Meet the New Parking Lot Attendant, Gas Taxes, & VR Reality Check

June 21, 2022
We are still enjoying the beautiful landscape of the hills of Ashville at the VADA Convention. Today we catch you up on some conversations that happened at the convention yesterday, a robot charging station, gas tax initiatives, and a reality check on getting VR closer to reality.
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Meet ZIGGY by EV Safe Charge

  • First EV charging robot
  • Serves ads on its digital display
  • Has the ability to both reserve parking spots and charge throughout commercial and residential parking lots
  • Hotels in CA have begun putting these stations in their parking lots and garages
  • Take Away: Have we told you about being inventive with your space yet?

Biden expected to make decision on federal gas tax holiday soon

  • Would reduce prices by 18.4 cents per gallon
  • Would require congressional approval
  • Meeting resistance and positioned as political maneuvering as the tax would expire shortly after midterms
  • Historically state tax holidays are passed on to consumers while federal action is not so clear as a portion of the relief typically raises the base and stays with producers
  • Take away:

Zuckerburg overviews VR tech that will more fully integrate the metaverse (and Meta) into regular life

  • ‘...various headsets have been built to focus on specific elements of VR development, including retinal resolution for enhanced visual experiences, focal depth, which enables you to focus on different objects on screen, and high dynamic range for optimal color realism in VR spaces.’
  • Zuck introduced the Holocake II which claims to have done all of that. It is not clear if, when, or if ever it will be available to the public
  • There are questions on whether or not Meta went too fast and early into the metaverse as it chases other current social platforms like TikTok in pursuit of stabilizing revenue
  • Take away: Innovation always involves risk and being wrong…until you’re right. Paying attention a little to this tech now will put you lightyears ahead when more practical uses become a part of your consumers lives and your business


Kyle Mountsier, Paul Daly

Paul Daly  00:31

Yo, it's June 21.

Kyle Mountsier  00:33

There it is.

Paul Daly  00:34

It's Tuesday. I'm pretty sure that we're still in North Carolina met with a ton of dealers yesterday said a couple of things that may ruffle some feathers. But that's how we rolled out yesterday, we had the opportunity to keynote together. There's so much in front of a packed room of dealers and dealer staff and some industry partners

Kyle Mountsier  00:57

and some representatives, elected representatives, state senators, it was incredible. Yeah, so

Paul Daly  01:05

my son Myles was like, were there. There were three senators in the room. I was like, well, not you, US senators, right. There's a difference. But state senators talked a lot about legislation a lot about what is being done on the ground, to try to protect, you know, we could just get into a whole bunch of stuff. I don't mean traveling. All the way like, Alright, forget the show. Here's what we're really going to talk about. But we'll summarize the point, you're going to hear more about this. We were talking about slowing down the the whole ecosystem of I don't know, I can't just talk about a little bit of it. Right. So but basically, legislation being something that can help give us time, yes, as an as reads franchise, retail auto legislation

Kyle Mountsier  01:48

when it comes to franchise laws and the relationship between OEM dealers, and legality within communities and deliverability and servicing of vehicles, right. So it's, you know, because of, we've talked about this on the show agency model happening in Europe a lot, because of new OEMs and EVS taking a new space within deliverability, or the way that retail purchasing is happening in different states, you know, legislation is needed and lobbying and working with, you know, state representatives and federal representatives to make sure that things are in place for the businesses that serve the community. So there is like, I think, you know, just saying, like, Oh, we don't need that is no more to No, no, we need that we need things in places because government allows for structure to happen in a way that serves both the businesses and the customers in the right way.

Paul Daly  02:45

Right. Well, disruption can tend to run over practical things. Absolutely. Right. And practical things. There's nothing more practical than people's jobs, right. Businesses, real estate, like things that are hold the economy together. Yeah. And it's a lot. It's very easy for people to get excited about new tech or a new thing, and, and kind of the popularity of the moment. Right. Be like cutting off your nose to spite your face. Yeah. So we are thankful for the legislation. We're thankful for the time it's giving us as retail automotive, to assess the landscape and say, How are we going to pivot? Without a doubt though, if we don't pay attention and pivot, it doesn't matter. There's no amount of legislation that's going to keep it together. Absolutely.

