Drive Wire: April 9, 2016

Self-driving Volvos, new cop cars, a special Silverado, handy truck storage, and crazy Red Bull flying.

Hey guys, it’s Christina Thompson and this is Drive Wire for Saturday, April 9.

We begin our weekend with news from the rise of the robots – and like the sun, they’ll rise in the East. Chinese-owned Volvo has announced it’ll conduct road testing of fully autonomous vehicles in China, where congestion conditions can be… harsh. Simply put, traffic density in the PRC is crazy-go-nuts insane, and as punishing a trial by fire for self-driving cars as you’re liable to find. Volvo is currently negotiating with several Chinese cities over terms and conditions, so the tests won’t start right away. In the meantime, the company is still planning to put a hundred autonomous vehicles on the streets of Sweden, its spiritual home, sometime next year.

Turning to law enforcement…some troubling news for speed enthusiasts, as Ford has introduced a new low-profile model of the police Interceptor utility SUV. The cop-model Explorer is now harder than ever to spot, with the light bar relocated to the visor space on the windshield interior. Police departments have been installing low-profile gear for years, but Ford taking it inside the car is just a new level of gamesmanship. A reminder from Drive Wire: fun’s fun…. But only when you’re on a closed course.

Turning to pickup truck news, Chevrolet has a new special edition Silverado making its debut at the Texas Motor Speedway. It’s the Silverado Rally Edition, and it’s basically a cosmetic package for the everyday half-ton pickup, but we’re totally okay with that thanks to the strong and simple graphics package, as well as blacked-out trim and wheels. Dale Earnhardt will be shilling the Silverado Rally at Sunday’s NASCAR Duck Commander 500, so keep your eyes peeled for a preview of this flashy truck.

Today in gear we have a cool storage option for those of us who aren’t always hauling rocks or firewood in our pickups. Decked is a company that makes practical, durable storage modules, custom-fit to your truckbed or van interior. They’re weatherproof, lockable, and made from polyethelyne molded over a steel frame. Decked modules work with spray-in bed liners, have a three-year warranty, and will even keep your beer cold. Check ‘em out at decked.com

Big props for today’s ridiculous video… but not for that embarrassing pun. Moving on… check out Red Bull pilot Hannes Arch as he slaloms through the turbines at an Austrian wind farm to give you your daily allowance of ! Oh god that was close! A rush almost better than coffee.

That’s it for today’s edition of Drive Wire. For more, be sure to come back to thedrive.com, and follow us @thedrive on all your favorite social media platforms.