Modern cars are giant computers. They're packed full of chips and bits, all working toward the goal of making your ride smoother, safer, and more comfortable. But when it comes time to take these technical marvels in for repairs, all the code under the hood becomes more of a nuisance than anything. Auto shops have struggled to keep up with the needs of these high-tech vehicles. And companies aren’t about to stop filling their cars with gadgets anytime soon.
This week on Gadget Lab, WIRED staff writer Aarian Marshall joins us to talk about how computerized cars have become a nightmare for auto shops and how cars will evolve in the future.
Aarian Marshall can be found on Twitter @AarianMarshall. Lauren Goode is @LaurenGoode. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our theme music is by Solar Keys.
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Lauren Goode: Mike.
Michael Calore: Lauren.
Lauren Goode: Mike, when was the last time you drove a brand-new car?
Michael Calore: A few weeks ago. Last month I drove an Infiniti Q50 sedan.
Lauren Goode: That's an SUV. Oh, it's a sedan.
Michael Calore: Sedan, yeah.
Lauren Goode: OK. And what was it like?
Michael Calore: Oh, it was awesome. It was super comfortable. It had really nice interior, really nice in-dash system. It had the intelligent cruise control that slows down when a car cuts you off.
Lauren Goode: Sounds fancy.
Michael Calore: It was. It was pretty fancy. I felt very futuristic. What about you?
Lauren Goode: I think the last time I drove a really new car was when I was test-driving a Tesla. Not test driving to purchase, but test-driving because Tesla had one loaned to me and I was writing about it.
Michael Calore: Sure, yeah.
Lauren Goode: And it kind of felt like driving a spaceship. I was completely distracted.
Michael Calore: I mean, that's the goal. To turn it into your home away from home.
Lauren Goode: Right. It's a spectacular vehicle in many ways, but it also just feels like you are driving a computer. It is a computer on four wheels.
Michael Calore: And that's the way cars are going these days.
Lauren Goode: It really is. And we should probably talk about this.
[Gadget Lab intro theme music plays]
Lauren Goode: Hey everyone. Welcome to Gadget Lab. I'm Lauren Goode. I'm a senior writer at WIRED.
Michael Calore: And I'm Michael Calore. I'm a senior editor at WIRED.
Lauren Goode: And we're joined this week by WIRED staff writer Aarian Marshall, who is Zooming from a closet in Seattle.
Aarian Marshall: Hello from a closet in Seattle.
Lauren Goode: And you were just in the Bay last week, but I missed you. So you'll have to come visit us again soon and tape the Gadget Lab in person. You could maybe even drive a fancy new car down this way.
Aarian Marshall: I would love that.
Lauren Goode: OK, so this is basically the “Car Talk” edition of Gadget Lab. We are certainly not the first journalists to note that cars have essentially become computers. They're filled with sensors and chips, sometimes hundreds or thousands per car, and they're being marketed as software-defined vehicles by automakers. This is also supposed to make cars smarter. It also means a lot of data collection. In the second half of the show today, we're going to talk about how this fundamentally changes how cars are being sold and how we pay for their services. But first, we should talk about a really basic and important part of car ownership, repairs. Aarian, you just wrote a story for WIRED.com about how all this tech in cars is killing the auto shop. What's going on here?
Aarian Marshall: Yeah. So it's of course a little complicated, but the thing I found through some reporting is that the kind of independent auto repair shop, the idea that there's some dude on the corner who's always covered in grease, who you go to all the time to fix your car, that idea is dying, and the reasons why are manifold. But one is that it's really hard for people to find qualified car technicians these days, and it has to do with vocational schools. And one of the reasons too is that it's harder to get parts right now because of supply chain woes. But the big issue, it seems, is that because cars are getting so complicated, as you say, they're kind of computers on wheels, and that means you need increasingly specialized information, specialized and expensive tools to fix them. And those actually can differ between different makes and models of cars. So it's a lot more complicated than it used to be.
Michael Calore: Tell us about an alignment adjustment. Because this is something that you used to be able to ask a car repair person to do, and they could do it in an hour or two, but now it's a lot more complicated, right?