Kyle Mountsier  03:20

We kind of give this representation yesterday that it's like throwing a boulder in a rushing river, right, it might slow down or redirect some of the water for a little while. But we still recognize that solving the customer experience is the Pen Ultimate ideal that franchise retail automotive has to be moving toward. And that's what we're going to be talking about a lot, you're going to continue to hear us talk about it. And we're also going to talk about it at a soda con 2020 tool, which is happening in September, September 11. To the 13th. If you haven't pre registered a soda There are there are 100 over 100 people we're getting close to a couple 100 that are saying like hands up, we want to be first in line. So if you're not first in line, you might not even be last you might not be there. So

Paul Daly  04:04

we only have 600. So we only have 600 and allocation of that 600 is actually going to the dealers invited by our collaborators, our sponsors and some of our sponsor staff. We just locked in another one yesterday. We're not going to announce any we have presenting sponsored the VIP lounge got locked down last night,

Kyle Mountsier  04:21

the VIP lounge is going to be so fun. It's going to be really like just an engaging place, you're going to want to be there. It's going to be a ticketed room. It's gonna be that special. Like we might have some special badges. We're just we're working on it.

Paul Daly  04:35

So when we announced the VIP lounge sponsor, make sure that you make some friends with them, because they're going to have some passes to the last. So I'm gonna guess it's kind of the point. Right? It's kind of the point. Well, let's

Kyle Mountsier  04:46

get into it today. Yeah, you know, the first story that we're looking at today and this has been coming out over the past couple of years. This company has been around for a few years, but a company called Evie safe charge has now filed Only over the last couple of weeks, installed the very first charging robots in parking lot like I liked the name. I love the name. Ziggy.

Paul Daly  05:12

Ziggy over here, right, good Ziggy over here.

Kyle Mountsier  05:15

And so if and I think Daniels throwing it up on the screen right now, if you're watching, but Ziggy is essentially like a slim robot that allows a customer to both reserve a spot. So you can actually like, Hey, I'm coming there, I need to reserve a spot for I didn't know that part of Yeah, so there's like a whole app based system that that will sit in that spot and then pull out for when you get there. And then you can charge your EV with this with this robot that's kind of roaming around most likely parking garages or hotels, or residential parking garages. And then what's also really interesting about it is they're using it for ad space.

Paul Daly  05:56

Right? It's got a big screen on it. So it pulls if you're just listening to podcast, it's like, I don't know, if it's about six feet tall. It looks like right, and about three feet wide. You

Kyle Mountsier  06:05

know what it reminds me of is like if you go to a mall, and like the Wayfinder in a mall,

Paul Daly  06:11

right when you walk in? It isn't that's a great Yeah, so it's about that size, got a screen on it like that. And it's just basically a big battery brick. Right with wheels.

Kyle Mountsier  06:19

It's so cool. Yeah. And so like, there's just gonna be a lot of you know, space management. And what I really think is cool about it. One of the hard things that I find in parking garages, and back when I drove a leaf is marking you would call it getting iced, right? Because what

Paul Daly  06:34

would happen to something in Syracuse, we don't have this yet, because there's just not enough EVs but in Nashville,

Kyle Mountsier  06:39

so essentially, like they've got dedicated Evie parking spots, because you have to put that in ground charger, right? Well, what happens is, every parking space fills up, and then an internal combustion vehicle, gas ice vehicles up in it. And so you get and it's

Paul Daly  06:54

just like, what are you gonna do? It's like, Subash, what are you going to do? Right? There's no penalty. No, I'm just gonna be a douche. I got the Italian.

