No rear view camera issue? This is almost 38, 000 vehicles.

Hyundai is recalling certain 2021 to 2023 Elantra HEV vehicles. A software error, because software is hard. And the motor control unit may cause an unintended vehicle acceleration after the brake pedal is released. That sounds like when I first learned how to drive a stick. Is that the feature they put in?

Michael: This appeared to be, when you hear sudden acceleration, you think about, vehicles going 70 miles an hour into the wall or without brakes. This situation appears that the consumers were able to slow the vehicles down using the brakes so that it’s not like the Toyota sudden acceleration we saw a decade or more ago where the vehicles, somehow the brakes were not working while the vehicles were driving themselves off.

And that was the software there, but here it looks like these are mostly low speed incidents. And I think that customers are going to have to wait on a remedy for this one as well. This looks like a motor control unit software update, and they’re not sending out notifications until October.

So there’s something in the pipe being developed as a fix at the moment.

Anthony: Right, and I’m just going to do one last one. This isn’t a recall yet, but there’s an interesting article in the Wall Street Journal about Ford and their F 150s. It was just the F 1, no, the F series pickups where people are driving down the street and all of a sudden these loud noises, high pitched squeals are coming out of their speaker system, which is just frightening it’s very bizarre.

In the article There’s Ford has, from the article, Ford has developed a software fix that customers can get at a dealership or through a downloadable update. The fix uses the amplifier as a filter to prevent the speaker noise. Like, okay, so everything above 15, 000 hertz they’ve just removed.

They basically have some EQ in there, like, gone. But it’s funny, one person who had this problem, he just went in and had this 12 volt battery replaced on there and the problem went away. So this is another one of these things I’m like, yeah, your audio system, it’s not. New. It’s, I don’t, are they tying this into the safety system?


Michael: I don’t know. It, who knows this? Were these electric vehicles? Were

Anthony: they’re, were they lightnings? They’re

Michael: they’re, because know they’ve got some radio pro interference issues on AM radio with that. I think we talked about those.

Anthony: No, this is it’s service bulletin covers expedition SUVs and F one 50 from the 2021 to 2023 years, including the 2022 lightnings.

So it’s not unique to an EV.

Fred: Maybe they need to clean the antennas.

Anthony: Ha. There we go. Thank you, ladies and gentlemen, for listening to the show. Fred wins today’s episode with the Piggly Wiggly mention and a nice call back there. Please download or subscribe and download episodes for your friends and hide the download somewhere.

I don’t know how you hide a download. Like, much better when we have coffee and it’s morning, I don’t want to record in the afternoon. Again, I know you did this for me. I’m the one complaining.

Michael: Thanks everyone. And if you have a Hyundai or Kia, go in and get that software update for the anti theft fix because only 20% have gotten them so far.

And we just saw 2 folks killed. And the DC area this week by a rogue Hyundai. And I don’t think they’ve caught who was who stole it, but this is just a continuing problem. And the only way to stop it is to get the software fixed to the extent that it actually works. We’re still out, out to lunch on that one as well.

Fred: Well, thank you for listening folks.

Anthony: Till next week. Bye bye. For more information, visit

Fred: www. autosafety. org.


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