Articles by Dan Albert

Jun 21, 2019

Driverless cars are coming. We’ll miss the thrill of the ride.

Flirt­ing with dan­ger on the open road is as old as, well, motor­ing itself.

Jun 15, 2019

We could have had electric cars from the very beginning

... but they didn’t give riders the same illusion of freedom and masculine derring-do.

Ear­ly elec­tric cars per­formed bet­ter in cities than inter­nal com­bus­tion vehi­cles, but didn’t give rid­ers the same illu­sion of free­dom and mas­cu­line derring-do.

Apr 05, 2019

Have We Reached Peak Lyft

After the IPO

Uber and Lyft are upend­ing how we live by revers­ing a cen­tu­ry-long trend of ever-increas­ing auto­mo­bile depen­dence, with its atten­dant dead­en­ing sprawl, omnipresent dan­ger, and envi­ron­men­tal harm. Their rev­o­lu­tion will trans­form the $1.5 tril­lion busi­ness of sell­ing cars into a $10 tril­lion mobil­i­ty as ser­vice” busi­ness, accord­ing to a report by Mor­gan Stan­ley (now the lead under­writer for the Uber IPO).

Dec 02, 2018

Make Ford Great Again

For now, yesterday is where the money is.

Blunt and regres­sive, Ford’s new TV com­mer­cials make do with­out jin­gles or CEOs, opt­ing instead for Break­ing Bad’s scary-man­ly-pater­nal (don’t for­get Mal­colm in the Mid­dle) Bryan Cranston. Dressed in Steve Jobs gear, Cranston is on the verge of deliv­er­ing a Future Talk” when he shakes it off at the last minute: The future wasn’t made in a keynote speech,” he declares. (Pre­sum­ably this includes Jim Hackett’s keynote speech about Ford’s future.) Next he’s in an easy chair aboard Air Force One: A pres­i­den­tial speech did not land us on the moon.” Cut to men with pock­et pro­tec­tors sweat­ing over the Apol­lo Lunar Lan­der. Mil­lions of man hours did.”

Jul 03, 2017

Not a Techno-Thriller

The Volkswagen scandal was more diffuse, technical and tedious than most journalists allow.

Scan­dal always cap­ti­vates, and the VW news cap­ti­vat­ed Amer­i­cans for months — even those Amer­i­cans who usu­al­ly skip past the auto­mo­bile sec­tion. Reporters like Ewing pub­lished updates near­ly every day. John Oliv­er even jumped aboard with a com­e­dy bit mock­ing the Ger­man lan­guage and end­ed with the line, Hitler trust­ed us, why won’t you?” With the mar­ket pre­pared, Faster, High­er, Far­ther has been pub­lished simul­ta­ne­ous­ly in Eng­lish and Ger­man, and the author has been appear­ing on the morn­ing shows to talk cor­po­rate scan­dal. Leonar­do DiCaprio bought the movie rights.