Overdrive Podcast Radio Programme Issue 41 2019

Overdrive: Tesla not up to hype; Nissan Warrior; Audi Q3; Jaguar drive day; Abandoned cars

Welcome to Overdrive, a program where we occasionally include facts in our good discussions about motoring and transport.

  1. The latest Car Sales figures (1:24)
  2. AAA Warns Pedestrian Detection Systems Don’t Work When Needed Most (2:31)
  3. Tesla’s Smart Summon Performance Doesn’t Match Marketing Hype (3:44)
  4. New Nissan Navara N-TREK Warrior (4:58)
  5. Audi Q3 – 2nd Generation launched in Australia (5:54)
  6. Motoring minute – Nissan PathFinder (7:08)
  7. Our resident artist Dean Oliver discusses a one-day jaunt in a series of Jaguars (8:29)
  8. Motoring minute – Volkswagen Touareg (15:05)
  9. Motoring minute – Volkswagen BMW Z4 (16:05)
  10. Rob Fraser gives some details on the launch on the new Audi Q3 (17:16)
  11. A quirky news story with Brian Smith (22:58)

You can find more information at Driven Media or previous programs are available as podcasts on iTunes or Spotify. OR our Facebook site OverdriveCity

So, let’s start with the news

Car Sales figures

VFacts Vehicle sale figures in Australia for September have been released and the market continues to decline.  For the month, sales weakened by nearly 7% making a year to date figure of nearly 8%.

Of the top ten best-selling vehicles in the month, the top three were Light Commercial Vehicles – the Toyota Hi-Lux, Ford Ranger and Mitsubishi Triton. Four of the remaining seven were Sports Utility Vehicles – the Mitsubishi ASX, Mazda CX-5, Nissan XTrail and the Mitsubishi Outlander. Only three of the top ten vehicles were Passenger cars – the Hyundai i30, Toyota Corolla and the Kia Cerato.

While it is only one month’s figures, the Mazda 3, once a top-selling vehicle has dropped out of the top 10.

The passenger car market is in steep decline but the Kia Cerato with a 28.5% growth in September but also significantly a 14% growth for the whole year, is a great achievement against a major trend.

AAA Warns Pedestrian Detection Systems Don’t Work When Needed Most

New research from the American Automobile Association reveals that automatic emergency braking systems with pedestrian detection perform inconsistently, and proved to be completely ineffective at night.

75% of pedestrian fatalities in America occur after dark.

The systems were also challenged by real-world situations, like a vehicle turning into the path of a pedestrian. AAA’s testing found that in this simulated scenario, the systems did not react at all, colliding with the adult pedestrian target every time.

There is no intent to remove these devices but there is a need for continued development of pedestrian detection systems.  This also raises issues of informing the public about variations in systems and their overall limitations.

On average, nearly 6,000 pedestrians die on American roads each year, accounting for 16% of all traffic deaths, a percentage that has steadily grown since 2010.

Tesla’s Smart Summon Performance Doesn’t Match Marketing Hype

The independent, non-profit organisation Consumer Reports has tested Tesla’s recently launched Smart Summon feature on their Model 3, and found that the automation was glitchy, and at times worked intermittently, without a lot of obvious benefits for consumers.

According to Consumer Reports, Tesla says that its Smart Summon is one of the first products in a suite of technologies it markets as “Full Self-Driving.” The car maker activated the feature for car owners using an over-the-air update at the end of September.

In online marketing material, Tesla says owners using a smartphone can summon their vehicles to come pick them up to help in everyday situations, such as to avoid walking across a parking lot in the rain or with an armful of groceries.

The Model 3 owner’s manual contains numerous warnings of Smart Summon’s limitations, including that it can’t be used on public roads and can’t detect all traffic or kerbs. But some owners on social media have reported minor fender benders while using the feature in parking lots and at low speeds.

New Nissan Navara N-TREK Warrior

Car companies have recognised that the rough and tough motor vehicle image is becoming an important part of the ute market.

Nissan upped the ante in this regard with its just released Navara N-TREK Warrior.

The initial focus was on lifting the front and rear suspension and including a larger diameter 32.2 -inch all-terrain tyre for better off-road capabilities including rougher terrain.

But they have also added many appearance features, the bling that is part of outdoor, adventurous fashion accessories.

Nissan has also incorporated a “built for local conditions” element as well.

They hired 40 people – with engineering and local manufacturing experience – to work on the N-TREK Warrior, and established a dedicated manufacturing facility in Melbourne’s northern suburbs.

Audi Q3 – 2nd Generation launched in Australia

Audi Q3 35 TFSI 110 6 side ExteriorIt has been seven years since the first Q3 was launched which is a long run for any vehicle model.

Most significantly the new model is bigger, including an increase of 77mm in the wheelbase and an increase of 70 litres in boot space.

Audi claim that it has more than $12,000 of additional equipment compared to its predecessor.

It only comes in two-wheel drive at the moment.

Along with many safety features it has as standard

– 18-inch alloy wheels

– Electric tailgate including gesture control

– Two-zone climate control

– Ambient interior LED lighting package

The base price is $46,400 and the launch edition is $52,750 plus on-road costs

You can find more information at Driven Media or previous programs are available as podcasts on iTunes or Spotify. OR our Facebook site OverdriveCity

Originally broadcast 12 October 2019 across Community Broadcasting Association of Australia (CBAA) and Torque Radio affiliated commercial radio channels.


About David Brown 500 Articles
David’s boyhood passion for motor cars did not immediately lead to a professional role in the motor industry. A qualified Civil Engineer he specialised in traffic engineering and transport planning. What followed were various positions including being seconded to a government think-tank for the planning of transport firstly in Sydney and then for the whole of NSW. After working with the NRMA and as a consultant he moved to being an independent writer and commentator on the broader areas of transport and the more specific areas of the cars we drive. His half hour motoring program “Overdrive” has been described as an “informed, humorous and irreverent look at motoring and transport from Australia and overseas”. It is heard on 22 stations across Australia. He does weekly interviews with several ABC radio stations and is also heard on commercial radio in Sydney. David has written for metropolitan and regional newspapers and has presented regular segments on metropolitan and regional television stations. David is also a contributor for AnyAuto