Aarian Marshall: Yeah, so this was something that came up in my conversations with auto repairs guys, and it's a really good example of how the industry has changed. So you usually need your suspension adjusted or a realigned when your car is drifting to one side or your steering wheel isn't quite doing what it should. And as you said, it used to be something that was mechanical that could be accomplished in an hour or so. I've heard from some people that it can take as long as nine hours now, usually close to around three or four. And the reason why it takes so much longer is because there are so many sensors in the car, and when you fix a car, you need to make sure that all those sensors, all the computer systems, know exactly where a car's center line is, because if they don't, they're not going to know where they are in space. They're not going to be able to avoid collisions, which some of the advanced tech is built to do. So because it's a computer, it just needs a little more tinkering than it used to.
Lauren Goode: So it's not like the way cars are designed now. It's not like they just have this motherboard somewhere in the vehicle. And that section of the vehicle is where all the gadgety stuff is, right? All the chips and sensors are actually integrated throughout the vehicle, which makes the prospect of repairs that much more complicated.
Aarian Marshall: Yeah, exactly. Depending on the car, there can be hundreds or even over a thousand computer chips, and they're scattered all over the car. So they all need to be involved and know what's going on at any point.
Lauren Goode: Aarian, you also covered in your story how the ratio of available bays for car repairs to cars is changing. Talk about this.
Aarian Marshall: Yeah. So the big implication here is, OK, who cares what's happening in my local auto shop? The reason it should matter to you if you're just someone who drives a car is, the struggles in the auto repair industry mean that there are actually now fewer places for people to get their cars fixed, fewer repair bays for them to drive their cars into and get them fixed. That means it can take longer to get cars repaired. According to some data that came out late last year, cars are now taking an average of two days longer to get repaired. So 11 days in all. Of course, that's highly dependent on what kind of repairs you're getting on your car. But that's two days of not being able to get around. That's a big deal for consumers.
Michael Calore: And those consumers are most likely having to wait longer because of supply chain issues too, right?
Aarian Marshall: Yeah, that's definitely not helping. Anyone who's taken a car in for a pretty big repair recently has probably heard about how long it takes to get parts these days. It can take a long time to get parts from other parts of the world, other parts of the country. And then the other problem is this computer chip issue, which has haunted us throughout the pandemic. The big makers of computer chips in Asia have been periodically shutting down throughout the pandemic. And that means that if you need a fix that needs a new computer chip or you're trying to buy a new car, it's really hard to find them.
Lauren Goode: Are there any signs of that easing?
Aarian Marshall: Yes, there are signs that that's easing. The computer chip issue definitely. The supply chain thing is going in fits and starts. It sort of depends on the week, and something the US government is doing now is they're really trying to build a domestic computer chip industry, but it's going to probably take a few years for this to get better. So at least in the new car market, it's going to take a long time for new car prices to go down to what they were before the pandemic. That's what everyone in the auto analyst world has been telling me for a while now.
Lauren Goode: So what's the answer here? Are we eventually going to see a market for specialized “dumb cars” crop up? Or maybe a better question is, what's the model for an incredibly energy- or fuel-efficient car that is also not a hyper-complicated computer?
Aarian Marshall: What people in the repair industry have told me is that it's going to be a bumpy next 10 years in the repair industry, but that things will even out. I think something that's not going to change is that you are going to continue to need specialized tools and knowledge to fix specific cars. That's especially true in the high-end luxury market. We are talking about your fancy German cars and things like that. The other thing that people in the industry have told me that they're really excited about, actually, is that they've been struggling for a long time to get new people into the industry. People interested in being auto technicians. The pay is usually not that great. So that's usually a challenge in finding those people. But they're now finding that there's this younger generation of people who love technology, they love their iPhones, they love their iPads, and that's kind of an entryway drug to get into this new world of car repair, which is so focused on software.
Lauren Goode: Aarian, this has been really insightful. We're going to take a quick break, and when we come back, we're going to talk more about how super-high-tech cars mean we may be paying more, or at least paying differently, for our vehicles.
