Ask Nathan: The Semi-Autonomous Apple Car, a Super Car That Runs on Garbage and Eating Monkeys?

Apple Car renderings by Vanarama

In this week’s Ask Nathan:

  • Where’s the semi autonomous Apple car?
  • A super car that runs on trash?
  • Is it cannibalism if you eat a monkey?

The first question comes from my wife. No kidding. She wants to know about the semi autonomous Apple car.

Q: (Via: spouse) When will the semi autonomous Apple car come to the market?

(Paraphrased for sanity) No one talks about the now semi autonomous Apple car anymore. Are they still building it and why is it no longer “autonomous?” Will Samsung come to market with an autonomous car first? Why won’t you dress appropriately? Do you think Apple will sell it the same way they sell their phones?

— She-Who-Must-Be-Obeyed

A: Yes dear, they are still serious about building the Apple car, but…

In this recent article, the outlook for a fully autonomous Apple car is not looking good. That’s in regards to a fully autonomous car, but a semi autonomous Apple car might come along by 2026.

What happened? It looks like the technology to make the vehicle fully autonomous isn’t available. In a world of perfect conditions, light traffic and predictable fellow drivers – it might happen sooner, but that’s not the case. Studies have found that autonomy has its place, like deliveries, a convoy of trucks, or military applications, but hauling people in traffic – not so much.

I’m sure we’ll get there and full autonomy will become popular, perhaps in a decade or so.

2017 – SM3 Z.E.

Yes – Samsung IS working on autonomous cars, and they have been partnered with Renault for a few years, building regular cars in Korea. They are not competing with Apple directly, opting to refine autonomous tech for market adoption. You can learn a lot more on Samsung’s website.

Better semi autonomous systems are hitting the market at a rapid rate, but the fully autonomous car that replaces the daily driver is a ways off. The video below shows one of the most daunting obstacles for autonomous vehicles – harsh weather.

– N

The next question comes from TFL Boss Roman, who thought this story about the Bertone GB110 – a super car that runs on trash – was cool.

Images: Bertone

Q: Nathan –

(Paraphrased and embellished) Write this up, or it’s back to the coal mines!

– Roman

*He didn’t say “coal mines.”

I think “salt mines” was implied.

A: The story about the Bertone GB110 is actually two stories:

The main story is from the coach builder and designer Bertone. They are responsible for several design triumphs that have been exploited by Italian brands. Recently, they marked their return with this stylish Bertone GB100 super sports car.

“The GB110 is continuing Bertone’s automotive legacy and is a contemporary interpretation of the Bertone DNA. It’s paying homage to pioneering Bertone designs from the 50’s and 70’s, merging the soft, rounded lines of the 50s with 70’s style sharp edges.”

Bertone Project and design manager Giovanni Sapio

If you look at their website, you’ll see very little about the technical details of the GB110; however, it is supposed to go 0 to 60 mph in about 2.8-seconds, and have a top speed of 236 mph. The internal combustion engine is listed at 1,100 horsepower. Hopefully, we’ll get more details about the powertrain soon.

They are only building 33 examples.

Funny thing: what feeds that powertrain is the second part of the story.

You see, Bertone has partnered with a company that takes polycarbonate materials (waste plastic) and converts them into renewable fuel.

“(Bertone has) partnered with the company Select Fuel which has developed a patented technology to convert polycarbonate materials into renewable fuel. We believe that de-pollution will require different solutions with combinations of technologies. Plastic waste needs to be treated as a valuable resource. Through our partnership with Select Fuel we take what was once waste and convert it back into its original form.”

Jean-Franck Ricci, CEO of Bertone

I had a friend in high school who owned a Bertone X1/9, and it was a hoot to drive, even though I didn’t fit inside comfortably. Volvo lovers swear that the Volvo Bertone will be the most collectable Volvo yet. The Alfa Romeo Bertone is still one of my favorite (almost accessible) Italian cars to dream about.

It would be nice to see a cool design company like Bertone return to prominence once again.

– N

The last question came completely out of the blue – and I simply HAD to post it.

Sean Sosik-Hamor

Q: ( Important question Nathan.

If you eat a monkey, is that similar to cannibalism?

– Anonymous

A: Wow. That’s a tough one.

I remember seeing a Donald Duck cartoon where he was cooking a turkey, and I thought of something similar.

I guess the answer would be no. My only reason is that I believe there are places on this planet where it’s legal to eat a monkey. There are NO places where it’s legal to eat a human.

That’s all I got.

  • – N
  • p.s. Tell you what? Check out this video below. It may help prevent you from getting stranded – negating the possibility of eating your passengers.