Craig discusses new car technology, electric cars, and how long we can expect them to last.
For more tech tips, news, and updates, visit – CraigPeterson.com
Automated Machine-Generated Transcript:
From a 50,000-mile model T to a 100,000 mile Chevy in the seventies to nowadays we’re expecting maybe as much as a half a million or a million miles out of these newest cars.
Hi everybody. Welcome back. You’re listening to Craig Peterson.
Before the break, we were talking a little bit about our cars and we were expecting our cars to not last terribly long back in the day, we have gotten a lot better with our manufacturing.
In fact, some people say the cars are designed to start falling apart as soon as the warranty’s over, which of course varies based on cars. Some have been longer warranties than others, but. What are we going to expect our newest cars? I’m talking about things like Tesla, Tesla may deliver this year over a half a million vehicles. That is a lot of cars that are out there.
California, just announced last month, this effort to phase out the sale of new gas-powered passenger vehicles by 2035. That’s only 15 years from now. Not a whole long way away. What are we expecting from these things? Just like with your computer, you expect upgrades, right?
Do you expect a new release of software? You remember for many decades you bought a computer and there was a software update. Date, you needed a new version of PCdos or MSdos and you needed a bigger, faster computer. You needed 64 megabytes of Ram instead of what you had before he needed to move from static Ram, which was just too slow to dynamic ram as well.
If you’re old as I am you remember that and much more from even older computers. That happened through Microsoft’s entire life cycle until just a few years ago. Where, when it was an upgrade from windows 3.1, two 95 to 98 to XP. Millennial edition, et cetera. Every time you pretty much had to buy a new computer.
Why? because the old computer technology hardware that was in it just could not keep up with the new operating system. Frankly, software programmers are pigs – every last one of them. Yes, I said that and I say they’re pigs because they’re not paying attention to memory consumption. When you get right down to it, what is cheaper programmers’ time or the hardware?
I know for many years I was told by my clients as I was designing and writing, operating systems and device drivers and networking code that it was always cheaper to do it software than it was to do it in hardware. So in order to save a quarter-cent on each machine, we would spend an extra few hundred hours working on some of the software that wouldn’t get around that fraction of a cent piece on that motherboard.
Microsoft doesn’t think that way and programmers, nowadays, don’t think that way either, because. They’re not programming the way we used to program. Nowadays, it’s all about drag and drop. We’re using languages in our cars that are so far away from the hardware. It doesn’t even matter what hardware they run on.
We’re using languages like Java, for instance, which is just an absolutely amazing language. It certainly has its security problems when you get right down to it. But. Java is designed so that you can run it on a fast mainframe all the way on down through your Android phone. They’re all running Java and they could all run pretty much the same code without a whole lot of problems.
That’s an interesting dilemma when we’re talking about cars. Your Microsoft Windows computer, you were probably able to upgrade from windows 7, maybe to 8. Most of the time people bought new computers to go to 8 but upgrading to the next release of Windows 10. Was much easier, wasn’t it? Did you have to replace your hardware? I know I did not. My hardware could still support windows 10 from windows seven to 8.1 while 8.0 than 8.1, right in there. 10. That is a very big change in the Microsoft world because these computers were fast enough. Now, of course, that hit and hurt companies like Intel and also AMD.
And we’re going to talk more about where the hardware is going here in the near future a little bit later, and if you miss it here on the air, make sure you visit me online @craigpeterson.com. You can catch all of the podcasts there and on your favorite podcasting platforms where we talk about, should you buy a new computer now? Should you wait? And why, and where is the technology going?
But we’ve gotten to the point now where a new release of an operating system does not mean you have to have new hardware. That’s true on your macs and has been for a long time. That’s also true on your windows devices. Every few major operating system releases, you might have to get new hardware. So you’re talking five to 10 years, frankly, of support out of that device.
Have you thought about your car? Because of these new cars, Tesla is a great example of it. They really own the market. I think they’ve won the battle, at least for now that might have even won the war for the time being when it comes to owning that whole space of self-driving cars, electric cars, et cetera, they are doing an absolutely amazing job.
But that car, that Tesla that’s parked in the garage is maybe hooked up to the wifi in your house. It is maybe using the built-in data connection that it has, LTE. We know that Tesla has two processing units in it, completely separate ones. There’s a lot of speculation about exactly what they’re used for and when I’m not going to get into that right now. That Tesla that you buy today that has really a fancy cruise control that tries to help keep you in the lane. Might be better in a year from now. And how’s it going to be better while it might be better in a year from now because that electric car you bought is going to get an upgrade. It’s going to get an update and that update may even make it faster, make it use less battery, make it even smarter. Elon Musk says that he already has the software built-in and the hardware in the cars that can handle fully autonomous mode.
That’d be an interesting discussion I’d like to have with you guys sometime about what exactly is happening on that end. So the car you buy may be better next year, but how about five years now? How about that upgrade cycle?
You have a car that is full of what are basically laptop batteries, a whole bunch of these little batteries, they’re all hooked up in parallel and series in order to get to the right voltage and supply the right amount of current. Those batteries just like your laptop, have a limited life. It can only be cycled so many times. Maybe it’s a total of a thousand cycles. This is quite a bit, but at some point, those batteries aren’t worth much or anything, and they’re going to have to be replaced. By the way that is the most polluting part of these electric cars is the manufacturing and transportation of those battery components. But I digress. So you have to replace them at some point.
How about these new pieces of software that come out with, or even hardware? For instance, Tesla is completely devoted to using cameras to figure out its autonomous driving mode, versus some of these other cars that are using LIDAR, which is a laser radar combination that does absolutely phenomenal.
What happens if Tesla decides, Hey, listen, we just couldn’t pull it off with what we had. So we’re going to have to add some more hardware. Maybe they need a faster processor, more memory, more storage on another sensor, whatever it might be, then that car has limited use.
I bet you’d say so does a 1980 Mercedes diesel. Doesn’t it.
We’re gonna continue this when we get back. So make sure you stick around to listening to Craig Peterson and you can find me of course, online. Just visit me at Craig peterson.com/subscribe.
I’ll send you my weekly newsletter. I won’t pester you. I’m not one of those crazy marketers. Craig peterson.com.
That’s where you’ll find it all.
More stories and tech updates at:
Don’t miss an episode from Craig. Subscribe and give us a rating:
Follow me on Twitter for the latest in tech at:
For questions, call or text: