Bluff The Listener
BILL KURTIS: From NPR and WBEZ Chicago, this is WAIT WAIT... DON'T TELL ME, the NPR News quiz. I'm Bill Kurtis. We are playing this week with Alonzo Bodden, Amy Dickinson and Adam Felber. And here again is your host at the Chase Bank Auditorium in downtown Chicago, Peter Sagal.
PETER SAGAL, HOST:
Thank you, Bill. Thank you, everybody. Right now...
SAGAL: ...It's time for the WAIT WAIT... DON'T TELL ME Bluff The Listener game. Call 1-888-WAITWAIT to play our game on the air. Hi, you're on WAIT WAIT... DON'T TELL ME.
STEWART JOHNSON: Hi, this is Stewart Johnson from Cheboygan, Mich.
SAGAL: Wait a minute, Cheboygan, Mich.?
SAGAL: I think you're lost. You're supposed to be in Wisconsin.
JOHNSON: Everybody says that.
AMY DICKINSON: There are two Cheboygans?
SAGAL: I didn't know. So where is Cheboygan, Mich.?
JOHNSON: You know the mitten trick for Michigan?
SAGAL: Yeah. You hold up your hand and...
JOHNSON: If you take your left hand and you stare at the palm, we're about at the tip of the index finger there.
SAGAL: Oh, really? So you're, like, far north Michigan then.
JOHNSON: Yes. We're called trolls because we live under the bridge.
SAGAL: Oh, that's very flattering.
SAGAL: Well, welcome to the show, Stewart. You're going to play the game in which you must try to tell truth from fiction. Bill, what is...
JOHNSON: Oh, dear.
SAGAL: You knew what you were getting into, Stewart. Bill, what is Stewart's topic?
KURTIS: To cup holders and beyond.
SAGAL: Car makers keep innovating - self-driving cars, automatic windshield wipers, seatbelts that adjust their safety level depending on how much you like your passenger.
SAGAL: This week, though, we read about a new feature in a car beyond anything we could imagine. Our panelists are each going to tell you about it. Pick the real one, you'll win our prize, Carl Kasell's voice on your voicemail. Are you ready to play?
JOHNSON: I think that I am.
SAGAL: All right then, here we go. First, let's hear from Alonzo Bodden.
ALONZO BODDEN: The luxury car market gets tougher and tougher. Heated, massaging seats, autonomous driving, Wi-Fi, talk-to-text. Every new feature is obsolete as soon as it's released. GM polled luxury car buyers to find out what they really wanted, and they were surprised by one result. What people really wanted from their cars was being able to get out of them. Namely, they hate searching for parking. So in their new unnamed Cadillac prototype, the GM car will come with a drone that you can release from the roof compartment. It can fly ahead, find and hold a parking space for you. Raymond Raven (ph), Cadillac director of technology, explains, these days with all the distractions available, people only notice they're even driving a car when it becomes miserable. And it is the most miserable when you can't find a place to park. You ever been at Trader Joe's on a Saturday?
BODDEN: The technology is excellent. Using a combination of GPS, cameras and computer algorithms, the drones can recognize rectangles of bare asphalt. The drones are finding and hovering over these empty parking spaces with a 98 percent success rate. The only problem is other drivers. Road testers have pulled up to their quote, "reserved parking space" to find other drivers smashing the drone to pieces with baseball bats...
BODDEN: ...Tire irons and in one case a box of frozen Whole Foods brand organic General Tso chicken.
BODDEN: Mr. Raven says, we're bit stumped right now as how to handle what we call competing driver aggression. We're considering programming in escape routes or even countermeasures. We're actually talking to the CIA about how drones might be able to fight back.
SAGAL: A Cadillac with a drone that'll fly ahead and find you parking, if it survives. Your next bit of car talk - ha - comes from Amy Dickinson.
DICKINSON: In the world of luxury automobiles, Bentleys are mainly used for shepherding wealthy newlyweds from the church to the reception hall and heads of state to funerals. But discerning Bentley owners found themselves wanting more. Sure, the car has a special seat for their concubine.
DICKINSON: But what about their falcon? Bentley's first ever SUV is called the Bentley Bentayga. For a base price of only $175,000, owners will get a special bird perch for their falcon to ride on inside the car. Falcons are traditionally brought to hunts by falconers riding horseback in the open air. Otherwise, the birds are usually put in special cages if they're transported in vehicles. Putting a bird of prey on an open perch beside the driver inside a small enclosed space falls under the category of what could possibly go wrong?
SAGAL: The special Bentley edition for falcon fanciers, complete with falcon perch inside the car. And your last bit of luxury cardom (ph) comes from Adam Felber.
ADAM FELBER: You've thrilled to insane mode and ludicrous mode, but now Elon Musk wants to get your adrenaline flowing in a more productive way. Introducing Tesla's fitness mode, a single button that transforms your car into a high-tech, sweaty, rolling gym. Your seat vibrates your posterior to keep your pulse elevated while it also gently rocks, folds and gyrates in tandem with the steering column, keeping all your muscles engaged. One more touch of a button engages cruise control and handbrakes while hydraulic bicycle pedals fold out to allow you to really work up a sweat while the car automatically fires up your favorite workout playlists. Plus, your pedaling actually charges the battery, transforming you into a virtual hamster...
FELBER: ...And fully charging your battery in a mere 65 hours. Fitness mode project lead Corine Pierce (ph) says her favorite feature is the fitness-enhanced navigation, which attempts to park you not at your destination but 1,000 steps from it. Tesla fitness mode, because every life is precious, but especially one that can afford a Tesla.
SAGAL: All right. Let's say you're going car shopping and you can choose from one of these three cars. From Alonzo Bodden, it's a new prototype Cadillac with a special drone that'll fly ahead and find your parking space for you. From Amy Dickinson, it's a Bentley with special perch and other accoutrement for your pet falcon. Or from Adam Felber, it's the Tesla with fitness mode in which you can actually pedal your $120,000 electric car.
SAGAL: Sadly, you can only actually get one of those because only one of them is real. Which is it?
JOHNSON: It's got to be the Cadillac drone.
SAGAL: You're going to say the Cadillac drone, the drone that flies ahead and finds your parking space.
SAGAL: All right. Well, to bring you the correct answer we spoke to someone at the car company involved in the real story.
JON SIMONS: Falconry package is equipped with everything our customers would need, including a master flight station, refreshment case and bird helipad.
SAGAL: And that was Jon Simons, the very real product marketing manager for the Americas region of Bentley motorcars talking about the very real falconer edition Bentley. I have to tell you, none of us believed it either.
SAGAL: So I cannot blame you. You didn't win, but you did earn a point for Alonzo for what I thought was really an excellent idea. Stewart, thank you so much for playing.
JOHNSON: Thank you.
(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "FREE RIDE")
EDGAR WINTER GROUP: (Singing) Come on and take a free ride. Come on and sit here by my side. Come on and take a free ride.
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