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  • Dec 08, 2018

    Automotive Technology at the Los Angeles Auto Show 2018 | #186


    It has become increasingly apparent that the automotive and technology industries’ fates have become intertwined as the latest gadgets and gizmos are embedded in our daily drivers. We discuss the trends that lead us to where we are today with JoshCAR Hollywood Car Consultant, Josh Hancock, at the start of the show. Then, Josh fills us in on some of the news coming out of the Los Angeles Auto Show, like Reviver Auto’s digital license plates, Amazon Alexa powered Echo Auto, and the emergence of two new all-electric car companies: BYTON and Rivian. Closing out the show, we wonder if the country is really ready for the next wave of electric vehicles. Tune in for the latest details from the LA Auto Show. 


    ·[00:00:00] Tracing the Auto Tech Explosion Back
    ·[00:06:44] Ups and Downs of Early Infotainment
    ·[00:12:30] Digital Plates, Spin, and Echo Auto
    ·[00:19:51] Reviver Auto and California Car Market
    ·[00:27:39] BYTON and Rivian Electrify LA Auto Show
    ·[00:35:51] Why We Aren’t Quite Ready for EVs


    [00:00:00] Tracing the Auto Tech Explosion Back
    The Los Angeles Auto Show is in full swing, and technology is as much a part of it as the mechanical side, but when did this trend start? Hollywood Car Consultant, Josh Hancock, and Mike trace back the origins of the most notable piece of technology in our cars: the infotainment system. In 2007, Ford made a bold move and unveiled their SYNC system on entry level vehicles, targeting younger, more tech-savvy buyers. While other companies introduced their new technology on luxury vehicles and met with failure, Ford soared with the help of Microsoft. Find out more about the early days of infotainment systems.


    [00:06:44] Ups and Downs of Early Infotainment
    In 2018, the playing field among automotive companies and their technology is relatively even, but it wasn’t always that way. JoshCAR Hollywood Car Consultant, Josh Hancock, tells us how the second generation of Ford SYNC system was plagued with so many glitches that Galpin Ford (the largest Ford dealer in the USA by volume) had to call in Microsoft techs to help customers sort out their infotainment systems. Luckily, a new partnership with the creators of Blackberry has SYNC 3 on track, but not all automakers have learned their lesson, and automotive technology is a harsh teacher. Unnecessarily complex screens were the downfall of BMW, Volvo, and even Mercedes-Benz, who dropped from #1 in the customer satisfaction index to #26. Learn more about the checkered past of your car’s screen.


    [00:12:30] Digital Plates, Spin, and Echo Auto
    If you didn’t think Alexa was invasive enough in your personal life, now Amazon wants to control your car! Okay, it’s probably not as annoying as it sounds, but Mike has more than a few reservations about the new Echo Auto. JoshCAR Hollywood Car Consultant, Josh Hancock, gives us the details on Amazon’s newest contraption, a $49.99 dash box that implants the sweet, sweet voice of Alexa into your car, in case you just couldn’t wait until you get home to talk to her. Echo Auto is also available as a downloadable, in-car app. Also, Josh fills us in on Spin, a short term electric scooter rental service, and a brand new digital license plate that is totally legal (in 4 states). Discover more about the tech of the LA Auto Show.


    [00:19:51] Reviver Auto and California Car Market
    Manually changing the stickers on your license plate is soooo 2017, in fact, even remembering that you have a license plate is dated. JoshCAR Hollywood Car Consultant, Josh Hancock, spills the beans on the newest big thing in the automotive tech world – digital license plates. Made by Reviver Auto, in cooperation with the State of California and its respective DMV, this digital license plate packs features on top of a (currently) hefty price of entry; but you might not notice it’s $700 tag over the sound of everyone else’s jealousy and financing options. Update your tags digitally via DMV, display messages while parked, and change its color at a whim, off of a two year battery charge without even thinking about your awesome plate. Check it out at


    [00:27:39] BYTON and Rivian Electrify LA Auto Show
    Digital plates and talking boxes trying to sell you stuff in your car are pretty cool, but do you want to know what’s way cooler? Futuristic all-electric cars with amazing styling. JoshCAR Hollywood Car Consultant, Josh Hancock, describes the sleek (and horribly distracting) interior of BYTON’s recently revealed vehicles at the LA Auto Show, complete with a full-dash and steering wheel touch-screen display. Josh longed for a car with this type of interior when he was working on the set of Logan as a consultant. Another company that made a big splash in the proverbial LA Auto Show pool was Rivian. Their 400-mile range, rugged, outdoorsy all-electric truck had everyone’s jaws on the floor. Could this pickup be the electric vehicle to disrupt the market?


    [00:35:51] Why We Aren’t Quite Ready for EVs
    Southern California is a booming market for hybrid and all-electric vehicles, but is the rest of the country ready for this transportation transformation? JoshCAR Hollywood Car Consultant, Josh Hancock, doesn’t think the majority of car buyers in the United States are ready for electric vehicles (EV). For example, the Lincoln MKZ hybrid is priced the same as the gasoline version, but people do not buy it, despite its fuel efficiency. Car shoppers still want the power they get with a gasoline engine, but that tide is turning. The Lincoln Aviator hybrid that was revealed at the LA Auto Show will make 450-HP, have ample storage room, and be about the same price as the gasoline version. It’s advancements like this that will make EVs the wave of the future. Find out more about what’s holding back the proliferation of electric cars.


    Explore More with Helpful Links:

    ·Special Guest: Josh Hancock | Hollywood Car Consultant, JoshCAR

    ·Website: LA Auto Show

    ·Website: Reviver Auto

    ·Website: Amazon Alexa

    ·Website: Echo Auto

    ·Website: BYTON

    ·Website: Rivian

    ·Website: Spin

    ·Vehicle Mention: Rivian R1T

    ·Vehicle Mention: Rivian R1S

    ·Vehicle Mention: 2020 Lincoln Aviator

    ·Vehicle Mention: 2019 Lincoln MKZ Hybrid



    This episode was produced by Entertainment Right Now (ERN). If you found value in this episode, and you’d like to hear more, please consider leaving us a review on iTunes and be sure to subscribe to our podcast so you don’t miss a beat. Your feedback helps us to reach more enthusiasts around the world! If you have a question you’d like us to answer, please leave a comment below or e-mail us at



    Host: Mike Etchart
    Producer: Cody Castleberry
    Production Asst.: Joanne Bolden
    Audio Engineer: Cody Castleberry
    Copy Editor: Cody Castleberry
    Special Guest: Josh Hancock

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    Get expert advice on stereo components, home recording equipment, smartphones, computers, digital imaging, dashboard apps, and exciting new gadgets. Plus, you’ll hear the latest industry buzz, rumors, and cold hard facts. POP TECH RADIO helps you make sense of the barrage of choices available in the marketplace; Mike provides you with vital, comprehensive advice from leading experts. 

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