In this week’s Ask Nathan:
- Will we ever see a three-row Ford Bronco?
- Government mandated DUI devices?
- Why don’t you (TFLbike) review electric scooters?
Q: (NathanAdlen@Twitter) Bro! I wanna see a three-row Ford Bronco at SEMA next year!
If Jeep did it like in your last story then Ford can do it better! Just throw in a little third row and a few seat belts! A super off road family SUV would sell like heaters in Siberia!
— T. Alutz
A: Yep, a Three-row Ford Bronco would be fun; but there are a few issues.
Two three-row SUVs are already offered by Ford; the Expedition and the Explorer. It’s possible that Ford would be concerned about a three-row Ford Bronco hurting sales of the other vehicles. Ford has always been concerned about their sales numbers, and the Expedition is gaining ground on GM offerings like the Suburban.
The Explorer is one of the best selling vehicles in its class. While it trails the Toyota Highlander, it outsells pretty much everything else.
Then, there’s the engineering to think about. The way the current Ford Bronco is built, it sits on a frame that may not work well with a third row. It’s not just a matter of length (it is based on a longer Ranger frame – so…), there could be more to it. Remember: passenger safety is a huge part of the equation. There is weight and EPA numbers to consider as well.
Simply adding a tiny bench seat may not be as easy as you think.
How about a Expedition that looks like a three-row Ford Bronco?!
I know that may sound odd, but it be a sweet build for the SEMA crowd. Imagine an Expedition with a lift, running on 35-37-inch tires and underside armor. Then, the front clip and tail get the “Bronco” treatment. That could look epic!
I bet a challenge to the right fabricator(s) could result in something epic!
Ford, are you listening?
The next question comes from a few comments regarding government mandated impaired-driving-detection systems that may/will be standard in cars in a few years.
Q: (Summary of comments and emails via YouTube:) I don’t need electronic nannies to watch my driving.
- How will it monitor people who are stoned?
- This is government overreach!
- This is great! Can we add these devices to older cars?
- What if it malfunctions?
- Does it contact police if it thinks you’re driving impaired?
- What about autonomy? Will it drive you home if you’re hammered?
A: Thanks for the questions/statements.
Right now, the U.S. government and automakers are working on hardware and software that will stop most impaired drivers, before they can start their vehicle. This is a mandate that is suppose to kick in within the next few years (by 2026/27), if approved. Most of the people involved indicate that it will be signed into legislation soon.
In the 1.2 trillion dollar Infrastructure bill, (“Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act”), there is a provision for about $17-billion dollars for the “road safety program.” While the wording is a bit general, this section of this bill 24220 states that “advanced drunk and impaired technology” will become standard on all vehicles. It looks like the date will be about five year from now, but it can be extended if necessary.
It looks like a majority of the tech will be passive, and will determine who is impaired based on several factors. We already have tech that monitors your eye movement, driving characteristics, smell for booze and more. Much of this tech is already in service, and combining it seems to be one of the steps in this process.
According to the NHTSA, over 1/3 of driving fatalities were due to drunk driving. In 2019, over 10,000 traffic deaths were alcohol related, costing $44-billion dollars to tax payers in 2010. This tech could save thousands, not to mention other types of non-lethal incidents – like fender-benders.
From what we could find on this measure, there was no mention of notifying authorities if you attempt to drive impaired. Nor does it state that this tech will be retrofitted to older vehicles. It will only be on new vehicles, starting as early as 2024.
Just like TPMS and review cameras
This tech will become standard on all vehicles, just like airbags, TPMS, ABS and rear-view cameras. It’s not known if the $17-billion will help offset the expense of developing and/or implementing this tech for automakers. It is a pretty good bet that most automakers are already working on it.
It’s quite possible that we’ll see this tech in the market well before the deadline.
As for those of you who feel like it’s government overreach, “Big Brother” is tracking you, or that this tech may sabotage your life – these are valid concerns. Many people are worried about tracking software, black-boxes and electronic leashes. Still, if you currently own a smartphone…
The last next question comes from a fan who wants to know why TFLBike doesn’t review electric scooters.
Q: Greetings from Bolivia Roman and Nathan!
I have watched your shows for many years and you are one of the reasons I bought a Ford Ranger. You know it’s a different Ranger than the ones you have cuse it has a diesel. I love my truck and worked for years to afford it. I am glad that I did.
When I was in the States, I went to school in Arizona and many of the students were riding electric scooters and electric bikes. I bought one myself and even shipped it home when I graduated. My Ninebot scooter has the 300w brushless direct current motor and it weighs less than 30 pounds. I can easily go about six or seven miles on a charge. At home. You can ride back and back to work with plenty of range to spare. I plug in and it is fully charged before my lunch.
I know that you have your bike chanel (TFLbike & TFLbike.com) but I don’t see much about electric scooters. If you see so many on the streets with rental companies. I know that there will be more and more around the world soon enough. Especially near schools.
Here in (Santa Cruz de la Sierra), few people are starting to see the benefit of riding electric scooters. They are so much cheaper to own than a motorcycle or a moped. I think electric bikes, scooters and motorcycles will be big in Bolivia in the future, but not that far off.
So if you could answer me I would be grateful. And by the way. I voiced this whole email while on my scooter heading back home. How is that for practical? Thank you for so many great videos and I can’t wait to see more!
— J. JK
A: Thanks for the email!
Right now, TFLbike is mainly focused on motorcycles and large bicycle-style scooters. Basically, it’s all about two-wheeled vehicles that you can sit on. We have reviewed a few electric bikes, but small scooters, like the one you mentioned, are kind of rare for us. There are some great websites and channels out there that strictly feature scooters. I recommend Electric Scooter Guide, if you’re looking for small scooters.
In the future, we may migrate over to smaller EVs, but I don’t think we’ll be doing small scooters any time soon.
Speaking of something cool and electric…