Lauren Goode: Aside from the complicated mechanics and maybe the distractions of computerized cars, software-based vehicles are ushering in a totally new era of how we pay for services within cars. A lot of you have probably heard about the seat heaters. Back in July, the Verge reported that BMW was going all-in on micro-transactions within cars, then later reported that these in-car services, kind of like in-app services, were popping up as subscription seat heaters in some vehicles in South Korea. Aarian, this idea is not entirely new, because Tesla has done something like this before by selling premium packages as part of its Tesla car sales. How inevitable is it that this is how we're going to be paying for services within cars—and maybe more important, how sustainable is it?
Aarian Marshall: I think there's no question that this is something automakers, all automakers, definitely not only BMW, definitely not only Tesla, are super interested in doing. The reason is some pretty simple economics. Car making is a pretty low-margin business. Software is not. You just build it and then keep selling it to people. So they love that, and they love the idea that they can keep making money off their cars even once they've set them free onto the road, once they're in the hands of consumers. So it's a really exciting idea for auto executives. The question, of course, is how excited consumers will be about these ideas. Are they willing to pay a subscription for the seat heaters in their car? Are they willing to pay a subscription to General Motors for a bunch of security features? Remote start, I think is something they sell separately as a subscription. Are people willing to do that? Is it the kind of thing where they're like, OK, I pay for Netflix this month and I pay for Spotify and I also pay GM for these few features that I like. I think that's definitely up in the air, and we'll see what people are willing to do.
Michael Calore: Maybe where it's going is that you'll be able to buy ad-supported services inside your car. So if you're willing to sit through an ad every hundred miles, then you get your free seat heater or something like that. Or you know, you can unlock certain features in your car by allowing ads into the space. I mean, it sounds terrible, but everything has an ad service now, right?
Aarian Marshall: Yeah. That's dark, and I hate it. But if that's what's going to get me free access to OnStar and GM, maybe I decide I'm OK with that.
Lauren Goode: I look forward to just when you navigate to a radiology department somewhere, getting targeted by Big Pharma. That's really going to be the moment. It's what is happening at Google Maps now, but just on your dashboard, built into your car.
Michael Calore: I mean, you do raise a good point, which we should talk about, which is the fact that there are sensors in your car that are collecting all of this data all of the time.
Lauren Goode: It's our phones.
Michael Calore: Yes. Well, your phones and your car. Your car has to know where you are. Your car has to know how fast you're driving, your car has to know what type of accelerator you are, whether you're a lead foot or a feather foot. It's collecting all this information about you, and all of that data is going somewhere. I'm sure most people who drive cars have no idea where it's going and to whom it's going.
Lauren Goode: That's a good point. Aarian, what does this mean for the resale value or just the resale process with cars? If you buy a car now but then you opt into a dozen different services via subscription, and let's say it also happens to be an electric vehicle that's running on a giant lithium-ion battery, and you go to sell it at some point, what does that look like?
Aarian Marshall: We have a lot of reason to believe that makers are not going to continue subscriptions onto the next owner. So Tesla for example, they'll sell their automated driving features, which they call full self-driving, even though it's not full self-driving. We don't have to get into that, but there's a lot to talk about right there. They'll sell that for $10,000 to one owner of a Model 3, and then they'll go and sell it to someone else, and that next person doesn't get access to full self-driving, and they have to pay another $10,000 for it. You can see why automakers really love this. They get to make more money off different sorts of people, and they can keep making that money as their cars that were once new start to circle into the used sales market.
Michael Calore: They get to double dip.
Aarian Marshall: Yes, delicious.
Michael Calore: And also, in essence, they get to dip as many times as they want, because if they're selling you a car that is super complicated software-wise and very difficult for anybody to fix without access to all the proper tools and the proper software to talk to the car, then people who buy them are just going to keep going back to the dealership. So they get to charge the dealership repair fees, and that also hurts, like we were talking about, the independent auto shops who would normally be fixing that car.
