Posted on: October 28, 2019 Posted by: admin Comments: 28

TST Podcast #426 – Alan Macey (Manual Gearbox Preservation Society)

Alan Macey thinks about cars differently than we do. After graduating from Art Center of Pasadena (arguably the best school for automotive design in the world), he interned at VW, and then worked as a designer at Jeep. He sees cars differently than us. We see a panel gap, and he knows why it’s that size. He understands the constraints designers have when they design a new car. He also created the Manual Gearbox Preservation Society ( links below). We talk about design, Bugatti, VW, challenges of selling a new car, and then we get into a DEEP conversation about AI, the future of car ownership, and argue about how soon it will all arrive. It’s a good listen.
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28 People reacted on this

  1. Regarding insurance and cars that kill babies:

    Insurance companies are run by, and set their prices from, actuarial tables.

    Actuaries are a special breed of human. They are able to set aside emotion and operate purely on math and reason. Actuaries are almost never wrong. The test they take that allows them to call themselves an actuary is unbelievably insanely rigorous.

    When actuaries determine that autonomous cars provide less risk than human drivers, they will submit – and the insurance companies will publish – premium rates that accurately reflect that.

    When that happens, driving yourself will become a luxury. And that's not forty years away. The software is learning at a far greater rate than that.

  2. Loved this podcast. I felt like shit got HEATED tho which can be the enemy of a productive discussion. I'd love to see this guy back on the show. I think a lot of people have a hard time processing the coming of autonomous driving and see it as a finish line the industry is gonna cross and then suddenly there will be driverless cars, but it's going to be introduced slowly and feature by individual feature. I mean, I love me some brake hold, radar cruise, and lane-center assist.

  3. Poor Mat is a little bit in denial about the whole self driving deal. It'll be a little while still, but then it'll be overnight.
    AI photo recognition was the stuff of (far away) dreams 10 or so years ago, now it's in on your phone photo library. AI driving is in full development right now… Don't like it, but hey

  4. I have bought 3 new BMWs in the past 2 years. 2017: M2, 2018: 118i and M2 competition(upgraded from the M2).
    Future bmw owners of used bmws will thank me 😀

    It's sad that 4 out of 5 M2s are automatic/paddle shift.

  5. As someone who loves driving, manual, dual clutch whatever, I do not want to see my ability to drive be taken away. I agree with Matt on this about the liability of self driving cars. Now, you make a decision for the preservation of yourself. If a computer is in control of the vehicle you are in and an accident is imminent what is the computer going to do? Will it decide that the other vehicle occupants have a better chance of surviving the accident and therefore don't take measures to give you a better chance of survival? Would you get in a car knowing that was a possibility??

  6. What about all of the people with classic or historic cars? What about everyone who restored a car to cruise around the city at night or the back roads at sunset? And HERE'S one for ya… what about all the people who buy a new car (specifically car enthusiasts buying sports and exotic cars) between 2019 to, say, 2035? If someone buys a 2021 Porsche 911 Turbo and driving gets banned, does that mean they only had less than a decade or whatnot to drive their new car?!

  7. Matt, thanks for keeping it real, there is a socio-economic model that no one talks about viv-a-vis autonomous car service. It won't be cheap. Who will use it? Money better spent in public transportation and driver education.IMO.

  8. This was painful. Thought it was going to be a talk about the love of the manual gearbox, how to support it, etc. instead, a ton of radical opinions that will not happen anytime soon. Agreed Matt.

  9. I think Matt will own a self driving car when the kids need to be dropped off at school and picked up. If a self driving car crashes its a manufacturer defect.

  10. Doing my part DDing a 2014 Outback 6MT. The dealer was so happy to get rid of the thing! It's significantly slower than the CVT, gets worse mileage, and makes me happy every day.

  11. Very interesting conversation. Great guest!
    As for the manuals, a big shift is happening here in Switzerland. Normally, everyone takes their driving test with a manual car as otherwise you are not allowed to drive a manual car. Along with that go many hours of (expensive) driving education on a manual car.
    But recently, they have changed the law so that even a previously automatic-only driving license allows you to drive a manual car.
    Reason behind this is because new manual cars are becoming rare.

    Since then, I have already seen big 63 AMGs with the learner sign on the back. Just what we needed. The people responsible for our very strict road policing are now getting access to high performance cars even during their driving education.

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