Kyle Mountsier  07:06

Yeah, so this solves a lot of that problem. But it solves a few you know, you've got the advertising space, it's an app based system. You know, the worry about getting a parking spot,

Paul Daly  07:16

I would use it. Just to reserve a space here. Like,

Kyle Mountsier  07:19

I don't need to charge a

Paul Daly  07:22

parking garage. Can I reserve a space before I get their thinking that man, I'm in like, level two slot? 50?

Kyle Mountsier  07:28

I pay extra for that. I would pay extra for that. How

Paul Daly  07:30

do you stop people from parking in it? I don't know. All you got, we only have our integrity or willingness to to make somebody. So apparently some hotels in California already have this. They've already

Kyle Mountsier  07:43

installed it. So I think that it was a Holiday Inn. And then Holiday Inn? Yeah, a holiday. Like they thought you're gonna say like the Ritz Carlton well, and then there's, then there's a luxury hotel that has it as well. So if you're

Paul Daly  07:55

parking your own car, let's just be honest. Exactly.

Kyle Mountsier  07:59

Yeah. So we're, I think we're gonna see start to see more of this innovation from evey charging, because like there has to be that solution for mobility across a lot of different places.

Paul Daly  08:12

Well, speaking of moving to a lot of different places. I don't know if you've noticed, but gas prices are in the news a little bit lately. And President President Biden has said he's close to making a decision on a federal gas tax holiday. Isn't that branded, so nice. It's a holidays good from federal taxes on your gasoline. So it's an actually the federal so when you buy gas, there are taxes on top of what the actual price is per gallon of gasoline, there's usually a state level tax, sometimes a county, but a state level tax for sure. And then a federal level tax, and all that's being tacked on the gas price. So you know, a lot of states have taken away their portion of tax to, you know, bring some relief at the pump. Federally, there's 18.4 cents per gallon at set attached to every gallon that you buy. So 18 cents of every gallon goes to the government. So the holiday would remove that. And there's some some state taxes, they say usually when a holiday is passed, that goes to the consumer, right, so the gas price literally will just drop by or whatever that amount is between 1020 sometimes as much as 30 cents, right? Oh, look, prices are going down. It's like actually the state just pulled away the taxes. Gas is still going up. So the federal taxes, Janet Yellen, Treasury Secretary said, it's questionable on how much of that actually gets to the consumer. Because often when it's done federally, gasoline companies will actually just raise the face. Gotcha. So I don't know. It'll be 18. Four. So it's really hitting a lot of Congress. Congress has to act. So it's requires an act of Congress, an act of Congress. Right. So the Gas Act, however, you know, there's some Republican pushback on it because they're saying it's political maneuvering, because it would be set to expire exactly after the midterm elections.

Kyle Mountsier  09:57

Wow. Okay. Well, here's the thing. We have there is obviously a just I mean, just over the past couple of weeks, we had a seven day stretch where the average gas price over the nation was over $5. I think it's dipped just below it's down like three or four seals down a little bit. Right. It's down just a little bit. So, you know, there's obvious attention on gas right now. And I think just we're going to continue to go back to this conversation about affordability and recognizing that this is on the news for everyone both in your store and customers that are working with you and recognizing that having that conversation around affordability and knowing that that's top of mind for a lot of people is just it helps right? Knowing what the miles per gallon, how many miles per tank, what like, Wouldn't it be smart right now to have something like, Hey, this is what it cost to fill up our tank compared to our competitors tank on our showroom, right? Because, I mean, our van is costing $100 of Philip right.

Paul Daly  10:58

Have you gotten off yet? No, I haven't I got cut off the other day where it's like $100 limit reach. Ah, not recalibrated this yet.

Kyle Mountsier  11:06

It's unbelievable. It's unbelievable. It did

Paul Daly  11:09

make me feel better not spending more than 100 though. Yeah, even though the tank was like six eighths full.

