This is The Morning Shift, our one-stop daily roundup of all the auto news that's actually important — all in one place at 9:00 AM. Or, you could spend all day waiting for other sites to parse it out to you one story at a time. Isn't your time more important?
1st Gear: iOS In The Car Is A Challenge
Apple announced at WWDC the other day that its mobile operating platform, iOS, will be able to be integrated into cars. We're skeptical on if they can make a properly good infotainment system, as is BMW, who reportedly don't want the system in their cars.
Now analysts also believe that iOS In The Car will prove tough for the automakers as well. It helps automakers who want to keep up with what's new in the world of telematics and keep their cars on the cutting edge. But it also gets rid of the automakers' control over the experience inside their cars.
That's the issue.
A lot of mapping and infotainment systems are painstakingly designed by automakers in order to work in harmony with the experience of driving one of their cars. In an economy proposition, like Chevrolet's MyLink and BringGo, which already rely on a smart phone for nav and other entertainment systems, it makes sense. For a high end maker like Audi or Mercedes, it makes less sense.
2nd Gear: Self-Driving Cars Are As Welcome As Flying Cars
In case you were wondering, the flying car isn't a particularly excellent idea. John McCormick, a licensed pilot, makes a some good points in the Detroit News this morning about why the autonomous car isn't ready for primetime. For example, some want state regulations, NHTSA wants no state regulations and a longer testing time before the public can purchase the cars. That means nobody knows what's going on. Computers are great, but the human brain (no matter how inept a person is) is still better at making decisions on the fly in a complicated traffic situation.
They might get there someday, but right now it doesn't look good.
3rd Gear: Cars Damaged In Hurricane Sandy Land In Washington
And not Washington, DC, but Washington state. The one in the Northwest. The cars are showing up in the Northwest and are for sale there amongst other used cars. That means that the cars were probably bought at auction and shipped across the country.
Car buyers should, as always, thoroughly research their cars before they buy and keep an eye out for rust, brittle wiring, and other signs of flood damage.
4th Gear: Renault Might Charge Up In China
Renault, like any automaker, wants to expand its presence in China. It might do that with a $1.2 billion joint venture with Dongfeng Motor Group.
China's environment ministry has approved the venture, but the rest of the departments are yet to approve. Once they do, it sounds like the deal will move through. It will also give Renault its first factory in China, which will put it on par with nearly every other global manufacturer.
5th Gear: Rest In Peace, Jason Leffler
Last night we lost NASCAR veteran Jason Leffler in a devastating sprint car crash at Bridgeport Speedway in New Jersey, It's always awful to lose a member of the racing community, and our thoughts are with Leffler's young son Charlie and the rest of his family.
There is no word on what caused the crash yet, and we aren't going to speculate on it. It's just another one of those moments that makes you question why you love motorsports so much and if it's all really worth it.
On this day in 1895, Emile Levassor drives a Panhard et Levassor car with a two-cylinder, 750-rpm, four-horsepower Daimler Phoenix engine over the finish line in the world's first real automobile race. Levassor completed the 732-mile course, from Paris to Bordeaux and back, in just under 49 hours, at a then-impressive speed of about 15 miles per hour.
What do you think about autonomous cars? Are they ready for the highways and byways of the USA? Or do they need more time in the oven?