FOR SALE: 1970 Jaguar E Type Roadster
This car has been with the current owner for over 20 years. More information on the listing page.
I often get to meet the widow who has been left the cars. Some widows have a hard time letting go of their deceased husbands cars and they need help with the process of moving them to a new home. Some cars stay in their garage so long we have to drag them out with a tow truck. I wonder if it would help the widow if the husband left a will for the disbursement of the cars?
I once had a client who sold his car to a dealer friend because he didn’t want his two sons fighting over it. Guess what? When the children saw the car for sale, they came in and bought it to share it.
Sometimes I’m the one explaining that the treasured classic that the husband has boasted about for years, is not the pristine wonder that they have been led to believe. I just had a client who asked me for my assurance that when he went, his daughter could call me and get help to sell it. He was unusual in that he wants it to receive a full paint restoration so he can enjoy it even more in the time left. Many people I meet mention that they want to leave their car to their sons but it’s said at such an age that they have no idea if their son will want it.
Of course the one that takes the cake is the lady who complained to me that the City of Brampton wouldn’t allow her husband to be buried in his Corvette. I guess you have to know if your wishes are realistic!
LIPSTICK ON A PIG
Avoiding Life’s Lemons
Lipstick on a Pig features excerpts from the vast library of Maurice Bramhall’s experiences.
When it comes to disruptive technologies in the automotive industry, many people believe that self-driving cars could be the best thing that happened to transportation since the invention of the internal combustion engine. Companies such as Uber and Lyft have made it clear that they’ll include autonomous cars in their fleet (although it’s not very clear when that will happen.) The same can be said about Google’s self-driving car, Tesla, and even Apple’s top secret iCar. All these companies are eager to disrupt the status quo of the automotive market, but few have given the public, a time frame for when they can expect to see autonomous cars on the roads.
Ford, on the other hand, is distancing itself from the pack and is not afraid to give the public a hard deadline: 2021. Ford announced in August, its plan to begin mass producing a fully autonomous vehicle in at least one city by this date. Ford said its self-driving cars would have level-four autonomy, meaning that they will not have a steering wheel and gas or brake pedals. In other words, a driver will not be required.
Before you jump from your seat with excitement, you should learn that the car is being produced for ride-hailing services. The company has to figure out how to hand the control of autonomous car to drivers safely. But, that doesn’t mean that you won’t see driverless vehicle anytime soon. The automaker said that we could expect to see self-driving cars at MSA Ford dealerships for consumers by 2025.
Driving into the Future
Five years doesn’t seem like enough time to create a fully-autonomous, fully-functioning car, but Ford is making a rapid progress. The company’s futuristic cars still have some limitation in the beginning, but that will change in the following years. For instance, the cars will only be able to operate in certain areas within the city in the first years. They will not operate in certain weather conditions or in locations that could affect how sensors collect data.
The automaker already had one of its autonomous vehicles successfully drive at night on a winding road without headlights. Ford was also the first automotive company to begin testing its driverless cars at Mcity, University of Michigan’s simulated urban environment. The company was also able to operate an autonomous car in snow conditions.
Ford announced that it plans to triple its self-driving vehicle test fleet, bringing the number to 30 autonomous cars.
According to the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA), there are five levels of automation. Level zero means that there are no self-driving features while level four equates to a fully autonomous car. Ford said it was not interested in offering level three driving, where the vehicle is fully autonomous but it allows the driver to retake control of the car whenever they want.
To achieve level four autonomy, Ford has partnered with four key companies that are focusing their research on advanced algorithm, radar and camera sensors, and 3D mapping. The company also invested $75 million in Velodyne, a Silicon Valley-based company specialized in light detection and ranging (LiDAR) sensors. The goal, Ford said, is to mass-produce an affordable LiDAR sensor as soon as possible.
Ford has also invested in SAIPS, an Israel-based machine learning and computer vision company to enhance its expertise in artificial intelligence. The aim of this partnership is to help Ford’s self-driving cars learn and adapt to the surrounding environment.
Is the World Ready for Fully-Autonomous Vehicles?
Ford believes it is. There are more than 30.000 fatal car crashes per year in the United States, and about 90% of them are caused by human error. Autonomous driving technology can make the roads safer by allowing computers to take control. Moreover, driverless cars could put an end to traffic jams and could reduce pollution.
Ford also believes that self-driving cars could make transportation available to the elderly and infirm who are unable to drive themselves. The company also noted that the nature of vehicle ownership is changing. Millennials don’t care about owning cars and they rely on ride-sharing services instead. By producing driverless cars for ride-hailing services, Ford hopes to be part of the change. It’s no longer about how many cars you sell; it’s about what services you provide, and Ford seems to understand that very well.
The future of the autonomous industry is certainly bright. The dream to open an app, request a car, and get to your destination in a vehicle with no driver is closer than ever.