Aarian Marshall: Yeah. And that's something that dealerships are thinking a lot about now. Part of the attraction of EVs should be that there are fewer moving parts in there, less mechanical stuff, so you don't need to go in to get your oil changed, and dealerships want to make sure they're still part of the conversation and still a place where people have to go, and there's been some innovative thinking about how you make sure everyone still gets paid.
Lauren Goode: This whole conversation makes me think that we just probably sound old. We're just shaking our fist at smart cars, and maybe we're actually staring down a post-car future. I don't think that's really possible, particularly not here in the United States, but I think we're examining all of the elements and the problems of hyper-efficient electronic vehicles because we're still so stuck in the same container of that vehicle that we've known now for over a century. I recently did one of our WIRED newsletters about this topic. It was titled, if anyone wants to look it up, “Turns Out You Own Nothing.” We talked about the BMW seat heaters, and as part of that newsletter, I went back into an old WIRED issue from just a little over a decade ago, and I went to the back page of our magazine and there was this really cool graphic, this mockup art that was the shopping mall of the future. So this is 2012, and it was imagining the shopping mall of the future. There are two escalators going up what looked like a pretty traditional shopping mall, and there were all these made-up stores like, “Go here to get your thing 3D-printed,” and there was a hyper-efficient plastic surgery option and then like—
Michael Calore: Drones-R-Us.
Lauren Goode: Things like that, right? And what struck me when I saw that was how those commerce options were actually not super far off, but the mall has changed. The mall as we knew it, as just compared both from the 2008 financial crisis and the pandemic, and just the way we consume things, has completely changed. So it's that container that has evolved the most. So I wonder if 10 years from now, maybe it's 30 years from now, maybe it's 50 years from now, younger generations will … The fact that these vehicles are smart will be an assumed thing, but maybe the vehicle itself takes another form. Maybe we actually end up … I don't know, maybe we actually get the infrastructure changes that we need. But I wonder what the far-off future is for these kinds of services. They're not even cars anymore, they're services.
Michael Calore: I mean, I have one prediction.
Lauren Goode: Which is what?
Lauren Goode: Right. You become … I mean, yeah, you're a prepper basically. You're like, “Gotta stock up on extra gas, so I can get out when everything goes to hell.”
Aarian Marshall: Something I've been thinking about when we talk about this idea of subscriptions and how scary the idea is that we can't own anything. I've been thinking about the flip side, which is, if companies build things and maybe we don't own them or we have to pay a subscription to keep the service, maybe that gives companies incentives to build products that last a long time. This is something I spend a lot of time talking about—climate change, emissions, how to make the world more sustainable—and maybe one way is to build, for example, a washer-drier. Maybe the company continues to own it, and I sort of rent it, but then the incentive for them is that they're building the hardiest washer-drier they can, because it's still theirs. I'm just trying to think through the implications of this services-based economy it seems like we are hurtling towards, and maybe it's not always a bad thing.
Lauren Goode: Yeah, that's true. I mean, especially when you think about limited resources like cobalt or nickel or things that are just being mined right now to create and service these kinds of vehicles. If that is available in limited quantities, if that's a finite resource, then wouldn't it make sense to find some way to have that be part of a circular economy?
Aarian Marshall: If this is a topic you're interested in, Greg Barber and I wrote a three-part series on battery recycling last year that spends a lot of time on this. You're totally right, it's something like a ton of people really think is the key to making electric vehicles actually sustainable, actually good for the world.
Lauren Goode: That's the perfect way to end this conversation. Aarian. Just a nice little plug for other WIRED stories.
Aarian Marshall: Go to WIRED.com.
Michael Calore: Good job.
Lauren Goode: I very much appreciate that. That was a good circular conversation right there. All right, Let's take another quick break, and then we're going to come back with our weekly recommendations.
Lauren Goode: Aarian, what's your recommendation this week?
Aarian Marshall: OK, I have an anti-recommendation and then a recommendation. Last time I was here—
Lauren Goode: I love it. Yes. Go ahead.
Aarian Marshall: Last time I was here, I recommended going to baseball games. I take that back.
Michael Calore: What?
Aarian Marshall: They will ruin your life. In October I had a terrible weekend.