Kyle Mountsier  11:14

Well, speaking of recalibrating segway gifts of room the dance floor outside I know that's really nice. Like we got a little bounce got a little room to dance for those not watching you can you have to go find, find find it and view it because we're we've got this beautiful stone and brick and trees behind us. It's absolutely gorgeous out here in Nashville. Not that we're bragging. We're not bragging. It's also a little chilly. It is. Paul forgot his jacket this morning. So he's

Paul Daly  11:41

from upstate New York. I can take

Kyle Mountsier  11:43

it. That's exactly it. Well on the recalibrating Mr. Z Zuckerberg, Zacks Zox gave an overview. I think yesterday about VR headsets and just kind of the progression of research and development that has gone into what meta is moving forward to which is this VR development. And it's they're really some interesting insights that came out of it.

Paul Daly  12:07

So apparently, I mean, if you've used the VR headset you understand it is not. It can be kind of realistic when you're looking around and immersive. Yeah, but as far as how clear everything is why it feels a little awkward and try to look at different things on the screen. There are a lot of factors that we just take for granted with our natural sight. One of those is the clarity of and then that's no secret. When you put on a VR headset, you're like this is not even as clear as the TV that I was watching. Right. Another thing is focal depth. So like when my hands in front of my face, I can easily focus on it quickly. And like my attention shifts to what my you know, my eyes focus on what my attention shifts to that doesn't happen in VR glasses. No, but it's a big part of making an immersive experience. Another one is contrast and brightness. So all these things are standing in the way of a truly realistic experience in the metaverse what you're saying. So, in the minute if you can check the link in the show notes. Zaki goes through about a minute and a half. And he shows all these different goggles they've been working on, some of them are funny, they have like big heat sinks and fans on, we're gonna laugh at this so hard in 10 years.

Kyle Mountsier  13:08

Well, it's crazy. Because if you think about they've got to take like all the 4k technology that's happening, you know, and really like 8k technology that's happening in TVs and shove it into something that's right in front of your face. Not

Paul Daly  13:21

only that, it's unbelievable. Do that, right? That's a phone. But the problem is is like knowing how to calibrate it to your

Kyle Mountsier  13:27

eye. Yeah, like eye movement, and actually looking at how quickly our eyes actually move between focal depth is absolutely insane. Right. So just doing like two quick checks on on on a screen that's that close and recognizing what the eyes and the face and the body movement are doing. It's a task.

Paul Daly  13:46

Remember when parents used to tell you not to sit too close to the TV? Where have all those people gone? We're now putting in half an affidavit from our eyeballs. There are some grandmothers out there just shaking their head.

Kyle Mountsier  14:03

Well, and I think this is this is this is and you kind of put this in the show notes here. But there's some risk in this in two ways. One, right being early always looks wrong. So there's so there's this like element that when you're creating something this early, and

Paul Daly  14:18

what you're saying is metas shift to focus and go all in. They pushed all the chips on on the metaverse. And so that's what we're talking about. Right? Like, exactly, they're like we're going all in on the metaverse.

Kyle Mountsier  14:28

Yeah, so that that could look wrong. But if you're a leading indicator on the way technology is going typically what you end up with is as everyone looks back and goes, Oh, they're right. But I think the other worry here is like the closer you get to reality in virtual reality, the more intense like just that the requirement the requirement on like safeguarding and making sure that that, like all of its similar to autonomous driving, right. It's when when the closer you we get to autonomous driving incremental improvements, slow way down well, and also not just that, but like the level of like attention that you have to have to the legalities and to like how autonomous driving is measured, and, and who's responsible. And all that type of stuff also happen in virtual reality. So you get both of those sides. So it's a dangerous proposition. But I think, you know, the attention right now, and just being aware that that's happening is good for any business owner, any person just to know like, Hey, these are two spaces that we're playing in, we have to recognize that

