Car News In the Rearview: ‘Cars’ Hitler and Backwards Demon Orders
Welcome to In the Rearview, where I bring you the week’s car news again, but with my own delightful and lighthearted spin.
This week, we start our merry way down lighthearted lane by considering that since in the Cars movies there are WWII veterans, that means that there was a Cars Hitler. And then even further, is all of Cars history the same as ours? Was there a Cars Civil War? Was there a Cars Jesus? What were the cars in Cars before the invention of cars?
Then, we explore why we don’t have freaking colorful tires, already. It turns out that there is actually a reason, but it is disappointingly devoid of elaborate tire color conspiracies and secret societies.
Following that, Dodge has come up with a novel way to discourage its dealerships from jacking up the price on the new Challenger SRT Demon by producing the least expensive orders first. However, that seems dumb to me for two reasons. First, wouldn’t that punish someone for trying to option out their Demon? And second, they are only making 3,000 of these things–is a slight delay in delivery really that much of a deterrent to shady car dealers?
Speaking of shady things, we have two stories on Uber this week. The first, and probably larger, news is that the CEO Travis Kalanick was asked to resign and did so (although it’s unclear if he will really be out of power, since he is still on the board of directors). The second is that Uber is adding tipping, which led to much rejoicing among drivers who were clamoring for such a service for some time. However, I can’t help but receive that story with suspicion, because I know that tipping leads to low actual wages.
That brings us to a new idea for how self-driving cars can be used, where, when stuck in traffic, they can navigate themselves into a faster, lower-congestion self-driving-only lane called the Hyperlane. On the one hand, that would take cars out of the traffic while taking advantage of self-driving car technology. On the other, since early versions of completely-self-driving cars are likely to be expensive, this just sounds like a way for the wealthy to breeze past the poor people, in the most literal way possible.
Speaking of poor people, it is often difficult for them to keep a car going or afford expensive car sharing services, so one electric car sharing fleet is offering special reduced prices for low-income customers. It’s just the one small service so far, but it’s a warm fuzzy in a sea of cold pricklies.
Finally, affordable electric vehicles will be coming soon to a surprising place–Texas. The state legislature there has added more electric vehicle incentives on top of the federal ones, making it suddenly a full $10,000 cheaper to buy electric. Go Texas.