Lauren Goode: Oh, no. Are you a Guardians fan?
Aarian Marshall: No, I'm a Mariners and Dodgers fan. They lost on the same day this weekend. It was just like a long, horrible day of horrible baseball. Just avoid it. Just avoid the sport and say its my advice.
Michael Calore: Well, now you don't have to go to anymore baseball.
Lauren Goode: I remember this now that you were a Seattle fan. Of course.
Aarian Marshall: Yeah. I've become a Seattle fan now that I live in this closet in Seattle. But I have a good recommendation, which is appointment television, which is something I stopped doing during the pandemic, obviously, because we weren't seeing people. But I have a group of friends who get together every week to watch the new Lord of the Ring show. It's not very good, by the way. But it was really fun to watch it together, and we should all do that more. We should just get together and watch TV.
Michael Calore: Do you use Watch Party?
Aarian Marshall: No, we would physically gather in the same room.
Lauren Goode: No. She's talking about being IRL, like a cuddle puddle but for movies.
Aarian Marshall: Yeah. We made breakfast burritos, we had mimosas.
Michael Calore: Wow.
Aarian Marshall: Yeah.
Michael Calore: That's so 2019 of you.
Lauren Goode: That's amazing.
Aarian Marshall: I know.
Michael Calore: Actually, I would say it's like 2008 of you. We used to do Sunday night HBO television at our house, and we would make a big Italian meal and watch The Sopranos. It was very on-brand.
Aarian Marshall: Yeah, that's so lovely. Let's all do that more.
Michael Calore: More of that.
Lauren Goode: Yeah. But because it was at a Sunday Italian family dinner, did you eat at like 3:00?
Michael Calore: No, but being on the West Coast, you'd have to wait till the show came on, but we would have access to the East Coast feed, so we could watch it three hours earlier and not have to wait until 9:00 pm or whenever it came on.
Lauren Goode: Some pretty great Sopranos hacking right there.
Michael Calore: Yeah, totally. Back in the days of basic cable.
Lauren Goode: Ariana, I very much respect this recommendation.
Aarian Marshall: Thank you.
Lauren Goode: We'll have to have one of these parties next time you're in the Bay.
Aarian Marshall: Please. Yes.
Michael Calore: Maybe watch a baseball game.
Aarian Marshall: No.
Michael Calore: Sorry, my condolences. I'm an A's fan. I totally get it.
Aarian Marshall: Yeah, that's dark.
Michael Calore: It's pain.
Lauren Goode: I'm not really a baseball fan, but I was on the East Coast last week when people were watching lots of baseball games.
Michael Calore: 'Tis the season.
Lauren Goode: I guess, so. Yankees fans seemed happy.
Michael Calore: No. Yankees fans are never happy. They're just delusional.
Lauren Goode: Mike, what's your recommendation?
Michael Calore: My recommendation is beat the Yankees.
Lauren Goode: Wait, they won, right?
Michael Calore: Unfortunately, yes.
Lauren Goode: Yes. OK.
Michael Calore: OK. My recommendation is Twin Peaks.
Lauren Goode: Like David Lynch's Twin Peaks.
Michael Calore: Yes. If you have not watched Twin Peaks, or if it's been a while, I can highly recommend going back and watching the first two seasons, which originally aired in like 1989, 1990, and then watching the third season, which aired during 2017. The first season is obviously a classic, right? It's just amazing. There was nothing like it on television when it came out, and it still holds up. It still feels like you're watching a show from the late '80s, but it definitely holds up because it's very weird. Television has gotten very weird since then, so it may not feel as shocking or revolutionary, but it's still good TV. The second season is very strange, very hit-or-miss. It kind of goes off the rails, but it ends on a cliff hanger that the team decided 25, 26 years later that they would revisit and pick up from where they left off. So fast-forward to 2017 when they did the third season, and everything about television has changed. The delivery mechanisms have changed, the expectations have changed. All the actors have aged, but almost all of them came back and did the third season with the original team, and it is wild. That third season of Twin Peaks, known as Twin Peaks: The Return, is one of the most unique and bizarre things you will ever watch on television, and I can say that no matter who you are and what you like. It is the most psychedelic, messed up, scary, bizarre thing I've ever seen on TV, and it was on Showtime. It wasn't on some channel that nobody gets. It was on Showtime. So I recommend that if you have Showtime, that you watch all three seasons, because they're all on Showtime. And if you don't, you can rent the first two seasons, and definitely do that even if you don't see the third. But Twin Peaks.