Paul Daly  15:33

legit. So if you're just listening to the show, we did put it up, Danielle, put it up again. This is the headset so he this called the hollow cake to why not? It's a hollow cake. I like I like my cakes with a nice full center. Well, I don't like hollow cakes, but hollow h o l o cake too. And it really just looks like a reduced version of a current VR headset. Right? Right, it doesn't go over the head, it kind of you put it over top of your head, and then like a band kind of like holds it to your face. And so in the video, he goes through three different types. And this one was, you know, this big headset clunky thing was made for resolution. And then this big headset clunky thing was made for focal depth, and then this big and we put them all together in this thing. It's unclear whether or not this will ever be available to the public. But I'm sure this technology will make its way right. When you innovate. You have incremental and incidental discoveries. Yes. Right. Like post it notes. Yeah. Right. That was an incident with the scope? Well, I

Kyle Mountsier  16:29

think like what, you know, the trajectory of the way this is being developed right now looks like it's headed in one direction. But I think that there could be multiple pivot points where we see these types of technologies find themselves in other things that we're using on a day to day

Paul Daly  16:42

basis. For sure, I didn't even think of that. But you think of even driving tech now. Right? Exactly. What's that going to do? Paying attention to what you're focused on and, and having an in car experience based on that? I don't know, man. I just hope we have some fun before the robots when I really do. I really do.

Kyle Mountsier  16:58

You can tell the code gets to us in the outside in the beautiful mountains, and we just get a little sideways on Tuesday.

Paul Daly  17:03

It's all good. But but hey, it's Tuesday, I think bringing you back to the beginning of the show. Yes. Right. We are at a at an environment right now surrounded by dealers actually, the Virginia Auto Dealer Association event is on this side of the hotel. And on this side moved in yesterday is the Kentucky auto dealer. So so crazy. I wish there was like an anchorman size rivalry, because that lobby right behind us would be

Kyle Mountsier  17:28

everyone's walking in. Yeah, slow walks.

Paul Daly  17:30

But um, but the point is that we were in the room with generations of dealers, which is really exciting. And it's very rare, because when you go to digital dealer stuff, you don't get a lot of the generational No, yeah. But yesterday by the pool, right? We're sitting by a couple. And he's like, I've been a Ford dealer three times, like, right me three times of

Kyle Mountsier  17:50

40 years of being a Ford dealer, right. And he's been in and out. And it's just real. And he's passing the torch to not not a family member, but a younger generation that is buying stores. And he's excited to pass the torch. And yeah, it's just been, you know, it was actually interesting. His wife said, one of the best times that they've been in business was the four years that they got out of the franchise side and just had a used car lot with five people and she loved it.

Paul Daly  18:17

She's like, we had so much fun. And then so yeah, he had his dealership did really well with it. So that open used car lot, because what do you do in your car guy? Yeah, you sell cars, you gotta sell cars, even just for fun. So that used car lot. And then in 2008, he bought back into the same store he sold. And now he's again in the in the process of divesting but staying involved in passing the torch. So just being around that level of just legacy. Yeah, it's inspiring. And it really puts a weight of responsibility on on us on the next generation on the people that can do what they can do. Look, if you're in the game, and you're kicking, like play your game, if you're if your legacy in the sense that you've seen many transitions in automotive, your main job right now might just be encouraging supporting encouragement carrying

Kyle Mountsier  19:03

the torch. Well, right, you know, encouraging. We talked about yesterday how DMS systems were extremely innovative in the world of retail, right? So like, no one ever did that behind everyone. What is happening is that in automotive right now, and being innovative and pushing the boundaries of retail has always been the legacy of auto it's it just because we're legacy business doesn't mean we're not innovative. And we don't push the boundaries and just like what wherever you're at in the spectrum, whether you're a child or or graduating out of owning dealerships, like remind everyone of that reality.

Paul Daly  19:41

Yeah, that's it. Well, thank you so much for paying attention today. If you're new to the podcast or new to the email list because you saw us welcome to the show. Whatever your game is today, whether your legacy your your new or somewhere in between, play your game today. Let's work together. Let's do this thing.