Lauren Goode: Would you recommend diving right into the third season without having seen the first and second?
Michael Calore: No, I wouldn't. It's too confusing. I mean, granted, even if you've seen all of Twin Peaks and Fire Walk With Me, the movie they did, you would still be super confused by the third season, but I think it makes a lot more of an impact if you've already seen the first two seasons. Because you're invested in the characters, there's storylines that they pick up in the third season, and then there's just a whole bunch of weird stuff.
Lauren Goode: Is it actually filmed in Twin Peaks?
Michael Calore: No. A fictional town near the Canadian border.
Aarian Marshall: I have a relevant anecdote. I just went to the diner in Twin Peaks, which is still operational in North Bend, Washington.
Michael Calore: Did they make a mean cup of joe and a good pie?
Aarian Marshall: They heavily advertised their cherry pie. I didn't have it. I had an omelet. It was fine.
Michael Calore: It sounds like a tourist trap. But God bless them. Right. The Double R. Did you go to Big Ed's Gas Farm and have him adjust the alignment on your car?
Aarian Marshall: I did not.
Michael Calore: Totally missing out.
Lauren Goode: Wait, Twin Peaks is supposed to be in San Francisco though?
Michael Calore: No, There is a hill in San Francisco, Twin Peaks.
Lauren Goode: Right. That's where the show is based?
Michael Calore: The show is based in northern Washington.
Lauren Goode: Oh, OK.
Michael Calore: Near the Canadian border.
Lauren Goode: Wow. This whole time for decades, I thought it was referring to Twin Peaks, San Francisco.
Michael Calore: So you're a perfect candidate for my recommendation. You have to watch it.
Lauren Goode: OK. Where would I find the original Twin Peaks?
Michael Calore: It's on Showtime.
Lauren Goode: Seasons one and two?
Michael Calore: Yes.
Lauren Goode: Oh, OK. Yeah, I think I have a Showtime subscription.
Michael Calore: If you don't, you can rent it from … Everybody rents the shows. So you can rent them from wherever you get your digital content.
Lauren Goode: OK. Well, if anyone would like to give me their Showtime login. Although I think I'm the one of my friend group who usually has the Showtime login and then share it along with HBO. But anyway—
Michael Calore: Well, then what are you waiting for?
Lauren Goode: Because I don't remember if I am currently subscribed or unsubscribed, but that's good to know. Wow, Washington, huh?
Michael Calore: Yeah.
Lauren Goode: You're blowing my mind.
Michael Calore: It's all there. Everything is there.
Lauren Goode: OK.
Michael Calore: What's your recommendation?
Lauren Goode: My recommendation this week is … Someone on Twitter already guessed it. It's a weighted blanket.
Michael Calore: Nice.
Lauren Goode: Yes. I finally had an experience with a weighted blanket. Several years ago, I think about four years ago now, our former colleague and pod cohost Arielle Pardes wrote a story for WIRED about how she loved her weighted blanket. She described it like she felt like a toasty burrito, and I was intrigued, but not enough to buy one. We've reviewed them over the years. We have a great roundup on WIRED.com, another shameless plug for WIRED.com, where our colleagues have tried a bunch of them. But I was visiting friends last week. I was staying at their place in Brooklyn. Shout out to Steve and Sarah and their absolutely delightful children for hosting me. And as Sarah was sort of helping me make the bed, she said, “Oh, and here's a weighted blanket,” and she just threw it on the bed, and I slept like the dead. I slept so well, and I woke up and I was like, this is amazing. I'm not a very good sleeper, so I was like, I think I need to try a weighted blanket. So I ordered one. I decided to go with the Luna, which is on our list on WIRED.com of many weighted blankets, but I decided to go with Luna. I just slept with it at home for the first time last night, I think it's a little too light. I might exchange it for a heavier …
Michael Calore: You need to level up.
Lauren Goode: I really need to feel like I can't move. I want to feel like I'm just going to wake up and text you and be like, Mike can't make it into the office today. Stuck under the weighted blanket.
Michael Calore: What is it about that feeling? That feeling of just being completely covered and pressed down?
Lauren Goode: I don't know. It makes you feel really secure. Well, so I think this type of apparatus was originally developed for people who are on the autism spectrum or suffer from severe anxiety. It has been used in special education in the past—weighted vests, weighted blankets, that sort of thing. And it has found its way to the average consumer market as a way to help people feel safe and secure while they're sleeping. They're like all the rage these days, and I finally tried one, and now I'm hooked. I don't see myself going back. The problem is going to be when I'm traveling, as I sometimes do, and I don't have a weighted blanket. Then I'm going to be like, well, this sucks. It's just a regular old comforter.
Michael Calore: Well, if you're traveling to Vegas, you can just pay people to lay on top of you.
Lauren Goode: I don't know if Condé Nast is going to cover that expense.
Michael Calore: Yeah. It's like 300 bucks probably.
Lauren Goode: Oh, OK … You say that like you know.
Michael Calore: Well, you can get anything for $300 in Vegas.
Lauren Goode: You know I love Las Vegas.
Michael Calore: Yep. Second-best city on earth.
Lauren Goode: That's sarcastic. Anyway, I recommend a weighted blanket. And I can't wholly recommend the Luna one yet, because I do think I'm going to try a heavier one, but yeah.
Michael Calore: Yeah. You'll have to keep us updated as you work up the scale.
Lauren Goode: I definitely will. I think this is going to be a new world of sleep for me.
Aarian Marshall: I'm imagining you under those Super Mario guys whose heads bang down.
Lauren Goode: … What?
Aarian Marshall: No, like in the '90s game.
Lauren Goode: … the Super Mario brothers.
Aarian Marshall: Yeah. In Bowser's Castle they're those heads that have spikes and they bang, and they squish Mario. But it's you, and you're happy.
Michael Calore: Yep.
Lauren Goode: I think that's my happy place.
Michael Calore: It's your one up.
Lauren Goode: My happy place is either in the ocean or under a weighted blanket.
Michael Calore: Sure.
Lauren Goode: That's it. Not in front of the podcast, Mike. I'm sorry, everyone. All right. It's been a week. All right. This has been really fun, though. That just ended on a dark note. Started with Twin Peaks and then we ended up at weighted blankets. Aarian, I'm really sorry about your baseball teams. I just have to say.
Aarian Marshall: Its OK. There's always next year.
Lauren Goode: There's always next year. There are more games ahead. They play like 120-something games per season, so I think some of them are going to be OK.
Michael Calore: 180.
Aarian Marshall: I hope it's true.
Lauren Goode: 180?
Michael Calore: Yeah.
Lauren Goode: Hopefully they're sleeping under weighted blankets.
Michael Calore: Yes, they are.
Lauren Goode: And getting their rest. Aarian, thank you so much for joining us and talking about the future of cars.
Aarian Marshall: Thanks for having me. Per usual, it's always a delight.
Lauren Goode: And Mike, thanks for being such a great cohost.
Michael Calore: I try.
Lauren Goode: I've decided after last week's episode with Steven Levy that you are definitely still in the cohost chair.
Michael Calore: Oh, thanks. It was a great episode though.
Lauren Goode: You're welcome.
Michael Calore: I'm glad to be back.
Lauren Goode: Yeah, Steven's great and all. Just letting you know your job's secure.
Michael Calore: Right on. Thank you. Appreciate it.
Lauren Goode: Thanks all of you for listening, especially if you've listened this far. If you have feedback, you can find all of us on Twitter. Just check the show notes. Our producer is the excellent Boone Ashworth. We'll be back next week. Goodbye for now.
[Gadget Lab outro theme music plays]